Review Round Up December ’14

Hi readers, we hope that you’re Christmas preparations are going well and that you are not too stressed with all of the arrangements, shopping and wrapping to do! Here is the last Review Round Up of 2014! As usual, there are quite a few genres with the fourteen books that we have reviewed, and we do hope that they pique your interest. (For the full review please click on the titles.)

You may be pleased to hear that we will both be doing our Top Reads of 2014 over the holidays. We have had the pleasure of reading many great reads and look forward to sharing them!


Caroline & Tina ❤

Invasion Earth (Delroi Connection #1) by Loribelle Hunt, erotic/sci-fi romance (reviewed by Tina)

In the distant future, Earth has been ravaged by war and famine, and after generations of bloodshed settles into peace only to be invaded by the alien Delroi. General Alrik Torfa needs a mate and his seers promise mates for many of his people on the distant planet Earth. He doesn’t expect her to come easily, but is more than a little surprised to find her leading an enemy army. Outmanned and outgunned, there is no way the Earth forces can win.Sergeant Major Laney Bradford has always played her part and served her people well, but the demands of the Delroi’s surrender are a bit extreme. Marriage? To one of them? Not likely. But she’s fought for peace her entire life and when surrender talks are threatened by a conspiracy led by her people, Laney must choose. Will she submit to the alien invader or lead the fight against him?

Entropy by Robert Raker, dark crime drama, thriller suspense (reviewed by Caroline)

When a series of child abductions and murders disrupt the life of an economically blighted community, the consequences have far-reaching implications. The brutal crimes take a different toll on a disparate group of individuals; the scuba diver who retrieves the children’s bodies; the disfigured cellist who thinks he knows who’s responsible; the undercover federal agent; and the mother of one of the victim’s.
United in a situation not of their choosing, they are forced to take a deep, introspective look into their intersected, yet isolated lives.

To Avenge Her Highland Warrior (Highland Fae Chronicles #3) by Samantha Holt, historical romance, fantasy (reviewed by Tina)

Lorna lost everything to war. Her home, her wealth… her lover. And now she wants revenge. When her hasty plan throws her at the mercy of her enemy’s men, she holds little hope of returning to her kin and fears death is around the corner. But could her salvation lie in the arms of her dark captor? Logan has little time to be dealing with a stubborn noble woman. His orders are to prepare for war. His laird—the man he owes his life to—intends to join forces with the Norse and bring a battle to Scotland that will see the fate of the country forever changed. Scarred, and with no memory of his past, Logan is determined to forge a new future for himself as well as prove his loyalty to the laird. But the beautiful lass has him questioning his previous life and his goals. When she starts claiming he once loved her, he knows he’s being manipulated and she’s taking advantage of his memory loss. So why is it so hard to resist the idea of having once been her lover? With the threat of impending war—a battle that promises to bring slaughter to her family—can Lorna persuade Logan to believe her, and is the bitter man he’s become even worth saving? Whatever the outcome of the battle, a certain interfering faery is resolved to see fate back on its correct path. And that means forcing Lorna and Logan together—no matter their differences.

COLD CALL BOOK COVER - with blood SAFE COPYCold Call by Colin Llewelyn Chapman, dark crime drama, thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Wealthy entrepreneur Robin Bradford had it all – the house, the cars, the fine dining – and he lost it all. All except Lizzie, his perfect, loving girlfriend. Down on his luck and with no immediate prospects in business, Robin’s energies found another outlet, Just a little something spicy to bide his time until his financial world recovered, leading him down a very seedy path, onto a very rocky road. Time however was all he had, and all he was going to get.

Due to violence, drug references and sexual content, readers are recommended to be of 18yrs+.

Benddontbreak_front_coverBend, Don’t Break (Irrevocable #2) by Skye Callahan, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

I thought I was done.
my End
I couldn’t take my eyes off her as the bullet tore through me, leaving me with nothing but the hope that I had done enough to save her. The darkness tried to engulf me—to brand me as its own and drag me to my fate.
my Darkness
Waking to see her tear-stained face above me was enough to make my heart stutter. I was alive and free from that place—but not from the toll it had taken on my mind and body.
my Strength
My story should have ended, but one woman kept standing in the way of that. The only way I could have her was to find a way to put the darkness to rest.

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda's Story)Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #4) by C.J. Pinard, contemporary military romance, romantic comedy, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Miranda Cates finally graduates from college and is excited to begin her dream career in law enforcement. After the final betrayal and heartbreak of her college boyfriend, Chris, she moves back home with a firm plan in place for her life.

