Review Round-Up Jan ’15

Hi readers, we are well into January now but we do hope that you enjoyed the holiday season and that you have a Happy New Year. I am amazed that over the last month Tina and myself have managed to review fifteen books and hope that you enjoy reading all about them.

Romance is certainly a strong theme for the following books but we still cover the historical, contemporary, chick-lit, erotica, paranormal and sci-fi (and festive) genres, as well as having a paranormal thriller/horror and a crime drama in the mix too!

As always, you can click on the book title for the full review and more!

Caroline & Tina ❤

temptinghismistress800Tempting his Mistress by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: What could possibly induce at woman to follow in the footsteps of her mother and further sully her reputation by becoming a mistress?

Lilly Claremont is well used to being at the centre of gossip. Being the illegitimate child of a rich businessman never failed to titillate the gossips and while she cared little about the wagging tongues she never intended to reinforce their opinions of her by ruining herself completely.

But it seems Lord Hawksley is determined to make the fascinating Lilly his mistress…

Evan has no doubt her bold tongue and beautiful body could keep him entertained for some time. Captivated by her, he must find a way to burn through his desire for her. He cannot marry a woman of such social standing so why not make her his mistress?

After the murder of her father, Lilly is searching for answers and they lead her directly to Lord Hawksley. But will they also lead her to his bed…?

All I Want for ChristmasAll I Want for Christmas by Amy Silver, contemporary holiday romance, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: It’s Bea’s first Christmas with her baby son, and this year she’s determined to do everything right. But there is still so much to do: the Christmas menu needs refining; her café, The Honey Pot, needs decorating; and she’s invited the whole neighbourhood to a party on Christmas Day. She really doesn’t have time to get involved in two new people’s lives, let alone fall in love…

When Olivia gets knocked over in the street, however, Bea can’t help bringing her into The Honey Pot and getting to know her. Olivia’s life is even more hectic than her own, and with her fiancé’s entire family over from Ireland for Christmas, she shouldn’t be lingering in the cosy warmth of Bea’s café. Chloe, on the other hand, has nowhere else to go. Her affair with a married man has alienated her friends, and left her lonelier than ever.

But Christmas is a magical time, and in the fragrant atmosphere of The Honey Pot, anything can happen: new friends can be made, hearts can heal, and romance can finally blossom…

A True Alpha ChristmasA True Alpha Christmas (novella of the True Alpha series) by Alisa Woods, new adult, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

STAND-ALONE NOVELLA – best enjoyed after reading the True Alpha Box Set (Vol 1-6)

Blurb: Shifters live in the shadows of Seattle, just under the skin of the alpha male, dot-com entrepreneurs who are building a new Silicon Valley in the Emerald City. Mia is your everyday college girl, trying to earn her business degree—and a shifter who’s long hidden her identity from everyone, including her mother, who believes shifter is synonymous with criminal. Six months ago, sexy and powerful alpha-male Lucas rescued her in an alley and claimed her for his mate. Now Mia’s heart belongs to Lucas, and everyone in the world of shifters understands the magic of their mating has bonded them for life. But in the human world, there’s no wedding ring on her finger to show for it. With Christmas looming, Mia’s mother wants to finally meet Mia’s mysterious and high-powered live-in lover. With her human and shifter lives about to irrevocably collide, Mia fears there will be nothing but broken hearts in the end.

A True Alpha Christmas is 80 pages or 20,000 words. This novella can be read as a standalone, but readers will enjoy it more if they read the True Alpha serial (Vol 1-6) first.

23249978Long Gone Girl (short story) by Amy Rose Bennett, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: After returning home from the Korean War a widow, former MASH surgical nurse, Ginny Williams, heads to the Jersey Shore for a weekend of much needed R&R. But her plans to do nothing more than relax on the beach go seriously awry when the boy who broke her heart on Prom night nine years ago—the now hotter-than-hot ‘fly-boy’ Jett Kelly—shows up on her patch of sand. To make matters worse, Captain Kelly seems to be on a mission to win her trust, and maybe even her heart again. But the last thing Ginny wants is a man—especially one like Jett—in her life. She’s a career nurse now, and that’s that. If only Jett wasn’t so damned charming and attractive

US air force pilot, Captain Jefferson ‘Jett’ Kelly Junior is blown away to have stumbled across the beautiful yet shy and bookish girl he used to have a huge crush on in high school—especially now that Ginny is all grown up and sexy as hell. Problem is, she’s also not backward in coming forward when letting him know she hasn’t forgiven him for the Prom-kiss-gone-wrong incident. Even though Jett knows he’ll have his work cut out for him to get a second chance with her, he’s definitely going to give it his best shot…

Despite Ginny’s determination to keep her head—she’s certainly not the naïve girl she used to be—when Jett starts to unashamedly woo her, she soon realizes that maybe her heart didn’t get the memo…

FallingDragons-200x300Falling Dragons (Moon Shadow series #3) by Angela Castle, erotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Drugged and running for her life, Dragon Princess, Ophelia, jumps off a rooftop to escape her captors.

Immortal Demon Hunter Simon, is shocked when he catches a falling, redheaded woman. His surprise is short-lived when he faces not only a vicious demon, but those hunting his newly acquired redhead.

In desperate need of protection, and knowing he is her mate, Opie spell-tethers the sexy Demon Hunter to her, not realizing he’s a seventeen-hundred-year-old dragon slayer.

The sexual chemistry explodes between them as they fight each other, in and out of the bedroom. Together, they must battle an evil enemy set on unleashing a soul-sucking demon army into the world, threatening to destroy everything they hold close to their hearts.

Bethany's Heart (Unearthly World #3)Bethany’s Heart (Unearthly World #3) by C. L. Scholey, sci-fi erotic romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Amidst the snow and icy wasteland, Earth has become a watery grave to many. Zargonnii warriors Finn and Blu search for any remaining human females. Luck abounds and six females are found struggling to survive. The moment his blazing red eyes settle onto Bethany Finn feels in his heart she is the one he wants to end his loneliness. When Bethany encounters two massive aliens, eyes alight, long white hair wildly flying, she knows the pair are either death or salvation. Their encounter leads Bethany on the wildest adventure of her life. After the Zargonnii ship is annihilated by the enemy a shuttle leads Finn and Bethany straight into the path of peril more times than the couple care to count.

