Review Round-up Feb ’16

Hi readers, we hope you all found something exciting to do with your extra day in February. We have been looking forward to the beginning of Spring, even though I did actually wake up to a coating of snow this morning!

We have just celebrated Mother’s Day here in the UK, and whilst I didn’t receive a book myself, I did have some chocolates to share (or not to share!) whilst enjoying Alan Jones‘ thriller BLOQ, to be released on April 1st. I do hope you all had a good day. Feel free to share your weekend reads with us in the comments below 🙂

Although a leap year, Feb is always still short and therefore we have a smaller review list. That said we still have a range of genres for you to choose from, whether it be a Young Adult post-apocalyptic, sci-fi fantasy action/adventure horror in Mark King‘s Daniel Jones series, historical romance in Sinful Possession by Samantha Holt, or a futuristic sci-fi paranormal in Em Taylor‘s Discovered. There is also a contemporary, military romance with C.J. Pinard‘s new series prequel, Antihero novella and a hot erotic read in Love Yoga by Serge de Moliere, plus more.

As always, please click on the title and author to read our full review post!

Thanks for following. Your views, likes and comments are always appreciated. Have a great month!

Caroline & Tina ❤

The Iron WebDiscovery (The Iron Web #1) by Kristin Ravelle, NA dystopian (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Penrith, Wales. Bryn is turning 22 and must register for One Earth Dynamic ID.

Buried in the mysterious N800 texts is a horrifying secret, an ancient evil that Bryn feels compelled to unearth. A secret that may underpin One Earth, the global agency that monitors and tracks everyone.

Curran, gorgeous, tortured OED fugitive, finds sanctuary with Penrith’s underground, Luxent, and discovers Bryn and her strange ability to throw condensed light. And unexpected love in a world suddenly seeming to go mad.

Can Bryn’s primeval earth magic help Luxent overcome other-worldly forces and the OED or will her growing feelings for Curran and learning the horrifying reality of the OED only lead down the road that goes straight into its ancient and evil web? 

***

Discovery is book I in the Iron Web series. Immortelle, Book II, finds Bryn and Curran on the run from One Earth to the mythological Dinas Affaraon. If they find Dinas in the Snowdonia mountains, they may learn new ways of fighting the OED.

AntiheroAntihero (Imperfect Heroes prequel) by C.J. Pinard, contemporary military romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Can a street punk on the wrong path be transformed into a Special Forces killing machine? Once he’s been “rehabilitated”, Ellis Anderson is determined to show the woman he loves that he’s nothing like both the lives he’s left behind. But actions speak louder than words – and he has a lot of work ahead of him.

sinful possessionSinful Possession (Cynfell Brothers #5) by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The Cynfell brothers are the very embodiment of a sinful existence. But could the right woman change that?

Sloth

Miss Lila Radley was set to be the belle of the ball this summer. With her charming manners, beautiful looks and excellent connections, everyone anticipated her receiving endless proposals.

However, no one expected her to be kidnapped.

After she witnesses a murder, Lila finds herself in the hands of two overwhelmingly attractive brothers—entirely against her will. However, while the twin Cynfell brothers might be as devastating in looks as each other, only one intrigues her—the brooding Lord Ash Cynfell.

Unfortunately, he is the very reason she is in danger.

Already battling with his own demons, Ash finds himself with an additional burden to bear—Miss Lila Radley’s safety. He cannot very well abandon her as it was due to his inaction that a man ended up dead and a serial killer is now targeting her. Unfortunately, keeping the vivacious Lila protected until the murderer is found is going to test him in every way possible.

Can he resist her charm and beauty, aware a worthless man like himself is no good for a woman like her? All he knows is that when Lila turns her sunny smile onto his twin brother, his finds himself unable to summon his usual relaxed attitude. Has Ash Cynfell, the most reclusive brother, finally found something worth fighting for?

LachlanDiscovered (The Forsaken Blood series #1) by Em Taylor, futuristic, sci-fi paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Edinburgh is a city that’s slow to change. Which is why in 2061, Professor Lachlan Mackenzie still lives there. He hasn’t changed in the 1000 years since he and his shipmates abandoned ship, forsaken by the Vampyras millions of light years away and left to fend for themselves, feeding off the blood of humans.

Lachlan is drawn to sexy psychologist Kate the moment he steps into her office. He wants to protect her and help her overcome her PTSD. Ignoring the warning signs of his growing attraction he agrees to be her cabin mate on the journey to the new colony on Mars. But when Kate discovers him feeding on bagged blood, all hell breaks loose. Has he been set up by the Vampyr council leader? Will Kate ever forgive his lies? And how does he explain what he is to his long lost daughter who he meets on their journey?

As Kate starts to trust, outside forces threaten to rip them apart. Will Lachlan lose the only woman he’s ever truly bonded with?

