*ARC REVIEW* ~ Branches for Cover (Legends of Kake), by Kate Kelley

#darkfantasy #paranormal #eroticromance #shifters

Adult/18+ read


Book Blurb

Kinna is trapped in hiding in a remote village in the Mouth of Daylight, aka Kake, Alaska. She catches fish for money in the daylight and hunts for food by moonlight, all the while praying the Alpha of her ex-pack doesn’t find her. Because if he does, she won’t survive the encounter. That is, if the mysterious creatures in her own backyard don’t get to her first.

Ren is a lone bear, separated from his pack by choice–he isn’t interested in being a part of a feral, non-shifting society that lives only for seeking blood instead of a way to prevent the worst of their curse. Ren seeks a cure, a cure that can only be found in a particular coven of witches–a coven that just happens to be long-dead.
Or so he thinks.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42904104-branches-for-cover?from_search=true

My Review – Engaging dark erotic paranormal read ~5 stars

Branches for Cover is a thoroughly engaging read with a memorable hero and heroine, plus it has the most gorgeous cover, which perfectly sums up the character of the heroine! It is the first book that I have read by the author Kate Kelley and I would most definitely read more of her work. The plot ticks so many of the boxes I love – a smexy and dark erotic paranormal read; an enemies to lovers romance, a mystery and creatures of myths and legends.

Indeed, I adored the relationship between the two central characters, Kinna and Ren. Both Ren, a bear shifter, and Kinna, a wolf-witch, are alphas and the sizzling attraction they have for each other is clear from the off. However, it is complicated in that it is based on mutual loathing and mistrust and they both fight their feelings: Ren hates Kinna as he believes her kind is responsible for a great ill that has befallen his pack and Kinna despises Ren as, although she is innocent, Ren is hard on her as he is not so easily convinced. The read contains scenes of violence, sexual situations and possible triggers and is intended for mature readers.

The sexual tension between them ratchets up as the story progresses and there are a number of sizzling scenes … Ren is one sexy and dominant bear shifter who has met his match in Kinna and Kinna, despite her unwillingness to commit to another, especially another alpha, finds him increasingly hard to resist.

There are a number of complications which hinder the development of their relationship, not solely the mystery behind what has afflicted Ren’s pack. A lot is at stake and their are some startling revelations. Trust does not come easily to Kinna nor Ren – they are both very stubborn individuals and  I found their relationship extremely entertaining as they fight their feelings for each other all the way.

The author does an excellent job of drawing on folklore to create the world Ren and Kinna inhabit: a world of creatures from myth and legends who live undetected amongst humans. The book ends on a cliffhanger and I am itching to find out what happens next.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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*RELEASE BLITZ* ~ Her Savage Scot & Her Vengeful Scot, books1 & 2 of The Highland Warrior Chronicles, by Christina Phillips

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Forged in blood, United by Passion
The Highland Warrior Chronicles

Book 1 – Her Savage Scot

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He’s the only man she wants, and the one she can never have…

When tough Scot warrior Connor MacKenzie rides into the barbaric lands of the Picts on a mission for his king, he never expects to be captivated by a beautiful Pictish widow. Drawn under her spell, yet unaware of her true identity, he risks everything for one passionate night in her arms.

Aila, princess of Pictland, swore, after watching her husband die, that she would never marry again. But after meeting Connor, her frozen heart thaws and once again she imagines a future filled with love and passion.

When Connor delivers the message from his king, Aila becomes a pawn in a deadly game of politics. Her heart belongs to Connor, but she must marry the prince of Dal Riada – Connor’s half-brother. But the fates have other plans for the star-crossed lovers as they fight their enemies and themselves to find true love.

Previously published in 2013

Read Chapter One of Her Savage Scot 

Book 2 – Her Vengeful Scot

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To avenge his sister’s honor, he must destroy the woman he wants most in the world…

Ordered to remain in Pictland, Cameron MacNeil fights the lust that consumes him whenever he encounters the aloof princess, Elise. Not only is she a cursed Pict, she belongs to the man he has vowed vengeance upon.

Despite her reputation, Elise has no interest in men until she meets Cameron. Lacking the famed Scots charm, his blunt ways enchant her and he ignites a passion she long thought dead. When she is freed from her difficult marriage, Elise places her trust in the tough Scot warrior who has stolen her heart.

Bound by blood oaths, the only way Cam can protect Elise from political schemes is to make her his bride. When Elise discovers the truth, she fears everything she knew about her husband was a lie. All she can do is trust her goddess was right and Cameron is her one true love.

Previously published in 2014

Read Chapter One of Her Vengeful Scot

*Re-Release* of Forbidden (book 1 in The Druid Chronicles), by Christina Phillips

Erotic Historical Romance *TOP READ*

Adult/18+read

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If you love erotic historical romances then you will not want to miss out on grabbing hold of a copy of Forbidden, the first book in Christina Phillips’ sizzling Druid Chronicles, which has now been re-released with a beautiful new cover. I read this book in my pre-book blogging days, seduced by the scrumptious plot line containing a drop-dead-gorgeous Roman warrior and a Druid princess who is not only his enemy but his heart’s desire. Passions run high, loyalties are tested and danger looms for the couple as their love is threatened on all sides. It is by far one of my all time top reads as it embraces such a fascinating  historical time period. Once more it is written by one of my favourite authors! To find out more and for a chance to read the first chapter read on.

Book Blurb

He was a master of seduction – but no match for the magical allure of the woman he wanted most

Carys knew from the moment she first spied on Maximus in his naked barbarian glory that he was a dangerous Roman centurion – his taut, battle-scarred flesh marking him as a fearless warrior. But her desire for him was as undeniable as it was illicit.

Charged by his emperor to eliminate a clan of powerful Druids in Britain, Maximus never expects his mission to be thwarted by the clan’s ethereal princess, Carys, his daring voyeur. Falling under her spell, he doesn’t realize her true heritage – until he captures her heart as well as her body.

As Carys’ loyalties are twisted, and freedom is no longer her single-minded obsession, an avenging former lover threatens to crush Maximus’ people into oblivion. Now Carys and Maximus must overcome the devastation of war and face the ultimate sacrifice if their forbidden love is to survive.

Previously published by Penguin US in 2010

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Read Chapter One

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 Bio

Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing contemporary, historical and paranormal romance where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.

She is addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

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**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.

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~**EXCERPT**~ from *Knight’s Captive* by Samantha Holt

Elizabethan Romance

Release Date 16th July 2015

We are delighted to share with you an excerpt from Samantha Holt’s sensual Elizabethan romance, Knight’s Captive, available next week and now up for pre-order! Tina 🙂

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Blurb

Queen Elizabeth sits on England’s throne. A once Catholic country is now ruled by a Protestant queen. In a time of fear, turmoil and bold deeds, many heroes are seldom written into history…

After aiding in the capture of the flagship Rosario and helping to defeat the Spanish Armada, Sir Henry Bainbridge is set to make his mark on the world and strengthen his position as a man of authority. Now in charge of the Spanish prisoners, Henry must negotiate their return to Spain and manage the care of his people.

However, when he comes across a woman amongst the survivors, his future plans are put on hold. The exotic beauty draws him in and his honour will not let him doing anything other than protect her. Henry takes her into his home and places her under house arrest. He can only hope his principles are enough to protect her from his desires…

In a time when small differences spark fear into the heart of many, Antonia finds herself drawn into a battle between a zealous priest, a discontented population and the most honourable man she’s ever met. Nothing can ever come of their attraction, not while he’s holding her father prisoner and not when so many differences divide them.

Or can it?

Pre-order links:

US: http://amzn.to/1NL2c5n

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01054FDEI

Excerpt

The ship seemed to come apart beneath his feet. It propelled him forward and he snatched whatever part of Antonia he could grab to haul her close. His fingers met a bunch of fabric, and he yanked her to him and drew her to her feet. She tried to get away again but he was prepared this time and wrapped his arms about her.

“We need to get off.”

She shook her head. “My father!”

Smoke was beginning to rise out of the hull. Men poured onto the deck, but he couldn’t see her father. His men frantically ushered them over the side of the ship to the waiting boats. He stepped around the steadily growing cracks in the wood and grimaced as the mast swayed and creaked. The ship didn’t have long.

He shoved Antonia into Will’s arms. “Ensure she gets into a boat.” He turned his attention to the dark-eyed woman. “I’ll get your father.”

She nodded, her lips pulled into a tight line of fear. Henry turned away before he could regret his decision. Will would see her to safety. The gut-sickening sound of men’s cries sliced through him, like a baby’s wail calling to its mother. It wasn’t the first time he’d heard sounds like that, and yet it still made him stiffen and determination burned in his belly. He’d been tasked with capturing these Spanish and he’d damn well do it. None would burn or drown on his watch.

Henry raced down the stairs and covered his mouth with his arm. Smoke made his eyes water. Ghostly creaks rattled through the ship. She was taking on water though it hadn’t reached the deck below. He could hear the sea swallowing her, drawing her down to her doom. But the fire hadn’t been doused. Heat touched his skin and he suspected that not far beneath him could be a raging inferno.

Several men pushed past him—his own men. He peered into the gloom and stalked past the canons. The ship gave another shuddering moan and tilted aft. He gripped some rope hanging from the roof and forged forward.

“De Valdés!” he called, almost choking on a lungful of acrid smoke. When he neared the galley, he paused. Over the sound of the foundering ship, a cry for help reached his ears. He pivoted and raced to the fore, narrowly avoiding tripping over loose shot and ropes. There, near the front, was Antonia’s father—pinned by a strut of wood that must have fallen from the roof.

When he peered closer, he noted de Valdés wasn’t the only one caught. A young officer had also become trapped. Henry grimaced. He didn’t look alive.

Henry wasted no time in gripping the plank at one end and dragging it from the commander, wincing from the effort. His muscles pulled in protest, his lungs burned with exertion and smoke inhalation. He cast it aside and did a cursory inspection of the lad. Dead, for certain.

“Can you walk?” he called to the older man.

He nodded, dragged himself to his feet and propped himself against the rear wall. Even in the gloom, pain dug deep grooves in his features. Henry suspected a broken leg. God’s teeth, they didn’t have time for this. He snatched the man’s arm, flung it over his shoulder and they made their way all too slowly to the stairs.

A moan rumbled through the ship. She tilted farther, heeding their progress yet more. He practically dragged the commander up the steps and they both took a moment to swallow gulps of fresh air. Henry surveyed the deck and saw most had abandoned ship.

Except…damn her. He passed her father over to Will. “A broken leg,” he shouted. “You’ll have to lower him down. As soon as he’s in, abandon ship.”

Antonia was already hurrying to his side from the quarter deck but before she reached them, a crack splintered the air. Henry’s skin prickled. He glanced up and saw the middle mast sway. The ship was now at an angle—slightly back, slightly to one side. The mast began to tilt that way too and as it went, it ripped the quarter deck with it, sending Antonia sprawling. He half-expected her to be swallowed into the bowels of the ship before he stormed up the stairs to her side, but he reached her before the mast fell.

As the deck splintered into what seemed like a hundred pieces, he snatched his arms around her and dragged her onto the main deck. The ship spit up shards of wood around them. She wasn’t going down without a fight, but she seemed determined to take them with her. Henry glanced back to see Will and de Valdés were gone. He tightened his grip on Antonia and wrapped a hand around the railing. They’d be lucky to make it to the longboats waiting in the water. “We need to jump.”

“No. My father.”

“He’s safe.” Henry had no way of knowing that, but he wouldn’t have this woman on the ship any longer. “Can you swim?”

She nodded.

He helped her up onto the railing. Her body trembled beneath his palms. “Jump now.” His world tilted further. “Jump!”

She flew over the edge, her hair streaming out behind her. He couldn’t hear the splash as he tore off his doublet and undid his belt. He flung both aside, regretting that he’d lose his blade. That had been a fine blade. Clambering onto the side, he took a breath and dove.

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About the Author

Samantha lives in a small village in England with her gorgeous twin girls. 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.

Find Samantha on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samanthaholtromance

Join her street team here: http://www.lovelustandlipstickstains.com/p/street-team.html

www.samanthaholt.org.uk

 

**REVIEW** ~ Her Heart’s Surrender, by Allison Merritt

Sensual Viking Romance

Book Blurb

Alison MerrittAfter sneaking out with her brother, Eoghann, one night, Ealasaid discovers Viking ships sailing up the river to sack their home in Northumbria. They attempt to warn their father, but it’s too late and the Vikings slaughter or enslave all the inhabitants of Suibhne. In attempt to save her family, Ealasaid stabs a young Viking warrior, but her father is killed, her family scattered, and she’s taken to Solstad Hall where she serves as a thrall for the Viking king. Years later, the king’s son, Hella, ventures on many raids and to trading sites across Europe, but his desire is to set up a farm in Solstad with Ealasaid as the thrall in charge of his household. He tells her of his plan and they expression their passion for one another. When Hella petitions the king for her freedom, but is turned down and order to the Frankish lands in retaliation for raids on the Viking coastal villages. Ealasaid, aware the king would never free her, tells him that he should look for a brighter future across the sea, away from his father and resigns herself to be his slave for the remainder of her life.Called home to watch his father die, Hella is stunned when his father’s final command is that Hella must marry or the throne will go to his adopted brother. Furious with his father’s orders and worried about being left without lands or money, Hella looks to the thrall who’s always captured his attention—Ealasaid. Ealasaid harbors a secret—the single afternoon she spent in Hella’s arms resulted in a son, her treasure, her reason for living.

My Review

A Powerful Enemies to Lovers Romance *****

Her Heart’s Surrender is a powerful and heartrending romance between the Viking Hella and the Saxon Ealasaid. The enemies to lovers trope is one of my favourite in the romance genre and this is expertly executed by Allison Merritt in this novel.  Once more the romance is  all the more beautiful due to its themes of redemption and forgiveness.

The heroine, Ealsasaid, a Saxon princess, was taken from her home as a child, becoming a thrall to Ingevar, the Viking King responsible for the destruction of her homeland and the slaughter of her kin. She suffers his cruelty and abuse for years, finding solace in Ingevar’s son Hella and their one passionate coupling results in a son, Birgir (a secret that Ealasaid keeps to herself for fear of Ingevar’s wrath). Ingevar refuses his son’s request to free Ealasaid and sends him to raid lands abroad. When Ingevar dies, Ealasaid is stunned when Hella asks her to be his wife and become his queen, yet what of her secret and the effect of years of abuse at the hands of Ingevar? What follows is a truly romantic tale of how Ealasaid finds her true place with the man she was destined to be with, amongst the people who were her enemy. Their HEA is not assured however when the past comes back to haunt them and as their future together comes into question, I could not turn the pages quick enough to find out what happens!

The events in the book and the romance explore a number of different themes; forgiveness, revenge, retribution, honour and family and kinship ties. Given the historical time period, there are many references to acts of violence and cruelty, some against the heroine. This is balanced by the many tender and sensual sense between the hero and heroine, where they explore their growing connection to each other. Indeed, Hella is one Viking warrior I would be happy to call my own!

Ealasaid is a strong woman given all that she has experienced at the hands of Ingevar and she has a sharp wit which I enjoyed. Hella, a strong but fair minded Viking, has always disliked how his father mistreated Ealasaid, but he was not in a position to prevent it. I liked how he sets out to prove his love for her, gaining her trust through his thoughtfulness and kindness. The scenes with his son, whom he believes is Ingevar’s, are particularly touching. I also enjoyed the supporting characters, in particular Erik and Eoghann and Idunna – I very much hope that the author is going to pen their stories some time soon. I recommend this novel to readers of Historical Romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

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https://twitter.com/Allison_Merritt

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http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.co.uk/