**REVIEW** ~ Love’s Misadventure (Mason Siblings Series book #1), by Cheri Champagne

Regency Historical Romance

Heat Level Spicy

Cheri Champagne

Book Blurb

Miss Annabel Bradley refuses to accept life as a spinster. Her many years of pouring greedily over gothic novels has put her head in the clouds; dreaming and hoping for the love she reads about. She has always held a tendre for her best friend, Lane Mason, seventh Earl of Devon, but she does not want to jeopardize their friendship by telling him about those indecent dreams of hers. Anna, therefore, makes a life-changing decision; she is going to accept the proposal of the next suitor to ask!

Lane Mason is an average aristocrat; absorbed in life in general, and content with his status in society. Amid a frequently occurring moment of self-loathing, Lane shockingly discovers his feelings for Anna. Now armed with the awareness of his love for Anna, Lane decides to perpetrate a devilishly clever scheme. He will pay actors to abduct the two of them in order to give Anna an adventure like the ones she reads in her treasured books.

Lane’s plans go awry, however, when they are kidnapped in truth.

Review ***** (5 Stars)

Glorious Friends to Lovers Romance!

Cheri Champagne’s Love’s Misadventure is a true gem. The book, #1 in her Mason Siblings series, is essentially a friends to lovers romance, containing plenty of passion, misunderstandings, suspense and humour. It is a real page-turner and a delight to read.

Annabel has been in love with her best friend Lane for years, but she fears that her feelings are not reciprocated. Once more, she is already past the age when her parents hoped to see her wed and dearly wants a family of her own. Knowing that Lane only sees her as a friend, albeit a dear one, she accepts another’s proposal. Lane, finally realising that he is wildly attracted to Annabel, but believing that he can never be the man that she wants him to be, resolves to ensure that she experiences one of the adventures she so enjoys reading about in the gothic novels she favours, before she disappears into the arms of another. He arranges a fake kidnap, except the kidnap turns out to be very real indeed and puts their safety and very lives at risk!

Thrown together in captivity, the couple find that they cannot deny their feelings to one another for much longer and there are some sensual and passion filled scenes. Yet will they survive their ordeal? If they are freed, how will society and her fiancé view Annabel now that she is a fallen woman? will Lane make an honest woman of her? What connection is there between Annabel’s brother Charles and the kidnappers?

Annabel is a spunky heroine and soon rises to the challenge when faced with the adventure she so craves.  Lane is not your typical hero, but really comes into his own as the plot develops and he finally realises that nothing will come between him and his one true love. There is plenty of suspense, danger, mystery and intrigue in the plot and the secondary characters are well developed. My interest was particularly piqued by Charles, Annabel’s’s brother, who will be the hero of the next book in the series.

Highly recommended to readers of Regency Romance who like a spicy read.

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

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*Promo w/Author Bio & Excerpt* The Double by Alison Brodie

“The luxury of living a lie.”

 

THE DOUBLE

Title: The Double

Author: Alison Brodie

Genre: Women’s fiction, mystery, romance, chick-lit

Date released: January 19th, 2016

Length: 294 pages

Blurb: A night she can’t remember. A week she won’t forget.

*

Beth is mistaken for rock star Sonita La Cruz, and ends up on a billionaire-dollar yacht. As a shift-worker in Glasgow, Beth has only known hardship. Now she’s in a world of uniformed stewards, delicious French food and rows of gorgeous designer clothes. Beth keeps quiet about the mix-up, determined to wear every outfit in her wardrobe before she’s sent home. What’s wrong with a little play-acting? Beth takes to the role of rock diva like a duck takes to water.

Aleksandr, the captain, arrives and is astonished to see a beautiful raven-haired girl lying on deck issuing orders through a loud-hailer. After talking to Beth, Aleksandr realises what has happened. His smuggling buddies, knowing Aleksandr needs to speak to Sonita about a kid’s crisis, grabbed Beth by mistake. Aleksandr is desperate. To save those children, he needs money, but Sonita has disappeared.

Beth rises to the challenge. She looks like Sonita, so why not BE Sonita? Beth does a magazine interview for one million dollars, and ransoms herself for another million. Beth saves the kids … but can she save herself? Too late, Beth discovers why Sonita disappeared.

*

A love story set against the backdrop of a luxury yacht on the Côte d’Azur, a civil war in the Eastern Bloc, and a Glasgow housing estate.

Buy Links: Amazon UK & Amazon US

Author Bio

Alison Brodie Author photo

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side of the family. Alison was a photographic model, modelling for a wide range of products, including Ducatti motorbikes and 7Up. She was also the vampire in the Schweppes commercial.

A disastrous modelling assignment in the Scottish Highlands gave Alison an idea for a story, which was to become Face to Face. She wrote Face to Face as a hobby and then decided to send it off to see what would happen. It was snapped up by Dinah Wiener, the first agent Alison sent it to. Three weeks later, Alison signed a two-book deal with Hodder & Stoughton. Subsequently, Face to Face was published in Germany and Holland. It was widely reviewed, ie: “Vain, but wildly funny leading lady.” -Scottish Daily Mail. It was also chosen as Good Housekeeping’s “Pick of the Paperbacks.”

Unfortunately, Alison then suffered from Second-Book Syndrome. The publisher’s deadline loomed and she was terrified because she didn’t have an idea for a story! She found the whole experience a nightmare; and this is why she cautions first-time authors to write more than one book before approaching an agent. She managed to finish the book – Sweet Talk – but it bombed.

While writing Sweet Talk, she moved to Kansas and lived there for two years. She loved the people, their friendliness, their free-and-easy way of life, the history and the BBQs! Sadly, her visa ran out and she had to come back to the UK – although her dream is to one day live permanently in America. Now, Alison lives in Biarritz, France with her rescue mutt, Bayley.

Alison has taken the exhilarating steps to becoming an indie author. Her second ebook, THE DOUBLE, is out on Amazon Kindle with some great reviews. “Excellent.” –San Francisco Book Review.

Alison writes contemporary romance. She aims for a strong plot line, set against the background of a world-changing event, coupled with touches of humour, sexual tension and character transformation.

She loves to hear from her readers.

