*REVIEW* ~ The Image of Her, by Lorna Peel

#romanticsuspense #romance

TIOH

Book Blurb

Rachel Harris had been abandoned as a baby on the steps of a church-run children’s home in England, then later adopted. Who was her birth mother and what were the circumstances which led her to give up her baby?

Searching for someone who doesn’t want to be found seems a hopeless task, until Rachel meets Matthew Williams, a Church of England clergyman.

Then anonymous and increasingly frightening incidents begin and threaten to end their relationship. Are these actions connected to the mysterious events surrounding Rachel’s abandonment?

My Review

Beautifully Written – 5 stars!

The Image of Her is contemporary romantic suspense. It is the second book that I have read by Lorna Peel, the first being Into the Unknown (click title for review) and once again I enjoyed the author’s effortless writing style and captivating plot and character development.

I enjoyed the central romance between Rachel and Matt which I found to be realistic and believable. Rachel is an adopted child, who yearns to find out the identity of her birth mother and as relationships go, she is wary, having recently been duped by a married man; Matt is a clergyman who is recovering from a serious physical assault and being dumped by his long-time girlfriend. He jumps at the chance to become Rachel’s housemate when he makes her acquaintance and learns that she is looking for a lodger.

I enjoyed that Matt challenges Rachel’s preconceptions of what she expects a clergyman to be like – he is much younger than she expected, not to mention lot more attractive! Despite resolving not to become emotionally attached, the scene is set for a growing friendship and possible romance as it is clear that the pair are attracted to each other.

Rachel’s new job as a part-time archivist and Matt’s contacts in the church prompt her to embark on a renewed quest to locate her birth mother. Yet almost as soon as Matt moves in, the house and its occupants are targeted by a series of sinister attacks. The reader is left to wonder if these attacks are due to someone not being happy with their arrangement or others from Matt’s past? The ensuing events and revelations make for an suspenseful and diverting read which explores the themes of family secrets and relationships, forgiveness and retribution.

The Image of Her is a real page-turner, which will appeal to romance readers who like a suspenseful read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note a copy of the novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

*REVIEW* ~ The Virgin of the Wind Rose, by Glen Craney (A Christopher Columbus Mystery-Thriller)

Mystery-Thriller

TV

Book Blurb

While investigating the murder of an American missionary in Ethiopia, rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane becomes obsessed with a magical word square found inside an underground church guarding the tomb of the biblical Adam.

Drawn into a web of esoteric intrigue, she and a roguish antiquities thief named Elymas must race an elusive and taunting mastermind to find the one relic needed to resurrect Solomon’s Temple. A trail of cabalistic clues leads them to the catacombs of Rome, the crypt below Chartres Cathedral, a Masonic shaft in Nova Scotia, a Portuguese shipwreck off Sumatra, and the caverns under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Intertwined with this modern mystery-thriller, a parallel duel is waged:

The year is 1452. One of the most secretive societies in history, Portugal’s Order of Christ, is led by a reclusive visionary, Prince Henry the Navigator. He and his medieval version of NASA merged with the CIA scheme to foil their archenemies, the Inquisitor Torquemada and Queen Isabella of Castile, who plan to bring back Christ for the Last Judgment by ridding the world of Jews, heretics, and unbelievers.

Separated by half a millennium, two conspiracies to usher in the Tribulations promised by the Book of Revelation dovetail in this fast-paced thriller to expose the world’s most explosive secret: The true identity of Christopher Columbus and the explorer’s connection to those now trying to spark the End of Days.

My Review

Mesmerising! ~ Five stars

Glen Craney’s novel The Virgin of the Wind Rose is a read to both savour and ponder. Its fast-paced and engaging plot, coupled with complex and sympathetic characters, immerses the reader in a modern day quest for ancient relics, involving secret societies and conspiracy theories. It also brings alive the world of ancient mariners and throws light on the identity of Christopher Columbus.

I enjoyed how it combines a contemporary narrative with key personalities and events from Fifteenth century Portugal and beyond. The search for an important relic comes to dominate the minds of the novel’s main contemporary characters, as those who would thwart their efforts will stop at nothing to prevent them reaching their goals. Indeed, they desire the relic to bolster purposes which can only be described as sinister.

