*REVIEW* ~ Guardian of Paradise, by W.E. Lawrence

#historical #romance #adventure

GOP cover

Blurb

In 1888, Kira Wall, surviving daughter of missionaries swept away in a tsunami, lives a primitive, but enjoyable life with natives on an isolated island in the South Pacific. But her serene world is turned upside down when an Australian merchant ship, commanded by the sinister Captain Darcy Coleman, arrives with an overabundance of modern and lavish goods. Kira suspects ill intent. Chief Ariki refuses to listen to Kira’s warning, forcing her to uncover the real plan of the captain on her own. Unfortunately, she has a distraction. A six-foot tall, blond, and handsome distraction. Trevor Marshall, doctor and botanist, hopes to find exotic plants on the island to research new cures and medicines. He is dedicated to science, but when meeting the strong-willed, beautiful Kira Wall, he’d prefer to spend time researching her—all night.

The captain thwarts Kira’s attempts to call him out at every step, turning the village chief against her. With only Trevor and her best friend Malana by her side, she stalks the captain and his officers through the dense, predator infested jungle, toward the island’s inactive volcano. Frustrated by her failure to reveal the captain’s true intentions, Kira begins to think maybe she’s wrong about everything. Then an explosion and earthquake bigger than anyone on the island has ever seen renews her resolve. Was the blast natural or man-made? She is determined to prove it was the captain’s doing. Kira races against time and the island people’s naivety to stop the captain from destroying her home and killing everyone she loves.

My Review ~ 4.5 stars

Romance and adventure combined!

This historical romance with a difference – far removed from the usual ballrooms and social mores of the time. It is full of adventure and suspense, all set on a beautiful Pacific island in 1888. The novel also contains a powerful social and environmental subtext, drawing attention to the  self-sufficient and honourable way of life of the islanders and the greed and avarice of others not of their world who seek to exploit them and their environment.

Kira, the ‘guardian’ of the title, is the daughter of missionaries who perished when she was very young. She has lived all of her life on the island and is dedicated to protecting the islanders and their way of life. When a merchant ship docks, Kira takes an instant dislike to the ship’s captain, who she is convinced is up to no good. Yet the islanders’ chief sees no reason to doubt the captain’s good intentions and gives him and his men free reign on the island. Increasingly irritated and embarrassed by Kira’s protestations to the contrary, she incurs his displeasure.

At the same time Kira falls for the ship’s doctor and botanist, Trevor. Confused by her growing feelings, she tries to ignore their growing mutual attraction, as she needs to concentrate on thwarting the captain’s plans and not get involved with a man from the outside world, with whom she has no future.

The plot has plenty of adventure and  suspense alongside the romance and also some humour. Will Kira get to the bottom of what the captain’s true intensions are? Will she be able to thwart him before he manages to inflict harm on the island and its inhabitants? How much of a threat is the captain to Kira? Will she be able to guard her heart against her developing feelings for Trevor, an ambitious man not of her world?

The descriptions of the island and the islanders’ way of life are extremely vivid. I enjoyed the character of Kira as a confident woman who can look after herself in the jungle. At the same time this confidence contrasts with her innocence, especially when it comes to dealing with a scoundrel such as the captain. Both Trevor and her friend Malana have her back but it is touch and go what will happen as the plot reaches its conclusion.

Recommended to those who enjoy romance with a heavy dose of adventure.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Also see

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2016/08/18/spotlight-guardian-of-paradise-by-w-e-lawrence-includes-excerpt/

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

**REVIEW** The Double by Alison Brodie

It was a great pleasure to be approached by author, Alison Brodie, and be asked to read The Double. I am so very glad that she did. It’s an amazing adventure; a great book to read if you’re planning a holiday or even basking in the sunshine in your garden. Get ready for the most relaxing adventure you’ll experience!

“The luxury of living a lie.”

 

THE DOUBLE

Title: The Double

Author: Alison Brodie

Genre: Women’s fiction, mystery, romance, chick-lit

Date released: January 19th, 2016

Length: 294 pages

Blurb: A night she can’t remember. A week she won’t forget.

*

Beth is mistaken for rock star Sonita La Cruz, and ends up on a billionaire-dollar yacht. As a shift-worker in Glasgow, Beth has only known hardship. Now she’s in a world of uniformed stewards, delicious French food and rows of gorgeous designer clothes. Beth keeps quiet about the mix-up, determined to wear every outfit in her wardrobe before she’s sent home. What’s wrong with a little play-acting? Beth takes to the role of rock diva like a duck takes to water.

Aleksandr, the captain, arrives and is astonished to see a beautiful raven-haired girl lying on deck issuing orders through a loud-hailer. After talking to Beth, Aleksandr realises what has happened. His smuggling buddies, knowing Aleksandr needs to speak to Sonita about a kid’s crisis, grabbed Beth by mistake. Aleksandr is desperate. To save those children, he needs money, but Sonita has disappeared.

Beth rises to the challenge. She looks like Sonita, so why not BE Sonita? Beth does a magazine interview for one million dollars, and ransoms herself for another million. Beth saves the kids … but can she save herself? Too late, Beth discovers why Sonita disappeared.

*

A love story set against the backdrop of a luxury yacht on the Côte d’Azur, a civil war in the Eastern Bloc, and a Glasgow housing estate.

Buy Links: Amazon UK & Amazon US

REVIEW ***** (5 star rating)

Alison Brodie’s The Double has it all; from diva Sonita, the rock star, being stalked and threatened, to a gritty, realistic housing estate in Glasgow where nurse Beth is trying to make sense of her life, right through to a kidnapping followed by a luxurious adventure on a billionaire’s yacht on the Côte d’Azur. Meanwhile, Aleksandr, the captain, has had to deal with the effects of a civil war in the Eastern Bloc, and is now fighting to save many children suffering with tuberculosis as medical supplies cannot reach them and warfare is threatening their makeshift hospital site. Yes, if you’re looking for a little drama and mystery in a well-constructed romance story this is perfect for you!

The opening chapter sparks the interest of the reader immediately as we find a seemingly dark character acting secretly and wants Sonita La Cruz dead! This is a dark start for a fun, romance novel, but it captures a sense of fear and suspense from the offset, making the curious reader need to find out what becomes of both parties.

Although written in third person, the reader has an in-depth take on each main character as whole chapters are focussed on one at a time, as we discover their current situations as well as their background. My favourite character has to be Beth, partly for wanting the escape that she is able to have from her average life, and partly as she is the one that takes many risks throughout the story.

Beth is at the point in her life where, even though a mum, she is still young. Her kids are independents now, and aside from her nursing job, all  she has is a selfish man in Andy, and a shabby tower-block flat. Once the initial kidnapping is realised, Beth begins to come round to the idea, choosing to go along with it. I mean, after all, when does she ever feel free; free from routine, free from work, free from Glasgow, free from Andy and his controlling ways. Surely she deserves some luxury and freedom at last. Why not pose as beautiful superstar Sonita La Cruz? Beth begins to think that maybe her dreams could come true, and she doesn’t have to feel so trapped in her life. She adapts quickly and learns how to relax, to enjoy life, rather than stressing about her work, Andy, money, etc.

“This was so different to sunbathing at home. There, she had a tiny balcony, just about big enough for four plastic stools, a bike repair box and a scrawny plant….. In the summer, between five and six in the evening, the sun would touch one corner of the balcony – high up. Desperate for sunshine, she’d stand in her knickers and bra, one foot on a stool, one foot on the railings, her hand holding onto the washing line for support….

… Now, instead of teetering on the edge of a council block in saggy grey knickers, she lay on a cushioned sun-lounger alongside a luxurious pool, on a gorgeous yacht with a champagne re-fuelling depot nearby and an army of uniformed stewards, out of sight, but close at hand, ready to be summoned by the tinkling of a little bell.” (Beth)

That said, it is also clear that Sonita La Cruz is also looking for an escapism. Although a rock star, she is not recording the style of music she favours, she is very much subjected to media attention constantly, and her real feelings lie with being charitable to those, especially children, in need – something that her partner ignores. During the course of the story, ignorant of Beth’s situation, Sonita tries to find a relaxing moment herself, as she keeps her head down low from any threat, and her busy lifestyle.

It is a certain read in particular for the summer and holiday season. And, one of the most exciting and fascinating parts of the story were, for me, the way in which it provides a largely relaxing read despite the dark drama/mystery that lies beneath the surface. I just loved imagining myself to be in Beth’s shoes sunbathing on a luxurious yacht on the Med, blue skies, blue sea, with fine dining and clothes, etc, and not worrying too much about the consequences until I’d have to.

The icing on the cake is the knowledge that Beth is quite aware, certainly as the story progresses, that it is all in the name of charity; in being able to hopefully provide many children with the treatment that they need, during an absolutely crucial time when no one else can! Mix that in with a chance of romance and it is perfect. But will Beth realise where her heart is really at before it’s too late?

If you’d like a book to transport you on a relaxing holiday, with fun, drama and romance The Double is just the one!

A copy of The Double was provided by Alison Brodie in return for a fair and honest review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

You can also check out Alison Brodie’s author bio, along with an excerpt of The Double here.

**REVIEW** ~ Silence of A Stranger, by Elizabeth Bailey

A Romantic Suspense Novella

Blurb

silence of a stranger

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.

My Review

Captivating Romantic Suspense! ***** 

I loved this read, which hooked from the very start! The heroine Bea, fleeing her cheating ex, inadvertently seeks help from three armed and apparently dangerous men doing their utmost to avoid all contact with others. At first she is treated with violence and suspicion and strip searched. Even when deemed no immediate threat, she becomes their captive, as the men fear that to release her will compromise their location. The narrative is gripping and full of danger, mystery and suspense and I loved the romantic element.

As the novella progressed and the tension between Bea and her captors developed, my mind like that if the heroine was full of questions: Who are these men? Who is the dark, attractive and brooding Rad with whom she develops a mutual attraction? Are they escaped criminals? Is the truth something even more complex?

The key elements of both the suspense and romance are excellent and the plot had me guessing throughout. Bea is told nothing by her captors, a terrifying situation. I really admired her spunk as she stands up to them and when it is clear that she cannot easily escape she tries to make the best of a situation which becomes more and more dangerous. She nevertheless goes through the whole gamut of emotions: fear, apprehension, anger, frustration and resignation and most unexpected and disconcerting of all, growing desire for Rad, one of her captors.

Bea desperately tries to come to terms with her feelings for Rad, a character who becomes more mysterious and complex the more she gets to know him. I particularly liked how the author showed the growing sexual tension between the couple. Is Rad the criminal she fears and what if any future could she have with a man who harbours so many secrets and who blows hot and cold?

This read contains some violence and sexual situations, but overall the romantic elements are sweet. I recommend it to readers of romance and romantic suspense who are after a captivating 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.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

Author Links

http://www.elizabethbailey.co.uk/

http://www.elizabethbailey.co.uk/#!blog/c112v

https://www.facebook.com/authorelizabethbailey

https://twitter.com/lizbwrites

*Promo with excerpt* Noise by Brett Garcia Rose

NOISE, by Brett Garcia Rose, is a thriller/mystery centering on a deaf character’s search for his missing sister. It’s short, violent, but ultimately it’s about love. Noise was published in June 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

noise book coverTitle: Noise

Author: Brett Garcia Rose

Genre: Action adventure, mystery, thriller

Release date: June 17th. 2014

Released by: Velocity Imprints

Length: 147 pages (Kindle edition)

Blurb: The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.

Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.

Or did she?

A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.

A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police—some corrupt, some merely compromised—are of little help. They don’t like Leon’s methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.

Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he’s ever known is forward.

He will not stop until he knows.

Where is Lily?

Praise for Noise:

A staggering, compelling work of fiction…mind-blowingly perfect. It has everything. Exquisite details, world-weary voice, and people worth knowing. It is truly amazing!” – MaryAnne Kolton, Author and Editor of This Literary Magazine

Strong, compelling, raw and human in the best sense. Beautifully written.” – Susan Tepper, Author of Deer and Other Stories

Perfect, compact and explosive, closing with the gentlest word.” – James Lloyd Davis, Author of Knitting the Unraveled Sleeves

Wow. Beautiful and wonderful and sad and real.” – Sally Houtman, Author of To Grandma’s House, We . . . Stay

Frighteningly good.” – Meg Pokrass, Author of Bird Envy

Superbly explosive. The rage escalates and careens out of control. Amazing.” – Ajay Nair, Author of Desi Rap

About the Author:

brett garcia rose headshotBrett Garcia Rose is a writer, software entrepreneur, and former animal rights soldier and stutterer. He is the author of two books, Noise and Losing Found Things, and his work has been published in Sunday Newsday MagazineThe Barcelona ReviewOpiumRose and ThornThe Battered SuitcaseFiction AtticParaphilia and other literary magazines and anthologies. His short stories have won the Fiction Attic’s Short Memoir Award (Second Place), Opium’s Bookmark Competition, The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, and have been nominated for the Million Writer’s AwardBest of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. Rose travels extensively, but calls New York City home. To learn more, go to BrettGarciaRose.com, or connect with Brett on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads.

https://twitter.com/BrettGarciaRose

https://www.facebook.com/brettgarciarose

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8307465.Brett_Garcia_Rose

http://www.brettgarciarose.com/

Excerpt:

Twenty-Eight

The sounds I cannot hear: The whistle of the hammer as it arcs through the air. The wailing of pain and the begging of The Bear. The dripping of blood from thawing meat onto the wet concrete floor. The beautifully crude threats.

My own hideous voice.

I drag The Bear into a walk-in freezer by the hook sunk through his shoulder and toss him into a corner on the floor. When I reenter the freezer, dragging the oak table behind me, The Bear is hard at work on the hook, trying to muscle it out, but it’s sunk deep, through the tendons. Hope is adrenaline, fear masks pain, begging helps no one.

I yank him up by the hook and then hold his hands outstretched, one at a time, as I nail his wrists to the table with railroad spikes. I put all of my 240 pounds behind the hammer, but even so, it takes several swings. His body shakes, the nails sink further into the wood, his face is pain. He screams, but I cannot hear.

The building above burns a deep blue hue with my smuggled-in accelerants.

The sound of the hammer into The Bear. The pain in his eyes. I have never seen so much hatred. It is beautiful to me, to reach this center, this uncomplicated base, to disassemble the past and honor a new history. It is another film, also homemade and rough, an overlay, an epilogue. The Bear is broken but I have spared his face, and to see those eyes, that is what I needed; to see his hatred flow into me, my own eyes sucking down the scum like bathtub drains. His life whirls into me and I taste the fear, the hope, the sharp sting of adrenaline pumping and the reeking muck of despair. His pain soothes me, a slow, thick poison. We will all die.

I know it now; I am a broken man. I always was. I imagine Lily watching me, Lily keeping score, making lists, balancing all. As a child from far away, she was the queen, even more so than her mother. But she didn’t survive. The world was not as we had imagined, not even close. The world is a cruel, bastard place, Lily cold and lost somewhere, me hot and bleeding and swinging my hammer. Life as it is, not as we wish it to be.

The sounds I cannot hear: The laughter of the watchers. The groan of my sister as The Bear cums inside of her, pulling her hair until the roots bleed. The Bear screams and shits himself inside the dark freezer. Lily’s wailing and cursing and crying. I scream at The Bear with all my mighty, damaged voice, swinging the hammer at his ruined hands, hands that will never again touch anyone. Lily at the end, beaten and pissed on and begging to die.

Lily is dead. I am dead. It will never be enough.

I remove the stack of photos from my wallet that I’d printed at the Internet café a lifetime ago and place them face down on the table in front of The Bear. I draw an X on the back of the first photo and turn it over, laying it close to the pulp of his ruined hands.

The Bear offers me anything I want. An animal can feel pain but cannot describe or transmit it adequately. The Bear both is and is not an animal. I lack hearing, so the Bear cannot transmit his experience to me unless I choose to see it. His pain is not my pain, but mine is very much his. I swing the hammer into his unhooked shoulder, and then I draw another X and flip another photo.

His lips move, and I understand what he wants to know. Five photos.

In my notepad, I write: you are a rapist fucking pig. I put the paper into the gristle of his hands and swing the hammer against the metal hook again. It’s a sound I can feel.

Anything, The Bear mouths. He is sweating in the cold air of the freezer. Crying. Bleeding.

In my pad, I write: I want my sister back. I swing the hammer claw-side first into his mouth and leave it there. His body shakes and twitches.

I turn over his photo and write one last note, tearing it off slowly and holding it in front of his face, the handle of the hammer protruding from his jaw like a tusk. You are number four. There are a few seconds of space as the information stirs into him and I watch as he deflates, the skin on his face sagging like a used condom. He knows what I know.

I turn over the last photo for him. I turn it slowly and carefully, sliding it toward him. Victor, his one good son, his outside accomplishment, his college boy, the one who tried to fuck him and they fucked my sister instead.

I remove another mason jar from my bag, unscrewing the metal top and letting the thick fluid flow onto his lap. I wipe my hands carefully and light a kitchen match, holding it in front of his face for a few seconds as it catches fully. He doesn’t try to blow it out. He doesn’t beg me to stop. He just stares at the match as the flame catches, and I drop it onto his lap.

The Bear shakes so hard from the pain that one of his arms rips from the table, leaving a skewer of meat and tendon on the metal spike. I lean into his ear, taking in his sweet reek and the rot of his bowels and, in my own hideous voice, I say:

Wait for me.”

**REVIEW** Cautious Surrender (Unearthly World book IV) by C.L. Scholey

Cautious Surrender (Unearthly World #4)Author: C.L. Scholey

Title: Cautious Surrender (Unearthly World book IV)

Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance, Erotic

Date Released: January 5th, 2015

Published by: Whiskey Creek Press LLC

Length: 139 pages

Blurb: Adan went from a living hell on Earth, only to be thrown into a new purgatory. The Zargonnii vessel she’d thought was her savior is blown to bits in an alien war attack. A wormhole sends Adan and her warrior protector to an unknown world. Her only hope of surviving the ungodly planet is in the hands of Blu, whom she loves. Unfortunately, Blu has another agenda.

Blu’s body burns for the little human female, but his entire adult life has one purpose, to father a son and create a family. If he mates with Adan and makes it back home, he’ll need to keep her close to his side, protecting her from his dangerous life. Human females only produce female offspring in Blu’s world. If they survive this planet, Blu has to decide if he’s willing to give up one dream for another.

REVIEW

Cautious Surrender is another fantastic read from author, C.L. Scholey. As well as the sci-fi, romance and erotic scenes, we have a brilliant fast-paced fantasy adventure, with some moments of humour too, making for a super fun read!

Book 4 of the Unearthly World series carries on from Bethany’s Heart (Book 3), but can be read as a stand-alone as it focuses on different love interests in Adan and Blu. But it is still nice to hear the odd mention of the previous characters. After being saved from planet Earth, Adan and her friends found themselves being cared for by the Zargonii. Only, just as she is trying to learn of the new planet she is now living on they are attacked by an enemy, forcing Blu to escape with Adan on a smaller vessel, where they then end up travelling through a wormhole and landing on the planet Brax!

Without Zargonii warrior, Blu, to protect her Adan wouldn’t last a minute on Brax. The inhabitants of Brax are all alien creatures, most of which are exiled assassins and extremely deadly! The Braxians themselves are the assassins overseers, but many assassins do as they wish – and killing is their favourite pastime. Not only does she have to worry about these, but there is also the deadly green gasses of the atmosphere during the night that she needs safety from. With many dangers to overcome, and only a small hope that the Zargonii will come to their rescue, Adan is left in fear of her life, but with Blu at her side she knows he will do all he can to save her.

Adan is in love with Blu, and has been since the moment she met him. It is his strength and over-protectiveness of her that attracts her. Blu is attracted to Adan too, but his conflict lies with him wanting a son. If he mates with Adan he will be mated for life, but a human female cannot bear him a male offspring. He also knows that he can’t expect Adan to wait for him while he Holidays (mates) with a female of his own kind in the hope for a son (which may not happen), only to mate for life with her after. This would be disrespectful and selfish of him.