HuntHunt for the Enemy (The Enemy series #3) by Rob Sinclair, international suspense thriller (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: The breathtaking and action-packed finale to the bestselling Enemy series. The Hunt is on. They’ve erased his past. Wiped out his very existence. But Carl Logan isn’t finished yet. On the run in a harsh Russian winter, Logan – once an invaluable asset but now branded a traitor – has been framed for murder. His own firm, the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency, have labelled him a rogue operative after two decades of loyal service. The agency is hunting him down… and they’re not the only ones. But there’s much more at stake than just Logan’s life. One by one, agents and informants from all sides, all allegiances, are dying. And Carl Logan is the only man who can put a stop to it, once and for all.

Love YogaLove Yoga by Serge de Moliere, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Morgan Love is one of the few African American yoga instructors in town. After her studies in India with the legendary Swami Monda, students flock to her classes. But without her own studio, money remains tight, and her personal life is a wreck after the last man in her life cheated on her.

When an attractive man enters her yoga studio, Morgan is instantly drawn to him. When she discovers the attraction is mutual, things quickly escalate, taking a dramatic and passionate turn. Eli is like no other man she’s ever met, and that includes his incredible sexual prowess.

But when Morgan’s past comes back to haunt her, she finds herself forced to turn to Eli. Are her hopes and dreams safe with this seemingly too-perfect man? Or will Morgan end up once again as a man’s sex toy?

Frenzy & Doom (A Daniel Jones Story #1 & 2) by Mark King, YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic action/adventure, fantasy horror (reviewed by Caroline)

Frenzy 3 v2Frenzy (book 1) blurb: Daniel leads a peaceful life with his family until he finds out a repulsive secret about the Over-seers, the ‘saviours of humanity’, and his security is blown to smithereens. He enters a world where death is the only certainty and quickly learns to kill – or be killed.

Enter Gwendolyn, with the charm of a snake and a bite that’s twice as dangerous. People skills aren’t her thing but she knows how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world; she’s a hotshot with a bow and arrow and can rustle up a mean rat soup.

Mary is the only person left alive over forty. She’s not too good at fighting but she knows where to find the one thing that could save their lives. Only Mary can remember life before the invasion, before humanity was brainwashed into following the procedures.

Pursued by the Over-seers, the Triclops and the barbaric hunters, can the three brave rebels triumph in their quest for survival? The odds are stacked against them – hold tight for a white-knuckle ride through a landscape of devastation!

Daniel Jones Doom Cover LargeDoom (book 2) blurb: Daniel’s peaceful life has been destroyed after discovering the hideous truth about the Over-seers – the new masters of humanity. Hiding in centuries-old flint mines from Hunters and from the terrifying Triclops machines, Daniel’s recurring nightmares lead him, once more, into danger. With mankind brainwashed under the false hope of a glorious new life in the Achievement Centre, he must return home through a devastated landscape to save his father
from certain death.

Daniel reunites with two fellow fugitives – Mary and her young companion Gwendolyn – to undertake a rescue mission so dangerous that death is the only guarantee. Is it too late for Daniel’s family or is it too late for humanity itself? Daniel Jones DOOM, the exciting new sequel to FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story, is another fast-paced, engrossing chronicle of three rebels who once again risk their lives in a vividly depicted world peopled by memorable new and known characters.

**COVER REVEAL** Bad Bloods, by Shannon A. Thompson

Young Adult Romance

Bad Bloods Cover Reveal 

Bad Bloods in 35 words or less: 17-year-old Serena is the only bad blood to escape execution. Now symbolized for an election, she must prove her people are human despite hindering abilities before everyone is killed and a city is destroyed.

Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, poet, and blogger. In fact, she runs a website just for readers and writers called www.ShannonAThompson.com. This past year she released The Timely Death Trilogy with Clean Teen Publishing, and now, we have a new series to look forward to. Bad Bloods is a two-part YA story, both of which are releasing in July of 2016. Learn more below, and let it snow.

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

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Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them.

Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.

November Snow, Part Two, eBook releases July 25, 2016

(paperback releases in November of 2016) 

NScover

When Daniel and Serena unite, their accidental relationship becomes the catalyst for a twelve-year war to continue. Exposing the twisted past of a corrupt city, Daniel, Serena, and everyone they know will come together to fight. But Serena has another battle. After a political rumor threatens their lives, Serena must leave her family and join the political front against her will. To survive apart, Daniel has to separate his love from his hatred and join forces with his worst memory to secure Vendona’s war. But very few of them will survive to see the last day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, snow will fall, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy.

Follow Shannon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Newsletter 

About Shannon A. Thompson:  

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Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox.

As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat, Bogart, named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Her other two cats bring her coffee. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies. Thompson is currently represented by Clean Teen Publishing, and The Timely Death Trilogy is now available.

Visit her blog for writers and readers at www.ShannonAThompson.com.

Love free books? Shannon has one up for grabs right now! 

Minutes Before Sunset on:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

*Book Blitz* Five Seven Five: Volume 1 (The Boy with Words) by C.E. Wilson

Sage bookblitz banner

Five Seven FiveTitle: Five Seven Five: Volume One (The Boy with Words)

Author: C.E. Wilson

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release date: November 20th, 2015

Length: 204 pages

Buy Links: Amazon US & Amazon UK

Blurb: Take only what can be used. Take only what won’t be missed. The Creators are watching all of us.