However, the life she has carefully mapped out for herself takes a serious left turn. Miranda finds she not only has to be strong for herself, but for the daughter who hadn’t been part of her plan.

Determined to still believe in true love, life throws Miranda one more wicked curveball. She meets Jace Lawless, a hot minor league baseball player, whose warm aqua eyes and big dimple have her unraveling her carefully laid plans. A man who may be just be too good to be true.

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) is book 3 in the Duty & Desire series, and while it is recommended to read the books in order, it’s not necessary.

An Autumn CrushAn Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson, contemporary romantic comedy (reviewed by Caroline)

In the heart of the windy season, four friends are about to get swept off their feet…

Newly single after a bruising divorce, Juliet Miller moves into a place of her own and advertises for a flatmate, little believing that, in her mid-thirties, she’ll find anyone suitable. Then, just as she’s about to give up hope, along comes self-employed copywriter Floz, and the two women hit it off straight away.

When Juliet’s gentle giant of a twin brother, Guy, meets Floz, he falls head over heels. But, as hard as he tries to charm her, his foot seems to be permanently in his mouth. Meanwhile, Guy’s best friend Steve has always had a secret crush on Juliet – one which could not be more unrequited if it tried…

As Floz and Juliet’s friendship deepens, and Floz becomes a part of the Miller family, can Guy turn her affection for them into something more – into love for him? And what will happen to Steve’s heart when Juliet eventually catches the eye of Piers – the man of her dreams?

21473101Apartment 2B by K. Webster, Adult contemporary paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Sidney has a rough life. Her mom is incredibly abusive both mentally and physically. One day, she’s awarded the escape she’s always wanted and thrust into a world she barely understands. Each day is a struggle to feel human and not terrified of everything around her.

Sidney has rules. Routines. Structure. It’s the only way she can cope

When a handsome, yet mysterious stranger inserts himself into her life, Sidney begins to come apart at the seams. She’s having trouble sticking to her habits and it’s threatening to shred any hope of a normal life to pieces. Will this stranger help her in ways no other person can, or will things get worse for her?

He comes with his own set of problems and secrets he’s unwilling to share. Will they work together through the mess of their pasts or will they get caught up enabling each other? Will their toxic relationship ultimately be destined for demise?

MistUnveiled_HiResMist Unveiled (Elemental Desire #1) by Nancy Corrigan, erotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Cat has one love in her life—science. Facts rule her, not passion. At least it doesn’t until an unknown deadly virus claims her sister’s life. Cat’s quest for answers takes her to Greenland and drops her into the arms of the one man who sways her devotion from logic to passion. Rune stirs her lusts, ignites her desires and fuels her carnal cravings, but he isn’t simply a lover, nor is he human. He’s a weapon, one that has the potential to save or destroy her.

Rune, a child of the mist, awakens into a world hovering on the verge of destruction. Rising temperatures have released his enemies from their frozen prison without his knowledge. He searches for them but finds Cat, a human with the power to save him and the world. He hungers for her—blood, body and soul. Every moment of shared passion convinces him of the truth—she’s his greatest treasure, one he’ll die to keep.

Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives (Virginia #1, Lana #2 & Nella #3) by Rhian Cahill, Cate Ellink & Cathleen Ross, erotica (reviewed by Tina)

Cool, collected, confident – those who know Virginia in her personal and professional life would never expect to find her in Boyd’s, a bar across town from her circle of friends and socialite world. But Boyd’s offers her something she can’t get among her rarefied acquaintances: sex. Rough, hard, mind-blowing, anonymous sex. In her casual clothes, she’s no one important. Incognito, unnoticed by everyone except one: the bartender who knows her drink order – and would like to know a whole lot more.

22584Lana by Cate Ellink: Lana lives her life by her own rules – and she has very few. What she wants, she goes for, and she very rarely fails. So when a young, handsome waiter at her favourite restaurant catches her eye, she has no hesitation in asking him to escort her home. But one night of passion opens up exciting new possibilities, and a chance for Lana to enact one of her deepest, most illicit fantasies.

23510826Nella by Cathleen Ross: Nella is one hundred percent in control of her life – all aspects of her life. She excels at knowing what everyone needs, and in meeting those needs. So when it comes to her husband, Michael, and his deepest desires and most fundamental requirements, she is committed, creative, and unswerving in her responsibilities. A strong man needs a strong woman, and Nella’s love is as strong as steel.

