Review Round-Up

Hi readers, it has been a little over a month since our last review round-up and we are excited to be reminding you of our recent reviews. We hope that everyone has been enjoying the sunshine we have been having here in the UK. We have been making the most of our garden time, playing with the children in the garden and of course squeezing in some fab reads! 🙂

Here are our latest reviews (please click on the titles to view our reviews):

Yellow (A Sydney Hart Mystery #2) by Tim O’Rourke – paranormal/mystery (reviewed by Caroline)

Yellow (Sydney Hart #2)Blurb: In love with Vincent and trying to move on with her life, Sydney Hart is visited by an old friend. When this friend suddenly goes missing, Sydney finds herself in a desperate race against time, not only to save her friend’s life, but also her relationship with Vincent. W

ith Michael wanting to spend more time with her in order to rekindle their relationship, Sydney’s life and emotions become ever more complex.

Trying to stay focused on the hunt for her missing friend, Sydney has to figure out who is telling her the truth; but most importantly, who is Mr. Yellow?

‘Yellow’ (A Sydney Hart Novel) Book Two.

*A New Adult Novel Recommended for mature readers*

Monster Unleashed: Dark Indiscretions #2 by Shakuita JohnsonAdult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance (reviewed by Tina)

full_sizeBlurb: What would you do if the one fate chose for you vanished into thin air? What would you give up? Who would you become to stay with that person?

Krista Bell finally knows what it’s like to be free. The torture she endured at the hands of her psychotic father have unleashed the monster her mother tried so hard to help her suppress. The only thing she wants to do is be the shadow in the night that everyone is afraid of.

Taser is barely holding it together. He lost Kris once to her father and now he’s losing her to the monster she is becoming. He’s also barely containing his own monster since Krista decided she didn’t need her mates anymore. Nathan is still near but he may not be enough.

Nathan is on the verge of losing not one but both of his mates. One vanished without a trace. The other is avoiding him. He has run out of patience with them both.

But when the monster that Krista has become comes to them with a proposal will they take her up on it and possibly lose themselves or will they try to talk her down and get the beast to put back on her chain?

Borderland Betrayal (Borderland Bride #3) by Samantha Holt – Historical Romance (reviewed by Tina)

21403370Blurb: To Captain James, duty means everything. He’s worked hard to ensure the safety of the people of Thornewall and now the border reiver threat is gone and the recovery from the plague is well underway, he finds himself questioning his life. The arrival of the vibrant Ellise only confuses him further. When he catches Ellise thieving, instead of wanting to let the law deal with her, he finds he longs to take a more personal approach… a much more personal approach. Having lived on the edge of society for many years, Ellise is used to scraping for a living and she knows moments of happiness are few and far between. So she leaps at the chance to spend one sensual night with the handsome captain. Just one night and then she’ll be gone. To her astonishment, fate throws her back into James’ sights when she accepts a job at Thornewall to look after the pregnant lady. Although the attraction still burns between them, she cannot give into it. One night has to be enough as she has far too many secrets. Should the honourable captain ever discover them, it would be more than her heart that would be at risk. Her life could well be at stake too.

Animus by Thomas Evansthriller/suspense (reviewed by Caroline)

AnimusBlurb: A 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.

Wind Raven (The Agents of the Crown Trilogy, #3) by Regan Walker – Historical Romance (reviewed by Tina)

ReganWalker_WindRaven800Blurb: Ordered by the Prince Regent into the Caribbean, English sea captain and former privateer Jean Nicholas Powell has no time for women onboard the Wind Raven, especially not Tara McConnell. The impudent American forced herself aboard, and so she’ll get more than she bargained for: Instead of a direct sail to Baltimore, she’ll join their quest to investigate a rampaging pirate, the infamous Roberto Cofresi. But the hoyden thinks she can crew with his men, and though he bans her from the rigging, Nick is captivated watching her lithe, luscious movements on deck. Facing high seas, storms, cutthroats and the endless unknown, he must protect his ship, his passenger, his crew. But on this voyage, with this woman, there is a greater danger: to his heart.

Double Alchemy by Susan Mac Nicolerotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

DoubleAlchemy_FINALBlurb: Powerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.

THE WORLD IN SHADOW

In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.

In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await. More awaits in book two…

Living Life Backwards by Peter Wellscontemporary romance/drama (reviewed by Tina)

20931277Blurb: Having spent his childhood in a barren emotional wasteland overseen by a father who valued order above feeling, Bill finally meets a woman who leads him to a place he can call home. Arriving in the small coastal town in England with his new wife, he finds that he is quickly assimilated into her community and extended family. With his somewhat murky past behind him, he forges a new life within a solid, caring community and discovers what being valued means. As it happens, his wife appears to be overly interested in “organizing” everything and everyone around her, including her young cousin who is the apple of her father’s eye.

Within the garden of Eden Bill knows he can show no interest in this apple called Misty. He knows the price of doing so, and the value of what he now enjoys. Will that be enough to protect him from desire? Luck is with him: she has no interest in him. But what if circumstances where to change and she looked at her world and him with new eyes. Would he cling to common sense?

With the hand of a surgeon, Peter Wells gently probes the thoughts of the mundane to seek those corners that still long for adventure. Those bits and pieces of each of us that gaze out on the world and find something to settle on and wonder… Tenderly touching the wounded, lonely parts of his character’s hearts, Peter gently leads them to a destiny they never could have imagined on their own. When an Obsession knocks on the doors of your Paradise, should they remain closed?

Claiming Ecstasy (short story) by Madeline Pryceerotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

ClaimingEcstasy_MSR (2)Blurb: Jolie Dupree is prophesied to bring an end to the deadly war waging between the vampires and the Seelie court. Groomed from birth by a vicious mother, Jolie knows her future can only end in blood–and the murder of the one man she can’t resist. Consumed with guilt, Jolie can’t fight the lure of Nicolas Larkin, the vampire king. She returns to him over and over, every caress of pain and every stroke of pleasure drawing her deeper into the darkness. She must decide between the concrete and the chaos, the light and the dark, for her choice will tip the scales between good and evil, and quite possibly cost Jolie her soul.

Trial of Love (Slave Bound Series) by Christina Ow – Adult Historical Romance (reviewed by Tina)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00015]Blurb: After her mother’s death, Melanie’s life in America is full of heartache. Still, she has never allowed herself to despair. She was responsible for the care of her beloved father. Then he remarried a woman too wicked to be considered a mother to Melanie or her two sisters. After years of abuse, the stepmother sells Melanie off – to work in a brothel, and about to be sold to the highest bidder. Through a series of fortuitous events, Melanie falls into the care of Christopher, Earl of Ashworth, who has family issues of her own. The solution to his problems—and redemption for Melanie—wind together toward destiny.

We hope that you have found something that you like. Happy reading!

Caroline and Tina 🙂

 

 

 

 

*BLOG TOUR* Three Rules by Marie Drake (cover, blurb, author bio, excerpt & links)

Three Rules” by Marie Drake – Book Spotlight Info
Three Rules
Book Details:

Page Count:296

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: Sep 24, 2013

Copyright Marie Drake 2013

2013ISBN/EAN13:1492772909 / 9781492772903 http://www.amazon.com/Three-Rules-Marie-Drake/dp/1492772909/
Kindle AISN: B00F0OO6WO http://www.amazon.com/Three-Rules-ebook/dp/B00F0OO6WO

Nook: http://bit.ly/1dhVoJ0

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/three-rules

Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/MarieDrake

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/4450018

Directly: http://www.mariedrake.com/three-rules-by-marie-drake

The Blurb:

Hope Wellman has a childhood full of horrific memories, a bone chilling recurring nightmare, and a persistent paranoid sense of being followed that she would rather keep repressed. Is evil reaching from beyond the grave to capture the tattered remnants of her soul once and for all, is it only a machination of her disturbed mind, or is there something happening more sinister than even she can imagine?

Attending the funeral of her abuser is the first step in putting her life back together. She struggles with the fact she never told anyone what happened to her, and that the grave they are mourning over is empty. She’d find it a lot easier to move on and believe in the future if he were in the box, ready to be covered with dirt. She fears the last thread of her sanity has snapped when she sees Lucas everywhere she turns, and can’t escape a recurring nightmare. Is her tormentor alive, or is she imagining it? Is her dream triggered by past fears or is it a prediction of the future?

Quoted from Three Rules:

“I have learned three rules in my life: 1.) The most dangerous people in the world are not always strangers. 2.) The scariest things imaginable are not those that can kill you, but those you can live through. And probably the most prominent: 3.) The most horrible possibility is not what could happen to you, but what you could become – I became a killer.”
~Hope Wellman

AUTHOR BIO

Marie Drake lives with her husband and their four wonderful sons in a small town near Lake Ontario. They take advantage of what others deem a vacation spot all year long. Camping and hiking are some of their favorite family activities. They also enjoy volunteering at the local animal shelter together, and recently rescued a Jack Russell/Corgi mix who made their family complete.

Marie is a crochet fanatic. She designs her own patterns and enjoys crocheting for friends, family, and charity. She loves to cook and bake, especially when making up a new recipe. Marie is an avid reader of romance, mystery, and suspense thrillers.

She is a woman of many interests – and maybe talents – but will be quick to tell you that her most important and proudest accomplishment is the part she played in the lives of children. She provided daycare for over ten years, and she and her husband fostered more than fifteen children over a five year period.

While juggling all her boys’ sporting events, academic, musical, and other extra curricular activities, and running a small home based business designing crochet afghan patterns, Marie tries to squeeze in some time for writing each day.

You can connect with Marie at the following locations:

https://twitter.com/MarieDrake72
https://www.goodreads.com/MarieDrake
http://www.facebook.com/MarieDrake
http://www.MarieDrake.blogspot.com
http://www.mariedrake.com/
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008EXDU8O

Excerpt From “Three Rules”

Prologue *Lucas Wellman*

Lucas picked up the journal and read from it: Years can fly by in an instant when you’re enjoying something. Time sprouts golden wings and races off. When you’re waiting for something, those wings turn to lead and time drags the heavy burden slowly. I glimpse the future – golden on the horizon now – and I bask in the glow of it. I feel my skin blaze with remembrance. My passion s pills out in ink over the pages. It is beautiful – a work of art, really. Only one will truly satiate my need. The others lead only to temporary satisfaction. It thrills me with anticipation – finally obtaining my ultimate desire. It has been so long since I was ab le to touch her smooth soft skin. Years have passed since my lips felt her mouth. I take a deep breath and recall the intoxicating scent of fear mingled with the flowery fragrance of her hair. I run my tongue over my lips and taste the salt of her tears . I crave her and only I will have her. The reward for my patience will not be denied.

I was drawn in by batted eyelashes and shy smiles. I was enticed by innocence, spurred to claim it. I was unable to resist the burgeoning sense of power that washed over me when I took it. But this girl was not innocent – th e housekeeper’s daughter. She liked it; she wanted it. She tricked me as it seems easy for young girls to do. I can’t be blamed that sirens in angelic childlike form lull me into t heir traps. I’m too close to my dream for these insignificant people to become hurdles I must clear.

A knock at the door interrupted him. “Who is it?” he called. “

It’s Michael,” came from behind the door.

“Come in,” Lucas said. He didn’t feel up to dealing with this. Michael was becoming very needy. Lucas would be glad when he didn’t have to listen to his sniveling demands any longer.

Michael opened the library door. Lucas realized he was still holding the journal. He quickly shoved it under some papers on a table. “What brings you here, Michael?” he asked impatiently. “

Have you thought about my proposition yet?” Michael inquired as he leaned against the desk.

Lucas poured him some brandy to buy a little time. Michael took the glass from him, “None for you?” he asked.

“I save it for guests,” Lucas told him. He smiled at Michael, rubbed his chin as though he was considering his plan. He would not – could not – entertain it. Michael’s proposition was based on a lot of false assumptions. Michael thought he knew things. He thought Lucas would allow financial gain to navigate his path; greed would triumph and Lucas would align with his idea. But Lucas didn’t lust after money. These dirty secrets that Michael wanted to use to extort money – Lucas was unraveling them in an attempt to seize what he wanted: his father’s appreciation, and the object of his affection.

Sadly, Lucas’s father passed away and took his unpronounced praise with him. Too bad for him – he was tangled in the web, lured there by the glittering possibilities: his father could be proud of him, love him, or at least just thank him. One dream was still alive; he still had a chance to take her.

There was another knock at the door. “Now what?” Lucas grouched.

He opened the door to find Alva. “Sorry, Mr. Wellman, there’s a delivery for you,” she said.

“Excuse me, Michael, I have to take care of this,” Lucas told him.

Signing for the delivery, he took the package to his office. He broke the seal and pulled out the pages, scanned them quickly to be sure they were what he expected. Thoroughly pleased, he tucked them between two large books and went back to the office. Michael left. He must have tired of waiting. Patience was Lucas’s strength, not Michael’s. He walked to the desk to retrieve the journal and found it also disappeared. Michael was more clever than given credit for, but probably not smart enough to put the pieces together – there were no names in the journal. Michael didn’t have all the information.

Lucas went back to the library and retrieved the papers. Locking them in the drawer with the other evidence, he decided to take action earlier than originally planned.

He picked up the phone and arranged to have his boat placed in the water while it was still warm enough. One more phone call and he was out the door headed to the dock.

Champagne chilled– it was a celebration of destiny after all – he removed his cufflinks, set them by the bottle, and was rolling up his sleeves when a noise alerted him that he had company. He turned with a smile, “I knew you’d come.”

Chapter 1 *

An Empty Grave*

I want to spit on his grave, but I won’t. That would cause the surrounding people to be offended and confused, all these people who didn’t truly know him but honor him at this service. Holding my frame as stiff as a board beneath the dark, rumbling sky of churning clouds – the perfect weather to send him off – I twist my buttons, trying to make sure they all point in the same direction. It’s a trivial thing to be focused on at a grave site, but my obsessiveness won’t allow me to stop until I fix them all.

I guess most people would be sad attending two family members’ funerals so close together. I’m not. We buried Grandfather Leonard not long ago. I didn’t cry. I didn’t know him. I didn’t know what I was missing by not knowing him. I don’t have any grandparents on my mother’s side either. I wasn’t his real grandchild anyway – and he never fussed over his own children – so why would he fuss over their children? I’m wearing the same black dress. My black hat covers my long blonde hair, fashioned into a bun. A veil conceals my face. I’m not crying for the loss of this man either, but no one can tell. Another rumble of thunder sounds before lightning crackles and splits the clouds. It seems appropriate that the sky swell up and spit on him for me. The pearly gates will not open to welcome him. No, he will not spend a single moment of eternity in a peaceful state.

There is no open casket, no public viewing. The authorities recovered his boat with evidence of some blood, a few strands of hair, and empty alcohol bottles. It was a logical conclusion that he fell, bumped his head, and went into the water. They did not recover his body. Too bad, I may find some morbid sense of satisfaction seeing him laying there in a coffin dead.

This ceremony over an empty grave seems very strange. Among all these tearful people mourning and sharing embraces, I separate myself and look at them. I can see the fear in some of their faces. He died very young and they’re afraid of death. I scan the cemetery. So many headstones, so many graves, they all contain secrets – even the empty ones. I stand alone, twisting these buttons, counting the reasons I’m glad he’s dead.

How far can a person’s memory reach? I search back, willing myself to find an earlier memory, but always come up with the same. I must have others, but when I replay my past it freezes there and repeats like a stuttering compact disk at around the age of three.

It was an early fall day. Warm sunshine heated the top of my head which made the breeze feel cooler on my cheeks. Brilliantly clear skies stretched above me as far as I could see. Puffy white clouds – that I viewed as different animals – were arranged like works of art across the blue canvas, and I watched them march away into the distance.

Vibrant colored leaves swirled through the air, sailed in circles, landed at my feet, and were picked up again to float like orange, red, and yellow butterflies to a new perch. One could mistake this for a good memory, a happy memory. Behind the pretty façade ― lays the ugliness of the true event  the beginning of the end.

Colors and sunshine are vivid, but the rest of the memory is dim and vague – very fuzzy – maybe because I want it that way. Taking my hand, he led me to a small, dark, quiet room. I felt a bit of anticipation, excitement. Perhaps a surprise? I heard a strange noise. My stomach felt very sick. It feels the same now as I recall the moment.

I didn’t understand what was happening. I turned to run. I wanted my mom, but I was pulled back. I gagged, coughed, and choked. I was yanked out into the light and pulled to the bathroom. My mom came then, and I felt a sense of relief. I wanted to tell her what happened, but, what did happen? I didn’t know the words. I didn’t know how to describe it. Besides, I was gagging so hard that no words would form.

I heard his voice. He told my mother he found me that way – acting like I’d vomit. My mom held me over the toilet and smoothed my hair back. She told me it was okay. ‘Let it out,’ she said – I did. She washed me off and wiped my face with a cool cloth.

She dressed me in my pajamas and tucked me into bed. Sitting up with me to read me stories, she rubbed my belly and held my hand – such a good mommy. She would have fought the entire world to keep me safe, but, there wasn’t anything out in the world that was more dangerous than being under that roof. She felt me start to relax and doze off. I sensed that she was removing my hand from hers. I cried again, not wanting her to leave me alone.

For a long time after that, I followed my mom everywhere. I didn’t want to be left alone. No, it wasn’t safe to be alone. I know it probably got on her nerves that she couldn’t take a step without me being underfoot. I remember her complaining sometimes, and adults trying to explain it using separation anxiety and such terms.

The bereaved move forward and startle me from my painful thoughts, laying flowers on the site, whispering last prayers and farewells. I stand still. A hand at my back drags me further away from my memories. My mother, Carol, is beside me. She has her hair, as blonde as mine, pulled back and pinned at the nape of her neck. She also wears a hat, but it has no veil. Similar in size and stature, we could easily be mistaken for one another from the back or at a distance. Looking into her arctic blue eyes, a shade paler than my own, I see no tears falling, but the residue of earlier emotions is not quite dry on her cheeks.

My stepfather, tall with broad shoulders, graying brown hair, grief flooding his usually sparkling aquamarine eyes, stands front and center with flowers in his strong hands, waiting to place them on the grave of his only brother. I admire this man who married my mother and brought us out of poverty. Yes, we were poor before Luther Wellman came along. Living in a trailer park in a very tiny mobile home, we didn’t have much, but we had each other. That is the story – the way my mom tells it, anyway. I don’t remember my real father, or a time before I was Hope Wellman. My step father loves me. He gave me his last name, a home, and a family because he’s thoroughly devoted to my mother.

If my mother never met Luther, it could have been different . Our lives would be awful if she married my real father – an abusive womanizer. He left colorful evidence of his violent tyrannical binges upon Mom’s pretty alabaster face and body on many occasions. He didn’t stop the abuse when he knew she was pregnant.

Mom decided to run – for her sake and her unborn child. Of course, that is also as told by my mom. I couldn’t personally verify it, but, the remnants of terror and regret haunting my mother’s gaze as she imparted this piece of her past convinced me of its veracity. The history and circumstance in which I received my name; I was my mother’s hope for the future.

Mom was working two jobs to pay our way in the world. She earned enough to afford that little slice of trailer park heaven we called home, and give our elderly neighbor a small amount to care for me when she was working nights as a waitress at a tiny little diner. She could bring me with her to her day job as a cleaning lady for the Bishops.

The Bishop family was very good to my mother while they employed her. The pay wasn’t spectacular, and the job was doing menial tasks, but they let her bring me with her to work, allowing me to play in the nursery with their little boy and girl under the supervision of their nanny as part of my mother’s compensation. She could be close at hand and didn’t have to pay a sitter for both days and nights. This was the beginning, how Mom became part of a fairytale – a Cinderella of sorts.

Frederick Bishop and Luther Wellman were – and are – best friends and business partners. Luther Wellman’s father had more money than he could spend – he has told me as much. Luther didn’t want a handout. His own mother had come from humble beginnings. His maternal grandfather had built his own business from the ground up. Their money wasn’t inherited; it was earned. That was the way Luther wanted to build his own wealth. He didn’t want to rely on his family’s fortune.

When his college friend, Frederick Bishop, offered him an opportunity to rebuild a business – with an investment of a lot of hard work and a bit of cash – Luther eagerly grabbed it with both hands. He loved the idea of rebuilding an old hotel and he dreamed of a chain of hotels across the state, maybe even across the country one day.

It wouldn’t be one of the posh hotels his father would prefer. It would be a nice enough hotel, where people could get a good night’s rest and pleasant service – a comfortable place that was affordable. Luther envisioned a place where you could stay for a night or a week, close to conveniences and attractions but off the beaten path so you could still have privacy. He wanted his guests to have the feeling of getting away from it all – a luxury vacation at a better price. He set off on this journey with Frederick and made all their plans a reality. They own a chain of hotels called The HideAways.

Luther often talks about the day Frederick married Miriam. He tells me it was the day that sparked his dream of my mother, or at least the idea of her. He stood up as best man and gave a tear inducing toast at the reception. He envied his best friend’s discovery of a soul mate and the happiness they found together. Frederick’s life became complete; he achieved his financial goals and his personal ones. Luther first tried to fill the void by having Lucas come to work with him, but Lucas was still bent on capturing the attention – or maybe affection – of their father. Lucas went to work for Leonard Wellman at the bank instead, hoping to feel his father’s pride beam warm upon him.

Luther and Frederick regularly met to handle business matters at the Bishop home. As Luther tells it, he walked into the Bishop home expecting to find Frederick and Miriam in the kitchen, but he bumped into Mom, who was all business in her housekeeper’s dress and apron, wielding a sponge in her rubber gloved hands and speaking to a small blonde child, a perfect little angel – me.

Mom apologized without need; it was he who almost bowled her over. He couldn’t manage to get any words past the lump in his throat. Whenever Luther tells the story, he imparts how thoroughly unimpressed Mom seemed to be as she excused herself with a polite smile and went back to her work.

Mom never gave him a second glance while he stood rooted to the same spot on the kitchen floor trying to come up with a reason to be there. His magical rendition of their fateful meeting always relayed the same sentiment: He’d get to know her no matter how long it took., but, Mom didn’t come around easily if you ask him. No, she found it difficult to trust his intentions. Luther says he flirted and wooed her until she couldn’t resist his charming advances any longer. She was hesitant to take him seriously because she didn’t want to lose her job. She couldn’t lose her job.

The Bishops didn’t approve of Luther’s interest in their housekeeper. They also didn’t want anything to happen that would cause a rift between them and their employee. Luther paid no attention to their castigation. Eventually, the Bishops relented with their disparaging remarks to Luther believing his interest would wither and the affair would end.

To everyone’s surprise, Mom and Luther’s romance blossomed. Luther fully accepted me. So it was: a new life, a happy family. I can never repay Luther for his kindness to me and my mother. If Mom didn’t meet Luther, we would still be in that tiny little mobile home struggling to make ends meet, but then I also wouldn’t know the personal terror inflicted on me by his half brother – terror I never shared with another single sole. Luther’s father, Leonard, had remarried several much younger women. One of these women, Helena, bore him a son and they named him Lucas.

Filtering through my veil, a drop of rain lands on my upturned nose. Staring off at the sky.; my body is still and the bottom of my black dress is rustling around my legs. I remain on that piece of grass next to the grave, but my mind is up there twisting and turning with the clouds. Their hypnotic, slow rolling motions makes me wish my memories would get wrapped up and blow away in them.

Movement on the ground alerts me that Luther and the immediate family members are filing out of the cemetery. Prayers are over and everyone is heading toward their vehicles in somber procession. We’re all expected to ride in a macabre parade to my parents’ home for the repast.

The sky opens up, and it begins to pour. The heavens have been patient and polite enough to wait for us to finish up before unleashing their fury on the symbolic resting place of Lucas Wellman.

I climb in the back seat of the car with my mother and stepfather. No one speaks. I curl and uncurl an errant strand of my hair around my finger, stopping with it curled again and rest the back of my hand against my cheek as I stare out the window at the clouds again. Maybe, after all the distressful chaos of the day is over, I’ll be able to put the past out of my mind. Maybe I’ll finally forget. I try to focus on the sound of the rain tapping against the glass, but can’t drown out my thoughts.

I felt excited about starting a new school for first grade, and joining a new group of kids who didn’t already think I was weird. That is the best way I can describe it.

There was a falling out between brothers not long after we moved in with Luther, or at least that was the impression I got. I was glad. A tiny thought echoed in the back of my mind: perhaps Luther and Mom knew what happened.

I heard some muffled arguments between them. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but it felt as if they were arguing about Lucas. I convinced myself they were. They knew what happened. They knew he was a shameful snake; that was why he didn’t come around anymore. I hoped he’d be banned forever, but no such luck.

He arrived one snowy day near the holidays and wanted to talk with Luther. They locked themselves in the library for a very long time. I sat in the hall in an alcove out of sight, staring at that door waiting for it to open. They stood in the hall together and shook hands. Cold fear crawled over my skin and seeped into my veins, spreading slowly through my body. Its steely fingers clamped around my heart and squeezed it, then plummeted straight to the bottom of my stomach, sinking like a lead weight. I froze. Luther reached out to embrace Lucas. He caught a glimpse of me in the alcove and his eyes found mine. He didn’t look away.

I ran and hid in the attic; it was a reprieve. Eventually, I had to come down. When darkness fell over my room I was under the covers of my bed waiting for my living nightmare to restart – praying it wouldn’t. Shivering, tense, my ears strained to hear the slightest noise: the creek of the door, footsteps light on the carpet. Alarms rang inside my head with the nauseating smells of aftershave and brandy.

Terrifyingly cold hands reached under the covers, pried my hands from the bedspread I was holding tightly around myself as though it was powerful and keeping me safe. My hands unwillingly released my shield. It was useless against that evil. I rested them at my side and closed my eyes, preparing for the flight of consciousness. I willed it to lift me from that place and take me somewhere beautiful, somewhere happy, somewhere safe.

Those icy hands continued pulling while warnings were whispered. The air was crushed out of my lungs. Something scraped against my baby soft skin. A wet mouth, a wickedly hoarse voice crooned praises I couldn’t stand to hear. Long slender fingers of ice moved along the ends of nerves, each cold spark another step away from reality. Bile rose, threatening to spew forth, tears were streaming.

Contempt and cries were bit back, swallowed and pushed down while defense mechanisms took over. To save sanity, to protect the soul, they transported the mind far away from what was happening in that room so it would not experience the horror played out on the flesh and body.

This sadistic ritual, this feeding on innocence, would take place rather quickly, but it never seemed that way. When it was over, the contamination of youth was washed away. Last came horrifying rationalizations that it was special because I belonged to him; he was preparing me for my future. Damn him for that – more horrible than any physical act endured; he made me dread what the future held for me.

I glance at Luther, staring out the window at the place of future visits to lay flowers and remember his only brother. “Life holds wonderful moments when you think you have far more than you deserve, but it isn’t always fair. He left this life so soon,” he says. Within my head, I disagree silently; I think it’s the greatest justice ever served.

With a solemn and serious expression Luther turns to  me, and I do my best to appear to be counting raindrops against the window. He reaches out to touch Mom’s cheek, and she covers his hand with her own, places it in her lap while smoothing his palm with hers as she rests her head on his shoulder. Luther places his head on his wife’s head and closes his eyes. “Carol, you and Hope are my blessings, the things I’m grateful for, the gifts I’m amazed at receiving. I wouldn’t be able to get through this without you,” he says as he lifts his head and grips Mom’s hand a little tighter. She squeezes back as the car approaches our neighborhood.

*BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY* ~Trial of Love, The Slave Bound Series #1, by Christina Ow

 Passionate and Spicy Page-Turning Regency!

We are SO pleased to welcome Christina Ow and her blog tour for her fantastic Regency Romance, Trial of Love, to our little corner of Cyber-Space. Scroll down to find out about the book, read my review and enter the author’s super giveaway!

Trial Of Love, a turbulent love story about a slave from America and the Earl who saved her from a fate worse than death. An ADULT read.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00015]Book Blurb

After her mother’s death, Melanie’s life in America is full of heartache. Still, she has never allowed herself to despair. She was responsible for the care of her beloved father. Then he remarried a woman too wicked to be considered a mother to Melanie or her two sisters. After years of abuse, the stepmother sells Melanie off – to work in a brothel, and about to be sold to the highest bidder. Through a series of fortuitous events, Melanie falls into the care of Christopher, Earl of Ashworth, who has family issues of her own. The solution to his problems—and redemption for Melanie—wind together toward destiny.

My Review

Passionate and Spicy Regency Romance! 18+ Read

WOW, what a page-turner! Trial of Love is a passionate, spicy and compulsive Regency Romance, which takes place on both sides of the Atlantic. It encapsulates ALL of the aspects I seek in an historical read: a strong heroine; a hero to die for; a credible and imaginative plot; plenty of drama and emotion and SMOKING HOT love-making scenes! Moreover, Christina Ow ’s writing is both fresh and vibrant and gifts the reader with a memorable emotional journey.

I found myself immediately rooting for the heroine Melanie. She is selfless and caring, particularly towards her siblings and has natural beauty inside and out. Melanie has a real zest for life, despite the abuse dished out to her at home by her drunken gambler father and her detestable stepmother and is determined to escape a future as a slave.

Christopher, Lord Ashworth, is an out and out Alpha male, who although drop dead gorgeous has a number of flaws arising from a troubled childhood. A man of strong passions, he uses women to satisfy his lusts and is determined to keep emotion at bay. He fears to trust, believing it will make him vulnerable and does not know how to deal with deeper emotions such as love.

Despite Christopher’s outlook, he is completely disarmed by Melanie, who is unexpectedly thrust into his life and the couple’s developing romance is expertly executed by the author. There is plenty of sexual tension, which culminate in some extremely sensual lovemaking scenes. However,  this is no straightforward love story. What starts off as a sweet and passionate romance morphs into one which contains some tempestuous scenes, violence, pain and heartbreak as mistrust rears its ugly head. A handful of scenes had me reaching for the tissues.

The supporting characters in the novel are very well drawn. Chistopher’s grandmother Nancy is a strong and fascinating character in her own right, as is Nicholas, Lord Townson, Christopher’s friend. The other main secondary characters include the servants, who really take Melanie to their hearts, and a man whose actions cast a shadow on the couple’s happiness. Christopher in particular has lessons to learn and he and Melanie have their own trials to bear as their enemy seeks to drive a wedge between them with heart-rending consequences. There are some dark themes, which involve violence to the heroine, on one occasion at the hands 0f the hero, but these scenes are not gratuitous and are important to the plot and character development. Indeed, the author deals sensitively with some very deep emotions.

I recommend this novel to lovers of Regency Romances, who like a spicy and emotional read. I am VERY much looking forward to other reads in this series, including the prequel, Lady Nancy and A Lady Unbecoming, which sees Nicholas, the Earl of Townson, Christopher’s friend, getting his own story.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this book was given to me by the author for fair and honest review.

Trial of Love published by Secondwind Publishing

Cover design by Stacy Castanedo

Read an Excerpt

Hallo again,” Carl whispered, pressing her tight against him.
Melanie felt her body go cold at his touch. Quickly she placed her hands on his chest and pushed him away. Nicholas grabbed her hand and pulled her behind him. “What have you done to the lady, Mr. Meed?” He asked harshly.
Carl gave a slight bow, “Nothing Lord Townson.”
“It didn’t look like nothing,” Nancy pushed standing up and moving to Melanie. “Dove, you look pale. What’s the matter?”
Melanie pulled a tight smile over her lips and shook her head, “Forgive me. He took me by surprise and I reacted.”
“See, it was all a misunderstanding.” Carl spoke with a casual laugh.
Nancy nodded, moving back to her seat.
Carl moved towards them and Melanie fought the urge to hide further behind Nicholas. He held out his hand, eyeing her. “May I have this dance?”
She wanted to yell ‘go to hell’ and run out, but, she wasn’t that uneducated girl anymore. She was supposed to either politely decline and make up an excuse or accept.
“You can have the next one Carl,” Nicholas spoke firmly, taking Melanie’s hand and starting the dance. “What did he really do to you Melanie?”
He bought me!

About the Author

Christina OW writes suspense, thrillers, erotica, interracial and multicultural romance books. She is the author of Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal, Regency Romance books and a poet of currently 3 titles. She loves reading novels that take her on a ride of wild emotions. Books have always been an escape for her, for a few hours she gets to live the lives of characters she grows to cherish and admire. She’s always had an active imagination and because of it has lived in her head more than she has been in the outside world. She always imagined scenarios and wondered how they would turn out in the end, and what kind of emotions they would invoke. Thus began her writing career.

Questions to the Author

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My love for reading novels started a very long time, about when I was 10 or 11. I was in awe of how a person’s imagination could just take form and fill up pages. I loved the fact that I would read the words and watch it play out in my mind. Some of the books became way more interesting than watching TV!
I’m a person who lives in her head more than the outside world because off all the stories in my head. So I figured maybe I should put down all the stories I had in my head on paper, and share them, see if everyone else loved them as much as I did.

What about historical/regency romance?
I wasn’t much of a fan because the books I’d read so far the characters just seemed stuffy and annoying. But then I found several books published by Second Wind Publishing and I was hooked!  Their books were more than just trying to be historically accurate, they had everything and they seemed to come alive through the words and I couldn’t stop reading them. I’m a huge Regency fan now.

Do you have a favorite and a least favorite scene in the book?
Yes, I do have a favorite scene and a scene that I didn’t like writing but was necessary in the book. A person’s character is built buy the positive and negative things in their lives and the same goes for books.

Is TOL apart of the series? How many books are in the series?
Yes, Trial of Love is apart of the series and the first book. So far, there are 3 books in the series, TOL, A Lady Unbecoming and Lady Nancy.
I’m still playing with the idea of adding more books about some of the supporting characters in TOL. I’ll see how these 3 books go first then take it from there.

Any more new releases for 2014 from you?
Yes. His Paris Affair (Albury Affairs #3) will be out in late June and I’m expecting Book #2 of the Slave Bound series A Lady Unbecoming to be released later on this year.

Contact the Author:

Website

Goodreads

Facebook page- Christina OW

Twitter- @Christina_OW

Google +

Blog- Read Me .

See you in the pages of Trial Of Love!

Enter the Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f774880/

Click on the link above to enter for a chance to win some super prizes, including e-book and paperback copies of Trial of Love! Good luck!

~REVIEW BLITZ~ for *Claiming Ecstasy* by Madeline Pryce~

CE-Banner-Correct-w-Book

Today we are participating in Madeline Pryce’s Review Blitz to celebrate the release of Claiming Ecstasy, the author’s sizzling erotic paranormal romance with attitude! Read on for the blurb, my review, the purchase links and to connect with Madeline! Tina ❤

Blurb

Jolie Dupree is prophesied to bring an end to the deadly war waging between the vampires and the Seelie court. Groomed from birth by a vicious mother, Jolie knows her future can only end in blood–and the murder of the one man she can’t resist. Consumed with guilt, Jolie can’t fight the lure of Nicolas Larkin, the vampire king. She returns to him over and over, every caress of pain and every stroke of pleasure drawing her deeper into the darkness. She must decide between the concrete and the chaos, the light and the dark, for her choice will tip the scales between good and evil, and quite possibly cost Jolie her soul.

My Review

ClaimingEcstasy_MSR (2) A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Release Date: May 14th, 2014

Price: $1.99 (1.49 @ Ellora’s Cave)

Genre: Erotic, Paranormal (Vampire)

Length: Quickie (10,000 words – meant to be devoured in one sinfully delicious sitting)

 

Gothic Inspired Erotic Love Fest Par Excellence

Oh my giddy aunt! If Claiming Ecstasy is a taster for what this author is capable of in the hot stakes then bring on the main course and serve it now! I should explain that I am a little late in joining the Madeline Pryce Party, but I’m sure that a few late nights reading, with a glass of wine or two, will see me catching up with the author’s back list in no time!

Well back to what I thought of Claiming Ecstasy. I COULD say that it is a short, but scorching erotic paranormal romance and it certainly is, BUT this would be doing it a disservice. Instead, I would describe this intense and delicious read as a Gothic inspired love fest par excellence! It emphasizes not just the physical but the psychological link between the two protagonists/lovers, who, as magical beings, together represent the perfect balance between darkness and light. It is decadent, explicit and mind blowing!

I loved the settings, the emotion, the passion and the heat between this couple who seriously rocked my world! The read gave me enough insight into their backstories to give both them and the plot sufficient depth, painting a picture of two souls that are destined to be together but who political intrigue, guilt and past promises may doom. Never has a sexual surrender been so hard fought for and so deeply resisted and so deliciously portrayed. I strongly recommend it is read in one sitting (although reclining on my bed or a half dozen satin cushions are often my preferred positions). An ideal erotic read to indulge in if spending the night alone or in anticipation of a significant other. 😉

Reviewed by Tina Williams 

A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of an honest review. 

Buy Links

CE-Re-Surrender-Satis (3)

Amazon       Amazon UK        Amazon CA         Amazon AU

BN         Kobo        Ellora’s Cave

Goodreads

About Madeline Pryce

Madeline Pryce wrote her first novel when she was ten, penned with neon-pink ink in a loose-leaf binder. Captivated by romantic literature, yet intrigued by the paranormal, she continues to develop her own voice, writing the kinds of stories that inspired her as a teen.

Author Links

Blog – http://madelinepryce.blogspot.com

Group Blog – http://sevensinfulscribes.com

Facebook Page – http://facebook.com/madelinepryceauthor

Facebook (I welcome friends!) – http://facebook.com/madeline.pryce

Facebook Fan Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/madelineprycefanclub/

Twitter – http://twitter.com/madelinepryce

Back list/Coming soon

Ellora’s Cave

Dark Cravings (Dark #1)

Dark Innocence (Dark #1.5)

Claiming Ecstasy – May 14th

Wicked Magic – June 11th

Dark Secrets (Dark #2) – July 2014

Loose Id

Crimson Sins (Born in Death #1) – May 21st

~*Red Hot Obsessions*~ COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY

Boxed Set of Hot and Sexy Contemporary Romances!

WOO HOO! Get an eyeful of the cover reveal for RED HOT OBSESSIONS, an awesome boxed set of ten hot & sexy books by 10 bestselling authors! Check out the blurb and enter the super GIVEAWAY! Tina 🙂

COVER Red Hot Obsessions (2)

Title: Red Hot Obsessions (Boxed Set)
Publication Date: June 16th, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Wordcount: 800000+ or about 3000 pages

*** 10 TALES OF ROMANCE FROM 10 BEST SELLING AUTHORS *** Over 3000 pages worth of books! ON SALE FOR A LIMITED TIME ~ ONLY 99c!

Ten top selling authors come together to bring you ten titillating full-length novels of love, passion, discovery and anticipation designed to tease the senses. Your next obsession starts here. Hot men. Lusty women. Dirty, raw, and arousing. Enough angst to twist your insides. From first kisses, to dangerous encounters and college seductions, we’ve collected all your favorite stories and combined them into one scintillating read filled with the confident, sexy and mysterious bad boys that will make even the nicest girl’s heart throb with desire.

————–
His Wicked Games by Ember Casey
Lily Frazer would do anything to save the Frazer Center for the Arts–even take on the infamous billionaire Calder Cunningham. The mysterious Calder is willing to give her the money she needs, but there’s a catch: she must win it from him. And the games he has in mind aren’t exactly… innocent.
————–
Fierce by Clarissa Wild 
Hot. Sexy. Bad. Very Bad.
Three words that mean trouble to geeky book-nerd Autumn Blakewood. Big trouble.
Hunter Bane is a cocky, confident bad-boy with secrets of his own. Sex oozes from his veins. Just the type Autumn needs … to avoid. Getting through college is her number one priority, but Hunter keeps getting under her skin. Resisting the urge to give in to his advances, a game of tug and war begins. Too bad for her he won’t give up the fight to claim her heart. A Hunter always catches his prey.
————–
That First Kiss by J.C. Valentine
Cocky, self-assured Tate Larson is a playboy with no intentions of settling down anytime soon, but that’s all about to change.
One night.
One dance.
One explosive encounter.
When the unexpected happens, they struggle to deny their growing attraction and to keep their distance in a relationship that requires anything but.
————–
Slow Burn by V.J. Chambers 
Leigh’s new bodyguard Griffin is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and she wants him bad. But Griffin’s only interest in Leigh’s body seems to be, well, guarding it. Danger thrusts them closer together, and Leigh discovers that Griffin is guarding a painful secret. Until she knows the truth, she and Griffin can never truly be together.
————–
Layers Deep by Lacey Silks 
He needs her to save a friend.
She needs him to plan her revenge.
Their pasts scar them Layers Deep.
Their passion distracts them…
…and distractions can be fatal.
Determined to keep her mother safe from the past, Allie Green, an ex-cop, accepts a job for private investigator Tristan Cross. The task: to save his ex-girlfriend from a sex-trafficking drug lord.
Her new mouth watering boss doesn’t make it easy to focus on her new job and the revenge she’s seeking. He vows to keep her mother safe, but will his need for Allie blind him from keeping her safe?
————–
Learning Curves by Olivia Rigal 
During a cooking workshop in Paris, George, a handsome taciturn writer, falls hard for the lively Mary. He’s in luck since she’s decided to enjoy all life had to offer. Her brother Peter realizes that curvaceous chef Ariane is quickly becoming his sweet obsession. While craving the passion the sexy American promises, the lovely French cook is tempted to protect her heart …
————–
Can’t Shake You by Molly McLain
Lovers to friends to lovers…could it get more complicated? When Carissa Brandt’s contractor turns out to be a cheat, it seems her only lifeline is the proffered hand of Josh Hudson—the sexy Marine who left her aching for more than their single night together three years ago. Will working together finally extinguish the attraction lingering between them? Or will the smoldering embers of their passionate rendezvous ignite all over again and set aflame the friendships they cherish the most?
————–
His Indecent Lessons by Sky Corgan 
Cheyenne Grear was looking forward to college. College would provide a smorgasbord of educated men who would be dying for her attention. At least, that’s what she hoped.
She never expected to fall for someone much older and totally inaccessible.
Damien Reed is confident, sexy, and everything a man should be. The only problem is, he doesn’t even seem to know that Cheyenne exists.
When a stunt in thievery changes everything, Cheyenne is thrust into a life of sexual bliss and emotional anguish. Torn between the two, she must decide if pursuing Damien will lead to happiness or destruction.
————–
Sorority Pledge by Daizie Draper
College students, Addison and Logan, sizzle together and relish the power exchange when he spanks her for a prank, and they dive into a steamy but rocky romance centered on the edgy bliss of Dominance and submission. But lifestyle kink and the intensity of their untested passions may be way too hot for them to handle.
————–
Rae Omnibus by Blair Babylon
One wild quickie with a sexy stranger will change Rae’s life forever.
Rae wants to build a clinic for autistic kids, but her college scholarship is yanked and her dream is doomed. She goes to an upscale party and has a wild quickie with a man who offers her a job that scares her, but she screws her courage to the sticking place and becomes Lady Macbeth, Domme of the Devilhouse. She’s found the money to stay in college, but will the secretive Wulf turn out to be her Prince Charming or the Devil who tempts her to ruin?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/redhotboxedsets?fref=nf

Sign up to get an email when the boxed set is released: http://eepurl.com/TW7HP

$20 Gift Card
10 E-ARCs of Red Hot Obsessions
CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE TO ENTER AND GOOD LUCK!

* BLOG TOUR* Bastard’s Brew, Family Portrait vol. 3, by Gillian Felix

BrewTour banner

HUGE welcome today to Gillian Felix’s new novel, Bastard’s Brew, volume 3 of the Family Portrait series. We not only have the book blurb, but also an excerpt to wet your appetite and a super giveaway where you can win an autographed copy of Bastard’s Brew (US only), a digital copy of Bastard’s Brew (worldwide) and a digital copy of Banovic Siblings (worldwide)!

Book Blurb

When L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.

“You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.”-Savi

Kevin desires to be the man that L’Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L’Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?   Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he’d be damned if he let her have his heart. Suitable for adults 18+Bastards Brew 300px

Excerpt

L’Wren did her meet and greets after the show, chatting with fashion scouts and receiving compliments from everyone. As the place cleared out, she looked around for Kevin and spotted him assisting with the cleanup. “Hey, you.” She beamed. “Congratulations, that was awesome.”

He smiled. “How did it go with the scouts?”

“I have two meetings set up for next week!”

“You did it!”

“We did it. This could not have happened without you. All the work you put in and in such a short amount of time.”

“It was fun,” he replied.

“A lot of work,” she pointed out.

“The fun is in the journey,”he replied, and their eyes locked.

“Thank you,” she said seriously, and he nodded. “I’m gonna grab a broom.” She needed to get away is what she told herself, but really, she wanted to kiss him.

“No, don’t. I hired a couple of high school kids to clean up.” He stuck his hands into his back pockets to curb the desire to pull her into his arms.

“You thought of everything.” She tried to unlock her eyes from his, but for some reason, his eyes felt like a magnet pulling her in. Her phone rang, interrupting the moment. “It’s Leighann. She’s stuck in her dress,” L’Wren said and turned to walk away. In a moment of courage she turned back around to face him. “You wanna hang out sometime?” She held her breath and waited for an answer.

He studied her for a moment. His silence almost made her regret asking. “No,” came the reply, which stabbed her heart like a blade. Feeling like a fool, she turned away. “I want to cook you dinner.” His words came suddenly. She looked at him questioningly.

“I don’t hang out. I’d rather cook you dinner, you and Leighann. Come by the manor tomorrow evening.”

L’Wren was pleasantly surprised; she walked over and kissed him lightly on his cheek and quickly headed to his office/makeshift dressing room to rescue Leighann.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Smashwords   Enter coupon code: RS54B for 50% discount. Enter coupon code: FX48M for 10% discount off The Banovic Siblings

iTunes

Want to give the series a try? Changes the first novel in the series is on promotion on Amazon

Giveaway

Click on the Rafflecopter link for a chance to win the following great prizes from the author: an autographed copy of Bastard’s Brew (US only), a digital copy of Bastard’s Brew (worldwide) and a digital copy of Banovic Siblings (worldwide). Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjUzMTkyNzE4NTcwZjY1MDliNWU1MGM0MWRiMzMwOjU=/

For a previous post on our blog featuring this series by Gillian Felix, click on the following link to read about book #2 The Banovic Siblings, Friends and Liars: https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/01/28/banovic-siblings-friends-and-liars-2-in-the-family-portrait-series-by-gillian-felix/

 

 

~*~ BLOG TOUR ~*~ Nights Embrace (Others of Seattle: Book 1), by Brandy L. Rivers

Adult Paranormal Romance

 Today we are featuring Brandy L. River’s super new release, NIGHTS EMBRACE, the first book in the OTHERS OF SEATTLE series, an exciting Adult Paranormal Romance. Read on for a synopsis, excerpt and trailer, find out about the author and enter her giveaway to win some great swag packs and gift cards. Tina 🙂

Nights Embrace - Tour Banner

 Title – Nights Embrace
Series – Others of Seattle: Book 1
Author – Brandy L Rivers
Genre – Adult Paranormal Romance
Publication Date – April 2nd 2014
Length (Pages/# Words) – about 95k
Publisher – Brandy L Rivers
Cover Artist – Brandy L Rivers

Book Cover

BOOK SYNOPSIS 

It all started with a song.
Roxana Nights was late to another gig, thanks to her first love, and drummer. It’s been years since she left Jordan, but he won’t let her go. Then she hears a voice that pulls her under a spell and changes her whole world.
Trevor Malone just moved to Seattle with his band. Music is his only passion, until he lays eyes on Roxana. He’s never felt anything as strong as the pull to her. Now he needs to find a way to introduce her to his world.
There’s only one problem. A rival clan won’t rest until they’ve taken Trevor’s down. Unwilling to let old grudges die, they target Roxy. Trevor will do anything to keep her safe.
Roxy will find that the world she writes is closer to reality than she ever imagined. She’ll also learn that not all monsters are evil, though some are ruthless.
Will love stay strong when the past comes out? Can they survive the centuries old vendetta?

Full Wrap

 

TOUR-BUYTBRLINK

Amazon | Nook | Smashwords | Kobo

ADD TO YOUR GOODREADS TBR LIST

TOUR-EXCERPTShe slipped past him, and onto the wings of the stage. Her gaze fell on Mr. Voice who was tall, dark and smokin’ hot.
Holy shit, I want to lick him.
Scuffed combat boots were laced up over black leather pants that clung to muscular thighs, and his black shirt molded to the most impressive set of abs she had ever seen. Roxy wanted to trace the ridges with her fingertips.
He turned, his voice dropping low as his eyes locked on hers. His words enveloped her. “… you’re the only one.”
Her heart paused a beat before slamming into her chest at a rapid pace. His full mouth lifted into a grin that spoke of confidence as he held her full attention. Entranced, she fell deep into his eyes and the world stopped.
Until a drumstick hit him in the head. He looked over his shoulder and shrugged sheepishly at his drummer before turning back to launch into the next verse.
Mikey gently shook her shoulder. “Hey, Rox, come on. We have to warm up.”
Her head bobbed in a nod at her brother, but she didn’t look over. She muttered, “Yeah, give me a minute,” or longer.
As if he heard, Mr. Voice glanced over and winked at her before the next song started. “Blinded by beauty, falling at first sight, head over heels…” There was raw passion in his voice, and she couldn’t help wishing he was singing about her.

TOUR-MEETAUTHOR

 Author Photo

AUTHOR BIO
My name is Brandy L Rivers. I’m a wife and mother of three with an overactive imagination. I’ve been obsessed with monsters and magic for pretty much ever. I decided to write the stories that keep me awake at night.

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR HERE
Amazon Author Page | Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Tumblr | Networked Blogs | Bloglovin | Goodreads | Shelfari

Giveaway

2 – signed copies of Nights Embrace with swag packs (US Only)

2 – $10 dollar Amazon Giftcards (International)

5 – eBook copies of Nights Embrace with Swag Packs (International)

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

Tour Organized By:
myfamilyheartbutton

~*BLOG BLITZ*~ The Tycoon’s Reluctant Bride, by Jenn Roseton*~

We are just SO HAPPY to be one of the hosts for the super Blog Blitz for Jenn Roseton’s awesome new read The Tycoon’s Reluctant Bride! The hero in this novella is not only a city tycoon, but a part-time cowboy – excuse me while I swoon! Scroll on down to find out more, including a peek at the cover and the book blurb, purchase links, a sexy excerpt and author bio and links. Tina 🙂

reluctant bride updated  

BOOK INFO

Title – The Tycoon’s Reluctant Bride

Series – BBW Romance – Billionaire Brothers 2

Author – Jenn Roseton

Genre – Sexy contemporary romance

Publication Date – May 1, 2014

Length (Pages/# Words) – Approx 25,000 words

Publisher – Jenn Roseton

Final Cover TycoonsReluctantBride  

BOOK BLURB/SYNOPSIS

When city tycoon and part-time cowboy Alex Trask proposes to curvy Laura, she thinks he’s crazy. After all, they’ve only met once and haven’t even kissed! But when he offers to help her company solve its cash flow problems and stave off bankruptcy, what other choice does she have?

Since he’ll only assist her if she agrees to marry him, Laura becomes a whirlwind bride. Since one of Alex’s conditions is they have a real marriage, she risks her heart by falling in love with the enigmatic billionaire.

But will she ever discover the real reason Alex proposed? Could he ever fall in love with a curvy girl like her?

BUY & TBR LINKS

AMAZON KINDLE / AMAZON PAPERBACK / GOODREADS 

EXCERPT

“The bed’s comfortable.” A sexy grin rumpled the corners of his mouth. “I come here whenever I can get away from the city.”

Alone? Laura wanted to ask, but didn’t, in case she didn’t like the answer. A sudden thought occurred to her. What if … what if their definitions of marriage differed?

“Alex.” She licked suddenly dry lips, barely aware that he’d caught the small movement and turned all his attention on her. “When … when you said a real marriage …” she paused. This was so awkward. Why on earth hadn’t she thought of this before she’d married him?

“I meant a real marriage.” He pulled her towards him, until there was barely an inch of space separating their bodies.

Finding it hard to think, let alone breathe, Laura tried again. “Yes, but what about … other people?”

He scowled. “There won’t be any one else in our marriage, Laura,” he said firmly. “Just you and me.”

Relief flooded through her. “Okay,” she whispered, allowing herself to relax in his embrace.

The next instant, he tightened his arms around her. “I hope we’re clear on this point,” he growled.

“Very,” she managed to utter, before he kissed her.

His lips claimed hers, his tongue demanding immediate entry. Surrendering with a small sigh, Laura curled her arms around his neck as he deepened the kiss.

Tycoon - Author Photo

 

AUTHOR BIO

Jenn Roseton believes that romance and happy endings go together. When she’s not writing, she indulges in delicious gourmet chocolate.

Although she’s spent time in Wyoming, unfortunately she didn’t meet a sexy cowboy of her own.

FOLLOW LINKS

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE / WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS / SHELFARI

 

Tour Organized By:

myfamilyheartbutton

~*Living Life Backwards*~ by Peter Wells ~ Review and Author Interview

~Temptation in Paradise~

20931277

 

LIVING LIFE BACKWARDS is Peter Wells’ first novel, which focuses on the issues of temptation, hidden desire and obsession, which the hero of the tale struggles to control.

I have been reading Peter’s work on his blog, COUNTING DUCKS, on which he shares his unique take on life through his writing, for over a year now. His work is full of wisdom, witticism, wry and laugh out loud humour, and sometimes profound sadness and over riding joy. His character driven prose delves deep into the human condition, often leading me to stop and think about my own life and that of others. We featured the novel and an excerpt from it earlier this year (scroll down to click on the link to this) and today we are featuring my review and an interview with Peter. You can also check out the purchase links and find out how to connect to the author.  Tina 🙂

Book Blurb

Having spent his childhood in a barren emotional wasteland overseen by a father who valued order above feeling, Bill finally meets a woman who leads him to a place he can call home. Arriving in the small coastal town in England with his new wife, he finds that he is quickly assimilated into her community and extended family. With his somewhat murky past behind him, he forges a new life within a solid, caring community and discovers what being valued means. As it happens, his wife appears to be overly interested in “organizing” everything and everyone around her, including her young cousin who is the apple of her father’s eye.

Within the garden of Eden Bill knows he can show no interest in this apple called Misty. He knows the price of doing so, and the value of what he now enjoys. Will that be enough to protect him from desire? Luck is with him: she has no interest in him. But what if circumstances where to change and she looked at her world and him with new eyes. Would he cling to common sense?

With the hand of a surgeon, Peter Wells gently probes the thoughts of the mundane to seek those corners that still long for adventure. Those bits and pieces of each of us that gaze out on the world and find something to settle on and wonder… Tenderly touching the wounded, lonely parts of his character’s hearts, Peter gently leads them to a destiny they never could have imagined on their own. When an Obsession knocks on the doors of your Paradise, should they remain closed?

My Review

~Temptation in Paradise~

This insightful novel by Peter Wells is full of quirky, real life characters, to whom there is certainly a lot more than meets the eye! The plot is ripe with hidden desire and obsession and also deception and temptation. It is a beautifully written, engrossing and thought provoking read.

In Living Life Backwards, Bill, a long suffering married man, has an obsession with his wife’s younger cousin Misty, an obsession which he does not act on and does his utmost to conceal, for fear that it will destroy all he holds dear. Bill’s back story is one of a singularly loveless upbringing from his widowed father and he is adept at hiding his feelings. At the start of the novel he is already married to Katie, a woman who in stark contrast is gregarious and highly strung.

The couple moved to to be near to Katie’s family and there Bill becomes a pillar of the community. Passion and intimacy are lacking in their marriage and Katie views Bill as reserved and unexciting. However, Bill is mindful that he has at last found acceptance amongst his peers and the love and respect of his wife’s family, who view him as solid, dependable and honest. The following quotation, found early on in the novel, is revealing:

“I kept my dreams to myself and my actions to a minimum. I discovered having a reputation for being boring has advantages………. I used the time provided by her (referring to his wife) absences to live a life of imagination.”

The only chink in his armour is his long standing and secret obsession with Misty, Katie’s younger cousin. He has never acknowledged this attraction to anyone, other than himself, and does his utmost to conceal it and keep it in check. It is an obsession which does not go away and circumstances conspire in a way that Bill becomes tempted as never before………….

Is Misty aware of Bill’s obsession and is she as innocent as she appears? Also how will Bill react? Will he sacrifice all that he holds dear for this younger woman? Once he tastes forbidden fruit there will be no going back and he will have to face the repercussions.

For much of the novel Misty is as much an enigma to the reader as she is to Bill. Her persona is of a beautiful, innocent ice maiden, who appears to effortlessly rebuff the carnal advances of men. Her actions are explained in part by her background and we do get to find out more about her as the plot reaches its denouement – suffice to say that I was as surprised as Bill with the plot developments and her character development! There are many key supporting characters, which include Katie’s parents and also Misty’s. However, the characters of Bernard and Derek and their actions are pivotal to the plot and provide a counter plot in their own right.

The novel has so many different themes and layers. Prima facie it is a romance where the hero is tempted by a younger woman, who happens to be related to his wife, and is in a moral dilemma on how to act when circumstances conspire to bring them together. However, it is far more than this and to me illustrates how we can sometimes become trapped in a certain way of acting by circumstance or individuals and the power we allow them to hold over us. It also illustrates how reality can be manipulated by others.

The novel is narrated in the first person, from the POV of Bill. It is very readable and I felt as if I was in Bill’s head. It delves deep into the psyche of its characters and is not devoid of gentle humour, often self-depreciating and contains moments which blend sadness and hilarity. It is immensely quotable and contains many memorable one liners, an aspect that applies to all Peter’s work.

I recommend this to readers who enjoy a realistic, yet quirky, character driven contemporary romance that focuses on inner turmoil and transformation.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK     Amazon US

Author Interview

1470122_227390787438405_1882580175_n1. When did you start to write and what prompted you to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard?

About three years ago. I just woke up one night having one of those half asleep, half- awake sessions, and thought, “I really must get this stuff on paper or it’ll be lost.” The rest is history, or Blogging and writing history anyway.

2. Where do you find the inspiration for your writing?

I go for walks, and during them scenarios or ideas just seem to swim into my head. They pretty much all begin as Blog Posts, though a couple of them have now morphed into books

3. What category or categories do you consider your writing falls into?

I suppose you could call it either ‘general fiction’ or ‘romantic fiction’ because the stories always have some romance and examination of character in them

4. Describe your writing process in three words.

Write every day

5. What have you found is the best thing about being a writer?

Talking to myself without being told to shut up, and being able to explore ideas and scenarios at length. Creating fiction that helps me understand and encapsulate life if you follow me

6. What have you found the most challenging aspects of being a writer?

What happens next.

I really do, “ Make it up as I go along” and as any writer will tell you, the further into a novel you get, the more demanding the characters can be about how the plot should move, and that can get you into difficulties

7. I hear that you have plans for a future novel. Are you able to share anything about it with us?

I’m pleased to say I signed the contract for my next novel last Saturday, and I understand it is now cowering on the desk in the editor’s office. To be fair, she edited ‘Living Life Backwards’, and I could not think more highly of her

8. Have you any advice to anyone who is thinking about becoming an author?

Don’t give up, and write every day. Whatever your level of ability, it will always need polishing and that can only happen if you work at it regularly. You may not write a lot each day, but write something, and then you can play with it, and refine it as you go about your daily business.

Connect with the Author

http://countingducks.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peter-Wells-At-Countingducks/211320669045417

To read our recent post focusing on Living Life Backwards, click here.

MILK-BLOOD by Mark Matthews – COVER REVEAL

We are excited to reveal the cover for Mark Matthews’, author of On the Lips of Children, latest supernatural horror ‘Milk-Blood’. Not only are we revealing the cover and synopsis, there is also a chance to win a reader’s advanced copy on Goodreads as well as to download a short story that features one of the characters of Milk-Blood for FREE on Amazon. Please scroll down for more info. Enjoy! 🙂 Caroline and Tina

milk-blood3dcovercopMILK-BLOOD is scheduled for release in both digital and paperback on July 7th from Mark Matthews, author of On the Lips of Children. MILK-BLOOD is a tale of Urban Horror based on a true setting, and is what happens when a social worker and writer visit the inner city of Detroit.

“Milk-Blood is a discomforting story of real inner city horrors, told by characters so real they pop off the page. Add the supernatural mix to the story and it really grabs you by the throat. Very much recommended!” ~ John F.D. Taff, author of Little Deaths and The Bell Witch

The cover design is by Kealan Patrick Burke from Elderlemon Design, and the editor is Richard Thomas from Dark House Press.

What is it about?

Milk-Blood - Amazon new eyesLilly is ten years old, born with a heart defect, and already addicted to heroin. Her mother is gone from her life, and there are rumors that she was killed by her father and buried near the abandoned house across the street. The house intrigues her, she can’t stay away, and the monstrous homeless man who lives there has been trying to get Lilly to come inside.
For her mother is there, buried in the back, and this homeless man is Lilly’s true father, and both want their daughter back.

Advance review copies are available as a giveaway on Goodreads right now. Win a copy and add it to your To Be Read list: MILK-BLOOD.

ALSO…

A short story that features one of the characters from MILK-BOOD, The Damage Done is completely FREE on Amazon. Check it out here.

Follow the author on twitter: @matthews_mark

Or his blog here: www.markmatthewsauthor.com

MILK-BLOOD

The story you are about to read is entirely true. I know there was a disclaimer that called this a piece of fiction and that any resemblance to an actual person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. It has to say that. So now if you are damaged while reading the story, I am no longer liable.