Help, I've Been Abducted by an Alien!Help, I’ve Been Abducted by an Alien! (short story) by Juliet Cardin, sci-fi erotic romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Jen joins an alien-abductee group in order to secretly write an article on the subject. Her plans take an unexpected turn when she encounters a UFO in her neighborhood park and gets abducted for real.

Lysander, her sexy captor, informs Jen he’s not taking her home. Earth, he confides, is soon to be impacted by an asteroid and then invaded by a hostile lizard race. Jen is determined to find a way to escape Lysander–who is hell-bent on having her for himself–and return to Earth, before it is too late to prevent its annihilation. 

drug_final_ResizedDrug (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #1) by Lynda O’Rourke, paranormal thriller, horror (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Out of work and out of luck, 19 year-old Kassidy Bell finds herself in desperate need of money.

Coming across a mysterious advert in her local newspaper offering a reward, Kassidy believes she’s found the answer to her prayers.

But Kassidy soon realises that if something is too good to be true then it usually isn’t what it first appears to be. Finding herself in a desperate situation, Kassidy realises that she must run if she is to escape the new horrors she has discovered however great the reward might be.

21948425Mr X by Clarissa Wilde, dark, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

18+/Adult Read

Author Note: This is not your average romance story. Some people will kill for love.

Blurb: He’s come to kill me. I’m a user and abuser of my own body. In my darkest hour I sold my soul to the devil and now I must pay the price. With his gun to my head I have no choice but to listen and obey, but I refuse to go down easily. Nothing is stronger than the will to survive. My instincts kicked into full gear the second he stepped into my motel room.Except when I look at him I see my own heart staring back at me. A history tainted by blood.I don’t know his name, but I know he wants me. To save myself I’ll sacrifice my sanity. My body. My soul. Something tells me the x-shaped scar that marks his eye is the only escape I have. He is Mr. X: the man who comes to claim my life. Can I save myself before he demands my heart?

WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, breath deprivation, strong language, drugs and alcohol, and graphic violence.

SHEIKH Boxed WebTaken by the Sheikh (Boxed Set) by Christina Phillips, Mel Teshco & Cathleen Ross, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Book 1: Hostage to the Sheikh ~ Mel Teshco

Sheikh Shahzad Salah al Din doesn’t have time for hearts and flowers, not when his parents’ bodies are barely even cold in their graves and his country, Omana, is on the brink of revolt. He has to secure peace by honoring a long ago arrangement to make English rose, Lexi Galvin, his wife. The trouble is strong-willed Lexi isn’t aware of her royal Arab lineage let alone her destiny. There is only one way Shahzad can guarantee she will be his queen … and he isn’t above using force to get it.

Book 2: The Sheikh’s Mistaken Bride ~ Christina Phillips

In order to secure a powerful alliance for his country, Khalid has no choice but to marry a neighboring princess. It’s not what he wants, but duty must come before pleasure. Yet when he meets the beautiful Sanura he changes his mind… only to discover the virgin in his bed is not his destined bride.

Book 3: Sold to the Sheikh ~ Cathleen Ross

He’d paid a fortune for his bride and he was determined to collect, whether she liked it or not. Rafi Salah al Din doesn’t trust easily. In charge of security for his country Omana, he devotes his life to duty. With his parents murdered it is his duty to stabilize his country by finding his parents’ assassin, marry and produce a son to ensure the Salah al Din line lives on. So why does the wife he bought disagree?

HGF_CoverHeart Grow Fonder by Cristy Rey, adult contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Wrong place. Wrong time. Right people.

Jessie Bravo knows what’s wrong with her life; she just doesn’t know what to do about it. Eleven years ago, she saved Tyler Cantrell from getting his ass kicked by gay-bashing high school jocks. Since, they’ve been the closest of friends. Years later, Jessie circled the drain of chronic depression, spiralling out of control, and it was Tyler’s turn to save her. Who knew her best friend would become a Hollywood A-lister? Though Jessie credits Tyler for keeping her together, living in the shadow of her best friend’s celebrity isn’t all it’s cut out to be. It’s up to Jessie to figure out what she has to do to be happy: get better or get lost.

Stardom is on the horizon for British television actor Boyd Kerrington. He’s starring opposite Tyler Cantrell in an American feature film sure to blow his career out the water. For all the years he’s focused on his career, however, he’s settled in his personal life. That is, until he meets Tyler’s best friend, Jessie. Jessie is refreshingly cool, passionate, and compelling…but she’s also complicated. Worse yet, she’s not interested in remaining in the celebrity stratosphere, even for her lifelong friend.

22855324-2Triple D Dude Ranch by Beverly Ovalle, erotic western contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Blaire is a freelance photographer on assignment. She is heading home to Texas, armed with her camera to do a photo feature for the Tribune. Taking photos of the dude ranch, she gets an eyeful of an uninhibited cowboy through her lens. The summer heat of Texas has nothing on the heat he generates in her.

Dan was expecting a photographer but not the sexy urban cowgirl that arrived. He knew it was hot out, he just hadn’t expected the hot and sexy woman to make him burn the minute he caught sight of her. One look and he had to quench this fire inside.

One touch between Dan and Blaire sparks a wildfire that burns hotter than the Texas summer and is just as hard to put out.

Playing the Field (Duty & Desire, Book 4)Playing the Field (Duty & Desire #4) by C.J. Pinard, contemporary military romance, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: An overachiever in uniform…

Jace Lawless is an overachiever, a go-getter, and determined to accomplish everything he sets his mind to. After serving his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, and receiving his college degree, he’s picked up by a popular minor league baseball team, all while continuing his service in the USMC reserves.

When Jace meets a beautiful, breathtaking single mother named Miranda Cates, it takes him by surprise. Her shady past and beautiful little girl are the conundrum that both confuses and fascinates Jace. He can’t tear his thoughts away from Miranda, and eventually he believes he can win her over with his dimpled smirk and witty charms.

