Our Next Reads and More…….

We are very excited about the next few months. Between us we have a super collection of novels to read from established authors and those who have joined the world of publishing more recently. Genres include Dark Erotic Fantasy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Psychological Drama, Contemporary and Historical Romance and humour.

We have also decided to  participate in a book tour now and then in partnership with other bloggers and you may notice their logos on our site. We thought that this would be a great way to share even more great reads with you. Sometimes we will review the book on tour and sometimes we will share an excerpt or another post related to the book because we do not have the time to review all the fab books out there however much we would love to! We also share posts we find of interest on our Facebook page and any special offers or freebies we find on reads we recommend. Anyway enough of my blabbering and more about our next reads………..

Tina 🙂 

Tina’s Next Reads

17257961Sins of the Reaper, by Charlotte Boyett-CompoDark Erotic Fantasy

Book Blurb: Brothers reunited. Lovers claimed. Warriors from all over the mega-verse coming together to combat an evil that would enslave and destroy them all. Amazeen warrioress Penthe will allow no man to best her. She slakes her lust with a succession of lovers, vowing she will never mate. Yet when she meets the Panthera cat shifter Bane, she may have met her match. Bane is riddled with scars, of  the body and the soul, but Penthe vows that her warrior spirit and womanly body will help to make him whole again. Inside Scoop: This book contains graphic scenes of sexual torture, references to child abuse and the extensive violence that is part and parcel of the Reapers’ harsh world, as well as erotic male/male flirtation.

Connected by the Sea, E L Todd – New Adult Contemporary RomanceCBTS-2

Book Blurb: Sydney is attending University of Hawaii on Oahu where she’s majoring in Marine Biology. She loves her friends, her job, and her school. Since her ex-boyfriend cheated on her six months ago, she hasn’t moved on to anybody new yet. When Coen catches her eye, she’s immediately attracted to him in a very carnal way. She refuses to let herself feel that way because he’s a heartbreaker just like her ex was. But when she’s called to her professor’s office because she’s asked to tutor someone, she doesn’t realize it’s Coen. Will he convince her that he really is boyfriend material or will he turn out just as she suspects?

thefather1600x2400The Father. N W Harris – Sci-Fi/ Fantasy/Futuristic

Book Blurb: After discovering he’s destined to annihilate nearly all life, Joshua must take charge of a cannibalistic army of mutants with hopes of starting a civil war that will end the reign of evil—or bear the responsibility for destroying the few good people who remain on the planet. Captured by the leader of the sweepers, Josh learns he will grow up to be a genetic engineer responsible for creating the monsters. The Father recruits him to lead an army of sweepers against the evil generals who resist the termination of the sweeper experiment originally designed to bring an end to a global war that threatened to render the planet uninhabitable. At first repulsed by his telepathic ability to control the sweepers, Josh becomes addicted to the power to control thousands of the creatures at once. Believing him dead, Nadia rejoins her people, where she struggles to gain respect while leading them to safety. Inadvertently pursuing her across the land, Josh may not be able to stop his sweepers from destroying Nadia and her dwindling tribe when they collide in battle.

Hallows End, Leo Craven – Dark Urban Fantasy417db9JIn2L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Book Blurb: In the mysterious town of Hallows End, a vigilante police detective, Sarah Chase, finds herself immersed in a world where myth and legend are reality. As Sarah discovers the secrets of the town and its residents, she also learns of her family’s ties to an ancient prophecy that could soon determine the fate of all humans and ‘immortals’. A suspenseful thrill-ride that builds toward a shocking climax, the first book of the “Prophecy Trilogy” will leave the reader eagerly anticipating Sarah Chase’s next adventure.

Caroline’s Next Reads

Stray, Mark Matthews (psychological, drama)

StrayTherapist Tomas Cleaves is many years sober from his addiction but is now losing his mind. There are voices in his head and the occasional seizure, and then his wife has a miscarriage on the same day his client dies of a heroin overdose. Tom becomes certain that the addicts he treats must have infected the womb of his wife. Lost and bitter after the miscarriage, Tom is in desperate need of a client who can give him some hope. James White is one such client — a newly orphaned alcoholic dead bent on drinking again until he gets discharged and finds himself rescuing lost strays at the next door animal shelter. Can James find a reason to live by rescuing the throw-away pets of the city?  A gritty novel with an edge yet surprisingly gentle and sweet, Stray will take you through the dog fighting dens and crack houses of Detroit where Stray souls can find connections in the most unusual of places.

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Helen Fielding (contemporary romance, chick-lit, humour)

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth? Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly? Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating? Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice? Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice? Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant? Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet? Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood? If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands? Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day? Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.

Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook, Kelly I. Hitchcock (contemporary)

Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo StorybookTwelve women, twelve tattoos, and a narrative thread that weaves them all together, Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook is a collection of stories that answers that lingering question in the back of your mind when you see an inked woman: what does your tattoo mean (or perhaps – what were you thinking)? From a parent’s suicide to the birth of an unlikely child, the stories behind why women tattoo themselves are literally worn on (and sometimes under) their sleeves, and retold on these pages. Complete with artwork from the original tattoo artists and a foreword by Dr. Marta Vicente, one of academia’s foremost voices in Women’s Studies, this series of literary vignettes celebrates real, everyday women and their tattoos that, while they may seem insignificant at the time, are a symbol of the larger struggles and triumphs that make them who they are. These stories explore the idea of tattoos bringing together women from different worlds, and teaching them how these worlds might not be as far apart as they think.

