Update from Tina

With one thing and another this last few months it has been a while since I have written an update! I have been readingEaster 2013 017-002 and reviewing however and scouring both online sites and bookshops to add to my already enormous ‘to read’ list. This update is a little longer than usual (so bear with me!) and includes both mine and Caroline’s latest reads as well as what we plan to read next.

Since our last update I have reviewed a number of great books and posted on the following:

18043348[1]Heart of the Diamond, by Carrie Brock -A Regency Romance, where the hero deliberately compromises the heroine to compel her to marry him, so that he can gain revenge on her father and childhood sweetheart. This is a very sweet romance, with some engaging characters and a strong plot. The hero tries to be a blackguard, but cannot quite manage it as he is completely undone by the charms of his enemy’s daughter!

Hunter on a Moonless Night, by Elena Han – A dark and erotic fantasy romance. Although a short hunterread the author packs a lot of plot and passion into this story, which is set in a medieval type world. Lord Duinel, returning to his ancestral home after a long absence seeks to protect a young woman, Nimae, who he finds working in his stables, from a dark secret that is about to bring terror and death to his lands.

18214817[1]The Genie Smolders, by Kellyann Zuzulo – The second book of the Zubis Chronicles is brimming with action, suspense and sensuality in a love that transcends time. It continues the love  between the genie Zubis and Bethany, the reincarnation of the ancient priestess Lina. Their ill-fated love affair at the time of Solomon resulted in Lina’s brutal murder and Zubis and two other geniew being punished and banished. Lina has now been reincarnated as Bethany and the genie that murdered Lina is seeking to satisfy her own terrible agenda, as are others. Zubis and Bethany must fight for their lives and the fate of the world and resist being pawns in a deadly game.

Heart of Obsidian, by Nalini Singh – book 12 in the Psy-Changeling series. A dark, dangerous and seductive story. uk%20heart%20of%20obsidian%20small%20with%20shadow[1]Contains a dark, tortured and deadly hero in the form of Kaleb, whom readers will know as the Psy ex-councilor. He has the potential to be the saviour or the destroyer of the Psy race and the rest of the world. All hinges on his relationship with Sahara Kyriakus, whom he finally frees from a terrible imprisonment after seeking her for seven years. What will happen when Sahara’s mind, fractured by years of torture and abuse, finally recalls Kaleb’s role in her past?

proposalrevises-191x300[1]The Proposal, by Mary Balogh – book 1 in her new Survivors’ Club Regency Romance series. The romance in this book focuses on war hero Hugo Emes, who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and survivor’s guilt after returning from the Napoleonic wars. It pairs him with Lady Gwendoline Muir, a widow who has had her own share of heartbreak. They form an unexpected and passionate attachment, but their worlds seem to far apart for them to have a future together.  Hugo’ has a solid middle class backgroud and Gwendoline is a member of the Ton. This touching romance examines if two people from different classes can find some middle ground on which to live their lives.

Tainted, by Christina Phillips. book #4 in her erotic historical romance series Forbidden, featuring scorching romancestainted_msr-001 between Romans and Celts. This book has an uber sexy Druid warrior, Gawain, as its hero and a Roman aristocrat, Antonia, as its heroine. Their attraction is immediate and they enter into a liaison which they both believe will be brief. However, they did not bank on love, which draws these two people, who should be bitter enemies, together. However, secrets and treachery abound in a time when to be a Druid was punishable by cruxifiction.

Confessions of a Bookaholic – A very unscientifically drawn up quiz to determine whether you share any of my bookaholic traits and where you can see how you score!

Werewolf Wishlist – This was produced following our Lycan Love- In feature, where we reviewed werewolf themed books. it included those books we have yet to read but which look as if they could be tasty morsels to sink our teeth into!

Tainted Cover Reveal Cover Reveal Blog Hop for Christina Phillips’ Tainted – Enter for a chance to win some super prizes – open until 20th September!

