Review of Haven by Lindsay J Pryor

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Well, I have to say that my blog has been rather neglected of late. With 2017 seeing the launch of my own author career during which I’ve published three novels and a short story, time has been a commodity I haven’t had nearly enough of.

That being said, what a book to come back with!

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A spin-off from the bestselling Blackthorn series by Lindsay J. Pryor, set in Lowtown, the neighbouring district to Blackthorn. The product of a brutal class system, the dark, gritty world of Lowtown will grip you and never let you go.

Every few days the handsome stranger comes into the café in Lowtown for an hour a time. Most of the time he keeps himself to himself – one drink and he leaves. Sometimes people meet with him but about what remains elusive, the edge of mystery and danger adding to his allure.

Not that Ember is allowed to think about him. She’s finally on the cusp of gaining her citizenship and escaping Lowtown for good, so she can’t be seen to be involved with a vampire – evidence of one single bite would be the end of her prospects. But when those prospects are rocked by her links to the district’s dark underbelly, the stranger she must avoid could be her absolution – and she could be his . . .

My Review

I cannot tell you how long I’ve been waiting to sit down with the long-anticipated ‘Haven’ in my hands. Put it this way…. it’s been a while.

I’ve been a fan of Lindsay J Pryor for some time, but I’ll admit I did have a little nervous anxiety going on in the pit of my stomach as I opened this book. I love her Blackthorn series, and I’m highly anticipating the finale, Blood Broken. But to sit down with something completely new… well, would it meet my expectations?

So for those reading this review, I’m going to put you out of your misery really quickly… it did. It most definitely did.

Now although all of Lindsay’s novels are dark and gritty, I would say Haven was much more urban fantasy than PNR. Sure, the story focuses on two characters, and you could say there are hints of attraction between the pair, but I wouldn’t put this strictly in the PNR category.

Lindsay transports you right in the middle of the world she has created. She takes you into the heart of the action. You can smell the desperation of what it’s like to live in Lowtown, you can feel the terror, the hopelessness of being one of the unlucky folks who happened to be born into the wrong family, the wrong area.

But you can also be uplifted by the spirit of the people who live there, and none more so than our heroine, Ember, who, on the cusp of getting out of Lowtown to the more affluent Midtown is pulled into what I can only describe as a nightmare not of her making. But instead of crumbling, our girl leads from the front, inspires, thrills, digs her heels in, and stands up to those who seek to oppress.

At the beginning, I read slowly, keen to make sure I followed the story, for Lindsay J Pryor’s writing is not only absorbing, but it’s also intelligent. You have to pay attention. And gradually, I was pulled into Ember and Nate’s world, not like a voyeur, but as an active participant. I could have been Ember. I felt everything she did, I fought right alongside her, I urged her to triumph. From about the fifty percent mark, I couldn’t flick the pages fast enough.

I tried to work out how Ember was going to make it all okay when all seemed lost, but once again, as the author has done many times before, Lindsay J Pryor surprised, shocked, and astounded me with her storytelling, her guts, her ability to make the tough calls. Her ability to pull out something amazing… and when the covers are peeled back to reveal the outcome, she definitely provides that ‘What the heck’ moment!

Make no mistake: Lowtown is dark and gritty, and gives us more than a glimpse into the depths of human depravity. But it’s also uplifting, inspiring, and shows the strength of humanity, of how there are still those with determination to do the right thing, no matter what it costs them.

Lindsay J Pryor – I salute you. Please hurry up with the next in the series. I can’t wait.

Spellbound

About Lindsay

Lindsay J. Pryor

Lindsay J. Pryor is the author of the Amazon bestselling BLACKTHORN series, her dark, complex and gritty urban paranormal romances having achieved numerous Gothic and PNR number ones in both the UK and the US. LOWTOWN, a spin-off from the Blackthorn world, is her upcoming urban fantasy series of standalone books.

Quickly deciding that fantasy was more interesting than reality, Lindsay has been creating stories since she was nine years old. She holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology and Communication and is a qualified Psychology lecturer and English teacher. She taught for eighteen years before becoming a full-time author.

Lindsay was born and grew up in Wales and now lives in South West England with her husband, their rescue bunny and a plethora of wild woodland creatures.

BLACKTHORN is published by Bookouture. Her LOWTOWN novels are being published by Piatkus (Little, Brown Book Group).

To find out more about Lindsay and her books, please visit her website: lindsayjpryor.com

Website http://www.lindsayjpryor.com
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/lindsayjpryor.author
Twitter http://twitter.com/lindsayjpryor
Pinterest http://uk.pinterest.com/lindsayjpryor
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/lindsay.j.pryor

Haven: A Lowtown Novel 

Buy Links
iBooks http://apple.co/2uOjXkl
Waterstones http://bit.ly/2un4iYI
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2udfh5t
KOBO http://bit.ly/2tSm9Dj
Amazon US (for eBook) http://amzn.to/2vzifl4
Amazon US (for paperback) http://a.co/cT6hwyt
Amazon http://a.co/9hmDloA
Amazon ANZ http://amzn.to/2uN9CFW
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2yoeSxC
Amazon.ca http://a.co/eZ6XoQP
Indigo http://bit.ly/2jXHbRe

 

Review of Warden by Montana Ash

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This novel was recommended by a dear friend, and although I didn’t find the blurb all that intriguing, I know her and she knows me, and, let’s face it, for less than the price of a cup of coffee in some pretentious coffee shop, you could just discover a gem.

I will admit – this book did not capture my imagination straight away. In fact, I gave it much longer than I normally do before moving onto the next in an ever growing TBR pile. However, something kept me going. Whether that was the fact my friend loved it, or whether there was some niggling ‘hmmm’ I kept going.

I was over 25% in before I started to like this book, and by the end, I really liked it, so much so that I downloaded the next in the series.

There are things I didn’t like – I’ll get to those – but for now, let me focus on ‘glass half full’.

Warden is about Max who is, in fact, a Warden, a protector of (a part of) the earth in some way, whether that be Air, Water, Fire…well, you get the point. However, Max is a warden of Life, that is, she is all those things.

But….and here’s the doozy – Max doesn’t know what she is. She knows she’s different – various spells in psychiatric facilities have told her that – but she has no clue of the hidden paranormal world that she is a key part of. That is, until in a dive bar trying to re-energise herself whilst fending off hapless advances, Max is discovered by three Paladins, knights who are sword to protect the Wardens, for they are few and far between, and yet are necessary for the balance of what we know to be the world around us.

The three Paladins, out for a quiet drink, find their life turned upside down when they take Max under their wing and try to educate her into her reason for being.

Problem is, Max is feisty, opinionated, a little fireball who refuses to meld into what she is supposed to be.

And then she meets Ryker, a Paladin who has a chequered history with his kind. When he tries to bend Max to his will, fireworks ensue. Good luck with that, buddy!

I loved Max. In fact, I might be a bit in love with Max. Some of her one-liners had me chuckling and wishing I’d thought of them – she is the Queen of the ‘put-down’, so much so, I’ve made a note of some. Surely I’ll be able to use them at some time in the future!

And now for the bits I didn’t like.

The writing is aimed at quite a young audience. Even though there is sex in this novel, and it is described in detail, Warden is clearly ensconced in the YA genre (and as much as I’d like to lie to myself, I was a Young Adult…..eons ago, sadly). Having said that, if YA isn’t your thing, I wouldn’t let that put you off. There is so much more to this story to keep your attention. And you don’t have to be a Young Adult to enjoy that genre. I am living proof.

There are a few too many ‘Ward-isms’ for my liking (for those who don’t follow the genius that is J R Ward – well, that’s who I’m referring to).  As a writer myself, I know how hard it is to stop those things you love about novels you have read leaking into your own writing, but it is your duty to weed them out. You want people to think of you, and only you, when they read your novel, not be reminded of someone else’s work. Here’s an example – Peanut Gallery. Don’t use Peanut Gallery when describing a bunch of people surrounding an Alpha making a bit of a tit of himself and having a giggle at his expense. Ward has claimed that particular phrase as her own, and all it does is makes me think of a BDB novel when what I really wanted to do is think of a Montana Ash novel. She only used it once, but it was enough to drag me out of the story….the last thing you want a reader to do.

As an overall summary, I really liked Warden. I have downloaded the second novel, and I hope I enjoy it as much (or maybe even more) than Warden. I am definitely hoping for more of Max and her special brand of one-liners. If only I was blessed with a modicum of the wit Max has, I’d be a happy girl indeed!.

Four stars

 

Celebrating Four Years of Blackthorn

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Happy Anniversary Blackthorn! November marks four years since the release of Blood Shadows, book one in the stunning paranormal series by British author, Lindsay J. Pryor.

I first discovered Blackthorn when I was bemoaning to a dear friend of mine that I had nothing to read. I was in a real ‘readers slump’ and whatever I picked up didn’t hold my attention, and I found myself with plenty of half-read books but nothing that grabbed me, that absorbed me into another world, that yelled ‘At Last! Here’s something different!’

And then she introduced me to Blackthorn. At the time, Blood Shadows, the first in the series was out, as was Blood Roses, the second book. I downloaded them both on the advice of my friend…and I’ve never looked back since.

Any books in the PNR genre tend to get compared to the brilliant JR Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Now don’t get me wrong; I LOVE Ward and all the ‘Brothers’, but whereas those books give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, Blackthorn is much darker, grittier and infinitely more absorbing.

Lindsay J Pryor has created what the PNR world has been craving for; a different take on the PNR genre.

Yes, they are love stories, but they are far from sweet. The love that the four couples Blackthorn centres around is hard-won. Blackthorn is not a place for the faint-hearted, and Lindsay J Pryor doesn’t shy away from putting her characters (and her readers) through the wringer. In Blackthorn, no-one is safe. Characters you have come to adore die, our main heroes and heroines have to make terrible choices that don’t just pull on your heartstrings, they wrench your heart straight out of your chest and stamp on it for good measure.

If you’re already a fan of the series then I’m sure you’ll agree that four years since the first Blackthorn book, Blood Shadows, was released is definitely a date worth celebrating. If you haven’t discovered the series yet, allow me to introduce you. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Blackthorn…

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Blurb

‘Blood Shadows has a vibe reminiscent of J.R Ward’s Black Dagger series, both sexy, unrelenting and blood-thirsty.’ Lindsey Clarke

Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of ‘third species’ beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit’s most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire – comes with a death wish. Many have tried, but few have survived.

For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed 7 years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane’s help she is next.

She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy. The vampire who despises everything she stands for. Or die.

Combining sizzling passion and dark, sinfully seductive vampire heroes, Lindsay J. Pryor’s writing is an exciting new find for those who love paranormal romance and urban fantasy

Blood Shadows is available for only 0.99 on Amazon!

Buy Links: AmazonUk | Amazon.com | Kobo | GooglePlay

About Lindsay J. Pryor

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Lindsay J. Pryor is the author of seven novels in her Amazon bestselling BLACKTHORN series. Her complex, dark and gritty urban PNR has achieved numerous Gothic and PNR Amazon number ones both in the UK and the US, thousands of 5 star reviews, and more than thirty blog nominations and awards. Blood Shadows – Lindsay’s debut novel – was optioned by US film giants Relativity Media.

Lindsay has been creating stories since she was nine years old, having quickly decided that fantasy was more interesting than reality. More than thirty years later, writing remains her passion.

Lindsay is a qualified Psychology lecturer and English teacher. Before becoming a full-time author, she taught for eighteen years, primarily to improve literacy for children with special needs. She was born and grew up in Wales but now lives in England with her husband, their rescue bunny and a plethora of wild woodland creatures.

To find out more about Lindsay or her books, please visit http://www.lindsayjpryor.com or visit her Facebook page where she regularly chats to her readers.

Main Website – http://www.lindsayjpryor.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/lindsayjpryor.author

Twitter – http://twitter.com/lindsayjpryor

Pinterest – http://uk.pinterest.com/lindsayjpryor

LinkedIn – http://uk.linkedin.com/in/lindsayjpryor

Google+ – http://plus.google.com/+LindsayJPryor

Blackthorn has an overarching plot which extends throughout each book. This series is best read in order.

Reading order:

Blood Shadows

Blood Roses

Blood Torn

Blood Deep

Blood Dark

Blood Instinct

Blood Bound

Blood Broken – awaiting release date!

I hope you enjoyed your journey into Blackthorn. For more celebrations, please visit Lindsay’s Facebook page and her blog. There will be more Kane and a giveaway or two!

And for those out there who love talking about Blackthorn with like-minded folks, why not join Blackthorn & Beyond: Fans of Lindsay J Pryor. They’re a friendly bunch and would love to welcome new members. You can find them at https://www.facebook.com/groups/434089966715230/