White Frost lives in a world cloaked in darkness and ignorance. While most people in her society are content to live in fearful peace, White’s cousin brings her words from the mysterious Unknown. Strange collections of written words that tease her that there may be more to the world than candlelight and dank hallways.

But when tragedy strikes, White can no longer rely on the words to give her solace. She must discover what lies beyond the only world she’s ever known… no matter the cost.

Eventually, White finds her way to the skies and there she discovers that the tantalizing clues of her words are only pale reflections of the massive and wondrous world above. Colors she never thought possible. Blinding light. And an impossible being who may or may not be the Creator of it all.

But this information comes at a price White Frost is not sure she can pay.

White’s hunger for knowledge proves to be her greatest strength and weakness as she strives to learn more. But as she learns, she has to wonder – is there such a thing as too much information? And what will happen as it brings her closer to a being who could destroy everything she’s ever known?

Find out in Five Seven Five, the first book in a two part series entitled The Boy with Words.

Author Bio:

C E WilsonC.E. Wilson is currently living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, beautiful daughter, chubby beagle and two cats. They are all the loves of her life. When she’s not writing Young Adult novels, she enjoys writing short stories on DeviantArt. She loves to read and write anything involving giants and little people (also known as G/t) and she can’t decide what she loves more: horror movies or shoujo manga. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Education so she has a soft spot for older literature authors including John Milton, William Shakespeare, and stories such as Paradise Lost and Beowolf. On a side note, nothing helps her to write more than drinking good coffee loaded with lots of cream and watching The Twilight Zone.


https://www.facebook.com/cewilsonauthor

https://www.goodreads.com/CEWilson


@cewilson1

Review Round-up Aug ’15

Hi readers, Love certainly has been in the air for us this summer at A Reader’s Review Blog! I know romance is usually at the core of many of the stories we review, but this summer I have been left with a calm, serene and warm feeling, especially after just reviewing Laurette Long’s HOT BASQUE! Katherine McIntyre’s SOUL SOLUTION certainly left a mark on me, and Laura Barnard’s DOPEY WOMEN will have you in stitches, as well as enjoying a dangerous romance!

Tina has been reviewing some dark erotica books with Annika Martin & Skye Warren’s PRISONER, and HER MASTER’S COURTESAN by Lily White. Please note that the latter is most certainly not a romance though, and is definitely for the Adult 18yrs+ reader!

To meet your paranormal needs, along with Soul Solution (Katherine McIntyre), we have SOUL RELEASE, the last of C.J. Pinard’s Rebel Riders series, as well as a YA paranormal fantasy in Pat Spence’s TRUE BLUE (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2).

And if mystery, crime and thriller are calling we have Niki Danforth’s STUNNER, and SILENCE OF A STRANGER by Elizabeth Bailey.

We hope you enjoy our selection. (As always, please click on the titles for more info and to read our reviews!)

Caroline & Tina 🙂

soul solutionsSoul Solution (Beyond Fairytales #1) (novelette) by Katherine McIntyre, dark paranormal/romantic suspense (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: For Erik Anderson, the Copenhagen line is his curse. He takes the train every night en route to collect souls. Like any lovelorn fool, he bargained his own long ago, and now pays the price—a lifetime of loneliness as a grim reaper. Stay distant—that’s been his mantra and what keeps him sane.

Until Mina Castner drops into his life like a whirlwind, one spilled drink leading to staying up until dawn with the woman. He believed one night couldn’t hurt, but he sorely underestimated her determination. Every encounter between them is reprieve from the guilt of reaping souls every night, but it can’t last. Even if she sparks long buried feelings, and even if her sheer presence intoxicates him, he can’t let this continue. For humans, his touch is poison, and if he slips up, it could cost her life.

Lily whiteHer Master’s Courtesan by Lily White, dark erotica (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: (N.B. This is not a romance novel. Adults 18yrs +)

I am a Master.

You must know this fact to understand my story.

I capture women.

I break them down.

And I rebuild them.

If they are lucky, they are sold into the professional hands of another Master. If they are less fortunate, they are buried beneath the ground, never to be thought of again.

I lust for the control, I demand absolute submission and my body yearns to warp the minds of those I train.

Power is the only thing I’ll ever need and I am addicted to the feeling of ultimate control.

I am wealthy, good-looking, educated and charming.

And I am – in no way – a good man.

I do not want love.
I do not want kindness.

She thought she could change me by giving me the two things I knew I never wanted.

She was wrong.

23303963Prisoner by Annika Martin & Skye Warren, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell. But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think. And you might crave him more than your next breath.
 
Prisoner is Book One of the Criminals & Captives series.

DOPEY WOMEN

Dopey Women by Laura Barnard, contemporary romantic comedy/chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Sadie had a bumpy upbringing but she’s still managed to drag herself out and carve a career for herself. That all comes crashing down when she, along with the women she manages; Mags, Lexi & Steph, get made redundant. She’s screwed. In hindsight she shouldn’t have attacked her colleague in a moment of rage. There goes the reference.