Forthcoming Reads – Tina

My reads over the next week or so include a contemporary romance, a native American/American Frontier Romance and  a dark paranormal/horror, featuring vampires. There will also be a giveaway attached to the latter.

the-antique-love-300dpi[1]A Contemporary Romance – The Antique Love, by Helena Fairfax

Helena Fairfax’s novel, The Antique Love is released on August 30th. The book tells of a romance between a  Wyoming man Kurt Bold and Penny Rosas, who runs an antique shop. Penny assumes that this handsome stranger who enters her shop is a romantic cowboy straight from the pages of a book. However, Kurt brings her dreams back down to earth with a bump as his job is in the City and he believes that romance is for dreamers and he has first hand experience of how destructive love can be. Now he’s looking for a wife, with a marriage based on logic and rational decisions. Kurt treats Penny like he would his kid sister, but when he hires her to help refurbish his beautiful Victorian house near Richmond Park, it’s not long before he starts to realise it’s not just his home she’s breathing life into. The logical heart he has guarded so carefully all these years is opening up to new emotions, in a most disturbing way…

A Sensual Native American/American Frontier Romance – Wolfkeeper’s Woman, by Lisa Day9196442[1]

This romance tells of a native American warrior Wolfkeeper, whose actions prompt him to question how he could have tender feelings for someone he considers an enemy. Wolfkeeper felt no guilt when he took the child from his natural mother for his brother and sister-in-law to raise as they had no children of their own. He took the mother too, to ensure that the infant would survive the journey. Cassie had only recently began to believe she found happiness. Now she learned to hate. She just wants her son back. Thrown into an unfamiliar lifestyle and unable to communicate she must learn how to stay alive for her son. She will learn the language. She will follow the rules. She will do anything she needs to get her son back. But will it be enough?

TheBadDeath-KindleCoverThe Bad Death, by Naima Haviland, a dark paranormal/horror.

The Bad Death,  which is both a sequel and a prequel to the author’s novel Bloodroom (click title for review). It features Julian, the hero, before he was a vampire. The Bad Death can be enjoyed without first having to read Bloodroom, but the author advises readers interested in Bloodroom to read it first as The Bad Death does hold a Bloodroom spoiler. If you like the sound of Bloodroom and The Bad Death, look out for the review in the coming weeks and also for details of a giveaway by the author on this blog.

Caroline’s Reviews

BorealAndJohnGreySeason1Box-v5_mediumCaroline has reviewed the complete Season One of Boreal and John Grey by Chrystalla Thoma. This is an urban fantasy full of action and adventure where gateways between worlds begin appearing and threaten a whole city with Shades, goblins, snakes, dragons, dwarves and sexy elves. The Complete Season one consists of the first five books: The Encounter, The Gate, The Dragon, The Dream and The Truth! The review focuses mostly on the main characters, Ella Benson (an agent for the Paranoramal Bureau) and her new temporary partner, Finn, who just happens to be sexy and heroic. To review the plot in too much detail would have probably spoiled the story as it is quick paced and changeable with twists and turns, however the book blurb accompanies the review with more links and info on the author!

the-pull_1The Pull by Brooke Morris is the next review from Caroline. The Pull is a young adult fantasy following the main character, Maggie, who discovers that she is half faerie and half demon whose mother escaped from the Old World and into the New. Maggie is at her happiest when hiking and enjoying the forests and yet, in her dreams, she slowly watches forests dry up and wither away. But as she finds out more about who she is will she be able to save her Old World from dying? Whilst in the meantime she discovers that as a half-breed she was meant to be destroyed as her kind (half-breeds) are feared by others including faeries, demons, umbrokers, witches, dwarves and men!

The One PercentersFollowing The Pull, Caroline will be reading and reviewing The One Percenters by John Podgursky, a psychological thriller/horror. After a man’s wife is murdered he becomes a one percenter, where he decides on who can carry on the human race and eliminates those he believes are weak, ensuring that they do not breed. But will he be able to keep to these rules?

