*ARC REVIEW* ~ Tattered Souls (Bad Blood, book 3): A Dark Romance, by Marissa Farrar

#darkromance #romanticsuspense #eroticromance #revenge

 

Book Blurb

Torn between love and hate…

The man who was my kidnapper has also become my lover, and now the lines are so blurred I don’t even know where they start or end. Hayden Vale might be handsome and rich, but he’s also single-minded in the revenge he intends on taking.
Revenge that includes killing my father.
Now a murderer is roaming the streets, and we are the ones responsible for setting him free. I want to see my father back behind bars, though Hayden has other plans—plans I will put a stop to, if I can.
I’m not trying to save my father’s life, I’m trying to save Hayden Vale from himself.
But in the end, I might be the one who needs saving.

My Review

Thrilling Finale  – 5 stars

I found Tattered Souls to be a nail-biting read – it’s certainly a fitting conclusion to this heartfelt and sizzling dark romance series. The  tension between Jolie and Hayden ratchets up as Hayden attempts to enact his plan to kill Jolie’s serial killer father, a man who has now escaped prison and is on the loose. However, Jolie is hell bent on stopping Hayden – not through any love for her father but because she does not want Hayden to throw his life away languishing in prison for the crime. She also has her own future to think of, with or without Hayden – that is if she survives…

Indeed, the introduction of Jolie’s father, the man whose heinous crimes have shaped the characters of both Jolie and Hayden, lends even more layers of suspense to the plot. He is a loose cannon who plays by his own rules and refuses to fall neatly into Hayden’s carefully orchestrated plans… How will Jolie react upon seeing him for the first time since he was sent to prison? Will her father jump at the chance to save his own flesh and blood? I was on tenterhooks throughout.

The plot contains scenes of extreme violence and potential triggers as it eventually plays out to its shocking conclusion. There are also plenty of passionate and bittersweet scenes between the couple as they contemplate the implications of the monster their actions have unleashed into the community and how events will play out. Hayden in particular was conflicted with his desire for revenge and his need to protect Jolie who has every reason to despise him.

As with the other two books I was glued to the read and heavily invested in the relationship between Jolie and Hayden, which although it was so twisted seemed so right. I really felt for them both as now that Jolie’s father is out of prison the dye has been well and truly cast and they have no choice but to deal with the consequences whatever they will be… The author does an excellent job of enthralling the reader with his game of cat and mouse as the reader is left wondering just who will be left standing.

Highly recommended for lovers of dark erotic romances.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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

#darkromance #romanticsuspense #eroticromance #revenge

Book Blurb

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

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

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

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

And now my wait is over.

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

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

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

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


Book Blurb

My father is a serial killer.

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

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

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

My Review

Compulsive and heart-rending dark romance ~ 5 stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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*ARC REVIEW* ~ Branches for Cover (Legends of Kake), by Kate Kelley

#darkfantasy #paranormal #eroticromance #shifters

Adult/18+ read


Book Blurb

Kinna is trapped in hiding in a remote village in the Mouth of Daylight, aka Kake, Alaska. She catches fish for money in the daylight and hunts for food by moonlight, all the while praying the Alpha of her ex-pack doesn’t find her. Because if he does, she won’t survive the encounter. That is, if the mysterious creatures in her own backyard don’t get to her first.

Ren is a lone bear, separated from his pack by choice–he isn’t interested in being a part of a feral, non-shifting society that lives only for seeking blood instead of a way to prevent the worst of their curse. Ren seeks a cure, a cure that can only be found in a particular coven of witches–a coven that just happens to be long-dead.
Or so he thinks.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42904104-branches-for-cover?from_search=true

My Review – Engaging dark erotic paranormal read ~5 stars

Branches for Cover is a thoroughly engaging read with a memorable hero and heroine, plus it has the most gorgeous cover, which perfectly sums up the character of the heroine! It is the first book that I have read by the author Kate Kelley and I would most definitely read more of her work. The plot ticks so many of the boxes I love – a smexy and dark erotic paranormal read; an enemies to lovers romance, a mystery and creatures of myths and legends.

Indeed, I adored the relationship between the two central characters, Kinna and Ren. Both Ren, a bear shifter, and Kinna, a wolf-witch, are alphas and the sizzling attraction they have for each other is clear from the off. However, it is complicated in that it is based on mutual loathing and mistrust and they both fight their feelings: Ren hates Kinna as he believes her kind is responsible for a great ill that has befallen his pack and Kinna despises Ren as, although she is innocent, Ren is hard on her as he is not so easily convinced. The read contains scenes of violence, sexual situations and possible triggers and is intended for mature readers.

The sexual tension between them ratchets up as the story progresses and there are a number of sizzling scenes … Ren is one sexy and dominant bear shifter who has met his match in Kinna and Kinna, despite her unwillingness to commit to another, especially another alpha, finds him increasingly hard to resist.

There are a number of complications which hinder the development of their relationship, not solely the mystery behind what has afflicted Ren’s pack. A lot is at stake and their are some startling revelations. Trust does not come easily to Kinna nor Ren – they are both very stubborn individuals and  I found their relationship extremely entertaining as they fight their feelings for each other all the way.

The author does an excellent job of drawing on folklore to create the world Ren and Kinna inhabit: a world of creatures from myth and legends who live undetected amongst humans. The book ends on a cliffhanger and I am itching to find out what happens next.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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*REVIEW* ~ A Christmas Delivery (Christmas With The Ellis Family #1), by Akoya Rayne

#contemporary #romance #christmasromance #secondchanceromance

Book Blurb

Nicara Elms has been living her life her way without a man for the past seven years. Hidden away in her peaceful cottage after the loss of her daughter, she shies away from the public eye and the high society lifestyle her parents live for. However, everything changes when she meets her next door neighbor’s handsome son.

Tobias Ellis has moved back in with his mother and young son following the break-up of his marriage. Giving into his mother’s demands, he finally agrees to meet the girl next door, and Nicara is blown away by what she feels for him the first time he holds her in his arms.

With Christmas fast approaching, something wonderful is about to happen, and a special delivery will bring these two lovers even closer than they could ever have imagined.

My Review

Deeply romantic, feel good read 5 stars

A Christmas Delivery is a sweet contemporary romance of second chances and new beginnings. I found it to be a deeply romantic and feel good read, with a seasonal flavour that can be appreciated whatever the time of year.

Both Nicara, and Tobias have had difficult experiences – Nicara in particular has had a tragic past. They do however, form an immediate and deep attraction to each other, encouraged by Tobias’ matchmaking mother who happens to be Nicara’s friend. The romance is sweet and includes some sizzling lovemaking scenes.

Nicara and Tobias are a couple I felt myself rooting for from the off. I was left wondering where their relationship will go despite their physical attraction – Will luck shine down on Nicara after all the heartbreak she has endured? Dare she hope? Does Tobias want anything long term? How will Nicara’s family react when they may very well have plans of their own for their daughter? It was not clear how their relationship would develop as the author introduced a number of twists and turns. I was entertained throughout, by this emotional read.

Recommended for contemporary romance readers who desire a feel good, romantic read.

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

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https://www.facebook.com/AkoyaRayneAuthor

https://akoyarayne.wixsite.com/akoyarayne

 

 

*RECOMMENDED READ* ~ Catherine Miller’s Deridia series

#sciencefiction #scififantasy #scifi #scifiromance #romance #topread

I read Mercy, the first book in Catherine Miller’s Dredia series earlier this year and quickly became hooked, immediately downloading and reading the rest of the series, Trade and Mercy.

I loved this series! I’m partial to science fiction romances, in particular when they focus on relationships between different races and this theme is at the very heart of this series, which explores human relationships with aliens. The setting for the series is the planet Dredia, where the ancestors of a group of human colonists had the misfortune to land. The existence of the humans is desperate. Some are barely tolerated by the planet’s indigenous races and eek out a meagre existence in the Wastes, whereas others have even been enslaved by the planet’s violent race of slave owners.

Each book deals with how a different human female is either compelled or chooses to leave all she knows and is thrust into the society of another of the planet’s races. In Mercy Prim’s life is so desperate in the Wastes that she offers herself to one of the visiting Arterians who is on a trade visit. In Trade the Marzons insist that one of the human colonists bond with one of their own, it being their custom to form such alliances to solidify both peace and trade. Finally in Thrall, Ness who has failed to perform her tasks to the level expected by her harsh Narada slave masters is given as part payment to visiting traders.

I found each read to be compelling in its own way as they each explore what it is like to be different and/or reviled by society and the challenges faced by couples whose relationships challenge the accepted norms within their society. Each romance is very different and each a slow burn and there is a great deal of emotional angst. Not only do all the women experience very real difficulties in adjusting to their new realities, but each of the males have their own personal struggles to contend with. I hugely enjoyed the author’s voice and found each book an emotional rollercoaster of a  read.

In Mercy Rykkon the healer is viewed as an outsider by his own village and his decision to return home with Prim, a human woman, is not one that his people accept easily. Also how will two individuals from such diverse races possibly bond given all their differences?

In Trade  Heather is compelled to sacrifice herself for the good of the human community. Her marriage to Machrus one of the Marzon necessary to ensure her people’s safety. The twist here is that her bridegroom too is far from willing. Their story was a compelling read as the couple at first formed an uneasy alliance, then respect for one another before a slow burn romance developed. And what of Machrus’ people, will they accept her?

Thrall was a particularly emotional read as Ness, a slave, has been made to feel utterly worthless by her former masters and finds adjusting to life with Olivar, the man to whom she has been given as part payment for goods, extremely difficult as she has never had the freedom to think or act for herself.

Mercy

Dishonourable.
Unwanted.
Outsider.

Such are the slurs cast upon Rykkon, however undeserved. As the only village healer, his people cannot cast him out entirely, but there is little comfort in such a life when he has long known that no mate from his clan would willingly join with him. It is a lonely fate, but one Rykkon has learned to accept. That is, until one tense exchange between his people and the humans brings him an offer he simply cannot ignore.

The humans are not their slaves. Nor their property. Nor of any great concern. But neither are they free. It is by the provisions of the Arterians they scrape out a sorry existence in the Wastes, and by their goodwill alone that they continue to survive. Scavenging for hasart beetles under the two suns is the only life the desperate colonists have known since their ancestors first landed on the desolate planet. It was all they knew. It was all they hoped for.

Until one day, a young female dares to ask for more.

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Trade

Gullible.
Foolish.
Weak.

She had always done as she was told. She dug in the sands until her fingers bled so that her people could have something to barter. She packed up her sparse belongings without complaint when it was time to flee the Wastes, leaving behind the only home she’d ever known, and the site of the bittersweet memories she carried of her lost family. It was easier that way, to obey and not to question, knowing her own judgement to be faulty.

But when her people learn that the exchange for living on alien land and securing their safety is the price of one of their unclaimed women, the limits of her compliance are tested, as she is given in marriage to a man she does not want from a species and clan she does not know.

Only to discover that he feels precisely the same about their ill-begotten trade.

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Thrall

Slow.
Useless.
Failure.

Ness had always tried to do as the masters told her, tried to fulfil her expected purpose within the time allowed. She was a thrall and nothing more. Every pain was a lesson, every hurt was for her betterment. And someday, perhaps, she could earn honour enough to serve the Narada in a household.

But when the masters tire of her repeated failures to produce the allotment required of her, she is chosen, not for the death she expects, but to serve as payment to a people she has never seen, whose ways are strange and utterly impossible for her to accept.

Taken in by a man who claims that he is not her new master, she is troubled when he does not comprehend the defective nature of the thrall he has been given, and how unworthy she is to be in his service.

And, perhaps even more concerning, his persistent belief that she is no slave at all.

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https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/992485.Catherine_Miller

 

 

 

 

~*AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW*~ Dawn Bolton


Today we are delighted to welcome author Dawn Bolton, who writes under the pen names of Alexie Bolton and Toni Bolton. We’ve quizzed Dawn about her writing journey and also probed her thoughts on issues as diverse as time travel and aliens!

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing two of Dawn’s historical romances, The Spymaster’s Redeemer and one of her latest releases, The Militia Man’s Lady, the review of which can be found by clicking on the book titles.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you have been writing?

I worked in adult education teaching law and economics in a university and then left and started a tutoring agency for adults and children. I also run a guest house as I live 100 yards away from a canal in the town of Knowle. I started writing books for children about two years ago but have written novels for adults for about a year.

2. What do you enjoy about indie publishing?

I enjoy the interaction with the readers, particularly during take-overs and signings.

3. Do you base your protagonists on anyone you know, either physically or in terms of their characters?

Yes, for the Spymaster’s Redeemer I based the male anti-hero Francis Dreda on the Duke of Avon in Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades. He shares the same cynicism and detachment as her hero but is attracted to my young heroine Felea who has faith in human nature.

4. What do you look for in creating the heroes and heroines in your books and how important do you think secondary characters are?

I like characters who may been damaged and have endured a hard life but are strong physically and mentally and are survivors. Hence, the men in the series Dreda’s Men are militia officers and in Men of valour, women of steel, the men are ex-military men. All my female characters are feisty ladies. Kirsten in Escape from fear is escaping an abusive relationship but faces up to her abuser and manages to ignore her past and make a new life. Secondary characters are important. The secondary characters in my first books become the main characters in the next books. The interaction between the characters makes for interesting engagements in the scenes and readers like to follow their lives in future books.

5. What inspired you to write the books you have published to date? The Spymaster’s Redeemer and Escape from Fear.

For The Spymaster’s Redeemer I read a poem which contrasted the good and bad in a commandant who came from his prison camp with ‘roasted flesh’ on his nostrils and then bought ‘sweeties for his young son’. I wanted to write a story about a damaged man who is the de facto ruler of a state and enforces the rule of law by the threat of imprisonment and the noose. This hard, detached cruel man is later shown to have the capacity to be caring when he finds a woman he loves.

Escape from Fear was inspired when I watched a programme about men who feed their women until they are obese and are totally dependent on them, ie they exercise controlled coercion over these women. I also remembered one of my secretaries at the university being stalked and murdered by someone. So, I wrote a book about a woman who searches for the people who set fire to her aunt’s house but is also escaping an abusive relationship aided by the hero who helps her overcome her issues from the past.

6. What was the most challenging aspect of each of the stories to write and why?

I found writing Kirsten’s character in Escape from Fear difficult. It was getting the balance between writing a gentle character who was trying to escape her past and overcome her fears and showing she was still a strong person despite her need to take counselling. It was difficult in the Spymaster’s redeemer making the reader empathise with but still be repelled by Francis Dreda as he is a complex character, warm with those he loves but cold and detached and cruel to others, a man one loves to hate.

7. Do you enjoy the research aspect of writing your books? Do you research the worlds your books are based in prior to starting writing or do you research as you go along? Are you a planner of a panster?

I enjoy the researching the history, particularly the law. Some of the history I studied at university, but I had to research American criminal law and procedure for Escape from fear as one of my characters is in jail for a while. I am usually a panster so the research is usually done while I am writing a book and can change the direction of a book when I find something unexpected. I found while researching Whisper softly or you’re dead the forensic science particularly difficult to research. Tv series like SCI New York oversimplify the work.

8. Why do you think readers enjoy reading about romance in their novels and do you think that romance novels are just for women?

I think readers like strong characters and conflict between the hero and heroine, but the conflict normally must be resolved in a happy ending. Two of my readers who gave ‘The Spymaster’s redeemer 5 stars were men and said they enjoy a good romance if it has adventure and intrigue in it.

9. Have you any writing/publishing projects in the pipeline that you are able to share?

I have recently written the first part of my paranormal series. The Avenged. Part one. The Seeds of Vengeance under the name of Toni Bolton, a series about a boy who meets a stranger and the meeting changes his life for ever. He searches later for his identity and meets the stranger again. This story is in Tricks or Treats, a Halloween anthology edited by Tiffany Carby and is available soon on Amazon. My Halloween book, Tales of Terror, Mystery and Murder should be out soon under the name of Toni Bolton. There is a sweet and innocent romance set at Halloween also coming out soon called, ‘The Toy,’ by Toni Bolton. A little girl makes friend with a marionette and is soon under her spell.

My final project that is coming out in November is called ‘Innocence and Deception’. I am excited about this because the heroine is quite feisty. She is convicted of murdering her husband and sacrifices parole by escaping so she can reach her daughter. An FBI agent saves her life when she falls from a ferry but she leads him a merry dance when she escapes from the hospital where she is supposedly recovering.

10. Have you a message for readers?

Try reading books from genres you normally don’t read. I have done so recently when I have reviewed books and found them refreshingly different from the normal books I read. Communicate with authors. They love feedback, good or bad. It improves their writing.

Some quick fire questions, just for fun! 

Name 5 things you would not like to be without if stranded on a desert island:

I would like to take art equipment as I like to draw. An e-reader so I can read books. Tea, curries and pizzas.

Glass half full or half empty?

I am a glass full person usually. I like being with positive people who make things happen.

If time travel was possible, would you rather travel into the future or back to the past? Explain your answer.

I would like to travel to the future to see what is going to happen to this planet and how it will shape our future environment.

If you could only travel to the past, what would be your preferred time period and why?

The medieval period interests me, particularly when religion dominated the everyday lives of many people, particularly women.

Do you believe in the existence of aliens?

Yes, there are too many things that cannot be unexplained in the universe and on earth to ignore their existence.

Connect with the Author

Author’s Facebook Page

Author’s Amazon Page UK

Author’s Amazon Page US

Purchase Links

Writing as Alexie Bolton

The Spymaster’s Redeemer

Amazon UK

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The Militia Man’s Lady

Amazon UK

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Twilight to Lamplights ~ Cowboy Antholigy, edited by Tiffany Carby and Kathia Iblis

I wrote a historical romance for the cowboy anthology ‘Twilight to Lamplights’ under the name Alexie Bolton. A young woman arrives in a small town during the Gold Rush hoping to start a new life but dark secrets from her past catch up with her.

Amazon UK

Writing as Toni Bolton

Escape from Fear: Men of Valour Women of Steel 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Whisper Softly or you’re Dead: Men of Valour, Women of Steel

A romantic suspense/ crime novel. Former Marine, now profiler Dr Darrell Defoe and Dr Kate Masters, a forensic scientist find love and danger whilst searching for a serial killer who leaves red herrings.

AmazonUK

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Saving Grace: Men of Valour, Women of Steel

A novella originally called A Blinding Flash is now called Saving Grace and is a novel in its own right. Georgie and baby Grace escaped her the baby’s parents’ house when it was bombed. Georgie drives to Mammoth Mountain to hide in the parents’ lodge where she can use the net to find the bombers. They are after her. Can Marshall O’Hara find her before her enemies do?

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Tricks or Treats

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