Link to website: http://www.alisonbrodiebooks.com/#!the-double/c1253

Excerpt

Aleksandr

It was early evening when Aleksandr leapt from his boat and onto the boarding platform of the Kazka. All around the sea boiled as the great engines roared. Why was the Kazka moving? he wondered. Had Gerrard found another captain to replace him?

He saw Gerrard at the top of the stairs and bounded up. ‘Are you sailing?’ he shouted to the butler.

Gerrard’s answer was lost in the roar. As the noise of the engines subsided, Aleksandr spoke again. ‘I’m sorry I’m late, I tried contacting you but my radio is dead.’

I have something to tell you Aleksandr.’

Hearing the grave note in his friend’s voice, Aleksandr stilled. Something was wrong.

We have a passenger aboard,’ Gerrard began. ‘A woman.’

Aleksandr nodded. So far, it didn’t sound too bad.

Her name is Sonita La Cruz.’

Sonita La Cruz?’ Aleksandr repeated cautiously.

That is correct.’

The American singer?’

Yes.’

Aleksandr gripped Gerrard’s arms. ‘My friend, you cannot believe how lucky this is! I have been desperate to speak to her and all this time she was here, as Karimov’s guest.’

She is not a guest of Karimov. As we speak, he is in Marseilles, detained by the French authorities and knows nothing of her presence on board. It was your friend, Boris Lazutin, who brought her here. He found her in Port Glasgow and-’

Stop!’ Aleksandr’s shoulders sagged with bitter disappointment. ‘She is an imposter. An American rock star would have no reason to be in Port Glas-’

It is her,’ Gerrard insisted. ‘Boris looked in her passport.’

Aleksandr scoffed: ‘Sonita La Cruz permitted Boris Lazutin to look in her passport?’

She did not give permission, because …’ Gerrard took a visible breath. ‘There was chloroform in the shipment they picked up …’

Aleksandr felt the first stirrings of unease. ‘And?’

They abducted her.’

No.’ Aleksandr shook his head emphatically. ‘Boris would never do such a thing.’

It was Igor.’

Igor!’ Aleksandr balled his fists. This, he could understand. His old cell-mate had the morals of a barbarian, and what had he, Aleksandr, said to him back in Odessa? ‘How I wish I could speak to Sonita, if only for five minutes.’

The Chechen, ever loyal, had given Aleksandr his wish. But at what cost?

She must have been terrified!

Gerrard reared back in affront. ‘Pas de tout! Boris and Dimitri showed her a message, in English, reminding her of the children and immediately she understood what was happening. She even sang for them and signed autographs.’ Gerrard swept out a hand. ‘And her time with us has been most pleasant, I can assure you. She has been quite content to wait for your arrival … until last night.’ Gerrard sighed. ‘If only you had arrived earlier, this debaçle would never have occurred.’

What happened last night?’

She wanted to go ashore to make a phone call. When I told her she could not leave the ship, she became wild with fury.’ Gerrard held out his palms. ‘But I could not allow her to make that call. Her intentions may be good, they may be bad, but I cannot risk police investigation, especially at this time.’

Yes, yes, of course.’

Gerrard continued: ‘She believes her abduction was part of a game.’

‘A game?’

Mais, oui. The rich become easily bored; it is a curse. They need always to search for fresh amusement. She talked of James Bond and hunting micro-chips that would save the world. Perhaps, she believed a friend had taken her. When she realised this was no game, she accused you, Aleksandr, of masterminding her abduction. She also began to insist that she is not Sonita La Cruz.’

She has been shunted from boat to boat like a barrel of beer. Is it any wonder she wishes to be anyone but herself?’ Aleksandr raked his fingers through the stubble of his hair. There had been a glimmer of hope that this one woman would help them but … now?

Where is she? Take me to her.’

No. You are dirty and unshaven. You must scrub yourself, first.’

No more delay!’ Aleksandr marched off. ‘I brought photos and a video recording to show you – now I can show them to her. And when she sees the suffering, she will forgive everything.’

Gerrard put a hand on the big man’s arm. ‘For the sake of privacy, she has asked me to use her alias, Mademoiselle Skiffington.’ He hurried to catch up with the big man. ‘My friend, you will be disappointed. This woman will not help you. The means by which she has been brought here have cancelled out the good intentions she may have had.’

But I must try.’ Aleksandr had to shout as, once more, the ship’s engines began to roar. ‘Why are we moving?’

Gerrard waited for the noise to subside before answering. ‘Mademoiselle has given the order to turn the Kazka around.’ He shrugged helplessly. ‘She wishes to view the sunset without having to move from her chair.’

Aleksandr gazed at Gerrard in astonishment. He was now aware of classical music. The clarity of the sound system was astounding, as if a live orchestra was performing. He walked onto the open deck. It was a live orchestra; the musicians dressed as angels.

Beside him, Gerrard muttered, ‘She has been making outrageous demands of me. An orchestra dressed in wings. Cocaine. Even peanut butter! It has been a nightmare. She keeps saying, “You want a rock star, pal, well that’s exactly what you’re going to get.”’

As the ship’s engines began to grow in volume, a woman’s voice filled the sky.

STOP THE BOAT – YOU’RE GIVING ME A HEADACHE!’

Then he saw her.

She reclined on a sunbed, holding a loudhailer to her mouth. A small white animal sat on an ornate gold chair beside her. Because the rock star was angled away from him, he could not see her face, only the veil of long black hair cascading over a crimson gown, and a slim brown leg, bent at the knee.

At her command, the engines subsided, leaving only the music. The loudhailer swung to the orchestra. ‘MOZART PIGFART! FUCK OFF!’ She tossed the loudhailer to the deck in childish bad-humour. ‘Gerrard!’ she called peevishly. ‘I need an aspirin.’

Immediately, Mademoiselle,’ Gerrard replied before hurrying away.

Aleksandr hesitated. Was this the woman who had written to him promising her help? He strengthened his resolve against his growing sense of dread and walked forward.

As he drew to a halt beside her chair, he saw a scarlet bikini against brown silken skin and a diamond-studded belt around slim hips – a belt which seemed to be an exact replica to the collar around the animal’s neck. She held a silver teaspoon to the creature’s mouth, watching as the tiny tongue licked the caramel-coloured paste from the spoon. Aleksandr had never been interested in the music scene, but he couldn’t deny this surge of ‘teenage’ excitement that he now stood before someone so famous.