Dead Push (Kiera Hudson Series Two, #7)Caroline also recently re-blogged her review of Tim O’Rourke’s The Vampire Seeker as it has now been released by Piatkus/Little Brown Publishing as an e-book. The paperback will be released in January 2014 with the following two books of the Samantha Carter series to follow. Congratulations to Tim on these releases!! Tim has also recently released his self-published The Dead Push (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 7) which Caroline is eager to read soon after she has caught up with the last Keira Hudson book, Dead Water!

Happy reading!

Tina and Caroline 🙂

Tainted, #4 in the Forbidden Series, by Christina Phillips

tainted_msr-001Historical Erotic Romance 18+

Lush Eroticism and a Riveting Romance

Tainted is bursting with lush eroticism and riveting romance. The tale is set in ancient Britain and features a love between a sexy Celtic warrior and a Roman aristocrat, whose combination of strength and vulnerability melts his heart. The novel, published by Ellora’s Cave, also has paranormal elements, befitting of a time when both Romans and Druids communed with their respective gods.

The patrician Antonia, recently divorced, has left Rome and journeys to Britain with her merchant father. Antonia is relieved to have left her brutal marriage far behind her. As soon as she catches sight of Gawain, whom has featured in earlier novels in the series, instant mutual attraction flares between them. Gawain blatantly parades his lust for Antonia and his intention to bed her, whilst at the same time making known his disdain for Rome and all it represents. Although Antonia tries to hide her attraction, she finds it impossible to maintain her apparent disinterest. She decides that there is no reason not to encourage this man, whom she is very much attracted to, and embark on a short term affair, where she can hopefully put the bad memories of her marriage behind her.

For Gawain’s part he is determined to possess this woman, just as he has the bodies of many a Roman aristocrat. However, Antonia is different – she has no husband with her whose secrets he wishes to uncover in his quest to bring down the Roman oppressors as a good Druid warrior should. Nevertheless he determines to slake his lust on her before moving to pastures new.

Gawain, well practised in the erotic arts, inducts Antonia into sensual pleasures beyond her wildest dreams, a far cry from her experience of the marriage bed. His seduction includes sexual acts that she has only heard spoken of in whispers by her erstwhile friends in Rome. The lovemaking scenes are very hot indeed! The couple very soon begin to share more than physical pleasure and develop strong emotional bonds, which grow into mutual respect and a deep love.  As with all of Christina Phillips’ novels that I have read in this series, their developing romance is beautiful to behold. Both Gawain and Antonia however have their own secrets and when a figure from Antonia’s past reappears in her life and Rome’s determination to destroy the Druids comes to the fore, their budding romance is threatened by violence and treachery. There is also an unexpected plot twist, which i did not see coming, which added to the pleasure of the read.

I loved the characters of both Gawain and Antonia. Gawain is portrayed as a strong and honourable individual, committed to the path of the Druid warrior, to repel and destroy the Roman invaders, whom he despises. He feels as if he has failed his Celtic God Lugus, as he was unable to prevent the treachery which resulted in the King Caratacus being captured and taken to Rome, an episode which also resulted in the execution of the other Druid warriors loyal to the king. Gawain feels less honourable because he managed to escape their fate. He is a considerate and inventive lover and I found him to be a irresistible, just as Antonia does!

On the surface Antonia is the perfect reserved Roman aristocrat, but she has been made to feel wanting by virtue of her merchant father’s heritage which is not considered good enough for her mother’s patician blood. She has therefore suffered whilst in Rome. However, Antonia has an inner strength, which Gawain comes to respect. Gawain helps to heal her sexually and their relationship is also full of humorous and lively banter. Neither individual wishes to see the other hurt by their own actions or those of another.

Other characters include Carys and Maximus, the hero and heroine of book 1, Forbidden, who play a key role in the novel. There is also Antonia’s father, who has his own secrets and the Praetor who does not have the best interests of Antonia and Gawain at heart.  The tale is set against the backdrop of the Roman objective to annihilate the Druids and the power and influence they wield over the populace, by whatever means possible. Author Christina Phillips is in the Premier League when it comes to historical erotic Romance. Her novels have the perfect balance between erotic lovemaking and an exciting, credible and well crafted plot.

I recommend the novel to romance lovers who like to read erotic romance, set within an historical context.

Reviwed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me by the publisher for the purpose of a fair an honest review.

http://christinaphillips.blogspot.co.uk/

Publisher Ellora’s Cave site

Betrayed (# 3 in the Roman/Druid Series), by Christina Phillips

We are participating in author Christina Phillips’ Cover Reveal Blog Tour for her new historical erotic romance Tainted, set in ancient Britain and featuring sexy Celtic and Roman warriors and the women who melt their hearts. A copy of Betrayed, the previous novel in the series is being offered as a prize in the competition associated with the tour, so I thought that I would reblog our earlier review of it. If you like it you may also want to check out the Cover Reveal Blog post coming soon, where you can read an excerpt of Tainted, the new novel and find out about the comprtition. Tina 🙂

areadersreviewblog

17401185[1]-002Erotic Historical Romance

Adult content 18+

A Beautiful and Passionate Meeting Of Soul Mates

Betrayed is an erotic historical romance, set in Roman Britain. It describes a beautiful and passionate love between two sworn enemies, Tacitus, a Roman Tribune and Nimue, a priestess from the Druid nobility, whom the Romans are pledged to eradicate. It is a fantastic addition to the other two books in Christina Phillips’ Roman/Druid Series, Forbidden and Captive, and can be read as a stand alone.

Betrayed takes place in Cymru, in 51 A.D, where the Romans are committed to quashing rebellion. Whilst on an important mission for Caratacus, the Briton King, Druid priestess Nimue is injured and captured. Tacitus is entranced by her beauty and demeanor. To prevent her being treated as a spoil of war to be sold to the highest bidder, he purchases her as his slave, lest any other man seeks to possess…

View original post 631 more words

Tainted, by Christina Phillips – Cover Reveal Blog Tour, 23rd August – 20th September

See The Cover, Read An Extract and Try Your Luck at Winning Some Goodies!

Tainted Cover Reveal

The cover for Tainted, book 4 of Christina Phillips’ Forbidden Series, billed as ‘An erotic series of sexy warriors and magical heroines,’  is being revealed as part of  a cover reveal blog tour. We are delighted to be taking part in this tour –  read on to see this sexy cover up close and read a hot excerpt from the book, which is set in ancient Britain and featuring characters from the Roman and Druid world! Also see the link for the Tainted book trailer and read about the author later on in this post.

Readers are also able to take part in a Rafflecopter competition to win some super prizes  (entry details at the end of this post) to win one prize (International): E-copy of the previous book set in this world, Betrayed; $10 Amazon Gift Card; Swag – Bookmarks, Postcards and Fridge Magnets.

My review of the previous book in the series, Betrayed, also published by Ellora’s Cave, can be found by scrolling down after this post. This is one of my all time favourite series of historical erotic romance, as I cannot resist how the author brings her sexy Romans and Celts to life in such a vibrant and scorching fashion – I mean, just look at the cover of Tainted, need I say more!

tainted_msr-001

Tainted Book Blurb (scroll further for fuller excerpt)

A Dangerous Love That Rome Will Never Allow…

Driven by the knowledge he failed to protect his king and embittered at losing the woman he loves, Celtic warrior Gawain despises the lust he feels for the beautiful Roman patrician, Antonia. She is everything he’s never wanted in a woman, yet she ignites his passion like no other. Despite the danger of discovery he embarks on an illicit liaison with her, determined to uncover the reason for the infinite sorrow that haunts her eyes.

Newly arrived in Britannia from Rome, Antonia is inexplicably drawn to the cold, tough Celt whose touch stirs a desire she long thought died at the hands of her brutal former husband. With Gawain she learns the pleasure of sex and his unexpected tenderness thaws her frozen heart. But she hides a deadly secret that could be her undoing, and knows her growing feelings for him can lead nowhere. Yet when a shadow from her past threatens her future Antonia is torn between the Empire of her birth and betraying Gawain, the man she’s grown to love.

Inside Scoop: This medieval romance dabbles a wee bit in the paranormal.

A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Read An Excerpt From Tainted………

“Does your husband plan on joining you in Britain, Lady Antonia?”

Her chest constricted and the pain tangled with the ache engulfing her heart. The Cambrian stood by her side, unheeding of any pretense of propriety, and she did not dare look up at him in case he saw the darkness in her soul.

“I believe that to be unlikely.” Her voice was cool. She had learned to hide her feelings well during the interminable years of her marriage. She supposed she should admit that she was divorced and no longer belonged to Scipio, but it was none of the Cambrian’s concern. “He is devoted to furthering his career in the Senate.”

“At the expense of allowing his exquisite wife to travel unchaperoned?” There was a hint of mockery in his tone and she couldn’t help but glance his way. His legs were alarmingly close to her and for one heart stopping moment, her gaze stalled on the unmistakable proof of his arousal.

Goddess.

She hastily looked away and caught sight of the slave girl who had brought Carys the message standing some distance off, beyond the fountain. A poor chaperone indeed. Yet somehow, the knowledge that she was all but alone with this tough Cambrian warrior didn’t terrify her as she knew it should.

No. It did not terrify her. But her heart thudded erratically in her breast and she found it hard to draw breath. The heat from his body reached out to her and caressed her naked arms. A foolish thing to imagine and yet why else was her skin prickling in awareness? Why else did fire smolder her blood and cause her face to burn?

“I was adequately chaperoned on the journey to Britannia. And I’m safe enough under the protection of my father.”

From the corner of her eye she watched as Gawain—the Cambrian—crouched by her side. He appeared determined to unnerve her. She refused to look him in the eye and focused on a nearby column with feigned fascination.

“Your father is not here now, my lady.” Was that amusement in his voice? She forgot about keeping her distance and turned to him. His smile faltered for a moment as though something in her expression shocked him, although she couldn’t think what.

“Do you mean to threaten me with violence now my hostess is gone?” Perhaps she had learned to hide her feelings, but something about this barbarian made it impossible for her to hold her tongue, the way a gently born Roman woman should. Hadn’t her former husband told her that a thousand times in the early days of their marriage? And hadn’t he then qualified his words by reminding her of her inferior heritage?

“Do you find my presence threatening, Lady Antonia?” The hint of mockery was back in his voice as though he did not care if she found his attentions a threat. But the oddest thing of all was that, deep in her soul, she didn’t fear that this Cambrian warrior would raise a hand in violence against her.

It didn’t make sense. She could see his powerful biceps straining against his shirt and his physique put Scipio’s to shame. And yet she had never felt this certain of her safety when in the presence of her former husband.

“Should I?” The question escaped before she could prevent it. Once again she watched, fascinated, as Gawain’s eyes darkened and this time she made no effort to correct her errant thought.

His name was Gawain. She could call him that in her mind, if she wished. No one would ever know.

Tainted snip 1-001

Click to Read Chapter One of Tainted 

ISBN: 9781419940734

Release date: 28th August 2013

Ellora’s Cave   Amazon   ARe

Click for link to Tainted Book Trailer 

About Author Christina Phillips

Christina loves writing dark tales of tough, sexy warriors who are brought to their knees by their heroines. A mystical touch of fantasy or paranormal usually weaves its way through her stories, although strangely enough this wasn’t her intention when she first starting writing her Roman/Druid romances. But when ancient gods and goddesses get involved, it’s best just to go with the flow J

She is published by Ellora’s Cave and Berkley Heat and has dipped her toe in the indie pub waters. She is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers of America, the DarkSide Down Under Group Blog and Historical Hearts Group Blog.

Christina is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her family. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Connect with Christina:

Website    Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Blog

Tour Wide Giveaway Details

One Prize (International):

E-copy of the previous book set in this world, Betrayed

$10 Amazon Gift Card

Swag – Bookmarks, Postcards and Fridge Magnets

To enter the giveaway click here for the link to Christina Phillips’ site where you can enter via Rafflecopter. 

