*Top Reads of 2017*

Well I’ve done it! I’ve finally put together a list of my top reads of 2017. I read some fantastic books last year and it was certainly no easy task selecting my top reads. I intended to stick to a ‘Top Ten’ but it was just far too difficult! Here’s the list (16 in total), in no particular order. It contains a mix of genres:  romantic suspense (sometimes dark); erotica; thrillers, historical romance; erotic romance; sci-fi; post-apocalyptic; drama; black comedy;horror and humour. What they all have in common is a compulsive plot with characters whose story I became totally invested in. 

The Found: A Crow City Novel, by Cole McCadeDark and Deliciously Twisted… the contract killer Priest and Willow his captive, a tale which examines dark and disturbing themes including non consent, violence and sexual assault. …one of the darkest novels that I have read … Both the hero and the heroine are broken before they meet and their coming together is pyschologically intense and explosive… Priest is a dark and tortured anti-hero and throughout the read I was unsure if he could ever redeem himself as he is so damaged. Willow’s fate certainly hung in the balance and the read kept me guessing until the finale.

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Dirty Ugly Toy, by K Webster  ~ A Down and Dirty Dark Read. Brax, a wealthy billionaire, has a twisted side – taking girls from the street and transforming them into his ‘toy’ for 6 months before disposing of them… his modus operandi … it is brutal. … when Brax ‘rescues’ Jessica … it soon becomes apparent that she is like no other. She is not just the dirty, drug addicted whore she first appears to be… she also stands up to her tormentor, playing Brax at his own game. I was glued to my Kindle to see if Brax would break his addiction to his ‘toys’ or if Jessica would meet the same fate as the others…

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A Different Kind of Cosplay, by Lucy Felthouse ~ Role Playing Smutfest with a Superhero Twist! … If you have ever wondered what it would be like to get up close and personal with your fave superheroes then here’s your chance to find out in this fast and furious erotic read! Reese is certainly one lucky girl when Zach her estate agent partner, who is not usually an Avengers fan, takes her and her libido completely by surprise, when he proceeds to ravish her in a series of deliciously kinky and lust filled role playing scenes, the likes neither of them has ever encountered before…

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Payback: Viking Bastards MC #2, by Christina Phillips ~ Revenge is sweet… I just love novels with revenge as a theme, especially when combined with a sizzling plot. To Amelia it sounds easy – get a job working the bar in Odin’s, gain the owner Gage’s trust, find evidence of the illegal activities the Viking Bastards MC are involved in and then ensure the authorities know. She can then walk away knowing that payback is hers. Landing the job was easy but once she meets Gage, the owner, all bets are off with the rest of the plan. Not only is he smokin’ hot, but he will not take no for an answer and will break all his rules to have her…  The truth is a major deal for them both and it will take a strong relationship to survive. I enjoyed both their verbal and physical sparring and the scorching lovemaking scenes are down and very dirty.

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Reckless: Planet Alpha #15, by Lily Harlem ~ Sizzling Sci-Fi Ménage! … standalone erotic sci-fi romance… Aurora Zenitha… fleeing Earth to save her life and two hot blooded Alphans who are hell bent on making her theirs, even if she is an illegal alien…scorching scenes of ménage, voyeurism, self-pleasure and more… stowing away on an alien ship bound for Planet Alpha is not a safe option, especially when she is travelling with false papers and she has already attracted the attention of the ship’s captain…  The stakes are high and the sex is off the Richter scale… Aurora is the lucky recipient of some alien loving from Captain Ciro and Luc! Be sure to have plenty of iced drinks on hand as the read hits the spot again and again.

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The Passage of Desire: French Summer Prequel, by Laurette Long ~ Compelling and Flawlessly written…Juliet, Alexandra’s childhood friend invites her and her daughter Caroline to stay with her in her family home… Alexandra, whose husband is away on business, is going through a low point in her life but soon begins to bloom again and … begins to heal herself. The setting for the story, the wild and untamed Yorkshire moors, where emotions become freed and passions can often come to a head, is a metaphor for the tale itself… It touches on all which makes us human; the different stages of life; family dynamics; intimate relationships and unexpected desire. The book is … written, with insight and sensitivity as the events, which will have life-changing repercussions for some, unfold.

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Zenka, by Alison BrodieSheer brilliance … and a guarenteed pick me up… I just loved the pairing of the mild mannered and gentle nurse Nicholas and the fiery and unpredictable Zenka, the Hungarian pole dancer and friend of the gangster Jack. The novel contains madcap and side-splitting antics galore, contrasting starkly with a host of gory and violent scenes. The plot explores the very worst of the human condition – greed, deceit, violence and the abuse of trust, and also the very best – love , friendship , honour and loyalty. This dichotomy plays out in a deliciously devilish exposé that sweeps the reader and characters along into a vortex of black comedy and emotionally charged scenes.

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The Silver Wolf: A James Ryler Thriller, by Rob Sinclair ~ … high octane revenge thriller… revenge is the name of the game in this rip-roaring spy thriller… Ryker, a man tormented by his wife Lisa’s disappearance…his determination to make those who hurt her pay the ultimate price. Ryker’s quest for vengeance takes him from Mexico, to London and beyond as he becomes embroiled in a tangled web of illicit criminal activity and the covert work of government operatives, including his old colleagues at the Joint Intelligence Agency… all roads lead to the elusive Silver Wolf who appears to have not only played a pivotal role in Ryker’s recent past but the JIA’s current problems…There are scenes of blood and gore aplenty and a number of plot twists, including one major one which I did not see coming…

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Blair: Dark Romance, by Anita Grey ~Totally Amazing Dark Psychological Read…. an original plot line and in Blaire and Charlie the author has created a truly awesome couple – their relationship is complex and intense and the scenes between them range from deliciously dark to sweet. Blaire is one of the most kick-ass and lethal females I have come across of late yet she is so vulnerable. I wept for her as the plot unfolded and little by little we leared about her history… I ADORED Charlie – just what is his game? What hold does he have over Maskim? Can Charlie protect Blaire or is he just exploiting her too? Will Blaire overcome Maskim’s conditioning or is it too ingrained in her psyche? … I was fascinated with the psychology of the relationships in his book…

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A Scarlet Woman (The Fitzgeralds of Dublin #1), by Lorna PeelBewitching Victorian Romance… the lives of a fallen woman and an idealistic young doctor become unexpectedly intertwined after they meet in the most inauspicious of settings, a brothel. Their ensuing relationship challenges both their own future and society’s mores… I became totally immersed in Isobel and Will’s lives. Although at times it brought a tear to my eye, the book also contains some humorous scenes. A predominently sweet romance, it has some frank sex scenes (and) explores the double standards between men and women… (and) the differences between the lives of domestic servants and those ‘above stairs.’ I enjoyed how the author explored these themes and also how she delved into the underbelly of Dublin and the sexual preledictions common amongst all classes.