As his shadow fell over her, she waved him away. ‘I am TRYING to look at the sunset.’

He stepped to one side. ‘Miss Skiffington-’ he began.

Where’s my aspirin?’ The sunglasses glanced in the direction of his hands. ‘What do I have to do? Writhe around on the deck in agony?’ With her attention on him now, her gaze travelled sharply up and over him. ‘Oh my God!’ She sat straight. ‘How dare you stand there … dirty. Look at your fingernails – they’re black!

It’s not dirt. It’s engine oil.’

Engine oil!’ She recoiled; pulling her scarlet robe tight around her as if fearful he would mark it. ‘What are you doing outside the engine room? Go back in, immediately.’

He pulled up a chair from the table and sat down.

I am not a mechanic,’ he said. ‘I am Aleksandr Shtcherbatsky Zhivago.’

Beth

Beth didn’t give him a second glance. She lifted her chin and shouted across the deck, ‘Gerrard, I am not stupid!’ God, she thought, Gerrard must be desperate to pacify me if he has to dig up a man from the engine room and palm him off as Zhivago.

She carried on feeding Pookie, smiling indulgently as she watched the tiny tongue licking the peanut butter off the spoon. She’d expected some big greyhound-type and had been surprised and delighted to receive this little bundle of fluff. Tonight, at dinner, she would clip diamond ear-rings on his perky ears.

The mechanic still hadn’t budged. She shouted again: ‘GERR-ARD!’

I am Aleksandr Shtcherbatsky Zhivago,’ the man blustered.

Look, sunshine, I know you’re not, so take a hike.’

Why do you say this? Why do you believe I am not him?’

Because he’s short, fat and ugly and you’re …’ Needing the relevant description to finish the sentence, she inspected the man from over the top of her sunglasses. He sat with his big hands gripping his knees, heavy black eyebrows converging into a frown. Despite the oil marks, dirt and bruises, he was strikingly handsome, if a little wild-eyed, ‘… not.’

She turned her attention back to Pookie.

Short and fat?’ the man echoed.

She sighed. ‘His photos are all over the boat, so I know what he looks like.’

Ah, that is Yakov Karimov. He is the owner of the Kazka. I am the captain.’

She wasn’t going to let him think she was listening but she was, her eyes narrowed suspiciously behind her sunglasses. Was she being led to believe that instead of being abducted by a suave and sophisticated billionaire, she had in fact been abducted by a man who reeked of diesel?

He took out a wallet. ‘This is my captain’s licence.’

She saw his photo stamped with an official seal and the name: Aleksandr Shtcherbatsky Zhivago.

Zhivago!’ She spun on her bottom and planted her feet firmly on the deck between them. ‘You! You had me kidnapped!’

Startled, he held out his palms against her accusation. ‘Please, Miss La-’ He quickly corrected himself, ‘Miss Skiffington. I knew nothing of it. I have come from Odessa on my own boat, with no means of communication. This was the fault of Igor. He knew how desperately I wanted to talk to you, but there is no excuse for what he did.’

The man hoisted a satchel onto his lap. ‘I have video recording and photographs that will prove my honesty. Five minutes of your time is all I ask. If, after that, you do not wish to involve yourself, I will gladly escort you from the ship.’

The words, ‘But you’ve got the wrong woman!’ had been on the tip of Beth’s tongue but his suggestion struck her dumb.

Escort you from the ship.

But she didn’t want to be escorted from the ship!

She lay back on the chaise-longue, her thoughts flustered and indignant. Pierre was making her favourite pudding tonight: Charlotte Malakoff aux Framboises. And the fur-trimmed, copper-coloured gown – which she knew to be extra-special because she’d discovered it in a refrigerated wardrobe – was now hanging ready in her dressing room.

Of course, she wanted to leave, had to leave, but this was all too … sudden.

A launch is waiting,’ Zhivago added helpfully. ‘You can be back in Glasgow by midnight.’

Glasgow…

She thought of Andy’s twisted, angry face; the smell of urine on the stairs; the cacophony of televisions and wailing babies. The flat with its low-ceiling and box rooms with no space to move, to breathe, to think. She gazed towards the horizon seeing the pink feathery clouds that the sun had left behind; the heart-melting blue of the sky that went on for ever; the silence, the space, so much glorious space, it made her feel she could spread her arms and fly.

Your aspirin, mademoiselle.’ Gerrard bent towards her, holding a tray.

I don’t want it.’

Gerrard straightened. ‘Mr Shtcherbasky Zhivago has explained everything, I trust?’

She nodded sullenly. She knew she was behaving like a petulant prima donna but she couldn’t help herself. Anyway, it was their fault. They’d given her a mega cruise-liner, a battalion of servants, diamond tiaras and designer frocks; and now they were throwing her back to where she’d come from as if she was a rag doll.

I am relieved,’ Gerrard said. ‘Now, I hope, you can forgive me for keeping you here?’

She refused to look at him.

Let me bring you a beer, Captain Shtcherbatsky Zhivago.’ Gerrard moved off. ‘And I will fetch water for Pookie.’

Beth looked at her little dog. She couldn’t take him back to Glasgow. How thoughtless of her to demand an animal. But it wasn’t her fault! It was these people who had made her so angry she’d been unable to think straight. Now, Pookie would have to go back to the breeders. And she would have to go back to Glasgow.

She scowled at Zhivago. I will stay one more night, she decided. I’m owed that much. After that, I don’t care if they think I’m Sonita La Cruz or King Kong.

She paused in thought: Had Sonita promised to help with this children’s hospital? If so, was she, Beth, hindering the project by continuing this farce? But, surely, one more night wouldn’t make any difference. She turned to Zhivago. ‘I just want to get a couple of things straight. Why have you brought me here?’

To discuss building a children’s hospital.’

And you’re not holding me to ransom?’

He looked appalled. ‘No! Please believe me, no.

She did believe him. With her eyes obscured behind her sunglasses she was able to study him openly. He was dark, rather tensely drawn with a swarthy gypsy-look. Although he looked like some un-neutered tom-cat, there was a reassuring sincerity about him.

OK,’ she announced. ‘I will stay one more night.’ Watching how he fell back in his chair, she could almost see the tension flow from his body.

Thank you,’ he whispered.

She carried on feeding Pookie, distancing herself from the man’s obvious relief. ‘So, where’s the owner while all this is happening?’

Yakov Karimov? He is in Marseille.’

And you’re the captain?’

Briefly, yes. I am to sail her back to her home port of St Tropez.’

St Tropez!

Although she continued to look at the man, her inner eye gazed beyond him, imagining herself at the prow of the Kazka with Pookie in her arms as the crème de la crème of the Riviera looked up from their aperatifs, watching them in awe.

When does the Kazka leave?’ she whispered, feeling her throat choked with tears.

Tomorrow.’ The man leant forward, misconstruing her silence. ‘I know this has been difficult for you.’ He removed a manila envelope from his bag. ‘But once you see the evidence, you will understand and forgive.’

Beth wasn’t interested in his envelope. She continued to stare into space, wistfully choosing the gorgeous outfits she and Pookie would have worn if they’d had the chance to sail into the most glamorous port in the world. She snapped from her reverie, aware of a lip-smacking sound. Pookie had peanut butter stuck to his upper palette and was trying to dislodge it with his tongue.

The man nodded. ‘What is it?’

Peanut butter. Crunchy.’

No, the animal. What is it?

A Papillon.’

What is that? A cat, a dog?’ The man tilted his head to one side. ‘A rabbit?’

A dog,’ she answered tartly, watching him suspiciously for signs of mockery.

Gerrard appeared and handed the Zhivago a glass of beer before placing a bowl of water on the deck. ‘Would you like your cocktail served now, Mademoiselle Skiffington?’

Startled, she realised the light had faded from the sky. ‘Absolutely not! I can’t possibly take my cocktail looking such a mess.’ She saw Zhivago’s expression and chose to ignore it. Slipping her feet into scarlet sling-backs, she scooped Pookie up from the bowl of water and stood straight. Courteously, Zhivago rose with her, increasing alarmingly in height.

Are you joining me for dinner?’ she asked; conscious of his dirty hands and loathe to think he might touch her.

That would be an honour, but do not worry, I will first scrub myself clean.’

She nodded her approval. Dressing up for oneself was fun, but not as much fun as when a man was there to appreciate it. And the fact that the man believed himself to be in the presence of a sex goddess added a delicious piquancy. She pushed her sunglasses to the top of her head to give him a clear-eyed look; then she bathed him in a dazzling smile, turned and sashayed away.

She would be Sonita … for one last night.

THE DOUBLE

‘Give any girl a billion-dollar yacht, a mile of pretty frocks and an army of manservants and she’ll turn into Cleo-sodding-patra!’ – The Double quote

Taglines

“She saved the children.  But who will save her?”

“Her dream came true but her nightmare is just beginning.”

“Only someone this bad could be this good.”

**Review & 2x Signed Giveaway** Vampires of Maze (Beautiful Immortals series 2, book 2) by Tim O’Rourke

The Beautiful Immortals series 2 is continued with the second instalment of Vampires of Maze. The war between the vamps and weres has been well under way, and it appears that there are few shifters left. Wicce, Julia, travels to England with a small group of weres in the hope of negotiating with the vampires to keep all parties, including humans, alive. But, is it possible to negotiate with such beings? Is she experienced enough? And, what of her personal feelings to the weres around her? She can only keep her distance to a certain degree from those she travels with. As tension runs high, and action is inevitable, you’ll be holding onto your seats with this paranormal thriller series from the talented Tim O’Rourke.

Please scroll down for a chance to WIN a SIGNED COPY of Vampires of Maze part 1 🙂

Vampires of Maze 2Title: Vampires of Maze (Part Two) (Beautiful Immortals, series 2)

Author: Tim O’Rourke

Genre: Paranormal thriller/adventure/romance

Release date: March 12th, 2016

Length: 70 pages

Blurb: From Tim O’Rourke #1 bestselling author of ‘Werewolves of Shade’ (Beautiful Immortals Series One) comes ‘Vampires of Maze’ (Beautiful Immortals Series Two) a vampire and werewolf romance with a twist.

Witch, Julia Miller, has been sent by the Wicce to bring an end to the war that rages between the Beautiful Immortals. Joining a pack of werewolves, Julia must travel with them to a land unknown to her. Here she will learn the horrifying truth about the dark secrets hidden in the town of Maze.

To stay alive, Julia will not only have to figure out who to trust but also who to love. For Julia’s worst nightmares are about to get a whole lot more terrifying as she heads into the war raging between the vampires and werewolves where even her own magic abilities won’t be able to protect her.

Note: This ends on an unbearable cliff-hanger. Part Three will be published within the next few weeks.

For readers 16+

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

Vampires of Maze creates so much suspense and tension that the reader is glued to their seat. Tie that in with the action and gore, and the reader becomes easily addicted, awaiting the next instalment just as many viewers feel towards The Walking Dead (tv series). And, like the tv series, the Beautiful Immortal series leaves you each time on a terrifying cliff-hanger.

As a fan of O’Rourke’s work, I am quite prepared for the cliff-hangers, knowing that I will be in suspense until the next instalment, and knowing that they are going to be truly great. And, although they are all usually very surprising and horrifying at times, nothing quite prepared me for the SHOCK I was to find at the end of this particular episode! It’s written fantastically, but will leave you quite gob-smacked (although I am hoping for a different outcome than the one suggested). It’s a great thing we won’t have to wait too long before the next instalment is to be released!

Julia, the Wicce, and the small group of werewolves that she has travelled with are bound for where they believe the vampires are in the village of Maze. Although, they both have differing plans on how to end the war between the vampires and wolves; the weres are ready to attack and fight to the vampires death it seems, whereas Julia is hoping to negotiate, thus saving everyone including humans. Is she really that naïve to think the vampires would even listen? Or, can she stun them enough, using her magic, and then speak with them?

Julia is mocked and given her fair share of sarcastic comments, especially coming from were Rea. There has already been tension between the two, and this escalates when Julia is found in Trent’s arms after waking from a terrible nightmare. Although an innocent situation, Rea doesn’t exactly see it this way, and it is clear that Rea has deep feelings for her old lover. Will Rea be an enemy of Julia’s or can they reconcile their differences?

The were character, Calix, is growing on me more and more. Yes, he opens his mouth, he’s sarcastic and he likes a cheeky feel of Julia every now and then, but there is still a feeling that he has Julia’s back and sometimes has a kind word to say for her, even if he’s unsure of her Wicce ways. In my last review of Vampires of Maze part 1 I likened him to the character of Ajax in the 1970’s cult movie The Warriors, and I still felt the same way in this instalment. My favourite of Tim’s male characters is were Harry Turner from the time-travel paranormal Samantha Carter series, but Calix is great competition for first place.

This short story builds up suspense and is not without some fast-paced action, horror and gore. It’s terrifyingly exciting, full of mystery and holds a great deal of atmosphere. You’ll feel a part of the team with Julia and the shifters, and you won’t want to leave it there. I cannot wait for the next part of their journey!

A copy of Vampires of Maze part 2 was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

Vampires of Maze part 2 is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

GIVEAWAY!!!

The author, Tim O’Rourke, has 2 signed paperbacks of Vampires of Maze part 1 up for grabs!!!

For a chance to win one of two paperback copies all you have to do is add your name in the comments list below (or on our Facebook page) before Friday 8th April 2016, when the two lucky winners will be randomly selected. (We’d also appreciate a ‘share’ or retweet where possible.)

Good luck, guys :)

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #1) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #2) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #3) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #4) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #5) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #6) – short story

Vampires of Maze (Beautiful Immortals series 2 #1 – short story

*Promo* Ghost on the Lake by Alex Alexander

Ghost on the Lake

Title: Ghost on the Lake

Author: Alex Alexander

Genre: Supernatural thriller, paranormal

Date released: June 30th, 2015

Length: 194 pages

Blurb: Imagine dying very suddenly. Only to realize you may still be alive, but lost in another dimension. 

And imagine the terror of knowing the only way back to your body and the love of your life is to overcome the darkest of evils, ancient tribesmen, and the sinister deception of someone you trusted. 

Ghost on the Lake pits the power of love and evil in a battle between Earthly and supernatural forces that have the power to change life as we know it. 

 As students at the University of Chicago, Mike and Laura are soulmates, preparing to spend their lives together. Until unthinkable tragedy strikes. While swimming, Mike mysteriously vanishes. But Laura isn’t convinced he has drowned. She suspects other shadowy forces are at work. 

She’s joined in her quest for the truth by Ron, a close friend from Mike’s past. However, things become heated and frightening when Laura and Ron become entangled in a worldwide criminal plot to control a secret substance that makes it possible to leave your body and visit other dimensions

Can Mike escape the clutches of evil and return to his life? Will he be cut off from his body forever by the criminal syndicate tormenting Laura and Ron? Or is his biggest challenge an unsuspecting clan that holds the key to the mystery of the secret substance. 

The answers will shock you.  And your perception of life, love and death will never be the same.

Author Bio:

Alex Alexander is an experienced physicist and engineer with an extensive international background. Having worked in numerous countries, his exposure to scientific and cultural diversity provides a rich source of insight for Ghost on the Lake, a supernatural thriller that deftly blends science, spirituality, passion and suspense.

Alex’s professional and personal experiences came together in a highly unique fashion to fuel the writing of Ghost on the Lake. After graduating from college with a degree in Experimental Particle Physics, he began his global travels as he shuttled between various European countries. His professional and academic experience during this time included working in particle accelerator complex and earning his Ph.D.

In 2000, Alex was recruited by a leading global management consultancy where he spent more than four years excelling in a number of capacities that included consulting management positions. Since 2005, he has worked with an industrial company where he is able to utilize his broad range of experience within multiple Company divisions.

While vacationing one summer with his wife and children in Europe, Alex and his wife had a life-changing encounter with a “spirit presence” that occupied the home in which they were staying. This made an indelible impression on Alex.

These fascinating mystical experiences combined with Alex’s extensive scientific background, provide a compelling juxtaposition that serves as the inspiration for his enthralling novel, Ghost on the Lake.

Author links:

http://www.alexalexanderbooks.com

http://www.alexalexanderauthor.com

Ghost on the Lake book trailer

Amazon link

“This book takes the reader through a gigantic labyrinth of spellbinding twists and turns of suspense, intrigue, paranormal and supernatural activities, near death experiences, and love…a real page turner and truly a great read for adults and young adults alike.”  – Amazon Verified Purchase

 

 

*Review Round-Up* Nov & Dec 2015

Hi readers, it has been a while since our last Review Round-Up, and so I do hope that you are all well and had a fantastic Christmas Holiday!

Although I have been reading a great deal, with a house move to the coast over the Christmas period, and having a short time without Wi-Fi it has taken me a little longer to write and publish blog posts. I have, however, been enjoying Scarborough (UK) life with walks along the coast, up the cliffs and around the castle remains, as well as visiting author Anne Brontes grave! Meanwhile, Tina has held up the fort like a true warrior with the amount of reviews she has posted, as well as assisting a local Lit Fest! Thanks, Tina ❤

We have quite a mix of genres from the end of 2015 to share with you, from dystopian sci-fi fantasies, to erotic paranormal romances, historical romances and a mystery chick-lit! Amongst them is also a gritty, Scottish crime thriller, Blue Wicked by Alan Jones, which we are currently running a giveaway on. (For more info on this, please click the title.)

As always, please click on the titles to view our full reviews and more!

Although a little later than usual we wish you all a Happy New Year x

Caroline & Tina 🙂

Peter WellsThe Man Who Missed the Boat by Peter Wells, contemporary drama (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: It should have been an ordinary Saturday morning. A short walk down his street to give a piano lesson at the home of a family he knew well. As it turned out, he knew them rather better than was good for him. How much trouble can a well-intentioned piano teacher land in? Simon Baxter discovers that being “well-meaning” is sometimes not enough to protect you from the chaos in other people’s lives. Even an excessive sense of “good manners” can be disastrous in the wrong circumstances. Under pressure the unorganised desires kept strictly deep inside us can surface and bring chaos to the lives of ourselves and anyone near us. Will our untrained hero make it safely across the river of life or, like so many of us, get swept up by the current of events towards an unplanned adventure? In the sudden change from “Not being loved enough” to “Being loved too much, and by more than one women,” Simon finds out more about himself than he would like. Can he choose wisely, and live with the consequences? In this, his second novel, Peter Wells continues to cast his gentle but penetrating light on those foibles and weaknesses which lie beneath the exterior of the apparently most ordered lives. Those hidden character traits which can, in the right circumstances, surface and toss their owner, and anyone around him or her, most unpleasantly.

Point vmpThe Point of Evil, Point Vamp: Book Four by Victoria Bliss, erotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Blood and sex were all he ever wanted until love gave him something worth living an eternity for.

Steve—who had been a womanizer in life and was even more so in death—prowls the Point using his vampiric wiles to get the blood and sex he craves. He’s always looking for his next meal and when he sees a tall, curvy beauty with a red scarf around her neck, he thinks he’s found it.

Eloise is different—she’s shy and needs encouragement, and Steve just can’t get her out of his mind. He has to take his time, get to know her and slowly seduce her. When she disappears, leaving only a note begging him not to pursue her further, he can’t help himself and ends up in the service of George Aquino, a vampire crime boss with a penchant for twisted and cruel torture and a dungeon full of prisoners.

A daring rescue, a difficult choice and love against the odds. Do you dare visit the point of evil?

The Point Vamp series

What is The Point? It is the hottest club in town for both Vampires and humans alike. It has a large dance floor and a bar like any other club but once you disappear behind the VIP only door you find out what makes The Point so unique. Sex, blood and lust all behind closed doors and only accessed by the chosen ones.

Now, you become a chosen one and get to see the sexy world behind that door.

Welcome to The Point.

Dariana30 Days by JA Heron, erotic thriller (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Dariana Walsh is the daughter of a ruthless gangster and heir to his empire. Not only does she feel trapped, but she has many questions about numerous incidents that have happened in her life so far. Particularly, what happened to her mother? Her father sees her as his little girl, but she longs to be treated like an adult. He wants to shape her, to become more like him, but she resists, the only way she knows how…

One of Wilson Walsh’s men – Chas – is not who he seems. He was sent to infiltrate, earn trust and walk away with Wilson’s most treasured possession, his daughter. He has a plan to take down the most unrelenting man to walk the streets of East London.
Over the next thirty days, blood is shed, friendships are formed and amongst all of the pain and suffering, surprisingly, love blossoms.

In a sea of betrayal and violence… time and love know no bounds.

***Contains strong sexual and violent scenes ~ over 18’s only. There are strong, dark scenes in this book if you do not wish to read about violence, sexual violence or child abuse, then please do not buy this book***

Treagar's redemption coverTraegar’s Redemption (Woodland Creek) by Isobelle Cate, sci-fi paranormal time-travel romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Marcus Theodoric Treagar is a sabretooth with a curse that has him traveling through time, leaving a trail of dead bodies. Not only that, but as soon as he falls in love, he is wrenched away from that period and returned to 16th century Venice. To save the last remaining piece of his heart, he refuses to become involved again.

Until Paisley Halleran.

As the daughter of the shifter chronicler, Paisley Halleran knows that magick and the paranormal abound in Woodland Creek. With her adopted brother, Virgil Rowtag, they fight for every shifter’s rights in the area. When Paisley comes face to face with Marcus, who has been arrested for a murder he does not remember committing, she believes he is innocent. Marcus, on the other hand, knows he has finally found the woman truly meant for him.
However, not everything is cut and dried. Paisley unearths tragic secrets and lies that link her to Marcus. Not only will it show her whether Marcus is truly innocent or guilty of the murders in Woodland Creek, it will also spell the difference between staying with Marcus because she wants to, or letting him go because she has no choice. 

NaliniShield of Winter (Psy-Changeling #13) by Nalini Singh, sci-fi fantasy paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch – if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake . . .

Having rebuilt her life after medical ‘treatment’ that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption.

But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness . . .

RavenscrestThe Ghosts of Ravencrest (The Ravencrest Saga #1) by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross, modern gothic, erotic horror, paranormal (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Darkness Never Dies …
Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California in the early 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood, below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold …
Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell in Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants – the ones who walk the darkened halls by night … the ones who enter her dreams … the ones who are watching … and waiting …

Welcome to Ravencrest …
Who is the man digging in the garden beyond Belinda’s bedroom window? Who – or what – is watching her from the vents? From ghostly screams and the clutching bony fingers of death in the indoor pool, to the trio of gliding nuns in the east wing who come at Belinda with black blazing eyes, to the beckoning little girl in the red dress who died more than two centuries ago, Belinda is thrust into a world of waking nightmares where there is no distinction between the living and the dead, and there are no limits to the horrors that await. Witchcraft is afoot at Ravencrest and as unspeakable terrors begin to unfold, Belinda realizes that her beautiful new home is a keeper of tragedy, a collector of souls. And it wants to add her to its collection …

Windward Secrets CoverWindward Secrets by K.A. Davis, paranormal horror suspense, mystery, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: At just over 67,700 words Windward Secrets is a fast paced mystery laced  with humour, suspense, and a touch of the paranormal that will make the reader gasp at times, and soften their hearts at other times.

When Claire McPherson booked Windward Cottage, for the annual reunion with three college friends, her biggest concern was whether they would like the weather-beaten, old Victorian on Cape Cod. Claire, Diane, Jill, and Caroline are in for more than a little Right and R. Windward Cottage has its own special powers of seduction. After 35 years of friendship they thought they knew everything about each other, but the old house draws confessions out of each and leads them unwillingly into a 50yearold mystery.

What was planned to be a vacation filled with fun, food, and reminiscing turns into one that will change their lives forever. Who or what is trying to frighten them? Only one woman’s stubborn determination keeps them at Windward Cottage when common sense tells them to leave. Fear, danger, and unexplained events connect the four women to each other and to Windward Cottage. Three of the women find their futures, and one finds her past.

Readers will recognize someone they know in every character as Windward Secrets heightens their awareness of the heinous crime of human trafficking.

Dream AlchemyDream Alchemy (Life and Shadow Series) by Nicholas Boyd Crutchley, dystopian sci-fi fantasy (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A warrior battles hydra.

The Blood Plague liquefies eyes.

A rapper rails against Earth’s ecological ruin.

From the pitch Abyss, Chaos corrupts our dreams. 

On stealing the dreams of an old warrior and priestess, Chaos discovers them to be essential ingredients for his dream alchemy. With their souls the dark god can control Sol, Dragonland’s angelic ruler, and release his wanton daughter, Babalon, from Hell. If the devil queen returns and swallows the angel’s soul, the veil separating reality from the pitch Abyss will tear, and Chaos will pour forth and warp reality. Can Sol defeat Chaos? Or will Babalon’s poison kiss seduce him?

Through the psiqnet, a network of human minds and quantum artificial intelligences (QAIs), consumers shop Earth towards ecological ruin. The preachers of Gaia, ecoterrorists woven within the system, seek to bring economic and ecological harmony through Gaia QAI. Yet as Gaia begins to infect other QAIs with compassion, the Blood Plague rises, intent on exterminating humankind.

What force connects Dragonland and Earth?

The Life & Shadow Series explores how genetic engineering, synthetic biology and nanotechnology will impact humankind and Earth’s ecology. More specifically, themes include the outcome of human minds interfacing with artificial intelligences, the long-term effect of humankind on natural ecosystems, and compassion in society.

goddessGoddess by Kelee Morris, contemporary, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Wife, mother, PTA president… Sex Goddess?

For Julia Nelson, it was only a faded tattoo, almost forgotten, like the sex-charged dreams that inspired it some 20 years ago.

For renowned, rugged-sexy archaeologist Dr. Ashland Stewart, it was his greatest discovery, the sacred emblem of an ancient goddess culture.

Two symbols, eons apart, yet exact duplicates. It must be a coincidence. But when Julia and Ashland meet, their connection is instantaneous, powerful, erotic.

Julia’s suburban life is safe and comfortable. She has everything to lose.

Ashland’s world is remote archaeological digs and flings with younger women. He’s sexually free but emotionally guarded.

Ashland awakens Julia’s long buried inner goddess with breath-taking passion and insatiable desire.

But their sexual adventure becomes increasingly perilous as their emotional barriers crumble. Will Julia risk falling in love and soaring to new heights, or will she return to her earthbound responsibility to her family? 

BlueWicked_Dark_300DPIBlue Wicked by Alan Jones, crime thriller, drama (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: ‘Blue Wicked’ is a gritty thriller set in the south side of Glasgow. Eddie Henderson finds himself as the unlikely investigator with information that there’s a serial killer targeting the substance dependent underclass who inhabit the notorious Glasgow housing estates. The police force ignore his warnings but one young detective believes him and she helps him search for the truth, despite putting her own career at risk. Their desperate search for the truth on their own proves Eddie right and sparks off a massive manhunt, with Eddie and Catherine, the young detective, at the forefront of the investigation. The book contains a fair bit of strong language and Glasgow dialect, and has some very violent passages.

kris tuallaA Discreet Gentleman of Discovery (The Discreet Gentleman Series #1) by Kris Tualla, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Brander Hansen lost his hearing at age seven, his inheritance at twenty-three. Furious at his father’s betrayal, Brander leaves home to make his way as Lord Olsen, a ‘discreet gentleman of discovery’ in 1721 Christiania, Norway. He intends to gain his own estate and begins buying the debt markers on Kildahlshus.

Baroness Regin Kildahl’s husband has gambled away her estate and sunk to more dangerous habits. She writes to Lord Olsen soliciting his help saving both her husband and her home. When her husband dies, Regin offers herself and her title to anyone who will redeem his gambling debts, unaware of Brander’s plan and circumventing his efforts.

The Hansen heir accepts her offer and hires Lord Olsen to deliver his bride. Brander’s choices are clear: give the widow and her estate to his younger brother, or claim them both as his own. But who would accept a deaf husband?

LachlanDiscovered (Forsaken Blood #1) by Em Taylor, sci-fi romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Lachlan Ethelred Mackenzie looks like an ordinary sexy university professor, but for over a millennium, he’s been one of a number of his kind trying to steer humanity towards the heavens. But humans are slow and stubborn.

It’s been a long slow journey since the spaceship from Vampyras experienced technical difficulty near Earth in 1006 and the Vampyrs had to abandon ship, and learn to survive on a planet filled with primitive beings.

It’s now 2061, and humanity is heading to Mars – perhaps now the Vampyrs can research space folding technology away from prying human eyes.

Psychologist, Doctor Kate Maxwell is excited about going to Mars—except for one thing – she’s terrified of the journey. A space accident when she was twelve has left her with PTSD and a fear of space travel. But when the handsome Professor, Lachlan Mackenzie becomes her cabin mate she finds herself falling for him all too easily. But why is he so reticent? He’s cute, single and seems altogether perfect.

Things are getting complicated for Lachlan. He’s falling for the sexy red-headed psychologist, his long-lost daughter is on board the spaceship to Mars and she has no clue what or who he is and it seems that the leader of the Vampyr council is plotting something. Lachlan has too many secrets and too many problems. And Kate is the only thing he wants. Can he keep his hands and his fangs away from her? Does he want to? And what will happen if she discovers his secret?

All hell is about to break loose.

This book contains scenes of an adult nature.

Sex Snow and MistletoeSex, Snow and Mistletoe (short story) by Laura Barnard, contemporary, festive holiday romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Melinda is already having a crappy Christmas. Forced to attend some snotty bitch’s wedding is not the way to start out the holidays. But when a car crash pushes her into the path of a handsome stranger she’s glad to follow his snowy, sexy and seductive path. But is he too good to be true? And will she make it to the wedding before her best friend loses her mind with worry?

Please note this is a short story of 10k words.

MirandaMiranda’s Dilemma (Fashionably Impure #1) by Natasha Blackthorne, erotic, regency, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

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.

Men of the BorderlandsThe Men of the Border Lands Collection, Volume 1 (Ménage Everlasting) by Marla Monroe, erotic, futuristic ménage à trois romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: (This collection includes three books from the Men of the Border Lands series, nearly 110k words total). MFM, erotic romance.