Jaqueline Quartermane, supported by the mysterious Elymas, an antiquities thief with a conscience, become obsessed with solving the mystery of a word square, to comprehend its hidden meaning. Their quest leads them to sites throughout the world. As they grow ever closer together, they discover that a rival is also out to break the code and acquire ancient relics. This unknown and sinister mastermind desires to use the relics for their own ends, inflicting potential devastating effects on humanity and the world order. I enjoyed how Jaqueline worked alone and with Elymas, and what begins as friendship soon blossoms into romance. Yet will the couple survive the powerful forces that are out to thwart them?

In the book’s parallel narrative, in Fifteenth Century Portugal, we follow a group of young men, including Columbus, whose lives become dedicated to working for the Order of Christ, which works to protect ancient secrets. Their dedication puts them at odds with those who wish to usher in the Inquisition and the End of Days. Both the contemporary and Fifteenth century narratives are intense, full of action, mystery and suspense and a great deal of self sacrifice. Its broad canvass references islamic terrorism, religious oppression, the pursuit of power and individual aggrandisement.

It was evident that the author has done a great deal of detailed research to give a true flavour of historical authenticity to the plot. I knew little of Henry the Navigator or Queen Isabella before reading this book and although it is fiction, I feel that it has shed much light onto a fascinating period of world history. I enjoyed how it linked societies such as the Knights Templar and the Masons and explored ancient mysteries. The references to shipbuilding, navigation and naval exploration were also fascinating.

To conclude, The Virgin of the Wind Rose, recounted by a master storyteller, is a thoroughly thought-provoking read, highlighting lessons and messages from the past which resonate in today’s fractured world. Recommended for lovers of thrillers, especially those that draw on ancient and esoteric mysteries.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

http://glencraney.com/

http://historyintofiction.com/

https://www.facebook.com/GlenCraneyAuthor

*SPOTLIGHT* ~ Guardian of Paradise, by W.E Lawrence (includes excerpt)

Historical Romance

Guardian of Paradise, by W. E. Lawrence, is a historical romance novel filled with action and adventure. It was published in October 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon. It is one of my next reads and I can’t wait to lose myself in what promises to be a sumptuous, suspenseful and passion filled read set in the South Pacific. Tina🙂

GOP cover

Synopsis:

In 1888, Kira Wall, surviving daughter of missionaries swept away in a tsunami, lives a primitive, but enjoyable life with natives on an isolated island in the South Pacific. But her serene world is turned upside down when an Australian merchant ship, commanded by the sinister Captain Darcy Coleman, arrives with an overabundance of modern and lavish goods. Kira suspects ill intent. Chief Ariki refuses to listen to Kira’s warning, forcing her to uncover the real plan of the captain on her own. Unfortunately, she has a distraction. A six-foot tall, blond, and handsome distraction. Trevor Marshall, doctor and botanist, hopes to find exotic plants on the island to research new cures and medicines. He is dedicated to science, but when meeting the strong-willed, beautiful Kira Wall, he’d prefer to spend time researching her—all night.

The captain thwarts Kira’s attempts to call him out at every step, turning the village chief against her. With only Trevor and her best friend Malana by her side, she stalks the captain and his officers through the dense, predator infested jungle, toward the island’s inactive volcano. Frustrated by her failure to reveal the captain’s true intentions, Kira begins to think maybe she’s wrong about everything. Then an explosion and earthquake bigger than anyone on the island has ever seen renews her resolve. Was the blast natural or man-made? She is determined to prove it was the captain’s doing. Kira races against time and the island people’s naivety to stop the captain from destroying her home and killing everyone she loves.

Praise for Guardian of Paradise:

“Lawrence blends romance, action, and beautiful scenery into an alluring concoction.” – Kirkus Reviews

“There’s mystery, intrigue, danger, romance; everything you could want in a story. This is definitely a book, and author, that deserves more attention.” – Charli Denae

“Reading this book is a great escape and will not let you down.” – Susan Scarcella

“This book was so good! It had a very sweet romance, but it also had a great, adventurous plot that pulled me in, and had me dying to find out what would happen next. I read the whole book in one day.“ – Jessica Hatfield

Excerpt – Chapter 1 

South Pacific island of Alofa, two days sail northeast of Sydney, Australia 1888 

Kira’s heart leapt to her throat as the blare of the lookout’s conch horn shattered the tranquil morning. Startled blue and red lories sprang, squawking from the palm trees, their wings thrumming the air as they fled. Macaque monkeys jumped limb to limb, screeching and chattering from their jungle perches. Another blast of the trumpet sent even the fiddler crabs on the beach scurrying for the safety of their holes.