Cursed (Cursed trilogy #1) & Obsession (Cursed trilogy #2) by Georgina Hannan, young adult paranormal horror (reviewed by Caroline)

CursedCursed: Reality and Myths collide.
A young adult story about a group of four friends who embark on a holiday together to the gorgeous countryside of Dartmoor, Devon. Each of them hoping for an adventure, something they will always remember. However it isn’t long before they get what they want.

The group are plagued by noises after hearing the myths and legends of the area. Is it just their overactive imaginations or is there a visitor in the spare room who is trying to get their attention?

Join the group on a spectacular journey as they discover what Dartmoor has to offer.

Obsession by Georgina Hannan_1Obsession: There’s a fine line between Obsession and Madness.

After a strange and exciting holiday, Daisy is looking forward to the new start University life will bring.

A life changing assignment makes her question the fine line between Obsession and Madness.

Can she tell the difference?
Can you?

CANDY CAIN by C.L. Scholey - Click Image to CloseCandy Cain (festive short story) by C.L. Scholey, hot, contemporary romance, festive (reviewed by Caroline)

Candy is on top of the world. She’s a high priced corporate lawyer with expensive cars, time on her hands, and money to burn. Although, she has no one to burn it on, except for a yearly ritual of buying toys and treats for the needy at Christmas time.

Cain is an egotistical enigma. A very deprived and hurting enigma, who feels wishes are for fools. A car accident leaves them stranded together, and the two have no choice but to warm each other’s cold bodies, lest they freeze to death.

As the temperature dips outside, the heat begins to sizzle inside. Candy and Cain, though worlds apart in society, begin to feel perhaps they have more in common than either could ever wish for.

Will they both discover the miracle of Christmas wishes isn’t just for the very young?

A Way from Heart to HeartA Way From Heart to Heart by Helena Fairfax, contemporary romance (reviewed by Caroline)

After the death of her husband in Afghanistan, Kate Hemingway’s world collapses around her. Kate’s free time is spent with a charity for teenage girls, helping them mend their broken lives – which is ironic, since her own life is fractured beyond repair.

Reserved, ex-public school journalist Paul Farrell is everything Kate and her teenage charges aren’t. But when Paul agrees to help Kate with her charity, he makes a stunning revelation that changes everything.

But can Kate take a risk with her son’s happiness as well as her own?

6624391The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen, historical romance, religious (reviewed by Tina)

Believing herself guilty of a crime, Olivia Keene flees her home, eventually stumbling upon a grand estate where an elaborate celebration is in progress. But all is not as joyous as it seems. Lord Bradley has just learned a terrible secret, which, if exposed, will change his life forever. When he glimpses a figure on the grounds, he fears a spy or thief has overheard his devastating news. He is stunned to discover the intruder is a scrap of a woman with her throat badly injured. Fearing she will spread his secret, he gives the girl a post and confines her to his estate. As Olivia and Lord Bradley’s secrets catch up with them, will their hidden pasts ruin their hope of finding love?

The Re-Awakening (Second Coming #2) by Carter Vance *review*

The Re-Awakening (Second Coming, #2)Blurb: The saga continues. He has returned, but not yet awakened to fulfill His destiny.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Another mysterious, dark read from Carter Vance in regard to the Second Coming!

After failing to prevent the rebirth of Christ (The Return, Second Coming #1), the Dark Forces are now out to track Him down in order to keep a watchful eye on Him, being ready to pounce at any time but also to be made aware of His movements and gauge what He could be learning and planning for future events.

Meanwhile, these Dark Forces also spend their own time planning for a major worldwide event to take place in which they will almost probably come head-to-head with the Reborn and therefore seek many relics and objects of religious and powerful value to assist them with their cause, in the hope that these items will give them power, wealth and control.

The Re-Awakening is written well, if a little on the heavy descriptive side. It is also an educational read in some areas. The author has again clearly carried out a great deal of research into historical events, myths, relics and many religious ideas mentioned in The Bible. This is obvious due to his fantastic in-depth explanation of them and their meaning. Carter Vance supports his fictional side/story well with these historical facts, and biblical/theological ideas. Vance also expresses his knowledge of The World and it’s geography as this trilogy covers almost all areas of the globe.