For details of other blogs participating in the Blog Tour, where other extracts will be shared, click here .

 

Heart of the Diamond, by Carrie Brock

18043348[1]A Revenge so Sweet! An Entertaining Regency Romance

Heart of the Diamond is a sweet Regency Romance, with a yummy alpha hero and an unorthodox heroine who meet each other in bizarre circumstances engineered purely for revenge, but which lead to an endearing and intriguing fast paced romance.

In Carrie Brock’s romantic tale the heroine, Lady Nicole Langley, has managed to avoid matrimony – a state she has no desire to enter into. However, she finds that her father and stepmother have arranged a match with a man very much her senior. In a desperate attempt to seek help, she sets out in the middle of the night to meet her childhood sweetheart and neighbour, Teddy Bartholomew, who has sent her a note to say that he has returned home from America. However, instead she finds that she has been tricked and compromised by Blake Dylan, the new owner of Teddy’s home, Rosewood Manor. Nicole’s father, the Duke of Billington, is reluctantly compelled to accept Blake’s offer of marriage for his daughter to safeguard her honour.

Blake Dylan, who is now the Duke of Diamond, on his father’s death, has recently returned from America where he spent the last six years after being banished there. He is seeking revenge on those responsible for his banishment, namely the Duke of Billington and Teddy Bartholemew. He has already sabotaged the Duke’s business interests and he has won Teddy’s ancestral home from him in a card game. His final act of revenge will be to trick Billington’s daughter into marriage, which will have the added benefit of depriving Teddy of the woman he intends to make his own.

Nicole is a first unaware of the hatred that exists between her father and Teddy and Blake. Whilst she is furious at the situation, she begins to find herself becoming attracted to Blake, for despite his cool and calculating exterior, he can at times be quite charming. She suspects that he has been badly let down in the past and wants to be the woman that heals him. However, once Nicole discovers Blake’s role in her father’s financial ruin, Nicole begins to question Blake’s integrity and fears for her future with such a cold hearted vindictive man, who professes to shun love. When her childhood love Teddy returns from America more truths emerge and Nicole is forced to make choices relating to her future happiness. She fears that Blake will not be appeased until he manages to completely destroy her father, which she cannot let happen. Already enamoured with Blake Nicole strives to melt his icy heart.

Nicole is not your typical simpering Regency miss. Instead she is unorthodox, outspoken and headstrong. Having witnessed her own mother’s unhappiness before her death and her father’s remarriage to his former mistress, she is wary of entering a loveless marriage. She is devoted to her family, although her relationship with her stepmother is strained. Blake is taken aback be Nicole’s natural beauty and lack of artifice. He does not hold Nicole responsible for his misfortune and only intends to use her as an instrument for his revenge, not wishing to inflict any undue hardship on her. He does not believe in love but he begins to find Nikki’s behaviour more and more endearing as he gets to know her. She begins to thaw his icy heart and he is forced to examine his feelings when Teddy reappears and competes for her attention despite the couple’s coming nuptials.

Despite Blake’s Machiavellian actions in tricking Nikki into marriage for revenge, I did find him a sympathetic character. From their first scene together it was evident that there was a great deal of sexual tension between them. However, there are many twists and turns in the plot along the way which make for an entertaining tale. Some of the scenes, particularly those which portray Blake and Teddy vying for Nicole’s attention are highly amusing! We are introduced to a wider cast of characters as the plot progresses and these are well drawn and help the plot progress to its conclusion.

