*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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*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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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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MARCH 2019 SALE – RED RIVER VALLEY BOOKS 1-4 BY SHELLY ALEXANDER, 99p EBOOK SALE

Amazon UK Sale, Red River Valley Series by Author Shelly Alexander

hosting RRV MARCH 2019

A sweet, stirring romance series with just enough steam and chemistry to make you swoon. It’s set against the charming landscape of the Southern Rockies, where the nights are cool and the romance is hot.

Books 1 – 4 in Red River Valley Series ONLY 99p each on Amazon.co.uk.

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In a close-knit small town like Red River, keeping your business—and your heart—to yourself is next to impossible. Neighbors become friends, and friends can sometimes become much, much more. Against a backdrop of stunning mountains and quirky businesses, locals and visitors alike discover soul mates, second chances, and new beginnings. Shelly Alexander’s sweet and steamy Red River Valley series offers compelling characters grappling with contemporary issues in emotion-packed stories tinged with wit and warmth. Red River: an unforgettable small town that romance readers will want to visit again and again.

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Release Date 11 March 2019

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Shelly Alexander’s first published novel was a 2014 Golden Heart® finalist. She is an Amazon #1 bestselling author in numerous categories, including contemporary romance, contemporary women’s fiction, and romantic comedy.

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Shelly grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and worked in business for twenty-five years. With four older brothers and three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels…and has been hooked ever since. Now, Shelly spends her days writing novels that are sometimes sweet, sometimes sizzling, and always sassy. She lives in the beautiful Southwest with her husband and toy poodle named Mozart. Visit her at www.shellyalexander.net

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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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Review~The Mercenary (The Araloka Chronicles Book 1), by Petra Landon

#spaceopera #sci-fi #romance #interspeciesromance

Book Blurb

2018 RONE award finalist for Sci-Fi / Time Travel

She’s a prisoner of the Imperial Forces. He’s a nomad with a mercenary army. Can a girl’s desperate gamble and a fierce warrior’s love turn the tide of war and rewrite the destiny of their corner of the galaxy?

In a distant corner of the galaxy, Sector Araloka burns in the flames of a deadly war. The Budheya people are one of the worst affected.

Saakshi
Imprisoned by the Ketaari Imperial Forces, a young Budheya rebel is sent to a distant space station to work in an alehouse. For a girl who has known only hardship in her short life, things could be worse. Until an old foe walks into the alehouse.

Zoran
Zoran is Hadari’Kor – notoriously fierce mercenaries who only fight for hire. Drawn to a weary-eyed server girl, Zoran is forced to confront age-old traditions and question his role in the war.

The Rebel & The Mercenary
Alone, friendless and far from home, Saakshi makes a desperate gamble to trust an enigmatic stranger whose hot gaze haunts her dreams. The echoes of this unlikely alliance reverberate across the sector. As a relentless enemy hunts Saakshi, Zoran must fight with everything in his arsenal to protect her. When passion ignites amidst the embers of a smoldering war, will a warrior’s quest for justice bring a mighty Empire to its knees …

Author’s Note : A spirited and resilient rebel, a fierce warrior with a mighty heart, a fiery passion that flares amidst the debris of a deadly war and a love that will alter the fate of an entire quadrant.

This is a standalone story that sets the scene for The Araloka Chronicles – a collection of SciFi Romance tales with Space Opera undertones.

My Review

Fantastic start to a new series – 5 stars

I so loved this! I adore sci-fi romances, especially when they involve inter species relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed the pairing of Saakshi and Zoran, the rebel and the mercenary – they are perfect for each other but have many obstacles to overcome before they can secure their HEA.

The plot centres on their romance but it also introduces us to the politics and the wider issues at play. The narrative contains some great world building and I enjoyed learning about the various personalities and factions within the Alliance and the Imperial Forces, the later who are holding Saakshi prisoner and who have control over her destiny. The reader is also introduced to other characters who will no doubt have a role to play in future instalments which I am eager to read.

Saakshi is a strong woman who has gone through a lot and she clearly needs protecting from an enemy who does not have her wellbeing at heart. Zoran is truly an honourable male and Saakshi is one lucky girl indeed to have him on her side as a knight in shining armour. I enjoyed the interplay between the couple for although Zoran is a very dominant male he ultimately takes great care to allow Saakshi the space to determine her own future.

Although the romance is a sweet one there are a number of sizzling scenes and also ones containing violence and threats of violence as Saakshi seeks to escape from an old foe who has a score to settle with her. Zoran will have to question his role as mercenary and decide what is important to him. Can he protect Saakshi? Will they have a future together? What impact will his actions have on the political power balance? Will Saakshi ever be able to return to her home planet?

All in all a fabulous read for fans of sci-fi romance, especially those who enjoy sweeping space operas.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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*ARC REVIEW* ~ Marquess to a Flame, Rules of the Rogue book 3, by Emily Windsor

#sensual #regency #romance #historicalromance

A London rogue with a winter’s heart… A Cornish lady with a glimpse of spring…. Seasons collide & passions flame as the seducer becomes the seduced.

Tone: Warm. Witty. Romantic.
Heat Level: Sensual. Moderate.

Release Date: 30th January 2019

Blurb

A winter’s heart…

“Debonair, handsome and with a devil’s smile. How could any woman resist?”

The Marquess of Winterbourne has long been guided by his Rules of the Rogue, but as emissary for the Crown, his next mission will break every single one. Sent to the wilds of Cornwall to beguile secrets from a country miss, the last thing this rogue expects is to unearth his own buried heart.
A taste of spring…

“A rogue and a fribble. How could any woman succumb?”

Miss Tamsyn Penrose remains far from impressed by charming London scoundrel Lord Winterbourne, preferring a wild gallop over the moors to flashing black eyes and fulsome flattery. But as danger lurks and prejudice ebbs, she uncovers a complex man who awakens her hidden strength and arouses her forgotten fire.
Seasons collide…

Desire sparks and passion flares in this Cornish land of cove and tor. Can Tamsyn step from the shadow of her past? And will Jack Winterbourne tear up the rules for a woman who maddens his senses and thaws his heart?

A sensual Regency Romance with warmth and wit, this story also includes a fusty valet with a secondary love story, picnics, swordplay, peacocks and…piskies.

My Review ~ 5 stars

Witty and Suspenseful 

I loved this witty and suspenseful Regency Romance, penned by Emily Windsor. In it, the quintessential London rake, Jack Winterbourne, is brought to his knees by a country miss, Tamsyn Penrose. We met Jack in previous books in the series and I have been eagerly awaiting his story as he appeared to be a rogue beyond redemption! Although it is not necessary to read the other books in the series, I’d urge you to do so as they are equally as enthralling as this one.

I loved both the hero and heroine. Indeed, I went through the whole gamut of emotions when reading this novel – a number of scenes had me recoiling in horror, whilst others had me laughing and crying with laughter – the antics of Jack, Tamsyn and the cast of supporting characters kept me entertained throughout. The read contains a secondary romance between Jack’s valet and Tamsyn’s companion and this added to my enjoyment.

The book refers to moving events from both Jack and Tamsyn’s past, events which have shaped their characters. The author does an excellent job of illustrating how both the hero and heroine need to overcome their inner conflicts to ensure their HEA. It is not an easy path but throughout the read I was rooting for them to be together, although at times I did want to shake them and give them a good talking to!

Emily Windsor skilfully weaves romance coupled with sparkling and witty dialogue with danger and suspense which kept me guessing throughout. Will Jack and Tamsyn overcome issues from their past and take a chance on love before it’s too late? Will dangers from Tamsyn’s past come back to ruin her future happiness? Can a rogue’s heart finally thaw?

All in all a super read for fans of sensual Regency Romance which contains wit, charm and romance in spades. Thoroughly recommended.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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