When they all bump into each other a few months later at the job centre Sadie finds she’s not the only one in a hole. Steph’s boyfriend has left her holding the baby, Lexi’s stuck in an abusive relationship and poor Mags has breast cancer. They’re all struggling to keep on top of their bills. They all need money to get out of their situations, its as simple as that.

Mags mentions that some women find marijuana helps ease the sickness caused by chemo. With the desperation mounting and the coffee spurring them on they somehow decide to start growing it. They’re only going to sell to ladies going through chemo, so its not too bad, right? They’re not going to be proper drug dealers. And its only temporary.

They didn’t bet on the business taking off so well though. Before they know it they’ve got orders coming out of their ears, a sexy detective on their trail, suspicious neighbours and drug dealers angry they’re working on their patch.

Can Sadie pull them out of this dangerous world they’ve found themselves in? And can she do it before they end up in prison?

STUNNER, Niki Danforth - CoverStunner (An Accidental Lady Detective series – A Ronnie Lake Mystery #1) by Niki Danforth, mystery crime thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Beautiful. Bright. And possibly deadly…

That’s all Ronnie Lake knows about her soon to be sister-in-law, Juliana. But Ronnie is determined to find out the truth about her wealthy brother’s new lover—before he throws away his happiness, his fortune…maybe even his life. Who is this mysterious woman, and where did she come from? What is she hiding? And how deep could the deception go?

First the family receives strange phone calls. Then a disturbing package appears at their estate outside New York City. Ronnie—a divorced, downsized, 50-something—seems an unlikely detective. But she soon finds she’s got an instinct for this type of work, as she falls ever deeper into a sinister world where people will do anything to escape their past. And Juliana may be the most desperate of them all.

True BlueTrue Blue (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2) by Pat Spence, YA paranormal romance/fantasy (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: As the word ‘tomb’ came into my head and my predicament hit home, I lost control and hammered on the lid, screaming ‘Help, get me out of here’ over and over, until my throat hurt…

In just two weeks, Emily must undergo the blue crystal initiation ceremony or face death from the secret order that protects it. But is she ready to spend eternity with the beautiful and irresistible Theo de Lucis, or can best friend, Seth, offer an alternative? And can she stay alive long enough to make the decision?

As Emily considers her future, she becomes an unwitting pawn in a dangerous game of life and death, caught up in a supernatural world of ancient enemies, old grievances and dark forces. Tested to the limit, she must draw deep to ensure her survival.

Heart-rending and horrifying, True Blue is the second book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy, with a colourful cast of characters, a fast-moving plot and surprises at every turn. Keep turning the pages. You have to know what happens next….

An old enemy of the de Lucis family waits in the shadows, desperate for the crystal and preparing to exact a terrible price…

lunchtime eavesdropperLunchtime Eavesdropper (short story) by Joanie Chevalier, contemporary psychological drama/self-belief chick-lit/humour (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Meet Marlee, a woman who lives a comfortable but simple life with her loving partner, the adorable Larry. She discovers that covertly listening in on other people’s conversations during lunch hour excites her and adds to her otherwise humble life. When she overhears unpleasant gossip about herself, she becomes obsessed with changing her personality and makes the bad decision to become someone she’s not. After her total makeover, Marlee suddenly finds herself basking in the attention of her co-workers and is ecstatic when she’s finally invited to sit at the “popular” table at work. But is a personality change really worth the price? Is being popular worth losing herself, possibly the love of her life and/or redefining her own definition of happiness?

Come and take part in Marlee’s life, even though it’s only for a short time, and experience her yearning to belong and be accepted for who she is. You may be surprised by the unexpected twist in her story.

statelypleasures (2)Stately Pleasures by Lucy Felthouse, erotic ménage (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Three’s a magic number in this steamy love triangle set in a British stately home. Alice Brown has just landed her dream job. Property manager at Davenport Manor, a British stately home. It’s only a nine-month contract to cover maternity leave, but it’s the boost up the career ladder she so desperately needs. Unfortunately, things don’t get off to the best start, when Alice finds her boss, Jeremy Davenport, in a compromising position. Far from being embarrassed by what’s happened, Jeremy turns things around on Alice and makes her out to be the one in the wrong. So when he and his best friend and head of security, Ethan Hayes, throw an ultimatum at her, she’s so stunned and confused that she goes along with their indecent proposal. When the dust settles and Alice has time to think about things, she realises that perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing. There are worse things she could be doing to advance her career, after all.

Soul Release - Rebel Riders 3Soul Release (Rebel Riders #3) by C.J. Pinard, paranormal romance/urban fantasy (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: His heart wants love. His mind craves revenge. His soul needs peace.

Faced with the horrible reality that he’s been tricked by Eva, Nolan sets off in a mad rage to find the evil red-haired succubus and end her once and for all. When the search for her falls flat, he turns to Kovah and the Rebel Riders for help. Not only fueled by wrath, a now sudden fear and sadness has also overtaken his heart: Where is his love, Charity?

With Joel Reichert searching deep for what the Justice Department knows about the supernatural of New Orleans, he’s not going to be of any help to Nolan – especially once Nolan finds out what Kovah and the Riders are planning for Joel and his hotel of vampires.

Can they all work together to find Charity and rid Louisiana of her evil succubus sister once and for all? Or will pride, egos, and longstanding feuds and hatred tear them all apart before she can be found?

Find out in this third and final instalment of the Rebel Riders Series.

silence of a strangerSilence of a Stranger (novella) by Elizabeth Bailey, romantic suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Secrets, danger and an enigmatic stranger, a twentieth century mystery romance.

Is Bea’s life more at risk than her disobedient heart?

SILENCE OF A STRANGER

Her car broken down, Bea Russell goes for help and walks straight into hell. Three armed men and no answers. Held captive, strip searched, her dignity in shreds, Bea is horrified when she responds to the attraction of the man who grabbed her out of the dark.

Who is the fugitive Rad? Escaped rapist or spy? No one will talk. Yet Bea is forced to share the danger, fleeing across rough fields in the deep night hours. At a deserted house by the sea, she looks fate in the eye. One wrong move could change her life forever.

COVER HOT BASQUEHot Basque (A French Summer Novel #2) by Laurette Long, contemporary romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Sit back with a glass of chilled rosé and let yourself be carried away to the white sands and pounding surf of the French Basque coast. What could be more relaxing? Find out what’s going on at the Villa Julia, where Caroline and her honey are enjoying the song of the crickets, the glow of the stars and happy romps in the boudoir. Caroline is also doing some matchmaking between best friend Jill and the hot Basque himself, Antoine, he of the smouldering eyes and perfect teeth. And Annabel the sister from hell, is miles away, no need to fret about her. What could be more idyllic? Not a cloud on the horizon…well, maybe it’s looking a bit black to the north, but nothing to worry about, surely??

*Blog Tour* SPINNER by Michael J. Bowler

spinner banner

Spinner front cover 2100x1400Title: Spinner

Author: Michael J. Bowler

Genre: YA horror/paranormal

Date released: August 5th, 2015

Publisher: YoungDudes Publishing

Length: 445 pages

Blurb: Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.

In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.

They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.

The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed.

The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.

If he survives…

Author Bio:

Michael J Bowler AuthorMichael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner.

He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

He acted as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II.”

He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.

He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.

He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.

He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner.His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.

* Spinner won Honorable Mention in Young Adult Books of 2015 from the San Francisco Book Festival.

Social Media Links:

www.michaeljbowler.com

FB: michaeljbowlerauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BradleyWallaceM

Blog: sirlancesays.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938109.Michael_J_Bowler

Buy link: http://amzn.to/1C32T9v

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**REVIEW** True Blue (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2) by Pat Spence

I had to read Book 2 in The Blue Crystal Trilogy, True Blue, after enjoying Blue Moon (book 1) so much! After book 1 being likened to the ‘Twilight’ saga, albeit without vamps and weres I have found both of these books intriguing to read. The relationship Bella has to Edward’s family in Twilight, is very similar to that of Emily and Theo in Blue Crystal! Young and mature fans will love this supernatural fantasy series! Blue Moon (book 1) is now FREE at Amazon.

True BlueTitle: True Blue (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2)

Author: Pat Spence

Genre: YA paranormal romance, fantasy

Release date: May 29th, 2015

Length: 250 pages

Blurb: As the word ‘tomb’ came into my head and my predicament hit home, I lost control and hammered on the lid, screaming ‘Help, get me out of here’ over and over, until my throat hurt…

In just two weeks, Emily must undergo the blue crystal initiation ceremony or face death from the secret order that protects it. But is she ready to spend eternity with the beautiful and irresistible Theo de Lucis, or can best friend, Seth, offer an alternative? And can she stay alive long enough to make the decision?

As Emily considers her future, she becomes an unwitting pawn in a dangerous game of life and death, caught up in a supernatural world of ancient enemies, old grievances and dark forces. Tested to the limit, she must draw deep to ensure her survival.

Heart-rending and horrifying, True Blue is the second book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy, with a colourful cast of characters, a fast-moving plot and surprises at every turn. Keep turning the pages. You have to know what happens next….

An old enemy of the de Lucis family waits in the shadows, desperate for the crystal and preparing to exact a terrible price…

REVIEW

The fantastic story of the Blue Crystal continues with True Blue, book 2. This is another delightful read as we follow Emily’s adventure with Theo. As she already knows too much about the crystal she must undergo an initiation ceremony and become an immortal herself, otherwise she could face death by those who protect it to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands!

The story is split into three parts: teenage life, disappearance and rescue. The first section has a lighter, relaxing feel as it concentrates on Emily’s everyday life with her mother and her school friends, Seth and Tash. Many readers will love Seth’s sense of humour as we are subjected to his off-the-cuff remarks. He simply oozes fun! Tash also indirectly adds to this; she is so obsessed with how she looks that she goes to the extent of having botox and collagen, which ultimately ends with her face becoming expressionless! Although it does have it’s use at times! We are also introduced to Emily’s mother’s new fellow, Juke, who proves to be a fascinating character as the story moves on.

Emily’s initiation is becoming increasingly closer, and although her deepest desire is to be with Theo forever, she does have doubts about leaving normal life behind. Does she really want a deep, intense relationship with the love of her life, when sometimes she can barely breathe? Or, should she remain a mortal where she can be more relaxed and jovial with her family and friends? Who knows, maybe her and Seth could make a go of it? There are feelings there on both sides, albeit more on Seth’s!

With a prom to look forward to Emily can pretty much take her pick on who to go with. Although this does not register to Theo, who naturally expected to be the one to take her. There is a touching moment when Viyesha explains lovingly to him how such a huge change – the initiation – will affect Emily. She will be saying goodbye to the life she is used to in many ways; she won’t be growing old with her family and friends. This is Emily’s last chance to do something normal.

With the prom over abruptly, the story then begins to get darker, and not all in the de Lucis’ household can be trusted! Emily’s life is in imminent danger, and her best friend, Tash, has also got caught up in the turn of events as they both get kidnapped!

From hereon in there is plenty of action, suspense, with a dark, almost eerie atmosphere. The ‘feeders’ are certainly very gruesome and will make you shudder and cringe. The Dark One and his minions find ways to take the crystal, and one way is to take Emily. He longs to turn into his human form once again, and his only chance is to get hold of the crystal. In order to do this, he summons Mr. Nelson to carry out his evil tasks.

“… the time has come for action. I need the crystal. I have waited too long in the shadows, without form or function, and Viyesha has enjoyed the wealth and power that was rightfully mine for too long. Bring me the girl. The family cannot stand back and let her endure the tortures of the void. Once I have her, I will exploit their weakness.”

Although Mr. Nelson hears the Dark One, he doesn’t see him. Instead, it is the feeders that are present. The creepy, slimy, dark slug-like masses.

“… He couldn’t see the owner of the hissing, reptilian voice, but he could see what the chamber contained. Surrounding him on all sides and suspended high up in the vaults, he saw row upon row of strange black creatures, dark and malevolent, their glittering eyes watching all around him, he was filled with a loathing and dread so powerful he thought his head would explode.”

And, then there’s the brilliance of the shapeshifters, who sometimes make you wonder exactly whose side they’re on, which makes for great tense and fearful moments that are exhilarating. Not only that, but love also blossoms in unexpected places between other characters. I wonder where that will lead to!

Two new fascinating characters are introduced in True Blue in Juke and Bellynda La Drach! Australian Juke is Emily’s mothers new partner. He showed up in the village, Hartswell-on-the-Hill, as a hippy type, with a guitar. Emily is glad to see her mum happy, especially since the death of her Grandad, even though at times she knows that something doesn’t sit quite right with him. This provides the reader with curiosity, and I for one couldn’t wait to discover more about him! The de Lucis family were sent Bellynda La Drach after they expressed concerns of the blue crystal’s safety. She is present to keep the crystal and the family safe from harm. However, she is not very heart-warming, but rather cold and flippant. She will leave you wondering just whose side she is on. But one of the most interesting sides of her character is that she is a shapeshifter, and she is brilliant during the action and fight scenes, regardless who side she’s on!

Yes, True Blue is an excitingly, nice paced story, as was book 1. I can’t wait to read more about the characters and what becomes of them in Book 3.

A copy of True Blue was provided by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

True Blue is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Blue MoonYou can also check out my review on the first book of the trilogy, Blue Moon.

Blue Moon blurb: “Forget vampires,” he laughed dismissively.

“Who wants to drink blood for eternity? What we have discovered is far more seductive and a great deal more dangerous…”

When 17-year old Emily Morgan meets beautiful but strange Theo de Lucis, there is an immediate attraction between them. But what is his secret? What ancient link ties him to Emily? And what is the significance of the Blue Moon Ball?

As Emily is drawn irrevocably into the glamorous and mysterious world of the de Lucis family, so she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. The truth is terrifying and the consequences unthinkable…

A supernatural horror story, based on society’s obsession with aging and the desire for eternal youth, Blue Moon is the first book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy…

“For all ‘Twilight’ fans who want a change from vampires, this is the book for you.”

Buy links for Blue Moon, now FREE on Amazon:- AMAZON UK and AMAZON US

CAKETina and myself had the absolute pleasure of meeting Pat Spence at the Second City Signing in July. We had a lovely chat about the Blue Crystal books, and her contemporary romance, Abigail’s Affair. She was accompanied by her assistant, Tracie Smith-Band, who is also very talented in making jewellery and beautiful bookmarks, which blended in with the Blue Crystal books perfectly. Plus, there was also a cake of Blue Moon made by a fan, which was way too delicious to eat!

Pat Spence Tracie Smith-Band twcb

Review Round-up July ’15

Hello readers, we hope that you are enjoying the summer holidays! We have had an amazing month, most notably our attendance at the Second City Signing, which was our first. Here we met some amazing authors, some known to us and some new. You’ll be hearing more of them over the coming months, and if you are a fan of romance and/or erotic romance you will certainly be in for a treat! You can read our “special report” on the signing, complete with plenty of pics!

We were also preparing for Helena Fairfax‘s latest release, Palace of Deception. Not only have we reviewed her contemporary romantic suspense/mystery novella, but she has also given us a great deal of her time in helping produce a fantastic interview, whereby she speaks of her work, her blog, her awards and the membership of The Romantic Novelist Association. You can read all about her tips and suggestions to help promote your work too on her blog.

Along with our children’s end of year activities at school, and arranging plans for the holidays it has left us with a quieter month than usual – especially on my part. However, we still have nine fantastic reviews for you (two of which are double reviews – books 1 & 2 of a series) with YA futuristic/time travel in Future Girls by Catharine Bramkamp, and V.L. Brock‘s Dark Evoke, dark romantic suspense/psychological thriller series. As always, please click on the titles and authors to view our complete review post!

Happy reading! And happy holidays!

Caroline & Tina ❤

Alison MerrittHer Heart’s Surrender by Allison Merritt, historical romance, reviewed by Tina

Blurb: After sneaking out with her brother, Eoghann, one night, Ealasaid discovers Viking ships sailing up the river to sack their home in Northumbria. They attempt to warn their father, but it’s too late and the Vikings slaughter or enslave all the inhabitants of Suibhne. In attempt to save her family, Ealasaid stabs a young Viking warrior, but her father is killed, her family scattered, and she’s taken to Solstad Hall where she serves as a thrall for the Viking king. Years later, the king’s son, Hella, ventures on many raids and to trading sites across Europe, but his desire is to set up a farm in Solstad with Ealasaid as the thrall in charge of his household. He tells her of his plan and they expression their passion for one another. When Hella petitions the king for her freedom, but is turned down and order to the Frankish lands in retaliation for raids on the Viking coastal villages. Ealasaid, aware the king would never free her, tells him that he should look for a brighter future across the sea, away from his father and resigns herself to be his slave for the remainder of her life.Called home to watch his father die, Hella is stunned when his father’s final command is that Hella must marry or the throne will go to his adopted brother. Furious with his father’s orders and worried about being left without lands or money, Hella looks to the thrall who’s always captured his attention—Ealasaid. Ealasaid harbors a secret—the single afternoon she spent in Hella’s arms resulted in a son, her treasure, her reason for living.

Sandra ScwabEagle’s Honor: Banished by Sandra Schwab, erotic historical romance, reviewed by Tina

Blurb: A proud warrior.
A brave woman.
A forbidden love that is tested by the intrigues of ancient Rome and the hostilities at the northernmost edge of the empire.Centurion Marcus Florius Corvus has a splendid career in the legions ahead of him. Yet a visit to Rome and a chance encounter with an old friend change his whole life: He falls in love with one of his friend’s pleasure slaves and becomes entrapped in an evil scheme designed to destroy him. And yet—he cannot help risking everything for Lia, the woman he has given his heart to, even if it means he will be banished to one of the most dangerous places in the Roman Empire: the northern frontier of Britannia.

Seeking Nirvana & Eluding Nirvana (Dark Evoke #1 & #2) by V. L. Brock, dark romantic suspense/psychological thriller, reviewed by Tina

Seeking NirvanaSeeking Nirvana Blurb: They say that old habits die hard, and twenty-seven year old, Kady Jenson, is about to discover how true that statement actually is.

Waking up in a hospital room with a complete stranger at her bedside, should have caused panic and confusion, but for a reason unknown to her, Kady finds herself drawn, and calmed by the presence of the rugged, devastatingly handsome man with the pleasant Irish brogue. It’s when she discovers that she has just woken from a four day coma, with a three year void in her memory, which spawns confusion and panic.

Kady soon comes to realize that things change with time, and not only appearances.

Not only is the sexual chemistry she once shared with her long-term boyfriend, now a long-ago memory, but Kady also begins to unconsciously fall back into unremembered habits, and with each day, the increasing sense of foreboding, becomes increasingly harder to ignore.

Left on her own when her boyfriend goes on a business trip, Kady seeks help from the Irish stranger as they go on a quest together, in a race against time, to piece the puzzle together.

Eluding NirvanaEluding Nirvana Blurb: Three years lost; a body marred and a mission complete. Waking after a four day coma, Kady Jenson felt her life was crashing down around her. Three years of her memories were missing, and the compelling man at her side was not her years-long partner, but a stranger – a stranger who promised to help her recover what she had lost.

But how did Kady come to such a place?

What dark, mysterious events stole her past and threatened her future?

How did her lover become a stranger, and a stranger become so terribly important?

What happened to turn Kady’s orderly life into a terrifying nightmare which would leave her permanently marked, body and soul?

**AUTHORS NOTE**

Eluding Nirvana is the second instalment of The Dark Evoke Series, and is therefore not intended as a standalone novel.

Stolen petalsStolen Petals (novelette) by Katherine McIntyre, steampunk romance, reviewed by Tina

Blurb: One man has swiped bounties from Viola, the Brass Violet, for years. Longstanding rivals, they’ve only had brief encounters, and if she had a choice, she’d avoid him entirely. When he saunters into her bar with an offer to work together on a job, the proper response would be to shoot him down and send him back to Shantytown. However, curiosity’s a wicked beast, and Viola needs to know why, after so many years of stealing her marks, he’d approach her now. The man is insufferable, annoyingly cavalier, and tends to stir up memories she’d rather forget–but she needs assistance on this job and he’s offering aid and blueprints which could cut their work in half.

Given the intense way he looks at her though, working together isn’t all he has in mind. Van Clef is known for his persistence and, with his charm, he wins women over effortlessly. Viola’s not so easy though–she’s wise to his tricks. But if he wants to play the game, she will gladly rise to the challenge. By the end of this bounty, she’ll be the one leaving him in the dust.

Samantha-Holt_Knight_ConKnight’s Captive by Samantha Holt, historical romance, reviewed by Tina

Blurb: Queen Elizabeth sits on England’s throne. A once Catholic country is now ruled by a Protestant queen. In a time of fear, turmoil and bold deeds, many heroes are seldom written into history…

After aiding in the capture of the flagship Rosario and helping to defeat the Spanish Armada, Sir Henry Bainbridge is set to make his mark on the world and strengthen his position as a man of authority. Now in charge of the Spanish prisoners, Henry must negotiate their return to Spain and manage the care of his people.

However, when he comes across a woman amongst the survivors, his future plans are put on hold. The exotic beauty draws him in and his honour will not let him doing anything other than protect her. Henry takes her into his home and places her under house arrest. He can only hope his principles are enough to protect her from his desires…

In a time when small differences spark fear into the heart of many, Antonia finds herself drawn into a battle between a zealous priest, a discontented population and the most honourable man she’s ever met. Nothing can ever come of their attraction, not while he’s holding her father prisoner and not when so many differences divide them.

Or can it?

TorqueTorque (The Redline Series #2) by Skye Callahan, dark erotic romance, reviewed by Tina

Blurb: In the dark underworld of Ashville, crime, deceit, and blackmail reign supreme. Everyone wants that little piece of leverage—that one small key to getting ahead.

Aubrey would be happy—and lucky—to simply make it out alive. After falling in debt to one of the city’s most dangerous men, she found herself caught in a dispute between two brothers who will do anything to see each other suffer. Aubrey knows she’s only a pawn in their game and her only hope is to find some key of her own—a way to guarantee her own safety and the safety of her family.

Colt has a long and sordid past with the criminal element. He knows how the game is played and has found himself on all sides more times than he cares to remember. Aubrey is his newest escape route, but their tentative alliance is doomed to crumble if Colt can’t find a way to fulfill his end of the bargain with Devlin.

How will Colt and Aubrey handle Devlin’s newest threat?

Bloodlust deniedBloodlust Denied by Christina Phillips, erotic historical paranormal romance, reviewed by Tina

Blurb: Tired of the thin-blooded aristocrats in 1815 London, Alexius yearns for better sport. He is drawn to a dark-haired seductress who shows no fear and refuses to obey his commands. Entranced by such novelty, he denies his bloodlust and decides to keep her to warm his bed.

Immortal vampire hunter Morana has never mistaken her prey before, but the dark stranger mesmerizes her, enticing her to forget everything but the dangerous pleasure she finds in his arms.

Neither one can deny the pull of the other, but there is something beyond the lust—a recognition neither can put a name to. The past and present collide and unless they discover the truth behind the lies, Death will triumph once more.

palace of deceptionPalace of Deception (novella) by Helena Fairfax, contemporary romantic suspense/mystery, reviewed by Caroline

Blurb: A sinister housekeeper, a silent bodyguard, and a missing princess – mystery and intrigue in this gripping romantic suspense.

Lizzie Smith is contacted by her old drama teacher over the summer and offered the acting job of her life. Princess Charlotte of Montverrier has disappeared on the eve of her Investiture…and Lizzie must take her place.

But in the run up to the ceremony, all is not what it seems in the Palace of Montverrier. Why does the housekeeper insist Lizzie keep to her suite of rooms? What danger lies outside the palace walls? As Lizzie learns her role, her only confidant is Léon, her quiet bodyguard…but what secrets is he keeping from her?

Mystery and suspense against the backdrop of a beautiful Mediterranean city.

Future Girls & Future Gold (Future Girls #1 & #2) by Catharine Bramkamp, YA sci-fi fantasy, reviewed by Caroline

Future Girls Book One of the The Future Girls SeriesFuture Girls Blurb: On October 10, 2145, eighteen-year-old Charity Northquest’s whole future is ahead of her–and the future sucks.

On October 11, 2145, she unexpectedly has a chance to fix it. When her best friend is reported killed, but then re-appears the next day as an old woman, everything Charity has been taught is called into question. Even if she does not believe in time travel, she has little choice. So the ill-prepared Charity travels back to the mysterious and captivating 21st century where her single purpose of changing the future fades with the increasingly more urgent question of whether she can survive the past.

Future Gold (Book Two of the The Future Girls Series)Future Gold Blurb: What part of the past would you change?

Jordan didn’t want to travel back in time. She thought the members of the Time Cult were, frankly, a little whacked. But as the daughter of a daughter of a daughter, she had little choice but to prepare, take part, be knowledgeable and be ready to travel back in time. But nothing could prepare her for what happened. Or when.