Book Review: Rock It by Jennifer Chance

Rock It (Rule Breakers #1)

Title: Rock It (Rule Breakers #1)
Author: Jennifer Chance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult, Musician
Publisher: Love Swept (Random House)
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014
Pages: 240
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Lacey Dawes is a total pro at the talent agency where she works, and it doesn’t hurt that IMO Worldwide Media represents Dante Falcone. The rock god has starred in her fantasies since she was sixteen—and remains her secret crush to this day. So when Dante picks her to be the interim manager on his Dream It tour, Lacey can’t believe her luck. Handling Dante is sure to be the most exquisite, spine-tingling, nerve-wracking mix of business and pleasure ever.

Although Dante is grateful for the adoring fans who scream for one more of his full-throttle, soul-searing songs, being surrounded by a cadre of corporate types backstage is wearing thin. Then Lacey shows up. Yeah, she’s organized, smart, quick to get him what he wants before he knows he wants it—but Dante senses there’s something else going on with sweet, sexy Lacey. One kiss tells him what that “something” might be . . . and makes him hungry for more.

My Review:

Ever been obsessed with a rock star? Lacey Dawes has – and she has the scrapbooks to prove it. She’s been in love with musician Dante Falcone for as long as she can remember. When she was a teen she sent him a letter every day for a hundred days and she isn’t completely over her first crush. Now, in her twenties, Lacey’s talent agency has signed Dante Falcone as their number one client – and he wants her to go on tour with him. It’s a dream come true – or is it? Trying to keep her personal and professional lives separate, Lacey struggles as she gets to realize that the man behind the guitar is just as incredible as she always thought.

Rock It reads a little like well written fan fiction. What would you do if you got the chance to get up close and personal with your fantasy musician? Lacey gets to experience just that – however it felt a little odd at times. We get to see Lacey the junior talent agent – willing to do whatever it takes to keep clients and her employers happy. She will do the grunt work that no one else wants to and does all the little jobs her boss Brenda passes down. When she catches Dante’s eye and he requests her, Lacey is determined to be as professional as possible. And yet, it doesn’t take much for uber-competent and businesslike Lacey to be quite sensual and sexual. I found it a little odd and (disregarding the incident with the champagne) could not quite work out why she behaved as she did  – except if it was just her lingering feelings as a fangirl spurring her on. Dante is every bit the rock star. He’s been in the spotlight for a long time and wants to break out and do what he wants to do and not what his record label expects. His reputation with the ladies is legendary and it felt natural that he would embrace Lacey’s sexual side. His realization of his true feelings towards Lacey felt abrupt and uncharacteristic.

These characters have quite a bit of sexual chemistry with each other but as a reader I didn’t connect with either of them. Lacey spent a lot of time worrying that she was going to lose her job (despite the big boss nearly always saying how great she was doing) and daydreaming about how amazing Dante is. I’m not sure what set Lacey apart from the other groupies Dante had and the two didn’t appear to have much of an emotional connection.

This book was a steamy read and not for those who don’t enjoy down and dirty romances. The idea that dreams really can come true is very sweet however I would have liked to have seen more emotional maturity from Lacey and Dante. There are some humorous moments throughout the novel but ultimately this isn’t a story that will stick with me.

 

Purchase the novel from:

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About Jennifer Chance

JenniferChance

I come by romance honestly, having spent several years writing adult romance and entering romance contests through Romance Writers of America–including finaling twice in the prestigious Golden Heart contest and winning once. But despite these and other contest wins, my first published novel came not in adult romance, but as a writer of YA historical fiction (you can read all about my Elizabethan spy girls stories, the Maids of Honor, here.)

Still, despite my love of Elizabethan spies, I could never quite give up those super Alpha contemporary romance heroes. So, in the summer of 2013, I decided to see if perhaps I might still have a romance or two up my sleeve.

I wrote a tale about a girl whose biggest high-school and college crush–a rock star–suddenly becomes her biggest client, only now she has to be professional and not betray the fact that she’s completely in love with the guy. It was a fun, sexy, romantic fantasy, and I suggested the idea to my agent… who asked what other ideas I had in addition to this story. Shortly after, the Rule Breakers series was born.

