**AUTHOR INTERVIEWS** with Mel Teshco, Christina Phillips and Cathleen Ross, authors of Taken by the Sheikh

The attraction of captor/captive romances, inspiration for their Hot Desert Sheikhs and scorching scenes and more………

I am SO excited to share with you the interviews with the three bestselling authors who each wrote one of the books which make up the TAKEN BY THE SHEIKH boxed set. When I was given the opportunity to quiz them on these hot alpha men and the women they decide to make their own I jumped at the chance! I also asked them about their collaboration on the scorching erotic series, ‘Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives’ their writing process and their future projects. Scroll down to read the interview and be sure to visit us on 22nd December when we will be sharing more information about the release and details of a Rafflecopter giveaway! Tina 🙂

Three desert Sheikhs. Three captive brides…

SHEIKH Boxed Web

 

Bound by duty to honor their father’s dying wish, three royal brothers must marry their destined brides… by whatever means necessary…

Q&As with Christina, Mel and Cathleen

1. Where did the idea for writing the boxed set, ‘Taken by the Sheikh’ come from?

Mel – Cathleen had the idea of the boxed set and working with other authors, when she asked if I was interested I couldn’t say yes fast enough! I love trying new concepts and ideas. As for the sheikh idea – I just happened to have started a sheikh story of my own and so we ran with it!

Cathleen – I’ve seen authors have great success with boxed sets, so I decided to pick two writers whose work I love and felt I could work with. I think these two things are essential for a project.

Christina – It was funny because I’d wanted to get involved in a boxed set for a few months but had no idea how to begin the process. So when Cathleen contacted me with her idea I was thrilled! I’d also never tackled a Sheikh hero before so the challenge was irresistible. 🙂

2. I see that you have also collaborated on writing the ‘Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives series.’ In terms of working together, to what extent did you bounce ideas off each other before, during and after writing the first draft? Also have you any tips on what makes such a collaboration a success?

Mel – I think we relied more on our editor (Tracey O’Hara) who was kind of the anchor for this series. When I wrote my housewife, Camilla, when interactions with other characters occurred to me – I’d talk to Tracey and/or the other author of that character and ensure it all came together seamlessly and made sense.

Cathleen – For Taken by the Sheikh – We have three brothers who have to marry fast because their parents have been assassinated and their country’s stability is at risk. That’s the basic premise. From that point we each wrote out story but we had to check things with each other re: continuity. For any project there has to be some give and take and we all were prepared to do that.

Christina – In my Secret Confessions book, Willow, whenever I brought in one of the other housewives I’d contact that author and run my scene by them to ensure they were happy with what I’d done. With our Sheikh books it was more a case of hammering out our world and the brothers’ backgrounds so we were all on the same page before we started, and then ensuring the continuity ran smoothly. I think it’s essential that each author in this kind of project is willing to be flexible to accommodate each other’s story threads.

3. Why do you think that the captor/captive theme in romance novels has such an everlasting appeal?

Mel – I think it’s because it’s so alpha and illegal and bad, and let’s face it we all love a bit of a bad boy – it trips that little flutter button inside us.

Cathleen – Mel and I love writing forced seduction whereas Christina prefers romance. She’s the rose writer between two thorns. I think as a romantic trope the sexy dark commanding sheikh is here to stay because he’s the ultimate alpha male.

Christina – I think it’s the whole forbidden/fantasy aspect that’s so appealing. I love reading about these take no prisoner Alpha heroes but in real life I’d probably smack him around the head.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from for your male/female leads?

Mel – I’m a very visual person, my characters form in my head and come together as I write – their looks and their personalities. If I’m really organized I’ll do a character chart and even a bit of a plot, but I find letting everything come together on its own and layering as I go works better. 

Cathleen – I always see my hero first and the initial situation. This sheikh is dark, secretive and dangerous. I don’t plot. I write and it flows out like a movie.