Review Round-Up from Tina

Reads for Everyone, from Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Urban Fantasy to Historical and Contemporary Romance!

I am pleased to say that Mother Nature is stirring in our garden and despite a cold snap there are some definite signs of green shoots and bulbs poking their heads above the surface! Spring is on its way! Read on for a summary of what we have reviewed since our last update in our Review Round-Up. You can find out what we plan to read over the next few weeks in a separate post (click here).

Tina and Caroline 🙂

P.S. Remember we love to hear from you and welcome your comments on our blog or our Facebook page anytime!

ByForce_453X534[1]By Force, Forever Fae, #1, by Sara Hubbard – New Adult Fantasy Romance

The heroine Isame is captured by five warriors on a mission to deliver her to their king. Isame did not bank on falling in love with Remmie, one of her kidnappers, nor did she think that she was anything other than a regular girl. Remmie and the warriors start to question their loyalty to their ruler in this tale full of adventure, romance and magic. Reviewed by Tina

Rain, by Nicole Hurley-Moore – Fantasy/Medieval RomanceRain - Book Cover

One of my favourite reads so far this year. Two men, Maras an elemental being who follows the storms and a pious monk, Brother Erebus battle over the heart and soul of Nuri. Full of sensual love making scenes and escalating tension as the church regards her ‘Angel’ a Demon and Erebus aims to save her soul at great cost. Reviewed by Tina

Drake Equation CoverThe Drake Equation, by Heather Walsh – Contemporary Romance

Emily is a Democrat and Robert a Republican. When they meet sparks fly but they begin to fall hard for one another. Can their relationship survive political differences and the strains that modern lie wth its pressures of work and quest to maintain a separate identity puts on relationships? Reviewed by Caroline

Tour of Duty (When Riley Met Cara #2), by CJ Pinard – Contemporary/Military RomanceTour of Duty

Sweet, hot and sensual! Soldier Riley meets single parent and recently divorced Cara and wants to spent the summer in California with her. But what will happen when he returns to his base in Colarado and prepares for his tour in Afghanistan? Reviewed by Caroline

19547666Not Another Soldier, by Samantha Holt – sensual contemporary/military romance

Sienna has just buried her husband Rob, after he died in an accident, whom she was about to divorce. Rob’s best friend Nick has  been drawn to Sienna for years. How can he persuade her to have another relationship when Sienna wants to her independence and vows that she does not want another military man. Also how can Nick ensure that she is safe from the drug cartel Rob appears to have been involved with? Reviewed by Tina

Dark Reaper, #9 in the Westernwind series, by Charlotte Boyett-Compo – Dark Fantas17225903y

Full of badass werewolf cowboys, the author’s signature Reapers. Reaper Iden Belial is trying to protect the humans on Terra at Land’s End from harm, as the demon the Nikkeson lays waste to the land. At the same time he finds his mate Kalli and has to also battle her disapproving mother. Kalli and Iden are torn apart by treachery and the Nikkeson and the demon brings death and destruction to all in its wake and leaves a part of its evil inside Iden for its own evil end. Reviewed by Tina

19468668Summer in Rye (novella), by Lucy Oliver – Historical Romance

Left penniless after the death of her philandering father, Eva Brookwell takes a job as a governess at Rye Hall, an unhappy house with a tyrannical master and Eva is forced to turn to her pupils’ uncle, Samuel Shaw for help. Eva and Samuel had once been engaged, until his lies drove them apart. Still in love with him, Eva knows she could never trust him again; however he is her only ally in the dark and disturbed household she now lives in. Reviewed by Caroline

We also took part in a blog tour for Gillian Felix’s Banovic Siblings Friends and Liars, book #2 in her Family The+Banovic+Siblings+_+Friends+%26+Liars_2Portrait series, which expores the lives of the young, rich and famous on America’s West Coast.

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By Force, Forever Fae # 1, by Sara Hubbard

ByForce_453X534[1]Captor/Captive Romance – Super Start to a New Adult Fantasy Series

By Force is the first book in Sara Hubbard’s new series, Forever Fae. In it the heroine is taken as captive by not one but five hunky male warriors!!! This has got to be one of my top fantasies – assuming there is plenty of romance to compensate for the drama and the angst of being kidnapped. In this Sara Hubbard does not disappoint! There is also non-stop action, adventure and suspense and an introduction to a fascinating medieval type world, which contains magic and strange creatures…….

So here’s the Book Blurb………

Kidnapping Isame would set them free…

Isame wanted freedom: the freedom to travel, the freedom to explore, but most of all, the freedom to choose the life she wanted over the life—and the husband—her parents had chosen for her. But when Isame leaves home to accept another man’s proposal, she happens across five fierce, handsome warriors. She wonders why they’ve travelled so far from home, but she never imagines their purpose might have something to do with her. Not even after they kidnap her.

Remmie is a man of honor and fierce loyalty. So when his king commands him to find a specific young woman on the island of Copaxa, he’s prepared to obey. But he’s not prepared for the woman to change everything. Isame is special. He can see it from the start. But how can one puny woman make him question everything he’s always known, including the rightness of doing what he’s promised?

My Review

By Force is a well written and entertaining fantasy romance, full of believable characters, many of whom I quickly grew to love! It is set in a fascinating world full of surprises and plenty of action as Isame and her captors travel across land, mountains and sea. Her kidnappers, five hunky warriors from Optavia, called ‘Savages’ by her people, due to their size and appearance, not to mention their behaviour, are out to do a job, kidnap Isame and deliver her to their king.

The heroine’s relationship with the warriors is a complex one. At first they want little to do with their captive and her with them and they do treat her rather poorly. However, slowly they begin to interact and get to know, like and respect each other and there is much humour in the banter between Isame and her captors and the other characters they meet on their journey. One of the warriors, James however,  is an outsider and has an agenda of his own which becomes clearer as the plot develops. Isame is particularly drawn to Remmie, one of the warriors, who treats her more kindly than the others and their budding and touching romance is central to this novel.

I particularly liked the heroine, Isame and her transformation from a young woman about to acquiesce to an arranged marriage to one who is thrust into the adventure she has always craved, finding that she prefers this life to the one that was mapped out for her in her village. Although at first she vows to escape her captors, she starts to befriend them and falls hard for the warrior Remmie, who in turn is attracted to her. Their sweet romance is a delight to read and the  scenes between them are full of sexual tension and hidden desire. However, there are many obstacles in the way of a happy future, not least the oath of Remmie and the other warriors to their king to deliver Isame to him and the fact that Remmie is a Savage, a race feared and held in contempt by her own people. He has also been responsible for abducting her and along with the other warriors represents a threat to her family should she try to escape. Remmie, despite his fearsome appearance and initial behaviour, is a sweetie at heart however and I could not stop myself rooting for their HEA!

Also what does the king want with her? There is also the prophecy of a mysterious gypsy, linking Isame, who has always believed herself to be a regular girl with Faemell, the Fairy Isle. Isame begins to question this and wants to find out the truth.

By Force is a super, well-paced, romantic read, full of sexy warrior types (what more can a girl want?), containing action and adventure, mystery and suspense. It is a great start to a new series and the next instalment, By Choice, is in the pipeline. I recommend it to those who enjoy fantasy romance with a feisty heroine and an alpha male with a heart.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me free by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Publisher:

http://etopiapressblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/new-releases-for-1032014/

Connect with Sara Hubbard:

http://www.sara-hubbard.com

https://twitter.com/SaraLouHubbard

https://www.facebook.com/sarahubbardauthor

Purchase Links

Amazon US     Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
All Romance Ebooks

Banovic Siblings – Friends and Liars, #2 in the Family Portrait Series, by Gillian Felix

Sibs-tour-banner

Today we are delighted to be participating The Siblings Tour which sees the launch of Friends and Liars, book #2 in Gillian Felix’s Banovic Siblings Young Adult series, set on America’s West Coast.

Read on for the blurb, read an excerpt from the book and click on the link to enter the giveaway for a digital copy each of Changes & The Banovic Siblings !!!  A review to come soon. Tina 🙂

Book Blurb

College boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him. After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.

Bad girl Adriana Banovic is pleased with herself for getting her nemesis expelled from Westwood Academy. As feelings between her and her latest victim Haze Lyndon escalate, an unexpected rival discovers her secret and threatens to expose her. With emotions on the line, will her new rival beat her at her own game or end up another casualty of Adriana’s wrath?

Zax Banovic has it all. Tall and handsome, he’s an academic genius, with a killer smile and a heart of gold. When his best friend gets into trouble, he feels responsible and covers for him. But his best friend is not as honorable and has other plans for Zax.

The Banovic Siblings learn that blackmail is a gift that keeps on giving. This is the second book in the Family Portrait novel series.

If you like shows like the original Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210 and Nashville, where the guys and girls are hot and the schemes are hotter, you will like The Banovic Siblings.

Excerpt: Chapter 19: Cocktails and Dreams

L’Wren entered Bacchanal Jake’s with two of her girlfriends. While their intention was to have fun and enjoy the attention of guys, her mission was to see Kevin Banovic again. She knew he worked there and, without alerting her friends to her plan, casually chose Jake’s as the hangout spot for the evening.

She hated the way they’d left things. Why did she care what he thought of her? He was just some guy—some guy who cared enough to stand up for her and got hurt in the process. She carried around immense guilt, and he’d made her feel worst when she tried to apologize. She had no idea what she was going to say to him. She just knew that she had to see him again.

They ordered drinks and found a booth. L’Wren’s eyes combed the room, her breath unsteady, her palms sweaty and her stomach in knots. Maybe he had the night off.

L’Wren’s friends noticed her distraction.

“Hey, what’s going on with you?” one friend asked.

“Nothing.” She smiled nervously.

A couple of guys came over with drinks for the girls. They began chatting them up. L’Wren was not interested. She just smiled and nodded and kept an eye out for Kevin.

Her hopes began to fade after an hour. L’Wren was about ready to leave when she spotted Kevin. She took a deep breath. The air in the room was getting tight again. She watched as he flirted with a woman at the bar. The scene reminded her of Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail, minus the bar theatrics. 

She felt a twinge in the pit of her stomach that surprised her. The guy next to her said something, but she didn’t hear him. Her mind was focused on Kevin. Mentally she tried to muster courage and find something to say to him.

