Dear readers, Welcome to a our Review Round-Up for June. It has been a scorcher here in the UK over the last few days, and I do believe that many of us will welcome some rain to break up the humidity. That’s not to say that we want to turn down the heat in the books we are reviewing! This month in particular is dominated by romance, mostly dark and erotic, with Skye Warren’s Better When It Hurts (Stripped #2) and two titles from Christina Phillips’ contemporary erotic romances. For a little erotic fun, we also have Tied to the Kitchen Sink by Kay Jaybee.
However, for those of you that are looking for a paranormal fantasy, we can certainly recommend C.J. Pinard’s Soul Redemption (Rebel Riders #2) and Tim O’Rourke’s Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals, series 1, part 6), the final part of series one. For a deeper psychological thriller/horror there is also the growing success of Lynda O’Rourke’s Dwell (The Kassidy Bell trilogy, #2), which has it’s first book of the trilogy, Drug, reach the no. 1 spot on the Amazon Young Adult horror charts!
Lastly, there is also the amazing The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts, a dark historical psychological thriller that explores the state of a mind of a woman in the late 1800’s who has postnatal depression, yet at the time it was believed she was possibly mad. Influenced by her own personal experience, Rachel has explored this subject and set it in a time when very little was understood of mental states. It is one woman’s battle to realise her terrible truth and understand why. A very moving piece that has now been published by Penguin books in early June, and has been re-worked. Our review is of the original self-published version.
As always, we hope that our reviews influence your reading and that you enjoy them. (Please click on titles for our full review posts.)
Caroline & Tina :)
Hold Me Until Midnight (Grayson Brothers #1) by Christina Phillips, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)
Blurb: Scarlett Ashford needs a date for her father’s wedding. Only she doesn’t just need a guy in a suit—she needs a bodyguard. The only problem is that Jackson Grayson is big and gorgeous and way too sexy. So much so that Scarlett’s tempted to let this hot bad boy ruin her oh-so-good reputation…
Jackson doesn’t do relationships and he certainly doesn’t sleep with clients. Yet he can’t fight their inconvenient attraction, or how badly he wants Scarlett’s warm and wicked curves against his body. He wants her. Now. Even if it’s just for one night, and even if walking away the next morning isn’t as easy as he thought.
Besides, one hot and incredibly intense night between a bad boy and a pampered princess could never turn into something real…could it?
Interviewing Wade (Executive Decisions #4) by Grace Marshall, contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)
Blurb: The Executive Decision Trilogy may be over, but the story continues in this addictively sexy fourth instalment by the best-selling Grace Marshall. Ambitious reporter Carla Flannery has been waiting to make her name – and when she gets the chance to interview Wade Crittenden, the mysterious genius behind Pneuma, Inc, she can’t believe her luck. However, Carla has made a lot of enemies in her work, and when Wade discovers she’s being stalked, he is determined to keep her safe, spurred on by his confusing feelings towards her. As situations turn deadly and dark secrets threaten to reveal themselves, lives and hearts are on the line as the interview starts to reveal far more about them than either ever expected …
Soul Redemption (Rebel Riders #2) by C.J. Pinard, paranormal/urban fantasy, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)
Blurb: Faced with unthinkable changes, Nolan Bishop seeks to come to grips with his new version of mortality. While his relationship with Charity Sheridan was already rocky, he’s now facing a whole new set of challenges as they continue to try to find a balance to the love that has just begun to blossom between them. Meanwhile, her twin Eva has violent vengeance on the mind, and the succubus won’t settle for anything less than Nolan’s ultimate demise. Heading back to New Orleans at the request of the BSI, Nolan will have to face Joel Reichert, the old vampire whose oldest friend is now dead because of him. But is Joel really an enemy?
A new, young friend in the Rebel Riders group gives Nolan a much needed reprieve from the stress of his new way of life. While Archie and the Riders don’t really know the full extent of Nolan’s new problems, he continues to hide the horrific things he has to do in order to stay alive. Will Nolan come out better than he was before Eva tried to take his soul, or will he crack and break under the pressure once he realizes what the succubus has really done to him?
Mist Revealed (Elemental Desire #1) (re-edit of Mist Unveiled) by Nancy Corrigan, erotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)
Blurb: A woman seeking answers…
Cat, a renowned scientist, embarks on a quest to uncover the source of the unknown deadly virus that claimed her sister’s life. What she finds is a man shrouded in mystery who manages the impossible—swaying her devotion from logic to passion. But Rune isn’t simply a lover. He’s a weapon, one that has the potential to save her or destroy her.
A man searching for treasure…
Rune, a child of the mist, awakens into a world hovering on the verge of destruction. Ragnarok is coming. His enemies have been released from their prison. And he’s discovered the one woman who can thaw his frozen heart. But the race to stop the final battle isn’t the time to fall in love. Or is it?
A discovery that will change everything…
Life evolves, and what was lost can be recovered. But the truth revealed isn’t the one Cat or Rune expects. The impossible has become reality. And two lovers must make a choice—adapt or die.
Author’s note: Mist Revealed was previously released as Mist Unveiled and has been reedited.
Better When It Hurts (Stripped #2) by Skye Warren, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)
Blurb: Five years ago we lived in the same house. He was the ultimate bad boy. And my foster brother.
Now he’s back. Tougher, harder, meaner. All of it aimed at me, because I was the one who sent him away. It’s payback time. He wants his pound of flesh, and I am helpless to say no.
The Medea Complex (re-released/new edition) by Rachel Florence Roberts, dark historical psychological thriller (original review by Caroline)
Blurb: A deep and riveting psychological thriller inspired by true events of the Victorian era, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, what drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.
1885. Anne Stanbury wakes up in a strange bed, having been kidnapped from her home. As the panic settles in, she realizes she has been committed to a lunatic asylum, deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for an unspeakable crime. But all is not as it seems….
Edgar Stanbury, her husband as well as a grieving father, is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity and seeking revenge for his ruined life. But Anne’s future rests wholly in the hands of Dr. George Savage, chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital.
The Medea Complex is the darkly compelling story of a lunatic, a lie, and a shocking revelation that elucidates the difference between madness and evil….
Tiara’s Golden Submission & Veiled Romance by Evelise Archer, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)
Blurb (Tiara’s Golden Submission): On the cusp of turning fifty, Tiara, a submissive without a Dom or husband, desired to return to the lifestyle. Placing her destiny in the hands of Madame Eve and the 1Night Stand Service, will Tiara find all that she seeks? Or will a past love interfere with her future plans?
Blurb (Veiled Romance): Shane Wise is a Dom and part owner of a popular BDSM club in Rittenhouse Square, Club Rebellion. A tumultuous past has led him to an almost perfect present, except Shane has a secret. A secret that could destroy his reputation in the world in which he loves to live-BDSM.
Deacon Archer is also a Dom and part owner of Club Rebellion and he is in love with Shane Wise. Together Shane and Deacon must decide if the love they feel can withstand the scrutiny they fear, if their relationship is revealed.
Can two dominants truly forge a relationship? Will secret desires open up a new world and allow Shane to be the man he was intended to be or will veiled dominance get in the way?
Dwell (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #2) by Lynda O’Rourke, psychological thriller/horror (reviewed by Caroline)
Blurb: Running from the shadows of Cruor Pharma, Kassidy Bell soon discovers that it’s not just the cleaners and police that are after her. With the drug VA20 slowly working its way through her veins, Kassidy has become an irresistible target to all those looking for somewhere to dwell.
Desperate to find a place of safety and somewhere to rest, Kassidy and the other volunteers set off in search of the Bishop’s house – the last place they know of that Max’s brother, Robert, may have headed for.
But who can Kassidy trust? Can she even trust her own decisions and feelings, especially when it comes to Doctor Ben Fletcher?
‘DWELL’ – Book 2 in the #1 bestselling paranormal thriller series by Lynda O’Rourke.
Tied to the Kitchen Sink by Kay Jaybee, erotic (reviewed by Tina)
Blurb: Will can hardly believe his eyes when he receives the ultimate in birthday gifts. Karen, the girl of his fantasies, has been left tied to his kitchen sink’s taps, ready to be played with exactly as he chooses. Meanwhile, Becky is having a spank-filled first day in her new job, and a BDSM-curious male allows himself to be lured into a dominatrix’s lair by the tempting lyrics of a truly bad poem. Whether bound in ropes or handcuffs, as they are shackled to the bed, kitchen sink, or within the confines of a fetishist’s supply cupboard, the willing victims of Tied to the Kitchen Sink’s kinky S&M and BDSM action find their darkest and sexiest dreams coming true.
Daisy’s Dilemma by Anne Stenhouse, regency historical romance (reviewed by Tina)
Blurb: Lady Daisy should be ecstatic when her brother, the earl, allows Mr. John Brent to propose. She’s been plotting their marriage for two years. However, she is surprised to find herself underwhelmed and blames their distant cousin, Reuben, for unsettling her.
Reuben Longreach wonders whether the earl understands the first thing about Daisy’s nature and her need for a life with more drama than the Season allows. It’s abundantly clear to him that Daisy and John are not suited, but the minx accepts his proposal nonetheless.
Meanwhile, Daisy hatches a plan to attach Reuben to her beautiful, beleaguered Scots cousin, Elspeth. Little does she know that Elspeth is the focus of a more sinister plot that threatens Daisy too.
Will Reuben be able to thwart the forces surrounding Daisy before she is irretrievably tied to John? Will Daisy find the maturity to recognise her dilemma may be of her own making before it’s too late?
Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals, series one, part 6) by Tim O’Rourke, paranormal fantasy (reviewed by Caroline)
Blurb: From Tim O’Rourke #1 bestselling author of ‘The Kiera Hudson Series’ comes ‘Werewolves of Shade’ a werewolf romance with a twist.
When the entire population of Shade go missing, investigative reporter Mila Watson knows this could be the big break she has been waiting for. Setting off into the mountains to the village of Shade, Mila soon learns that the village isn’t as deserted as she first believed it to be and that creatures lurk in the shades…
‘Werewolves of Shade’ (Part Six)
Note: This ends in a cliff-hanger. Part Seven will be published within the next few weeks.
For readers 16+
Relinquish by M.N. Forgy, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)
Blurb: ***WARNING*** This novel contains explicit language, sex, drugs, violence, and sexual situations that some might find offensive. This book is intended for adults 18+ years of age.
In my world, there is no such thing as love. It is just a lie we whisper into our client’s ear. Love is foreign and hazardous. What I did not expect was to bare my soul to a man who is as egotistical as he is dangerous.
His name is Landon. Despite his blackened soul, he tried to save me, but what he didn’t expect was my torturous fate to catch up with me.
To your father, I’m the escort.
To your mother, I’m the whore.
To the legal system, I’m the prostitute.
In the end, I’m just the other woman.
I have no idea if I will continue to survive, if I will ever find my path aside from the gritty streets I know so well. There is a good chance I will wind up in the ditch like most women in my position. Surrendering to my fate is the only choice I have. I must relinquish it all.
Indulgence Anthology by Various Authors, dark erotic romances (reviewed by Tina)
Amity Cross, Royal Blood (Royal Blood #1) A hitman and a woman with an explosive secret collide in this thrilling romance. Will love be enough? Or are they doomed from the start?
Audrey Carlan, Angel Falling (Falling, #1) Socialite Aspen Reynolds is saved from death by country boy, Hank Jensen, who makes it clear he wants her in his life and his bed.
Cat Mason, Escaping Me (Shaft on Tour #1) Temptations, betrayal, and lies are all mixed with booze, tattoos, sex, laughs, and love as the Shaft takes stage after stage. Making friends along the way, Daisy must stop escaping herself. She must stop hiding behind a list and come to terms with what she really wants in life. Emotions and secrets unravel all around as Daisy learns to live the rough and rowdy life of taking Shaft on tour.
Cynthia Sax, Releasing Rage Joan sees the darkness in Rage, the sexy cyborg she’s been assigned to maintain. He’s big, angry, violent… and exactly the warrior she needs.
Deanndra Hall, My Last Dom A submissive who’s addicted to pain runs headlong into a Dominant determined to save her. But her ghosts could ruin their chances for happiness.
Jamie Salisbury, Perpetual Love Albert and Anne meet on his family’s ranch. Cupid’s arrow does it’s thing. The pair become inseparable. Anne’s father meanwhile has his own agenda.
JM Witt, Letting Go (Anchored Hearts #1) What happens when the girl who’s only read about BDSM meets a flawed Dom? Will their tortured souls find love amidst pleasure and pain?
Kelley Grealis, The Descendant (The Descendant Vampire Series, #1) Mortal death or eternal damnation? If those were your choices, which would you choose? Discover the vampire’s origin in The Descendant – A Vampire Tale of Biblical Proportions!
Laura Harner, Rescued (Three’s Allowed Book 2) With Elizabeth’s abusive ex intent on murder, Sheriff Graeme and security-mogul Michael join forces—but who will rescue them? One woman, two men, deadly serious.
Liz Crowe, Man On (Black Jack Gentlemen, #1) All eyes are on the fledgling Black Jack Detroit soccer team in its debut season. They must make a good showing in the league and with new fans. But player drama, club dynamics, and misplaced priorities may tear it apart before it even begins.
Nina Levine, Relent (Sydney Storm MC, #1) Will Evie relent in this second chance romance or has Kick left it too long to go after the woman who’s owned his heart forever?
Sandy Sullivan, Make Mine a Cowboy (Cowboy Dreamin’, #1) She writes fantasy cowboys for a living, but she never expected to find her own on the back roads of Hill Country, Texas.
Sharon Hamilton, SEAL Under Covers (Seal Brotherhood #3) Navy SEAL Armando Guzman is trying to help his sister clean up her life, but he is unprepared for the chemical attraction of his sister’s new best friend who he doesn’t know is an undercover cop.
Skye Callahan, Irrevocable (Irrevocable, #1) They stripped me of my life but never my will to survive. Descending into their darkness and making it my own became my only escape.
Theresa Troutman, A Special Connection Three friends who are as close as can be, in a moment of despair, share an experience that will forever change their lives.