*ARC REVIEW* ~ A Scarlet Woman (The Fitzgeralds of Dublin, #1) by Lorna Peel

#historicalromance #victorianromance

Book Blurb

Can Isobel leave her past behind and allow Will to show her she is worthy of his love? 

Dublin, Ireland, 1880. Tired of treating rich hypochondriacs, Dr Will Fitzgerald left his father’s medical practice and his home on Merrion Square to live and practice medicine in the Liberties. His parents were appalled and his fiancée broke off their engagement. But when Will spends a night in a brothel on the eve of his best friend’s wedding, little does he know that the scarred and disgraced young woman he meets there will alter the course of his life.

Isobel Stevens was schooled to be a lady, but a seduction put an end to all her father’s hopes for her. Disowned, she left Co Galway for Dublin and fell into prostitution. On the advice of a handsome young doctor, she leaves the brothel and enters domestic service. But can Isobel escape her past and adapt to life and the chance of love on Merrion Square? Or will she always be seen as a scarlet woman?

My Review ~ 5 stars

Bewitching Victorian Romance

In Lorna Peel’s latest novel the lives of a fallen woman and an idealistic young doctor become unexpectedly intertwined after they meet in the most inauspicious of settings, a brothel. Their ensuing relationship  challenges both their own future and  society’s mores. It is a heartfelt and bewitching read, which transported me to the past as I became totally immersed in Isobel and Will’s lives. Although at times it brought a tear to my eye, the book also contains some humorous scenes. A predominently sweet romance, it  has some frank sex scenes.

The read explores the double standards between men and women, specifically the hypocrisy when it came to sexual relations. Isobel is regarded as a fallen woman, a woman who by modern sensibilities, had simply been unfortunate to have been seduced and left high and dry by a man. This event has had a huge impact on her life, reducing her to poverty which called for desperate measures. The book also focuses on the differences between the lives of domestic servants and those ‘above stairs’, who view themselves as their betters. I enjoyed how the author explored these themes and also how she delved into the underbelly of Dublin and the sexual preledictions common amongst all classes.

Will is a wonderful hero – principled, caring and non-judgemental. He refuses his father’s offer to work alongside him in his practice, prefering instead to set up on his own in a less salubrious part of the city where his talents are sorely needed. The advice he gives to Isobel- to leave her life of vice, she takes to heart and she applies for a position as a domestic. Imagine the surprise of the couple when their paths once again  cross. Relations between servants and their social superiors are frowned upon however and they begin a touching friendship, gradually revealing themselves to one aonother and becoming ever closer. Their romance is a slow burn but when the couple reveal their feelings for one another there are some scorching scenes.

Isobel is unwilling to commit herself as she has been let down brutally in the pasr and fears that she is not good enough for Will. Will thought he would never love again after his fiancée threw him over, yet once he realises he has fallen for Isobel nothing will stand in his way. I just LOVED how determined he is to make her his. However, he did not bank on Isobels’s reluctance to commit and also how others react to their relationship. Also luck is not on their side as a number of obstacles from their respective pasts get in the way of their HEA! I wanted to tear  my hair out at times! Can Will persuade Isobel that her past doesn’t mater to him and make her his? Can Isobel escape the shame of her past? Can Will’s family accept her as a future wife for Will?

All in all a stellar read, one of my favourite from this author yet.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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Concealment, by Scarlet Wolfe *REVIEW AND TOUR* (includes excerpts and giveaway)

This novel ends in a cliffhanger and is for a mature audience due to harsh language and descriptive sexual scenes.

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Concealment by Scarlet Wolfe

Blog Tour

Hosted by Everything Marie Tours

 

Book Description

Publication Date: January 23, 2015
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00057]

 

Victoria Hart is supposed to be the enemy. She is an undercover detective who infiltrated my hotel and casino as an employee to take down my illegal enterprise. What she doesn’t know is I am fully aware of it. The operation I’m orchestrating is monumental compared to anything her mind could envision.It’s the burning desire I feel when she’s near that I didn’t see coming. An unwavering draw to touch her, and the need to break down her walls is testing my restraint; however, nothing can stand in the way of my ultimate goal. She could destroy everything my brothers and I have worked toward to avenge our father’s death.To keep the upper hand, it is vital to know your enemy. How deeply can I go, peeling back her intriguing layers while still concealing the truth? How much of Victoria can I claim before she’s too close … too close for me to let her go? This novel ends in a cliffhanger and is for a mature audience due to harsh language and descriptive sexual scenes.

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Excerpt

Adrian’s POV:

“I’m Adrian Cassano, the owner of this hotel and casino. I was quite impressed with your moves, Ms. Victoria Concealment Teaser4Stuart,” I say with a smirk.

“It’s Vicky, sir, and how did you see that already? I mean–thank you.”

“Can you explain what transpired?”

“He grabbed my ass, which I would’ve excused, but he refused to move his hand afterward, so I had to do it for him.”

I eye her intently. That wasn’t exactly the response I expected. “So, you’re OK with random men grabbing your ass?”

She scowls. “No, but for the sake of my job, I was willing to let it slide once.” She’s giving me attitude, and damn, she’s gorgeous. This will be more enjoyable than I anticipated.

“I see.” Staring into her striking, green eyes for several seconds, I find she’s determined to hold my gaze.

“I think it would be best to move you to an environment where the cliental will not be touching you without your permission. Although the asshole deserved it, I don’t need a lawsuit, and he would not be the last to grab your ass.”

She continues to scowl. At least her attitude suits her day job. Yes, I believe I’m going to enjoy every second of my time with Victoria. She will be easy to torment since she likely feels she has to keep her mouth shut around me. I have a suspicion that is not something she’s used to doing. I’m sure she doesn’t want to lose this job and blow her case. The investigation I’m fully aware of.

Excerpt #2

Concealment Teaser5Victoria’s POV:

Reaching down, I zip up my black thigh high boot. I’d never tell my detective partner, Reggie, but I feel badass and sexy as the zipper tightens the shiny, black patent leather against my toned leg.

“It appears his mother, Denise, has been in and out of mental facilities his entire life,” I say. “His father, Alvin Cassano, died in the Twin Towers during 9/11. Adrian, his three brothers, and one sister were left with a hefty insurance policy, and he enlisted in the Marines after.”

“I wouldn’t have guessed Adrian Cassano to be ex-military,” Reggie says.

“Once discharged, he and his brothers moved to Vegas and built the hotel and casino.”

“Be careful, Victoria.” Reggie is leaning back against my bedroom door, conveying a stern look.

“Seriously? What is your deal over this job?” I ask as I zip up my second boot.

“Have you forgotten we’re partners? I can’t be in there with you, and it’s making me crazy.”

“I’m a cop. I earned this detective job because of my ability since they sure as hell don’t give it to women otherwise. I can take care of myself.”

He slides his hand through his curly, dark hair. “That’s what worries me. You think you’re invincible.”

Meet the Cast

Concealment DreamCast Board

 

About the Author

Scarlet_Wolfe_Photo (3)Scarlet Wolfe began writing in January of 2013 as a way to distract and heal from some of the grief she was dealing with after the death of her teenage son. She instantly fell in love with bringing characters to life. Releasing contemporary romance throughout 2013, she has branched out this year, releasing erotica and teen.When not writing, Scarlet enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves coffee, chocolate, wine, stories about possessive, hot alpha males, and other flavors of ice cream besides vanilla. She hopes her writing will encourage readers to feel more comfortable exploring their sexuality.

Contact Scarlet Wolfe

Giveaway

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My Review *****

Sexy and Suspenseful

Wow, what a sexy read! No one is what they appear to be in this fast-paced erotic romantic suspense: secrets are commonplace; passion sizzles and the stakes are high.

The heroine Victoria, a Police Officer, gets a job as a server at the Cassano hotel and casino. Her aim is to find evidence of criminal activity which she suspects plays a major role in the brothers’ business empire. What she didn’t bank on was being singled out by the boss, the sexy Adrian, and finding herself falling for him.

I just lurved the relationship between this couple! Adrian, an uber alpha male, breaks all the rules to seduce her, at first kidding himself that it is good practice to keep his enemy close, but then finding that he is developing ever stronger feelings for her as he gets to know her. He is wildly attracted to Victoria’s beauty, brains and bravado and wants to keep her safe. Adrian is torn between wanting to protect his family business and wanting to possess Victoria body and soul, the very woman who represents a significant threat to his activities.

Yet how far can a relationship go between a cop and a man who she suspects is part of an extensive crime ring? The scenes between Adrian and Victoria positively sizzle off the page and they are well matched and believable. The supporting characters too are all well-defined and I am looking forward o finding out more about them as the series progresses, especially the other Cassano brothers who also ooze major smex appeal!

When we first meet Victoria I was not sure that I would find her a likable heroine as she comes over as very kick ass. However, a few more pages into the story and I began to find out more about her realising that she hides a lot behind her hard exterior and that there is a lot more to her. Adrian in particular plays a key role in stripping her of her armour as he is keen to find the true woman underneath. He is fully aware that she is a cop and wonders if and when she will admit this fact to him. Victoria is attracted to Adrian unlike any other man yet can she trust him and is he the criminal she believed him to be?

The book ends in a cliff-hanger, which left me itching to read the next instalment. I recommend Concealment to readers who enjoy a sexy and suspenseful adult read with a drop-dead gorgeous alpha male who is torn between the girl of his dreams and the high stake activities of his family business.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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*REVIEW* ~ A Suitable Wife (The Fitzgeralds of Dublin #2), by Lorna Peel

#historicalromance #historicalfiction #Dublin


Blurb

The lives of the Fitzgerald family are about to change forever…

Dublin, Ireland, 1881. Will and Isobel Fitzgerald settle into number 30 Fitzwilliam Square, a home they could once only have dreamed of. A baby is on the way, Will takes over the Merrion Street Upper medical practice from his father and they are financially secure. But when Will is handed a letter from his elder brother, Edward, stationed with the army in India, the revelations it contains only serves to further alienate Will from his father.

Isobel is eager to adapt to married life on Fitzwilliam Square but soon realises her past can never be laid to rest. The night she met Will in a brothel on the eve of his best friend’s wedding has devastating and far-reaching consequences which will change the lives of the Fitzgerald family forever.

My Review

A stirring and heartfelt read with colourful characters – 5 stars

I just loved this latest release from Lorna Peel! A Suitable Wife, set in 1881, continues the story of the Dublin doctor Will and his wife Isobel who we first meet in A Scarlet Woman (click on title for my review). The book can be read as a stand-alone but I recommend that you pick up the first book to get the most of this most emotional and page turning read.

The book delves deeply into relationships between the sexes and between social classes  – not solely the relationship between the couple, but those between other family members and wider society. All is seen through the eyes of Will and Isobel whose love manages to hold everything together despite all of the many difficulties that come to pass – cue you will need a handkerchief! Isobel in particular is one strong character and the couple are well matched in terms of wisdom and strength. I have read a number of this author’s books and she excels at interweaving deep characterisations with an emotional and stirring plot line.

The revelations which come to light after the tragic death of his brother Edward in India throw a huge curveball into the lives of Isobel, Will and his family and lead to a great deal of soul searching for the family. This puts more stress on the relationship between Will and his father. Isobel’s past is difficult for some to accept but it is surprising what goes on behind the closed doors of others. Other characters have their own secrets and I enjoyed how the author weaved further revelations into the story which is full of twists and turns.

There are certainly some eye opening scenes concerning the couple, their relatives and social circle and the author has clearly carried out a great deal of research into medical issues and social mores of the time, research which helps make the book such  compelling read,

The read totally sucked me in and transported me into the late Victorian era within Dublin, a time when women clearly played second fiddle to men and where appearances and perceived if not actual social mores are all important. Will and Isobel really go through the wringer, but their strength and love shine through and the read is above all an uplifting and life affirming read with a satisfying conclusion.

Recommended to readers who enjoy historical fiction with romance and strong characterisations and which gets to the heart of the social issues of the day.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon.UK Amazon.com

Connect with the Author

http://lornapeel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/LornaPeelAuthor
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6485347.Lorna_Peel

*Top Reads of 2017*

Well I’ve done it! I’ve finally put together a list of my top reads of 2017. I read some fantastic books last year and it was certainly no easy task selecting my top reads. I intended to stick to a ‘Top Ten’ but it was just far too difficult! Here’s the list (16 in total), in no particular order. It contains a mix of genres:  romantic suspense (sometimes dark); erotica; thrillers, historical romance; erotic romance; sci-fi; post-apocalyptic; drama; black comedy;horror and humour. What they all have in common is a compulsive plot with characters whose story I became totally invested in. 

The Found: A Crow City Novel, by Cole McCadeDark and Deliciously Twisted… the contract killer Priest and Willow his captive, a tale which examines dark and disturbing themes including non consent, violence and sexual assault. …one of the darkest novels that I have read … Both the hero and the heroine are broken before they meet and their coming together is pyschologically intense and explosive… Priest is a dark and tortured anti-hero and throughout the read I was unsure if he could ever redeem himself as he is so damaged. Willow’s fate certainly hung in the balance and the read kept me guessing until the finale.

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Dirty Ugly Toy, by K Webster  ~ A Down and Dirty Dark Read. Brax, a wealthy billionaire, has a twisted side – taking girls from the street and transforming them into his ‘toy’ for 6 months before disposing of them… his modus operandi … it is brutal. … when Brax ‘rescues’ Jessica … it soon becomes apparent that she is like no other. She is not just the dirty, drug addicted whore she first appears to be… she also stands up to her tormentor, playing Brax at his own game. I was glued to my Kindle to see if Brax would break his addiction to his ‘toys’ or if Jessica would meet the same fate as the others…

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A Different Kind of Cosplay, by Lucy Felthouse ~ Role Playing Smutfest with a Superhero Twist! … If you have ever wondered what it would be like to get up close and personal with your fave superheroes then here’s your chance to find out in this fast and furious erotic read! Reese is certainly one lucky girl when Zach her estate agent partner, who is not usually an Avengers fan, takes her and her libido completely by surprise, when he proceeds to ravish her in a series of deliciously kinky and lust filled role playing scenes, the likes neither of them has ever encountered before…

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Payback: Viking Bastards MC #2, by Christina Phillips ~ Revenge is sweet… I just love novels with revenge as a theme, especially when combined with a sizzling plot. To Amelia it sounds easy – get a job working the bar in Odin’s, gain the owner Gage’s trust, find evidence of the illegal activities the Viking Bastards MC are involved in and then ensure the authorities know. She can then walk away knowing that payback is hers. Landing the job was easy but once she meets Gage, the owner, all bets are off with the rest of the plan. Not only is he smokin’ hot, but he will not take no for an answer and will break all his rules to have her…  The truth is a major deal for them both and it will take a strong relationship to survive. I enjoyed both their verbal and physical sparring and the scorching lovemaking scenes are down and very dirty.

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Reckless: Planet Alpha #15, by Lily Harlem ~ Sizzling Sci-Fi Ménage! … standalone erotic sci-fi romance… Aurora Zenitha… fleeing Earth to save her life and two hot blooded Alphans who are hell bent on making her theirs, even if she is an illegal alien…scorching scenes of ménage, voyeurism, self-pleasure and more… stowing away on an alien ship bound for Planet Alpha is not a safe option, especially when she is travelling with false papers and she has already attracted the attention of the ship’s captain…  The stakes are high and the sex is off the Richter scale… Aurora is the lucky recipient of some alien loving from Captain Ciro and Luc! Be sure to have plenty of iced drinks on hand as the read hits the spot again and again.

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The Passage of Desire: French Summer Prequel, by Laurette Long ~ Compelling and Flawlessly written…Juliet, Alexandra’s childhood friend invites her and her daughter Caroline to stay with her in her family home… Alexandra, whose husband is away on business, is going through a low point in her life but soon begins to bloom again and … begins to heal herself. The setting for the story, the wild and untamed Yorkshire moors, where emotions become freed and passions can often come to a head, is a metaphor for the tale itself… It touches on all which makes us human; the different stages of life; family dynamics; intimate relationships and unexpected desire. The book is … written, with insight and sensitivity as the events, which will have life-changing repercussions for some, unfold.

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Zenka, by Alison BrodieSheer brilliance … and a guarenteed pick me up… I just loved the pairing of the mild mannered and gentle nurse Nicholas and the fiery and unpredictable Zenka, the Hungarian pole dancer and friend of the gangster Jack. The novel contains madcap and side-splitting antics galore, contrasting starkly with a host of gory and violent scenes. The plot explores the very worst of the human condition – greed, deceit, violence and the abuse of trust, and also the very best – love , friendship , honour and loyalty. This dichotomy plays out in a deliciously devilish exposé that sweeps the reader and characters along into a vortex of black comedy and emotionally charged scenes.

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The Silver Wolf: A James Ryler Thriller, by Rob Sinclair ~ … high octane revenge thriller… revenge is the name of the game in this rip-roaring spy thriller… Ryker, a man tormented by his wife Lisa’s disappearance…his determination to make those who hurt her pay the ultimate price. Ryker’s quest for vengeance takes him from Mexico, to London and beyond as he becomes embroiled in a tangled web of illicit criminal activity and the covert work of government operatives, including his old colleagues at the Joint Intelligence Agency… all roads lead to the elusive Silver Wolf who appears to have not only played a pivotal role in Ryker’s recent past but the JIA’s current problems…There are scenes of blood and gore aplenty and a number of plot twists, including one major one which I did not see coming…

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Blair: Dark Romance, by Anita Grey ~Totally Amazing Dark Psychological Read…. an original plot line and in Blaire and Charlie the author has created a truly awesome couple – their relationship is complex and intense and the scenes between them range from deliciously dark to sweet. Blaire is one of the most kick-ass and lethal females I have come across of late yet she is so vulnerable. I wept for her as the plot unfolded and little by little we leared about her history… I ADORED Charlie – just what is his game? What hold does he have over Maskim? Can Charlie protect Blaire or is he just exploiting her too? Will Blaire overcome Maskim’s conditioning or is it too ingrained in her psyche? … I was fascinated with the psychology of the relationships in his book…

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A Scarlet Woman (The Fitzgeralds of Dublin #1), by Lorna PeelBewitching Victorian Romance… the lives of a fallen woman and an idealistic young doctor become unexpectedly intertwined after they meet in the most inauspicious of settings, a brothel. Their ensuing relationship challenges both their own future and society’s mores… I became totally immersed in Isobel and Will’s lives. Although at times it brought a tear to my eye, the book also contains some humorous scenes. A predominently sweet romance, it has some frank sex scenes (and) explores the double standards between men and women… (and) the differences between the lives of domestic servants and those ‘above stairs.’ I enjoyed how the author explored these themes and also how she delved into the underbelly of Dublin and the sexual preledictions common amongst all classes.

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Commodity, by Shay SavageBrutal and love affirming romantic suspense set in a post-apocalyptic world… only a few women have survived and as such have become little more than a commodity used in the worst possible way by those who covet power and influence. Prior to the apocalypse Hannah… was en route to give evidence in a major people trafficking trial… She had been assigned her own protector, Falk, a bodyguard… even though circumstances have changed and the world is no longer what it was, he is going to protect this woman come hell or high water… how far he will go to protect her and why becomes evident as the story unfolds… Their romance is far from instantaneous. Both characters have complex back stories … there are some horrific scenes of violence in the book (some of it sexual) and a number of twists in the tale, including one huge curveball – Shay Savage style!

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Death and Beauty, by Samantha McLeodSeductive and Spellbinding…beautifully written erotic novella which presents the reader with a highly original twist on one of my favourite tropes – Beauty and the Beast, this time delving deep into Norse mythology. Baldr the Beautiful awakes to find himself in the realm of the dead and is desperate to return to his life… He sets out to petition the terrifying half-skeletal Queen Hel with this in mind. However, the queen is not so easily persuaded and sets him the task of teaching her something new about the living word before she will grant him his wish… I  loved the verbal sparing and the growing sexual tension between them as Baldr strives to meet Queen Hel’s task… he has no knowledge to impart that she cannot already know about he embarks on the one thing that may just work – the seduction of Hel, which has unforeseen consequences for them both…

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Disenchanted, by Heide Goody and Iain Grant ~Magic and mayhem collide in riotous fairy tale romp. The premise of the novel – where the heroine very definitely does not want a HEA, despite the meddling of a host of formidable magical creatures … appealed to my sense of the perverse… I found the read to be a real tonic… Magical creatures really exist, although Ella the heroine would much rather they were not quite so fixated on controlling her life… Her efforts to resist the fate her fairy godmother and her associates have planned for her drive the plot forward and the conflict makes for some hilarious scenes as the authors expertly turned the usual HEA fairy tale tropes on their head… Ella veers from one adventure to another in her quest to avoid her prospective suitors at all costs and at the same time unravel issues from her family’s past. ..with an indomitable heroine and a series of larger than life characters, it’s a fast-paced, laugh-a-minute, feel good read, with some excellent one-liners.

Amazon UK  Amazon US

The Angel Alejandro, by Alistair Cross ~ A battle between good and evil in another modern Gothic masterpiece…blurs the lines between paranormal romance, urban fantasy and horror… When a handsome and mysterious stranger saves Madison O’Riley from a fatal fall, little does she realise that her life and that of the inhabitants of the town of Prominence will soon descend into the depths of the Twilight Zone… Madison and others start to realise that the amnesiac who calls himself Alejandro, has powers which defy comprehension… When the strange and compelling Gremory Jones and his associates arrive in town the book gets increasingly darker as Gremory’s intent becomes clear as he begins to ensnare the townspeople in his machinations. Add to the mix a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police, who is a recovering alcoholic, and the scene is set for a series of dastardly, dark and depraved scenes…chaos and carnage, with its inhabitants merely collateral damage in a battle between good and evil… the read also contains plenty of scenes of humour and romance giving relief from the ensuing horror.

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Alaska Wild, by Helena NewburySexy Romantic Suspense with a whole lot of sass. I LOVED this read…which pairs Kate, a dedicated FBI agent and Mason, a wanted criminal, an ex-Navy SEAL. When their paths literally collide and the plane they are in crashes in the wilderness, Kate finds that her survival depends on this man whose military record has been tainted and who is due to be court marshalled. Can she trust him to return her to the safety of civilization when his return there will lead to his capture and incarceration in prison? Is he innocent or guilty? The attraction between them sizzles off the page…Kate and Mason soon find that they are involved in a desperate fight to survive in the wilderness. Will they survive? Can Kate trust Mason?… the true danger comes from those that are hunting them, men who would prefer that they had not survived the plane crash.There are many superb and thrilling action scenes and vivid descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness. I was totally transported there by the power of the author’s writing.

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Dark Horse (Class 5 #1, by Michelle DienerSuperb…works as a standalone read… an original and suspenseful premise and plot… with strong characterisations and world building….Rose has been abducted… and has been held on an alien ship where she has been treated abominably by her over inquisitive alien captors, the Tecran… Sazo, an artificial intelligence has taken steps to prevent it happening again … most of the Tecran crew on her vessel are dead and Rose must escape the ship to survive…but is then taken by the Grih, headed by Captain Dav Jallan….Dav would like to trust this human called Rose but fears that she is not being entirely truthful about her part in the Tecran’s demise…(and risks)…putting the fate of his people and the other races in the alliance in danger? (Rose’s) safety could well be compromised if and when she is compelled to reveal what she knows. The fate of Sazo, the AI is closely linked to the couple’s future and the story develops in an unexpected way. An original read and highly recommended.