Her legs felt heavy as she stood and walked over to the bar. With every step her heart pounded harder and faster. As she got closer, she straightened her spine, lifted her head, and steadied her breath. She walked straight towards the end of the bar where he stood still chatting up the brunette, who looked like she was ready to ravish him. Kevin said something to her, and she smiled, then tossed her long mane, retrieved her cell phone, and touched hers with his.

Kevin stood up and looked at L’Wren. The brunette shot her a menacing look.

“What can I get you?” he asked as if she was a complete stranger.

“I just thought I’d come over and introduce myself,” she heard herself say. New-formed confidence took over. “Hi, I’m L’Wren.” She extended her arm.

The brunette’s eyes switched between them. She eventually walked away without saying a word.

“What are you doing?” Kevin asked.

“Starting over.”

Kevin was unsure where she was going with this but played along. “Kevin, nice to meet you.” He gently shook her hand.

“I’d like a martini, please. Shaken not stirred.” She perched herself on the bar stool.

They looked at each other for a moment, and then started to laugh at the obvious James Bond reference.

It was late when L’Wren’s friends said their goodbyes and left her at the bar.

Kevin served drinks, and then returned his attention to her.

It was last call when Kevin walked her to her car. “You okay to drive, or should I call for a cab?”

“Kevin,” she leaned in close to him, “when you weren’t looking, I ordered diet Sprite from the other bartender.”

“What about the martini?”

“I don’t drink martinis. I sent it to my girlfriend.”

“Oh, I feel so duped, seriously?”

She nodded affirmative.

“Since we’re confessing … I saw you the minute you walked into Jake’s.”

“Liar! You were nowhere around.”

“I was in the back room … I wanted to see if you were waiting for someone.”

“I don’t believe you. You can’t stand to be duped.” She laughed.

Kevin watched her as she got into her white Prius V and drove away.

L’Wren looked at him in the rearview mirror and smiled. That turned out better than she’d expected.

As she pulled into her driveway, she hummed ‘Kokomo’, the theme song from Cocktail. The house was dark, and she knew no one was home. Leighann had gone to the game with Zax, and who knew where Savi was. L’Wren smiled as she thought about Zax and Leighann. Those Banovic boys had charm. If Zax was anything like his brother, Leighann was a lucky girl. Just then she heard footsteps and turned around quickly.

“Jeff! You scared me.” She playfully punched him.

“Hey, baby.” He kissed her. “Here let me.” He took the keys and opened the door for her.

They began turning on the lights.

“I didn’t realize we were supposed to get together tonight,” she said, feeling uneasy.

“Do I need an appointment to see my girl?”

“No … if I knew you were coming over, I would have gotten here sooner.” She busied herself in the kitchen.

“Where were you?”

“Traffic on the 405 was a bitch.”

“Where did you say you were again?”

“Out with a couple of friends. No place special.”

“You could have called me. I would have gone to no place special with you.”

“Jeff, we talked about this. You can’t have a cow every time I go out with my friends.”

“You never invite me anywhere with your friends. Are you ashamed of me?” Jeff towered over her.

“Don’t be silly. It was just us girls. None of them had their boyfriends with them.”

“Did you have a good time?”

“Yes.” She tried to walk away from him, but she was trapped between the counter and Jeff.

He boxed her in with his arms. “Did guys hit on you?”

“What? No.” She tried to move his arm, but it was firmly planted against the counter. “Why don’t we go in the living room and talk,” she suggested, trying to sound calm.

“Why can’t you look me in the eye and tell me that guys didn’t hit on you?”

“Jeff, I think you should leave.”

“Is he coming over? Is that why you want me to leave?” Jeff raised his voice.

L’Wren knew what was coming next. She braced herself for him to either punch her in the gut or pull her hair. He wouldn’t slap her face; he didn’t like to leave visual bruises. He couldn’t have his friends know that he beat up on his girlfriend. He was quarterback of the football team and had a reputation to uphold. She gripped the counter as he yanked on her hair, tugging her head back, causing her to bump her head on the overhead cupboard.

“I have absolutely no qualms about putting a bullet through your brain right now,” Savi said calmly.

Jeff turned around to face the business end of Savi’s shiny silver revolver. L’Wren gasped. Something in her eyes told him that she meant it.

“As far as I’m concerned, you broke into my daughter’s house. I came home and found you roughing her up … a plausible story … for the police.”

Jeff held her gaze.

She clicked the gun. “Bounce.”

Jeff did as he was told. Savi walked out behind him and locked the door. L’Wren was still shivering in the kitchen.

“Where do you find those losers?” Savi asked casually. She set the gun down on the counter and poured herself a glass of wine.

L’Wren stared at the gun. She had never seen one up close before. “Why do you have a gun?”

“Target practice.” Savi drank the wine and poured another. This time she also poured a glass for L’Wren, whose hands were shaking so badly that she could barely hold the glass.

“I don’t want to be around it.”

“Then move out.” Savi picked up the offending object and walked out into the living room.

L’Wren followed. “This is my house. You’re a guest.”

Savi placed the gun in her Dior handbag.

“What if Leighann finds it?” L’Wren continued.

“It’s not a dildo, for Christ’s sake.” Savi headed to her room and shut the door.