At the same time, his desire burns for her whenever she is near and this is another conflict he has to fight if he wants a son when he returns to his home planet. For now his honour is in keeping Adan safe, and so whilst they are on this godforsaken planet he can’t let her out of his sight!

“… He would need to keep her as close as possible. There was only one problem with his plan – she drove his body into a sexual nightmare when she was nearby.The attraction she emitted in her pheromones was almost too much for him to resist…”

However, being brought together during some intense moments of danger, and with his honour to care for her and ensure her safety, situations do become much more intimate between the two of them – both emotionally and physically. Will Blu decide to give in to his need and desire for Adan, or will he stay true to his dream of wanting a son?

Another aspect of the story that I loved was the humour. There is the sarcasm that Adan uses on Blu, and the one-liners from Blu every once in a while.

“… I have a hard on so bad I could beat an assassin in the head to death with it.”

These moments create a relief during times of high tension and fear, enlightening the mood and bringing the characters closer. It certainly made me smile at times.

One of my favourite characters was an assassin called Veikko. He is equally deadly and fearsome but there are moments when he shows compassion for Blu, and Adan in particular. This feeling is something the other assassins do not have. And yet, there are times when the reader will question his motives. Is he really helping them? Does he want Adan for himself? Is he tricking them?

“… The assassins she had met so far excluding Veikko were disgusting and brutal. Veikko was creepy enough but possessed compassion…”

I found Cautious Surrender to be a thrilling, exciting read with plenty of tension and fear, as well as romance and fun in between. There is a tremendous amount of adventure packed into the 139 pages, making it fast-paced, thus a quick read, that will leave you on a high and looking forward to the next C.L. Scholey read!

Cautious Surrender (Unearthly World book IV) was provided by Torrid Press (part of Whiskey Creek Press) in return for an honest and fair review.

Cautious Surrender is available at Torrid Press, Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Review Round-Up November 2014

Hi readers, Tina and myself hope that you enjoyed your Halloween, and here in the UK Bonfire Night. There have been some fantastic fireworks displays this year in and around Tamworth where we reside. We are now concentrating on enjoying the autumn/fall weather, watching the leaves as they fall from the trees and spending most of our time snuggled up on the sofa with a book or our laptops preparing for our best reads of 2014 and of course, Christmas!!

Below you will find our latest reviews over the last month covering the horror genre, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, erotica, fantasy adventure and crime thriller.

As always, we hope that there is something for everybody and that you all enjoy visiting our blog.

Keep on reading!

Caroline & Tina 🙂

(Please click on titles for review)

23358060Distant Love by Layla Merritt, erotic contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Kate Braxton has fallen into the role most women do by putting someone else’s needs above her own. In reality, she lives day to day unable to overcome the scars of her past to allow herself to move on with her life. Her divorce and a new job just might open the door to a brighter future for her.

Brayden Bennett is sexy and successful in the marketing firm he works for, but has been used and discarded by women, leaving him hurt and guarded. The beautiful new hire in Atlanta captures his attention in ways he didn’t think possible and he can’t help but wonder if she holds the key to his caged heart.

Kate is taking care of her ill father in Atlanta and Brayden’s son ties him to Chicago. Can they dare to dream of a future together? Can Kate survive the freak accidents that keep occurring, or will their relationship end in tragedy before they can figure out a way to be together?

Claimed (True Alpha 6)Claimed (True Alpha #6) (short story) by Alisa Woods, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline Barker)

New Adult Paranormal Romance serial – LAST IN SERIES

Shifters live in the shadows of Seattle, just under the skin of the alpha male, dot-com entrepreneurs who are building a new Silicon Valley in the Emerald City.

Mia has found her way free of the dark wolves, but what price will her friends pay? And will she finally be able to find a place among their packs?

Claimed (True Alpha 6) is 65 pages or 16,000 words. It’s the final of six episodes in the True Alpha serial.

Adult content. Ages 18+.

Amethyst's incredible journeyAmethyst’s Incredible Journey by Lisa Bland, fantasy adventure (reviewed by Caroline)

Fantasy adventure

For ages 11yrs+

Synopsis: Amethyst is a witch with extremely evil and powerful parents. Amethyst is terrified that if she don’t stop her parents soon it will be too late, and they will gain control of Golden Dragon City and the Fountain of Magic. Amethyst knows that she has only got until her next birthday to stop them!.Amethyst has to travel through different realms to collect the blood red rubies that she needs to stop them.

After the HazeAfter the Haze by Gary Richardson, horror (reviewed by Caroline)

Synopsis: The haze ravaged everything. Human life as we know it is over. Those who survived the haze awoke to find themselves in a new nightmare, as the dead returned with the insatiable desire to hunt down and feed on the remaining humans. Yvonne thought she had escaped her nightmare. Safely aboard the HMS Lancaster, Martin, Mike and herself believed they had found salvation with their military saviours. Things change when a devastating realisation is made. Humans no longer control the Earth. With this in mind, Yvonne has no choice but to assist in the operation to take back control of the UK and bring together all the survivors, but she soon learns that there are bigger threats to mankind than the living dead…

22436820Afraid to Hope (Secrets and Seduction #3) by M.J. Nightingale, erotic contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Louisa Sears is ready to start over. Escaping her small town where prejudice, long memories, and old fashioned values haunt her, Louisa embarks on her dream of finding love, and a man who can warm up her bed at night. Pregnant at sixteen, divorced from an abusive husband at twenty, and raising a daughter alone, Louisa is now ready to live. She wants what every woman wants. A rock hard man, who knows how to love. Will Florida be the place where her dreams come true?

Jay Russell is battle scarred. A past filled with horrors from childhood, the war in Iraq, and the most devastating event of his life that occurred when he returned home, he is definitely not looking for love. When he first meets Louisa Sears, the bombshell with the fantastic body, he wants one thing, and one thing only, her body underneath him. The hot little ticket that walks by his t-shirt shop, meets all his requirements for a night of passion.

The scars in them run deep though, and they both have secrets. Can two people so deeply wounded by the past learn to trust each other enough to share those secrets? And if they do, will they be able to get past them and learn to hope again?

That Risen Snow: A Scary Tale of Snow White & Zombies (Scary Tales, #1)That Risen Snow: A Tale of Snow White & Zombies (The Scary Tales #1) by Rob E. Boley, horror/humour (reviewed by Caroline)

BLURB: The zombie sequel to Snow White begins where the classic fairy tale ends, with the Prince’s kiss waking Snow from her cursed slumber. Snow wakes up, but she doesn’t wake up right.

Now a deranged zombie, Snow infects both the Prince and the seven dwarfs’ leader. That leaves the young dwarf Grouchy, who is secretly in love with Snow, to find a cure for her malicious curse. So begins an epic journey that pits the lovesick Grouchy against dwarf-hating human soldiers, Snow’s ever-growing zombie horde, and his own bad temper. But when Grouchy and his motley crew of survivors escape Snow’s clutches and seek refuge in a nearby human village, he soon finds that her affliction has spread faster and further then he ever could have imagined. Snow is hell-bent on spreading her horrid curse across the land, and it’s up to Grouchy to stop her before it’s too late.

So begins THE SCARY TALES, a dark fantasy series featuring mash-ups of traditional fairy tale characters and classic horror monsters.

TheNewGovernessLargeFINALThe New Governess/Awakening (The Erotic Adventures of Belinda #1 & 2) by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross, gothic erotica (reviewed by Tina)

The New Governess blurb: When Belinda Moorland leaves her old life behind to become the new governess to a wealthy businessman’s children, she finds herself in a dazzling – and allegedly haunted – house called Ravencrest Manor. Her beautiful new home comes with an assortment of unusual staff members, including a handsome English butler surrounded by secrets, an icy power-mad housekeeper with a chip on her shoulder and a whip in her hand, and – most attractive of all to Belinda – her mysterious new employer, Mr. Eric Manning.

After just one night in Ravencrest, Belinda realizes that the staff, as strange they are, have nothing on the other residents of the house – the ones who only come out at night… the ones who enter and dictate her dreams, twisting them into dark, carnal visions of her deepest desires… and her greatest fears.

The erotic adventures of Belinda have begun…

awakeningfinalAwakening blurb: In The New Governess, Belinda Moorland became governess to the children of handsome and mysterious millionaire, Eric Manning. She met several interesting employees at Ravencrest Manor, including the mischievous butler, Grant, and the frightening house administrator, Mrs. Heller. During her first night, Belinda was also greeted – and groped – by other inhabitants of the house; ones who are more phantom than flesh.

Now, in Awakening, we find out more about Grant Phister, the wicked Mrs. Heller, and some of the other inhabitants of the house, both living and dead. There are more secrets than ever waiting within the walls of Ravencrest, but Belinda has one final requirement to meet before she can get down to work: She must pass her physical examination – and it will prove to be far more intimate than anything in her wildest dreams – or her darkest nightmares. Will she get through her first day at Ravencrest intact?

The erotic adventures of Belinda continue…

TheLoveofMarisol_WP2014The Love of Marisol by Christos Toulouras, contemporary emotional romance (reviewed by Caroline)

 Synopsis: When Leo’s marriage ends, he falls into the depths of depression. He decides to escape the loss and the heartbreak with a trip to the other side of the world – Lima, Peru. In some ways, his journey becomes an unexpected salvation as his passions are reignited by the local food and people, the climate and the beautiful and alluring Marisol. The Love of Marisol is a poignant and passionate journey of heartbreak, loss but most of all self-discovery… it reminds us that at the end of one love story, there is always the possibility of a new one…

17562987 (2)Windhaven by Charlotte Boyett-Compo, dark erotic fantasy romance (reviewed by Tina)

Synopsis: “Open your mouth even once, tell anyone about us, give them a name, and we’ll come for you, Sammy. There will be nowhere you can hide that we won’t find you.”Samiel Brell is being held against his will in the WindHaven Mental Hospital. His life there is a brutal nightmare from which he can not wake. The only anchor he has in this dark world is nurse Katelyn Tarnes who sees beyond the psychotic, self-destructive patient to the lost, lonely man desperately needing her help…and pleading for her love.

