*REVIEW* ~ Dirty Dealings, A Zeta Cartel novel, Book 3, by A J Adams

#MafiaRomance #Crime

Blurb

Warm-hearted Natalia Truelove will do anything for family, so when her ex-father-in-law is sent to prison, she shelves her restaurant plans and manages the family pub. But when she runs foul of a local gangster, and her niece is targeted, the gloves are off. As the police won’t help, Nats embarks on a lethal game: blackmailing the Zeta Cartel’s top hit man to do her bidding.

Enrique ‘Quique’ Ramas is having a bad time. Back in Mexico his marriage has fallen apart and his wife has made him a laughing stock by cheating on him. Now he’s in London and out of his depth with a complex commercial deal. To make things worse, Natalia Truelove, a chef and pub manager, is blackmailing him. Quique is ready to commit murder and he’s pretty sure who his first victim will be.

Dirty Dealings is an enthralling tale of deceit, murder, cartel violence and finding love in the darkest of times. It is the third Zeta Cartel novel, and can be read as a standalone.

My Review

One crazy cartel read – loved it! 5 stars

I just inhaled this crazy cartel read and I found it impossible to put down. If you are a fan of this genre and alpha heroes who develop a soft spot for strong and feisty heroines with a vulnerable side, than you too will love this enemies to lovers romance. It has oodles of suspense and action, great banter and sexual tension between the main couple and some super sexy scenes. Although it does contain reference to adult themes, it is not as dark as the preceding books in the author’s Zeta cartel series (a series I thoroughly recommend) and can be read as a standalone.

Still reeling after his wife’s antics back home in Mexico, Quique does not need a woman complicating his life, especially one such as Natalia who has the cheek to blackmail him. I really felt for him at what he had been through with his marriage, although he is certainly no pushover and is a man who is not to be messed with when it comes to Cartel business. As for Natalia, I adored her feisty nature and that she is not afraid to stand toe to toe with (or anyone else) to protect her dysfunctional family.

The couple are just so perfect for each other, although Natalia sees her future very much in London and Quique in Mexico. I hugely enjoyed their journey an also getting the chance to meet others from previous books such as Arturo and Kyle. The read is full of British slang and humour which gives it a fantastic sense of place and amidst the ensuing violence and general mayhem there are also some humorous moments.

Recommended to readers of the genre.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, I received a copy of this book from the author and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

Purchase Links

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*AUTHOR POST* ~ JANE FENWICK, AUTHOR OF NEVER THE TWAIN (INCLUDES GIVEAWAY)

I Could be Dancing by Jane Fenwick @jane_fenwick60 #neverthetwain #historicalcrimenovels #romance #victorianwhitby

I love to dance and when I was younger I would go to night clubs and dance two or three times a week. Now that I am a little, shall we say, more mature I still love to dance so I go to classes to get my fix.
As a writer I spend a lot of time at my desk so it is imperative that I get up and move. I have Scout my Patterdale terrier to walk so that helps my step count but I am the sort of walker that likes to walk for a purpose; there usually has to be a coffee shop or a pub at the end of the walk to motivate me. I’ve never been a “gym bunny” and swimming bores the life out of me (unless it’s in a warm sea!). Dancing gets me moving and as it doesn’t feel like exercise it is never a chore.

I first got into dancing by watching musicals. Fred Astaire was my hero. His partnership with Ginger Rogers was spectacular. I can’t remember how many times I have watched Top hat and Flying Down to Rio. I’m not saying Astaire was a good actor but he could certainly move. More recently I have loved Strictly Come Dancing. The show really makes it clear how athletic dancing can be. I know it gets my heart rate up, helps with balance and keeps me supple. I was a yoga teacher for over twenty years so I’ve always been flexible but dancing really helps tone muscle too, especially the legs and back. As I sit for a lot of hours a day back ache can be a problem, but dancing and stretching irons out the kinks.

I also used to sing and dance in a local amateur musical theatre group performing in such shows as Oklahoma, My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music. Dancing to a choreographed routine is harder than it looks but good fun. I‘ve done a bit of ballet and tap in the past so that helped; muscle memory is useful! Dancing and singing was great exercise and enjoyable. Sadly as I was teaching fulltime, I had to give up performing as the rehearsals took up too much of my time.

I love most types of music – anything that I can get up and dance to and I’m on my feet. Fast, slow, with a partner or freestyle, in a group or singly. I’m usually the first on the dance floor at weddings and parties. Even if I don’t know the steps I will be embarrassing myself throwing some shapes! Recently I went to a Ceilidh with a friend. Despite the height difference –he’s 6’ 4 and I’m 5’3 – we had a great time. The dances were ‘called’ so they were easy to pick up but exhausting. Who knew you could get so out of breath dancing. The experience reminded me of when I was in my twenties and my best friend was Irish. We used to go to an Irish club where they did traditional Irish dancing. My friend’s mum was a ‘grand’ dancer and despite getting on in years she could give the young ones a run for their money. There was a dance called The Siege of Ennis that she was particularly good at. It involved spinning around in a circle which after a Guinness or two made the dancers a bit dizzy. We would watch as a young lad would ask the ‘old’ lady to dance and scream with laughter as she spun him round so fast he was almost off his feet!

As I mentioned I love most types of music but I never thought I would enjoy dancing to country music. A friend who knows I like to dance invited me to a line dancing class. At first I was a little cynical – I couldn’t really see me in a Stetson (I still can’t) but I gave it a go and I’m hooked now. Far from dancing in a line the routines are based on ‘walls’. Each dance turns so that they have two or four walls. In the beginning mastering a wall is easy until you have to turn – that’s usually when the wheels come off! I think I probably know about 30 line dances now, some more complex than others.

I also go to a musical theatre dance class run by an ex ballet and tap dancer. She devises routines and we attempt to follow them The dances can be based on anything; jazz, Fosse, Hot Gossip… anything goes.

My favourite dance class however is the Latin American class – the music just makes me want to dance, it lifts my spirits. For a couple of hours I can forget everything and concentrate on moving to the music. Not only is it good for my body I’m convinced it’s good for my brain too. We know about 25 different routines from tango to mambo and it is impossible to think about anything else but the music and the steps. The teacher is inspirational – she picks some great tracks to dance to; everything from Santana to Ricky Martin, from Cuba to Rio. The class is for people of all shapes and sizes, all ages and backgrounds. I’ve met some lovely people at dance classes and some have become friends so it’s not just about the dancing it’s the social aspect as well. The important thing is to leave your inhibitions at the door and well, dance!

Never the Twain: A twin tale of jealousy and betrayal, love and murder.

The year is 1890. The port of Whitby is heaving with sailors and where there are sailors there are brothels doing a roaring trade. Beautiful identical twins April and May are in desperate straits. They have been abandoned by their actress mother and are about to have their virginity auctioned off to the highest bidder by a notorious brothel madam.

Their fate is hanging in the balance when Captain Edward Driscoll a handsome, wealthy shipping tycoon from Glasgow saves them before they can be deflowered.
But have they exchanged one form of slavery for another?
April, reluctantly swept up in her twin’s secrets and lies unwittingly becomes embroiled in a murderous conspiracy. Is May’s jealousy stronger than the twin bond which has always connected them?

Available from:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2mbA6hp
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ksAaZI

Jane Fenwick lives in the market town of Settle in Yorkshire, England. She studied education at Sheffield University gaining a B.Ed (Hons) in 1989 and going on to teach primary age range children. Jane decided to try her hand at penning a novel rather than writing school reports as she has always been an avid reader, especially enjoying historical and crime fiction. She decided to combine her love of both genres to write her first historical crime novel Never the Twain. Jane has always been a lover of antiques, particularly art nouveau and art deco ceramics and turned this hobby into a business opening an antiques and collectables shop in Settle. However her time as a dealer was short lived; she spent far too much time in the sale rooms buying items that ended up in her home rather than the shop! Animal welfare is a cause close to Jane’s heart and she has been vegetarian since the age of fourteen. For the last twenty years she has been trustee of an animal charity which rescues and rehomes cats, dogs and all manner of creatures looking for a forever home. Of course several of these have been “adopted” by Jane!

Jane has always loved the sea and although she lives in the Yorkshire Dales she is particularly drawn to the North East coast of Yorkshire and Northumberland. This coastline is where she gets her inspiration for the historical crime and romance novels she writes. She can imagine how the North East ports would have looked long ago with a forest of tall masted ships crammed together in the harbours, the bustling streets congested with sailors, whalers, chandlers and sail makers. These imaginings provide the backdrop and inspire her to create the central characters and themes of her novels. As she has always loved history she finds the research particularly satisfying.

When she isn’t walking on Sandsend beach with her dog Scout, a Patterdale “Terrorist” she is to be found in her favourite coffee shop gazing out to sea and dreaming up her next plot. Jane is currently writing a historical saga series again set on the North East coast beginning in 1765. The first two books are being edited at the moment; My Constant Lady and The Turning Tides. Look out for My Constant Lady in 2020.
Find her on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook , Pinterest or Web.

GIVEAWAY!

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*REVIEW* ~ Unhinged: A Dark Romance by Nicole Cypher

#darkromance #dark #erotic #romantic #thriller

Adult read

 

Book Blurb

You’d have to be crazy to want a killer.

I was nobody. A deranged widow.

He was a psychopath with me as his next target.

When he took me from my home, he planned to kill me. The creepy room I woke up in with fluorescent lighting and an assortment of knives was evidence enough.

Then he saw my scars, and something changed.

Instead of killing me, he wants to fix me.

I might be crazy, but he’s completely Unhinged.

My Review

Two broken and twisted characters… ~ 4 stars

Unhinged is a dark romantic thriller, which delves into the psychology of two crazy as f*** characters who are both extremely worthy of the title! I thoroughly enjoyed the read and was intrigued by both the hero/anti-hero and heroine from the off. Although it took me a few chapters to warm to them both, very soon I was rooting for their unlikely and elusive HEA.

It is a bloody, violent and sometimes gruesome read which contains reference to abuse and coercive control. James is a psychopath who abducts, tortures and kills those who deserve to have justice meted out upon them due to past sins they have committed. The young widow Holly is his next mark, but once he has her in his clutches, rather than kill her he decides she is worthy of fixing. It is here that the couple begin to develop their unorthodox captor/captive relationship which is fraught with danger and suspense and also ghosts from both characters’ pasts.

Can Holly escape James’ clutches before this unstable man changes his mind about her fate? Does she want to? Can she, who has her own breed of craziness to cope with, be fixed? Can she fix her captor and is there any chance of redemption or a HEA for the couple.

An unusual but addictive read. Highly recommended for lovers of dark romance.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Author Links

https://nicolecypher.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNicoleCypher/

 

*REVIEW* ~ After the Interview, by AA Abbott

#revenge #thriller #corporatelife

Book Blurb

We’ve all made mistakes in job interviews, but what happens when the tables are turned? Andrew, rejected for his dream job, finally takes his revenge. Jed’s passions are computers, music and trains. He tries to understand the world around him, but his inability to deal with people means he risks losing everything he loves. Boris admires a beautiful American girl. He can’t predict their meeting will have fatal consequences… AA Abbott writes about life at the office – with added thrills. In this stunning thriller, the action moves between IT companies in Birmingham and London, with a little R&R in Amsterdam. This is what readers are saying: “A cracking read…very cleverly plotted” “a real page turner” “an intelligently written, engaging novel”

My Review

Superb character driven thriller – 5 stars

I loved this fast paced and character driven thriller by AA Abbott. It’s a tale of corporate greed, revenge and romance, with a couple of murders thrown in for good measure! The book lifts the lid on a group of business high flyers and their associates in London and Birmingham, contrasting their lifestyles and their personal ambitions in an addictive read. Essentially a tale of personal revenge, the read swiftly gathers pace before reaching its climax.

I really enjoyed the contrast between the character of Andrew, who seeks revenge on the unsuspecting Jed. Andrew is the archetypal corporate player, who dedicates his life to his career and for whom losing is not an option. By contrast Jed, the IT genius, is completely lacking in people skills. He does not even remember the personal slight he inflicted on Andrew many years ago – that of rejecting him for a position in his firm and has no idea the threat Andrew poses to his professional and personal life. Add the actions of one of Jed’s employees, the madcap, selfish and self-destructive tax expert ‘Boris,’ and the plot very soon takes some very interesting and unforeseen twists and turns….

It was Jed, who clearly falls within the autistic spectrum, whom I was rooting for throughout. The author does an excellent job of developing his character and contrasting it with the urbane and accomplished Andrew. Just how far will Andrew go with his revenge and just how personal will he get?

Recommended to all lovers of a quality read who enjoy a twisted plot and memorable characters.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Author Links

https://aaabbott.co.uk/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7339437.A_A_Abbott

*REVIEW* ~ Shattered Hearts (Bad Blood, book 1) and Broken Minds: A Dark Romance (Bad Blood Book 2), by Marissa Farrar

#darkromance #romanticsuspense #eroticromance #revenge

Book Blurb

She’s the daughter of the man I hate most in the world…

For almost ten years, I’ve been waiting to exact my revenge.

Ten years to allow her to blossom from a child to a woman.

Ten years in which I’ve grown a million-dollar business and built a powerful body to match.

And now my wait is over.

I’ve kidnapped her. Taken her. Made her mine, just as her father did to others before her.

With her sexy body, fierce mind, and sharp mouth…

The one thing I did not expect was to fall for her.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42377087-shattered-hearts


Book Blurb

My father is a serial killer.

I didn’t think it possible to hate a man more than I hated him.
That was until the night a different man kidnapped me.
Now I know hate on a whole different level…
Hayden Vale might be rich and devastatingly handsome, but he’s also cruel and dangerous, and he has me handcuffed in the basement of his home on his private island.
He claims to hate me, but I’ve had a taste of him now and I know how he looks at me – with dark desire in his eyes.
He has a plan to use me to get revenge on my father, but what if I manage to use him first…

Get the second book in this brand new dark romance series!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42380644-broken-minds

My Review

Compulsive and heart-rending dark romance ~ 5 stars

I loved the premise of this series. After downloading and virtually inhaling the first book, I quickly purchased and read the subsequent instalment. I’m a huge fan of dark romances as I adore the conflict and tension between the protagonists and the journey they embark on as an individual and subsequently as part of a couple. This series certainly has conflict and tension in spades as Hayden, the hero (or rather the anti-hero) abducts Jolie, the heroine in a twisted tale of revenge.

I found the abduction scene and what happened to Jolie chilling and very well done. The reader is kept on their toes with the events that ensue. Hayden is a dark and damaged man. He has no misgivings about using  Jolie to encourage her serial killer father to break out of prison so that he can enact his revenge upon him for the murder of his mother. Indeed, he holds Jolie partly responsible and despises her with a passion.  For Jolie’s part, although she is revolted by what her father has done, she is naturally terrified as to what will happen to her at the hands of this desperate individual who is using her as a pawn to lure her father.

Jolie is certainly in a desperate position – escape from Hayden, who has spent a decade planning his plan for revenge, seems impossible. There are plenty of page-turning and harrowing scenes and I also enjoyed how Hayden and Jolie reflect upon their respective roles as captor and captive and also finding out how the actions of Jolie’s father, a serial killer, cruelly impacted on their lives…

Jolie resolves to use the sexual attraction that exists between them  to help her escape – she has no other option. Jolie is a strong woman and I admired her strength, bravery when faced with the situations Hayden puts her in. Hayden is torn between attraction and hate for his captive and I loved how little by little he comes to see her as a person whom he starts to develop feelings for.

Will Hayden go ahead with his twisted plan of revenge and avoid going to prison himself for his actions? Will he seek to persuade Jolie to have a future with him or does he sees her as purely collateral damage in his quest for revenge? Could Jolie even contemplate a future after all he has subjected her to and plans to do?

Both books end on a cliff hanger and I was impatient to find out what happened next! A great read for fans of dark romance who love damaged heroes and heroines.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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*REVIEW* – The Path to Horn Cottage: A Cunning Folk Mystery, by Prudence S Thomas

#fantasy #alternatehistory #suspense #magic #crime #mystery

Blurb

Horn Cottage, an ancient cave house, has been home to the cunning folk of Thornton Cleveleys for generations. The early death of her mother left Meryall as the cunning woman for her village before her training was complete. A young man seeking Meryall’s help to find his missing sister draws her into an ever more complex and sinister mystery. Can she use her divination skills to help solve the mystery of the missing woman and avert a tragedy? An atmospheric journey through a mystical land, The Path to Horn Cottage is the first book in the Cunning Folk Mysteries series.

My Review

A Delightful Read – 5 Stars *****

I found Prudence S Thomas’ A Path to Horn Cottage to be a thoroughly entertaining read, which effortlessly transported me into a world of magic and belief in the old gods and their ways.

Also what a gorgeous cover – it perfectly reflects the essence of the story and it’s central character, the young ‘cunning woman’ Meryall, as she strives to reveal the whereabouts of a missing woman whilst balancing her own responsibilities to fellow villagers. As the story unfolds Meryall finds she has to journey from her home in her quest to uncover the shocking truth.

The author does an excellent job of creating an alternative reality where England has resisted the conversion to Christianity, instead cleaving to the old religion and its associated magic. I liked the central character Meryall: a strong and capable young woman, who is finding her way in life. She harbours her own doubts and frustrations as she seeks to balance her duty as her village’s ‘cunning woman’ with her natural curiosity to explore more of the world. Her partner Madoc is a perfect foil for her. The book is full of many interesting secondary characters, not least Meryall’s adversary.

I enjoyed the world the author has created,  – it is clear she has done a considerable amount of research into making it both credible and diverting. I look forward to reading more about Meryall in future works.

Recommended for readers who enjoy a suspenseful read set in a historical/fantasy context.

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 US

Connect with the Author

https://prudencesthomas.com/

https://www.facebook.com/prudences.thomas.9