As The Re-Awakening is the second book of a trilogy I found most of this book was the basis for the third and final story in the Second Coming Trilogy. I found the first half, particularly the first third quite descriptive of the relics, their meaning and concentrating on the politics of the Dark Forces, mostly within the Vatican.

Due to the heavy descriptive style I found The Re-Awakening to be a more challenging read as it did not keep me engrossed at times. (Although it would be fair of me to mention that this is not my usual/preferable type of read.) Many of the chapters begin at different points and/or with different characters of the story during the first few chapters, making it a little more difficult to follow. Although this does make it an interesting screen-play style read.

For a fictional story it does lack the fluid-like story-telling and the reader can easily lose track for a while. Due to this writing style, as I mentioned in my review of The Return (Book 1), there is little connection between the characters and the reader, making it difficult to relate to and sympathise with the characters.

As the Re-Awakening is setting up for the finale, Book 3 of the Second Coming trilogy, I did find it interesting how Laz Christos (the Reborn) develops into a young man and how he is educated and experiences life across the globe. Although initially wanting to put The Re-Awakening down, I persisted and was amazed by the end just how much it had actually sucked me back in. It certainly has an air of mystery about it. I did miss the Knights Templar a little as they did have little to do in this book, however I did welcome reading about Laz and his family, as well as the kinky nuns working for the Darker Side who do add a little relief to the seriousness of the book!

A copy of The Re-Awakening was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

The Re-Awakening is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

The Return by Carter Vance

The ReturnThis book was received thankfully from the author in return for an honest and fair review.

‘The Return’ is a story about the rebirth of Christ, the second coming. Only, as the dark forces are doing all they can to prevent this major event from taking place we find out that the Knights Templar are still in existence and have been waiting for this moment where they can use their resources to protect Him and His family.

The story begins with Geoff, an investment banker, having a holiday at his friend Jacque’s house in Southern France. Here, Geoff finds a secret room full of literature. He discovers a book referring to the Knights Templar, written in modern day language and referring to the Templars as being in existence today. From here, Geoff quickly takes a plane back to London and carries out in-depth research regarding the Templars and their purpose, theories and background. He travels various places around the globe to carry out more, extensive research.  And, gradually, certain people begin to get suspicious and track him down to find out what he knows.

I found Geoff to be a little naïve as there was at least one occasion when he felt that he was being followed. Later, he is approached by a woman, Regina, claiming to be a lawyer, who just happens to be inquiring about something in relation to the Templars and yet he doesn’t add these situations up. He doesn’t seem to think that it is too much of a coincidence. This was a little frustrating and he was subsequently killed.

Personally, I wasn’t happy with the storyline at this point as Geoff appeared to be the main character, the hero, and yet here he was being killed off. I was left trying to pick up the pieces of the other characters to try and connect with them but this did prove to be difficult as up until this point Geoff and his findings were focused heavily on, making the other characters appear to be more brief, background characters.

The story then unfolds to reveal that Geoff’s friends, Peter Christos and Sarah Davidson, become an item, marry and Sarah falls pregnant. Her baby is destined to be Him, the one that the human race has been waiting for for centuries. This seems to happen all too quickly with very little attention paid to connecting with these characters and feeling their relationship and romance grow. More description and detail were needed in these areas.

The reader is then taken on an adventure as the Knights Templar make preparations for the birth and protection of Him, whilst constantly under the threat of the dark forces. Both sides have very strong allies and support from the Vatican to scientists to drugs traffickers, etc. This adds intensity to the story as the reader is never sure which side will possibly win as they both seem fairly equal.

This novel is mostly written to the point. It is very direct and factual when it comes to theories, however it did lack some description in parts and emotion to the characters. On the one hand, it was nice to follow as theories were occasionally repeated, not too often, but enough to keep the reader in check. And, on the other hand, it would have been an idea to elaborate more with romance and emotion on the relationship between Peter and Sarah, thus helping the reader to engage with their characters and gain a great sense of how they became so close so quickly.

When it comes to the theories, it is obvious that Carter Vance has a great deal of knowledge in this area and he does explain these ideas well. This is the first book I have read covering this subject and I initally felt that this would be way over my head, however I did understand and enjoy the storyline.

My overall opinion of ‘The Return’ is a mixed bag. However, on the whole it is an enjoyable, well-written read. It has kept me entertained throughout and it is surprisingly a nice read to follow, as opposed to losing me with language and theology.

Carter Vance’s website –

Book cover by kind permission of Carter Vance.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker