*REVIEW* ~ Rising for Autumn (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles Book 3), by Katherine McIntyre

#paranormal #romance #urbanfantasy

Adult Read

Book Blurb

Crisis and danger have become second nature for Alanna Carrington. After all, as the boss of the Philadelphia Coven, she’s responsible for upholding the laws amongst the supernatural. Which means when the Order of the Serpent rears its ugly head, this time with the most powerful necromancer this city’s ever seen, she’s the one person who can keep Philly safe. Ex-Order djinn and now ally, Samuel Karim, happens to be the best-suited guy to help. Except he’s also the first man who’s stoked her interest in far too long, and ever since she commandeered the lamp he’s tethered to for safekeeping, he also hates her guts.

As the Order gathers the necromancers of her city and sparks a dangerous alliance, she finds herself working with Samuel Karim more and more. Hatred turns to passion, and when he exhibits a strength and compassion that breaks through her ironclad defenses, she finds herself falling deeper despite the complications between them. Yet with her city under siege and their lives on the line, the sharp desire between them erupts into the temptation to break their own rules, before the Order of the Serpent robs them of the chance permanently.

My Review ~ 4 and a half stars

Enemies to Lovers Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

I just love an enemies to lovers romance –  there is something beguiling about all that emotionally intense angst filled hate, flip flopping and fuelling the desire afflicting two individuals attracted to each other despite their best convictions! Rising for Autumn is the third book in Katherine McIntyre’s Philadelphia Coven Chronicles series. The read pairs world weary djinn Sam with Alanna, the ice princess, who is head of the Philadelphia Coven. Those familiar with the earlier books in the series Hunting for Spring and Scrying for Summer (click on titles for reviews) will already be familiar with both characters and I have been looking forward to reading their romance.

The odds are stacked against the two would-be-lovers from the start. Sam clearly has reason to despise Alanna, for as she is the holder of his lamp, he is obliged to do her bidding. As Sam was previously in thrall to the Order of the Serpent the Coven’s arch enemy, Alanna cannot take his loyalty for granted, even as he assists her and her team in its battle against the Order. Sam resents her control over him, as he has resented the control exercised by all those who have possessed his lamp. However, the Coven’s work is a worthwhile cause and once more their current adversary, a powerful necromancer, is one with whom he has an important personal score to settle.

I enjoyed the story and romance between the couple, for although they seem to have so much against them, they find they have much in common if only time and fate will give them a chance. I loved that despite his situation Sam finds himself drawn to Alanna, especially when they are increasingly thrown together and circumstances conspire to expose the real woman beneath the hard exterior. He is intrigued, even as he resents her for possessing his lamp. I found Alanna rather remote and cold in the previous books, but I soon warmed to her as the author turned this around and made me empathise with her through revealing her character and backstory. It will take Sam, an immortal and a former enemy, to penetrate her hard exterior and I found myself becoming invested in their HEA very quickly. The book has plenty of romance, including explicit lovemaking scenes.

Yet how can the couple have a future together when the balance of control is clearly stacked in Alanna’s favour? Once more what chance do they have when the powerful necromancer Akanda will use every weapon in her arsenal to destroy the Coven, its allies and above all Sam with whom she has a history? It is not clear who will remain standing after she unleashes her worst and whether Alanna and Sam will be amongst them, let alone find a HEA.

The read is an action packed one and there is plenty of dark magic as the necromancers and their army of the undead attempt to destroy the Coven and wreak their evil plans on the city. The blood and gore flow as the Coven’s witches and their allies do battle with the wights, redcaps and necromancers.

Rising for Autumn is recommended for readers of action-packed paranormal and urban fantasy who like their reads served with plenty of passion and romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Goodreads

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*REVIEW* ~ Scrying for Summer (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #2), by Katherine McIntyre

#paranormalromance #urbanfantasy

sfs

Book Blurb

Jev was looking for an adventure, however she wanted the usual variety of stomping out nasty fae in the city as an enforcer of the Philly Coven. Instead, handsome as sin Liam O’Reilly shows up on her doorstep dropping news of the worst organization of fae they’d dealt with on the rise again. Except, he’s a traitor, an asshole, and the absolute last person she wants to work with.

However, the longer they work together, the more the fire between them burns, turning from rage and irritation into something primal. And as she gets to know the real Liam O’Reilly behind the charming smiles and sexy lines, he becomes so much deadlier. Because the protective, self-sacrificing man underneath his facade is just the sort she could fall for.

My Review

Fast, Furious and Sizzling! 5 stars

Scrying for Summer is the latest instalment in Katherine McIntyre’s Philadelphia Coven Chronicles. It is a smexy read from start to finish, which fans of romance, especially paranormal and urban fantasy will love. Whilst the book works as a standalone, reading the previous book would give more of an insight into the main characters and the world of the Fae.

I hugely enjoyed the pairing of Jev, a gutsy Coven Enforcer with Liam, (the previously turncoat Hunter) both of whom we met in the previous book Hunting For Spring (click on book title for my review). There is an awful lot of sexual tension between the two from the off, although it is not acknowledged. Jev despises Liam on account of his past alliance with the enemy and views him as a traitor. She is upfront and honest in her opinions,  disliking deceit of any kind, in contrast with Liam who guards his true self and traumatic past beneath a bad boy devil-may- care exterior.  Whilst Jev trusts Liam not an inch she is prepared to work with him to rid her beloved city of evil and is careful to both watch her back and guard her heart against the man necessity compels her to work with.

Nevertheless as the two work ever closely together their respective masks come off and they begin to fall hard for each other. Indeed, there are some smoking hot scenes amongst those of blood, magic and gore which typify the battles between Jev and Liam and their arch enemy. Yet will they survive? Once more will they take a chance on love and admit their feelings for one another are more than just lust?

This book, like the previous one, contains some expertly crafted battles between the forces of good and the evil Unseelie, where no quarter is spared and where Jev and Liam must use everything in  their arsenal if they are to survive.

All in all a super addition to the series and I am looking forward to future instalments!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

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Review Round Up: January ’16

Hello readers, this month we have fourteen great titles for you to check out; some from our more regular authors, such as Beverly Ovalle, Christina Phillips, Nina Mason and Katherine McIntyre, as well as fresh authors to us, in Lolita London, and Krissy V who we had the pleasure to meet at last years Second City Signing event!

Still in the mood for love after your Valentines Day? ❤ With plenty of erotic, contemporary and historical romance reads, there is also a nice blend of sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal romance in our review recap this month. Plus, time to catch up on the last of our festive/wintry reads of the season which would be suitable to read as the cold weather lingers just for the next few weeks, or could urge you to purchase those festive reads well in advance for next Christmas! Author, Deborah Melanie features with a double festive review with her short stories Winter’s Spirit and The Good Girl; whether you’re into sweet romance, or hot, erotic you’ll have the choice of sweet or spicy 😉

Whatever your mood, we hope you find something to whet your appetite!

Happy reading,

Caroline & Tina 🙂 x

 

Stealing HopeStealing Hope: A Dragon’s Fated Heart by Beverly Ovalle, sci-fi fantasy, post apocalyptic paranormal erotica (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Amazon Bestseller in Erotica Paranormal AND Erotica Science Fiction

The apocalypse has come and gone.
Those who survived learned to adapt.
Dragons awaken to once again reign over the skies.

Upon eruption of a volcano, Ari awakens to a changed world, and a knowing that his dragon’s mate is near. He saves her twice—once as a dragon, and again as a man—and wins her confidence.

Hope cried out, moaning, “just change me with pleasure?”

Hope is restless and unfulfilled until she meets Ari, the man of her fantasies. The sensual tension between them heightens with every touch. When their passion explodes, Hope gets pulled into the dragon’s mating ritual…and into a world of erotic sensation she never dreamed existed but now cannot live without. The dragon binds his mate to him with a ritual that shows Hope her true nature in this humorous erotic romance.

East to WestEast to West by Lolita London, erotic historical western romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A letter in the mail, a hurried kiss goodbye, and a long train ride to her new life marks the end of Mary’s childhood.

When Mary Gray is informed she’s been selected to be a mail order bride, she’s reluctant to say the least – and not just because she has to leave her old life behind to marry a man she’s never met.

What she finds – or rather, what she doesn’t find – when she gets off the train surprises her. Her husband is nowhere to be found, and she’s informed that she’ll be living by herself until her fiance is finished overseeing a harvest.

To pass the time, she gets a job as a local schoolteacher… but a dangerous flirtation with her eldest student, Tom, threatens to end her marriage before it begins.

What she doesn’t know is Tom isn’t the man he seems to be… and she’ll find out just how little she knows about the man she’s marrying when they finally meet face to face.

This book contains explicit sex scenes and is for mature readers only.

StormyKnightDark and Stormy Knight (The Knights of Avalon #2) by Nina Mason, paranormal urban erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: She’ll risk everything for their love—even her life.