Amazon UK  Amazon US

 

 

*Promo w/Author Bio & Excerpt* The Double by Alison Brodie

“The luxury of living a lie.”

 

THE DOUBLE

Title: The Double

Author: Alison Brodie

Genre: Women’s fiction, mystery, romance, chick-lit

Date released: January 19th, 2016

Length: 294 pages

Blurb: A night she can’t remember. A week she won’t forget.

*

Beth is mistaken for rock star Sonita La Cruz, and ends up on a billionaire-dollar yacht. As a shift-worker in Glasgow, Beth has only known hardship. Now she’s in a world of uniformed stewards, delicious French food and rows of gorgeous designer clothes. Beth keeps quiet about the mix-up, determined to wear every outfit in her wardrobe before she’s sent home. What’s wrong with a little play-acting? Beth takes to the role of rock diva like a duck takes to water.

Aleksandr, the captain, arrives and is astonished to see a beautiful raven-haired girl lying on deck issuing orders through a loud-hailer. After talking to Beth, Aleksandr realises what has happened. His smuggling buddies, knowing Aleksandr needs to speak to Sonita about a kid’s crisis, grabbed Beth by mistake. Aleksandr is desperate. To save those children, he needs money, but Sonita has disappeared.

Beth rises to the challenge. She looks like Sonita, so why not BE Sonita? Beth does a magazine interview for one million dollars, and ransoms herself for another million. Beth saves the kids … but can she save herself? Too late, Beth discovers why Sonita disappeared.

*

A love story set against the backdrop of a luxury yacht on the Côte d’Azur, a civil war in the Eastern Bloc, and a Glasgow housing estate.

Buy Links: Amazon UK & Amazon US

Author Bio

Alison Brodie Author photo

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side of the family. Alison was a photographic model, modelling for a wide range of products, including Ducatti motorbikes and 7Up. She was also the vampire in the Schweppes commercial.

A disastrous modelling assignment in the Scottish Highlands gave Alison an idea for a story, which was to become Face to Face. She wrote Face to Face as a hobby and then decided to send it off to see what would happen. It was snapped up by Dinah Wiener, the first agent Alison sent it to. Three weeks later, Alison signed a two-book deal with Hodder & Stoughton. Subsequently, Face to Face was published in Germany and Holland. It was widely reviewed, ie: “Vain, but wildly funny leading lady.” -Scottish Daily Mail. It was also chosen as Good Housekeeping’s “Pick of the Paperbacks.”

Unfortunately, Alison then suffered from Second-Book Syndrome. The publisher’s deadline loomed and she was terrified because she didn’t have an idea for a story! She found the whole experience a nightmare; and this is why she cautions first-time authors to write more than one book before approaching an agent. She managed to finish the book – Sweet Talk – but it bombed.

While writing Sweet Talk, she moved to Kansas and lived there for two years. She loved the people, their friendliness, their free-and-easy way of life, the history and the BBQs! Sadly, her visa ran out and she had to come back to the UK – although her dream is to one day live permanently in America. Now, Alison lives in Biarritz, France with her rescue mutt, Bayley.

Alison has taken the exhilarating steps to becoming an indie author. Her second ebook, THE DOUBLE, is out on Amazon Kindle with some great reviews. “Excellent.” –San Francisco Book Review.

Alison writes contemporary romance. She aims for a strong plot line, set against the background of a world-changing event, coupled with touches of humour, sexual tension and character transformation.

She loves to hear from her readers.

Link to website: http://www.alisonbrodiebooks.com/#!the-double/c1253

Excerpt

Aleksandr

It was early evening when Aleksandr leapt from his boat and onto the boarding platform of the Kazka. All around the sea boiled as the great engines roared. Why was the Kazka moving? he wondered. Had Gerrard found another captain to replace him?

He saw Gerrard at the top of the stairs and bounded up. ‘Are you sailing?’ he shouted to the butler.

Gerrard’s answer was lost in the roar. As the noise of the engines subsided, Aleksandr spoke again. ‘I’m sorry I’m late, I tried contacting you but my radio is dead.’

I have something to tell you Aleksandr.’

Hearing the grave note in his friend’s voice, Aleksandr stilled. Something was wrong.

We have a passenger aboard,’ Gerrard began. ‘A woman.’

Aleksandr nodded. So far, it didn’t sound too bad.

Her name is Sonita La Cruz.’

Sonita La Cruz?’ Aleksandr repeated cautiously.

That is correct.’

The American singer?’

Yes.’

Aleksandr gripped Gerrard’s arms. ‘My friend, you cannot believe how lucky this is! I have been desperate to speak to her and all this time she was here, as Karimov’s guest.’

She is not a guest of Karimov. As we speak, he is in Marseilles, detained by the French authorities and knows nothing of her presence on board. It was your friend, Boris Lazutin, who brought her here. He found her in Port Glasgow and-’

Stop!’ Aleksandr’s shoulders sagged with bitter disappointment. ‘She is an imposter. An American rock star would have no reason to be in Port Glas-’

It is her,’ Gerrard insisted. ‘Boris looked in her passport.’

Aleksandr scoffed: ‘Sonita La Cruz permitted Boris Lazutin to look in her passport?’

She did not give permission, because …’ Gerrard took a visible breath. ‘There was chloroform in the shipment they picked up …’

Aleksandr felt the first stirrings of unease. ‘And?’

They abducted her.’

No.’ Aleksandr shook his head emphatically. ‘Boris would never do such a thing.’

It was Igor.’

Igor!’ Aleksandr balled his fists. This, he could understand. His old cell-mate had the morals of a barbarian, and what had he, Aleksandr, said to him back in Odessa? ‘How I wish I could speak to Sonita, if only for five minutes.’

The Chechen, ever loyal, had given Aleksandr his wish. But at what cost?

She must have been terrified!

Gerrard reared back in affront. ‘Pas de tout! Boris and Dimitri showed her a message, in English, reminding her of the children and immediately she understood what was happening. She even sang for them and signed autographs.’ Gerrard swept out a hand. ‘And her time with us has been most pleasant, I can assure you. She has been quite content to wait for your arrival … until last night.’ Gerrard sighed. ‘If only you had arrived earlier, this debaçle would never have occurred.’

What happened last night?’

She wanted to go ashore to make a phone call. When I told her she could not leave the ship, she became wild with fury.’ Gerrard held out his palms. ‘But I could not allow her to make that call. Her intentions may be good, they may be bad, but I cannot risk police investigation, especially at this time.’

Yes, yes, of course.’

Gerrard continued: ‘She believes her abduction was part of a game.’

‘A game?’

Mais, oui. The rich become easily bored; it is a curse. They need always to search for fresh amusement. She talked of James Bond and hunting micro-chips that would save the world. Perhaps, she believed a friend had taken her. When she realised this was no game, she accused you, Aleksandr, of masterminding her abduction. She also began to insist that she is not Sonita La Cruz.’

She has been shunted from boat to boat like a barrel of beer. Is it any wonder she wishes to be anyone but herself?’ Aleksandr raked his fingers through the stubble of his hair. There had been a glimmer of hope that this one woman would help them but … now?

Where is she? Take me to her.’

No. You are dirty and unshaven. You must scrub yourself, first.’

No more delay!’ Aleksandr marched off. ‘I brought photos and a video recording to show you – now I can show them to her. And when she sees the suffering, she will forgive everything.’

Gerrard put a hand on the big man’s arm. ‘For the sake of privacy, she has asked me to use her alias, Mademoiselle Skiffington.’ He hurried to catch up with the big man. ‘My friend, you will be disappointed. This woman will not help you. The means by which she has been brought here have cancelled out the good intentions she may have had.’

But I must try.’ Aleksandr had to shout as, once more, the ship’s engines began to roar. ‘Why are we moving?’

Gerrard waited for the noise to subside before answering. ‘Mademoiselle has given the order to turn the Kazka around.’ He shrugged helplessly. ‘She wishes to view the sunset without having to move from her chair.’

Aleksandr gazed at Gerrard in astonishment. He was now aware of classical music. The clarity of the sound system was astounding, as if a live orchestra was performing. He walked onto the open deck. It was a live orchestra; the musicians dressed as angels.

Beside him, Gerrard muttered, ‘She has been making outrageous demands of me. An orchestra dressed in wings. Cocaine. Even peanut butter! It has been a nightmare. She keeps saying, “You want a rock star, pal, well that’s exactly what you’re going to get.”’

As the ship’s engines began to grow in volume, a woman’s voice filled the sky.

STOP THE BOAT – YOU’RE GIVING ME A HEADACHE!’

Then he saw her.

She reclined on a sunbed, holding a loudhailer to her mouth. A small white animal sat on an ornate gold chair beside her. Because the rock star was angled away from him, he could not see her face, only the veil of long black hair cascading over a crimson gown, and a slim brown leg, bent at the knee.

At her command, the engines subsided, leaving only the music. The loudhailer swung to the orchestra. ‘MOZART PIGFART! FUCK OFF!’ She tossed the loudhailer to the deck in childish bad-humour. ‘Gerrard!’ she called peevishly. ‘I need an aspirin.’

Immediately, Mademoiselle,’ Gerrard replied before hurrying away.

Aleksandr hesitated. Was this the woman who had written to him promising her help? He strengthened his resolve against his growing sense of dread and walked forward.

As he drew to a halt beside her chair, he saw a scarlet bikini against brown silken skin and a diamond-studded belt around slim hips – a belt which seemed to be an exact replica to the collar around the animal’s neck. She held a silver teaspoon to the creature’s mouth, watching as the tiny tongue licked the caramel-coloured paste from the spoon. Aleksandr had never been interested in the music scene, but he couldn’t deny this surge of ‘teenage’ excitement that he now stood before someone so famous.

As his shadow fell over her, she waved him away. ‘I am TRYING to look at the sunset.’

He stepped to one side. ‘Miss Skiffington-’ he began.

Where’s my aspirin?’ The sunglasses glanced in the direction of his hands. ‘What do I have to do? Writhe around on the deck in agony?’ With her attention on him now, her gaze travelled sharply up and over him. ‘Oh my God!’ She sat straight. ‘How dare you stand there … dirty. Look at your fingernails – they’re black!

It’s not dirt. It’s engine oil.’

Engine oil!’ She recoiled; pulling her scarlet robe tight around her as if fearful he would mark it. ‘What are you doing outside the engine room? Go back in, immediately.’

He pulled up a chair from the table and sat down.

I am not a mechanic,’ he said. ‘I am Aleksandr Shtcherbatsky Zhivago.’

Beth

Beth didn’t give him a second glance. She lifted her chin and shouted across the deck, ‘Gerrard, I am not stupid!’ God, she thought, Gerrard must be desperate to pacify me if he has to dig up a man from the engine room and palm him off as Zhivago.

She carried on feeding Pookie, smiling indulgently as she watched the tiny tongue licking the peanut butter off the spoon. She’d expected some big greyhound-type and had been surprised and delighted to receive this little bundle of fluff. Tonight, at dinner, she would clip diamond ear-rings on his perky ears.

The mechanic still hadn’t budged. She shouted again: ‘GERR-ARD!’

I am Aleksandr Shtcherbatsky Zhivago,’ the man blustered.

Look, sunshine, I know you’re not, so take a hike.’

Why do you say this? Why do you believe I am not him?’

Because he’s short, fat and ugly and you’re …’ Needing the relevant description to finish the sentence, she inspected the man from over the top of her sunglasses. He sat with his big hands gripping his knees, heavy black eyebrows converging into a frown. Despite the oil marks, dirt and bruises, he was strikingly handsome, if a little wild-eyed, ‘… not.’

She turned her attention back to Pookie.

Short and fat?’ the man echoed.

She sighed. ‘His photos are all over the boat, so I know what he looks like.’

Ah, that is Yakov Karimov. He is the owner of the Kazka. I am the captain.’

She wasn’t going to let him think she was listening but she was, her eyes narrowed suspiciously behind her sunglasses. Was she being led to believe that instead of being abducted by a suave and sophisticated billionaire, she had in fact been abducted by a man who reeked of diesel?

He took out a wallet. ‘This is my captain’s licence.’

She saw his photo stamped with an official seal and the name: Aleksandr Shtcherbatsky Zhivago.

Zhivago!’ She spun on her bottom and planted her feet firmly on the deck between them. ‘You! You had me kidnapped!’

Startled, he held out his palms against her accusation. ‘Please, Miss La-’ He quickly corrected himself, ‘Miss Skiffington. I knew nothing of it. I have come from Odessa on my own boat, with no means of communication. This was the fault of Igor. He knew how desperately I wanted to talk to you, but there is no excuse for what he did.’

The man hoisted a satchel onto his lap. ‘I have video recording and photographs that will prove my honesty. Five minutes of your time is all I ask. If, after that, you do not wish to involve yourself, I will gladly escort you from the ship.’

The words, ‘But you’ve got the wrong woman!’ had been on the tip of Beth’s tongue but his suggestion struck her dumb.

Escort you from the ship.

But she didn’t want to be escorted from the ship!

She lay back on the chaise-longue, her thoughts flustered and indignant. Pierre was making her favourite pudding tonight: Charlotte Malakoff aux Framboises. And the fur-trimmed, copper-coloured gown – which she knew to be extra-special because she’d discovered it in a refrigerated wardrobe – was now hanging ready in her dressing room.

Of course, she wanted to leave, had to leave, but this was all too … sudden.

A launch is waiting,’ Zhivago added helpfully. ‘You can be back in Glasgow by midnight.’

Glasgow…

She thought of Andy’s twisted, angry face; the smell of urine on the stairs; the cacophony of televisions and wailing babies. The flat with its low-ceiling and box rooms with no space to move, to breathe, to think. She gazed towards the horizon seeing the pink feathery clouds that the sun had left behind; the heart-melting blue of the sky that went on for ever; the silence, the space, so much glorious space, it made her feel she could spread her arms and fly.

Your aspirin, mademoiselle.’ Gerrard bent towards her, holding a tray.

I don’t want it.’

Gerrard straightened. ‘Mr Shtcherbasky Zhivago has explained everything, I trust?’

She nodded sullenly. She knew she was behaving like a petulant prima donna but she couldn’t help herself. Anyway, it was their fault. They’d given her a mega cruise-liner, a battalion of servants, diamond tiaras and designer frocks; and now they were throwing her back to where she’d come from as if she was a rag doll.

I am relieved,’ Gerrard said. ‘Now, I hope, you can forgive me for keeping you here?’

She refused to look at him.

Let me bring you a beer, Captain Shtcherbatsky Zhivago.’ Gerrard moved off. ‘And I will fetch water for Pookie.’

Beth looked at her little dog. She couldn’t take him back to Glasgow. How thoughtless of her to demand an animal. But it wasn’t her fault! It was these people who had made her so angry she’d been unable to think straight. Now, Pookie would have to go back to the breeders. And she would have to go back to Glasgow.

She scowled at Zhivago. I will stay one more night, she decided. I’m owed that much. After that, I don’t care if they think I’m Sonita La Cruz or King Kong.

She paused in thought: Had Sonita promised to help with this children’s hospital? If so, was she, Beth, hindering the project by continuing this farce? But, surely, one more night wouldn’t make any difference. She turned to Zhivago. ‘I just want to get a couple of things straight. Why have you brought me here?’

To discuss building a children’s hospital.’

And you’re not holding me to ransom?’

He looked appalled. ‘No! Please believe me, no.

She did believe him. With her eyes obscured behind her sunglasses she was able to study him openly. He was dark, rather tensely drawn with a swarthy gypsy-look. Although he looked like some un-neutered tom-cat, there was a reassuring sincerity about him.

OK,’ she announced. ‘I will stay one more night.’ Watching how he fell back in his chair, she could almost see the tension flow from his body.

Thank you,’ he whispered.

She carried on feeding Pookie, distancing herself from the man’s obvious relief. ‘So, where’s the owner while all this is happening?’

Yakov Karimov? He is in Marseille.’

And you’re the captain?’

Briefly, yes. I am to sail her back to her home port of St Tropez.’

St Tropez!

Although she continued to look at the man, her inner eye gazed beyond him, imagining herself at the prow of the Kazka with Pookie in her arms as the crème de la crème of the Riviera looked up from their aperatifs, watching them in awe.

When does the Kazka leave?’ she whispered, feeling her throat choked with tears.

Tomorrow.’ The man leant forward, misconstruing her silence. ‘I know this has been difficult for you.’ He removed a manila envelope from his bag. ‘But once you see the evidence, you will understand and forgive.’

Beth wasn’t interested in his envelope. She continued to stare into space, wistfully choosing the gorgeous outfits she and Pookie would have worn if they’d had the chance to sail into the most glamorous port in the world. She snapped from her reverie, aware of a lip-smacking sound. Pookie had peanut butter stuck to his upper palette and was trying to dislodge it with his tongue.

The man nodded. ‘What is it?’

Peanut butter. Crunchy.’

No, the animal. What is it?

A Papillon.’

What is that? A cat, a dog?’ The man tilted his head to one side. ‘A rabbit?’

A dog,’ she answered tartly, watching him suspiciously for signs of mockery.

Gerrard appeared and handed the Zhivago a glass of beer before placing a bowl of water on the deck. ‘Would you like your cocktail served now, Mademoiselle Skiffington?’

Startled, she realised the light had faded from the sky. ‘Absolutely not! I can’t possibly take my cocktail looking such a mess.’ She saw Zhivago’s expression and chose to ignore it. Slipping her feet into scarlet sling-backs, she scooped Pookie up from the bowl of water and stood straight. Courteously, Zhivago rose with her, increasing alarmingly in height.

Are you joining me for dinner?’ she asked; conscious of his dirty hands and loathe to think he might touch her.

That would be an honour, but do not worry, I will first scrub myself clean.’

She nodded her approval. Dressing up for oneself was fun, but not as much fun as when a man was there to appreciate it. And the fact that the man believed himself to be in the presence of a sex goddess added a delicious piquancy. She pushed her sunglasses to the top of her head to give him a clear-eyed look; then she bathed him in a dazzling smile, turned and sashayed away.

She would be Sonita … for one last night.

THE DOUBLE

‘Give any girl a billion-dollar yacht, a mile of pretty frocks and an army of manservants and she’ll turn into Cleo-sodding-patra!’ – The Double quote

Taglines

“She saved the children.  But who will save her?”

“Her dream came true but her nightmare is just beginning.”

“Only someone this bad could be this good.”

Review Round-Up June ’15

Dear readers, Welcome to a our Review Round-Up for June. It has been a scorcher here in the UK over the last few days, and I do believe that many of us will welcome some rain to break up the humidity. That’s not to say that we want to turn down the heat in the books we are reviewing! This month in particular is dominated by romance, mostly dark and erotic, with Skye Warren’s Better When It Hurts (Stripped #2) and two titles from Christina Phillips’ contemporary erotic romances. For a little erotic fun, we also have Tied to the Kitchen Sink by Kay Jaybee.

However, for those of you that are looking for a paranormal fantasy, we can certainly recommend C.J. Pinard’s Soul Redemption (Rebel Riders #2) and Tim O’Rourke’s Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals, series 1, part 6), the final part of series one. For a deeper psychological thriller/horror there is also the growing success of Lynda O’Rourke’s Dwell (The Kassidy Bell trilogy, #2), which has it’s first book of the trilogy, Drug, reach the no. 1 spot on the Amazon Young Adult horror charts!

Lastly, there is also the amazing The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts, a dark historical psychological thriller that explores the state of a mind of a woman in the late 1800’s who has postnatal depression, yet at the time it was believed she was possibly mad. Influenced by her own personal experience, Rachel has explored this subject and set it in a time when very little was understood of mental states. It is one woman’s battle to realise her terrible truth and understand why. A very moving piece that has now been published by Penguin books in early June, and has been re-worked. Our review is of the original self-published version.

As always, we hope that our reviews influence your reading and that you enjoy them. (Please click on titles for our full review posts.)

Happy reading!

Caroline & Tina 🙂

Hold me until midnightHold Me Until Midnight (Grayson Brothers #1) by Christina Phillips, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Scarlett Ashford needs a date for her father’s wedding. Only she doesn’t just need a guy in a suit—she needs a bodyguard. The only problem is that Jackson Grayson is big and gorgeous and way too sexy. So much so that Scarlett’s tempted to let this hot bad boy ruin her oh-so-good reputation…

Jackson doesn’t do relationships and he certainly doesn’t sleep with clients. Yet he can’t fight their inconvenient attraction, or how badly he wants Scarlett’s warm and wicked curves against his body. He wants her. Now. Even if it’s just for one night, and even if walking away the next morning isn’t as easy as he thought.

Besides, one hot and incredibly intense night between a bad boy and a pampered princess could never turn into something real…could it?

WadeInterviewing Wade (Executive Decisions #4) by Grace Marshall, contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: The Executive Decision Trilogy may be over, but the story continues in this addictively sexy fourth instalment by the best-selling Grace Marshall. Ambitious reporter Carla Flannery has been waiting to make her name – and when she gets the chance to interview Wade Crittenden, the mysterious genius behind Pneuma, Inc, she can’t believe her luck. However, Carla has made a lot of enemies in her work, and when Wade discovers she’s being stalked, he is determined to keep her safe, spurred on by his confusing feelings towards her. As situations turn deadly and dark secrets threaten to reveal themselves, lives and hearts are on the line as the interview starts to reveal far more about them than either ever expected …

Soul Redemption (Rebel Riders, #2)Soul Redemption (Rebel Riders #2) by C.J. Pinard, paranormal/urban fantasy, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Faced with unthinkable changes, Nolan Bishop seeks to come to grips with his new version of mortality. While his relationship with Charity Sheridan was already rocky, he’s now facing a whole new set of challenges as they continue to try to find a balance to the love that has just begun to blossom between them. Meanwhile, her twin Eva has violent vengeance on the mind, and the succubus won’t settle for anything less than Nolan’s ultimate demise. Heading back to New Orleans at the request of the BSI, Nolan will have to face Joel Reichert, the old vampire whose oldest friend is now dead because of him. But is Joel really an enemy?

A new, young friend in the Rebel Riders group gives Nolan a much needed reprieve from the stress of his new way of life. While Archie and the Riders don’t really know the full extent of Nolan’s new problems, he continues to hide the horrific things he has to do in order to stay alive. Will Nolan come out better than he was before Eva tried to take his soul, or will he crack and break under the pressure once he realizes what the succubus has really done to him?

Mist RevealedMist Revealed (Elemental Desire #1) (re-edit of Mist Unveiled) by Nancy Corrigan, erotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A woman seeking answers…

Cat, a renowned scientist, embarks on a quest to uncover the source of the unknown deadly virus that claimed her sister’s life. What she finds is a man shrouded in mystery who manages the impossible—swaying her devotion from logic to passion. But Rune isn’t simply a lover. He’s a weapon, one that has the potential to save her or destroy her.

A man searching for treasure…

Rune, a child of the mist, awakens into a world hovering on the verge of destruction. Ragnarok is coming. His enemies have been released from their prison. And he’s discovered the one woman who can thaw his frozen heart. But the race to stop the final battle isn’t the time to fall in love. Or is it?

A discovery that will change everything…

Life evolves, and what was lost can be recovered. But the truth revealed isn’t the one Cat or Rune expects. The impossible has become reality. And two lovers must make a choice—adapt or die.

Author’s note: Mist Revealed was previously released as Mist Unveiled and has been reedited.

Better when it hurtsBetter When It Hurts (Stripped #2) by Skye Warren, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Five years ago we lived in the same house. He was the ultimate bad boy. And my foster brother.

Now he’s back. Tougher, harder, meaner. All of it aimed at me, because I was the one who sent him away. It’s payback time. He wants his pound of flesh, and I am helpless to say no.

the-medea-complex newThe Medea Complex (re-released/new edition) by Rachel Florence Roberts, dark historical psychological thriller (original review by Caroline)

Blurb: A deep and riveting psychological thriller inspired by true events of the Victorian era, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, what drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.

1885. Anne Stanbury wakes up in a strange bed, having been kidnapped from her home. As the panic settles in, she realizes she has been committed to a lunatic asylum, deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for an unspeakable crime. But all is not as it seems….

Edgar Stanbury, her husband as well as a grieving father, is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity and seeking revenge for his ruined life. But Anne’s future rests wholly in the hands of Dr. George Savage, chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital.

The Medea Complex is the darkly compelling story of a lunatic, a lie, and a shocking revelation that elucidates the difference between madness and evil….

Tiara’s Golden Submission & Veiled Romance by Evelise Archer, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

evelise archer 2Blurb (Tiara’s Golden Submission): On the cusp of turning fifty, Tiara, a submissive without a Dom or husband, desired to return to the lifestyle. Placing her destiny in the hands of Madame Eve and the 1Night Stand Service, will Tiara find all that she seeks? Or will a past love interfere with her future plans? 

evelise archerBlurb (Veiled Romance): Shane Wise is a Dom and part owner of a popular BDSM club in Rittenhouse Square, Club Rebellion. A tumultuous past has led him to an almost perfect present, except Shane has a secret. A secret that could destroy his reputation in the world in which he loves to live-BDSM.

Deacon Archer is also a Dom and part owner of Club Rebellion and he is in love with Shane Wise. Together Shane and Deacon must decide if the love they feel can withstand the scrutiny they fear, if their relationship is revealed.

Can two dominants truly forge a relationship? Will secret desires open up a new world and allow Shane to be the man he was intended to be or will veiled dominance get in the way?

Dwell (Kassidy Bell Series Book 2)Dwell (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #2) by Lynda O’Rourke, psychological thriller/horror (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Running from the shadows of Cruor Pharma, Kassidy Bell soon discovers that it’s not just the cleaners and police that are after her. With the drug VA20 slowly working its way through her veins, Kassidy has become an irresistible target to all those looking for somewhere to dwell.

Desperate to find a place of safety and somewhere to rest, Kassidy and the other volunteers set off in search of the Bishop’s house – the last place they know of that Max’s brother, Robert, may have headed for.

But who can Kassidy trust? Can she even trust her own decisions and feelings, especially when it comes to Doctor Ben Fletcher?

‘DWELL’ – Book 2 in the #1 bestselling paranormal thriller series by Lynda O’Rourke.

Kay JaybeeTied to the Kitchen Sink by Kay Jaybee, erotic (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Will can hardly believe his eyes when he receives the ultimate in birthday gifts. Karen, the girl of his fantasies, has been left tied to his kitchen sink’s taps, ready to be played with exactly as he chooses. Meanwhile, Becky is having a spank-filled first day in her new job, and a BDSM-curious male allows himself to be lured into a dominatrix’s lair by the tempting lyrics of a truly bad poem. Whether bound in ropes or handcuffs, as they are shackled to the bed, kitchen sink, or within the confines of a fetishist’s supply cupboard, the willing victims of Tied to the Kitchen Sink’s kinky S&M and BDSM action find their darkest and sexiest dreams coming true.

Daisys DilemmaDaisy’s Dilemma by Anne Stenhouse, regency historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Lady Daisy should be ecstatic when her brother, the earl, allows Mr. John Brent to propose. She’s been plotting their marriage for two years. However, she is surprised to find herself underwhelmed and blames their distant cousin, Reuben, for unsettling her.

Reuben Longreach wonders whether the earl understands the first thing about Daisy’s nature and her need for a life with more drama than the Season allows. It’s abundantly clear to him that Daisy and John are not suited, but the minx accepts his proposal nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Daisy hatches a plan to attach Reuben to her beautiful, beleaguered Scots cousin, Elspeth. Little does she know that Elspeth is the focus of a more sinister plot that threatens Daisy too.

Will Reuben be able to thwart the forces surrounding Daisy before she is irretrievably tied to John? Will Daisy find the maturity to recognise her dilemma may be of her own making before it’s too late?

Werewolves of Shade (Part Six) (Beautiful Immortals Series Book 6)Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals, series one, part 6) by Tim O’Rourke, paranormal fantasy (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: From Tim O’Rourke #1 bestselling author of ‘The Kiera Hudson Series’ comes ‘Werewolves of Shade’ a werewolf romance with a twist.

When the entire population of Shade go missing, investigative reporter Mila Watson knows this could be the big break she has been waiting for. Setting off into the mountains to the village of Shade, Mila soon learns that the village isn’t as deserted as she first believed it to be and that creatures lurk in the shades…

‘Werewolves of Shade’ (Part Six)

Note: This ends in a cliff-hanger. Part Seven will be published within the next few weeks.

For readers 16+

relinquish cover (2)Relinquish by M.N. Forgy, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: ***WARNING*** This novel contains explicit language, sex, drugs, violence, and sexual situations that some might find offensive. This book is intended for adults 18+ years of age.

In my world, there is no such thing as love. It is just a lie we whisper into our client’s ear. Love is foreign and hazardous. What I did not expect was to bare my soul to a man who is as egotistical as he is dangerous.

His name is Landon. Despite his blackened soul, he tried to save me, but what he didn’t expect was my torturous fate to catch up with me.

To your father, I’m the escort.

To your mother, I’m the whore.

To the legal system, I’m the prostitute.

In the end, I’m just the other woman.

I have no idea if I will continue to survive, if I will ever find my path aside from the gritty streets I know so well. There is a good chance I will wind up in the ditch like most women in my position. Surrendering to my fate is the only choice I have. I must relinquish it all.

Indulgence Front Cover 5-14-15 FINAL 150DPIIndulgence Anthology by Various Authors, dark erotic romances (reviewed by Tina)

Amity Cross, Royal Blood (Royal Blood #1) A hitman and a woman with an explosive secret collide in this thrilling romance. Will love be enough? Or are they doomed from the start?

Audrey Carlan, Angel Falling (Falling, #1) Socialite Aspen Reynolds is saved from death by country boy, Hank Jensen, who makes it clear he wants her in his life and his bed.

Cat Mason, Escaping Me (Shaft on Tour #1) Temptations, betrayal, and lies are all mixed with booze, tattoos, sex, laughs, and love as the Shaft takes stage after stage. Making friends along the way, Daisy must stop escaping herself. She must stop hiding behind a list and come to terms with what she really wants in life. Emotions and secrets unravel all around as Daisy learns to live the rough and rowdy life of taking Shaft on tour.

Cynthia Sax, Releasing Rage Joan sees the darkness in Rage, the sexy cyborg she’s been assigned to maintain. He’s big, angry, violent… and exactly the warrior she needs.

Deanndra Hall, My Last Dom A submissive who’s addicted to pain runs headlong into a Dominant determined to save her. But her ghosts could ruin their chances for happiness.

Jamie Salisbury, Perpetual Love Albert and Anne meet on his family’s ranch. Cupid’s arrow does it’s thing. The pair become inseparable. Anne’s father meanwhile has his own agenda.

JM Witt, Letting Go (Anchored Hearts #1) What happens when the girl who’s only read about BDSM meets a flawed Dom? Will their tortured souls find love amidst pleasure and pain?

Kelley Grealis, The Descendant (The Descendant Vampire Series, #1) Mortal death or eternal damnation? If those were your choices, which would you choose? Discover the vampire’s origin in The Descendant – A Vampire Tale of Biblical Proportions!

Laura Harner, Rescued (Three’s Allowed Book 2) With Elizabeth’s abusive ex intent on murder, Sheriff Graeme and security-mogul Michael join forces—but who will rescue them? One woman, two men, deadly serious.

Liz Crowe, Man On (Black Jack Gentlemen, #1) All eyes are on the fledgling Black Jack Detroit soccer team in its debut season. They must make a good showing in the league and with new fans. But player drama, club dynamics, and misplaced priorities may tear it apart before it even begins.

Nina Levine, Relent (Sydney Storm MC, #1) Will Evie relent in this second chance romance or has Kick left it too long to go after the woman who’s owned his heart forever?

Sandy Sullivan, Make Mine a Cowboy (Cowboy Dreamin’, #1) She writes fantasy cowboys for a living, but she never expected to find her own on the back roads of Hill Country, Texas.

Sharon Hamilton, SEAL Under Covers (Seal Brotherhood #3) Navy SEAL Armando Guzman is trying to help his sister clean up her life, but he is unprepared for the chemical attraction of his sister’s new best friend who he doesn’t know is an undercover cop.

Skye Callahan, Irrevocable (Irrevocable, #1) They stripped me of my life but never my will to survive. Descending into their darkness and making it my own became my only escape.

Theresa Troutman, A Special Connection Three friends who are as close as can be, in a moment of despair, share an experience that will forever change their lives.

**PROMO TOUR** ~ Laura Strickland (Historical Romance author), includes excerpt and giveaway

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author
Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her “fur” child, a rescue dog. Author of Scottish romance Devil Black as well as The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy, she is pleased to say that His Wicked Highland Ways is her eighth title for The Wild Rose Press.
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 Publication Date: April 24, 2015
Widowed following a marriage of convenience, Jeannie MacWherter has fled lowland Dumfries, Scotland, for the highland cottage bequeathed to her late husband by his brother-in-arms, laird of the glen. Though she’s never met the laird, local rumor labels him both murderer and seducer—a wicked, dangerous man who Jeannie learns is determined to chase her from his land.
 
Finnan MacAllister has come home to Glen Mhor in order to right past wrongs. He doesn’t care that Rowan Cottage is the beautiful Widow MacWherter’s only refuge. He’s convinced she’s a wanton who deliberately broke the heart of his best friend, Geordie, and he’s vowed to get even with her: seduction is his weapon of choice. But will his own heart betray him?
Excerpt 
The man arose from the pool stark naked and dripping wet, like a god newly formed. Jeannie took another half step backward and blinked, not entirely believing the sight that met her eyes: some six foot of male, all rippling muscles, scars, and tattoos, with a curtain of sopping red-brown hair that slapped his shoulder blades, and a handsome, dangerous face. His eyes were tawny brown, almost the same color as his hair, and spiked by wet, black lashes. But after one glance, Jeannie could not make herself look there.
 
Instead her gaze dropped—and dropped. Sweet, merciful heaven! Was that how men came equipped? She might be a widow in name, but she had never seen her husband, Geordie, naked. Theirs had not been that kind of relationship, or that kind of marriage.
 
But she had an eyeful now, right enough, and for the life of her could not keep from staring. What a ridiculous, daunting, and marvelous appendage! How did men ever manage to walk around like that?
 
But this man did not attempt to walk. He merely stood in the shallow pool with the water lapping around his…Jeannie’s strained mind supplied the word “weapon”…and gazed at her as if he found her as hard to fathom as she found him.
 
Ah, and she never should have walked so far down the glen. But dearly as she loved Aggie, Jeannie sometimes needed to escape her chatter, and the beautiful day had lured her on.
 
Into danger, clearly. Who was he? Obviously someone of ill repute, a traveler, a dangerous outlaw, a madman. What if he decided to use that terrible weapon on her, and she on her own?
 
Instead he spoke the way a man might to a frightened horse. “There, now, no need to be afraid. I’ll not harm you.”
 
Jeannie took another judicious step backward. If she ran, would he be able to catch her? No doubt, given those long, muscular legs.
 
She shook her head, and her hair tumbled about her shoulders. Never well-disciplined, the yellow curls invariably escaped their pins, and she’d lost most of those on her walk down the glen.
 
He spoke again, in a voice smooth as warmed honey, lilting, and very Highland. “Where are you from, lass? You’ll be a maid at Avrie House, no doubt.” Deliberately he snagged his plaid, which lay on the bank, and wrapped it around his waist.
 
“Why were you lying in the water?” Jeannie forced her voice past suddenly stiff lips. “I thought you dead, drowned.”
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Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Disgraced in her father’s eyes, Isobel Maitland travels to Scotland, determined to purchase her sister’s happiness at the cost of her own. But when her coach is held up and she is abducted by a dangerous highwayman, she faces an unexpected choice: suffer the loveless union to which she has resigned herself, or marry this ruthless, Scottish outlaw who can ignite her desire with a single touch. They call him “Diabhal Dubh” – Devil Black – and he spends his days terrorizing the countryside, trying to outdistance the memories that torture him. The King has decreed he must settle and take a wife. And when he steals the alluring woman betrothed to his enemy, Dougal MacRae sees a way to both answer the King’s demand and obtain the revenge he has sought so long …
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Publication Date: February 27, 2015
Clara Allen needs a husband in order to keep a roof over the heads of her assorted dependents, a roof her nasty grandfather will re-appropriate unless she is married by her 21st birthday, only a few days away. Strong-minded, unwilling to take orders from any man, she decides to solve her problem by raising a murdered prisoner from the dead and marrying him. She expects an empty-headed puppet; she certainly never dreams he’ll be so devastatingly handsome. Liam McMahon doesn’t recall much about his life before his hanging in the prison yard, other than being Irish. He does remember the kiss Clara bestowed as she brought him back to life. Every time he looks at her, his desire gets out of hand. But his former life is chasing him down like a steam engine, and when a couple of mad geniuses decide he’d make a fine experiment, he wonders if he’ll live long enough to claim Clara’s heart or if he’ll die all over again.
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Publication Date: July 23, 2013
Raised in the kitchens of Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood until she is summoned to Sherwood Forest. Since Robin’s death many years before, the resistance against Norman tyranny has been upheld by a magical triad, but now one of the guardians has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new triad with a bond strong enough to defend Sherwood’s magic. To one of them, she will also give her heart. From the moment Wren bursts into his life, Sparrow loves her. But he knows she may choose his lifelong rival, Martin, as her mate. Martin wants Wren also, but Sparrow fears Martin is driven not by love but ambition. When Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, will the conflict between love and duty destroy the triad?
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Publication Date: December 26, 2013
When Gareth de Vavasour, nephew of the Sheriff of Nottingham, is captured by the outlaws of Sherwood Forest and held for ransom, he knows he will be fortunate to escape with his life. Amid the magic and danger that surround him, he soon realizes his true peril lies in the beautiful dark eyes of Linnet, the Saxon healer sent to tend his wounds. Granddaughter of Robin Hood, Linnet has always known she is destined to become a guardian of Sherwood Forest, along with her sister and a close childhood companion. She believes her life well settled until the arrival of Gareth. Then all her loyalties are tested even as her heart is forced to choose between love and the ties of duty, while Sherwood declares its own champion.
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Publication Date: December 26, 2013
Curlew Champion, master archer, has always known his destiny. With his cousin, Heron Scarlet, he will become a guardian of Sherwood Forest and further his people’s fight against Norman Tyranny. But the third member of the triad is still to be revealed, the woman who will complete the magical circle and, perhaps, answer the longing in Curlew’s heart. Anwyn Montfort has fled disgrace in Shrewsbury and come to Nottingham at her father’s bidding. He wishes her to make a good marriage and settle down. But the wildness that possesses her refuses to quiet. She knows she’s been searching for something all her life, but not until she glimpses Curlew does her spirit begin to hope it has found its home. Only the magic of Sherwood can bring them together, and only their union can complete the spell woven so long ago …

Review Round-Up – March ’15

Hello readers, we hope you are all well, and reading plenty of gripping stories, of course! Wow – I have to say I was shocked myself when writing this post up, due to the amount of reads that Tina and myself have reviewed over this past month! From Christmas and Valentine’s box sets, to full length novels, and through to short story serials, we really do have more than a mixed bag here!

With many of our ratings now being 5* I am convinced the writing is getting better and better! And, we haven’t even finished with March yet – making for a brilliant year of reading!

Here are our latest reviews, covering our many genres; romance, paranormal, sci-fi, erotica, historical, drama, dark reads, crime and thrillers. We hope you enjoy them just as much as we have. And, with Easter just around the corner – why not treat yourself to a read or two?

(Please click on the titles for our full review posts.)

Love to all our readers, Caroline & Tina ❤

516RdlENJcL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX364_SY364_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA364_AA346_SH20_OU02_Naughty List by The Naughty Literati’s, erotica, romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: The Naughty Literati are a group of authors who’ve come together to showcase their epic talents in stories filled with powerful eroticism and satisfying romance. Our tales range from heartwarming and sweet to scorching hot erotic; medieval to futuristic; humans to aliens and shape-shifters; vanilla committed couples to kinky ménage fun. Keep an eye out for more of our steamy boxed sets coming soon. Thank you for joining us on this naughty journey!

The Nightwind’s Visit by Charlotte Boyett-Compo: Be careful what you wish for. The NightWind hears every whisper, every sigh, every need and he’s coming to grant your every wicked, wanton desire.

Dear Santa…I Want a Man for Christmas by Marianne Stephens: Frustrated with untrustworthy men, Melissa orders a man doll. When delivery guy, Nick, shows up, she has second thoughts about how to satisfy her needs.

Prelude to a Most Unusual Marriage by Katherine Kingston: Guilty secrets torment widowed Elizabeth Fitzhugh. A Christmas visit to the Earl of Chisenholm offers redemption, if she can find the courage to grasp it.

No Gentleman by Francesca Hawley: Librarian Abby Kelly comes west finding a roguish shapeshifter who desires her. Will Goldwolf is no gentleman, but Abby discovers he’s just what she wants.

Jewel’s Menage Christmas by Berengaria Brown: The excitement has left Jewel, Donovan, and Oscar’s relationship. Jewel plans to spice things up, but will Donovan and Oscar rise to the challenge?

Tune Me Up by Lainey-Jo Charles: Jason catches Dani having an intimate moment with a recording of him singing to her, and is ready to move them from friends to forever.

On the Eighteenth of January, ’78  or, A Night at Valley Forge by Regina Kammer: During the infamous winter of ‘77-‘78 at Valley Forge, two soldiers fanboy over their  charismatic leader, General George Washington.

The Christmas Leopard by Lynne Connolly: Two gorgeous Italian hunks save art restorer Sandi when she accidentally summons an ancient evil from a mosaic. Their methods are unconventional—and scorching hot!

Christmas Bad Girl by Trinity Blacio: She only had one wish this Christmas. To find the one man who was strong enough to master her in bed and out.

How the Alien Stole Christmas by Belle Scarlett: On board a deep space station Christmas Trent learns her sexy cyber lover, who may not be human, wants to steal her for his own.

Merry Christmas, Kitten by Nicole Austin: Sirena Petra wants one thing for Christmas—an orgasm. And sex toy expert Kenyon Fort has exactly what the lion shifter needs to find more than just her happy place.

Viking in Tartan by Suz deMello: Medieval romance from the Highland Vampires series. A Viking raider brings change to little Clan Kilbirnie, especially to the chieftain’s daughter, Rhona.

Holdin’ On by Alexa Silver: Rock star Max is terminally ill. When Aislin falls into his life, rocking his world, everything changes. Is she his Christmas miracle?

Naughty Hearts (boxed set) by the Naughty Literati, erotic/dark fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, sci-fi (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Twelve Naughty Valentine’s Short Reads including Contemporary, Dark Fantasy, Menage, M/M, M/M/F, M/F/M, New Adult, Paranormal, Shape-shifter, Steampunk & Time Travel from Amazon bestselling authors.

Naughty Balls by Suz deMello: Two college basketball players find themselves alone on V-Day evening. M/F)

Love Potion #69 by Alexa Silver: When Keith and Jenna accidentally fall under the spell of one of her Valentine’s Day love potions, lust is in the air!

My Valentine Lovers by Nicole Austin: All I want for Valentine’s Day is to get barbed by a feline shifter and act out a few of my naughty twin fantasies getting me hot and bothered.

Valentime by Belle Scarlett: Valerie buys a South Carolina plantation and discovers a Valentine addressed to her from a previous owner who bids her to return to him in 1865.

Delia’s Heartthrob by Regina Kammer: Gadzooks! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching – what’s a scientist to do? Edward knows naught of romance. Can steam power prevail over chocolates to win Delia’s heart?

Two Into One Goes Great by Lynne Connolly: A booker at a top model agency learns she’s anything but ordinary when two sexy photographers point their lenses—and more—at her.

Under the Hood by Lainey-Jo Charles: How do you choose between an online crush you’ve never met and a secret crush that you have? Maybe you don’t have to…

Buy Me a Rose by Francesca Hawley: Jessica and Nathaniel Whitewolf celebrate their thirtieth anniversary as True Mates but they’ve lost their bond. Now a hot couples’ retreat will get it back.

Chocolate-Coated Reunion by Berengaria Brown: Jake refuses to talk to Matt after he was very late on Christmas Eve. Matt’s determined to reconnect with Jake on Valentine’s Day.

Cupid’s Curious Case by Marianne Stephens: Alan’s last job as Cupid 84 involves neighbor Amy and a special box of candy. Both secretly desire the other. Can they find true love?

Fifty Shades of Valentine’s Day by Katherine Kingston: Dumped on Valentine’s Day! Melissa only thinks the day can’t get any worse. Until she damages her hot neighbor’s car, and he demands unexpected compensation.

The Reaper’s Valentine by Charlotte Boyett-Compo: Sometimes a Reaper has to do what a Reaper does. It would be wise for a life-mate to remember that!

Werewolves of Shade (Book Two)Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #2 & #3) (short story series) by Tim O’Rourke, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: When the entire population of Shade go missing, investigative reporter Mila Watson knows this could be the big break she has been waiting for. Setting off into the mountains to the village of Shade, Mila soon learns that the village isn’t as deserted as she first believed it to be and that creatures lurk in the shades…

For readers 16+

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #2)

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #3)

Deception (Dark Alpha 3)Deception/Escape/Penance (Dark Alpha #3, #4 & #5) (short story series) by Alisa Woods, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Shifters live in the shadows of Seattle, just under the skin of the alpha male, dot-com billionaires who are building a new Silicon Valley in the Emerald City.

Deception (Dark Alpha #3) blurb: Jak has a plan to free Arianna without the witch’s help… but the best laid plans of wolves and men rarely turn out as they hope.

Escape (Dark Alpha #4) blurb: With Arianna’s family looking for her, Jak’s plan to flee the state just got a lot more complicated. But before he can worry about that, he has to break her free of Mace’s hold.

Penance (Dark Alpha #5) blurb:  Jak’s plan is a dangerous one… but will he even get the chance to carry it out? 

Is love stronger than magic? Or will breaking an unbreakable bond destroy them both?

23356789Willow (Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives #9) by Christina Phillips, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Meet the Housewives of Sydney. They are wealthy, elegant, poised, and constantly in the public eye. But what goes on behind closed doors, in the private homes and parties where the cameras and paparazzi aren’t welcome? Delve into the most personal details of their relationships, their friendships and their lives. The only question is: can you handle the heat?

Willow has loved Seb for as long as she can remember, but he has a past that she can’t handle, so she’s never done anything about it. But to not have him in her life is unthinkable, so she holds on to him the only way she can – through friendship. Now his writing career is taking off, and Willow finds herself increasingly jealous of his groupies and increasingly unable to keep her feelings to herself.

An unexpected visit leads to an unanticipated kiss – and Seb and Willow end up in her bed. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to Willow, but can she trust that Seb wants more than a bit of afternoon delight – and can she trust herself to let go of the past in order to gain a future?

Love Bites: V. 1: A Collection of Short StoriesLove Bites: A Collection of Short Stories by Valeria Kogan, contemporary romance, dark read (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Love Bites is the provocative debut collection of short stories by Valeria Kogan. From heartbreak to redemption, Love Bites provides a spellbinding interpretation of love and friendship, glamour and guilt, secrets and deceit.

Each story provides a captivating insight into the world of love; its profound impact and effect; and how women relate to their partners.

This cleverly constructed collection of short stories will leave you tantalized and yearning for more. Love Bites is a must-read for every modern woman, reader of romance and romantic enthusiast.

kissed-at-midnight-coverKissed at Midnight by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: August Avery, a renowned civil engineer, has found himself the sole custodian of his cousin’s six month old daughter and he needs assistance—fast. He understands how to build railways, to construct bridges and to save the railway tycoons thousands of pounds. He doesn’t understand, however, how to care for a child.
 
When Ivy Davis turns up at his door looking for work, he believes his prayers are answered. If only the exotic, exuberant young woman did not prove to be such a distraction from his busy workload.
 
Unsure if she is even up to the task of looking after a baby, Ivy finds herself swayed by the handsome and slightly desperate August into working for him. With her singing career failing before it even started and no other talents, she decides looking after a young child cannot be so hard, surely?
 
But the child may turn out to be the least of her worries. Her handsome, brooding master seems to keep her awake more than the baby. Add to that her desire to achieve her dreams of singing on stage and the machinations of the indomitable Mrs. Pepperwhite who sees her as competition for August’s hand, Ivy finds this simple job growing harder by the day—as does her desire for her master…

thumbnail (2)Devil in Duke’s Clothing by Nina Mason, erotic historical romance, (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Maggie York, a convent-raised foundling, knows the Duke of Dunwoody’s sexual tastes are a shade or two darker than normal, but marries him anyway—partly because she has no other prospects and partly because, try as she might, she can’t seem to exorcize her desire for the dashing ducal devil. Two years ago, she watched him swive and spank her lady’s maid, luring her from the garden of innocence into the orchard of fleshly delights–and she’s been hungry for more ever since.

Robert Armstrong, the duke, is a Roman Catholic whose extreme devotions as a child warped his desires as a man. He’s also a slave to the times in which he lives–and to his king. Everything he is, everything he holds dear, depends on staying in Charles II’s good graces. Unfortunately, Maggie isn’t the bride the king selected for him. Now, to make amends, the duke must choose between the lesser of two evils: whore his wife or be reduced to a penniless commoner.

Whose interests will Robert choose to serve, his own, the king’s, or the woman he loves?

Cautious Surrender (Unearthly World #4)Cautious Surrender (Unearthly World, book IV) by C.L. Scholey, sci-fi erotic romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Adan went from a living hell on Earth, only to be thrown into a new purgatory. The Zargonnii vessel she’d thought was her savior is blown to bits in an alien war attack. A wormhole sends Adan and her warrior protector to an unknown world. Her only hope of surviving the ungodly planet is in the hands of Blu, whom she loves. Unfortunately, Blu has another agenda.

Blu’s body burns for the little human female, but his entire adult life has one purpose, to father a son and create a family. If he mates with Adan and makes it back home, he’ll need to keep her close to his side, protecting her from his dangerous life. Human females only produce female offspring in Blu’s world. If they survive this planet, Blu has to decide if he’s willing to give up one dream for another.

Three Rules Marie DrakeThree Rules by Marie Drake, dark mystery drama, romance (reviewed by Caroline)

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?

The_Color_of_Happiness_KINDLEThe Color of Happiness by K.P. Gazelle, young adult contemporary drama, romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Book Blurb: Faith Lane is the girl who has everything. At least, that’s what everyone thinks when they see her rocking a killer dress while laughing with her best friend, Tiffany. But Faith’s life is far from flawless. Her peers torment her relentlessly, and her parents expect her to be the epitome of perfection. Criticized and pressured at school and home, Faith retreats into silent acceptance and finds an escape in her passion of dancing. Then she meets Alex – quirky, forever with a pass, and concealing a mysterious secret of his own. And through his encouragement, Faith starts believing in her gift for dance and gains courage to stand up for herself. But will she be able to keep her footing when the events of one night consume her with the need to jump off the rocky cliffs near her coastal home? And what has pushed her to the edge of reason?

Her Gaze CoverHer Gaze (short story) by Angel A., romantic suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: At that moment, Gabe knew he had fallen for her. The first time he laid eyes on Sofy he knew that she was for him and he was hers. However, she was already taken by a dangerous man. A man that would kill before letting her go. But Gabe was willing to put his life in harm’s way to be with the woman he was in love with.

This suspenseful and sexy short story is full of excitement. It gives joy to the imagination and makes the heart beat a little faster.

24916749In Expert Hands by Lily Harlem, erotic BDSM romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Imogen White has it all—a high-flying career, a prestigious London home and friends she knows will fight her corner. She’s going up, and she’s in control, she’s also got the hots for one very important, very sexy client.

Kane Ward is a self-made billionaire whose determination to be the best of the best has left him alone. He has everything money can buy, yachts, jets, and villas in all four corners of the globe, but even he can’t buy time to suit his needs.

And his needs are very specific, his desires a particular shade of kink and his tastes anything but vanilla. So when he sets his sights on Imogen it’s a given that things are going to get dark, that pleasure will be laced with pain and determining his success will be measured by her blushes and gasps and cries of delight. But Imogen doesn’t need to worry, she’s in expert hands and her every fantasy is about to come true—and then some she’d never imagined even in her wildest dreams.

Fallen (Coyote Moon Book 1)Fallen (Coyote Moon #1) by Ann Simko, action thriller, crime, sci-fi paranormal (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Dr. Dakota Thomas isn’t prepared for the gunshot victim who rolls through his emergency room doors. Michael Ricco looks like a young Marine in a world of trouble, his dog tags, however tell a different story.
How could the military have no record of him? Why was he shot in the back in the middle of the desert, and why were thirteen people murdered to keep his secret? More than that, how could he have a birth date of 1898?
In a world where genetic experimentation pushes the boundaries of what someone would do to live a little longer, the question may be, how many will die in order to keep one person alive?

YesterdayYesterday by Sheila Norton, period/historical drama (1960’s), mystery, crime, romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: During the riots between the Mods and Rockers in the early Sixties, teenager Cathy finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the events which follow will haunt her for the rest of her life. Forty years later she’s forced to revisit her past, deal with her unhappy memories and try to find out exactly what did happen back in 1964. 

LoveTheWayYouLie-SkyeWarren-500x750Love the Way You Lie by Skye Warrendark, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A dark romance about the lies that lead us down…

I’ll do anything to get safe, even if that means working at the scariest club in town.

I’ll do anything to stay hidden, even if it means taking off my clothes for strangers.

I’ll do anything to be free. Except give him up. When he looks at me, I forget why I can’t have him. He’s beautiful and scarred. His body fits mine, filling the places where I’m hollow, rough where I am soft.

He’s the one man who wants to help, but he has his own agenda. He has questions I can’t answer. What are you afraid of?

You.

**RELEASE BLITZ** ~ In Expert Hands, by Lily Harlem

 Smoking 18+/Adult Read

We are delighted to feature Lily Harlem’s smoking hot new release on our blog today. Scroll down to read the blurb, the purchase links and also a sizzling 18+ excerpt. I’ll be posting my review soon. Tina ❤

Out now from Lily Harlem, hot BDSM billionaire novel – IN EXPERT HANDS – available on Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon Au / Amazon Ca 

IEH_cover

 

Back cover information

Imogen White has it all—a high-flying career, a prestigious London home and friends she knows will fight her corner. She’s going up, and she’s in control, she’s also got the hots for one very important, very sexy client. 

Kane Ward is a self-made billionaire whose determination to be the best of the best has left him alone. He has everything money can buy, yachts, jets, and villas in all four corners of the globe, but even he can’t buy time to suit his needs.

And his needs are very specific, his desires a particular shade of kink and his tastes anything but vanilla. So when he sets his sights on Imogen it’s a given that things are going to get dark, that pleasure will be laced with pain and determining his success will be measured by her blushes and gasps and cries of delight. But Imogen doesn’t need to worry, she’s in expert hands and her every fantasy is about to come true—and then some she’d never imagined in her wildest dreams.

IN EXPERT HANDS has a spin-off short story, IN SAFE HANDS which is featured in the Brit Babes SEXY JUST GOT RICH anthology. Go grab your copy – it’s available from all good ebook retail outlets – and let yourself fall into the dark, erotic world of the Ward brothers, but remember to call them Sir if you’re wearing their collar!

Excerpt from IN EXPERT HANDS 18+

“Would you like a drink?” he asked over the sound of the music.

“I’m okay, unless you want one.”

“No. I drank water after my workout.” He urged her forward. “So shall we go straight into a playroom?”

“If that’s what you want?”

He glanced at his watch. “There should be something going on to satisfy our voyeur plans for the evening.”

They stepped toward the bar.

Kane indicated another doorway at the opposite end that had a chain mail curtain hanging from its frame. “It’s through there.”

“Ah, K. Long time no see.” A man wearing a similar jacket to Kane’s but with only two stars over the breast pocket extended his hand.

He didn’t wear a mask and Imogen could see that his smile was genuine.

“Nate, how have you been?” Kane took his hand and they shook.

“Great, been in the City for a few weeks on business. Making the most of my free time by coming here most nights.” Nate turned to Imogen and raised his eyebrows. “You have company.”

“Don’t look so surprised.” Kane squeezed Imogen a little closer.

“I am. You don’t usually bring guests. Special occasion?”

Imogen felt Kane tense. She sensed he wasn’t enjoying having his break from the ordinary commented on. “

No occasion,” Kane said. “Good to see you, Nate, perhaps we’ll get chance to catch up later.”

“Yep. That would be cool.” Nate held up what appeared to be a glass of fizzy water and nodded. He kept his attention on Imogen. “Enjoy your evening here at Sup Space. I’m sure Master K will address your every need.”

“Thank you.” Imogen smiled then felt her cheeks heat as Nate swept his gaze down her body—starting at the collar, then lingering on her breasts and finally on her boots.

Kane stepped forward, tugging her with him. “This way.”

After several paces she touched the collar. “This, around my neck,” she said quietly. “What would happen if I wasn’t wearing it?”

“It would make you fair bait for men like Nate, who are just out to play in a scene, find someone to hook up with.” He glanced at her. “He had no right to look at you like that.”

“Well, the outfit kind of screams look at me.”

“That’s not the point.”

“Oh.” She was confused. “It’s not?”

“No. You’re with me. I’ve claimed you with a collar. What’s more, I outrank him. He should show more respect.”

“You outrank him?”

“Of course.” He pulled back the chain curtain and opened a door. He ushered Imogen into the new room.

Imogen opened her mouth and stared around, thoughts of Nate vanishing.

Kane moved her from the doorway and into the shadows. He stepped behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist

“What are your first impressions?” he asked by her ear, his lips brushing her lobe and his breath heating a trail down her neck.

She leant back into him, loving being so close, held by him. But she couldn’t concentrate fully on his embrace because of what was before her. “It’s…sexy.”

“Mmm, I’m glad you think so,” he said, the soft material of his mask rubbing against her temple. “What else?”

She looked around. The room was sectioned into six large cubicles, each one decorated in dark tones and with a combination of low lights and spotlights. Each three-walled area held a bed or a table or some other piece of equipment in the center. Three spaces were occupied.

There was an audience, too, couples, singles, threesomes sitting on more large sofas. Imogen could only see the backs of their heads. Some appeared enraptured, others holding quiet conversations.

“Tell me,” Kane urged, slipping his hand over the smooth material covering her waist. “What do you think about that, over there, to your left.”

Imogen was already staring in that direction. It had been the main thing that had captured her attention.

A naked woman was bent double, tied to a skinny padded table with her ankles fastened to the legs and her arms stretched out on two platforms, crucifix-like. Her skin was pale except for her behind, which was scarlet.

Beside her stood a man—dressed like Kane in black trousers and a velvet jacket—wielding a flogger. He walked around the woman as if surveying the marks on her ass then cracked down the many strands over her skin.

Imogen jerked and a tingle traveled over her buttocks, as though her nerves were empathetic with what the woman on the table was going through.

The man hit again.

The woman groaned and moved her head, her face coming into Imogen’s view. She had her eyes screwed up tight and her lips were parted. There was a flush of red on her cheeks that matched the rosy blush on her backside.

“Talk to me,” Kane said softly.

“Is she enjoying it?” Imogen asked, although she was pretty sure she knew the answer. The woman appeared to be in ecstasy, as though she’d folded in on herself and only her body and sensation existed.

“Very much so,” Kane said. “Master Zen is very capable of working his sub towards orgasm just through striking her.”

“Are they just…playing a scene or are they…?”

“Lovers, committed to each other? Yes, actually those two are. They’re regulars here and live the lifestyle.”

“The lifestyle?”

“Yes.” He slid his hand to her collar and spanned it with his thumb and fingers. “They live full time as Dom and sub. He commands and she obeys.”

“It sounds…old-fashioned.” Imogen wasn’t sure about the obeying thing. She’d known friends who’d purposely had that removed from their wedding vows.

“It’s a symbiotic relationship,” Kane went on, smoothing his fingers around her collar and brushing her skin.

A small shiver ran down Imogen’s spine.

The woman was struck again—several times in fast succession.

Imogen stared at the spectacle.

“You see,” Kane said. “She needs to be adored, cared for, taken through life by the man she loves. He needs to protect her, satisfy her, ensure that everything is perfect for her at all times. That is what makes him feel complete.”

“And that includes this. Beating?”

“Beating, spanking, flogging, whatever you want to call it, yes, it includes this, because that’s what they both enjoy, it’s their thing. It’s their kink.”

Kane went quiet and Imogen watched as Master Zen stood directly behind his sub. He appeared to fiddle at his groin then his pants loosened around his hips. He pushed forward.

The woman arched her back and her cry echoed around the room.

He reached for her shoulders, dragged her onto him.

“He’s…” Imogen said.

“Yes. He’s clearly very pleased with her. She’d getting exactly what she wants tonight.” Kane’s voice was low and husky, as though the sight was turning him on.

Imogen watched, fascinated as the Dom began to fuck his woman with urgency. The sub couldn’t move, she was strapped down, but he was moving for them. Thrusting in and out, hard, frantic, gripping her shoulders, her hair, her hips. His hands were all over her.

Imogen’s knickers dampened and she shifted within Kane’s arms.

“Would you like to get fucked like that?” Kane whispered.

Imogen half turned to him, his words a shock, despite where they were and what they were watching.

“Tell me,” he said, cupping her cheek and her holding face. “Tell me what you’re thinking?”

“I…” Imogen was breathing heavily. Fuck. What was she thinking? That she wanted to get fucked like that? She wanted to feel the flogger?

“Would you like to be her, on that table, with Master Zen taking you to the exquisite high she is rocketing towards right now?” Kane asked. “Red and sore, filled to the max? Nothing else in your mind except claiming that pleasure?”

She did, but it wasn’t Master Zen she wanted behind her, yanking her hair, scratching and marking her skin. Sinking deep, so deep. Filling her to bursting point.

It was Kane, or K as he was known here. It was him she wanted.

“Imogen,” Kane murmured, his mouth almost touching hers. “Talk to me.”

“Yes.” The word scratched from her throat. “But—”

He pressed his thumb over her lips, flattening them against her teeth. “No buts. Or if there are, tell me later.” He gave a brief smile. “Yes is enough.”

About Lily Harlem

Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning, best-selling author of contemporary erotic romance. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Xcite, Ellora’s Cave and Sweetmeats Press. Her Hot Ice series regularly receives high praise and industry nominations.

Before turning her hand to writing Lily Harlem worked as a trauma nurse and her latest HarperCollins release, Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse, draws on her many experiences while nursing in London. Lily also self-publishes and The Silk Tie, The Glass Knot and Scored have been blessed with many 5* reviews since their release.

Lily also co-authors with Natalie Dae and publishes under the name Harlem Dae – check out the Sexy as Hell Box Set available exclusively on Amazon – The Novice, The Player and The Vixen – and That Filthy Book which has been hailed as a novel ‘every woman should read’.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

Lily Harlem Links

Website http://www.lilyharlem.com/ 

Blog http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.com/ 

Twitter https://twitter.com/lily_harlem 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lily.harlem 

Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/LilyHarlemAuthor 

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/lilyharlem/ 

Raw Talent http://rawtalentseries.co.uk 

BritBabes http://thebritbabes.blogspot.co.uk 

Hockey Romance http://www.hockeyromance.com 

Newsletter Subscription http://www.lilyharlem.com/newsletter-subscription.html 

Hot Ice https://www.facebook.com/hoticeseries 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/106837751333678531161/posts 

Harlem Dae http://www.harlemdae.com 

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4070110.Lily_Harlem

 

 

 

**REVIEW** ~ Naughty Hearts (Boxed Set), by the Naughty Literati

A Super Collection for Valentine’s Day

Erotic 18+/Adult Read

Whatever your reading preferences you are well advised to get hold of Naughty Hearts, another sizzling collection from The Naughty Literati, guaranteed to meet your needs this Valentine’s Day and beyond!

I adored all of the reads, my faves being: Valentime by Belle Scarlett; Two into One Goes Great, by Lynne Connolly; Under the Hood by Lainey-Jo Charles; 50 Shades of Valentine’s Day by Katherine Kingston and My Reaper’s Valentine by Charlotte Boyett-Compo. These tales tickled my fancy the most!

I was also delighted to see that although the central characters were new, a number of the stories (namely Nicole Austin’s My Valentine Lovers and Lainey Jones-Charles’ Under the Hood) took place in the worlds that the authors had created in the previous boxed set The Naughty List (click title for review).

Blurb 

Twelve Naughty Valentine’s Short Reads including Contemporary, Dark Fantasy, Menage, M/M, M/M/F, M/F/M, New Adult, Paranormal, Shape-shifter, Steampunk & Time Travel from Amazon bestselling authors.

NAUGHTY BALLS by Suz deMello ****

Two college basketball players find themselves alone on V-Day evening. M/F)

A hot and steamy read. I loved how Penny the heroine, who lacks confidence around men, found herself in exactly the right place at the right time to hook up with the man of her dreams. After losing a bet to him on the basketball court they wasted no time in getting down and dirty together!

LOVE POTION #69 by Alexa Silver *****

When Keith and Jenna accidentally fall under the spell of one of her Valentine’s Day love potions, lust is in the air!

An inspired and fun take on the friends to lovers trope! A wildly and carnal fantasy. Just what is the recipe for this potion?

MY VALENTINE LOVERS by Nicole Austin ****

All I want for Valentine’s Day is to get barbed by a feline shifter and act out a few of my naughty twin fantasies getting me hot and bothered.

Carson and Camden – just yummy! This tale had me perspiring greatly! The heroine is on lucky woman to have not one but two true mates. Trust is paramount and will they stay or will they stray is a moot point.

VALENTIME by Belle Scarlett *****
Valerie buys a South Carolina plantation and discovers a Valentine addressed to her from a previous owner who bids her to return to him in 1865.

I loved this hot and romantic time slip tale and with not just time but danger threatening I was willing the couple to find their HEA. Super read.

DELIA’S HEARTTHROB by Regina Kammer ****
Gadzooks! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching – what’s a scientist to do? Edward knows naught of romance. Can steam power prevail over chocolates to win Delia’s heart?

I am a Steampunk virgin no longer as this was my first foray into the genre! It’s a humorous and sexy read and also a comedy of manners as the scientist Edward finally admits to himself just how much Delia his assistant means to him. However, how can he demonstrate this to the object of his affection? Some very interesting Steampunk contraptions and characterisations make this read stand out.

TWO INTO ONE GOES GREAT by Lynne Connolly *****
A booker at a top model agency learns she’s anything but ordinary when two sexy photographers point their lenses—and more—at her.

Jordan and Cody show Mel exactly how much she means to them in this romantic and sizzling tale. A chocolate love fest!

UNDER THE HOOD by Lainey-Jo Charles *****
How do you choose between an online crush you’ve never met and a secret crush that you have? Maybe you don’t have to…

A clever contemporary tale of characters who are both torn between two potential lovers but who find out that fate moves in mysterious ways. I loved Russ the mechanic who is also an artist. Sweet and hot.

BUY ME A ROSE by Francesca Hawley ****
Jessica and Nathaniel Whitewolf celebrate their thirtieth anniversary as True Mates but they’ve lost their bond. Now a hot couples’ retreat will get it back.

A romantic tale of True Mates who rediscover their mo-jo! It’s a sizzling tale in parts but it also had me tearing up in a couple of places.  Very clever.

CHOCOLATE-COATED REUNION by Berengaria Brown ****
Jake refuses to talk to Matt after he was very late on Christmas Eve. Matt’s determined to reconnect with Jake on Valentine’s Day.

A hot M/M story containing two hot men who are meant for each other who enjiy making up for lost time and misunderstandings.

CUPID’S CURIOUS CASE by Marianne Stephens *****
Alan’s last job as Cupid 84 involves neighbor Amy and a special box of candy. Both secretly desire the other. Can they find true love?

A lovely romantic and wildly erotic read. I loved how both the hero and the heroine, who had been let down in love, found each other with a little help from some vey special chocolates!

FIFTY SHADES OF VALENTINE’S DAY by Katherine Kingston *****
Dumped on Valentine’s Day! Melissa only thinks the day can’t get any worse. Until she damages her hot neighbor’s car, and he demands unexpected compensation.

A fun read, especially for fans of FSOG Jeff is one hot neighbour whose desire for retribution is maybe just what Melissa needs. For readers who revel in reading about dominant men.

THE REAPER’S VALENTINE by Charlotte Boyett-Compo *****
Sometimes a Reaper has to do what a Reaper does. It would be wise for a life-mate to remember that!

The pairing of a feisty female who is determined to evade her unexpected destiny as a Reaper’s life-mate makes for an explosive, highly entertaining and sexy read. Those familiar with  this Chatlotte Boyett-Compo’s Reapers will know that for the heroine resistance is useless, but the journey she embarks on with her mate  before she discovers this eternal truth is decidedly fun.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this anthology was given to me for the purpose of a fair and honest review

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