To separate these books from my historical work, I adopted the name Jennifer Chance. I am now pursuing my dreams (pretty much round the clock as it turns out) and am THRILLED to be able to have four e-books coming out in 2014 and early 2015, all with Random House LoveSwept’s New Adult romance line.

As to what will happen from here, who knows? But as long as there is a story to be written and an HEA to be had, I’ll be the one over in the corner, tapping away on my keyboard.

Connect with Jennifer at her Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Book Review: Covert Assignment by Missy Marciassa

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Title: Covert AssignmentCovert Assignment
Author: Missy Marciassa
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Suspence
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: December 2013
Pages: 234
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Covert Assignment is a New Adult, Coming of Age Novel with a strong romantic element. Elle is ready for graduation and full-fledged adulthood: no more living like the leftover of her parent’s divorce. She’s about to graduate with her degree in Information Science (the 21st century term for Library Science) and has a ten-year plan as well-designed as any model for analyzing metadata: earn her JD/MBA, enjoy a couple of years as a single professional, then marry her college sweetheart, Adam, and start her own family.

Yet Elle feels like she returned to an alternate universe her final semester. There are pictures of Adam with a classmate who must be surgically enhanced, but he insists he wants Elle. CIA recruiters show up on campus, and they aren’t just interested in recruiting Elle for future employment: turns out she’s already working for them since they’re funding her thesis. Hot operative Preston Raddick is tasked to work with her. Preston isn’t just hot: he’s hot for Elle, but is he offering happy ever after or happy for right now? A fling with Preston could be the beginning of a new life plan, which is exciting and scary, especially with espionage thrown in. Elle needs a predictive model to tell her which decisions have the greater likelihood for happiness…

My Review:

One semester from leaving her university in her past and preparing for adult life, Elle has it all worked out. Go to her father’s alma mater and double in law and business, marry her college sweetheart Adam and then settle down and start a family by the time Elle and Adam are in their early thirties. Sounds perfect, right? Spanner is thrown into the works when Elle returns from Christmas break to find intimate photos of Adam and someone who very definitely isn’t Elle.

Determined not to let Adam’s cheating ways ruin her final semester, Elle tries to work out if she wants to salvage that relationship whilst still working on her thesis project. A project that – unknown to Elle – is funded by the CIA. Working closely with a field operative, Preston Raddick, Elle manages to somehow prepare for adult life whilst making the most of her time in college.

I love the concept of this novel. It reminded me of the tv show, Chuck – with top-secret agencies cherry picking graduating classes for their newest recruits. Elle is apparently very logical and methodical which would make her a great analyst. However, I didn’t see very much of her analytical nature when it came to dealing with her personal life. Elle came across as incredibly judgemental and (especially with regards to the Adam situation) needed her friends to make her decisions for her. I think her reaction and actions to Adam’s betrayal were slightly hollow with Elle never talking about how she felt about the whole situation. It made me like her less as a character because I perceived her to be more upset about her future plans being ruined rather than having anything to do with feelings or heartbreak.

Spy wise – I like where this book was heading. Elle got a taste of exactly what life as an operative might entail. There’s drama and slight suspense although it only really occurred in the tail end of the book. Elle’s friends were a little over the top but fiercely loyal and Elle definitely needed that. I had some issues with some of the things that occurred in this book (like what was with Elle’s family at the end. That felt so completely out of character) but overall it was an entertaining read and a new adult novel that focused on the bridge between college and adulthood.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

Book Review: Sia by Josh Grayson

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Title: Siasia cover
Author: Josh Grayson
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Social Change, Coming of Age, New Adult
Publisher: self-published
Publication Date: November 2013
Pages: 193
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

My Review:

Sia has no idea who she is. She doesn’t know her name, her address or anything about herself. The only thing she has to her name is a fairly skimpy jogging outfit and an ipod. With nowhere to go and no idea about who she can turn to, Sia spends the next week on the streets living as a homeless person. Kindness comes from the most surprising sources when and older woman befriends Sia and teaches her how to survive. But then Sia’s parents find her. They take her off the streets and back to their mansion. But Sia still doesn’t have a clue who she is. She doesn’t recognize her parents. her friends, her boyfriend or her life. What she finds is that she doesn’t like the sound of the person she was. And maybe she doesn’t need to be the Old Sia.