The CabinetmakerThe Cabinetmaker by Alan Jones, crime drama/thriller (reviewed by Caroline Barker)

Synopsis: The Cabinetmaker, Alan Jones’ first novel, tells of one man’s fight for justice when the law fails him. Set in Glasgow from the late nineteen-seventies through to the current day, a cabinetmaker’s only son is brutally murdered by a gang of thugs, who walk free after a bungled prosecution.

It’s young Glasgow detective John McDaid’s first murder case. He forms an unlikely friendship with the cabinetmaker, united by a determination to see the killers punished, their passion for amateur football, and by John’s introduction to a lifelong obsession with fine furniture.

This is the story of their friendship, the cabinetmaker’s quest for justice, and the detective’s search for the truth.

This unusual crime thriller contains some Glasgow slang and a moderate amount of strong language.

 

 

*PROMO POST with Author Bio & Excerpt* The Seventeen Commandments of Jimmy September by S. R. Wilsher

CRIME SUSPENSE THRILLER (Adult 18yrs+)

For those readers who love a contemporary crime suspense thriller adventure, we are excited to introduce you to THE SEVENTEEN COMMANDMENTS OF JIMMY SEPTEMBER by S.R. Wilsher. The reader’s discretion is advised and an 18yr+ reader is strongly recommended.

17 commandments Jimmy September JS Cover - CopyTitle: The Seventeen Commandments of Jimmy September

Author: S.R. Wilsher

Release Date: December 2013

Genre: Thriller suspense/crime, contemporary, adventure

Length: 264 pages

Blurb:

Warlord, ‘General’ Jimmy September believes he is a great soldier and teacher, destined to lead his people to a better future. In order to fund an upcoming war, he kidnaps five multi-national aid workers from a refugee camp in West Africa.

When the governments of the nationals involved refuse to pay a ransom, Mark Samuel, finance director and father to one of the hostages, misappropriates three million sterling of company funds to secure his son’s release.

As he battles his way through a hostile environment and unhelpful officialdom, struggling to hold on to the money long enough to save his son, Mark Samuel discovers a reason to succeed more important than securing his own future.

Excerpt:

He noticed them the moment they stepped into the carriage. It wasn’t the clothes they wore, nor their age or skin colour, or even that they were noisy that drew his eye and kept it on them. It was the way they moved and the places where their hungry, agitated eyes settled.

It was early in the morning for the commuters clinging to the roof rails pretending not to notice the young men pushing past, late in the night for the edgy and chemically restless lads. Their voices were raised, their language coarse and threatening as they barged and glared. The uneven switching between laughter and abuse, unpredictable and irrational, created a palpable fear in the carriage.

The lead one was lean and rangy, stood in a way that made his teenage frame appear bigger, and with it was the sardonic half grin of a boy who thought of himself as more hunter than prey.

The first one was tugged back on his sleeve by the second youth, then the slightest of nods. The other two youths hung back by the doors. They were unsettled and twitchy, brought mildly to heel by the knowledge that they were still vulnerable to the rule of law.

The first two regarded their victim for the smallest of moments before stopping and separating. They positioned themselves either side of someone out of sight of the watching man.

Across the aisle of the bucketing carriage was a free length of rail, so he stepped across to see more clearly.

She was a young girl, no more than twenty with long brown hair tied back in a ponytail. Her clothes were clean, smart and new and on her lap was a large soft leather bag. She wore earphones connected to a mobile phone that preoccupied her.

He recognised their intention because he had nearly been like them; could pinpoint the day it had changed for him. The grazed knuckles and the terror he had put into someone else’s eyes had hollowed out his stomach and dumped from him the anger he had been toting for years.

That had been twenty-eight years ago and Mark Samuel was now forty-five. The boy he had once been had faded in his memory. Ruth always liked to claim she had saved him, but he’d already changed paths by the time he met her. She wouldn’t even have looked at his old self.

He wondered when it might happen and what he could do about it if it did: whether he was prepared to do anything when it did.

He did not consider himself a brave man, not in the same way that he had felt indestructible when he was their age. Yet he would have choked on the label of coward. If he’d been forced to choose one word to describe himself, and through his life he had tried many for size, he had reluctantly come to realise that there was only one that fitted properly now. He had become a careful man.

He had a careful job in a careful part of the world and had enjoyed a careful marriage that he had always imagined would take him through to a careful old age. Or he had at least until nine months ago when he and Ruth had agreed, with very little heat from his side, that they had gone as far as they were likely to ever go in their marriage and they had arranged their own careful divorce. He hadn’t wanted it, but neither had he worked very hard to avoid it.

The girl had put her mobile back into her bag and was looking at the underground map pasted to the curved roof. Was she preparing to get off? She didn’t seem aware she was being watched. Or she was behaving like everyone else in the carriage and pretending the young men didn’t exist.

The next stop came and the iconic roundels flashed by the windows as the train slowed rapidly. She looked at the signs, the youths looked at her and he looked at all of them.

Mark considered what he could do. He regretted the loss of youth, the certainty and the recklessness with which he would have once intervened. Now they wore the shield of invincibility, while experience had given him the frayed cloak of self-doubt. His middle-aged self was unlikely to come off best in a fight with four fit young men.

Now, he feared, he would most likely only have been able to prevent something happening to the girl if it had required an explanation of managing change in large organisations, or accounting in multi-nationals.

Yet it wasn’t enough for him to stand there and pretend he hadn’t seen. Too much to perhaps challenge them, enough maybe to lodge misgiving. They would act not think, and he too needed to do the same, to behave without too much thought because he could easily persuade himself to do nothing.

The girl didn’t stir as the train stopped. The restless youths swung between disinterest in her and over acknowledgment of each other. The woman who had been sat next to the girl rose from her seat. Mark knew that if he was going to do anything, it had to be before the girl got off the train, before the youths could get hold of her.

He stepped along the aisle, feeling self-conscious as he pushed himself into the centre of an event he had only been a spectator to moments before. He sat beside the girl. She did not look at him.

He had no words in his head to use. Each sentence he thought of would only scare her. The moment he told her what was happening she would react. She would look at the men, she would flee the train, or she would not believe him. He had no way of knowing how that might change things. There were too many variables for him to control, too many ways in which the situation might deteriorate.

She sensed his gaze and glanced at him. He tried his best fatherly expression and smiled at her. The look she threw back at him was short and unforgiving. She didn’t want him to invade her bubble.

Mark smiled again and pointed at her bag. He leaned away unthreateningly. The gesture made her reluctantly reach up and pull out one of her earphones.

It’s my daughter’s birthday soon, I thought I might get her a bag, I wondered where you got yours.”

Covent Garden,” she said unhelpfully. She had taken him from one pigeonhole and put him into another equally as unflattering, and her reply was terse as she looked away quickly.

Thanks.”

He sat back in his seat and looked directly at the lead youth. He knew he had some advantages. As a careful man he was also unexcitable, rarely betraying his emotions. He knew how to convince someone he was more than he was. In more than one negotiation his ability to look someone in the eye and not cave in had worked in his favour.

He might be middle aged, and his joints might ache every morning and the man who could once run a hundred metres in well under eleven seconds may have perished but he knew that, despite his heightened awareness of his own vulnerability, on the outside he looked something else.

He thought of his daughter, the girl who had so valiantly claimed on his behalf that the running to fat was still muscle and had announced that the implacable version of his face that frightened her friends made her feel safe. She had only been half-joking and he had only been half-offended. He knew he looked stern even when he did not feel it.

So he stared back long enough to create uncertainty in the young men. He could see that they were wondering how this affected things. He looked at each in turn, for too long. In a bar it might have begun a fight, but he wanted them to know he had connected them, that he had recognised the reason for their sudden downturn in activity.

The first youth flexed his arms and shook his legs. It was a loosening, threatening gesture meant to convince Mark that he was in trouble.

Instead, Mark smiled and he saw the consternation on the opposing face. It was brinkmanship, no more no less. He hoped it was enough.

The train slowed for the next station. The girl stood and moved to the doors without looking anywhere but ahead, turned her back innocently on the scene. Mark stood with her. It was not his stop but he followed her anyway.

He passed within inches of the first youth. He was taller and wider than the youngster but he had dropped the smile, now was not the time for goading.

He saw the question on the face of one of the others waiting to be answered by the lead youth. They were unsure where this was going to go.

He watched for any sign of movement and, as he passed, he switched his gaze to their reflections in the blackened windows.

The youths watched him go and stayed on the train.

Mark sat on the platform and waited to resume his ride to work. He knew that what he had done was futile. He would not be there for the next victim they chose. Still, he felt he had been the best white knight a careful man could be.

Author bio:

wilsher 17 commandmentsThe Seventeen Commandments of Jimmy September is my third book and was intended as a departure from what had gone before as I still searched for my own style and voice. After years of struggling with my two earlier stories, with rewrite after rewrite as I tried to interest agents, self-publishing allowed me to get them out of my system and move on.

With that departure I found that I actually liked trying different genres. So much so that book four, finished and resting, is different again. Not necessarily a good idea as it makes marketing problematic and confusing for buyers. But then, the beauty of self-publishing is the first person you can please is yourself. Also, I’ve never been very good at working out who I’m writing for anyway, vaguely imagining a reader not unlike myself, which is probably a very small demographic.

Jimmy September was intended as a pure adventure story, very much like the kind of tales that started me writing in the first place, and written in a much shorter space of time than the first two. This has allowed me to be more productive and, apart from those mentioned above, I am also working on a series of books for teens.

On a personal note, I am married with two children and live a few minutes’ walk from the beach in Dorset, England. The bulk of my career was in Sales Management, but this was cut short by the recession and compounded by the need for a kidney transplant. I now work as a Data Manager in Clinical Research. I’ve been writing all my adult life with my career and my writing each suffering as a result of the other. It’s only recently that I’ve stopped pretending about a salaried career.

http://www.srwilsher.com/

https://twitter.com/SrWilsher

e.mail: info@srwilsher.com

Purchase Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK