*REVIEW* ~ Moonstone: A Contemporary Reverse Harem Romance Novella (Jewels Cafe Book 11), by Lucy Felthouse

#erotic #romance #reverseharem

 

Blurb

Moonstone Guinevere ‘Ginny’ Miles is in Silver Springs visiting her parents for the holidays. They moved to the town five years ago, and adore their new life here. Used to the hustle and bustle of London, England, Ginny isn’t convinced at first—what’s so great about a small town in Upstate New York, anyway? Despite her own opinions, it’s clear to Ginny the move has done her parents the world of good—they look years younger. There’s clearly something magical about this town.

Following some exploration of her own, Ginny discovers Silver Springs has its charms—Jewels Cafe is amazing, for starters, as is its pumpkin spice latte. Ginny’s drunk a lot of lattes in her thirty-three years, but nothing quite like this.

Her taste buds are still tingling from the tasty treat when she comes across a broken-down truck on the way back to her parents’ place. And when she spots the three gorgeous guys with the vehicle, it’s not just her taste buds that are tingling.

Is Ginny’s vacation in Silver Springs about to get a whole lot more interesting?

Moonstone is a standalone contemporary reverse harem romance. It is part of the Jewels Cafe series.

Goodreads

My Review – 

Fun, sexy and damn hot! – 5 stars

I loved this light-hearted and sexy novella penned by Lucy Felthouse, which is full of seasonal fun and magic.

The heroine, Ginny, is visiting her parents in the US town Silver Springs, when trudging through the snow on her way back from town she comes across a broken down truck. She is instantly bowled over by not one but three sexy men. For some unexplained reason her hormones are on overdrive after drinking a pumpkin spice latte at Silver Springs’ Jewels Café, recommended to her by her loveable and quirky matchmaking parents. The scene is then set for some serious love action and some sizzling scenes!

This reverse harem novella is just the ticket if you are after a fun-loving erotic romance with all the feels. It is set during the Christmas holidays and I felt that this added to my enjoyment of the read as the warmth Ginny and her parents feel for each other was a lovely backdrop to the passion between Ginny and her trio of gorgeous men friends. The trio are equally enamoured with Ginny from the off – they are more than willing to share, and are not shy of letting her know their intentions. All three men have different personalities and I was left feeling that Ginny is one lucky girl to have them all to herself! I am off to google the recipe for pumpkin spice latte!

Perfect for fans of erotic romance and fun and loving reverse harem reads.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Connect with the Author

https://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/

 

*REVIEW* – The Path to Horn Cottage: A Cunning Folk Mystery, by Prudence S Thomas

#fantasy #alternatehistory #suspense #magic #crime #mystery

Blurb

Horn Cottage, an ancient cave house, has been home to the cunning folk of Thornton Cleveleys for generations. The early death of her mother left Meryall as the cunning woman for her village before her training was complete. A young man seeking Meryall’s help to find his missing sister draws her into an ever more complex and sinister mystery. Can she use her divination skills to help solve the mystery of the missing woman and avert a tragedy? An atmospheric journey through a mystical land, The Path to Horn Cottage is the first book in the Cunning Folk Mysteries series.

My Review

A Delightful Read – 5 Stars *****

I found Prudence S Thomas’ A Path to Horn Cottage to be a thoroughly entertaining read, which effortlessly transported me into a world of magic and belief in the old gods and their ways.

Also what a gorgeous cover – it perfectly reflects the essence of the story and it’s central character, the young ‘cunning woman’ Meryall, as she strives to reveal the whereabouts of a missing woman whilst balancing her own responsibilities to fellow villagers. As the story unfolds Meryall finds she has to journey from her home in her quest to uncover the shocking truth.

The author does an excellent job of creating an alternative reality where England has resisted the conversion to Christianity, instead cleaving to the old religion and its associated magic. I liked the central character Meryall: a strong and capable young woman, who is finding her way in life. She harbours her own doubts and frustrations as she seeks to balance her duty as her village’s ‘cunning woman’ with her natural curiosity to explore more of the world. Her partner Madoc is a perfect foil for her. The book is full of many interesting secondary characters, not least Meryall’s adversary.

I enjoyed the world the author has created,  – it is clear she has done a considerable amount of research into making it both credible and diverting. I look forward to reading more about Meryall in future works.

Recommended for readers who enjoy a suspenseful read set in a historical/fantasy context.

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 UK 

Amazon US

Connect with the Author

https://prudencesthomas.com/

https://www.facebook.com/prudences.thomas.9

 

**Blog Tour** ~ Knights of the Tarot, by Nina Mason (includes excerpts)

Paranormal/Fantasy Romance

Adult/18+ read

Nina Mason has just re-released significantly revised editions of the books previously published as Starry Knight and Dark and Stormy Knight. If you’ve read them in the original version, you might want to do so again because they’re very different now. If you haven’t yet checked out Nina’s excellent books, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Knights of the Tarot, a four-part series, was born of a relatively simple concept. Nina wanted to write a paranormal/fantasy series incorporating different forms of divination. Tarot cards, astrology, runes, numerology, and the like. From that kernel grew the overarching storyline. The heroes of this contemporary paranormal series are Scottish noblemen of times past who were taken by the faeries into Avalon to serve as breeding drones to the queen, the legendary Morgan le Fay. Each of the books tells the story of a particular knight and the heroine whose love saves him from his unhappy existence.

Each hero grapples with a different relationship with their cruel and selfish queen. Callum Lyon, the knight of book one (Knight of Wands), is free of Morgan’s influence, having escaped Avalon after faking his death. Leith MacQuill, the knight of book two (Knight of Cups), was expelled from Avalon after the queen discovered his affair with one of the ladies of her court. To punish Leith, Morgan cursed him so any women he should fall in love with in the future would die.

In book three (Knight of Pentacles, which releases on June 13), Axel Lochlann, a rune-casting Highlander of Viking descent, is still enslaved to the queen, who he serves as a guardian of the portal between the mortal and immortal realms.

The Knight of Swords (book four) is Finn MacKnight does not yet know he is destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy telling of the queen’s overthrow by a natural-born drone.

The knights are blood-drinking shape-shifters who can assume the form of any creature, real or mythical, but generally take the form of their alter ego. Callum’s preferred form is a lion, Leith’s is a Kellas Cat, Axel’s is a gyrfalcon, and Finn’s is a jaguar.

* * * *

Title: Knight of Wands
Author: Nina Mason
Series: Knights of the Tarot (book one)
Genre: PNR/UF
Heat Level: Erotic
Formats: Kindle, Paperback, Kindle Unlimited
Release Date: May 24

Here’s the blurb for Knight of Wands:

Paranormal Investigator Vanessa Meadows believes in every kind of magic except love. When her new boss sends her on an assignment to remote Caithness, Scotland, she’s determined to do whatever it takes to prove the Vampire of Barrogill is more than a legend. First, however, she must get inside the castle where the entity is believed to dwell.

Castle Barrogill belongs to Callum Lyon, a handsome baron and reclusive political astrologer. Their strong mutual attraction proves a boon to Vanessa’s plans, but, once inside his castle, she encounters more paranormal activity than she bargained for. There’s no vampire, but there is a blood-drinking faery knight—and a ghost who will stop at nothing to keep her there. Will freedom-loving Vanessa’s feelings for Callum, coupled with nudges from the other side, be enough to persuade her to give him a chance? Or will the dark secrets of Castle Barrogill only reinforce her unwillingness to put her faith in the power of love?

Here’s an excerpt from Knight of Wands:

“Have a look at your adoring fan over there,” Duncan said, leaning in. “I do believe she’s visually undressing you.”

Callum looked up from the book he’d been signing Political Astrology through the Ages, his latest in a series on the subject. The fan in question stood by the refreshment table, clutching the book to her chest. Was she undressing him with her gaze? A smile stole across his mouth as interest deepened its hook. Judging by the heat of her stare, he was already naked in her mind.

While delivering his lecture on the same topic, he’d seen her in the third row, giving him equally heated looks. All through his talk, her presence, not to mention her seductive stare, had made it difficult to concentrate on his notes. Luckily, he knew the topic well enough to wing it.

Licking his lips, he traced the long, smooth contours of flesh and muscle beneath the posh black pantsuit she wore. She was tall and slender—willowy—with an angular face and a wide, full mouth that stretched into an inviting smile as his gaze met hers with an electrical charge he felt in his groin. Her eyes were as blue and deep as a loch. Mesmerized, he returned the smile. How easily he could get lost in those eyes, forget how to swim, and realize too late he was drowning.

He lowered his gaze to her breasts, which were large, firm, and unharnessed. Did she have an aversion to undergarments? He hoped not, given his penchant for naughty lingerie. He dressed her in a lacy black corset and thigh-high stockings. Oh, aye. She definitely had the figure to indulge his weakness. Swallowing his rising lust, he shifted in his chair to ease the tightening in his trousers.

Turning to Duncan, he asked, “Who is she? Do you know?”

“I’m afraid I don’t,” his friend replied.

Swallowing, Callum shifted his focus to the woman directly in front of him. She was fiftyish, plump, and squat with curly dishwater hair. “What was the name again?”

“Sorcha.”

“That’s lovely.” He grinned through the qualm inflicted by the name. “I once had a wife called Sorcha.”

His statement clearly aroused her interest. “Would you be looking for a new wife by any chance, your lordship? Because, if you are, I ken a bonny lass who’d be just perfect for you.”

“Oh, aye?” Still smiling falsely, he arched an eyebrow. “What sign would she be then?”

“She’s a Gemini.” The woman beamed at him in a manner suggesting the lady in question was probably her daughter.

“Ah. I see.” He cleared his throat. “Well, Sorcha, that’s too bad. Because, you see, I make it a strict policy never to get tangled up with anyone born under the sign of the twins. They’re far too changeable for me, I’m afraid.”

He signed her book and handed it back. He made more or less the same claim whatever the answer. Well-meaning women were forever trying to set him up—usually with themselves. He sought out the dark-haired lass again, wondering what sign she might be. Not that it mattered, since what he had in
mind would be brief and involve very little talking.

Buy Knight of Wands now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Knight-Wands-Knights-Tarot-Book-ebook/dp/B01CYH38IC

Read more of Knight of Wands for free on Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/story/68103579-knight-of-wands

* * * *

Title: Knight of Cups
Author: Nina Mason
Series: Knights of the Tarot (book two)
Genre: PNR/UF
Heat Level: Erotic
Formats: Kindle, Paperback, Kindle Unlimited
Release Date: May 24
Here’s the blurb for Knight of Cups: 

When Gwyndolen Darling, a sexual abuse survivor who lives in a fantasy world, travels to Scotland to meet her obsession, she soon finds herself in a dark faery tale of epic proportions. Sir Leith MacQuill, the object of her quest, isn’t just a reclusive author who’s into BDSM, he also is a shapeshifting faery knight who carries a curse that will kill any woman who captures his heart.When his usual methods fail to protect Gwyn, a dead ringer for the wife he tragically lost back in 1746, Sir Leith must find a way to break the curse or lose his One True Love a second time. Unfortunately, the article he needs to reverse the hex is in the otherworld land he was banished from by the ruthless faery queen who cursed him.Gwyn must, therefore, undertake the dangerous mission alone. Will she find the courage to fight for herself and her knight? Or will she choose to stay inside the imaginary tower she’s built to keep herself safe from the world?

Here’s an excerpt from Knight of Cups:

Leith slipped into the garden shed, stripped off his clothes, and contemplated what lay ahead. Shifting was a self-abandoning experience much the way orgasm was. La petite mort, the French called it. The little death. Orgasm, not shifting. The absolute dissolution of mind and body brought about by shifting was closer to a near-death experience.

Peace followed the quieting of conscious thought, especially the grief and regret that seemed always to be squirming inside his heart like worms boring their way through an apple.

The hush of animal instinct was heavenly—or would be if his human self didn’t squat in the background making a nuisance of itself. Conversely, the cat was always there, too, living inside him like a restless embryo, constantly striving to make more room for itself inside his subconscious womb.

Sometimes it was a wildcat, big and blood-hungry. Other times it was a kitten, docile and contented. Often, it woke him in the night, needing to stretch its restricted limbs. Occasionally, its swiping claws would tear at his insides, drawing blood.

The change was nothing to him now (the whole process only took a minute), but it wasn’t always so. Like sex or roleplaying, like everything, really, shifting got easier with practice.

In the early days, the transformation took place from the inside out. He would sit for a spell meditating upon the picture of himself as the cat before speaking the incantation. He would imagine himself growing fur, a snout, and a tail; envision his hands and feet becoming paws and his ears rising to the top of his head to form points. It took a considerable amount of effort and concentration back then.

Now, he simply called the sleeping cat forth.

Here, kitty, kitty.

Well, no, it wasn’t quite that simple. He still had to recite the ancient spell Belphoebe taught him before he turned her over to the druids and imagine himself covered in black fur with a long tail and slanted green eyes.

Taking a deep breath, he got down on all fours on the shed’s dirty floor. Grit dug into his knees and palms as he called the image of a Kellas Cat into his mind and spoke the magic words.

Fee-faw
Fee-faw

Fee-faw

His hands and feet changed first. The feeling was like the chills one gets with a fever. His toes and fingers retracted as their nailbeds sprouted claws. He dug their sharp points into the rough wood of the floor as a symphony of smells waltzed up his elongating snout. The sharply pungent steer manure behind him led the way, followed by the garden’s roses, lavender, and honeysuckle. The sea come next with his bracing primordial pong. Then, the woods joined in with the soft notes of soil, grass, pine, and decaying leaves. Finally, he caught the scent of that earthy perfume Mother Nature dabbed on after the first few drops of rain.

Inside him, the cat purred like a lawnmower.

His shoulders, back, and haunches changed next. The hands of an invisible sculptor pushed, pulled, and reshaped the cellular clay of his form. Flesh, blood, and bone magically and painlessly reconfigured in a matter of moments.

Buy Knight of Cups now on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Knight-Cups-Knights-Tarot-Book-ebook/dp/B01CYV21BS

Read more of Knight of Cups for free on Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/69275123-knight-of-cups-knights-of-the-tarot-2

Knight of Pentacles Coming Soon!

Title: Knight of Pentacles
Author: Nina Mason
Series: Knights of the Tarot (book three)
Genre: PNR/UF
Heat Level: Erotic
Formats: Kindle, paperback, Kindle Unlimited
Release Date: June 13

Pre-order now! https://www.amazon.com/Knight-Pentacles-Knights-Tarot-Book-ebook/dp/B01CYT94R4

* * * *

About the author:

Nina Mason, author_small

Nina Mason is an incurable romantic who strives to write the same kind of books she loves to read: those that entertain, edify, educate, and enlighten. She has one other series out at present, Royal Pains, which follows a Scottish duke and duchess through the events of the Restoration period.

Born and raised in Southern California, Ms. Mason currently lives with her family in Woodstock, Georgia. When she isn’t writing, she works as a consultant for Pure Romance, a line of relationship-enhancement products. Nina combines author readings with in-home Pure Romance parties.

For more information, email her at  ninamasonauthor@gmail.com.

Visit Nina’s website: http://ninamasonauthor.com
Follow Nina on Facebook: http://facebook.com/ninamasonromance
Follow Nina on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ninamasonauthor

Subscribe to Nina’s newsletter: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/authorninamasonsnewsletter

 

**REVIEW** ~ A Labyrinth of Love and Roses (Touchstone Series #4), by Beth Barany

Sweet and Magical Romance

This is the perfect read for today, the first of May, when the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane is traditionally celebrated. Can Lili and Brett, the heroine and hero of this romance set aside their personal goals to come together and acknowledge their true destiny?

Labyrinth

Book Blurb

From award-winning novelist, Beth Barany, comes another magical tale of romance and adventure — a sweet, Hallmark-like tale.

What if what you wanted got in the way of your destiny?

French MBA grad Lili Grenault needs to succeed at her last pitch meeting to fund her international green tech business. But her grandmother tells her to drop everything, find her one true love, and embrace her magical legacy by Beltane, in one week, or chaos and failure in her life will ensue.

San Francisco investor Brett Barnaby wants to find his great-grandfather’s gravesite in Amiens, France, one of the primary battle sites of World War I. Family legend says that purpose, greater mission, and perhaps even untold riches, will be unlocked when he finds that grave. But his search in Amiens brings up fear, anger, and dire warnings about some wild Green Man. He turns to local Lily Grenault for help.

Can these two independent freethinkers work together to prevent chaos from triumphing and find love in time in the labyrinth of roses?

Goodreads

My Review

A Sweet and Magical Contemporary Fairy Tale ~ ***** (5 Stars)

A Labyrinth of Love and Roses is a quick uplifting romantic read. Set in Amiens, France, where the veil between the human world and the one of ancient earth magic that protects the world is thin. Lili is unexpectedly drawn into this world when her grandmother informs her that at Beltane she needs to embrace her destiny and find and join with her 0ne true love, to prevent chaos ensuing in her own life and to that of the planet.

The reluctant Lily, intent on securing funding for her business, goes clubbing and encounters an American, the drop-dead gorgeous Brett. In return for helping Brett solve a family mystery, he helps her with her business pitch, whilst striving to keep his hands off her as he does not want to mix business with pleasure.

Yet as Beltane approaches, elemental magic awakens, and as Lili and Brett journey into the countryside surrounding Amiens, they are drawn together, even as they attempt to pursue their separate paths. Yet will they deny their destiny and love before it is too late?

This delightful read is a magical one, invoking ancient myths and legends, such as the Green Man. It also involves themes inherent in fairy tales: a quest; acknowledging our destiny; finding our one true love and a trial of sorts. Brett and Lili are destined to be together and I enjoyed how the author described their journey to their HEA.

If you are looking for a novella which merges the myths and legends of the past with contemporary romance, then this is the perfect read for you,

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

Goodreads:   Site:   Twitter:   Facebook

 

**RELEASE BLITZ** ~ Seasonal Miracles in The Spirit of Christmas Past by Anna Everett (includes excerpt)

Seasonal Miracles in The Spirit of Christmas Past by Anna Everett #paranormal #romance #contemporaryfiction

thespiritofchristmaspast

Blurb and links

When the holiday of a lifetime turns to tragedy, Caragh fears her life will never be the same again. Her beloved James is missing, she has to learn to live all over again. With the help of her nurse Elspeth, and her new friend Callum, slowly she begins to rebuild. However, not everyone is who they seem, and she fears she will be alone forever….until Christmas brings with it some unexpected magic.

Buy it here

http://ow.ly/VrtIZ

Excerpt

Caragh picked up the printed plane tickets for about the 15th time that hour and as she read the details typed neatly on them she grinned again. A large cheshire cat type grin that lit up her whole face and made her blue eyes sparkle and shine. She looked over at James who was, as usual on his evenings off, playing World of Warcraft on the X-Box. His ginger curls bouncing around as he animately hit the buttons on the controller, the concentration on his face was intense, she often laughed at the range of faces he pulled as he took his game a little too seriously.

“I can’t believe it’s tomorrow” she exclaimed excitedly. “I can’t believe we are really going to New York for Christmas”

“Umm” he replied distractedly “Just get a takeaway then”

“James!!” she exclaimed in frustration, picking up the red velvet cushion from the sofa beside her, and launching it at his head. “This is the holiday of a life time, the honeymoon we couldn’t have last year….for goodness sake pay attention and be excited”

Snapping out of the gaudy, loud, violent graphics based world of his game back to the cosy deep red themed lounge of their three bed semi, James turned to her with a broad grin to match hers.

“Ok, ok” he replied with a laugh “Of course I’m excited, it will be amazing,”.

Knowing he was beaten and his game playing was over for the evening, he reached over and pressed the off button on the console, and turned to face his wife.

“Just think” she said, grabbing the cushion he had thrown back at her, and hugging it to her small frame, those blue eyes now dancing with excitement, “We can go to Bloomingdales, Macy’s, ice skating, and the tree, I cannot believe I am going to be in the Rockefeller Centre standing next to that tree”

Her enthusiasm was contagious and his own excitement was starting to bubble, he smiled as he happily listened to her rave about their destination, in the wonderful soft Irish lilt that had first caught his attention 4 years ago when they met at a surgical resident summer school.

He got up from the black corduroy armchair and crossed to the matching sofa to join her, wrapping her up in the arms of his much larger frame as he sat down.

“It will be perfect” he said smiling as she snuggled herself into him “perfect because we are going together…I cannot wait either” he kissed the top of her blonde head and squeezed her closer.

Their first morning in New York dawned crisp and clear. Caragh smiled and stretched in the warmth of the bed and turned to cuddle up to James.

“Our first day of sightseeing, how exciting” she said squeezing him tighter. “Sounds good to me, but first breakfast, I am starving!” he replied.

“You always think with your stomach” she laughed “just as well we arranged for room service then, should be here anytime now”

It wasn’t long indeed before the trolley arrived and they sat in the window seat once more enjoying the views below, eating warm pancakes and delicious scrambled eggs, the fresh white china hosting the tasty combination, whilst two large mugs of steaming hot freshly brewed coffee sat on the table cooling slightly.

Once the plates were emptied and the mugs drained, Caragh was itching to get going.

“Right!” she said determinedly, “time for the adventure to begin”

Within minutes she returned casually dressed in jeans, knee-high boots and a sweater. James smiled at her, thinking once more, as he did most days, what a stunning beauty she was and how lucky he was to have married her.

Grabbing her ski jacket, woolly hat and gloves she chastised him along “Come on slow coach, I have shopping to do!”

“Ok, ok” he replied, grabbing his wallet and slipping it into his back pocket “guess I will need this then”

“You bet you will” she laughed and grabbing his hand, dragged him towards the door.

The morning passed in a riot of colour and noise as, in her element, Caragh dragged him from one department store to another. Gaudy christmas decoration overflowed from baskets and displays and cheesy seasonal tunes blared out of the public address systems.

It was heaving with tourists and New Yorkers alike but the hustle and bustle only seemed to add to the seasonal flurry and buzz that surrounded them. It was like nothing they had experienced before but Caragh was in her shopping heaven and clearly loving the chaos.

Around 1pm they decided to have a break from the shopping and to head over to Manhattan for some lunch. The adrenaline of the enjoyment was feeding their energy and they were like giddy school children and they skipped hand in hand to the nearest subway station.

Bio and social media

annaeverett

Anna is an establish author with 4 books published across 2 genres.  From a background in holistic therapy and freelance writing it is little wonder Anna has an eclectic range of interests and talents to appeal to her readers.  First published as a child, Anna moved from poetry writing to self help.  Her commitment to her clients led her to create two books on meditation.  However as an avid reading in all genres, Anna was drawn to create a series of paranormal romance novellas that offer the reader characters to identify with and root for as they battle adversity in a quest for happiness.  Always looking to learn, Anna has over 20 holistic therapy qualifications to her name and when not writing is often found with her head in a text book.  Aside from writing and therapy her biggest passion are her six tiny dogs, who have inspired a new series of detective novellas due for release in 2016.

releaseblitzbutton_spiritofchristmaspast

 

 

 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Anna-Everett-Author-Motivational-Speaker-436343089879954/?ref=hl

 

Twitter – annaeauthor

 

Instagram – Annaewriter

 

Blog – https://annaewrites.wordpress.com

**REVIEW** Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris

After having a clean break from the wrapped-up True Blood tv series, as well as the book series, almost two years on from the release of the book I finally found a moment to read the final Sookie Stackhouse story: Dead Ever After. Read as a one-off book, I found it to be refreshing, with plenty going on in the paranormal world and magic that surrounds Sookie Stackhouse. It’s certainly sad to see the end of the journey we have all shared with Sookie!

Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse)Title: Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse #13)

Author: Charlaine Harris

Genre: Fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy

Release date: May 7th, 2013

Released by: Gollancz

Length: 352 pages

Blurb: Sookie Stackhouse has one last adventure in store.

Life has taken her from a waitress in Merlotte’s Bar, Bon Temps, to part owner; from social outcast to the heart of her community; from a vampire’s girlfriend to the wife of one of the most powerful vampires in the state.

She has survived explosions, revolutions and attempts on her life. Sookie has endured betrayal, heartbreak and grief… and she has emerged a little stronger, and little wiser, every time.

But with life comes new trials…

The question is, in the end: who will love, who will live, and who will be dead ever after?

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart…

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…

REVIEW

Almost two years has passed since the release of Dead Ever After, but after not being completely bowled over by Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12), I was reluctant to read it. However, I couldn’t read a whole series and then miss out the last book! And, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this final story! Amazingly, I have also been able to avoid reading any other reviews of the book and so have read Dead Ever After with a fresh approach.

Throughout the story Sookie has many worries. To begin with, after raising Sam from the dead, using her magic from the cluviel dor (which could only be used once), she noticed a clear coldness from Eric. Is he annoyed with her for using her magic on Sam and not saving it for him? Well, that’s just tough luck for Eric as there was no way she’d let Sam die! Not only has she to worry about Eric, but Sam seems to have changed after his experience too.

Sam seems really quiet and a little off with her, or maybe he is shaken up from the whole coming-back-to-life episode. Sam has been through a lot and, when Sookie sees Sam next, he has forgotten a great deal. Sookie then reminds him of everything, even the events he probably doesn’t want to remember, as she knows it’s in his best interests for him to face up to them. This is also a great way for Charlaine Harris to recap the last story, and provides the reader with enough detail to understand what has happened, but doesn’t bore the regular reader of the series either.

As the story moves forward Sookie is in for some more surprises. First, Arlene, an ex-friend and colleague, has been released from prison and approaches Sookie at Merlotte’s bar asking for her old job back. Now a part-owner of Merlotte’s, Sookie clearly stands her ground and refuses. She can’t believe the nerve of her after Arlene had tried to have her killed. Shortly after, Arlene’s body is found in the dumpster behind Merlotte’s, and you can just imagine who will be accused. Yes, poor Sookie!

And then, there’s Eric. After everything that has happened, Eric has almost abandoned Sookie for reasons that Sookie and the readers are not sure of. It appears to us that he may be a little irked after the incident with Sam. And yet, there is more going on in the vamp world that he needs to attend to and this will have a definite impact on Sookie. The ever-practical Eric has to do not just what is in his best interests, but also what is expected of him.

Will Sookie be cleared of a murder she didn’t commit? Will her and Sam be able to return to a their comfortable friendship? And, will Eric deal with his vamp problem and return to Sookie? Or, will Sookie rekindle her love with her first love, Bill? This final instalment certainly has many questions to answer. And the reader will find out the answers to all as it all wraps up.

Although fairly well written, with plenty more going on, I found it didn’t grip me with intensity. However, the storyline itself was good. Sookie’s love interests were not present too much in the book and I know many won’t be too happy with the ending. But, I was fairly happy. As long as Sookie ended up with either Bill, Eric or Sam I was going to be happy as I have come to appreciate all three characters over the course of the book series, as well as tv series.

It is very difficult to read this after seeing the tv series, though, as it is hard to differentiate between the, sometimes very different, storylines but with the same characters. In hindsight, I do wish I had read all of the books first, before watching the tv series. That said, I do like how the book series has gone in terms of keeping more with the telepaths and witches. This certainly adds to the magic of the story, as well as remind us that our focus is Sookie, even though we can all get carried away with the strong male characters.

All-in-all, the book series is a great read, and I would encourage anyone, whether read the series before or not, to start at the beginning and read each book in order to remind ourselves of Sookie’s journey, and what Charlaine Harris wanted us to get from the series.

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker