*REVIEW* ~ Bait: Planet Athion Series (The Tradrych Strain Book 2), by Marissa Farrar

#reverseharem #planetathion #dark #scifi #erotic #romance

Book Blurb

I’ve been kidnapped to an alien planet, and forced to give birth to a creature that isn’t even human.
But now I’m fighting back…

The discovery that two of the alien Trads, Nad and Miko, and the slave Athion, Diarus, are part of a rebel group came as a shock. Even more of a shock is discovering I have feelings for each of them, and, it seems, they feel the same way about me.

Now I’ll do anything to help them, including handing myself over to the most dangerous Trad in the area, Polityk Borys. I’m offering myself up as bait, and there’s a good chance he’ll take the bite.

This is a dark sci-fi romance and is reverse harem. It is also part of the Planet Athion multi-author reverse harem sci-fi world.

My Review ~ Nail-biting continuation of Tara’s story 5 stars

I loved the continuation of Tara’s story, which is full of suspense and action and also some sizzling scenes of inter-species loving! The novella can be enjoyed as a-standalone but reading the first instalment is highly recommended to fully comprehend the world Tara finds herself in and the past horrors she has endured.

Her wish to help the other women who are being compelled to act as breeders by the race of Demon like Trads is her motivation to helping the rebels by offering herself up as bait to gain access to information held by Polityk Boris. Some of the scenes are very dark as Polityk Boris typifies all that is hateful about many of the Trads. Although Trads, Nad and Miko, and the slave Athion, Diarus are on her side, it soon becomes clear that the heroine has bitten off more than she can chew with the depravity that is commonplace with her new owner.

Will she have to abort the mission? Can she possibly escape? How can Nad, Miko and Diarus help her when they have their own problems to face?

Once again I enjoyed the suspense and the fast paced plot and the developing relationship between Tara and her lovers. Readers of reverse harem will enjoy reading this series, especially those who enjoy tales set in a sci-fi world.

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

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*ARC REVIEW* ~ The White Scorpion: A James Ryker Thriller #5, by Rob Sinclair

#spies #spythrilller #thriller

Book Blurb

Rule number one for an agent of the secretive JIA is to follow orders, no matter what.
But James Ryker has never cared much for rules. He only wants to do what is right.

Assigned to join of crew of elite security personnel in Chabon, Africa, Ryker’s mission objective is clouded by politics and obfuscation, and he knows only that to protect British interests in the region, he is to infiltrate the close protection team of the government of Chabon, a country with a dark and violent past.

Arriving in Chabon’s crumbling capital, Kilpassa, Ryker finds a country on the brink of civil war. A growing civilian rebellion threatens peace, with claims of atrocities committed by both sides, including the frail government run by enigmatic President Benyu – a former military general who took control of the country in a violent coup.
Drawn into Benyu’s inner circle, it soon becomes clear to Ryker that in Chabon, the lines between good and bad, and right and wrong, are nearly impossible to identify.

With a crisis of epic proportions unfolding before his eyes, Ryker knows one thing for sure: with or without the backing of his superiors, he must take drastic action, and quickly, or risk putting millions of innocent lives in danger.

My Review ~ 5 stars

Rip-roaring spy thriller 

The White Scorpion, the 5th book in the James Ryker series, is another rip-roaring spy thriller from the imagination of Rob Sinclair. I was glued to my Kindle from the first page until the last, fully immersed in the read, which combines politics, espionage and at times some unapologetically bloody and brutal scenes.

Ryker is enticed out of his semi-retirement by his former boss Peter Winters in the Joint Intelligence Agency, and tasked with protecting President Benyu, the leader of an unstable African state to maintain the country’s stability and protect British interests. He is not operating alone, the team he is assigned to comprising others from a military and special services background, all hitherto unknown to each other.

Ryker and his team on the ground find that their very lives are on the line as they are at the mercy of diplomatic power play involving their paymasters in the intelligence services and HM government. They find they have to navigate the internal politics of an African state whose charismatic but volatile leader has his own agenda and whose country is teetering on the brink of rebellion. Who can Ryker and his colleagues trust in this murky world of politics and personal ambition?

Ryker’s character arc has developed over the course of the series and although he is very much a  highly skilled spy, assassin and killing machine when needs be, he is now a man with a conscience. He needs to know that his orders are there for a good reason and will not hesitate to seek revenge against those who deserve his wrath. We witness the shift in his moral compass throughout in his dealings with colleagues and those he encounters throughout his mission. I thoroughly enjoyed the relationships Ryker has with the other characters in the novel, particularly Moreno, a member of his team and Peter Winters his boss.

This engaging and well researched read is fast paced, gritty and oftentimes bloody in content and leaves the reader guessing until its denouement. It is recommended to fans of action packed but thoughtful spy thrillers and anyone who relishes a diverting read whatever the genre.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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https://www.robsinclairauthor.com/

 

 

 

 

*ARC REVIEW* ~ The Monster Chained (Fenris #4), by Samantha Macleod

#eroticromance #NorseMythlogy 

Adult/18+ content

Book Blurb

Is Val-hall truly the sanctuary Óðinn promises? Or is it a beautiful trap?

Sol and Fenris escaped King Nøkkyn’s castle for the isolation and dubious safety of the Ironwood forest. Yet, as Sol’s pregnancy progresses, they are forced to admit that a cave in the wild forest is no place to raise a baby. But with no family, no gold, and the flames of a civil war burning all around them, where can Sol and Fenris possibly find refuge?

When Óðinn the All-father, leader of the fabled Æsir and Vanir warriors, offers the couple a home within his legendary fortress Val-hall, Sol and Fenris feel they have no choice but to accept. However, even surrounded by the beauty and abundance of Val-hall, Sol fears the dark prophecy unleashed by King Nøkkyn will follow them all the way to Asgard. And Fenris, despite his assurances to the contrary, may one day fail the strange tests of strength the Æsir demand as proof of his loyalty.

My Review – 5 stars

Pulled at the Heartstrings – have tissues at the ready! 

The Monster Chained, the fourth instalment in the Fenris series by Samantha Macleod, is beautifully written, weaving a tale of love and self-sacrifice with Norse mythology. Be warned though you will undoubtedly need tissues at the ready! The plot threads from earlier novellas in the series are drawn together in an unavoidable noose that tightens around Sol and Fenris. The read also contains a great deal of hotness and there are a number of explicit lovemaking scenes.

In this instalment we witness Fenris go all out to prove his loyalty to Óðinn and his warriors. The author delves deep into the legend that is Val-hall and I hugely enjoyed reading the scenes of debauchery that typifies life there. We meet many of the characters we have encountered in earlier books in the series, and in other works the author has based around the Norse myths and legends. I was especially pleased that Loki, Fenris’ father, makes an appearance!

Yet despite securing sanctuary for Sol and their unborn child all does not bode well and the story progresses with an increasing sense of foreboding. Who can Fenris and Sol trust? Are they amongst friends of foes? What alternative do they have to secure their safety? As I found out more and more about Fenris’ past, particularly his early years my heart bled for him and I was left fearing for the couple’s future.

This steamy and heartrending read does end on a cliffhanger and I so need the final novella in this series now!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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Author Links

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https://www.facebook.com/writersamanthamacleod/

 

*REVIEW* ~ Touch of Smoke, by Karissa Laurel

 #Romance #Paranormal

Book Blurb

Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she’s the only one who believes Mina’s death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina’s death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen’s past, the more she’s torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she’ll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

My Review ~ Riveting second chance romance with a paranormal twist

5 Stars *****

I hugely enjoyed Touch of Smoke, by Karissa Laurel, a flawlessly orchestrated second chance romance with a paranormal twist. It is the first book that I have read by the author and I found it to be a compulsive read.

The story commences in the present day when the heroine Rikki, plagued by nightmares of what happened in her home town, returns there, after an absence of three years. She vows to find answers. Her quest compels her to confront Owen, a young man whom she was once very close to. It soon becomes clear that she still has strong feelings for him, however, it is Owen whom she fears is the source of her nightmares. Can she trust him? Is Owen the monster? What really happened the night Mina died?

I was glued to my Kindle throughout this read. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the way the book was constructed, using flashbacks to progress the story and link the present to the past. Both the central characters, Rikki and Owen have considerable baggage from their past: Rikki through personal loss, which has resulted in trust issues, and Owen through the trauma of having served in the US military. Rikki is a strong character, despite her inner fears and self-doubts and Owen is a real hottie, whose secrets the reader wants to get to the bottom of!

The couple has many hurdles to overcome, even without the increasing menace of evil the reader senses as the book unfolds. I was rooting for the couple throughout and once Owen’s secrets were out of the bag I was on tenterhooks as to how the story would play out. Once more, the weaving of the paranormal element into the story and their relationship certainly added to my enjoyment of the read.

I’d recommend this read to lovers of romance and the paranormal.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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http://www.karissalaurel.com/

ARC REVIEW ~ The Monster and the Prisoner (The Fenris Series #3) , by Samantha Macleod

#eroticromance #erotica #norsemythology
Adult/18+ read

 

Book Blurb

Captured by the cruel king!

Her family murdered, Sol has been taken in chains to the foreboding fortress of Nøkkyn the Mountain King. The King intends to make an example out of her disobedience with a public execution. What’s more, Nøkkyn plans to unleash a false prophecy strong enough to bring down the fiercest monster in the Ironwood forest: Fenris-wolf.

Is there any way for the daughter of slaves to escape the King’s castle? Or will Sol’s captivity also bring about the downfall of her husband Fenris?

My Review ~ 5 stars

Prisoner of the evil King – hot, debauched and suspense filled!

After the cliff hanger ending in the previous instalment, The Monster’s Wife (click book title for review), I approached this read with some degree of trepidation, dreading what King Nøkkyn had in store for Sol! We are left in no doubt as to his evil intentions when he makes it clear from the off that he is hell bent on making her pay the ultimate price for defying him, treating her cruelly as she awaits her fate. His fortress is certainly not a house of fun!

Indeed, the author does an excellent job of illustrating his evil and debauched character – he really is a thorough villain, rotten to the core. This is evidenced not only in his dealings with Sol but also in the abject fear he engenders in his own subjects. He also schemes to blacken Fenris’ name to turn the people against him and sow the seeds of his doom. I really felt for Sol as her situation seems hopeless as she is subjected to one sadistic treatment after another.

The read, although dark, contains a great deal of hotness, with sizzling scenes throughout. There is also plenty of suspense as I pondered whether Sol could possibly escape the King’s vengeance and whether Fenris could secure her release without becoming embroiled in his web of lies. I loved it!

This series is thoroughly recommended for lovers of erotic fantasy, particularly hose who enjoy stories which draw on Norse mythology.

Reviewed by Tina Williams
Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44430753-the-monster-and-the-prisoner?from_search=true

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*ARC REVIEW* ~Trailblazer (Verdant String #3), by Michelle Diener

#spaceopera #scifiromance #suspense

 

Book Blurb

He’s on a mission . . .
She’s running for her life . . .
And if they get off-planet alive, she’ll have to trust he won’t reveal her darkest secret.

Tally Riva is not what she seems, and even she’s not happy about it. Infected, invaded, she’s not quite sure how to describe it, but on a disastrous mission to a ghost ship, something burrowed its way into her body. Into her mind.

When her commander decides the best cure for what he thinks is Tally’s trauma is to send her on the famous Veltos Trail, Tally goes without revealing what’s really behind her mental anguish. Anything to be seen as normal again, anything to ignore what she’s afraid is happening to her.

But Veltos isn’t the safe place it seems. The chosen military personnel lucky enough to be offered the chance to walk the Trail are supposed to be the only people on Veltos. But Ben Guthrie, a captain in Arkhoran Special Forces, knows they’re not. He and his team have been on Veltos for a month already, tracking suspicious enemy activity, and he’s gone undercover on the Trail in search of a satellite his superiors are sure has been shot down.

When Ben’s worst fears become reality, and they find themselves hunted by a cunning enemy through the thick forests of Veltos, Tally and Ben fight together to survive. And Tally has to decide if accepting the changes inside her will save them both, or be her doom.

TRAILBLAZER is a standalone novel, and the third full length book set in the world of the Verdant String.

Books in the series are: Interference & Insurgency (Two Novellas of the Verdant String), Breakaway, Breakeven, Trailblazer.

My Review – 5 stars

Suspenseful and adventure packed

This is an expertly crafted and suspenseful read with plenty of action and also a romance for the central character Tally. I was so engrossed in the story that after a while I felt as if I was living and breathing alongside Tally and her fellow trail walkers on the planet Veltos where much of the book is set. The story worked well for me as a standalone, although I feel that if I had read the earlier books in the series they would have only added to my enjoyment.

I loved Tally the central character. She is one strong woman despite the trauma she has recently endured of being the sole survivor on a ghost ship, where an alien entity has invaded her body and mind. This makes her vulnerable as she finds herself at war with herself. For although whatever it is that has burrowed inside her is determined to protect her, its host, from harm, she is sometimes compelled to act in ways that are at odds with her free will.

Sent on the Veltos trail to aid her recovery from what was a disastrous mission, she is at pains to conceal what has taken up residence inside her and her oftentimes new abilities. However, she finds it increasingly difficult to keep her secret from fellow trail members as they find themselves the quarry of an enemy who is stalking them. It is especially difficult to hide the truth from Ben Guthrie, a member of the special forces who is on a mission to find out what really is going on on Veltos. Ben too is a strong character and a worthy mate for Tally.

I found the whole premise of the book, combined with the central characters of Tally and Ben and the secondary characters, made for a cracking scifi adventure. The read has plenty of tension and suspense as the plot develops and truths reveal themselves. I was on pins with how far Tally could control the entity inside her and how others would react when and if its presence was revealed. and also whether they would survive the enemy stalking them.

Thoroughly recommended for lovers of sci-fi and space opera who also love romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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*REVIEW* ~ The Firebrand (Great Chicago Fire Trilogy #3) , by Susan Wiggs

#historicalromance #suffragettes #romance

Book Blurb

On October 8, 1871, one small spark ignites the entire city of Chicago, sending its residents into panic. But amid the chaos, a chance encounter leads to an unexpected new love. Wiggs’s USA Today bestselling trilogy is now reissued.

Chicago is burning

And Lucy Hathaway is running for her life.
As she rushes past a fine hotel engulfed in flames, a wrapped bundle
tumbles from a window into her arms. Seconds later the building
crumbles–and Lucy is astonished to discover the swaddled blanket
contains a baby.

Five years later Lucy walks into Rand
Higgins’s bank and knows: the orphan she rescued that day actually
belongs to this ruthless financier. Now, to keep the child she’s come to
love, she’ll have to give up her hard-won freedom and become his wife.
But giving Rand her heart? That, she could never have expected…

My Review ~ Fantastic read! ~5 stars

This is the first book that I have read by Susan Wiggs and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has plenty of tension and conflict between the hero and heroine, which for me is always a strong plus. Not only that but it gave me an insight into the terrible fire that engulfed Chicago and the women’s movement in America at the time.

Rand, renowned for his strong business and financial acumen, is both a scarred and bitter man, the Chicago fire of 1871 having impacted on his life in a terrible way. Yet a miracle happens and the child he thought he had lost reappears in his life. To do right by her he is compelled to forge a marriage of convenience with the headstrong radical and social outcast, Lucy Hathaway. Lucy is everything Rand despises in a woman and sparks fly between the two of them as does an undeniable attraction …

Can this union of opposites ever have a chance of succeeding when many in Chicago society are against it? The journey both the hero and the heroine embark on is an emotional one and I admired their commitment to the child that they both love. Can Lucy reign in her radical views and activities and conform to the expectations of polite society or will she lose her sense of self in the process? Can Rand change his chauvinistic views and give a little? It is not an easy ride for either of them and there are many hurdles to overcome.

I loved this entertaining romance and the companion books in the series are now on my to read list. I’d highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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