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Commodity, by Shay SavageBrutal and love affirming romantic suspense set in a post-apocalyptic world… only a few women have survived and as such have become little more than a commodity used in the worst possible way by those who covet power and influence. Prior to the apocalypse Hannah… was en route to give evidence in a major people trafficking trial… She had been assigned her own protector, Falk, a bodyguard… even though circumstances have changed and the world is no longer what it was, he is going to protect this woman come hell or high water… how far he will go to protect her and why becomes evident as the story unfolds… Their romance is far from instantaneous. Both characters have complex back stories … there are some horrific scenes of violence in the book (some of it sexual) and a number of twists in the tale, including one huge curveball – Shay Savage style!

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Death and Beauty, by Samantha McLeodSeductive and Spellbinding…beautifully written erotic novella which presents the reader with a highly original twist on one of my favourite tropes – Beauty and the Beast, this time delving deep into Norse mythology. Baldr the Beautiful awakes to find himself in the realm of the dead and is desperate to return to his life… He sets out to petition the terrifying half-skeletal Queen Hel with this in mind. However, the queen is not so easily persuaded and sets him the task of teaching her something new about the living word before she will grant him his wish… I  loved the verbal sparing and the growing sexual tension between them as Baldr strives to meet Queen Hel’s task… he has no knowledge to impart that she cannot already know about he embarks on the one thing that may just work – the seduction of Hel, which has unforeseen consequences for them both…

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Disenchanted, by Heide Goody and Iain Grant ~Magic and mayhem collide in riotous fairy tale romp. The premise of the novel – where the heroine very definitely does not want a HEA, despite the meddling of a host of formidable magical creatures … appealed to my sense of the perverse… I found the read to be a real tonic… Magical creatures really exist, although Ella the heroine would much rather they were not quite so fixated on controlling her life… Her efforts to resist the fate her fairy godmother and her associates have planned for her drive the plot forward and the conflict makes for some hilarious scenes as the authors expertly turned the usual HEA fairy tale tropes on their head… Ella veers from one adventure to another in her quest to avoid her prospective suitors at all costs and at the same time unravel issues from her family’s past. ..with an indomitable heroine and a series of larger than life characters, it’s a fast-paced, laugh-a-minute, feel good read, with some excellent one-liners.

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The Angel Alejandro, by Alistair Cross ~ A battle between good and evil in another modern Gothic masterpiece…blurs the lines between paranormal romance, urban fantasy and horror… When a handsome and mysterious stranger saves Madison O’Riley from a fatal fall, little does she realise that her life and that of the inhabitants of the town of Prominence will soon descend into the depths of the Twilight Zone… Madison and others start to realise that the amnesiac who calls himself Alejandro, has powers which defy comprehension… When the strange and compelling Gremory Jones and his associates arrive in town the book gets increasingly darker as Gremory’s intent becomes clear as he begins to ensnare the townspeople in his machinations. Add to the mix a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police, who is a recovering alcoholic, and the scene is set for a series of dastardly, dark and depraved scenes…chaos and carnage, with its inhabitants merely collateral damage in a battle between good and evil… the read also contains plenty of scenes of humour and romance giving relief from the ensuing horror.

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Alaska Wild, by Helena NewburySexy Romantic Suspense with a whole lot of sass. I LOVED this read…which pairs Kate, a dedicated FBI agent and Mason, a wanted criminal, an ex-Navy SEAL. When their paths literally collide and the plane they are in crashes in the wilderness, Kate finds that her survival depends on this man whose military record has been tainted and who is due to be court marshalled. Can she trust him to return her to the safety of civilization when his return there will lead to his capture and incarceration in prison? Is he innocent or guilty? The attraction between them sizzles off the page…Kate and Mason soon find that they are involved in a desperate fight to survive in the wilderness. Will they survive? Can Kate trust Mason?… the true danger comes from those that are hunting them, men who would prefer that they had not survived the plane crash.There are many superb and thrilling action scenes and vivid descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness. I was totally transported there by the power of the author’s writing.

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Dark Horse (Class 5 #1, by Michelle DienerSuperb…works as a standalone read… an original and suspenseful premise and plot… with strong characterisations and world building….Rose has been abducted… and has been held on an alien ship where she has been treated abominably by her over inquisitive alien captors, the Tecran… Sazo, an artificial intelligence has taken steps to prevent it happening again … most of the Tecran crew on her vessel are dead and Rose must escape the ship to survive…but is then taken by the Grih, headed by Captain Dav Jallan….Dav would like to trust this human called Rose but fears that she is not being entirely truthful about her part in the Tecran’s demise…(and risks)…putting the fate of his people and the other races in the alliance in danger? (Rose’s) safety could well be compromised if and when she is compelled to reveal what she knows. The fate of Sazo, the AI is closely linked to the couple’s future and the story develops in an unexpected way. An original read and highly recommended.

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*REVIEW* – The Angel Alejandro, by Alistair Cross

#urbanfantasy #paranormal #horror #romance

Adult Read

taa

Book Blurb 

A Man without a Past

After a near-fatal accident, Madison O’Riley is faced with an astonishing problem: What to do with the man who saved her life. Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro … and he has no memory of his past. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes he harbors deep – and otherworldly – secrets that will shatter her understanding of reality … secrets that may put her in grave danger.

The Devil in the Details

And now, there’s another stranger in town. Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a small price, he’s willing to make a deal. By day, he walks the streets of Prominence in top hat and trench coat, tempting the citizens with nefarious wares from his shiny black briefcase. By night, he and his legion of insatiable acolytes corrupt the locals at Club Mephistopheles, a den of unholy delights housed in an abandoned church.

The Battle has Begun …

The townspeople are changing in outrageous and appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …

My Review ~ A battle between good and evil in another modern Gothic masterpiece ~5 Stars *TOP READ*

Alistair Cross once again excels himself with another of his modern Gothic masterpieces, this time set in the seemingly sleepy town of Prominence in California. I am a real sucker for books pitting angels against demons, as I just love tales of good versus evil. I therefore jumped at the chance to review the author’s latest novel The Angel Alejandro, which blurs the lines between paranormal romance, urban fantasy and horror and is an absolute delight for fans of these genres. Once more, as someone who is familiar with the author’s work, having read The Ghosts of Ravenscrest and Mother, which he co-wrote with Tamara Thorne and his novel The Crimson Corset I just knew I was in for a real treat!

When a handsome and mysterious stranger saves Madison O’Riley from a fatal fall, little does she realise that her life and that of the inhabitants of the town of Prominence will soon descend into the depths of the Twilight Zone. It is not long before Madison and others start to realise that the amnesiac who calls himself Alejandro, has powers which defy comprehension…

When the strange and compelling Gremory Jones and his associates arrive in town the book gets increasingly darker as Gremory’s intent becomes clear as he begins to ensnare the townspeople in his machinations. Add to the mix a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police, who is a recovering alcoholic, and the scene is set for a series of dastardly, dark and depraved scenes. The town succumbs to chaos and carnage, with its inhabitants merely collateral damage in a battle between good and evil. Rest assured though the read also contains plenty of scenes of humour and romance giving relief from the ensuing horror!

I just LOVED this thoroughly gripping and entertaining read and I was on pins waiting to discover if Alejandro would remember his true nature and protect himself, the town and the woman he is growing to love before it is too late.

The author’s characterisations are brutally honest, insightful and full of dark humour as he explores the human condition, lifting the lid on the private desires and personal hang-ups of the characters. The romance between Madison and Alejandro is a sweet one and due to Alejando’s innocent disposition there are plenty of scenes where the author exploits this for comedic value. The new Police Chief Nick Grayson, who has come to Prominence to make a new start and to clean up his act, certainly has his work cut out with the temptations and increasing body count that the town throws at him from day one of his arrival! I enjoyed the pivotal part he plays in the emerging plot.

If you are already familiar with his author and/or you enjoy the work of Steven King and the cinematic genius of David Lynch you will savour this read as much as I did. Highly recommended!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33951905-the-angel-alejandro

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://alistaircross.com/

https://twitter.com/CrossAlistair

https://www.facebook.com/crossalistair

**Author Interviews** ~ Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross

Regular readers of this blog know that Caroline, my BFF and co-blogger, and I love to read a variety of genres. Both of us have a penchant for dark and psychological reads. Since reading The Ghosts of Ravencrest (an erotic Gothic horror par excellence), by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross I have become a HUGE fan of their work.

Either writing alone or in partnership their work includes the paranormal, horror and dark, psychological thrillers such as their current collaboration Mother. Their writing, which can be downright S-C-A-R-Y, is often shocking and infused with dark humour, but is always a rollicking good read  and I love the devilish plot twists these authors inflict on their readers!

I was delighted at the chance of interviewing this writing duo and I hope that you find their candid responses to my questions as fascinating as I did. Tina ❤

Mother cover

1. Can you share with our readers a little about yourselves and your writing careers?

Tamara and Alistair both began writing around age eight  – both loved ghost stories most of all – and both wanted to be writers when they grew up. Tamara has been in print since 1991 and Alistair since 2012.

2. I understand that you have been collaborating since 2012, and have written, amongst other works, The Cliffhouse Haunting and The Ghosts of Ravencrest, the first book in The Ravenscrest Saga. How did you begin working together and what special elements do you each think the other brings to the partnership that distinguishes the works of Thorne and Cross?

Alistair became a fan of Tamara’s work in the 90s, and when social media sites like Facebook came along and made it easy to connect to others, he looked her up. Having just been published for the first time, Alistair was doing author interviews on his blog as a way of meeting other writers. Tamara was one of the first people he asked. We became fast friends and were brainstorming ideas for new books before we’d even conceived of the idea to officially write together. It flowed very naturally – it was simply meant to be. We soon found that our writing style – as well as our personal and professional ethics – was so remarkably similar that continuing on the path together was simply the instinctual thing to do. Alistair brings an intense work ethic to our virtual office while Tamara brings jolly good fun. We need each other for balance. And hard work. And fun

3. Why do you think there is such an appetite for horror and psychological thrillers amongst readers? TamaraWhat is it within the human psyche that craves such stories?

People crave (safe) danger. Danger fascinates us, but things like scary movies, horror novels, and roller coasters are a way of facing our fears without risking our lives. These things force us to explore those uncharted parts of ourselves which can teach us proper response in the face of real danger. It’s a survival mechanism. Avoidance of fear is fatal, and the human psyche understands this. Thus, it draws us toward the things that frighten us. Plus, scary books are just awesome. 

4. The flipside of this – why do you both enjoy writing in these genres?

Horror is a release from the everyday. Neither of us watches the news – real horror is too depressing. But fictional horror and suspense provides a rush akin to amusement park thrill rides. Fiction, by its very nature is escapist and, to us, there’s nothing better than a toe-curler to escape reality for a little while. We are especially partial to suspense and supernatural horror because ghosts, vampires, and assorted elementals are literary equivalents to a carnival where we can find lots of thrills and chills. In Mother, our heroine, Claire, starts with a turn on the merry-go-round, then soon ends up on a scary roller coaster and finally enters the dark ride, which is too frightening to be fun for her.

5. You must have both been asked this question in many forms before – but do you base any elements of your characters on anyone you know or are they purely fuelled by your imaginations?

AlistairEvery character is imaginary; it would be no fun for us to plunk down living people in our books! That said, we are the products of our lives and experiences. Everything around us, from sights, sounds, and tastes, to hoarders, psychopaths and ghosts are inspired by lifetimes of observation and experience.

  1. 6. Would you both like to tell us something about your latest release, Mother?

Mother is a psychological thriller in the vein of Psycho and Misery, with a pinch of Peyton Place and a dash of Gaslight. It concerns a young, expectant couple, Claire and Jason Holbrook, who’ve fallen on hard times, forcing them to move in with Claire’s estranged mother. Claire vowed to have no contact with the overbearing woman ever again, but Mother is thrilled at the prospect of a grandchild. At Mother’s, Claire and Jason begin experiencing things that make them determined to leave immediately … but when a cruel twist of fate makes leaving impossible, Claire becomes obsessed with her mother’s motives. Fantasy and fact blur together as her compulsion consumes her, and Jason wonders who the villain really is. When a cache of macabre family secrets is uncovered, Claire and Jason find the answers they’re looking for – answers that will change them forever … assuming anyone can get out of Mother’s house alive.

7.  Did you have to carry out any research into the issues explored in Mother, before writing the novel?

All books require research. Mother’s research was relatively easy compared to other books. It consisted primarily of a brush-up on sociopathic and narcissistic behaviors. We also researched topics like hoarding, epilepsy, flight schools, Catholic funerals, and ugly furniture from the 1970s and 80s. When we write books that include science or a good deal real history that must be woven into our fictional characters’ lives, as in our Ravencrest novels, the research is far more intensive. All fiction must have its roots in reality to keep it believable.

8.  I am delighted to learn that you host a horror themed internet radio show, Thorne and Cross Haunted Nights LIVE! What have been some of your favourite moments on the show to date?

There have been many great moments. We loved hearing The Walking Dead author Jay Bonansinga tell us his thoughts on why zombies are so popular, and Charlaine Harris’ stories about about being recognized in public were hilarious. We were laughing out loud when Christopher Rice told us what it was like for him to read his mom’s (Anne Rice) Sleeping Beauty series. Chet Williamson’s reading from his novel Psycho: Sanitarium gave us chills. Chatting about twisted family dynamics with Andrew Neiderman, who also authors the V.C. Andrews book series, was fascinating, and talking with Laurell K. Hamilton about vampires was a lot of fun. Those are just a few of our favorite moments. 

Mother teaser

9. Are there any collaborative projects in the pipeline that you are able to share?

As always, we’re working on the continuing Ravencrest Saga and have just released the second serialized installment titled, Dead of the Night. We are also working on a sequel to Tamara’s vampire novel, Candle Bay, which also serves as a continuation of Alistair’s The Crimson Corset. The Darling family of Candle Bay made appearances in Corset and that set the course for Candle Bay II – we decided we had to get our vamps together in a serious way. As soon as Candle Bay’s sequel is complete, we will begin work on the second book in our Trilogy of Terror. Mother was the first. The second is unrelated to Mother as far as characters are concerned, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see Father Andy show up, assuming we set the next book in Snapdragon, where Mother takes place. The Trilogy of Terror is made up of three psychological suspense novels that are more about human monsters than supernatural ones. On the side, we’re also both knee-deep in a pair of solo novels.

10. Have you a message to readers, or to writers who are thinking of branching out into penning horror/psychological thrillers?

We always say that the most important thing is to write what you love. If you love what you’ve written, others will too. Also, writing requires dedication and discipline. It’s easy to tell yourself you don’t have time to write, but if you want to be a serious writer, you have to create time.

 

**ARC REVIEW** ~ Mother, by Alistair Cross and Tamara Thorne

Psychological Thriller

Mother

Book Blurb

A Girl’s Worst Nightmare is Her Mother …
Priscilla Martin. She’s the diva of Morning Glory Circle and a driving force in the quaint California town of Snapdragon. Overseer of garage sales and neighborhood Christmas decorations, she is widely admired. But few people know the real woman behind the perfectly coiffed hair and Opium perfume.

Family is Forever. And Ever and Ever …
No one escapes Prissy’s watchful eye. No one that is, except her son, who committed suicide many years ago, and her daughter, Claire, who left home more than a decade past and hasn’t spoken to her since. But now, Priscilla’s daughter and son-in-law have fallen on hard times. Expecting their first child, the couple is forced to move back … And Prissy is there to welcome them home with open arms … and to reclaim her broken family.

The Past Isn’t Always as Bad as You Remember.
Sometimes it’s Worse …
Claire has terrible memories of her mother, but now it seems Priscilla has mended her ways. When a cache of vile family secrets is uncovered, Claire struggles to determine fact from fiction, and her husband, Jason, begins to wonder who the monster really is. Lives are in danger – and Claire and Jason must face a horrifying truth … a truth that may destroy them … and will forever change their definition of “Mother.”

My Review (Five stars *****)

Dark and Enthralling

Mother is a superbly crafted and enthralling psychological thriller which has emerged from the writing partnership of Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross. For me, the novel has strong echoes of David Lynch and Stephen King: there are a myriad of secrets and dark deeds which go on behind the immediate visual landscape, complemented by a host of quirky yet intense characterisations and a devilishly twisted plot. The read also contains some very dark humour.

The words sociopath, narcissist and even monster fail to adequately describe Prissy Martin, the ‘Mother’ of the title. She is one evil package of destructive, controlling, self-serving and remorseless desires who will let no one get in her way. Indeed, this monster’s tentacles reach far and wide…..

It is into this that Claire, her estranged daughter, pregnant with her first child, reluctantly returns, accompanied by her husband Jason, the couple having fallen on hard times. Surely Mother is not as bad as Claire’s memories indicate? Indeed, at first Prissy appears to do all she can to make them feel welcome, but it is not long before they too become prey to her nefarious designs and her need to control all around her. Their marriage, health and Claire’s sanity is soon under threat as Mother reverts to form.

Mother has her own special plans (exactly what we are not made privy to until the novel reaches its conclusion) and will not be thwarted….. Family secrets, lies and the past intertwine to create a read where, with each turn of the page, my heart beat ever faster as the evil intent reveals itself as we approach the novel’s shocking denouement. Madness threatens to consume Claire and her mother Prissy and it is uncertain who will be the victor.

The novel contains some truly superb characterisations, not just Prissy herself but also the unfortunate Claire, the unsuspecting Jason, Barb, Prissy’s long-suffering neighbour and friend and Fathers Pike and Flanagan, the current and former local priests. The residents of Morning Glory Circle each have their own secrets and there are many surprises in store as they are slowly revealed.

I was open mouthed as the plot unfolded. This deeply psychological novel contains truly appalling revelations, and is certainly not for the faint of heart. If you are looking for an unforgettable and heart stopping read that explores the depths of human depravity then this is the book for you. An unforgettable read by a writing duo that are at he top of their game.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Connect with the Authors

http://www.tamarathorne.com/

http://alistaircross.com/

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29866355-mother

*Review Round-Up* Nov & Dec 2015

Hi readers, it has been a while since our last Review Round-Up, and so I do hope that you are all well and had a fantastic Christmas Holiday!

Although I have been reading a great deal, with a house move to the coast over the Christmas period, and having a short time without Wi-Fi it has taken me a little longer to write and publish blog posts. I have, however, been enjoying Scarborough (UK) life with walks along the coast, up the cliffs and around the castle remains, as well as visiting author Anne Brontes grave! Meanwhile, Tina has held up the fort like a true warrior with the amount of reviews she has posted, as well as assisting a local Lit Fest! Thanks, Tina ❤

We have quite a mix of genres from the end of 2015 to share with you, from dystopian sci-fi fantasies, to erotic paranormal romances, historical romances and a mystery chick-lit! Amongst them is also a gritty, Scottish crime thriller, Blue Wicked by Alan Jones, which we are currently running a giveaway on. (For more info on this, please click the title.)

As always, please click on the titles to view our full reviews and more!

Although a little later than usual we wish you all a Happy New Year x

Caroline & Tina 🙂

Peter WellsThe Man Who Missed the Boat by Peter Wells, contemporary drama (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: It should have been an ordinary Saturday morning. A short walk down his street to give a piano lesson at the home of a family he knew well. As it turned out, he knew them rather better than was good for him. How much trouble can a well-intentioned piano teacher land in? Simon Baxter discovers that being “well-meaning” is sometimes not enough to protect you from the chaos in other people’s lives. Even an excessive sense of “good manners” can be disastrous in the wrong circumstances. Under pressure the unorganised desires kept strictly deep inside us can surface and bring chaos to the lives of ourselves and anyone near us. Will our untrained hero make it safely across the river of life or, like so many of us, get swept up by the current of events towards an unplanned adventure? In the sudden change from “Not being loved enough” to “Being loved too much, and by more than one women,” Simon finds out more about himself than he would like. Can he choose wisely, and live with the consequences? In this, his second novel, Peter Wells continues to cast his gentle but penetrating light on those foibles and weaknesses which lie beneath the exterior of the apparently most ordered lives. Those hidden character traits which can, in the right circumstances, surface and toss their owner, and anyone around him or her, most unpleasantly.

Point vmpThe Point of Evil, Point Vamp: Book Four by Victoria Bliss, erotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Blood and sex were all he ever wanted until love gave him something worth living an eternity for.

Steve—who had been a womanizer in life and was even more so in death—prowls the Point using his vampiric wiles to get the blood and sex he craves. He’s always looking for his next meal and when he sees a tall, curvy beauty with a red scarf around her neck, he thinks he’s found it.

Eloise is different—she’s shy and needs encouragement, and Steve just can’t get her out of his mind. He has to take his time, get to know her and slowly seduce her. When she disappears, leaving only a note begging him not to pursue her further, he can’t help himself and ends up in the service of George Aquino, a vampire crime boss with a penchant for twisted and cruel torture and a dungeon full of prisoners.

A daring rescue, a difficult choice and love against the odds. Do you dare visit the point of evil?

The Point Vamp series

What is The Point? It is the hottest club in town for both Vampires and humans alike. It has a large dance floor and a bar like any other club but once you disappear behind the VIP only door you find out what makes The Point so unique. Sex, blood and lust all behind closed doors and only accessed by the chosen ones.

Now, you become a chosen one and get to see the sexy world behind that door.

Welcome to The Point.

Dariana30 Days by JA Heron, erotic thriller (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Dariana Walsh is the daughter of a ruthless gangster and heir to his empire. Not only does she feel trapped, but she has many questions about numerous incidents that have happened in her life so far. Particularly, what happened to her mother? Her father sees her as his little girl, but she longs to be treated like an adult. He wants to shape her, to become more like him, but she resists, the only way she knows how…

One of Wilson Walsh’s men – Chas – is not who he seems. He was sent to infiltrate, earn trust and walk away with Wilson’s most treasured possession, his daughter. He has a plan to take down the most unrelenting man to walk the streets of East London.
Over the next thirty days, blood is shed, friendships are formed and amongst all of the pain and suffering, surprisingly, love blossoms.

In a sea of betrayal and violence… time and love know no bounds.

***Contains strong sexual and violent scenes ~ over 18’s only. There are strong, dark scenes in this book if you do not wish to read about violence, sexual violence or child abuse, then please do not buy this book***

Treagar's redemption coverTraegar’s Redemption (Woodland Creek) by Isobelle Cate, sci-fi paranormal time-travel romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Marcus Theodoric Treagar is a sabretooth with a curse that has him traveling through time, leaving a trail of dead bodies. Not only that, but as soon as he falls in love, he is wrenched away from that period and returned to 16th century Venice. To save the last remaining piece of his heart, he refuses to become involved again.

Until Paisley Halleran.

As the daughter of the shifter chronicler, Paisley Halleran knows that magick and the paranormal abound in Woodland Creek. With her adopted brother, Virgil Rowtag, they fight for every shifter’s rights in the area. When Paisley comes face to face with Marcus, who has been arrested for a murder he does not remember committing, she believes he is innocent. Marcus, on the other hand, knows he has finally found the woman truly meant for him.
However, not everything is cut and dried. Paisley unearths tragic secrets and lies that link her to Marcus. Not only will it show her whether Marcus is truly innocent or guilty of the murders in Woodland Creek, it will also spell the difference between staying with Marcus because she wants to, or letting him go because she has no choice. 

NaliniShield of Winter (Psy-Changeling #13) by Nalini Singh, sci-fi fantasy paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch – if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake . . .

Having rebuilt her life after medical ‘treatment’ that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption.

But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness . . .

RavenscrestThe Ghosts of Ravencrest (The Ravencrest Saga #1) by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross, modern gothic, erotic horror, paranormal (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Darkness Never Dies …
Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California in the early 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood, below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold …
Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell in Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants – the ones who walk the darkened halls by night … the ones who enter her dreams … the ones who are watching … and waiting …

Welcome to Ravencrest …
Who is the man digging in the garden beyond Belinda’s bedroom window? Who – or what – is watching her from the vents? From ghostly screams and the clutching bony fingers of death in the indoor pool, to the trio of gliding nuns in the east wing who come at Belinda with black blazing eyes, to the beckoning little girl in the red dress who died more than two centuries ago, Belinda is thrust into a world of waking nightmares where there is no distinction between the living and the dead, and there are no limits to the horrors that await. Witchcraft is afoot at Ravencrest and as unspeakable terrors begin to unfold, Belinda realizes that her beautiful new home is a keeper of tragedy, a collector of souls. And it wants to add her to its collection …

Windward Secrets CoverWindward Secrets by K.A. Davis, paranormal horror suspense, mystery, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: At just over 67,700 words Windward Secrets is a fast paced mystery laced  with humour, suspense, and a touch of the paranormal that will make the reader gasp at times, and soften their hearts at other times.

When Claire McPherson booked Windward Cottage, for the annual reunion with three college friends, her biggest concern was whether they would like the weather-beaten, old Victorian on Cape Cod. Claire, Diane, Jill, and Caroline are in for more than a little Right and R. Windward Cottage has its own special powers of seduction. After 35 years of friendship they thought they knew everything about each other, but the old house draws confessions out of each and leads them unwillingly into a 50yearold mystery.

What was planned to be a vacation filled with fun, food, and reminiscing turns into one that will change their lives forever. Who or what is trying to frighten them? Only one woman’s stubborn determination keeps them at Windward Cottage when common sense tells them to leave. Fear, danger, and unexplained events connect the four women to each other and to Windward Cottage. Three of the women find their futures, and one finds her past.

Readers will recognize someone they know in every character as Windward Secrets heightens their awareness of the heinous crime of human trafficking.

Dream AlchemyDream Alchemy (Life and Shadow Series) by Nicholas Boyd Crutchley, dystopian sci-fi fantasy (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A warrior battles hydra.

The Blood Plague liquefies eyes.

A rapper rails against Earth’s ecological ruin.

From the pitch Abyss, Chaos corrupts our dreams. 

On stealing the dreams of an old warrior and priestess, Chaos discovers them to be essential ingredients for his dream alchemy. With their souls the dark god can control Sol, Dragonland’s angelic ruler, and release his wanton daughter, Babalon, from Hell. If the devil queen returns and swallows the angel’s soul, the veil separating reality from the pitch Abyss will tear, and Chaos will pour forth and warp reality. Can Sol defeat Chaos? Or will Babalon’s poison kiss seduce him?

Through the psiqnet, a network of human minds and quantum artificial intelligences (QAIs), consumers shop Earth towards ecological ruin. The preachers of Gaia, ecoterrorists woven within the system, seek to bring economic and ecological harmony through Gaia QAI. Yet as Gaia begins to infect other QAIs with compassion, the Blood Plague rises, intent on exterminating humankind.

What force connects Dragonland and Earth?

The Life & Shadow Series explores how genetic engineering, synthetic biology and nanotechnology will impact humankind and Earth’s ecology. More specifically, themes include the outcome of human minds interfacing with artificial intelligences, the long-term effect of humankind on natural ecosystems, and compassion in society.

goddessGoddess by Kelee Morris, contemporary, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Wife, mother, PTA president… Sex Goddess?

For Julia Nelson, it was only a faded tattoo, almost forgotten, like the sex-charged dreams that inspired it some 20 years ago.

For renowned, rugged-sexy archaeologist Dr. Ashland Stewart, it was his greatest discovery, the sacred emblem of an ancient goddess culture.

Two symbols, eons apart, yet exact duplicates. It must be a coincidence. But when Julia and Ashland meet, their connection is instantaneous, powerful, erotic.

Julia’s suburban life is safe and comfortable. She has everything to lose.

Ashland’s world is remote archaeological digs and flings with younger women. He’s sexually free but emotionally guarded.

Ashland awakens Julia’s long buried inner goddess with breath-taking passion and insatiable desire.

But their sexual adventure becomes increasingly perilous as their emotional barriers crumble. Will Julia risk falling in love and soaring to new heights, or will she return to her earthbound responsibility to her family? 

BlueWicked_Dark_300DPIBlue Wicked by Alan Jones, crime thriller, drama (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: ‘Blue Wicked’ is a gritty thriller set in the south side of Glasgow. Eddie Henderson finds himself as the unlikely investigator with information that there’s a serial killer targeting the substance dependent underclass who inhabit the notorious Glasgow housing estates. The police force ignore his warnings but one young detective believes him and she helps him search for the truth, despite putting her own career at risk. Their desperate search for the truth on their own proves Eddie right and sparks off a massive manhunt, with Eddie and Catherine, the young detective, at the forefront of the investigation. The book contains a fair bit of strong language and Glasgow dialect, and has some very violent passages.

kris tuallaA Discreet Gentleman of Discovery (The Discreet Gentleman Series #1) by Kris Tualla, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Brander Hansen lost his hearing at age seven, his inheritance at twenty-three. Furious at his father’s betrayal, Brander leaves home to make his way as Lord Olsen, a ‘discreet gentleman of discovery’ in 1721 Christiania, Norway. He intends to gain his own estate and begins buying the debt markers on Kildahlshus.

Baroness Regin Kildahl’s husband has gambled away her estate and sunk to more dangerous habits. She writes to Lord Olsen soliciting his help saving both her husband and her home. When her husband dies, Regin offers herself and her title to anyone who will redeem his gambling debts, unaware of Brander’s plan and circumventing his efforts.

The Hansen heir accepts her offer and hires Lord Olsen to deliver his bride. Brander’s choices are clear: give the widow and her estate to his younger brother, or claim them both as his own. But who would accept a deaf husband?

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

Blurb: Lachlan Ethelred Mackenzie looks like an ordinary sexy university professor, but for over a millennium, he’s been one of a number of his kind trying to steer humanity towards the heavens. But humans are slow and stubborn.

It’s been a long slow journey since the spaceship from Vampyras experienced technical difficulty near Earth in 1006 and the Vampyrs had to abandon ship, and learn to survive on a planet filled with primitive beings.

It’s now 2061, and humanity is heading to Mars – perhaps now the Vampyrs can research space folding technology away from prying human eyes.

Psychologist, Doctor Kate Maxwell is excited about going to Mars—except for one thing – she’s terrified of the journey. A space accident when she was twelve has left her with PTSD and a fear of space travel. But when the handsome Professor, Lachlan Mackenzie becomes her cabin mate she finds herself falling for him all too easily. But why is he so reticent? He’s cute, single and seems altogether perfect.

Things are getting complicated for Lachlan. He’s falling for the sexy red-headed psychologist, his long-lost daughter is on board the spaceship to Mars and she has no clue what or who he is and it seems that the leader of the Vampyr council is plotting something. Lachlan has too many secrets and too many problems. And Kate is the only thing he wants. Can he keep his hands and his fangs away from her? Does he want to? And what will happen if she discovers his secret?

All hell is about to break loose.

This book contains scenes of an adult nature.

Sex Snow and MistletoeSex, Snow and Mistletoe (short story) by Laura Barnard, contemporary, festive holiday romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Melinda is already having a crappy Christmas. Forced to attend some snotty bitch’s wedding is not the way to start out the holidays. But when a car crash pushes her into the path of a handsome stranger she’s glad to follow his snowy, sexy and seductive path. But is he too good to be true? And will she make it to the wedding before her best friend loses her mind with worry?

Please note this is a short story of 10k words.

MirandaMiranda’s Dilemma (Fashionably Impure #1) by Natasha Blackthorne, erotic, regency, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Poised to become Mayfair’s most expensive and exclusive courtesan, Miss Miranda Jones finds her rise inexplicably blocked by a socially powerful nobleman. Scorned by her ducal father and determined to attain everything that life has denied her due to an accident of birth, she’s not about to let this arrogant earl stop her.

Adrian Sutherland, the Earl of Danvers, saw his father destroyed by a heartless, predatory courtesan. He has no time or patience for such exotic, expensive ladybirds. He’s far too busy restoring his family’s wealth and reputation whilst doing what he can to protect his friends from the clutches of all the scheming courtesans of London.

Then a moment of compassion turns intense dislike to breathless passion, and these two strong-willed, fiercely proud people are compelled to indulge in a brief affair. Each is convinced that they can satisfy their craving for the other without emotional risk.

But neither realizes that a little dalliance can be a dangerous thing.

Reader Advisory: This is an erotic historical romance and it contains frank sexual language and period appropriate sexual slang, frequent sexual scenes and descriptions and general bedchamber naughtiness. The characters discuss abuse issues from their backstories during the course of their developing relationship. For Adults 18 & Over Only.

Men of the BorderlandsThe Men of the Border Lands Collection, Volume 1 (Ménage Everlasting) by Marla Monroe, erotic, futuristic ménage à trois romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: (This collection includes three books from the Men of the Border Lands series, nearly 110k words total). MFM, erotic romance.

In Belonging to Them, while escaping slavery in the Border Lands, Heather hides in a trailer belonging to brothers Brandon and Bolton. They take her to their farm and prove they won’t harm her. Bolton quickly falls in love, but Brandon pulls away. After a wolf attack almost takes her from them, Brandon must realize he could lose the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

In A Home with Them, fed up with the reluctant men who have cared for her for five years, Jessie takes matters into her own hands. Wyatt and Kent worry that their kind of love isn’t what Jessie needs, but a tough life out in the Border Lands and a kidnapping show the men that Jessie belongs with them.

In Their Border Lands Temptress, after the year of catastrophes, Ronnie jumps at an offer of protection from a lifelong friend. When the safety becomes abuse, she runs. Brice and Garrett know she needs a man to protect her, and they are hell-bent to help her. When danger shows up at their door, Ronnie must decide if she’s ready for them to be more than lovers or if she’s too scared to let them into her heart.

The Border Lands are a dangerous place, but love and passion are often the keys to surviving.

** A Siren Erotic Romance

HMFHold Me Until Forever (Grayson Brothers #3) by Christina Phillips, erotic contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: She’s the only one he wants…and the one he can never have

Ella Clark has been in love with Alex Grayson forever. She’s tired of being invisible—or worse, being treated like his kid sister. If she can just get him to drop his iron-fisted control for two seconds, she’ll prove she knows exactly how to blow his mind.

Alex has been fighting his attraction to Ella since her should-have-been-innocent sweet sixteen kiss burned down his world. He’s damaged, and there’s no way he’ll ever drag her into his screwed up life. Until she offers him something he’s always craved—steamy, no-strings sex inside his exclusive BDSM club. Where she’ll be safe from the darkness that haunts him.

Except there’s nothing safe about being with Ella, and the more she gives, the harder it is to let her go. If he stays, he risks everything, but how can he walk away from the only woman he’s ever needed?

**REVIEW** ~ The Ghosts of Ravencrest (The Ravencrest Saga Book 1), by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross

Modern Gothic

#Erotica #Horror #Paranormal

Adult/18+ Read

This is another lust filled and downright scary read from the pens of these two very talented authors! Prepare to be titillated and spooked as Ravencrest’s new governess finds that she is at the centre of a battle between good and evil which has been going on for centuries. Tina 🙂

Ravenscrest

Book Blurb

Darkness Never Dies …
Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California in the early 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood, below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold …
Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell in Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants – the ones who walk the darkened halls by night … the ones who enter her dreams … the ones who are watching … and waiting …

Welcome to Ravencrest …
Who is the man digging in the garden beyond Belinda’s bedroom window? Who – or what – is watching her from the vents? From ghostly screams and the clutching bony fingers of death in the indoor pool, to the trio of gliding nuns in the east wing who come at Belinda with black blazing eyes, to the beckoning little girl in the red dress who died more than two centuries ago, Belinda is thrust into a world of waking nightmares where there is no distinction between the living and the dead, and there are no limits to the horrors that await. Witchcraft is afoot at Ravencrest and as unspeakable terrors begin to unfold, Belinda realizes that her beautiful new home is a keeper of tragedy, a collector of souls. And it wants to add her to its collection …

My Review 5 Stars!

Modern Gothic Erotica par excellence!

In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, the first book in The Ravencrest saga, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have once agian excelled themselves with a super modern take on the gothic novel. The read combines toe-curling scenes of erotica with a ghostly goings on in a plot with an increasing sense of terror and mayhem, sprinkled with some irreverent humour. At the centre of the tale is the unsuspecting ingenue Belinda, the new governess at the mysterious Ravencrest Manor, who risks losing her innocence and her sanity as she unwittingly attracts the interest of the manor’s occupants, the living and the dead, with what threatens to be devastating consequences……

Ravencrest is no ordinary residence: the very fabric of the building was transported piece by piece from England, along with  the many secrets and memories from its bloody history, that still resonate today. The ghosts and spirits of the past not only reach out to Belinda in erotic dreams and terrifying nightmares but also as she goes about her duties working for the handsome and enigmatic widower Eric Manning. It seems that Belinda is a VERY special young woman, a fact that has enraged the evil adversary in the form of the uber controlling bitch that is Miss Heller, the manor’s administator and dominatrix!

I was totally absorbed by the depth and breadth of the plot and the characerisations of the manor’s current and former occupants – Miss Heller and Grant Phister, in particular. One minute I was titillated by the erotic scenes experienced by Belinda and others (cue medical play and BDSM) and the next I was on the edge of my seat reading about witchcraft, hauntings and  horror, before being  entertained by scenes of romance and humour. The character of Belinda grows in strength as the novel progresses and her importance in the interplay between good and evil becomes clearer  as the secrets of the manor and its occupants begin to reveal themselves.

The novel, book 1 in The Ravencrest saga, builds up to a terrifying crescendo and reaches a conclusion which satifies one of the issues at play, working well as a standalone. However, there are still many unresolved questions to answer about Belinda and the occupants of the manor, which I am looking forward to reading about in future instalments.

To sum up: a superb modern gothic which will delight readers of the genre. Indeed, the novels that these two authors are writing individually and together about the dark side of sunny California are truly inpired and I encourage you to find out more!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

If you would like to read my review of Alistair Cross’ The Crimson Corset, (the Vampires of Crimson Cove), which I read earlier this year, click on the title.

Connect with the Authors

http://www.tamarathorne.com/

http://alistaircross.com/

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

 

 

**REVIEW** ~ The Crimson Corset: The Vampires of Crimson Cove, by Alistair Cross

Modern Gothic Horror/Paranormal 

Bloody AMAZING!

Do yourself a HUGE favour – if you only read ONE horror/vampire themed book this year then make sure that it is this one! I first read Alistair Cross when I reviewed. Darker Shadows: The Ghosts of Ravencrest book 1, his collaborative work with Tamara Thorne, a Gothic erotica which let me salivating for more. In The Crimson Corset Alistair has excelled himself with a tale that not only has a lot of bite but also plays with the readers’ emotions, in one scary, bloody and lust filled ride! Scroll down to read the book blurb and my review in full. Tina ❤

Crimson cove

Blurb

Welcome to Crimson Cove

Sheltered by ancient redwoods overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.

When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.

Darkness at the Edge of Town

Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.

Blood Wars

The streets are running red with blood, and as violence and murder ravage the night, Cade must face the darkest forces inside himself, and perhaps even abandon his own humanity, in order to protect what he loves.

“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”
– Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID

“This drop-deadly tale of seduction and terror will leave you begging to be fanged … ”
– Tamara Thorne, international bestselling author of HAUNTED and MOONFALL

“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s got more hooks than a day boat out of San Pedro Harbor!”
– QL Pearce, bestselling author of SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEP-OVERS

My Review

Bloody AMAZING! FIVE FANGS! *****

Do yourself a HUGE favour – if you only read ONE horror/vampire themed book this year then be sure to make it The Crimson Corset by Alistair Cross.  Horror lovers will adore its unashamed gore and graveyard humour and it has plenty of romance to satisfy paranormal romance fans who fancy a darker, Gothic inspired read!I first read Mr Cross when I reviewed. Darker Shadows: The Ghosts of Ravencrest book 1, his collaborative work with Tamara Thorne, a Gothic erotic which left me salivating for more. In The Crimson Corset Alistair has excelled himself with a tale that not only has a lot of bite but also plays with the readers’ emotions, in one scary, bloody and lust filled ride!

The novel is full of memorable, quirky characters who populate the West Coast tourist town of Crimson Cove. Yet unknown to most, evil exists among them and one powerful vampire temptress, Gretchen VanTresse, has her sights on Cade, who has something she craves very badly indeed…… She will stop at nothing to get her hands on him, regardless of collateral damage, her sights set on ruling her kind and subjugating the human race. Gretchen is a formidable adversary: beautiful, deadly and remorseless in her quest for power. Yet, despite her undeniable evil which borders on madness, I could not help but have a sneaking respect and fascination for her as she is such a great kick-ass character!

Yet Gretchen does not bank on the bonds of brotherly love and friendship which exist between Cade, his big brother Brooks and Ethan the town’s sheriff. These three seriously hot men have each other’s back and when the chips are down they risk life and limb and their own humanity to annihilate her and her cohorts. Add a hefty dose of romance, some intriguing vamps from the other side of town (they are not all evil) to the bloody mix of terror and seduction and you have a read that will remain in your conscious and unconscious mind long into the darkness of the night and beyond……. To reveal more of the plot would spoil the adventure that I urge you embark on by reading this book!

Once more Alistair Cross’ writing and characterisations are truly sublime. The lush, often gothic like descriptions of Crimson Cove after dark contrast well with the seemingly mundane details of everyday life in the small town. The read had me quaking in my boots one minute to smiling at the wry humour and quirky exploits of its characters.

I sincerely hope that Mr Cross has the next book in this series lined up soon as I am itching to learn more about the many characters, humans and vampires, that he introduced. Highly recommended to fans of horror and the paranormal alike.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://alistaircross.com/

https://twitter.com/CrossAlistair

https://www.facebook.com/crossalistair