Once Miranda becomes his, the part of him she hated the most – the part he had kept secret from her for so long – rears its ugly head. Will Miranda lean on her friend Cara for support while staying by his side once he tells her that duty is calling… or will she decide she can’t handle it and take her daughter and leave?

Playing the Field is the fourth and final installment of the Duty & Desire series. Contains adult situations and minor scenes of war. 

Chris Collett 7 Dead of NightDead of Night (A Tom Mariner Mystery #7) by Chris Collett, police procedural, crime drama, thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: When a young woman disappears on her way home from work, Detective Inspector Tom Mariner tackles his most challenging investigation yet!

18-year-old Grace Clifton vanishes on her way home from work in the centre of Birmingham late at night, the case is remarkable in that not a single witness comes forward. The more he has to deal with Grace s wealthy and overbearing father, Council Leader Bob Clifton, the more Tom Mariner is inclined to believe that Grace left of her own accord.

Then the package arrives. It contains Grace s clothes, neatly pressed and laundered. A second woman disappears. And a disturbing pattern begins to emerge.

Still adapting to a new investigation team and struggling to pull its members together, Detective Inspector Mariner is about to tackle one of his strangest, most challenging cases to date.

OnceuponarakeOnce Upon a Rake by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

In Victorian England, Little Ellie Browning swiftly discovered happily ever afters did not exist and rakes were simply rakes. When the man she had adored for years kissed her and left her heartbroken and she was forced to marry an elderly earl to save her reputation, she resolved to put any dreams of fairy tales aside.

Seven years later, the now widowed Eleanor, Countess of Hawthorne, has returned to England after years of travelling and is now part-owner of a cotton mill left to her by her late husband.

But the owner of the mill, and the very same handsome rake who hurt her years earlier, has no desire to let a woman interfere with his business, let alone little Ellie Browning—no matter how fascinating he finds her since her transformation from coltish scarecrow to almost graceful countess.

Lucian is still recovering from the after-effects of one of his mills succumbing to fire, and now he’s fighting to save the other in a tough economic climate. He doesn’t need this new distraction, especially when, after a series of accidents, it becomes clear someone wishes the mill to close and he has to find the culprit—fast.

With things heating up between Ellie and Lucian, it’s apparent that not only is the mill in peril—they are both at risk of getting burned…

*BLOG TOUR* ~ Includes REVIEW, *Heart Grow Fonder* by Cristy Rey

 Intense and Emotionally Gritty

Adult  Contemporary Romance

We are delighted to host the blog tour for Cristy Rey’s new release, Heart Grow Fonder. Last year I had the pleasure of reading this author’s super paranormal romance, the Incarnate Series, Taking Back Sunday and Trail of Dead and also her contemporary romance Weeping Angels, one of my Top Reads for 2014. Scroll down for the blurb and an excerpt from Heart Grow Fonder and read my review. Tina ❤

Heart Grow Fonder

Cristy Rey

Adult Romance

Goodreads

HGF_Cover

 Blurb

Wrong place. Wrong time. Right people.

Jessie Bravo knows what’s wrong with her life; she just doesn’t know what to do about it. Eleven years ago, she saved Tyler Cantrell from getting his ass kicked by gay-bashing high school jocks. Since, they’ve been the closest of friends. Years later, Jessie circled the drain of chronic depression, spiraling out of control, and it was Tyler’s turn to save her. Who knew her best friend would become a Hollywood A-lister? Though Jessie credits Tyler for keeping her together, living in the shadow of her best friend’s celebrity isn’t all it’s cut out to be. It’s up to Jessie to figure out what she has to do to be happy: get better or get lost.

Stardom is on the horizon for British television actor Boyd Kerrington. He’s starring opposite Tyler Cantrell in an American feature film sure to blow his career out the water. For all the years he’s focused on his career, however, he’s settled in his personal life. That is, until he meets Tyler’s best friend, Jessie. Jessie is refreshingly cool, passionate, and compelling…but she’s also complicated. Worse yet, she’s not interested in remaining in the celebrity stratosphere, even for her lifelong friend.

Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Excerpt – It was… to meet you.

“What was that?” Tyler said in a hoarse whisper.

Wide-eyed, his face shimmered as if he’d been doused with glitter under a blinding white spotlight. Dumbstruck, Jessie remained staring into the gaping hole of the universe where Boyd Kerrington sat only seconds earlier.

“That was…” Jessie struggled to get out even those two words, and she couldn’t think of another to follow them.

That was Boyd Fucking Kerrington. It was Boyd who’d stopped her world spinning on its axis for a suspended series of seconds that, for all she knew, could have lasted a whole year. She’d acted a brat and he’d thought it funny. When she realized she was embarrassing herself in front of Boyd, she stopped dead in her tracks and swallowed her pride, painfully.

Then their eyes met. She’d looked at him dead in the eyes a million times, but those instances had all been through the television. Sure, those eyes were the same—icy blue like a frozen-over lake in the dead of winter—but they weren’t Astor Welles’s eyes this time; they were something altogether new and different. For the first time in weeks, she felt something other than a vacuum of nothingness.

While he looked away, returning to his breakfast, Jessie watched him, for the first time free of the veneer his character. But he avoided her gaze, keeping his attention, instead, on Tyler.

Layers of stage makeup and all the smart hairstyling of Astor Welles peeled away to reveal a real human being with complicated expressions and a wealth of idiosyncrasies. Despite his severe, angular features, Boyd’s manner was approachable, even a little bit sweet. His voice was the same, but the cadence wasn’t. Astor Welles cut through steel with a crisp arrogant timbre as much as with his cheekbones’ daring angles. Boyd Kerrington wasn’t as clipped.

Sensing she was doing nothing to benefit her friend’s morning with him, Jessie excused herself.

“I have some writing to do,” she said, standing and stepping toward the sliding glass door.

Though she expected Boyd would relax a little at her departure, he reared to face her with an unmistakable tinge of remorse. She bit into her lip and reiterated her need to get to work. Boyd nodded shortly, his handsomely sloppy curls lifting in the breeze for a second before settling down again. Tyler said something that sounded like “Good idea,” but that melded with the white noise of Vancouver.

“It was… to meet you.” Red with embarrassment, she tucked into the suite and shuffled into her bedroom, slamming the door behind her.

With no one watching her, she banged her head against the door. Boyd Kerrington was currently sitting on the balcony of her suite, talking with Tyler over cigarettes and a king’s brunch feast. Rather than join them, Jessie relegated herself to the bed. She curled up beneath the comforter, fully clothed, and stared into the oblivion of her private bathroom.

Heart_Teaser

 My Review 

Intense and Emotionally Gritty *****

Wow, what a read! Heart Grow Fonder kept me literally glued to my Kindle. It is an intense, heart-rending, emotionally gritty novel, which examines the consequences of celebrity life. The central story focuses on Jessie and Boyd, two people who are PERFECT for each other BUT who fate has conspired that they meet in the WRONG place and at the WRONG time.

Jessie is in the depths of depression, so bad that even her long-time friend Tyler, a top celebrity, feels powerless to help her. It is at this point that she meets Boyd, a British actor, who is working with Tyler on a new film. Jessie is already a big fan of Boyd, admiring him for his role in a TV series. When she meets him in the flesh she is even more enamoured with the reality of the man. Boyd is similarly entranced with Jessie. Yet Jessie fears involving herself with a man who is seeking fame and fortune as she has been so unhappy living in Hollywood. She also feels too broken to succumb to the passion that exists between them and realises that to help herself she must leave LA, where she feels at once stifled and alienated, and recover on her own terms. Before they can get together Jessie flees, cutting herself off from Tyler, Boyd and her life there.

The couple are not physically together throughout much of the book but nevertheless they are rarely out of each other’s minds and communicate through a heart-rending series of emails, where vulnerabilities are exposed and hearts are broken. Will Jessie recover from her illness? Will Boyd accept her for herself? Will Jessie be able to cope with his acting career? Will she reconcile with her friend Tyler? I could not see what was coming until the denouement and my heart was in my mouth waiting to see whether Jessie and Boyd would opt to be together or stay apart!

Jessie is a troubled individual and I admired her determination to get well on her own terms, although I despaired at the effect her actions had on Boyd, Tyler and those closest to her. The way the author portrayed her depression and how she deals with it was believable and realistic.

Boyd is an intense and serious individual who feels alive for the first time when he meets Jessie who bowls him over. He is confused by her behaviour, upset by her refusal to let him help her and devastated when she leaves LA. His growing friendship with Tyler and the support they give each other when Jessie walks out of their lives is also a major aspect of the story.

The writing in this novel is deeply emotional and there are many poignant scenes. However, there are also moments of humour, warmth and passion and the promise of a future between the main couple, if only they will take a chance on love.

I recommend this novel to readers who are looking for a deep and emotional reading experience.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Dreamcast

Meet Jessie

Meet Boyd

Playlist

1.       Miss Misery, Elliot Smith

2.      Brand New Friend, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions

3.      Dear Catastrophe Waitress, Belle & Sebastian

4.      Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t Have)?, Buzzcocks

5.      I Shatter, Magnetic Fields

6.      Can’t Hardly Wait, The Replacements

7.      Cactus, Pixies

8.      Stay Out of Trouble, Kings of Convenience

9.      Never Talking to You Again, Husker Du

10.   A New England, Billy Bragg

11.    International Small Arms Traffic Blues, The Mountain Goats

12.   Screaming at a Wall, Minor Threat

13.   Andy’s Chest, Lou Reed

14.   I Think She’s Starting to Like Me, The Queers

15.   Long-forgotten Fairy Tale, Magnetic Fields

16.   Rudie Can’t Fail, The Clash

Listen via Spotify 

About Cristy Rey

cristy_rey_logo

 

Cristy Rey is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Incarnate series. Taking Back Sunday, Trail of Dead, and the prequel novelette, Edge of Seventeen, were released in 2014. The third full-length installment, Wolf Parade, will be released in 2015. She also writes and publishes unconventional romantic women’s fiction. Weeping Angels and her second, Heart Grow Fonder are available now.

Cristy lives in Miami, FL where she is a reader and writer most of the time, and a knitter much less of the time than she was six months before she took up writing again. She writes the books that she likes to read. She describes her writing style as riot grrrl Jane Austen sprinkled with a little magic. There’s always a killer soundtrack running in the background of her novels – all you need to do is turn to the playlist to know what’s up.

Find Cristy Online

Get Cristy’s Books

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Tina’s Top Reads of 2014

Phew! 2014 was such an exciting year of reads for me – I have been totally spoiled with all of the fabulous books to choose from and I have found it extremely difficult to come up with a list of top reads. Here it is at long last! I’ve included the link to my review, where you can also learn more about the book and the author and find the purchase links. Tina ❤

rain-book-coverRain, by Nicole Hurley-Moore – Sensual Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance

A magical read with all the elements of a fairy tale for adults. It has well defined and believable characters and a strong plot set in a world akin to that of European folk lore and fairy tales of old. In it Nuri is caught between Heaven and Hell as two men fight for her love and her soul.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/01/25/rain-by-nicole-hurley-moore-synopsis-trailer-review-author-bio-and-giveaway/

Blood Mate, by Kitty Thomas – Paranormal Literary Erotica, 18+/adult read81nn3uns8ol-_sl1500_

A Dark and Intense Fairy Tale – another mind blowing and deeply psychological read from this author. It contains a powerful and ancient vampire, August, condemned to drink the blood of his terrified human victims night after night. The only way that his torment can be assuaged is to find his one and only blood mate. Yet when he finds her, she is already truly, madly and deeply in love with another. The ensuing drama is bloody and compelling and is far far removed from a vampire romance!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/02/18/blood-mate-by-kitty-thomas/

20504754 (2)Transcendence, by Shay Savage – Time Travel Romance, adult read

Totally, Utterly and Completely Spellbinding! When Elizabeth finds herself transported from the modern world to prehistoric times how will she survive? The story is told from the POV of Ehd, the man who claims her. The tale of how they overcome the obstacles of prehistoric times and develop their relationship when one of them simply doesn’t have the ability to form and comprehend language is unique.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/03/20/transcendence-by-shay-savage/

Crimson Sins, Madeline Pryce – Erotic Paranormal Romance, 18+/adult read21947832 (2)

Deliciously Dark and Decadent. The book introduces us to a world of magic, necromancers, zombies, ghosts, and more and contains a heady and combustible mix of smokin’ hot romance between the hero Bastian and heroine Morgan. Contains scenes of horror.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/07/16/review-of-crimson-sins-by-madeline-pryce/

17562987-2 (2)Wind Haven, by Charlotte Boyett-Compo – Dark Erotic Fantasy/Futuristic Romance, 18+/adult read

A Light in the Darkness – a real treat for lovers of dark erotic fantasy. The power of love and healing does battle with unimaginable acts of depravity and evil. The novel unapologetically grapples with subject matter which includes scenes of sexual torture, enslavement of the male lead, imprisonment and physical, mental and psychological abuse.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/11/05/review-of-windhaven-by-charlotte-boyett-compo/

Too Much to Lose, by Samantha Holt Sensual and Suspenseful Contemporary RomanceSexy young couple playing in love games in a bedroom.

An edgy and oftentimes dark read, featuring Hunter, a Private Investigator who is in desperate need of money and Jess, an ex porn star, who is equally desperate to forget her past. The chemistry between them sizzles and I loved the suspense.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/09/20/too-much-to-lose-dirty-little-secrets-by-samantha-holt-book-tour-review/

doublealchemy_final1Double Alchemy, by Susan Mac Nicol – Erotic Paranormal mm romance, adult read/18+

Sizzling and Original, full of raging desire, humour and suspense, which pulls no punches in terms of passion or plot. It encompasses magic, warlocks and witches, fey, witchfinders, immortals and more. The romance bewteen Cade and Quinn is, well, super hot and the complex plot brims with danger, violence and suspense!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/04/30/blog-tour-review-giveaway-double-alchemy-by-susan-mac-nicol/

Restoring Lady Anna, by Em Taylor –  Sensual Regency Historical Romancerestoring-lady-anna-cover

Passionate and Compelling Regency which examines some heavy issues – kidnap, mental health and social mores – in particular the expectations imposed on women by the Ton. At the centre of the tale is the romance between Anna and James. Fate has now reunited them but their current circumstances could not be more different and there are moral as well as social dilemmas to overcome if they are to secure their HEA.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/06/26/restoring-lady-anna-by-em-taylor-blog-tour-and-review/

weeping_angels_coverWeeping Angels. By Crisy Rey – Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction

A Beautiful, Raw and Intense Love Story – an intense journey embarked on by two lost souls and deals with the raw emotions of grief, guilt, anger and pain. It is also a beautiful inspirational love story, unlike no other I have read. I am awed by the versatility of this writer.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/07/25/weeping-angels-by-cristy-rey-blog-tour-review-and-giveaway/

Irrevocable, by Skye Callahan – Dark Eroric Romance – 18+/adult Readirrevocable

Freakin’ Brilliant! This dark read is deeply psychological as it examines the themes of domination, submission and sadism. It also contains a heart rending love story spotlighting how far would you submit to survive and in doing so could you preserve your sense of self? Loved it!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/07/24/irrevocable-by-skye-callahan-blog-tour-includes-review-excerpt-and-giveaway/

PP Cover.3838236-Primary Fault CVR UBC-ps4NEWBCT-FIN-12X18-06141Primary Fault, by Sharon Kae Reamer –  Fantasy Romance

Absorbing and Original  – A clever and original read which merges mythology and magic with a heady mixture of romance, science and suspense. It is full of mystery and secrets with a complex plot and superbly well drawn characters, which drew me in from the off. Awarded a B.R.A.G. medallion.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/08/31/review-of-primary-fault-by-sharon-kae-reamer/

Pepper Winters, Indebted #1 –  Dark Erotic Romance, 18+ /adult read21400356 (2)

Deliciously Dark – a world where innocence is consumed by darkness and depravity, the first instalment of Pepper Winter’s Indebted series. I am addicted to the story of Nila, the sheltered heroine and  Jethro, the anti-hero, who is out to break her. A fantastic and sometimes chilling dark read and I adore the battle of wills between the central couple.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/08/23/debt-inheritance-indebted-1-by-pepper-winters/

20800676 (2)Unlovable, by Cynthia St Aubin – Paranormal Romance

A Panty-Wetting, Laugh-out-Loud Read, which contains a love-sick Cupid, a sex obsessed demigod, in the form of Crixus and a dark and dangerous hit-man cum kidnapper, with his own psychological issues. All three burst into the well-ordered life of Dr Matlda Schmidt, a sexually repressed/control loving kinda girl and chaos reigns big-time!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/08/16/unlovable-the-case-files-of-dr-matilda-schmidt-paranormal-psychologist-by-cynthia-st-aubin/

Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal, by Amy Rose Bennett – Erotic Historical Romance 18+/adult readEdinburgh castle over dramatic clouds, Scotland, UK

Gothic Inspired Regency Noir par excellence – A powerful and emotionally charged dark and angst ridden Regency romance. Full of secrets and suspense and brimming with raw sensuality and has a real taste of the gothic about it. A strong heroine and a swoon worthy hero!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/10/12/review-lady-beauchamps-proposal-amy-rose-bennett/

mistunveiled_hires (2)Mist Unveiled, Nancy Corrigan – Erotic Paranormal Romance, 18+/adult read 

Sizzling and Emotional! Nancy Corrigan has not only done her homework on Ragnarok (the end of the world), but given it a fresh twist in her release of Mist Unveiled, book 1 in her new series, Elemental Desire. This novel just sizzles and the romance between Cat and Rune could well ignite your reading device!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/11/29/review-mist-unveiled-elemental-desire-book-1-by-nancy-corrigan/