Aspiring screenwriter Gwyn Morland is ready for her big break. That means securing the film rights to elusive author Lady Ruthven’s acclaimed novel—which means traveling to Scotland. It’s a trip timid Gwyn isn’t prepared for, and her fears seem justified when her tour bus careens over a cliff outside of Castle Glenarvon. But the plot thickens when Gwyn is rescued from the brink of death by a handsome and mysterious stranger…

Leith MacQuill is not only the writer behind Lady Ruthven’s novel, but a shape-shifting faery knight bearing a tragic curse: the woman he gives his heart to will die. Saving Gwyn proves to be a dangerous choice when he finds himself falling for her the longer she stays in the castle. Not even his usual BDSM role-playing games are enough to thwart the intense desire they feel for each other. But to stay together, Gwyn and Leith must embark on a dangerous mission into Avalon, the realm of the faeries. Will their love be strong enough to conquer the curse? Or will Gwyn’s new life be stolen from her before it’s even begun?

MCTo Win Her Trust (Players #2) by Mackenzie Crowne, contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Can she trust this player with her heart?

Ever since experiencing a childhood trauma, reclusive artist CC Calhoun has suffered from panic attacks. But when a fateful kiss from handsome wide receiver, Kevin “Tuck” Tucker, is enough to stop one of those episodes cold, she wonders if guarding her heart has been the right choice. Will going on a test date with Tuck open her to trusting someone for the first time in years? Or will she wind up being just another notch in the football player’s bedpost?

Tuck has a reputation for charming women into bed, but after his kiss with CC, he’s left aching for more. When he proposes a second date, his attraction to the sexy blonde looks like the makings of true love—something he’s never quite believed in—until now. But when Tuck discovers CC’s childhood secrets, will the pro athlete be tough enough to stay by her side—or will he betray her hard-earned trust?

HFSHunting for Spring by Katherine McIntyre, paranormal urban fantasy romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Hunters are a lonely breed, and Conor’s no exception, until the day he meets Brenna. Even though she slinks in unannounced and kills the wight he was hunting down, the girl’s a mystery and he can’t get that blinding smile or those gorgeous curves off his mind. Since they’re both after the same caster who’s unleashing these monsters, he suggests teaming up, and despite her initial reluctance, the hungry way she scans him down promises something powerful.

However, her secrets have repercussions, and faster than Conor can lift his Glock, he’s drawn into the web of kidnappings and Unseelie mischief, all concealing the machinations of a darker foe—one that plans to bring Philly to ruin.

SatedSated by Lucy Felthouse, paranormal erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A human, a vampire and a werewolf walked into a bar. Sexy is what happens next.

Since getting together with her vampire boyfriend, Ace, Aneesa is enjoying a sex life she could never have with a human. Ace has skill, strength, stamina…and is massively adventurous. Aneesa is checking things off her sexual bucket list at a rate of knots. However, she hasn’t even come close to experiencing the ultimate item on her list. So when Ace beats her to it, proposing a threesome with his werewolf friend, Barton, Aneesa’s definitely up for it.

Barton is attractive, smart and sexy—almost too good to be true, in fact. Aneesa decides not to jump straight into things, but makes sure it’s what she truly wants. However, it turns out Barton’s not so easily dissuaded.

Will Aneesa get the ultimate erotic experience she’s desired for so long? Will she be truly sated, or is the plan doomed to failure?

CupcakeEbookCover04-Final-200x300A Cupcake Christmas (Touchstone #5) (short story) by Beth Barany, festive holiday romance adventure(reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: What if you risked losing your baking legacy by cooking up a love truly special? Florian MacMillian needs a final job to complete his baking resume—preferably a job where he’s unlikely to blow things up with his unruly magic—before returning to the North Pole and taking his rightful place as Master Baker to all the elves. Kate Delore desperately needs help in her fast-growing cupcake business. Florian is a perfect fit, so she brings him on as baker. For a short time, Florian is happily up to his elbows in batter, and Kate’s business is booming. But when things heat up between them, Florian wonders if he should risk his legacy to cook up something truly special.

properlyornotatall_800Properly or Not At All (short story) by Lucy Felthouse, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: How will a husband and wife cope when they’re told one of their favourite kinky pastimes is temporarily off the menu?

Tristan and Jayme are not only devoted husband and wife, they are also Dominant and submissive, with a particular penchant for spanking. They’ve been playing delicious kinky games for the fifteen years they’ve been together and couldn’t be happier. However, when Tristan develops a health issue that means he can’t redden his wife’s backside for a while, it puts both of them under a lot of strain. It’s a big part of their sex life and one they’ll miss badly.

They try to find a way around their unfortunate predicament, but it’s not easy. In the end, Tristan declares that he will either spank Jayme’s bottom properly, or not at all.

The prospect of no spanking at all dismays Jayme, but she has no other choice. Or does she? Continuing to put her mind toward the issue, she indulges in some solo experimentation, with mixed results.

But how will Tristan feel when he finds out his wife has gone behind his back?

Reader Advisory: This book contains anal sex and a scene of female ejaculation. 

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released as part of the Over the Knee anthology by Totally Bound Publishing. 

MonsterDefaced: A Dark Romance Novel (The Monster Trilogy #1) by Marissa Farrar, dark romance suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Monster
Hidden away from society by his criminal father, there lives a man who has never entered the outside world. Now, having taken over his father’s business, he has all the money and power he could dream of, yet still he refuses to let himself be viewed by the rest of society.

Lily
Traumatised by an event in her past, Lily Drayton has a phobia of being touched. Though she helps people externally with her skills as a laser therapist, she refuses to let anyone in, emotionally or physically. When Lily is kidnapped on the way home from work one evening, she discovers she’s not the only person who keeps themselves cut off from the rest of the world.

Defaced
A man owns her now—a man both dangerous and enigmatic. Drawn by his dual beauty and hidden pain, he awakens something inside her, something she believed was long dead. Brought to a room without windows, she’s given an impossible task: to make her owner acceptable to the outside world.

Can altering his face change who he is as a man, or is he truly a monster, both inside and out?

A Taste of ChristmasA Taste of Christmas [Dublin Style] by Krissy V, festive holiday contemporary romance, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: My name is Nollaig, it’s the Irish word for Christmas. I hate my name. My parents loved Christmas and that’s why they gave me such a festive name, together with the fact that I was born on Christmas Day.

However, my parents are no longer with us after dying in a car accident on Christmas Eve, five years ago.

Now I hate Christmas all together.

I always hated the fact that everyone got presents on my birthday. Now my parents are gone and ever since then I just don’t feel like celebrating Christmas. Everything about this holiday gives me sad memories.

I need a miracle to happen over the Christmas holiday to make me change my mind about Christmas.

Who knew that a quick shopping trip would provide me with the miracle that I so desperately needed?

Winter's SpiritWinter’s Spirit (short story) by Deborah Melanie, contemporary festive holiday romance, paranormal, fantasy, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Winter McAndrew is on the brink of divorcing her philandering husband, Philip, when he dies in a car crash. One year later and with unfinished business; Philip is still earth bound and interfering in his wife’s love life. Trying to make amends isn’t always easy when you’re dead. Not only has Winter fallen for her old crush, Jack Tobin, but he also happens to be Philip’s cousin. With more complications than a woman needs at Christmas, Winter tries to find peace at her holiday home in The Lake District. However, when she finds herself snowed in with Jack; ghosts, old and new cause quite a stir. Will Winter get her man, or will ghostly Philip put an end to all her festive fantasies?

The Good GirlThe Good Girl (short story) by Deborah Melanie, contemporary festive holiday erotic fantasy (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: With the festive season almost upon her, plus size model, Sarah, wonders if being naughty not nice, will get her everything her heart and body desires. With two gorgeous neighbours and a unique employment opportunity, could this be the year when Sarah’s naughty Christmas wishes are finally granted?

The book contains adult themes and menage situations.

Taken by the BillionaireTaken by the Billionaire (A Collection of Stepbrother romance novellas) by Christina Phillips, Mel Teshco and Cathleen Ross, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Novella Blurbs:

He’s forbidden…and he’s her every wicked fantasy

Ravished by the Billionaire by Christina Phillips

Dexter Jericho has it all – wealth, good looks and women falling at his feet. The last thing he wants is his little stepsister working in his London casino – until he meets her again. Because now Gabriella is all grown up and sexy as hell, and he can’t keep his hands off her. There’s only one problem – she might be a corporate spy, in which case he’ll keep her close and seduce her secrets from her.

Gabi’s had a crush on her stepbrother for as long as she can remember, and he’s finally noticed her. His scorching kisses and talented tongue make her forget this is a forbidden romance. Until she discovers the truth for his sudden interest and realizes his dirty little secret – is her.

Punished by the Billionaire by Mel Teshco

Isabella wants no part of the Jericho fortune, not if it means being a puppet to her stepfather, Harrison Jericho. Instead she turns to her one skill and passion and becomes a professional gambler. Except no money in the world is enough to make her forget her eldest stepbrother, Max Jericho, or the scorching kiss they shared at a party.

Max has been keeping tabs on his beautiful stepsister, Isabella. He’s been half in love with her for years, and no amount of hard labor and bedding other women makes him forget her. But his feelings won’t mean a thing if she’s guilty of dragging the Jericho name through the mud. He needs to get her alone to uncover the truth. And now that he’s CEO of his very own casino, Bella is drawn to him like a moth to flame.

Except losing a bet to Max and staying in his penthouse for a week just might be Isabella’s biggest gamble yet. Especially when she discovers how far he’s willing to go to clear the Jericho name.

Trapped by the Billionaire by Cathleen Ross

Tom Jericho has never got over the naked body slide his sixteen year old stepsister Christabelle Evernight performed on him when he was twenty-one. Born with a sense of honor, he wouldn’t take her virginity then but he’s certainly interested in having her now. After all, what’s a little dirty fun between step siblings and Christabelle has been a very bad girl.

There’s nothing more humiliating than being knocked back by the hottest, sexiest stepbrother Chrissy has ever seen, so she’s not going to Australia to work under him, except her stepfather leaves her no choice.

Tom Jericho knows her secret and he’s going to make her pay, but Chrissy has grown up now and she happens to enjoy Tom’s brand of punishment – and knows just how to pay him back.

**ARC REVIEW** ~ Hunting for Spring, by Katherine McIntyre

Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance

HFS

Book Blurb

Hunters are a lonely breed, and Conor’s no exception, until the day he meets Brenna. Even though she slinks in unannounced and kills the wight he was hunting down, the girl’s a mystery and he can’t get that blinding smile or those gorgeous curves off his mind. Since they’re both after the same caster who’s unleashing these monsters, he suggests teaming up, and despite her initial reluctance, the hungry way she scans him down promises something powerful.

However, her secrets have repercussions, and faster than Conor can lift his Glock, he’s drawn into the web of kidnappings and Unseelie mischief, all concealing the machinations of a darker foe—one that plans to bring Philly to ruin.

My Review

A Hunter meets his match – 5 magical stars!

This is a fast paced and engaging urban fantasy romance which pairs Conor, a hunter of otherworldly abominations, with the mysterious Brenna. It is the second book that I have read by Katherine McIntyre, the other being the Steampunk romance Stolen Petals (click the title for review), and I hugely enjoyed it.

After his life is unexpectedly saved by Brennna, Conor joins her on her quest to rescue her stolen pendant from a common foe. He becomes spellbound by Brenna’s combination of bravery and vulnerability, sensing a kindred spirit and does all in his power to protect her when her life is threatened. Brenna, who is hiding a secret finds herself becoming more and more attracted to this hunter which could well prove dangerous. When faced with her worst fear, can Brenna stay alive long enough for Conor to rescue her? Also can they survive treachery and the threat posed by the Unseelie world seeping into the human realm?

The romance is overall a sweet one, containing a sizzling love-making scene and oodles of sexual tension! I particularly liked how their relationship grows and how the author showed us what the characters were thinking about each other through their actions, rather than words.

The fae world is hidden from normal human folk and I loved the imagery the author conjures up in her descriptions of the evil Unseelie, who lurk in the shadows and increasingly threaten the lives of others. I also enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the deadly and magical fae world which part of the book takes place in.

Another super read from this author, which I recommend to lovers of urban fantasy/paranormal romance.

 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. 

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Tumblr: http://www.booksteacoffee.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kmcintyremt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixierants

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28113978-hunting-for-spring

 

Review Round-up Aug ’15

Hi readers, Love certainly has been in the air for us this summer at A Reader’s Review Blog! I know romance is usually at the core of many of the stories we review, but this summer I have been left with a calm, serene and warm feeling, especially after just reviewing Laurette Long’s HOT BASQUE! Katherine McIntyre’s SOUL SOLUTION certainly left a mark on me, and Laura Barnard’s DOPEY WOMEN will have you in stitches, as well as enjoying a dangerous romance!

Tina has been reviewing some dark erotica books with Annika Martin & Skye Warren’s PRISONER, and HER MASTER’S COURTESAN by Lily White. Please note that the latter is most certainly not a romance though, and is definitely for the Adult 18yrs+ reader!

To meet your paranormal needs, along with Soul Solution (Katherine McIntyre), we have SOUL RELEASE, the last of C.J. Pinard’s Rebel Riders series, as well as a YA paranormal fantasy in Pat Spence’s TRUE BLUE (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2).

And if mystery, crime and thriller are calling we have Niki Danforth’s STUNNER, and SILENCE OF A STRANGER by Elizabeth Bailey.

We hope you enjoy our selection. (As always, please click on the titles for more info and to read our reviews!)

Caroline & Tina 🙂

soul solutionsSoul Solution (Beyond Fairytales #1) (novelette) by Katherine McIntyre, dark paranormal/romantic suspense (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: For Erik Anderson, the Copenhagen line is his curse. He takes the train every night en route to collect souls. Like any lovelorn fool, he bargained his own long ago, and now pays the price—a lifetime of loneliness as a grim reaper. Stay distant—that’s been his mantra and what keeps him sane.

Until Mina Castner drops into his life like a whirlwind, one spilled drink leading to staying up until dawn with the woman. He believed one night couldn’t hurt, but he sorely underestimated her determination. Every encounter between them is reprieve from the guilt of reaping souls every night, but it can’t last. Even if she sparks long buried feelings, and even if her sheer presence intoxicates him, he can’t let this continue. For humans, his touch is poison, and if he slips up, it could cost her life.

Lily whiteHer Master’s Courtesan by Lily White, dark erotica (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: (N.B. This is not a romance novel. Adults 18yrs +)

I am a Master.

You must know this fact to understand my story.

I capture women.

I break them down.

And I rebuild them.

If they are lucky, they are sold into the professional hands of another Master. If they are less fortunate, they are buried beneath the ground, never to be thought of again.

I lust for the control, I demand absolute submission and my body yearns to warp the minds of those I train.

Power is the only thing I’ll ever need and I am addicted to the feeling of ultimate control.

I am wealthy, good-looking, educated and charming.

And I am – in no way – a good man.

I do not want love.
I do not want kindness.

She thought she could change me by giving me the two things I knew I never wanted.

She was wrong.

23303963Prisoner by Annika Martin & Skye Warren, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell. But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think. And you might crave him more than your next breath.
 
Prisoner is Book One of the Criminals & Captives series.

DOPEY WOMEN

Dopey Women by Laura Barnard, contemporary romantic comedy/chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Sadie had a bumpy upbringing but she’s still managed to drag herself out and carve a career for herself. That all comes crashing down when she, along with the women she manages; Mags, Lexi & Steph, get made redundant. She’s screwed. In hindsight she shouldn’t have attacked her colleague in a moment of rage. There goes the reference.

When they all bump into each other a few months later at the job centre Sadie finds she’s not the only one in a hole. Steph’s boyfriend has left her holding the baby, Lexi’s stuck in an abusive relationship and poor Mags has breast cancer. They’re all struggling to keep on top of their bills. They all need money to get out of their situations, its as simple as that.

Mags mentions that some women find marijuana helps ease the sickness caused by chemo. With the desperation mounting and the coffee spurring them on they somehow decide to start growing it. They’re only going to sell to ladies going through chemo, so its not too bad, right? They’re not going to be proper drug dealers. And its only temporary.

They didn’t bet on the business taking off so well though. Before they know it they’ve got orders coming out of their ears, a sexy detective on their trail, suspicious neighbours and drug dealers angry they’re working on their patch.

Can Sadie pull them out of this dangerous world they’ve found themselves in? And can she do it before they end up in prison?

STUNNER, Niki Danforth - CoverStunner (An Accidental Lady Detective series – A Ronnie Lake Mystery #1) by Niki Danforth, mystery crime thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Beautiful. Bright. And possibly deadly…

That’s all Ronnie Lake knows about her soon to be sister-in-law, Juliana. But Ronnie is determined to find out the truth about her wealthy brother’s new lover—before he throws away his happiness, his fortune…maybe even his life. Who is this mysterious woman, and where did she come from? What is she hiding? And how deep could the deception go?

First the family receives strange phone calls. Then a disturbing package appears at their estate outside New York City. Ronnie—a divorced, downsized, 50-something—seems an unlikely detective. But she soon finds she’s got an instinct for this type of work, as she falls ever deeper into a sinister world where people will do anything to escape their past. And Juliana may be the most desperate of them all.

True BlueTrue Blue (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2) by Pat Spence, YA paranormal romance/fantasy (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: As the word ‘tomb’ came into my head and my predicament hit home, I lost control and hammered on the lid, screaming ‘Help, get me out of here’ over and over, until my throat hurt…

In just two weeks, Emily must undergo the blue crystal initiation ceremony or face death from the secret order that protects it. But is she ready to spend eternity with the beautiful and irresistible Theo de Lucis, or can best friend, Seth, offer an alternative? And can she stay alive long enough to make the decision?

As Emily considers her future, she becomes an unwitting pawn in a dangerous game of life and death, caught up in a supernatural world of ancient enemies, old grievances and dark forces. Tested to the limit, she must draw deep to ensure her survival.

Heart-rending and horrifying, True Blue is the second book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy, with a colourful cast of characters, a fast-moving plot and surprises at every turn. Keep turning the pages. You have to know what happens next….

An old enemy of the de Lucis family waits in the shadows, desperate for the crystal and preparing to exact a terrible price…

lunchtime eavesdropperLunchtime Eavesdropper (short story) by Joanie Chevalier, contemporary psychological drama/self-belief chick-lit/humour (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Meet Marlee, a woman who lives a comfortable but simple life with her loving partner, the adorable Larry. She discovers that covertly listening in on other people’s conversations during lunch hour excites her and adds to her otherwise humble life. When she overhears unpleasant gossip about herself, she becomes obsessed with changing her personality and makes the bad decision to become someone she’s not. After her total makeover, Marlee suddenly finds herself basking in the attention of her co-workers and is ecstatic when she’s finally invited to sit at the “popular” table at work. But is a personality change really worth the price? Is being popular worth losing herself, possibly the love of her life and/or redefining her own definition of happiness?

Come and take part in Marlee’s life, even though it’s only for a short time, and experience her yearning to belong and be accepted for who she is. You may be surprised by the unexpected twist in her story.

statelypleasures (2)Stately Pleasures by Lucy Felthouse, erotic ménage (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Three’s a magic number in this steamy love triangle set in a British stately home. Alice Brown has just landed her dream job. Property manager at Davenport Manor, a British stately home. It’s only a nine-month contract to cover maternity leave, but it’s the boost up the career ladder she so desperately needs. Unfortunately, things don’t get off to the best start, when Alice finds her boss, Jeremy Davenport, in a compromising position. Far from being embarrassed by what’s happened, Jeremy turns things around on Alice and makes her out to be the one in the wrong. So when he and his best friend and head of security, Ethan Hayes, throw an ultimatum at her, she’s so stunned and confused that she goes along with their indecent proposal. When the dust settles and Alice has time to think about things, she realises that perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing. There are worse things she could be doing to advance her career, after all.

Soul Release - Rebel Riders 3Soul Release (Rebel Riders #3) by C.J. Pinard, paranormal romance/urban fantasy (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: His heart wants love. His mind craves revenge. His soul needs peace.

Faced with the horrible reality that he’s been tricked by Eva, Nolan sets off in a mad rage to find the evil red-haired succubus and end her once and for all. When the search for her falls flat, he turns to Kovah and the Rebel Riders for help. Not only fueled by wrath, a now sudden fear and sadness has also overtaken his heart: Where is his love, Charity?

With Joel Reichert searching deep for what the Justice Department knows about the supernatural of New Orleans, he’s not going to be of any help to Nolan – especially once Nolan finds out what Kovah and the Riders are planning for Joel and his hotel of vampires.

Can they all work together to find Charity and rid Louisiana of her evil succubus sister once and for all? Or will pride, egos, and longstanding feuds and hatred tear them all apart before she can be found?

Find out in this third and final instalment of the Rebel Riders Series.

silence of a strangerSilence of a Stranger (novella) by Elizabeth Bailey, romantic suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Secrets, danger and an enigmatic stranger, a twentieth century mystery romance.

Is Bea’s life more at risk than her disobedient heart?

SILENCE OF A STRANGER

Her car broken down, Bea Russell goes for help and walks straight into hell. Three armed men and no answers. Held captive, strip searched, her dignity in shreds, Bea is horrified when she responds to the attraction of the man who grabbed her out of the dark.

Who is the fugitive Rad? Escaped rapist or spy? No one will talk. Yet Bea is forced to share the danger, fleeing across rough fields in the deep night hours. At a deserted house by the sea, she looks fate in the eye. One wrong move could change her life forever.

COVER HOT BASQUEHot Basque (A French Summer Novel #2) by Laurette Long, contemporary romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Sit back with a glass of chilled rosé and let yourself be carried away to the white sands and pounding surf of the French Basque coast. What could be more relaxing? Find out what’s going on at the Villa Julia, where Caroline and her honey are enjoying the song of the crickets, the glow of the stars and happy romps in the boudoir. Caroline is also doing some matchmaking between best friend Jill and the hot Basque himself, Antoine, he of the smouldering eyes and perfect teeth. And Annabel the sister from hell, is miles away, no need to fret about her. What could be more idyllic? Not a cloud on the horizon…well, maybe it’s looking a bit black to the north, but nothing to worry about, surely??

**REVIEW** Soul Solution (Beyond Fairytales #1) by Katherine McIntyre

You may have noticed our recent promo post (with an excerpt) of Katherine McIntyre‘s Soul Solution (Beyond Fairytales #1). An adaptation of String of Pearls by Hans Christian Andersen, it was everything I expected and more.

soul solutions

Blurb:

For Erik Anderson, the Copenhagen line is his curse. He takes the train every night en route to collect souls. Like any lovelorn fool, he bargained his own long ago, and now pays the price—a lifetime of loneliness as a grim reaper. Stay distant—that’s been his mantra and what keeps him sane.

Until Mina Castner drops into his life like a whirlwind, one spilled drink leading to staying up until dawn with the woman. He believed one night couldn’t hurt, but he sorely underestimated her determination. Every encounter between them is reprieve from the guilt of reaping souls every night, but it can’t last. Even if she sparks long buried feelings, and even if her sheer presence intoxicates him, he can’t let this continue. For humans, his touch is poison, and if he slips up, it could cost her life.

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

Soul Solution is a dark paranormal romance which provides suspense as the reader longs to find out what will become of Erik and Mina. Will Erik be taken in by her so much that he just can’t help himself? Will he touch her and lose her forever? Or, will he manage to keep his distance in order to keep her safe?

After bargaining his soul long ago, Erik is now a soul collector himself. Riding the train on the Copenhagen line each night, taking souls, and living a life of loneliness is all he knows. He doesn’t enjoy it. It hurts. But, it’s his curse. All he can do is target the people whose whole body glows to him, indicating that their time will soon be up anyway. He can’t get emotionally close to people for fear of touching them and taking their soul too. However, he becomes unstuck when Mina walks into his life.

Mina is desperate to escape a blind date that she really didn’t want to go on. After spilling her drink on Erik, she quickly decides he can help her without realising it. Checking that he is okay, Mina leaves the club with Erik. Taken aback by her beauty and attention, Mina has brought him into a situation he is not comfortable with.

He is ice cold to everyone, keeping his head down most of the time and trying to disguise his beauty, keeping attention away from him.

“Reapers weren’t supposed to attract attention. They were supposed to be forgettable shadows in the night…

… If he was ice, they wouldn’t bother him. And if he was ice, maybe it would hurt a fraction less when he had to take their lives.”

But, after spending time with him, Mina sees much further than anyone has before. She senses that he is a troubled soul, she sees his beauty and his kindness. Mina’s ability to get through to him mentally and emotionally, as well as her beauty, leave him tempted for more. Yet, one touch could take years off her life. It’s an impossible situation; he can’t be with her, yet he finds it difficult to move away.

“After meeting a veritable army’s worth of women, he’d thought he’d encountered every last one. Yet she’d been hiding all along, this odd woman who made him forget his guilt, if just for a moment.”

There is a beautiful atmosphere created by the author, albeit dark. Erik certainly has many regrets and carries the guilt around with him. Mina is the only one who has had such an effect on him, helping him take his mind off collecting souls, which is all he has had to think about for so long. Will he give in to the strong temptation to kiss her, to touch her? Or, can he hold back and walk away?

“The longer he watched her smile, listened to her lilting laugh, the more he knew she was in trouble.”

If you’re looking for a dark, paranormal, suspenseful fairytale-like romance then you will certainly find it in Soul Solution. With an unpredictable, surprising ending I LOVED this novelette, and cannot wait for more from Katherine McIntyre!

An ARC copy was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

Soul Solution (Beyond Fairytales #1) is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

**REVIEW** ~ Stolen Petals, by Katherine McIntyre

Steampunk Romance

Novelette

Blurb

Stolen petalsOne man has swiped bounties from Viola, the Brass Violet, for years. Longstanding rivals, they’ve only had brief encounters, and if she had a choice, she’d avoid him entirely. When he saunters into her bar with an offer to work together on a job, the proper response would be to shoot him down and send him back to Shantytown. However, curiosity’s a wicked beast, and Viola needs to know why, after so many years of stealing her marks, he’d approach her now.The man is insufferable, annoyingly cavalier, and tends to stir up memories she’d rather forget–but she needs assistance on this job and he’s offering aid and blueprints which could cut their work in half.

Given the intense way he looks at her though, working together isn’t all he has in mind. Van Clef is known for his persistence and, with his charm, he wins women over effortlessly. Viola’s not so easy though–she’s wise to his tricks. But if he wants to play the game, she will gladly rise to the challenge. By the end of this bounty, she’ll be the one leaving him in the dust.

My Review ***** FIVE STARS

Fun and Flirty Steampunk Adventure

Stolen Petals is a fun and flirty steampunk read with plenty of sexual tension between the main characters Viola and Van Clef (Edward) and a rollicking and adventuresome plot.

I liked and admired the character of Viola, a strong yet vulnerable woman who has dragged herself up in the world from lowly roots to be one of the best bounty hunters around. We find out about her back story as the tale unfolds and I loved how the author pairs her with Edward, a rival who is a bit of a ladies man who tempts her against her better judgement. Edward labels Viola the ‘Ice Queen’ and I was kept guessing as to his true motivations.

Indeed, it is a battle of wills in terms of who will triumph in terms of the bounty and also in terms of their developing relationship. Will Edward get his way and seduce Viola or will Viola manage to rebuff his advances whilst still keeping her heart intact? Indeed, can this scoundrel of a man be trusted at all?

I found the descriptions of the Steampunk world of New London and Shanty Town created by the author to create just the right level of atmosphere to allow me to escape into an alternate world without detracting from the storyline and the romance between Viola and Edward. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the night time streets and the apparel of the characters, especially Viola and Edward’s special ‘tricks’ of their trade! There is more to both Viola and Edward than meets the eye and the author packs a lot into the novelette.

I really enjoyed the read and recommend it to fans of both Steampunk and historical romance. I would certainly not hesitate to pick up another read by the author.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon.com

Author Links

Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

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