Purchase and Contact Links

The Banovic Siblings (Family Portrait V.2):

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H1AQ8H6

Barnes & Noble : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/gillian-felix?store=allproducts&keyword=gillian+felix

Sign up to receive exclusive book release info and giveaways https://tinyletter.com/GillianFx

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyPortraitNovels

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Gillianfx

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210783.Gillian_Felix

Click on one of the links below to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a digital copy each of Changes & The Banovic Siblings!!!

Double-books

Rafflecopter code: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjUzMTkyNzE4NTcwZjY1MDliNWU1MGM0MWRiMzMwOjQ=/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

 

 

Caroline’s current reading list

734473_4413250684724_1042666470_nHi readers, I hope you have all had a great first month of reading in 2014! Over the last few weeks I have had to try and get myself into some sort of routine, especially with my two year old daughter beginning to have tantrums and not wanting a daytime sleep!  Although it is difficult to tear myself away when she wants to play. She’s adorable! Anyway, with lots of catching up to do and some new novels of excitement and interest to add I have decided to post my current ‘to-read’ list. You may notice that some reads are from my last list (which I am hoping to review very, very soon) whilst others are freshly added! They all sound like great reads and for that reason I have added the covers and blurb below, with the title linked to Amazon. And, as always, there is a mixed bag here for many of you to find something that suits! – Caroline 🙂

The Lakeside Legacy (A South Carolina Romantic Suspense) – Jean Jennett (romantic suspense)

Jean Jennett large

What Krista Lucas finds when she arrives in picturesque Camden, South Carolina, is beyond all expectations. Her biological father, a man she never knew, has left her a large house in town and beautiful lakeside wooded acreage. How he came to own the property is a mystery Krista needs to solve for her own peace of mind.

Jake Thornton maintains that his family owns the house and land, and he can prove it with a document his own father left.

… Or can he?

Jake isn’t the only one with an interest in the property. His three brothers are ready and eager to develop the land, and nothing is going to stop
them.

Including Krista Lucas.

With Krista’s life in danger, whose side will Jake take? His family … or Krista? Will the truth be discovered in time?

Early readers have said that The Lakeside Legacy has it all: suspense, danger, mystery, romance … and love.

The Lakeside Legacy is the first book in the South Carolina Romantic Suspense series.

WARNING: This book contains graphic sexual descriptions.

The Silk Romance – Helena Fairfax (contemporary romance) (You can find Tina’s review here)

The Silk Romance 333x500-001Jean-Luc Olivier is a devastatingly handsome racing-driver with the world before him. Sophie Challoner is a penniless student, whose face is unknown beyond her own rundown estate in London. The night they spend together in Paris seems to Sophie like a fairytale—a Cinderella story without the happy ending. She knows she has no part in Jean-Luc’s future. She made her dying mother a promise to take care of her father and brother in London. One night of happiness is all Sophie allows herself. She runs away from Jean-Luc and returns to England to keep her promise.

Safely back home with her father and brother, and immersed in her college work, Sophie tries her best to forget their encounter, but she reckons without Jean-Luc. He is determined to find out why she left him, and intrigued to discover the real Sophie. He engineers a student placement Sophie can’t refuse, and so, unwillingly, she finds herself back in France, working for Jean-Luc in the silk mill he now owns.

Thrown together for a few short weeks in Lyon, the romantic city of silk, their mutual love begins to grow. But it seems the fates are conspiring against Sophie’s happiness. Jean-Luc has secrets of his own. Then, when disaster strikes at home in London, Sophie is faced with a choice—stay in this glamorous world with the man she loves or return to her family to keep the sacred promise she made her mother.

Stray – Mark Matthews (psychological, drama)

StrayTherapist Tomas Cleaves is many years sober from his addiction but is now losing his mind. There are voices in his head and the occasional seizure, and then his wife has a miscarriage on the same day his client dies of a heroin overdose. Tom becomes certain that the addicts he treats must have infected the womb of his wife.

Lost and bitter after the miscarriage, Tom is in desperate need of a client who can give him some hope.

James White is one such client — a newly orphaned alcoholic dead bent on drinking again until he gets discharged and finds himself rescuing lost strays at the next door animal shelter. Can James find a reason to live by rescuing the throw-away pets of the city? 

A gritty novel with an edge yet surprisingly gentle and sweet, Stray will take you through the dog fighting dens and crack houses of Detroit where Stray souls can find connections in the most unusual of places.

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy – Helen Fielding (contemporary romance, chick-lit, humour)

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth?

Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly?

Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?

Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?

Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice?

Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?

Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet?

Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?

If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands?

Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?

Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.

When It Happens to You – Molly Ringwald (contemporary, chick-lit)

When it Happens to YouWhen it happens to you, you will be surprised. That thing they say about how you knew all the time, but just weren’t facing it? That might be the case, but nevertheless, there you will be.

Molly Ringwald mines the complexities of modern relationships in this gripping and nuanced collection of interlinked stories. Writing with a deep compassion for human imperfection, Ringwald follows a Los Angeles family and their friends and neighbors while they negotiate the hazardous terrain of everyday life—revealing the deceptions, heartbreak, and vulnerability familiar to us all.

In “The Harvest Moon,” a stay-at-home mom grapples with age, infertility, and an increasingly distant husband. In “Ursa Minor,” a former children’s television star tries to rebuild his life after being hospitalized for “exhaustion.” An elderly woman mourns the loss of her husband and her estranged relationship with her daughter in “The Little One.” In “My Olivia,” a single mother finds untapped reserves of strength to protect her flamboyant six-year-old son who wishes only to wear dresses and be addressed as Olivia. And in the devastating title story, a betrayed wife chronicles her pain and alienation, leading to an eviscerating denouement.

As the lives of these characters converge and diverge in unexpected ways, Ringwald reveals a startling eye for the universality of loss, love, and the search for connection. An unflinching yet poignant examination of the intricacies of the human heart, When It Happens to You is an auspicious literary debut.

Baby, You’re as Sweet as 3.14159265 (101 Funny Love Advice Answers, 20 Sexy Stories, & Lots​ of Jokes)- Hog Wild (ADULT comedy)

WARNING: Content may not be suitable for people offended by naughty words, honest thoughts about love, and sexual thoughts of sextastic sex with sexy people.

(Edited synopsis due to rude words that may not be suitable for all) From the book…

A lot of girls like a guy who is a bad-ass. That’s why my conversations with women go like this:

GIRL: I like a man of danger.

ME: Come back to my place and we’ll open the .exe attachments in my email!

Dear Shirtless Guy in his Profile Picture, you REALLY want to impress girls? Get a job and pose in front of your cubicle.

They say you can get a girl to like you, if you can make her jealous. So I make sure the girl sees me with a pretty expensive handbag!

Girls like when you tell them about the adorable things that children do. For instance, like when my little nephew asked me, “When babies are in the tummy do they use mommy’s belly button as a window?”

Cute!

Thank God he didn’t ask what they use as a door!

Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook – Kelly I. Hitchcock (contemporary)

Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo StorybookTwelve women, twelve tattoos, and a narrative thread that weaves them all together, Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook is a collection of stories that answers that lingering question in the back of your mind when you see an inked woman: what does your tattoo mean (or perhaps – what were you thinking)? From a parent’s suicide to the birth of an unlikely child, the stories behind why women tattoo themselves are literally worn on (and sometimes under) their sleeves, and retold on these pages.

Complete with artwork from the original tattoo artists and a foreword by Dr. Marta Vicente, one of academia’s foremost voices in Women’s Studies, this series of literary vignettes celebrates real, everyday women and their tattoos that, while they may seem insignificant at the time, are a symbol of the larger struggles and triumphs that make them who they are. These stories explore the idea of tattoos bringing together women from different worlds, and teaching them how these worlds might not be as far apart as they think.

Animus – Thomas Evans (crime)

AnimusA family is torn in half when a careless killer evades justice. Jason McDowell’s bad choice to drive to work drunk one morning leaves a father dead, a daughter in a coma and her twin sister and mother to try and pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Three years later, while Jason has gone on with his life, ignorant of the struggles of his victims, someone has decided it is time for him to face justice.

Bounty Hunter – S.J. Hollis (fantasy)

Bounty HunterWhat do you do when your magic makes you a target? Run. Fight. Die.

14-year-old Kai Koson had nothing to do with the apocalypse, thank you very much. He was just a baby the day a coven of blood witches ripped a hole in the universe and the demons fell screaming from the sky. Earth and its magic perished. Witchkind was hunted and annihilated.

Now, because he was born a witch, Kai must spend his life running and fighting for survival. Even his own uncle seems determined to abandon him.

With nothing left to lose, Kai runs away and joins a team of galactic bounty hunters. But instead of providing an escape, it sets Kai on a path that will destroy everything he believes about himself and the apocalypse, transforming him into the most wanted teenager in the galaxy.

Written with humour, imagination and darkness, Bounty Hunter and its protagonist Kai Koson stand confidently beside Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Alex Rider, Young Bond, Mortal Engines and Harry Potter.

21 Hours – Dustin Stevens (Thriller)

21 HoursFelix “O” O’Connor is an ex-con from central Ohio that has spent the seven years since being released from prison working on a ranch in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Rarely does he venture out into the world and never does it come looking for him. Both of those things change when his twin sister Alexa “Lex” Borden calls from Columbus, Ohio to ask for his help.

Earlier that afternoon, she and her husband were both beaten unconscious and their two year old daughter abducted from their front yard. Nobody saw a thing, the police are stumped, and it is a well known statistic that if a child isn’t found in the first 48 hours, they rarely are.

O immediately drives back to Ohio and finds himself with just 21 hours to find his beloved niece before potentially losing her forever. Plunging himself into a world he’d long ago left behind, he crosses paths with criminal masterminds, human traffickers, gun runners, drug smugglers, blood-thirsty spectators and suspicious detectives all in the name of bringing her home.

The Re-Awakening (Second Coming, #2) – Carter Vance (Thriller) (You can find my review of Book 1, ‘The Return’, here)

The Re-Awakening (Second Coming, #2)

The saga continues. He has returned, but not yet awakened to fulfill His destiny.

With The Re-Awakening, the second book of the Second Coming Series, author Carter Vance continues the thrilling story of the modern day return of Christ.

Like the first book, it is full of action and suspense that takes place in a chaotic world reeling towards the prophesied Apocalypse.

The first book, The Return, re-counted the circumstances of His birth. The Re-Awakening chronicles the events of His growth and the re-acquiring of His Christ Consciousness.

The first son in the bloodline of Jesus Christ, Lazarus J. Christos, must immerse Himself in the modern day world and prepare to fulfill His mission that has been prophesied for two thousand years.

With the aide of the order of the Knights Templars, long existing in the shadows, and the even less known organization of The Founders, young Lazarus, on a path of personal discovery, encounters His doubts and faces His fears of His ability to fulfill His mission.

Meanwhile, His enemies mount their plan for His eradication and their goal of world domination. They believe there is a way for them to prevail beyond the prophecies. These Dark Forces embark upon a worldwide hunt for legendary artifacts of power that might tip the balance of power to their advantage for the forthcoming ultimate battle of good versus evil for the soul of humanity.

Cry Heaven Cry Hell… The Return of Miss Mary Weather – Deno Sandz (horror)

Cry Heaven Cry Hell... The Return of Miss Mary Weather+++ From the original novel in 2001: “Miss Mary Weather: A Southern Nightmare,” a sequel arises. In a rural black community in the Deep South, there is a myth of a woman who is the most terrifying female creature ever unleashed in this world. Will’s battles with the evil woman continue from childhood to adulthood. The protagonist, Will defeats her: however his eldest son begins dreaming of the evil woman’s return. +++Now, after many years of forgetfulness and the tragic death of Will Sr. and his wife, Miss Mary Weather has truly returned bringing perdition and no absolution with her to collect more souls and to finally destroy the bloodline of the one man who defeated her….making the world as we know it, “Cry Heaven, Cry Hell.” +++

Heart of Eternity – N Jay (romance)

When you are invited to dance with the muse of love, when you are driven to the edge by the pain of the past, when you hold the remedy for what ails you in your arms you will find yourself in the heart of eternity. Set in the Blue Mountain’s town of Blackheath in New South Wales, Australia, the novel Heart of Eternity introduces two very different characters, Jay and Naida, who encounter each other at a challenging time in each of their lives. Their individual expressions of the feelings they provoke in each other give rise to a turmoil that could ultimately claim their lives. When two people understand so deeply the pain each other has faced will it force them into the abyss of darkness or will their combined need for healing allow love to enter both their hearts?

The Medea Complex – Rachel Florence Roberts (historical fiction, mystery thriller, psychological horror)

The Medea Complex****BASED ON A TRUE STORY***

1885. Anne Stanbury – Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems?

Edgar Stanbury – the grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity, and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life.

Dr George Savage – the well respected psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne’s future wholly in his hands.

The Medea Complex tells the story of a misunderstood woman suffering from insanity in an era when mental illnesses’ were all too often misdiagnosed and mistreated. A deep and riveting psychological thriller set within an historical context, packed full of twists and turns, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.

As mentioned before, I also wish to read The Keeping (Law of the Lycans, Book 2) (sequel to The Mating) by Nicky Charles, Dead Push (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 7) by Tim O’Rourke, plus many, many more.

Well, that’s my reading plan for the following weeks to come. If any of you have read any of these it would be great to hear your thoughts. I wish you all a great weekend!

Caroline Barker 🙂

RAIN, BY NICOLE HURLEY-MOORE – Synopsis, Trailer, Review, Author Bio and Giveaway

RAIN BLOG TOUR

Rain - Tour Banner

Title – Rain
Author – Nicole Hurley-Moore
Genre – Fantasy (medieval fairytale)
Publication Date – 20th November 2013
Length (Pages/# Words) – 169 pages
Publisher – Jupiter Gardens Press
Cover Artist – Tibbs Design

Rain - Book Cover

BOOK SYNOPSIS
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On the mountain, high above the village of Farran – Nuri is caught between heaven and hell. Two men fight for her love and her soul. The first is Maras, an elemental being who follows the storms. Nuri knows that he is not human, he’s something more. She believes he is her beautiful fallen angel. Yet he is transient and is bound to the elements and their love may be as fleeting as the storm itself. The second is Brother Erebus, a pious monk whose tortured soul is twisted by his desire for her.

But Nuri may sacrifice more than her heart when the Church brands her angel a demon. As Brother Erebus will do anything to protect her soul from the silver haired devil, even if he has to crush her body to do it.

BUY & TBR LINKS
Amazon Kindle Link | Barnes & Nobles Nook Link | Smashwords Link

iTunes Link | Goodreads Link

MY REVIEW

A Magical Fairy Tale – Sensual Fantasy/Paranormal/Medieval Romance

This novel is pure magic – a beautiful and sensual romance that has all the elements of a fairy tale for adults. It has well defined and believable characters and a strong plot set in a world akin to that of European folk lore and fairy tales of old.

The love story at the centre of the novel is pure delight to read. I loved how Nuri and Maras meet and how her love rescues the tortured and lonely water elemental from his self-imposed exile from the human world, due to his misplaced guilt about past events. There are many romantic moments and sensual love making scenes as the novel progresses and the couple find that they cannot ignore their mutual attraction. Nuri herself represents all that is good and selfless, but she also has a strong personality and is prepared to give her all to protect Maras her Angel. Erebus by contrast is truly a troubled soul, who is twisted by jealousy and lust and has lost his grip on reality. There is a great cast of supporting characters who also play a key role in the tale.

The author paints a vivid picture of the village of Farran and its inhabitants and I was immediately drawn into the plot and identified with the emotions of the characters. The tenor of the novel oscillates between darkness and light – the beauty and goodness of Nuri’s and Maras’ romance and the malevolence of Erebus’ twisted and unrequited love for Nuri and his belief that Maras is a demon that he must destroy regardless of the damage to Nuri. The descriptions of the storms, when they appear in the tale, I found particularly poetic.

Like all good tales it has many layers of meaning that as a reader I related to.  Whilst it is first and foremost a love story of two people finding their soul mate it also explores the themes of jealousy and lust and reminds us that the demons which exist are those that reside within individuals. It also examines the prejudice and fear that some have towards others that appear to be different to us. The writing is sublime and reminded me of some of the fantasy novels of Linda Mooney and Christine Pope. I will definitely be checking out other books from this author. Recommended for readers of historical novels with a paranormal twist and lovers of fantasy romance.

Rain - Author Photo

AUTHOR BIO
Nicole has always been a lover of fairy tales, history and romance. She grew up in Melbourne and has traveled extensively, whilst living her life through the romance of books. Her first passion in life has always been her family, but after studying and achieving a History degree and Honours in Medieval Literature, she devoted her time to writing historical romance.

She is a full time writer who lives in the Central Highlands of Victoria with her family, where they live in the peaceful surrounds of a semi‐rural town.

STALK THE AUTHOR HERE
Amazon Author Page | Website/Blog | Blogspot |Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY
$20 Amazon Gift Card

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE AUTHORS GIVEAWAY

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The Drake Equation by Heather Walsh

Drake Equation CoverBook blurb: She’s a Democrat, he’s a Republican. She spends her days fighting global warming at an environmental non-profit, he makes his living doing PR for Bell Motors and their fleet of SUVs. But as soon as they meet, Emily Crossley and Robert Drake realize they have encountered their intellectual match. You’re never challenged, he tells her. You’ve surrounded yourself in a cocoon of people who think exactly the same way you do. She hurls the same accusation back at him, and the fiery debates begin.

Despite both of their attempts to derail it, there is no denying that they are falling in love. But their relationship is threatened by political differences, Robert’s excessive work hours, and Emily’s fear of losing her identity as she falls deeper in love.

Can their love survive? The Drake Equation is a tale of modern love and all its complexities.

Review:

If you are looking for more than a love story, something that reaches across to political, intellectual issues that cause debate and passion, then Heather Walsh’s ‘The Drake Equation’ could be the next book for you!

As the reader is introduced to Emily we realise very quickly that she is quite a strong character and believes in everything she stands for. She is very proud and nothing can really sway her determination to make more people aware of the damage they are creating to the environment and to try to prevent them from continuously contributing to global warming.

Robert, on the other hand, is less concerned. Not necessarily because he doesn’t care, but more because he is a workaholic and working within a corporate background is what he knows. He is good at his job, marketing and advertising SUV’s – one of the main topics that Emily is fighting against. It is Emily’s fight and passion that Robert is attracted to. Amid the serious discussions, there are moments of teasing and playfulness between the main characters, which does endear the reader to them.

They both meet at a charitable event that Emily has organised, after Robert’s boss asked him to ‘spy’ on GeoForce to find out what they were up to. During their encounter, and during dates afterward, Emily and Robert hold mature conversations regarding their line of work and their beliefs. It is quite amusing at times how strong-willed Emily actually is and she does tend to allow Robert to wind her up very easily with his nonchalant attitude. However, it is equally amusing when she stumbles and doesn’t always know how to match his argument or decides against it.

The global warming aspect is quite an intelligent and interesting subject matter that some will enjoy to read, rather than just concentrating on the relationship growing between Emily and Robert – really something more to provide the reader with as they decide which side of the argument they lean towards, and of course, being able to understand the viewpoints of both characters.

Heather Walsh certainly knows how to write well in her debut and has filled this novel with intelligent ideas and built the love story around two people that could easily dislike each other and what they stand for. However, it is this that has actually brought them together and I found this to be very interesting, watching Emily and Robert battle out their opposite trains of thought at the same time as listening and (at times) respecting the others’ reasoning.

Emily’s colleagues, especially Carson, enlighten the story at certain intervals. Some of these instances made me smile and laugh at times. One moment in particular is where the reader learns how Carson was named by his mother.

The atmosphere and mood of The Drake Equation is quite realistic – with the relationship Emily has with Robert and her co-workers. The reader can explore Emily’s moods, especially as she appears to be more serious as the novel moves on. This enables the reader to understand and relate to Emily, and all of the characters as they are all believable.  On occasions, I was hoping for a little more drama, a little more action and something more gripping from earlier on in the story. However, as the story moves on it becomes more apparent that this story concerns Emily’s character and thoughts, and how she is affected by Robert’s different views, challenges and love.

Throughout the second half of the book, after Robert shares his feelings that Emily is holding something back, the reader is curious to know what Emily’s ‘secret’ is. The reader is kept guessing until the very end.

I would have liked to have read more about Robert, as The Drake Equation focuses heavily on Emily’s views, moods and her work. I would have also welcomed a little more warmth and romance in terms of actions and gestures.  The Drake Equation is more a tale of how love can change a persons life and even perspective. The question is: will it work in favour for or against a relationship with Robert?

The Drake Equation was provided by the author, Heather Walsh, in return for an honest and fair review.

You can find The Drake Equation in paperback or the Kindle edition at Amazon.com ($1.26) and Amazon.co.uk (77p). (Prices are correct at time of posting, however they are subject to change.)

Reviewed by Caroline Barker