Darker Shadows (The Ghosts of Ravencrest Book 1), by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross, Paranormal/Horror Erotica, 23510454Adult/18+ read

Gothic Erotica to Delight and Entertain the Senses!  – a top notch quality erotica, a fantastic foray into the world of an innocent who quickly succumbs to the temptations on offer at the infamous and allegedly haunted Ravenscrest Manor and her own burgeoning carnal desires.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/11/01/review-the-new-governess-1-and-awakening-2-in-the-erotic-adventures-of-belinda-by-tamara-thorne-and-alistair-cross/

sheikh-boxed-web (2)Taken by the Sheikh, Mel Treshco, Christina Phillips and Cathleen Ross, Erotic Romance, 18+/adult read 

A collection of delicious captor/captive fantasies – Hostage to the Sheikh (Mel Teshco), The Sheikh’s Mistaken Bride, by Christina Phillips and Sold to the Sheikh, by Cathleen Ross. I have just finished reading this smexy collection of sizzling but sweet romances and my review is in the making, but I will say that it is one of my favourite reads of the year. Each interconnecting tale (which can be read alone) is very different, as are each respective hero and heroine, but all three are super reads to escape into!

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/12/22/release-blitz-for-taken-by-the-sheikh-boxed-set-by-christina-phillips-mel-treshco-and-cathleen-ross-includes-giveaway/

Tempting His Mistress, by Samantha Holt – Sensual Historical Romancetemptinghismistress800 (2)

A Sensual Delight! This page turning read has a strong hero and heroine in Lily and Evan and a sensual and suspenseful plot. It also touches on a number of burning social issues of the day pertinent to women and their role in society and how much their lot in life was controlled by men. this is Samantha Holt’s first Victorian romance and I loved it as much as her contemporaries and medieval romances.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/12/18/review-tempting-his-mistress-by-samantha-holt/

22883671 (3)Red Wolf’s Prize, by Regan Walker, Medieval Romance

A fantastic read, full of passion, deceit and adventure! Following his invasion of England, William stamps his authority on his new vassals by confiscating lands from English thegns, gifting them to his loyal knights and constructing castles to intimidate and control. Sir Renaud de Peirrepont is gifted the demesne of Talisand and its lady Serena as his bride, only the good lady will do her utmost to escape her fate…..

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/10/01/arc-review-the-red-wolfs-prize-medieval-warriors-1-by-regan-walker/

30 Days to Syn, by Charlotte Boyett-Compo, Contemporary Erotic Romance, 18+/adult read30daystosyn_3

Sizzling and Emotional – it contains Synjyn, a tortured alpha male, Lina, a sassy and selfless heroine, panty drenching sexual tension and sizzling love making scenes. There is also drama, emotion and humour and super supporting characters.

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2014/06/16/review-30-days-to-syn-by-charlotte-boyett-compo/

 

**TRAIL OF DEAD (THE INCARNATE SERIES #2), by Cristy Rey ~ BLOG TOUR AND REVIEW

The Pastophori of Iset has set a trap for the Incarnate…only she doesn’t know it….

Trail of Dead (Incarnate #2), by Cristy Rey

Book Blurb

ToD Amazon GR SW

The Pastophori of Iset has set a trap for the Incarnate…only she doesn’t know it.

Burned out from being on the road again, a directionless Sunday finds herself inexplicably drawn to Salt Lake City. There she finds herself in a curious state. For the first time in her life, Sunday feels normal. She can walk around free of anxiety that she will be set-off by her inhuman sensitivity. She can be intimate without overheating. Are the days of the Incarnate finally behind her?

Cyrus has not handled losing Sunday well. For eight months, the werewolf has been a shadow of himself. His pack is concerned and his closest friend, Marcus, believes that Cyrus is in danger of being lost to his humanity. When their Alpha confesses that the Pastophori of Iset has set a trap for Sunday, Cyrus goes into full-gear trying to get her out of it…but he has to find her first.

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Halloween dark scenery with naked trees, full moon and clouds

Excerpt

With a sharp nod to Cyrus, Stephen took a step back and again made his way to his seat. Cyrus claimed the seat Marcus vacated, muscles taut and ready to spring into action. It took everything to abate the firestorm that brewed in him. The loss of Sunday, a threat to Marcus, and the rising wolf that threatened to take over if Cyrus didn’t get himself in check.

“I think Marcus appreciates the situation.”

“Do you, Marcus?” Stephen asked. The younger wolf now stood with his hands in his pockets and his head lowered, refusing to direct his gaze to his leader.

“I do, Stephen, but, respectfully, I think it doesn’t matter.”

“What makes you think you can find her and, even if you did, the Incarnate would go with you willingly?”

“She came with us willingly before.”

“But she didn’t come with you willingly the last time, and correct me if I’m remembering things wrong, but you stated that time she put you on your ass and turned the lights out on you for an entire day to prove just how unwilling she was to be recaptured.” Stephen leaned up on his elbows and shifted forward in his chair. “You think you cannot only find her this time, but get her to agree to going with you? Because, Cyrus, I want to be clear on this. She’s going to have to come with you for this to work.”

Cyrus nodded, and Stephen asked Marcus the same question.

“I don’t think it’s going to be that easy,” Marcus admitted. “But I think it’s worth attempting. At the very least, it gives Cyrus another shot with her, and I’m not sure he’ll stay with us long unless he gets at least that.”

The situation was clear. He’d been volatile since she’d absconded and left him behind, and only by confronting her could the situation be resolved. Cyrus wouldn’t be the first werewolf to leave behind humanity and choose to live out his days in wolf form. Once he made that fateful decision, his humanity would be lost forever. He wouldn’t come back. No one did. He would live out his days in the wild and he would do so in misery, alone.

“Is that accurate?” Stephen asked. There was no mistaking to whom he directed the question.

“Yes,” Cyrus answered.

The word stewed in the room while the three men quietly considered what it meant. Cyrus’s admission was deeply felt, and Stephen sighed heavily and brought his hands to cover his face, shaking his head and mumbling unintelligibly into them.

“So what do you want me to do?”

“I want a meeting with the cult leaders,” Cyrus replied.

Dropping back against the chair, he tucked his chin, beard brushing over chest. All the possible consequences of this action played out in his mind. He might not have admitted it to Marcus, even after Marcus had made his intentions known, but he’d fantasized about the millions of ways he could find Sunday again. Finally, he was opening up about them with Stephen, possibly the only person who could enable their reality.

“The cult has ceased all contracts regarding the capture and retrieval of the Incarnate.”

“Why?” Marcus asked, now inching closer to the table where the two men sat.

“Like I said earlier, Cyrus is the best and everyone knows it. He was the most dedicated to the Incarnate’s case and he is the one with the most experience with her. Since the witch’s flock was all but exterminated when she destroyed the main house, information about her is in short supply.”

“What does the cult know about Sunday that we don’t?” Cyrus interjected.

“Good question,” Stephen admitted with a nod. “It is my understanding that the Pastophori has found another way of trapping her.”

My Personal Review

Dark and Suspenseful Urban Fantasy Read!

Please note that this review contains some spoilers  for readers who have not read book #1 in the series, Taking Back Sunday (click title for my review).

If you are not already on board with the Incarnate Series by Cristy Rey then hop on now and ready yourself for a fantastic dark urban fantasy read! Trail of Dead, book #2 in the series, pulses with arcane magic, violence, psychological torment and twisted evil, but it also explores the bonds of friendship, love and self-sacrifice.

After giving Cyrus the slip at the end of the previous novel, Sunday is again on the run, striving to come to terms with her powerful and oftentimes destructive powers. She is drawn to Salt Lake City, where a feeling of calmness descends upon her and she feels like she has a chance at normality. She makes friends with a woman called Deborah and embarks on a rewarding social life.

Nevertheless the Pastophori have set a trap for Sunday that she unknowingly all but sleepwalks into. This trap may not only cost Sunday her freedom and even her life but also that of an innocent teenager. The dark magic and madness of another, who has awaited the arrival of Sunday for a long time finally comes into play.

At the same time Cyrus, in Alaska with his pack, is sinking deeper into depression following Sunday’s desertion. Fearing what will happen if he is not reunited with Sunday and hearing that she is in danger, he once again seeks her out. Accompanied by fellow wolves Marcus and Angel, Cyrus soon picks up her scent. But will he be too late to save her from the trap and the fate that the Pastophori have in store for her? Will Sunday welcome him back? And above all will she remain with him? Their relationship is a complex one and they have much to come to terms with.

Once again I LOVED the characters in this novel. I really felt for Cyrus, the tortured alpha male werewolf, who cannot survive without his mate. He struggles with the knowledge that she left him, yet once he realises she is in danger NOTHING will keep him from saving her. I also enjoyed finding out more about Marcus and Angel and the new characters introduced in this novel. The members of the Pastophori are truly evil and I was on the edge of my seat hoping against hope that they did not realise their twisted objectives!

I emphasised with Sunday and was happy for her when she begins to live a normal life in Salt Lake City. Yet alarm bells began to ring as her sense of self as well as her powers begin to wane. Events conspire to work against her and people are not always what they seem.  Sunday can only save herself and others if she can break free of the trap that has closed in around her and for once she cannot do this alone. I will not divulge any more of this awesome plot, but just urge you to give this highly original and entertaining series a go – you will not be disappointed!

I received a copy of this novel from the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Taking Back Sunday (Incarnate #1)

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After five years on the run, Sunday has finally settled into a seemingly normal life in Columbia, South Carolina. What her two best friends don’t know is that Sunday has a secret past. She is the Incarnate, a conduit of mystical energy transcendent of the mundane and the divine. For most of her life, she served under Bernadette, the most powerful witch in the Northwest. Her power is terrifying, and what she remembers of her past—and what she doesn’t—haunts her. In the year that she’s been attempting to be anything but the Incarnate, Sunday has fought her abilities tooth and nail, but it’s been worth it. When Sunday joins her friends’ coven for an innocent gathering, Sunday discovers a darkness hidden beneath the blanket of the coven’s magic and she is determined to find out who is behind it and what she has planned.

For the last four years, Cyrus has been the point man on the contract to recapture the Incarnate and deliver her to the Pastophori of Iset. A gifted tracker and a fearless werewolf, he harbors a wild, inexplicable passion for the Incarnate that has driven him to hunt her. He was one of the original captors that brought her to Bernadette when his obsession with her began. Having found her, Cyrus and his pack find themselves torn between two objectives: take her by force and deliver her to yet another group of fanatics, or help her uncover the traitor among her coven.

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo

About this Author

Cristy Rey is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Incarnate series. Taking Back Sunday, Trail of Dead, and the prequel novelette, Edge of Seventeen, were released in 2014. The third full-length installment, Wolf Parade, will be released in 2015. She also writes and publishes unconventional romantic women’s fiction. Her first standalone, Weeping Angels, is available now, and her second, Heart Grow Fonder, will be out in winter 2014/2015.

Cristy lives in Miami, FL where she is a reader and writer most of the time, and a knitter much less of the time than she was six months before she took up writing again. She writes the books that she likes to read. She describes her writing style as riot grrrl Jane Austen sprinkled with a little magic. There’s always a killer soundtrack running in the background of her novels – all you need to do is turn to the playlist to know what’s up.

Find Cristy Rey Online

Cristy’s website Sign up for Cristy’s monthly updates | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Signed Paperbacks | Google + | Youtube

*WEEPING ANGELS* by Cristy Rey ~ Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Four years ago, Frankie Rios walked away from her best friend and big sister, Iris. To Frankie, Iris died the day that she last rejected Frankie’s attempts at getting Iris alcohol and drug treatment. Rather than accept grief for her beloved sister’s loss, Frankie turned to her music. A renowned cellist, Frankie has managed to ignore the pain and suffering of losing the person she loved most in this world. With Iris out of her mind and out of her life, Frankie was able to move on…or so she thought. Until Iris really died.

Topher went to war in 2001 only to return two years later damaged and broken. Unable to reconcile the war vet with the boy he used to be, Topher gave up on life. When Iris Rios, his long-lost childhood best friend, dies from liver failure at thirty-two years-old, Topher is forced to confront his past. He must decide whether he deserves to heal. He must decide whether he will take that first step and then take another until he can recover what he lost: himself.

Weeping Angels is a story of grief carried and grief ignored. It’s about learning to love and moving on. Mourning someone once is hard enough, but mourning someone twice is unimaginably harder.

 

Weeping Angels

Cristy Rey

Goodreads

Genre: Women’s fiction, romance

Release date: June 27, 2014

Purchase Links

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Smashwords

Excerpt

What Frankie says breaks me. It breaks me. And it’s not even about Iris or me; it’s about Frankie. Everything she said about Iris fills me in on years that I’ve missed. Even when I’d been standing right beside her, I was ignoring what now seems so obvious it’s blinding. Yet, for all the talk about Iris’s alcoholism and suicidal tendencies, what Frankie’s opened up about is herself.

I’m not even sure she notices because she’s so guarded. Never once has she reflected on what she’s said. She’s been stating facts, telling stories. That’s what she thinks, anyway. I know this like I know myself, because it’s what I do. I state facts and I tell stories, and what I’m actually doing is diverting attention from what’s going on inside.

Frankie’s all Iris this, Iris that, but what I hear is: I can’t live with myself because Iris was never happy and I couldn’t save her. It’s what I hear inside myself every minute of every day, and my heart breaks for Frankie and for me. What I do next comes so naturally that it scares the living shit out of me. I don’t let her leave. I hold her as close as I can because what I want is for her to be inside of me the way she’s let me be inside of her.

In this space and time, Frankie and I are one person. I’m angry with her. I’m aggressive about it, maybe even hurting her, but I reason that it can’t be any worse than how she’s been hurting herself by balling this all up for decades.

As much as I need her to be close, I want to push her away. I want her to leave and never come back. I want Frankie to take flight tomorrow morning, and I want to be the one to deliver her to the airport because what I’m feeling is something that I’m not ready to deal with. I tell myself to let her stay here, to give her this space from death that she needs. I’m surer now more than ever that we have an unbreakable bond, but I don’t want it.

We have right now and I need it right now, but I can’t want to have it tomorrow. I can’t want to have it ever again. It’s like being with yourself all the time, but only with the ugliest parts of you. It’s looking at all the broken pieces of your psyche and being forced to confront them.

That’s what Frankie is to me. That’s what she’s been to me all day if I cop to it. Maybe it was like that last night when I went out after her in the parking lot and walked her back to the service. Maybe it’s why I couldn’t believe that she could be out there alone with no one to hide her sadness from the world. I’m making up for it today, though. Right now, I’m making up for leaving her naked and on a slab for the world to pick apart. The more I hold her, the more I fear that I’ll never be able to let her go, but I keep doing it because she’s something worth saving and, if she can be saved, then maybe I can be, too.

My Review

A Beautiful, Raw and Intense Love Story

I am familiar with Cristy Rey, having read her Paranormal Romance Taking Back Sunday which I hugely enjoyed. Weeping Angels is an entirely different read, billed as Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance, it portrays an intense journey embarked on by two lost souls and deals with the raw emotions of grief, guilt, anger and pain. It is also a beautiful inspirational love story, unlike no other I have read, and I am awed by the versatility of this writer.

In Weeping Angels Frankie and Topher meet after Iris, Frankie’s sister, has died as a result of alcoholism. Frankie, a renowned cellist, has been estranged from Iris and her family for four years after Iris refused to seek help for her addiction and her family did not acknowledge that she had a problem. Frankie pours her anger and grief at the situation into her music, which in many ways has been her constant prop in the face of witnessing her once beloved sister’s slow demise since childhood. Despite qualifying and working as a lawyer after being discharged from the military, Topher has all but given up on life and struggles to cope with PTSD arising from a Traumatic Brain Injury. Topher used to be Iris’ best friend before he enlisted, having little to do with the reclusive Frankie who refused to party and was devoted to her music.

However Iris’ death draws them together. Topher gives Frankie first the physical and then the emotional support she needs and a strong bond develops. Yet Topher believes that he is broken beyond repair, too broken for Frankie, who has her own demons to deal with. Frankie too has issues, not least her guilt at the death of her sister and the anger towards her family who did nothing to help her sister deal with her addiction. With Topher based in Miami determined to protect Frankie from himself and Frankie living in San Francisco any future together appears doomed, unless the bond they formed is strong enough to overcome their distance and overcome the tangled emotions at play.

I was totally absorbed in the development of the relationship between Frankie and Topher. Cristy Rey cleverly portrays their innermost thoughts in chapters alternating between Frankie and Topher’s POV. Both are broken in their own way and their coming together does not magically make their problems go away. Instead their meeting offers them an opportunity to overcome their problems and embrace a future together if they are willing to chance it. I loved both characters, who display a great deal of strength despite the cards Fate has dealt them. I also loved how the author illustrated Frankie’s character and emotions though her relationship to her cello and how Frankie’s music helped strengthen their bond.

Weeping Angels is a beautiful, original and emotional read, which although will have you reaching for the Kleenex, is also an inspirational one. I strongly recommend it.

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

About Cristy Rey

Cristy Rey is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Incarnate series. The first book, Taking Back Sunday, and a short prequel novelette, Edge of Seventeen, are available now at online retailers. She also writes and publishes unconventional romantic women’s fiction. Her first standalone, Weeping Angels, is available now, and her second, Heart Grow Fonder, will be out in winter 2014/2015.

Cristy lives in Miami, FL where she is a reader and writer most of the time, and a knitter much less of the time than she was six months before she took up writing again. She writes the books that she likes to read. She describes her writing style as riot grrrl Jane Austen sprinkled with a little magic. There’s always a killer soundtrack running in the background of her novels – all you need to do is turn to the playlist to know what’s up.

Contact Cristy

Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter | Website

A few of Cristy’s other novels

  

Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

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