**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** ~ Miranda’s Dilemma (Fashionably Impure, book 1), by Natasha Blackthorne

Erotic Regency Historical Romance ~ Courtesan/Non-virginal Heroine
Adult/18+ read

Miranda

Book 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.

My Review

Tantalizing and angst-ridden, a Five Star read!

Miranda’s Dilemma is another tantalizing and angst-ridden erotic historical romance from the pen of Natasha Blackthorne. I just love how this author delves deeply into the minds of her tortured heroes and heroines and Adrian and Miranda, the hero and the heroine of this novel are really put through the mill!

Adrian Sutherland, an earl, is seeking revenge, determined to prevent the young courtesan Miranda from securing a lucrative deal with a new protector from amongst his fellow aristocrats. Adrian has good reason to despise courtesans, attributing the ruination of his own father to one of their kind. This handsome and dominant man therefore goes all out to embarrass, belittle and shame Miranda at every opportunity, despising the fact that he somehow feels attracted to one of her kind. There are some extremely emotional scenes between the couple, full of sexual tension and mutual disrespect as they do battle.

My sympathies were very soon with Miranda, an illegitimate daughter of a ducal father, for despite her veneer of a consummate courtesan, is extremely vulnerable. The strong image she projects to others, especially prospective protectors, is clearly under threat by Adrian’s actions. It is only when shocking circumstances conspire to reveal to Adrian exactly how vulnerable Miranda’s lifestyle choice makes her, that he begins to see the real woman beneath the artifice. I will not give the plot away but suffice to say that I just LOVED how the author weaved this particular scene into the narrative, coming at just the right point to bring these two strong-willed characters together in some emotional and revealing scenes. Both Miranda and Adrian have demons to slay from their past and as they embark on a passionate affair, they begin to confide in each other.

Yet the couple have no future together as Miranda is under pressure to swiftly secure lucrative funds to protect someone she holds most dear. In her desperate need to meet her goals she needs to curtail her affair with Adrian, who can ill afford her, and secure a protector who can satisfy her financial needs, even if doing so will open deep psychological scars from her past that threaten to destroy her.

The novel is an addictive read. I enjoyed the initial sexual tension between Miranda and Adrian and adored the erotic love-making scenes between them and their growing mutual respect and attraction. Adrian is all alpha male and very dominant. Tortured by events in his own past he is torn as to what to do with Miranda. His need to protect wars with his need to restore and maintain his family fortunes and his inner conflict is immense. Once more Natasha Blackthorne has delivered a passionate and  emotional erotic love story that both tantalizes and pulls at the heart strings.

I was pleased with the conclusion to Miranda’s Dilemma and I’m looking forward to reading more about Adrian and Miranda’s relationship. The sequel of their story, A Most Demanding Mistress is scheduled for release early in 2016. I recommend the read to historical romance fans who are partial to tortured and damaged characters who find true love, passion and solace in each other.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Goodreads

Purchase Links

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Connect with the Author

 

**REVIEW** ~ The Temptress, C. J.Fallowfield

Contemporary Erotic Romance

Adult/18+ Read

The temptress

Blurb

There’s just something about a French accent, something that conjures images of romance, sex and passion. There’s a reason French is called ‘the language of love.’

Lulu McQueen runs an exclusive honeytrap agency, to test the fidelity of rich men for their suspicious partners. While her business flourishes and her track record in the field remains unbroken, earning her the nickname of The Temptress, her personal life isn’t so successful.

A trip to Paris, years ago, led to the most erotic encounter of her life with Luc, a charismatic, dominant, irresistible Frenchman. For one night she experienced bliss on a scale she’d never encountered and fled in the morning, ashamed of herself, but her Parisian one night stand was burned into her memories and no one since had compared.

With no one available on short notice, Lulu steps in to lure Mrs. Le Grand’s rich husband, for an extortionately high fee. Lulu’s in for the shock of her life when she finds her mark at the hotel bar. Luc Le Grand still has a face and body to make Adonis weep. He exudes confidence, masculinity and raw sex appeal.

The question now isn’t whether Lulu can tempt him, but whether she can resist him, retain her reputation and secure her fee, or whether she’ll fall under Mr. Le Grand’s spell. Again.

My Review 

Powerful, Emotional and Darn Sexy! Five Stars *****

The Temptress is the first book that I have read by C.J. Fallowfield and it is one powerful and emotional read with some sizzling scenes! An erotic romance it contains one hot French Dom, a sassy heroine who is very much his match and an adversary I wanted to punch! It also has a fab cast of supporting characters and witty and sometimes laugh-out-loud dialogue.

The heroine Lulu makes her living in a most unusual way, heading up an entrapment agency, spying on and gathering evidence for partners who believe that their other half is straying. Once I got my head around the concept of the business and the moral dilemma it creates, I began to enjoy the often humorous scenes, combining state of the art surveillance equipment and disguises with good old fashioned feminine wiles and seduction techniques. It was a bit like James Bond meets Mata Hari! Lulu runs a tight ship and my respect for this beautiful yet vulnerable heroine grew as the novel progressed.

The scenes between the hero and the heroine are darn hot and I was frantically fanning myself after their first fateful encounter! Luc, the French Dom, really made this book for me. Like Lulu I just melted at the sound of his accent and I adored his romantic side and his determination to win his woman against the odds. Both Lulu and Luc have a number of issues to face after an absence of six years and not just the fact that Luc is now married. There are  many tear-jerker moments and a handkerchief is essential, although I must say that I particularly loved how they dealt with their adversary and the seemingly impossible situation they were in.

Recommended for fans of erotic romance who are after a read that is both sizzling and humorous!

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 and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

Connect with the Author

https://www.facebook.com/cjfallowfield

http://cjfallowfield.co.uk/#!/home

 

The Twelfth Night Wager, by Regan Walker – A Perfect Christmas Read!

715486[1]Has the Rake Met His Match?

Regency Romance: e-book 134 pages

The Twelfth Night Wager, by Regan Walker, is a classy Regency romance where a wager between friends has far reaching consequences for those it concerns – a dissolute rake and a respectable young widow. There is also a cleverly woven sub plot containing elements of danger and suspense, which added to my enjoyment and acted as a catalyst to the romance. I found it a love affirming and entertaining read, welcome at any time of year but especially heart warming at Christmastime!

In The Twelfth Night Wager, Christopher St Ives, Viscount Eustace, is a rake, who toys with women for fun. His friend, Hugh Redgrave, by contrast a happily married man, sets him a challenge in a wager, which is entered into the betting book at White’s and becomes the talk of London society:

‘LD Eustace has wagered LD Ormand 1000 pounds that by Twelfth Night he can seduce, bed and walk away from a certain lady understood between them.’

The ‘certain lady’ is Grace, Lady Leisterfield, a young widow with the reputation of being very proper. Her husband has been gone a year, and Grace, encouraged by her friends, decides to shed her mourning attire and embrace life. The plot thickens when Mary, Hugh’s wife and a friend of Grace, insists that Grace be informed that she is the object of the wager. Grace nevertheless decides to welcome the Viscount’s suit, with the intention of letting him down when he finally propositions her. For his part, Eustace finds Grace very attractive and foresees no problem in using his wiles to seduce her and win the wager. Throw in a great cast of supporting characters, not least Hugh and Mary (Lord and Lady Ormand) a matchmaking dowager countess and a sub plot involving blackmail, and the scene is set for a delightful and entertaining read!

I loved Grace, who although she has been married before and is in many ways innocent, she is totally aware of the danger rakes such as Eustace pose. She is surprised however, when she starts to discover the real man beneath the façade. It is this man whom she must guard her heart against, lest she succumbs, as he will, as per the wager, only walk away from her once he has bedded her!

Eustace is a fascinating character, whilst most certainly a loveable rogue, who has had his fair share of women, underneath he is a man of substance. As the plot progresses and he gets to know Grace, he becomes very protective of her and more and more enamoured, a state that he is not familiar with. I found some of the scenes where he struggles with his feelings and Grace’s actions very humorous, especially when provoked by his friend Hugh. The sexual tension between the couple sizzles throughout and they are well matched. However, the wager stands between them and casts doubt on Eustace’s intentions. Will Grace succumb to his charms and will Eustace win the wager and still get his girl or will he lose her forever?

I enjoyed meeting characters out of the author’s other books, which I have read, notably Hugh and Mary, whose love story begins in Racing With The Wind ,  book #1 in Regan Walker’s Agents of The Crown Trilogy (for my review click on the title). The tale also includes fictional and real-life Regency characters and makes reference to actual events, places and Christmas and New Year customs, which add to the authenticity of the read. The Twelfth Night Wager is a great addition to the author’s Regency romances and works perfectly as a standalone. I recommend it to romance lovers who enjoy a Regency tale where a rake may finally have met his match!

A copy of this novella was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Boroughs Publishing Group

Digital edition created by Maureen Cutajar www.gopublished.com

Amazon US          Amazon UK

Regan Walker’s website

4326416[1]If you like the sound of The Twelfth Night Wager you may want to check out The Holly and the Thistle, a short story which takes place at the same time and featuring how one of Grace’s friends, the widow Lady Emily Picton finds love after a case of mistaken identity with a handsome Scot

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