I found Heart of the Diamond to be a sweet Regency Romance with engaging characters and an intriguing plot. I recommend this novel to lovers of Regency Romance with an unorthodox, likeable heroine, a yummy alpha hero, who attempts to be a blackguard to exact his revenge, but really is quite honourable and a cast of entertaining characters.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this book was made available to me by the publisher Blue Star Books for the purpose of providing a fair and honest review.

http://www.book-hub.com/bluestarbooks.html

Cover design by Bri Bruce

Boreal and John Grey (Complete Season One) by Chrystalla Thoma

BorealAndJohnGreySeason1Box-v5_mediumChrystalla Thoma’s Boreal and John Grey (Complete Season 1) book blurb:

Centuries ago, they nearly conquered humankind. But their Gate to our world closed, leaving them out. Now the elves have found a way back.

Ella Benson, agent of the Paranormal Bureau, fights the Shades when they cross into our world, keeping everyone safe.

But increasingly dangerous creatures are slipping into her city, her work partner has just gone missing, and a mysterious – and, quite frankly, hot — guy saves her life. His name is Finn and, as it turns out, he’s a natural when it comes to fighting the Shades.

When the Gates between the worlds start opening and the elves make a comeback, Ella needs a new, temporary partner. Enlisting the mysterious Finn is a no-brainer, until she realizes he is guarding dangerous secrets of his own.

Together with Finn, and the fate of the world on her shoulders, what’s Ella to do but grab her weapons and figure it all out, one way or another.

Chrystalla Thoma’s Boreal and John Grey has become one of my new favourite urban fantasy/paranormal book series. Absolutely hooked from the cover and first pages alone, I could not bear to put this book down (and I had to being the summer hols, spending time with my kids and all)!! There is definitely something for everyone (say 15yrs+) with this magical story of the human world having Gates appear from another world, where it brings Shades, snakes, dragons, dwarves and goblins, not to mention sexy elves! The story itself is complete with action and adventure, mystery and romance.

Ella Benson is an agent for the Paranormal Bureau and we begin the story with Ella investigating a report of an attack by a Shade. She is supposed to be meeting up with her partner, Simon, but when there is no sign of him she is left to tackle the Shades alone. The reader is made aware of the trouble that the Shades have begun to cause within the first few pages, how easily they can attack and the mystery of where Simon is.

The reader is also introduced to the hero of the series, Finn (although the series centres mostly on Ella being the heroine). Whilst having fought the Shades, Simon not showing – Ella is a little confused when she thinks she sees a man fighting off the Shades. Did she bang her head during the fight? Is she hallucinating?

Without Simon, and the Shades appearing more and more, causing trouble all over the city, Ella needs a partner. Who else is there to consider but Finn! He is aware of the situation and he seems to handle himself well in fighting them off, not to mention a little protective of Ella!!! As Finn becomes injured a little later, and with no place to go, Ella takes him in until he can stand on his feet and move into his own place.

The romantic magic is written beautifully as these two characters learn more about the other (Ella more than Finn)! However, doubts and caution come into play when Ella begins to believe that Finn may not be quite who she thought he was. Finn doesn’t help the situation as he remains a little grumpy on/off with one word answers but it is Ella’s suspicious mind that begins to see a little more into who Finn really is!

Throughout the whole season I did not doubt that Ella was a strong heroine and felt that she could survive anything. And yet I love how Ella still reads as a feminine character with not too much machoism and she has a caring personality where her friends and colleagues are concerned, and Finn!!! There are times, however, when the reader real feels Finn’s vulnerable side but even in some grave situations he remains protective to Ella. There are moments when the reader will question Finn’s actions, however!

I couldn’t help but view Finn’s character like that of Eric from ‘True Blood’ (especially the time when Eric cannot remember who he is – he is emotionally vulnerable and yet protective of Sookie). With his pale skin, blue eyes, beautifully set cheek bones plus the fact that he is able to look after himself there are also moments when Finn becomes injured and needs to be nursed by Ella. But even in times of being injured he will defend and protect Ella.

Boreal and John Grey (Complete Season One) consists of five books: The Encounter, The Gate, The Dragon, The Dream and The Truth. One of my favourite aspects of these books is the way in which they are written as ‘episodes’ of a series. I find books written in this manner pack as much action/adventure and story into each book, keeping it very much alive and at the same time the reader gets to know the characters gradually over the whole series. I also find that each subsequent ‘episode’/book will subtley recap the reader or introduce the new reader to the events of the story, allowing the reader to keep informed with the full plot! Chrystalla Thoma’s Boreal and John Grey (The Complete Season One) is no exception to this.

This series offers a great deal of realism from the characters having believable characteristics, including their flaws (i.e. vulnerabilities, confusion of events, mood swings, etc), and the focus on various myths and legends from historical era’s worldwide. After reading this series, along with Chrystalla Thoma’s bio, the reader can see how imaginative Chrystalla has been in taking modern life, realistic settings with Ella being an investigative agent and then opening up the story that dates back centuries with elves trying to conquer our world after Gates begin to open between their world and ours.

I would like to thank Chrystalla Thoma for inviting us to review her fantastic season of Boreal and John Grey for the purpose of an honest and fair review. Without the review request I may not have come across this 5 star work of fiction. I hope there is another series to come with these brilliant characters, their relationship and how they can save the world.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

chrystalla_thomaChrystalla Thoma’s Bio:

Greek Cypriot with a penchant for dark myths, good food, and a tendency to settle down anywhere but at home, Chrystalla likes to write about fantastical creatures, crazy adventures, and family bonds. After having lived in France, England, Germany and Costa Rica, she now lives in Cyprus with her husband and enjoys wandering the countryside sampling local food and wine. She writes mainly fantasy and science fiction, primarily for a young adult and new adult public, and her stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies.

Author links/contact info:

Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/Chrystalla-Thoma/e/B001JOWZCC

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Chrystalla-Thoma/117863861560579

Twitter: @chrystallathoma

You can find the complete season 1 of Boreal and John Grey at Amazon.co.uk currently for £1.99 or on Amazon.com currently for $3.08.

If you would like to try Book One, The Encounter, of the Boreal and John Grey Series you can find it for FREE on both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com (please note that all prices are correct at the time of publishing this post).

Hunter on a Moonless Night, by Elena Han

hunterDark and Erotic Fantasy Romance                       

Adult content/Short (8,000 words)

Hunter on a Moonless Night is a short, sexy and erotic read by author Elena Han who writes dark erotic fantasies. I downloaded this a few months ago, the same time as I purchased her novel, Taken to the Ebon Court, which I am looking forward to reading very soon.

In Hunter on a Moonless Night, Lord Duinel returns to his ancestral home of Morahan after a time away fighting in the desert. He carries with him a dark and terrifying secret, which is known to his subjects, a curse that he is powerless to prevent…. The curse manifests itself once a year on the night of the first black moon. Immediately on his return he encounters a captivating young woman, Nimae, who he is surprised to learn is working in the stables of his manor. Nimae has grown up in the woods and came to Morahan and was invited to stay, after carrying out the last request of a dying Knight she tended. Duinel and Nimae very quickly develop a mutual attraction and Nimae is more than happy to oblige her new lord in any way he wishes – cue some hot and passionate scenes!

Duinel plans to warn her about the curse and tell her to stay inside out of danger. However, the moonless night approaches and Duinel is powerless to prevent what comes next. What will Nimae think when she finds out the terrifying secret he has and the part he plays in this rite and will her own life be forfeit in the process?

I loved the fact that this tale, set in a medieval type world, contained magic and curses and alluded to aspects of ancient mythology. Although a short read it is well written and executed and contains a number of passionate and erotic scenes which I enjoyed and some lively banter between the hero and heroine, whose characters are well drawn. It is an excellent introduction to the author’s work and the genre of dark erotic fantasy which I love to read from time to time.

I am very much looking forward to reading her complete novel Taken to the Ebon Court, another erotic dark fantasy romance, which tells of a half-demon general who conquers Irizel’s homeland and claims her as his own. When he discovers her healing powers, he forces her to accompany him to the Ebon Court–a nest of political intrigue and carnal decadence–so that she might heal his hybrid infertility. The proof he demands: she must bear his child. This promises to be a mouthwatering read!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

http://www.elenahan.com/

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