~*Audiobook review* ~ Illicit Relations, by Lucy Felthouse

#audiobook #audible #gay #mm #romance

Adult/18+ content

Blurb

Terry’s had a crush on his second cousin Justin for what seems like forever. He’s hidden it as well as possible, knowing that the other man is out of bounds, forbidden fruit. Second cousins getting together isn’t actually illegal, but for Justin the relationship is too close – he just can’t contemplate them being together.

But when some new information comes to light about Terry’s birth and his place in the family, the whole game changes. Suddenly the relationship isn’t so impossible, and things soon begin to get hot and heavy. 

Audio links:

Amazon UK:  Amazon US:  Audible UK: Audible US:  iTunes UK:  iTunes US:

eBook available here: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/illicit-relations/

My Review

Scorching and thoughtful gay romance – 5 stars

Illicit Relations, by Lucy Felthouse is above all a scorching mm erotic romance and is beautifully done, encapsulating the angst and the drama of the attraction two young men have for one another. It is also a thoughtful one as it explore the impact of coming out on individuals and their family and the ‘taboo’ of cousins in love. Although I usually read, rather than listen to audiobooks, I am so glad that I opted to review the author’s work in this format.  I found the voice of the narrator (who I could happily listen to for hours) just perfect in giving voice to the character of Terry, who is having to deal with a whole lot of inner turmoil on account of being in love with his cousin Justin. Not to mention the minor matter of how their family would react to his ‘coming out.’

Terry cannot ignore his lust forever as he is thrown together with Justin at a number of family gatherings. Does Justin reciprocate his feelings? Can he get over the fact that he feels too squiffy to get up close and personal with his cousin? I was rooting for Terry as he was confronted with these moral dilemmas and found his and Justin’s journey fun, entertaining and downright sexy! There is also plenty of humorous male banter along the way.

This is an erotic read and these two handsome men do get it together in some explicit, scorching (and often light hearted) mm scenes. But this is not before there is a great deal of soul searching and unexpected revelations along the way!

Recommended to fans of erotic mm tales who like to indulge in their favourite stories on the go.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Connect with the Author

http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk

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*BLOG TOUR & REVIEW* ~ Jane Grey: A Homage to the Brontë Classics (The Brontë Brothers #1), by Nina Mason (includes excerpt)

#historical #Victorian #romance

Title: Jane Grey

Author: Nina Mason

Genre: Historical Romance

Time period: 1850

Heat Level: Moderate

Here’s the blurb:

Matthew Brontë, a true romantic at heart, believes the only happiness in life is to love and be loved. And yet, he fears he lacks the capacity to love…until he meets Jane Grey. Jane, a humble English governess, seems perfect for Matthew, apart from one significant snag: Jane can only marry a man of means and Matthew must give up his fortune if and when he marries. When faced with the choice between love and money, which will each of them choose?

More about Jane Grey: 

Set in France’s Loire Valley in 1850, Jane Grey tells the story of a frustrated painter and a beleaguered English governess who comes to France to tutor a flirtatious young heiress in the social graces. Jane Grey meets Matthew Brontë when he takes a spill from his horse near where she is walking—the same way Jane Eyre met Mr. Rochester in the book our Jane is reading at the time. Jane finds it uncannier still that Matthew is a cousin to the author of Jane Eyre.

After Jane helps Gabriel home to his chateau, he offers her drawing lessons to repay her kindness. Regrettably, the only way she can accept his gift is to pretend the drawing lessons are for Lady Cecile Brousseau, her spoiled and selfish pupil.

As the weeks pass, Jane and Matthew discover they have much in common, including shared interests in art, poetry, literature, and gardening. They seem perfect for each other, apart from one significant snag: Matthew cannot marry without forfeiting his fortune, and Jane can only marry a man with the means to support her as well as her dependent relations back in England.

Will the strength of Jane and Matthew’s devotion be enough to overcome this seemingly unsolvable dilemma? Or will Jane be forced to choose her duty to her family over her own desires?

Jane Grey is an original work with subtle shadings borrowed from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey.

Here’s an excerpt: 

“If you don’t mind my asking, was your relationship with the countess an affectionate one?”

“Hardly.”

Matthew’s candor pleased Jane on more than one level. “So, you didn’t love her?”

After an extended silence, he said, looking pained, “To be truthful, Miss Grey, I’ve never loved any woman—and often doubt myself capable of experiencing that most-coveted of emotions.”

His words crushed her hopes and brought more tears to her eyes. “Surely, you are wrong. For you strike me as a man of great passion.”

“I used to be.” His countenance grew even more sullen. “But now, my heart is like a tree in winter. Barren, leafless, and encrusted with ice.”

“Perhaps it will thaw when you meet the right woman,” she offered hopefully.

He brought his face very close to hers and, for a breathless moment, she thought he meant to kiss her. Instead, he said in a strained voice, “I probably should keep this to myself, but my cold heart has warmed some since making your acquaintance.”

For several hellish-yet-heavenly moments, they sat together in silence. His mouth was so close to hers she could feel his breath warming her lips. As her heart leapt toward him, her body impulsively followed. Their mouths met ever so sweetly. Then, mortified by her forwardness, she jerked back and turned away.

“Forgive me. I shouldn’t have been so presumptuous.”

“There’s nothing to forgive,” he said. “I rather liked the feel of your mouth on mine.”

She liked the feel of his, too—very much indeed—but carrying on like a common hussy would only lead to her ruin. “Perhaps we should return to the house and see if Cécile’s headache is any better.”

“Yes,” he said with audible strain. “Perhaps we should at that.”

He stood and offered her his arm. She took his coat sleeve between her gloved hands and let him lead her farther along the path. After they’d walked several paces, he said, “I don’t believe I’ve yet asked your favorite flower.”

“No, you haven’t.”

He waited a few moments before letting out a small laugh. “Will you not tell me what it is?”

“Very well.” She released a sigh. “I shall tell you. As queer as it may seem, my favorite flower is bleeding heart.”

He laughed, drew to a stop, and freed his arm from her grasp. Turning toward the bed to their right, he bent over the boxwood border and plucked several stems of the flower she’d named. Then, he offered the bouquet to her with a gallant bow. “Please allow me to offer you this humble token of my admiration.”

She accepted the flowers with joy in her heart. It was foolish, perhaps, to experience so much elation in response to so simple an offering, but no man had ever given her anything before. He’d also demonstrated tremendous compassion when she told him about her family—and had admitted to liking the brief intimacy they’d shared.

Might he have some feelings for her? Or was he just being kind? Oh—and what about his secret? She must take care not to let him turn her head, lest she end up brokenhearted when the truth came out.

 Here’s the buy-link:

https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Grey-Bront%C3%AB-Brothers-Book-ebook/dp/B06XGKX571

Note: Jane Grey will be 99 cents until May 21 and thereafter will revert to the regular price of $3.99

My Review

An expertly crafted Victorian Romance ~ 5 stars

I am familiar with reading Nina Mason’s erotic historical and paranormal romances such as her Royal Pains and Knights of the Tarot series of which I am a big fan. Jane Grey, a standalone historical romance is a departure from the erotic genre as the heat level of this work is classed as moderate and the romance between the main couple is a sweet one. Nevertheless the author’s storytelling ability and character development are once again flawless.

The tale expertly evokes the Victorian novels of the time, in particularly those penned by the Brontë’s, namely Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Anne’s Agnes Grey, to which the work, although an original, pays homage: Matthew, the hero, is a cousin of the Brontës and the book references Jane Eyre in particular. The use of language in the book and the descriptions of the Loire Valley where the novel is set transported me to the time period perfectly. Jane Grey reflects the social mores and the moral dilemmas often found within the literature of this period –  Jane, an impoverished governess can only marry a man of sufficient means to support her dependant mother and siblings and Matthew will lose his fortune should he marry. Can love triumph over this seemingly impossible situation? I was invested in the characters from the off and intrigued to find out where the narrative would go.

Matthew and Jane are perfect for each other, sharing many interests, such as art and literature, interests which Matthew, up until now a man who although having no difficulty in attracting the opposite sex, has never found in another woman. Indeed, before finding Jane, the romance his soul craves has eluded this handsome and passionate artist and his muse has mourned its lack. The quiet and studious Jane soon finds herself falling in love with a man of Matthew’s intelligence and depths, even as she doubts that her feelings will be reciprocated due to what she perceives as her own failings.  However, their relationship is blighted at every turn by the selfish antics of Cécile, the jealous and capricious heiress who Jane is tutoring and the wastrel cousin of Matthew’s benefactor who will go to desperate lengths to wrestle Matthews fortune from him. The passion and longing between Matthew and Jane is evident in their every word and glance and I was willing them to break free of their self inflicted and societal bonds as I was anxious for their HEA.

If you enjoy reading historical novels set in Victorian times, which explore the relationships between men and women and the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ within society, coupled with a sweet yet passionate romance, then this book is definitely for you. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Here’s more about the author:

Nina Mason, the author of eleven published books to date, is an incurable romantic who strives to write love stories that entertain and edify. A research fanatic, she goes to great lengths to ensure the locations and time periods in her books are accurately portrayed (and thanks the Powers That Be for the internet). Born and raised in Southern California, Ms. Mason lived in Oregon briefly before moving to Georgia, where she lives with her husband and college-bound daughter. When she isn’t writing, she makes historic dolls, fairy babies, and putters in her garden.

Contact Nina: ninamasonauthor@gmail.com

Visit Nina’s website: http://ninamasonauthor.com

Follow Nina on Facebook: http://facebook.com/ninamasonromance

Follow Nina on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ninamasonauthor

Get Nina’s newsletter: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/authorninamasonsnewsletter

 

 

~ BLOG TOUR PLUS ARC REVIEW & AUTHORS’ POST~*DISENCHANTED* by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

I was thrilled to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of Disenchanted, penned by the writing duo Heide Goody and Iain Grant. I invite you to put your feet up, scroll down and find out about this fun-filled book and read my review. You can also read a post compiled by the authors – another of Dr Alexander’s letters to them, which contains an insight into the research material used to create the novel. I am particularly pleased to be hosting this particular letter as it features the town of Tamworth, which I know very well. More of Dr Alexander’s letters can be found on the other blog’s in this tour. 🙂

Book Blurb

“Ella Hannaford has a small business to run, an overworked father to look after and a future stepmother who wants a perfect wedding. 
Can she avoid a girly night out with her clueless stepsister? Can she side-step lovesick suitors at every turn? Not if it’s up to that team of foul-mouthed dwarfs who want to forcibly drag her into her happily ever after.
Gingerbread cottages, dodgy European gangsters, gun-toting grannies, wisecracking wolves, stubborn fairy godmothers, ogres, beanstalks and flying carpets abound in a tale about what happens when you refuse to accept your Happy Ending.”

My Review ~ 5 Stars *****

Magic and mayhem collide in riotous fairy tale romp!

As someone who is an unabashed romance novel addict and who also loves fairy tales, I could not resist the chance to review Heide Goody’s and Iain Grant’s Disenchanted. 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, also appealed to my sense of the perverse. Indeed, I found the read to be a real tonic and I defy anyone to read it and not crack a smile and/or stifle a gaffaw within reading the first few pages!

If you thought that fairy tales were firmly consigned to superstitions from the past and story books for children, then think again. Magical creatures really exist, although Ella the heroine would much rather they were not quite so fixated on controlling her life. Much of the action takes place in rural England (predominantly the Midlands), as 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. I loved the fact that Ella is a 21st century woman (no simpering miss) and does not need a ANY interference, magical or otherwise, in her life thank you very much. 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…

This unique and humorous tale includes an evil stepmother to be, a gung-ho grandmother, unlikely prospective suitors, a fairy godmother, dwarves, a big bad wolf and more. Combined 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.

It was my first experience of the authors’ work and I now have a real taste for their irreverent humour and will be reading some of their other works very soon. Thoroughly recommended to readers who enjoy a fun filled read and magical read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

The links are:

UK kindle:   UK paperback:   US kindle:   US paperback:

A Post from the Authors

Heide and Iain’s latest novel, Disenchanted, is out this month. The fairy tale fantasy comedy was written with no small assistance from Dr Epiphany Alexander of Sheffield University’s Department for Folklore and Oral History. As an insight into the research material used to create Disenchanted, we present another of Dr Alexander’s letters to the author duo.

My Dear Friends,

When last I wrote to you, I believe I was trapped  in the trunk of a Lincoln Continental in downtown Tucson, Arizona. I found time to reflect upon some of the unusual things that have happened in my  life over recent days, and I was able to draw some useful conclusions. So it was that when Pak Choi suggested that we might slip out via his homeland, I immediately agreed, as I had determined what should be our next course of action.

One should always be wary of spending too much time in Faerie, as it ages the skin terribly, so I had Pak Choi immediately open another portal back into the real world, and this one to the town of Tamworth.

As I am sure you’re aware, Tamworth was the seat of the Saxon rulers of Mercia, and it was for this reason that I needed to visit. The photograph in the domunculus I had seen in Tuscon was unmistakeably a picture of Æthelflæd. Æthelflæd was the daughter of Alfred the Great, and known as the Lady of Mercia. Pak Choi opened a convenient doorway that emerged in the river meadow in the shadow of Tamworth castle.

The castle is built at the confluence of two rivers, the Tame and the Anker, and this important junction is the subject of a local fairy tale, known as The Mermaid and the Mother. A local boy, Tom, liked to spend time by the river, although his mother warned him to be careful of mermaids. Tom was confident that he would not be tricked by the notoriously sly mermaids, and continued  to pass his days on the pleasant grassy banks. When a swan engaged him in conversation he was not afraid, and even took the swan home to meet his mother. It turned out that the swan was a mermaid, and by inviting her over the threshold of his home, Tom was now betrothed to her. Tom didn’t mind the prospect of spending the rest of his life swimming in the river with this fascinating creature, but his mother was determined to prevent the marriage so she heated up the oven, preparing to roast the swan. The cunning mermaid passed word of this to the town’s magistrate, who was naturally obliged to protect the royal bird and so threw the mother in jail, and presided over the nuptials in her absence.

[Here is a picture of the mother preparing to cook the swan]

Pak Choi and I enjoyed the brief and pleasant walk up into the town, passing by the Assembly Rooms, which bears Tamworth’s unofficial coat of arms. This features a pair of mermaids, popularly supposed to be Tom and his bride.

I wanted to visit the library, where I believed there was an archive of the local newspapers. The late Mabel Swift had a popular history column in this for many years, and it was her work that I wished to review, as I had heard that she had a great deal of expertise regarding the life of Æthelflæd and I needed to find out what link there might be with Andrew Lang’s Black Fairy Book. In the library, a bespectacled assistant called Ernest offered to copy all of the relevant material for me, and suggested that I should enjoy a walk around the shady pathways between the library and St Editha’s church while I waited. Pak Choi and I enjoyed this very much, as there are lots of cheeky squirrels who seem unafraid of people and so Pak Choi was able to have a hearty gossip with them without attracting too much attention. He passed on a bawdy tale of squirrel-based derring-do which I will relate here for your amusement, as I know that your book Disenchanted touches on some rather base elements.

A squirrel called Ewan declared himself king of the nuts, by virtue of the fact that nobody else had thought to do it first. He had a throne constructed of nuts and made all of his subjects bring him nut-based tributes. He was an unpopular ruler as nobody could ever see any benefit to his reign, only the burden of supplying nuts for his insatiable appetite.

It became known that he needed so many nuts to sustain his lovemaking, as he liked to visit whatever passes for a red light district in squirrel terms (I’m afraid that Pak Choi’s excessive mirth made this point a little unclear to me). Ewan’s subjects decided that they could cure these urges with the use of a classic honey trap. They recruited a delightfully pretty girl squirrel. Pak Choi used the term hotsy totsy. I honestly don’t know where he gets it from, I think these squirrels are a bad influence. The attractive squirrel was charged with engaging the squirrel king in energetic lovemaking, but whenever he reached for a nut (as he would do throughout) she would bite him vigorously. You might think that this tale ends with Ewan’s re-education, perhaps renouncing his reign over the nuts, but you’d be wrong. It actually ends with him contracting tetanus and dying, which had Pak Choi and his bushy-tailed friends falling about and hooting with laughter.

[Here is a picture of the King of the Nuts]

There is an interesting anchor-themed sculpture near the church. It is a memorial to Colin Grazier, one the three British seaman who retrieved secret documents from a sinking German submarine in World War Two. The Enigma code books were amongst those documents, enabling those clever people over at Bletchley Park to understand the Germans’ encrypted messages. Sadly, young Colin, a local lad, drowned when the sub went down.

[here is Pak Choi’s sketch of the sculpture]

I had my own mystery to solve and codes to break and felt inspired by Colin’s example as I went back into the library to see what Ernest had found for me. The librarian had uncovered and photocopied a wealth of local history material for me.

Ernest looked at me intently and enquired if I would like to join him for a drink of locally brewed real ale, over which he could tell me some more about the local area. Lovely though the little man was, I can’t abide real ale. I dismissed his advances with brief thanks and made a sharp exit. I had much to think about. I was not in need of ale but of some quiet thinking time and a cup of Pak Choi’s soothing tea.

I post this to you in the knowledge that I have promised to meet you in Birmingham tomorrow to help celebrate the launch of your new book. I see no reason at all why I can’t get to the bottom of this mystery and then come meet with you, dear friends.

Yours,

Dr E. Alexander

Dr Epiphany Alexander’s latest book, “One Day My Prints Will Come: How Early Printers Hindered the Spread of Fairy Tales” is currently available from Sheffield Academic Press.

Heide Goody and Iain Grant’s novel, Disenchanted, is available now from Amazon.

UK kindle:   UK paperback:   US kindle:   US paperback:

 

 

 

 

 

 

*ARC REVIEW* ~ Payback (Viking Bastards MC #2), by Christina Phillips

#contemporary #erotic #mcromance

Blurb

Gage…

I don’t fuck girls who work for me, but as soon as Amelia turns those big green eyes on me I know she’s trouble. I can’t keep my hands off her, and the almost-but-not-quite-sex we share in the kitchen is the hottest thing I’ve ever had. Except she calls it quits, before we’ve even started.

Instead of moving on, she’s all I can think about and that’s bad news. I’m breaking all my rules for her, and don’t even care.

Until I find out who she is and what she really wants. She’s after payback, but there’s no way she’s going to get it. No way in hell…

My Review ~ 5stars *****

Revenge is sweet…

Fanning myself furiously! I so loved this read, set in the world of the Viking Bastards MC. It’s the second book in the series and features Gage, brother of Zach whom we met in book 1, Hooked (click on the title for my review).

To Amelia it sounds easy – get a job working the bar in Odin’s, gain the owner’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.

As Gage pursues Amelia and breaks down her defences I was on pins waiting to see what would happen. Will Amelia succumb to Gage? Will he want her when he’s had his fill? And do they have a future once the real reason Amelia sought employment in his bar is revealed? How will he make her pay? The truth is a major deal for them both and it will take a strong relationship to survive.

I loved both Gage and Amelia. Gage is a badass member of the Viking Bastards and his world is tilted on its axis as soon as he claps eyes on Amelia. I love how he was willing to break his usual relationship rules in his pursuit of her. Amelia has just the right combination of vulnerability and sass to attract and keep Gage and they are a perfect fit, yet unknowingly to Gage they share so much baggage from their past. I enjoyed both their verbal and physical sparring and the scorching lovemaking scenes are down and very dirty.

The book can be read as a standalone, but I’d also recommend reading the previous book Hooked.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

An ARC of this novel was given to me by the publisher for the purpose of a fair an honest review.

Buy Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter

*REVIEW* ~ Hooked (Viking Bastards MC #1), by Christina Phillips

#Erotic #MC #Romance

Adult/18+ read

Blurb

I like my sex dirty and disposable. I’m not into commitment or chicks who want more than one night. My brothers and club come first, second and last.

Until she walks into my life. Classy, rich and so out of my league it’s crazy. A week together should get her out of my system, but this good girl is so bad when we’re all alone and I can’t get enough of her.

I don’t do forever, but she’s hooked me so bad I don’t ever want to let her go. Except there’s no way a princess can live in my world and I sure as hell won’t live in hers…  

My Review  – 5 stars *****

Opposites attract in this sizzling erotic MC romance

Hooked, by Christina Phillips is the first book in her new contemporary romance series, a sizzling erotic foray into the lives and loves of the Viking Bastards Motorcyle Club. It is a scorching read which pairs Zach, the hot and dirty commitment-phobe with the mega rich and uber classy Grace. It’s definitely a case of opposites attract when Grace’s car breaks down on the wrong side of town and she ventures into the club’s bar to seek help. Yet help is not all she finds once she catches the eye of Zach…

Zach is angling for a casual hook up with one hell of an attractive female and Grace throws her usual caution to the wind and indulges in one night stand. Neither think it will go any further but it does. Very soon it develops into a  case of ‘friends with benefits’ and the couple, whilst telling themselves their relationship is not serious – after all their lives are chalk and cheese, cannot get enough of each other. Zach finds that although Grace does not fit into his usual love ’em and leave ’em plan, he is not sure where their relationship is going and Grace is equally unsure whether Zach sees any future for them other than casual sex.

The sex scenes and the banter between Grace and Zach sizzle and I loved how the couple fell for each other. Yet their HEA seems so elusive as their lives are so different. Will Grace find the courage to escape a lifetime of conformity and can Zach break his cardinal rule of not getting emotionally involved with a woman, least of all one whose life is far removed for his own? Will their burgeoning relationship survive when their worlds collide?

Christina Phillips writes the most scorching sex scenes (hot and down and dirty)! There is also plenty of romance and I found the couple very believable. If you like strong alpha types and classy heroines not afraid to put them in their place, you will love this read.

Recommended for fans of the genre.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me by the publisher for the purpose of a fair an honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter

 

 

 

*REVIEW* ~ Rising for Autumn (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles Book 3), by Katherine McIntyre

#paranormal #romance #urbanfantasy

Adult Read

Book Blurb

Crisis and danger have become second nature for Alanna Carrington. After all, as the boss of the Philadelphia Coven, she’s responsible for upholding the laws amongst the supernatural. Which means when the Order of the Serpent rears its ugly head, this time with the most powerful necromancer this city’s ever seen, she’s the one person who can keep Philly safe. Ex-Order djinn and now ally, Samuel Karim, happens to be the best-suited guy to help. Except he’s also the first man who’s stoked her interest in far too long, and ever since she commandeered the lamp he’s tethered to for safekeeping, he also hates her guts.

As the Order gathers the necromancers of her city and sparks a dangerous alliance, she finds herself working with Samuel Karim more and more. Hatred turns to passion, and when he exhibits a strength and compassion that breaks through her ironclad defenses, she finds herself falling deeper despite the complications between them. Yet with her city under siege and their lives on the line, the sharp desire between them erupts into the temptation to break their own rules, before the Order of the Serpent robs them of the chance permanently.

My Review ~ 4 and a half stars

Enemies to Lovers Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

I just love an enemies to lovers romance –  there is something beguiling about all that emotionally intense angst filled hate, flip flopping and fuelling the desire afflicting two individuals attracted to each other despite their best convictions! Rising for Autumn is the third book in Katherine McIntyre’s Philadelphia Coven Chronicles series. The read pairs world weary djinn Sam with Alanna, the ice princess, who is head of the Philadelphia Coven. Those familiar with the earlier books in the series Hunting for Spring and Scrying for Summer (click on titles for reviews) will already be familiar with both characters and I have been looking forward to reading their romance.

The odds are stacked against the two would-be-lovers from the start. Sam clearly has reason to despise Alanna, for as she is the holder of his lamp, he is obliged to do her bidding. As Sam was previously in thrall to the Order of the Serpent the Coven’s arch enemy, Alanna cannot take his loyalty for granted, even as he assists her and her team in its battle against the Order. Sam resents her control over him, as he has resented the control exercised by all those who have possessed his lamp. However, the Coven’s work is a worthwhile cause and once more their current adversary, a powerful necromancer, is one with whom he has an important personal score to settle.

I enjoyed the story and romance between the couple, for although they seem to have so much against them, they find they have much in common if only time and fate will give them a chance. I loved that despite his situation Sam finds himself drawn to Alanna, especially when they are increasingly thrown together and circumstances conspire to expose the real woman beneath the hard exterior. He is intrigued, even as he resents her for possessing his lamp. I found Alanna rather remote and cold in the previous books, but I soon warmed to her as the author turned this around and made me empathise with her through revealing her character and backstory. It will take Sam, an immortal and a former enemy, to penetrate her hard exterior and I found myself becoming invested in their HEA very quickly. The book has plenty of romance, including explicit lovemaking scenes.

Yet how can the couple have a future together when the balance of control is clearly stacked in Alanna’s favour? Once more what chance do they have when the powerful necromancer Akanda will use every weapon in her arsenal to destroy the Coven, its allies and above all Sam with whom she has a history? It is not clear who will remain standing after she unleashes her worst and whether Alanna and Sam will be amongst them, let alone find a HEA.

The read is an action packed one and there is plenty of dark magic as the necromancers and their army of the undead attempt to destroy the Coven and wreak their evil plans on the city. The blood and gore flow as the Coven’s witches and their allies do battle with the wights, redcaps and necromancers.

Rising for Autumn is recommended for readers of action-packed paranormal and urban fantasy who like their reads served with plenty of passion and romance.

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.

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Tumblr: http://www.booksteacoffee.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kmcintyremt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixierants

 

*REVIEW* ~ The Vodka Trail, by AA Abbott

#crime #thriller

Book Blurb

Orphaned and destitute as a teenager, Kat has made a new life for herself in London. Now she’s determined to reclaim her father’s vodka business in the former Soviet Union.

Birmingham businessman Marty wants to stop her. That alone isn’t why Kat hates him – she blames him for her parents’ deaths. But when she’s taken hostage by freedom fighters, only Marty can help her survive.

My Review

~ Slick and Entertaining  ***** (5 stars) ~

The Vodka Trail is a slick and entertaining crime thriller, with believable characters and plenty of plot twists, taking place in Birmingham, London and the former Soviet Union. It is the second book in the Trail series (the first being the Bride’s Trail), but can easily be read as a standalone, for although it does feature some characters from the first novel, it contains a brand new plot.

Kat travels to the former Soviet Union to reclaim her family’s vodka business. At the same time Marty, a Birmingham businessman,  also finds himself there on what is to turn out to be an ill-fated business trip. The two protaganists have a history going way back, to when Kat was a child, and they are both as stunned as each other when they discover that they are both held captive by freedom fighters. They know that their situation is precarious and that they will be lucky to escape with their lives. Kat in particular finds that she has to rely on Marty to maintain her sanity and recognises that the man she blames for so many past events in her life may be the one man who could save her life.

As Kat and Marty spend time in captivity together they are compelled to confront events which took place in the past, little realising how much of the past and present have collided in their current predicament. Their situation also impacts on family and friends in the UK and it is an anxious time as they await their, fate hoping for the best, yet fearing the worst.

The read is a realistic and harrowing portrayal of kidnapping and of the contrasting lives of those who live in the former Soviet Union and the UK. Not only was I on pins to see if Kat and Marty would survive their ordeal, but also how they would endure their close proximity given their animosity towards each other. Scenes expertly pan from their desperate situation to the lives and motivations of their captors and friends and family (including Kat’s fiancé) in the UK. Their existence is far removed from the shenanigans of some characters and the contrast makes for an entertaining read. I enjoyed both the two main characters as well as the insight into the political situation which has prompted their kidnapping.

The author has a gift for scene setting and I particularly liked her descriptions of Birmingham and London’s business community and those of the former Soviet Union, which I found very insightful. I particularly enjoyed the complex relationship between Kat and Marty and how this develops throughout the novel.

A super crime thriller, which is a thoroughly entertaining read.

PLEASE NOTE: The book is available in e-book and paperback. The author has published this series in a dyslexia free format. See the author’s blog post Fun, Fast Thrillers and Dyslexia Friendly Too

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

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http://aaabbott.co.uk/