She glanced to the cliff overhead, dropped her fishing net, and rushed up the sandy path toward the island’s observation post. The rest of the villagers would be taking cover until the men determined the extent of the threat. With her pulse pounding and her feet working to find traction on the steep, winding grade, images of pirates raiding the village flashed through her mind. The horror of women and children screaming while their men fought to protect them with only spears and clubs sent the chill of danger up her spine.

When she reached the large flat rock high above the harbor, she found the stocky form of Kupe, the tribal chief’s son, standing with hands on hips, his black Polynesian eyes fixed on the bay. Wearing only a pair of worn, light-colored pants, extending mid-calf and a cloth headband to hold back his wiry dark hair, he remained still.

“What is it, Kupe?”

“Ah big ship is com’n in tee harbor,” he answered without turning.

“A large ship is coming into the harbor,” she corrected. She squinted into the morning glare of the sun. “Are they pirates?”

She studied the movements of the enormous shiny wood boat with three tall masts. Two wide painted stripes, one cream at the waterline and one black just above, encircled the ship. A complicated system of shroud rigging hung like webbing from the cross spars down to the deck rails.

“I do not think so.  Ship is too big,” answered Kupe. “Tey have dropped their sails. Tey come in slow. Not hurry.”

She lifted her hand to shade her eyes. Men lined the ship’s bow, all clothed in the same white bell bottom pants and loose-fitting gray striped shirts. Peering into the clear water, they tried to determine the depth of the harbor.

“They fly the Australian flag and take their time.  Pirates not tat careful.”

Kira spotted the dark blue fabric flapping in the breeze above the quarterdeck; the British Southern Cross embroidered in the upper left corner. Her heart sank. “If they’re who I think they are, they might as well be pirates. In fact, it would probably be better if they were.”

Kupe turned his head and gave her his big brother-like stare. She and Kupe were not related, in fact, Kira was originally from Australia. Still they shared the same competitive bond of siblings. “What are you talk’n about, Kira?”

“I’m afraid it’s one of those merchant ships from Sydney. They’ve come to trade.”

“Tat would be good news. Tey have come to trade goods for our crops.”

She fought the sour feeling in the pit of her stomach. “If we let them, they will take a lot more than we have to give.”

Kupe’s eyes narrowed. “Our crops are plentiful. There is more than enough to trade.”

“You don’t understand. We have to be careful. Most of these merchants are selfish and greedy. They’ll take advantage of our people.”

The corner of his mouth turned up in the hint of a smile. “Tey will not be that bad.”

“They will be, if we let them. What’s even worse, they think nothing of tramping our fields while they’re gathering the fruit, leaving them scarred.”

He shook his head. “You always think tee worst.”

She glared sideways. “I know what I’m talking about. My parents warned me of these kinds of people. I’ve seen for myself what they have done. I was young, but I saw the damage they cause.”

He turned his gaze back to the ship. “We can take care of ourselves.”

Kira grabbed him by the shoulders and turned him forcing him to look her in the eyes. “Listen to me. If this were a ship of raiders, I know our men would protect us. But this is different. Worst of all, the more merchants who find out about us, the more outsiders will come. Our home will never be the same and we have nowhere else to go.”

He shrugged free of her grasp. His large flat nostrils flared. “You make no sense. Tradors have come here before. Our people have pleasure in their visits. It has been a long time since tee last merchants came.”

She dropped her arms. “It hasn’t been long enough.”

Glancing down, Kupe held out his hands. “Look at my pants. Tat is how long it has been. I hope tey brought new ones.”

Though he had a strong build, his round brownish-tan belly threatened to burst the tattered breeches. Everything about Kupe was big; his head, body, even legs. They matched his huge heart and his consuming desire to provide for his people. Kupe being the future ruler of the tribe, Kira only feared for his overtrusting nature and inability to perceive a disguised threat.

Looking at his worn pants, she would have laughed if she weren’t so angry. “You just don’t see the danger.”

Kupe set his jaw. “Enough, as long as the outsidors show us tey mean no harm, tey will be treated as guests. We will welcome them.”

“But-”

“I said enough. We must call off the warning and greet our visitors before I tell Chief Ariki they have come. He will want to prepare to meet their leadors.”

She smirked. “Your father is also too trusting of strangers.”

Kupe shook his head again. “Our people had visitors long before you came… good and bad. You should have more faith in people.” He turned down the path toward the harbor beach, then stopped and looked over his shoulder. “Are you com’n?”

She picked up a stone and with a loud grunt, hurled it over the cliff. “Yes, I’m coming.”

***

About the Author:

GOP2

W. E. Lawrence graduated in 1978 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a BS in business administration. He has run a successful home health care supplies distributorship for the past twenty-three years.  Passionate about God, writing, reading, family, sports, politics, and America, Lawrence currently lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his lovely wife and their two wonderful children.

W. E. Lawrence enjoys writing historical romance novels filled with action and adventure. He published his debut novel Guardian of Paradise in October 2014.

To learn more, go to http://welawrenceauthor.wix.com/author

Readers can connect with W. E. Lawrence on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

**REVIEW** – How to Capture A Duke (Matchmaking for Wallflowers Book 1), by Bianca Blythe

Regency Historical Romance

Bianca

Book Blurb

One reclusive bluestocking…

Fiona Amberly is more intrigued by the Roman ruins near her manor house than she is by balls. When her dying Grandmother worries about Fiona’s future, Fiona stammers that she’s secretly engaged. Soon she finds herself promising that she will introduce her husband-to-be by Christmas.

One dutiful duke…

Percival Carmichael, new Duke of Alfriston, is in a hurry. He’s off to propose to London’s most eligible debutante. After nearly dying at Waterloo, he’s vowed to spend the rest of his life living up to the ton’s expectations.

One fallen tree…

When Fiona tries to warn a passing coach about a tree in the road, the driver mistakes her for a highwaywoman. Evidently he’s not used to seeing women attired in clothes only suitable for archaeology waving knives. After the driver flees, Fiona decides she may as well borrow the handsome passenger…

My Review

Delightful Regency Romp –  5 Stars

This is a superb read by Bianca Blythe. Book #1 in the author’s Matchmaking for Wallflowers series, it contains a feisty and unconventional heroine and a war veteran who, after a brush with death, is committed to conforming to society’s expectations. This fast-paced romance is both amusing and heartfelt.

To comfort her beloved grandmother and avoid any matchmaking attempts, Fiona invents a fiancée. Not just any fiancée, but a gentleman who has valiantly fought in the war, a convenient ruse, as it conveniently explains her husband-to-be’s continuing absence…

However, circumstances conspire so that Fiona is compelled to conjure up said fiancée. Fate plays into her hands when her impulsive nature prompts her to warn a passing coach, which is thundering through the countryside, about a fallen tree. On account of her unconventional behaviour and dress (Fiona has been busy on an archaeological dig) and the fact that she is carrying knives, both the coachman and its occupant are convinced that she is a highwaywoman. Events rapidly spiral out of control and she takes the opportunity to ‘kidnap’ the occupant of the coach, who is conveniently a returning war veteran, and present him to her grandmother as her fiancée.

It is not long before Percival Carmichael, the Duke of Alfrison, decides to entertain himself and play along with his captor’s charade for a few days. So what if he pushes his family responsibilities to the side for a short time, what harm can it do? He is drawn to Fiona’s unconventional behaviour and passion for archaeology, not to mention her beauty and madcap family.

The book is extremely well-paced and highly amusing throughout. I loved the characters of both the hero and the heroine who are extremely well matched. Percival is a reformed rake – reformed on account of the war, which has affected him physically and mentally. He has unexpectedly become a duke, with all of the attendant responsibilities, which he is honour bound to meet. The tension between what Percival desires and how he grapples with what is expected of him is extremely well done by the author. As to Fiona, I loved her feisty and unpredictable nature and how her confidence grew in strength despite the repercussions of her behaviour. I was glued to the pages willing a HEA for the couple as the truth of their situation begins to unravel and misunderstandings abound!

A top read for fans of Regency Romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

http://www.biancablythe.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14777090.Bianca_Blythe

https://www.facebook.com/biancablythebooks/

 

 

*REVIEW* ~ Mean Girls, by Lucy Felthouse

#erotic #romance #rubenesque

Adult/18+ Read

Mean Girls

Book Blurb

Adele Blackthorne is a big girl. She knows it, and she’s been picked on all her life because of it. But she’s gotten to the stage where she doesn’t care. She may be Rubenesque, but she’s healthy, too. Much healthier than the mean girls at the leisure center that point and stare and say spiteful things about her. Adele rises above it all, and enjoys her secretive glances at the center’s hunky lifeguard, Oliver.

As the bullying of Adele becomes worse, Oliver finds it increasingly difficult not to intervene. He doesn’t want to get into trouble with work, but equally he can’t stand to see Adele treated in such a horrible way. Especially since he doesn’t agree that she’s fat and unattractive. He thinks she’s a seriously sexy woman, and would like to get to know her better.

My Review

Sweet and Sexy Rubenesque Romance ~5 Stars

I loved this sexy erotic short by Lucy Felthouse.  This rubenesque romance ticks all the boxes when it comes to a sizzling yet sweet read. In it the heroine Adele rises above the mean and petty comments of a group of skinny girls at her local leisure centre and at the same time attracts the attention of its hunky lifeguard Oliver.

Both Oliver and Adele have been eyeing each other up for month and circumstances conspire to draw them together and the fun begins! Oliver adores Adele’s confident personality and just loves the fact that there is plenty of her to feast on! He much prefers her to the self-absorbed bullies who strive to make Adele’s visits to the leisure centre a misery.

Their romance is both hot and sweet as they start to find out about each other and their hang-ups. It contains some very entertaining scenes as the couple explore each other and leave the mean girls in their wake.

Recommended for lovers of erotic romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Buy links

Amazon UK Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk

Facebook

Twitter

*COVER REVEAL* ~ The Long Way Down, by M. Sembera (includes giveaway)

TLWD

Title: The Long Way Down

Author: M. Sembera

Genre: Standalone/Women’s Fiction/Romance

Release Date: September 22

TLWDFC

Everyone has their own side to a story.

I am…

a friend

innocent

a girlfriend

devoted

a lover

salacious

a wife

corrupt

a mistress

virtueless

a mother

forsaken

a mental patient

condemned

I am Abigail, and this one is mine.

The Long Way Down is a Women’s Fiction/Romance standalone based on the character Abigail from my Rennillia Series. Highlighted by the men in her life, Abigail’s story begins with a summer friendship, that sparks a life-long game of back and forth. As she and Soman commit to making their childhood dreams come true, first loves, broken hearts, and betrayal pit them against one another. Lines are not only drawn, but crossed when the two reconcile just long enough to create a legacy that neither one can control.

BOX AND KEEP LOGO.jpg

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway:

The Long Way Down by M. Sembera

The Long Way Down by M. Sembera

Giveaway ends September 30, 2016. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/197746

**Book Blitz** The Veritas Deception by Lynne Constantine

veritasdeceptionbookcover [154858]Title: The Veritas Deception

Author: Lynne Constantine

Genre: Thriller

Date released: August 10th, 2016

Length: 302 pages

Blurb: Days after he changes his vote on a bill he sponsored, US Senator Malcolm Phillips is murdered and his death disguised as an accident. He contacted one man before he died: investigative journalist, Jack Logan. He leaves Jack one clue that is supposed to help him uncover the truth and keep Phillip’s widow, Taylor, safe: search for Jeremy. But Jeremy who?

Friedrich Dunst, pardoned for war crimes and living in the States, never gave up the quest for what he believed to be relics of evil that provide untold power. Upon his death, his adopted son, Damon Crosse, took up the cause, and now helms a vast network of corrupt authority, controlling everything from social media and television programming to law enforcement and US legislation. His elite and well-known training facility recruits top students from around the world, but its legitimate programs are a front for something more insidious. Shrouded in secrecy and guided by dark forces, Crosse’s true agenda is known only to his own son who has now jeopardized it all by betraying him.

As Taylor and Logan begin to unravel the complex web of lies, they discover that the hunt for the set of ancient relics, dating back to the time of Christ, has driven Crosse and those before him to acts of atrocity and violence. But what do these relics have to do with a senator’s death? How long has a puppet master been pulling their strings—and will Logan and Taylor trust the right people long enough to win what becomes a colossal battle for souls?

Author bio:

veritas d lynnepic [154859]Lynne Constantine is a coffee drinking, Twitter-addicted fiction author always working on her next book. She likes to run her plots by Tucker, her golden retriever, who is always enthusiastic about her ideas. Lynne is the co-author of CIRCLE DANCE, and the author of THE VERITAS DECEPTION as well as several short stories. Visit Lynne at www.lynneconstantine.com

https://www.facebook.com/LynneConstantineauthor/

https://twitter.com/LynneConstantin

Purchase Links

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2au1NI2

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2axChUJ

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2aq9Ffy

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2aLKYKe

Apple:  http://apple.co/2aPXPhp

 

Sage bookblitz banner