Christina – I’m really not sure. It’s all in my mind and they are so real to me. I don’t pick out photos of celebrities or anything like that – although it’s a strange but true fact that many of my heroes do closely resemble Henry Canvill!

5. You have probably been asked this many times already, but where do you get your ideas from for your smoking hot/erotic scenes? lol

Mel – My husband would love to say I practise everything on him, but I guess it’s mostly that I have a good imagination LOL 

Cathleen – My husband is convinced it’s all about him and his moves. Me? I have a never ending supply of stories that demand to be written. Some come to me in dreams, some characters catch my attention and demand their own stories. If I don’t write them they bug me at three in the morning so I just get on with it.

Christina – Writing hot love scenes is just part of the way I enjoy writing my romances. To me they’re an essential part of the story where the characters are laid bare – in more ways than the obvious. So as far as where do the ideas come from, they are kind of organic to the hero and heroine of that particular story, just as every other scene is.

6. Why do you enjoy writing romance?

Mel – I just love writing a happily ever after and seeing two people (or sometimes more!) get together despite seemingly impossible odds. There’s nothing quite like a love story with undercurrents of danger. 

Cathleen – I’m passionate about the craft and trying to improve and try different things. I write in different genres which so the challenge is always there for me. I love reading a well-crafted romance and getting the satisfaction of a happy ending.

Christina – I love crafting seemingly impossible conflicts and then discovering how my hero and heroine overcome them to reach their happily-ever-after. I love my HEA. There should be more of them. 🙂

7. When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

Mel – Reading, going to the cinema and watching brilliant movies, catching up on series like The Walking Dead, watching a little too much reality tv, and having a few drinks in the afternoon with my hubster.

Cathleen – Reading, walking my puppy. I’m obsessed with the Walking Dead, going to my little farm and growing vegetables, hanging out with other writers, cooking and having my friends over.

Christina – I like to sleep! LOL! Apart from that I love reading, catching up on missed shows and movies on DVD, being a devoted slave to my kitties and of course spending precious time with my gorgeous family.

8. Finally, what works have you in the pipeline?

Mel – Where to start! I’m continuing writing for the ES Siren series with Denise Rossetti and Shona Husk, and I also have a longer length sub with a publisher that’s pretty different to what I usually write. I’m also working on another longer ms in first person point of view – a mutant story set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world. 

Cathleen – I’m finalising a zombie apocalypse novel set on a navy base for my publisher, I have two boxed set projects to do with Mel and Christina, my publisher has given me to the go ahead for an Aussie outback type novel and people keep asking me for BDSM novels after the success of ‘Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives series.’ I’m also writing my next Highlander story as Highlander Romance is selling so well.

Christina – I’m currently writing three linked books for Entangled Publishing’s Brazen line about three bad boy brothers. This is the first time I’ve set books in the States so this is another challenge for me. Next year I plan to self publish a sexy contemporary and write another boxed set with Cathleen and Mel.

Thank you for taking time out to answer my questions, Christina, Mel and Cathleen. We wish you the very best on the release! Tina and Caroline ❤ ❤ ❤

Capture Taken by the Sheikh at the special low introductory price of  $0.99 for six weeks only!

ARe      Amazon      Amazon UK     Kobo      Nook      Page Foundry

Connect with the Authors

Mel:        Facebook    Twitter

Christina: Facebook    Twitter

Cathleen: Facebook   Twitter

 

 

 

~BLOG TOUR~ **To Avenge Her Highland Warrior** by Samantha Holt (includes excerpt and giveaway)

A big welcome today to Samantha Holt’s recent Highland Romance, To Avenge Her Highland Warrior. Scroll down to read the book blurb, an excerpt and enter the giveaway where a medieval inspired necklace is up for grabs!

To Avenge - Tour Banner

 

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – To Avenge Her Highland Warrior
SERIES – Highland Fae Chronicles #3
AUTHOR – Samantha Holt
GENRE – Historical Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 18th October
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 60000

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Lorna lost everything to war. Her home, her wealth… her lover. And now she wants revenge.

When her hasty plan throws her at the mercy of her enemy’s men, she holds little hope of returning to her kin and fears death is around the corner. But could her salvation lie in the arms of her dark captor?

Logan has little time to be dealing with a stubborn noble woman. His orders are to prepare for war. His laird—the man he owes his life to—intends to join forces with the Norse and bring a battle to Scotland that will see the fate of the country forever changed. Scarred, and with no memory of his past, Logan is determined to forge a new future for himself as well as prove his loyalty to the laird.

But the beautiful lass has him questioning his previous life and his goals. When she starts claiming he once loved her, he knows he’s being manipulated and she’s taking advantage of his memory loss. So why is it so hard to resist the idea of having once been her lover?

With the threat of impending war—a battle that promises to bring slaughter to her family—can Lorna persuade Logan to believe her, and is the bitter man he’s become even worth saving?

Whatever the outcome of the battle, a certain interfering faery is resolved to see fate back on its correct path. And that means forcing Lorna and Logan together—no matter their differences.

To Avenge - Book Cover

 

BUY & TBR LINKS

AMAZON KINDLE USAMAZON KINDLE CAAMAZON KINDLE UK 

EXCERPT

Logan clenched his jaw and the roar of the storm sounded closer. He had to leave yet his feet refused to move. Why stay? Why torture himself further? His heart pounded against his chest. In the next flash, he was close once more. Within touching distance. He saw her features more clearly now. The distress in her eyes, the golden strands of hair curling around her pointed chin. The fan of her lashes lowered and lifted in one slow sweep until her gaze locked onto his.

“Logan,” she whispered, voice tremulous, but he did not know if that was a plea for him to leave or come closer.
“Logan,” she tried again.

The shaky quality of her voice pulled at his gut. His gaze traced the curl that flowed over one shoulder and down, caressing her gentle curves like a lover—like he once had apparently. His palms tingled with the need to feel the soft give of her flesh beneath him.

The next flash highlighted her trembling form. The fragile hollow of her neck fluttered with her pulse and his mouth grew dry with the need to press his lips to it.

Damn her. Like a siren, she lured him in.

He almost backed away. How long they had been standing like that he knew not. It may have been moments—a mere few flashes of lightening—but the thickening of the air between them seemed to slow time.

The tremble of her lips gripped his heart, squeezed it hard and painfully. An aggravating need to take care of her ate into him, softened him to her.

Logan closed the gap. The next rumble lined up with him gripping her upper arms and pushing her back against the wall. She gasped, the sound clear to him even as the skies crashed about them. Hot anger mingled with need. It burned through him and set his nerve endings alight. How dare she have such a hold over him, how dare she make him want her?

Soft, delicate breasts pressed against him. Slim thighs quaked against his. With a hiss of breath, he lowered his mouth to hers as she stared up at him. Before his lips met hers, her eyes flashed with a plea, but was she begging him to kiss her or leave her be? He couldn’t decide what he wanted either, but she left him with little choice.
The first touch made him wonder if he had not indeed been struck by lightning. Frissons shot through him, curled into his blood and fired his fury and lust. Lorna released a tiny sound and he pressed his lips hard to hers this time. She whimpered. Her lips felt hot beneath his. Her taste threatened to drown him.

Satisfaction settled in his gut when she arched into him. He kept hold of her arms, allowing little movement but that up thrust of breasts and hips into him made him hiss and press harder. He coaxed her lips apart, and she gasped when he invaded the heated recesses of her mouth. Logan kissed her deeply, with little apology. He needed this, needed her.

For our recent review, click on the link:

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/11/18/review-to-avenge-her-highland-warrior-3-in-the-highland-fae-chronicles-by-samantha-holt/

AUTHOR BIO

Samantha lives in a small village in England with her gorgeous twin girls and husband who is a trained bodyguard and ex-soldier. She enjoys writing historical romance involving chivalrous knights, hot highlanders and cravatted men, but sometimes gets lured away by bad boy bikers, soldiers and other heroic modern men.

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGEWEBSITE / BLOGFACEBOOK

To Avenge - Giveaway

GIVEAWAY PRIZES

Medieval inspired necklace (pic attached)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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1-MINIBUTTON

**REVIEW** ~ To Avenge Her Highland Warrior (#3 in the Highland Fae Chronicles), by Samantha Holt

Sensual Captor/Captive Highland Romance

Containing a sprinkling of faery magic!

Book Blurb

23311360Lorna lost everything to war. Her home, her wealth… her lover. And now she wants revenge. When her hasty plan throws her at the mercy of her enemy’s men, she holds little hope of returning to her kin and fears death is around the corner. But could her salvation lie in the arms of her dark captor? Logan has little time to be dealing with a stubborn noble woman. His orders are to prepare for war. His laird—the man he owes his life to—intends to join forces with the Norse and bring a battle to Scotland that will see the fate of the country forever changed. Scarred, and with no memory of his past, Logan is determined to forge a new future for himself as well as prove his loyalty to the laird. But the beautiful lass has him questioning his previous life and his goals. When she starts claiming he once loved her, he knows he’s being manipulated and she’s taking advantage of his memory loss. So why is it so hard to resist the idea of having once been her lover? With the threat of impending war—a battle that promises to bring slaughter to her family—can Lorna persuade Logan to believe her, and is the bitter man he’s become even worth saving? Whatever the outcome of the battle, a certain interfering faery is resolved to see fate back on its correct path. And that means forcing Lorna and Logan together—no matter their differences.

 My Review

Captor/Captive Romance with a Torn and Tortured Hero

Sensual Historical Romance (with a sprinkling of faery magic….)

To Avenge Her Highland Warrior, the third and final book in Samantha Holt’s Highland Fae Chronicles is a sensual and heart rending captor/captive romance. It can be read as a ‘standalone’, although I do however, highly recommend the whole series (check out the links below).

The novel is a combustible mix of revenge, passion and redemption, sprinkled with a little fairy magic and I loved it! It contains a dark, torn and tortured alpha hero and a strong and vulnerable heroine who belong together, but who fate has torn apart.

The faery Tiele, determined to put this wrong to right, has a battle royal on her hands to reconcile these two lovers due to events that have transpired. Her task is all the more difficult for she has sworn off the direct use of her powers, as the use of such magic in the past has resulted in unforeseen consequences.

As soon as the book opens I was drawn in – the heroine Lorna, who is widowed, is in dire straits, captive in the bowels of her former home that was brutally wrestled from her by her brother-in-law. Having failed in her mission to kill this usurper she now awaits his punishment. Imagine her surprise and relief when she finds that the man in charge of the keep whilst its master is absent is none other than Logan, the man who once loved her, the man who she had rejected and believed slain in the battle for her home.

Yet there is no happy reunion between the couple as this man is a far cry from the Logan who adored her. Instead he is a cold and distant stranger, his memory erased by the  injuries he sustained during battle. He views his captive as little more than the spoilt and manipulative woman his Laird tells him she is, and he does not recall how he once loved his former mistress from afar. Whatever Lorna says she cannot help him remember or trust her enough to believe her – he views whatever she says as lies, designed to save her own skin.

Although attraction between them simmers, Logan is determined not to betray his Laird and succumb to this woman. However, he slowly comes to respect her combination of strength and vulnerability and becomes torn once he finds out what his Laird’s plans for his captive may entail. There are scenes aplenty of sexual tension, frustrated passion and love making which brings them ever closer, but not close enough, as Logan fights the connection that exists between them. Will he act to save her? Will he remember their love before it is too late? Even if he does, can Lorna accept him for the man he has become and forgive him for what he has put her through?

I so felt for both these characters in this book! Lorna had lost so much, yet she is strong and resilient in terrible circumstances, especially as the very man who should have been her saviour is now her gaoler and is a stranger to her. She is fearful for her own future and that of Logan, who seems lost to her and her emotions oscillate between hope and despair. Logan is as tortured a hero as they come and is torn between loyalty to his Laird and what he is beginning to feel for the captive. I also enjoyed the supporting characters in the tale, especially Lorna’s self-serving brother-in-law, whose actions added tension to the plot and of course Tiele whose presence and antics contributed to some humorous moments to the plot in her efforts to save the day.

All in all, I found it a sensual, heart stopping and entertaining read and a great conclusion to the Highland Fae Chronicles.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon US      Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

Website/Blog    Facebook

Read our Reviews of other books in the Highland Fae Chronicles

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To Steal a Highlander’s Heart, book 1

To Dream of a Highlander, book 2

 

 

 

By Force, Forever Fae # 1, by Sara Hubbard

ByForce_453X534[1]Captor/Captive Romance – Super Start to a New Adult Fantasy Series

By Force is the first book in Sara Hubbard’s new series, Forever Fae. In it the heroine is taken as captive by not one but five hunky male warriors!!! This has got to be one of my top fantasies – assuming there is plenty of romance to compensate for the drama and the angst of being kidnapped. In this Sara Hubbard does not disappoint! There is also non-stop action, adventure and suspense and an introduction to a fascinating medieval type world, which contains magic and strange creatures…….

So here’s the Book Blurb………

Kidnapping Isame would set them free…

Isame wanted freedom: the freedom to travel, the freedom to explore, but most of all, the freedom to choose the life she wanted over the life—and the husband—her parents had chosen for her. But when Isame leaves home to accept another man’s proposal, she happens across five fierce, handsome warriors. She wonders why they’ve travelled so far from home, but she never imagines their purpose might have something to do with her. Not even after they kidnap her.

Remmie is a man of honor and fierce loyalty. So when his king commands him to find a specific young woman on the island of Copaxa, he’s prepared to obey. But he’s not prepared for the woman to change everything. Isame is special. He can see it from the start. But how can one puny woman make him question everything he’s always known, including the rightness of doing what he’s promised?

My Review

By Force is a well written and entertaining fantasy romance, full of believable characters, many of whom I quickly grew to love! It is set in a fascinating world full of surprises and plenty of action as Isame and her captors travel across land, mountains and sea. Her kidnappers, five hunky warriors from Optavia, called ‘Savages’ by her people, due to their size and appearance, not to mention their behaviour, are out to do a job, kidnap Isame and deliver her to their king.

The heroine’s relationship with the warriors is a complex one. At first they want little to do with their captive and her with them and they do treat her rather poorly. However, slowly they begin to interact and get to know, like and respect each other and there is much humour in the banter between Isame and her captors and the other characters they meet on their journey. One of the warriors, James however,  is an outsider and has an agenda of his own which becomes clearer as the plot develops. Isame is particularly drawn to Remmie, one of the warriors, who treats her more kindly than the others and their budding and touching romance is central to this novel.

I particularly liked the heroine, Isame and her transformation from a young woman about to acquiesce to an arranged marriage to one who is thrust into the adventure she has always craved, finding that she prefers this life to the one that was mapped out for her in her village. Although at first she vows to escape her captors, she starts to befriend them and falls hard for the warrior Remmie, who in turn is attracted to her. Their sweet romance is a delight to read and the  scenes between them are full of sexual tension and hidden desire. However, there are many obstacles in the way of a happy future, not least the oath of Remmie and the other warriors to their king to deliver Isame to him and the fact that Remmie is a Savage, a race feared and held in contempt by her own people. He has also been responsible for abducting her and along with the other warriors represents a threat to her family should she try to escape. Remmie, despite his fearsome appearance and initial behaviour, is a sweetie at heart however and I could not stop myself rooting for their HEA!

Also what does the king want with her? There is also the prophecy of a mysterious gypsy, linking Isame, who has always believed herself to be a regular girl with Faemell, the Fairy Isle. Isame begins to question this and wants to find out the truth.

By Force is a super, well-paced, romantic read, full of sexy warrior types (what more can a girl want?), containing action and adventure, mystery and suspense. It is a great start to a new series and the next instalment, By Choice, is in the pipeline. I recommend it to those who enjoy fantasy romance with a feisty heroine and an alpha male with a heart.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Publisher:

http://etopiapressblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/new-releases-for-1032014/

Connect with Sara Hubbard:

http://www.sara-hubbard.com

https://twitter.com/SaraLouHubbard

https://www.facebook.com/sarahubbardauthor

Purchase Links

Amazon US     Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
All Romance Ebooks

To Steal a Highlander’s Heart, by Samantha Holt – Released Today!

SamanthaHolt_ToStealAHighlandersHeart_200px.jpg.opt166x249o0,0s166x249[1]Faerie Magic Reunites Friends as Lovers!

Sensual Historical Paranormal Romance

This is Samantha Holt’s first foray into writing a Highland romance and I found it to be both a fun and romantic read. It also maintains the level of sensuality that I have come to expect and love from this author. Setting a medieval historical romance in the Highlands is an inspired choice to invoke beings such as faeries, and the central captor/captive theme, which in this novel is paired with the theme of friends to lovers, is one which never fails to please me!

In To Steal a Highlander’s Heart, the teenager Alana Campbell is shocked when her childhood friend Morgann McRae is banished for stealing from her father, the laird, leading to a bitter feud between both clans. Eight years pass, until Morgann kidnaps Alana in a desperate attempt to reveal some truths and compel others to stop he treachery which he knows is afoot, which risks the wellbeing of those he cares about and the future of his clan. However, what was a close childhood friendship now heats up into something far stronger as passion is ignited between the couple. Alana resolves to resist her attraction towards Morgann and to escape to prevent bloodshed. Similarly Morgann strives to ignore his instinct to claim Alana as his own and risk the further wrath of her father on his clan.

The plot is further complicated by the actions of a meddling faerie, Tèile, who is tasked to do all she can to ensure that this stubborn couple recognise their love for each other and marry. However, the actions of another threaten the couple’s welfare and means that she must work hard to ensure that she completes her task before it is too late.

The couple are well matched and believable. Alana is a feisty heroine who has missed her friend Morgann since his banishment. She immediately senses that he is not the fun loving boy he once was. Instead he has grown into a handsome and brooding warrior, to which she finds herself increasingly drawn. Morgann notices that Alana is now a beautiful woman, far more confident than the young girl he remembers, one that can well match him in intelligence, charm and wit. The repartee between the couple sparkles as they spar with and tease each other in some fun and sexy scenes. Of course, Tèile engineers things as best she can to give them every opportunity to explore their attraction in some humorous and inventive scenarios, which often leave the couple a little confused with events, which I found to be a nice touch!

Tèile is a great character. Whilst being frustrated at the stubbornness of the couple in acting upon the love and passion they undoubtedly have for one another, and wishing to return to the world of the fey, she develops genuine affection for them and pulls out all stops to come to their aid when it counts.

In addition to the fairy Tèile, the secondary characters include Morgann’s stepmother Margot and Finn, his cousin, another male hottie – what is it with these Highland warriors and where are they hiding? I was immediately drawn into the tale that involves a great deal of sexual tension and passion between the main couple, which culminates in some sensuous and playful lovemaking scenes.  There is also plenty of action, danger and treachery before the plot concludes.

I recommend this novel to romance readers who like a romantic read set in the Highlands, particularly those who enjoy a touch of paranormal injected into the story. I am looking forward to any further novels Samantha Holt sets in the Highlands and finding out more about the world of the sidhe and any other magical creatures she decides to call upon.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

An Advanced Reader Copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Check out To Steal a Highlander’s Heart on Amazon and find Samantha online and click on her blogspot for a great release day giveaway!

Buy on Amazon UK  Amazon US

https://www.facebook.com/romanticfiction

http://www.samanthaholt.org.uk/

http://www.samanthaholtauthor.blogspot.co.uk/ – click for giveaway

Welcome to Skullcrusher Mountain by Christine Pope

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A Whimsical Captor-Captive Romance

The wonderful title of this novella immediately attracted me. When I learned that it features a mad scientist, abduction, a weird laboratory inside a mountain and a plot exploring true love versus Stockholm Syndrome, I just had to read it! I obtained the book some months ago via Smashwords. It is no longer available there, but it is still free in pdf format on the author, Christine Pope’s website www.christinepope.com. The work is based on the song “Skullcrusher Mountain,” by Jonathan Coulton, www.jonathancoulton.com , which is written under a Creative Commons license that permits the creation of derivative work as long as no profit is made from it.

In “Welcome to Skullcrusher Mounatin” Jenna Masterson,  a newly employed  newspaper reporter, is curious to discover what people are wary of on Black’s Peak, a mountain  known locally as Skullcrusher Mountain. Whilst she is exploring the mountain she is abducted by a monstrous hairy man and delivered to Dr Theophilus Black, an eccentric scientist who lives deep within the mountain. When Jenna accuses Theo of kidnapping her, he denies it and says that he is simply “collecting” her.

Jenna recognises that Theo is not of sane mind, naturally fearing him and to what end he has kidnapped her. This fear is compounded when she learns that women previously abducted by him have disappeared. However, Theo does not pose an immediate threat and she decides to play along with him, doing what it takes to save her own skin. She therefore accepts his invitation to dinner and thus begins a bizarre relationship and courtship. Theo is surprised by Jenna’s apparent lack of fear and is determined to make a good impression on her, serving her fine wines and food and is quick to have her moved into a spacious apartment within his home. He hopes that she will be different from the other women, who tended to turn hysterical when introduced to him, and tries to impress her with his scientific endeavours within his laboratory.

Theo is the archetypal ‘mad’ scientist, a recluse, caring little for his appearance. He is attracted to Jenna from the off, viewing her as “exquisite” and “the best yet.” He is also a hero who does not know how to relate to others, especially women, due to his isolation and his upbringing, being more comfortable with quantifiable facts and data. When Jenna is upset at one of his creations he is not only angry but confused and hurt, which was endearing. Although I found him a little threatening and strange to begin with, I soon came to sympathise with him in the same way that Jenna does. He appears to be very vulnerable and suspects Jenna’s motives when she reciprocates his advances and they become lovers. We also learn of the past goings on in the Black household, and we are left wondering if it will all end happily or not. Much rests on what will happen when Jenna asks Theo about the fate of the other women abducted and to what extent he had a hand in their disappearances.

The humorous repartee between Jenna and Theo is very entertaining, as are Jenna and Theo’s respective conversations with Scarface, Theo’s loyal servant who has been “collecting” girls for him all his life. The scene where Scarface offers Theo advice on how to court women is particularly humorous.   I very easily found myself transported into the heart of Skullcrusher Mountain, due to the vivid manner in which the author describes Theo’s home, with its mixture of ‘faux gothic’ and up- to- date modern conveniences and strange inventions.

I would recommend this book to those who like to read romances which are a little bit different, especially if you enjoy captor-captive tales with a bit of weird science and skulking henchman thrown in! Readers of paranormal and fantasy romances are urged to check it out. I have since read Christine Pope’s novel “ Dragon Rose ( Tales of the Latter Kingdoms)”, which I will review  later this month.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Permission to use book cover art for “Welcome to Skullcrusher Mountain” kindly given by Indie Author Services, www.indieauthorservices.com