A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Seizing his one chance to escape, Ethan Hosking leaves his violent ex-boyfriend, leaves his entire life, and walks into the path of a raging bushfire. Desperate to start over, a new man named Aubrey Hobbs walks out of the fire-ravaged forest, alive and alone. With no ID and no money, nothing but his grandfather’s telescope, he goes where the Southern Cross leads him.

Patrick Carney is the resident lighthouse keeper in Hadley Cove, a small town on the remote Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. After the tragic death of his lover four years ago, he lives a solitary life; just him, a tabby cat, the Indian and Southern Oceans, and a whole lot of loneliness. He’s content with his life until a stranger shows up in town and turns Patrick’s head.

Patrick never expected to be interested in anyone else.

Aubrey never expected to be happy.

Between Aubrey’s love of the stars and Patrick’s love of the ocean, these two fragile hearts must navigate new waters. If they can weather the storm of their pasts, they could very well have a love that eclipses everything.

Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker was simply one of the most moving, heart felt romances I’ve read in a long time.  The combination of island, lighthouse, small town atmosphere, and memorable characters make this story one to carry in your heart for some time to come.

There’s also this almost intangible overlay of something magical, call it fate…call it the stars but N.R. Walker has cast a spell over her narrative so that this contemporary romance has a mystical feeling when the men need it the most.  Or perhaps when you least expect it, a touch of magic brushes over the story.

How these men need it and each other.  Walker has created two wounded souls in Patrick and Ethan.  Patrick lost his partner years ago to the sea and he has never recovered from the loss. Now he just goes about his life as the keeper of the local lighthouse at Hadley Cove, his romantic life nil. Ethan Hosking’s life has  gotten so dark, so full of despair and pain that he can’t see his way out until a fire and desperation points a way.  Using his grandfather’s telescope, it’s Aubrey Hobbs who walks out of the fire and eventually makes his way all the way to Hadley Cove and into Patrick’s life.

Walker’s ability to make us see the frailty of Ethan/Aubrey as he tries to ease his way into being a part of life at Hadley Cove is amazing.  You are there as Patrick slowly befriends the skittish new person in town, finds him a job, and in the  slow burn way, builds a trust that will allow the men to form a relationship and love.  And in turn, Ethan who now is truly becoming Aubrey teaches Patrick how to start to let go, grieve, and truly celebrate what he had with his first love.

Plus there’s all the secondary yet so important cast that is needed to shore up Aubrey’s recovery from his years of abuse into the person he’s becoming in Hadley Cove.  And the food that Patrick cooks  and serves up that’s simple but mouthwatering. The descriptions of the warmth of the hearth in the lighthouse and the cat that mourned and now accepts Aubrey.  It’s exemplary and all just means this book is beautifully written. Everything about this story will break your heart and put it back together again.

I just love it.  And it’s on my to be reread pile soon.  Yes, I highly recommend it.  I will leave you sighing and so happy for days after the book is done.

Cover art is perfect for the story. I wish I could have found the artist. Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 313 pages
Published June 23rd 2018 by BlueHeart Press
Original TitleGalaxies and Oceans
ASINB07DZNX1LT
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Sammy Review: Cronin’s Key (Cronin’s Key #1) by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5:

Cronin's key coverWeird and Alec MacAidan tend to go together. From bending bullets to people suddenly turning to ash, his experience on the police force and in life haven’t necessarily been the most normal, but it’s about to get a whole lot weirder when a vampire named Cronin shows up at the station and disappears with Alec in front of a whole bunch of cops.

Alec’s full of questions, but the answers always seem to lead to more. There’s a whole other world out there Alec had no idea about, and Cronin and his coven are all part of that. Alec’s been told most of his life that he’s special, but he just never had this in mind – being fated to a vampire is one thing, but what they discover about just how special he is… well that’s a whole different ball game.

He wanted to be everything to Cronin. And he would be. Everything he needed, everything he wanted, Alec was it.

 As Cronin was to him.

N.R. Walker has always been the author I go to when I need a break from reality. her books tend to provide me with easy escapes and easy reads, and Cronin’s Key is no different. When I had time to read, I flew through the pages and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

This book, which I hope is the first in at least a three book series, provides a great introduction to both Alec and Cronin. They both have distinct personalities that Walker does a great job of highlighting. Furthermore, the way that the connection between them builds, despite there being an instant love factor due to fate, is really great, especially the bits of humor that are laced into it. I had so much fun reading their banter and it kept me smiling.

The side characters were really great too. I enjoyed getting to know them as well as how they laced into the story of Alec and Cronin. They didn’t take away from it, but they added greatly to the depth. It presented a whole new dynamic that I certainly appreciated.

But my favorite part, hands down, is the alternate history and therefore the world that Walker created. Instead of just throwing vampires into society as we know it, she took events such as the Black Plague and reimagined them. I was so giddy over this and so enamored by the past that she built. I really hope that this continues in coming books, as it was such a strong element to the book that it’s something I will remember this book for.

My only complaint would be that I wasn’t immediately drawn in at the beginning, and unfortunately some of the lines were a bit cheesy, especially toward the end in battle scenes. It was just that the villain sounded like they were from a badly scripted series, but besides that, it read very well. In general, this was a fun start to a new series that I will look forward to reading more of.

The cover art by Sara York does a nice job of accenting the story, though I am not necessarily the most pleased with it aesthetically. It fits the story, but looks-wise, it’s not that great.

 

Sales Links:    All Romance (ARe)      Amazon        Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 265 pages
Published March 13th 2015 by Self-Published (first published March 12th 2015)
original titleCronin’s Key
edition languageEnglish
seriesCronin’s Key #1