I liked how this story let us find out about Sia and Sia’s World as she discovered things for herself. The contrasts from her time on the streets and her rich and flashy life worked nicely against each other. It was a little hard for me to get into the story initially – Sia’s confusion was shared by me for a while – but it didn’t take long for me to get into things.

Sia is a little simplistic at times. Instead of finding out who she was, she decides to completely embrace the life of a street kid. After finishing the novel I don’t feel like that would be something Old Sia or the New and Improved version would do. She’s not really a go with the flow kind of person. But I understand that as a plot device, Sia needed to see what life on the other side would be like. The romance was nicely done but I felt like the end wrapped things up in a way that felt unnatural, over the top and a tad unnecessary.

This was an interesting journey to read. From the gutter to the Academy Awards – there’s a lot going on and Sia managed to traverse it all.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

 

AUTHOR BIO

Josh Author Pic

Josh Grayson was born in Mexico, raised in Massachusetts, and now lives in Martinsville, Virginia. It was his move to the South that stirred his imagination and gave him the courage to start writing. During his free time, Josh enjoys reading, jogging, swimming, and watching YouTube videos.

Josh currently works as a medical driver, shuttling people all over Virginia and North Carolina. He has also worked as a machinist, film sales rep, administrative assistant, and telemarketer (he apologizes if he called you).

Sia is his debut YA novel.

Author Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway where you could win one of five print copies of Sia (US only) or one of five ecopies (open internationally). Click the rafflecopter link before to enter.

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Book Review: Break It Up by E.M. Tippetts

Break It Up

Title: Break It Up
Author: E. M. Tippetts
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 2013
Pages: 216
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Kyra Armijo is making a few changes in her life. One of them being, she’s no longer going to give it up to every guy who looks at her twice. And she’s putting her hopes and dreams for her future first. When the aspiring photojournalist gets the opportunity of a lifetime to tag along with international boy band sensation, Triple Cross, she can’t pass up the chance.

The only problem is that she’s in love with one band member, dodging the unwanted attention of another, and desperate to keep her turbulent past under wraps. Triple Cross have “nice guy” appeal, approved of by parents the world over, but have just let go their longtime manager, who controlled their clean image and media exposure with an iron fist. When Zach Wechsler, the object of Kyra’s affection, begins to show interest, she has to be careful.

Surely one girl can’t destroy a band that’s been together for ten years… only what if she can? Kyra knows she’s one bad decision away from ruining everything she’s worked for, and taking the hottest act of her generation down with her.

My Review:

Kyra used to be the girl with the bad reputation. A reputation she may have earned but she’s trying to redeem herself for her past mistakes. When she gets to meet with the somewhat reclusive but very famous band, Triple Cross, Kyra is a little star struck – and she has met her fair share of A-List celebrities. But Zach Wechsler is different. He’s even better than in Kyra’s fantasies. Can Kyra manage to keep her past a secret and have a chance with the clean cut pop sensation or will things between Kyra and Zach be over before they even cot a chance to began?

If you’ve read Someone Else’s Fairytale or Nobody’s Damsel by Emily Mah Tippetts, Kyra would be familiar to you. Break it Up is a spinoff focusing on Jason’s niece, Kyra. She’s not the wild child she was but rather maturing into a respectable member of society. Kyra owns her own mistakes but is trying to leave it in the past and make something of her future. She’s an interesting character. I liked that she didn’t judge others for their actions because she’d been there, done that and it wasn’t her place remark on how they choose to live their lives. Her relationships with her family was great to read about. Whilst this book can be read as a standalone I thought it was interesting to see Kyra’s perception of characters that I had grown to love before from Chloe’s story.

I thought that Triple Cross were fun. Somewhere between One Direction and the Jonas Brothers, they’re three young men who are in the middle of flux. Their mom-ager (mother manager) was recently cut loose and now they’re having to fend for themselves for the first time in their lives. Zach is the ultimate dream boy… and Kyra isn’t immune from his charm. But I found him to be a little immature and he read very young. A little too young for the world wise Kyra. I would have liked him more had he taken a little more responsibility for what was happening to him and his band rather than just hoping something would magically solve all their problems. Romance wise – Kyra and Zach’s chemistry was lovely. They compliment each other so well and I was rooting for them from the start.

It was great to be back in the world EM Tippetts has created. Her characters are three-dimensional – each with their own flaws which makes them that much more relatable and enjoyable to read about. She writes fantastic New Adult novels that are interesting and clean. I enjoyed reading this book and loved that it is a complete story – with no nasty cliffhangers!  

Thanks to the author for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon

Book Review: Love and Relativity by Rachael Wade

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Title: Love and RelativityLR
Author: Rachael Wade
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, 
Publisher: Rabbit Hole Press
Publication Date: December 2012
Pages: 338
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Love, life, and happily ever after? It’s all relative.

Marine biology student Emma Pierce lives in paradise—geographically speaking, anyway. Stranded on Sanibel Island, Florida, she works at a nursing home by day and spends her nights dodging the island’s infamous bad boy, Jackson Taylor, at her favorite karaoke bar. Trying to heal from the loss of her sister and a failed relationship she rerouted her life for, she’s ready to graduate and finally leave Florida behind.

When a run-in with Jackson and his rowdy crew goes sour at the bar one night, sparks fly and irreversible damage is done. It’s no secret that Jackson loves to get underneath her skin, but this time he’s gone too far. Now all he wants is to earn her forgiveness before she’s gone for good, but their ideas of closure—and the future—are enough to keep them worlds apart.

My Review:

“Love is like art,” I shrugged. “It’s relative.”
“I don’t think so. I think it’s absolute. You know when you love someone.”

Emma Pierce has been hurt by love before. She planned out her entire life with her boyfriend only to have everything fall apart. Now single – and looking to keep it that way – Emma isn’t looking for distractions. She’s applied a program on the other side of the country and can’t wait to move away from the town where she’s haunted by memories of her sister and dogged by the baddest boy in town – Jackson Taylor. Jackson is the one guy who could tempt Emma to change her plans. He’s gorgeous and there’s no denying the sparks that fly when Emma and Jack are in the same room. But she’s a one guy kind of girl and he has a different girl warming his bed each night.

I loved reading the story of Emma and Jackson. Their chemistry flies off the page and from their first interaction I was hoping for a happily ever after. The banter between them is witty and heated with the romance red hot. What I liked most about Emma and Jack was they’re both flawed. Jack gets around and makes the same mistakes over and over again with Emma not willing to face up to reality at times. Their faults aside they both have some great qualities too. Emma is down to earth and a caring side. I thought her interactions with the residents at the retirement home where she works to be both funny and sweet. She’s a very strong person too. I loved that she didn’t let life get her down. She wasn’t going to give up. That said – she wasn’t bullet-proof and her actions and reactions were refreshingly realistic. Jackson is a little messed but oh-so attractive and one of those guys that I can imagine being many readers’ book boyfriends.

The supporting cast was great – with them being interesting and having stuff of their own going on. I am definitely going to check out Wade’s Preservation series to read their stories. Plot wise, this is a book about love and relationships. But it’s also about families and over coming the past. It was nicely done with an ending that was absolutely perfect and played out like a romantic comedy.

Love and Relativity is a great story. It’s incredibly hot – definitely not recommended for young audiences – with some characters that I loved and a plot that really worked for them.

(PS. The reference to the Lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout made me laugh and was a nice tribute considering the cover models for this book!)

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

AUTHOR BIO

Rachael

Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.comand www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.
Author Links:

Book Review: Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams

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Title: Darkness Watching (DarkWorld #1)perf6.000x9.000.indd
Author: Emma L Adams
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Self-Published 
Publication Date: September 2013
Pages: 196
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons still stalk Ash, and their interest in her has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be…

My Review:

I’ve been interesting about this book since I did a cover reveal a few months ago – books set in university have been one of my guilty pleasures since the days of borrowing Sweet Valley University novels when I was a pre-teen. Darkness Watching is a great addition to the new adult world – with a delightful paranormal element to it all.

Ashlyn has her heart set on going to Oxford. But when she starts seeing dark shadows with creepy eyes and completely blows her interview, she finds a second chance in Blackstone. A smaller university – practically unheard of for many – this is Ash’s chance to embrace college life. Parties, room mates, professors and lectures aren’t the only new things in her life – she also has to deal with the new knowledge that she’s a sorceress and the things in the shadows aren’t the scariest things she has to face.

This is one of those books that is very much about the main character finding herself and embracing her new place in the world. I loved getting to see Ash embrace the university experience and starting the newest chapter of her life. And an added bonus for me was that all the new goings on in her life weren’t precipitated by some gorgeous guy who brings the creep with him. Not to say there aren’t males around in this book – and some of them rather creepy – but for the most part it’s not a romance at heart. I found myself cheering that she has so many interests that were her own and not just ones that she had because of a boy or because her friends forced them onto her. I found her to be similar to me – but better! – and I liked getting to follow her as she discovered the Darkworld.

The demons and magic in this book is something different – and not the type that I feel like I’ve read before. I liked the ‘magical’ characters and it was interesting to see where they fit into Ash’s story. There are twists and turns – not all I was expecting – and I imagine that this series is one that’s only going to get better with each instalment.

 

Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble| Kobo

 

AUTHOR BIO

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Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and will be published in September 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Author Links:
Website Blog Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

Easy

Title: Easy
Author: Tammara Webber
Genre: New Adult, Contempoary Romance, 
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: May 2012
Pages: 330
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl’s struggle to regain the trust she’s lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy

My Review:

This is one of those books that I’ve heard a lot fantastic things about. So many that it made me incredibly nervous to read it. I’ve heard that it’s THE book in the New Adult genre and that Lucas is the ultimate book boyfriend. So what did I do? I bought it then put it on the shelf never to think of again. Until a few months ago when I got given an audiobook copy from a friend.

For the past month, I’ve been listening to Jacqueline and Lucas’ story one hour at a time whilst running around my neighbourhood. And I can see what all the fuss is about. Tammara Webber wrote a story with characters who have a lot of depth to them. They’re flawed and interesting and for the most part entirely believable. I wasn’t sure I was going to like Jacqueline at the start. She’s a little mopey and heartbroken but there’s so much more to her than her first impression. She’s brave and intelligent and very hard-working. She’s not one of those people who jump to conclusions and blame you for what’s going on inside their own heads but she does give people the benefit of doubt. Her relations with her friends are real and relatable and the e-banter between her and Landon is rather entertaining. Lucas is the perfect kind of bad boy and I loved the way he treated Jacqueline however I didn’t love him as much as I expected to.

This is a book with some fairly heavy themes – abuse, victims, rape and reputation – but I thought they were dealt with beautifully. I liked that it didn’t go the stereotypical route – Jacqueline is no helpless heroine but she’s an everyday woman. Abuse is something that can happen to anyone – and I admired her for how she dealt with the aftermath. She’s stronger than I first thought and manages to fight back – not just in a physical way but equips herself with the skills necessary to not be put in the same position again. Girl power! 😀

Easy is a book I’m so glad that I actually decided to read! It’s got realistic characters, a lot of romance and great storyline about female empowerment. I’m definitely going to read more books by Tammara Webber.

Audiobook note:

I’m not usually an audiobook person but I really enjoyed listening to this one. When reading exciting parts in a novel I tend to read very quickly just to see what’s going to happen next but having to follow where the narrator was taking me was good in this instance. I got to stay within this world for a while and the speed definitely drew out the anticipation. The version I listened to was narrated by Tara Sands who read at a great pace and did a fantastic job at distinguishing between characters are well as dialogue, to text messages, to email without there being any confusion.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon |  Booktopia Book Depository | BookWorld