In Belonging to Them, while escaping slavery in the Border Lands, Heather hides in a trailer belonging to brothers Brandon and Bolton. They take her to their farm and prove they won’t harm her. Bolton quickly falls in love, but Brandon pulls away. After a wolf attack almost takes her from them, Brandon must realize he could lose the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

In A Home with Them, fed up with the reluctant men who have cared for her for five years, Jessie takes matters into her own hands. Wyatt and Kent worry that their kind of love isn’t what Jessie needs, but a tough life out in the Border Lands and a kidnapping show the men that Jessie belongs with them.

In Their Border Lands Temptress, after the year of catastrophes, Ronnie jumps at an offer of protection from a lifelong friend. When the safety becomes abuse, she runs. Brice and Garrett know she needs a man to protect her, and they are hell-bent to help her. When danger shows up at their door, Ronnie must decide if she’s ready for them to be more than lovers or if she’s too scared to let them into her heart.

The Border Lands are a dangerous place, but love and passion are often the keys to surviving.

** A Siren Erotic Romance

HMFHold Me Until Forever (Grayson Brothers #3) by Christina Phillips, erotic contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: She’s the only one he wants…and the one he can never have

Ella Clark has been in love with Alex Grayson forever. She’s tired of being invisible—or worse, being treated like his kid sister. If she can just get him to drop his iron-fisted control for two seconds, she’ll prove she knows exactly how to blow his mind.

Alex has been fighting his attraction to Ella since her should-have-been-innocent sweet sixteen kiss burned down his world. He’s damaged, and there’s no way he’ll ever drag her into his screwed up life. Until she offers him something he’s always craved—steamy, no-strings sex inside his exclusive BDSM club. Where she’ll be safe from the darkness that haunts him.

Except there’s nothing safe about being with Ella, and the more she gives, the harder it is to let her go. If he stays, he risks everything, but how can he walk away from the only woman he’s ever needed?

**Blog Tour & Review** Windward Secrets by K.A. Davis

Windward Secrets Blog Tour - Nov 30.- Dec. 7 (5)

 

Windward Secrets Cover

BUY LINKS:

http://goo.gl/IUSqaE

Windward Secrets

Fiction: Suspense, Mystery

At just over 67,700 words Windward Secrets is a fast paced mystery laced  with humor, suspense, and a touch of the paranormal that will make the reader gasp at times, and soften their hearts at other times.

When Claire McPherson booked Windward Cottage, for the annual reunion with three college friends, her biggest concern was whether they would like the weatherbeaten, old Victorian on Cape Cod. Claire, Diane, Jill, and Caroline are in for more than a little Right and R. Windward Cottage has its own special powers of seduction. After 35 years of friendship they thought they knew everything about each other, but the old house draws confessions out of each and leads them unwillingly into a 50yearold mystery.

What was planned to be a vacation filled with fun, food, and reminiscing turns into one that will change their lives forever. Who or what is trying to frighten them? Only one woman’s stubborn determination keeps them at Windward Cottage when common sense tells them to leave. Fear, danger, and unexplained events connect the four women to each other and to Windward Cottage. Three of the women find their futures, and one finds her past.

Readers will recognize someone they know in every character as Windward Secrets heightens their awareness of the heinous crime of human trafficking.

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

What a fantastic story! Readers of paranormal, crime, chicklit/woman’s fiction and drama will be gripped by K.A. Davis‘s Windward Secrets. What begins as a fun vacation for four old friends turns into an eerie and disturbing ordeal that will have you rooting for these heroines to get to the bottom of exactly what is happening in and around the Victorian cottage.

Each of the friends have a well thought out character. Although they have their own flaws and dilemmas at home, they are able to use their vacation time to have fun, relax, open up about their lives and reminisce on how they used to be. Due to their different personalities and circumstances there is at least one character we can all relate to; from Claire a complete family mum, with husband and kids, but wanting a career of her own, to Caroline who is going through a nasty divorce; while Jill has been single for many years and now ready to dive into some romance, and widow Diane who realises that love has been closer than she realised. Yes, there is also a sprinkle of romance in Windward Secrets too.

But, the initial profound power of the story comes from the mystery and paranormal essence. An early example of this is when the girls know that Diane is running late  and so they head for the beach whilst waiting. Whilst there they look back towards the house and see a woman on the roof and believe it is Diane who has managed to arrive earlier than once thought. On investigation they soon realise that nobody is there and Diane’s car hasn’t even been parked! Is it just the shadows playing tricks on them? Or was there a woman on the roof?

With other strange goings on in the house, such as a fire being lit, items appearing and footprints on the porch there is certainly enough atmosphere to keep you on the edge of your seat. You won’t want to read this alone! The reader and the women of the story have many questions they want answered.

“Had someone really came into the house? Was one of them playing a trick on the others? Were they safe?”

One of my favourite spooky scenes in the story is when Claire drifts off to sleep after going to bed to read a book.

“She felt cold, it was dark and raining. There was a little girl with curly, blonde hair standing at the foot of her bed reaching toward her. Claire felt the sweat of fear soaking the mattress. She shook her head and tried to wipe the rain off her face but it kept getting wet. The little girl looked directly at her and whispered, “Help me.””

After piecing some of the strange happenings together, along with exploring the fourth bedroom that has been locked and out of use, the friends soon come to realise that something much more sinister has taken place, and that one of them is loosely connected to a crime that had taken place many years ago. Without realising just how deep this will go they decide to pursue it. Only, who can they trust?

With a very friendly neighbour who takes quite a shine to Jill, local police who do not seem interested to help, and a nearby plumber who keeps driving past their place, knowing exactly where to go when previously asked to sort a problem in the bathroom, and possibly stealing Diane’s underwear, they are at a loss. They can only really trust each other.

The lengths that these women go to reveal the truth is courageous. Not only do they carry out as much research and exploration as possible, but throughout the story they have fun moments, stick together and keep each other strong.

If you love an adventure that is packed with fearful moments, fun moments and some emotional and sober scenes then you will enjoy Windward Secrets immensely. This is not a story to be missed!

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Also available

Blue Velvet (Emerson’s Attic #1)

Smoke and Mirrors (Emerson’s Attic #2)

Middle-grade historical fiction/adventure

Author bio

My name is Kathleen Andrews Davis and I live in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania with my husband and a horde of deer who insist on annihilating any attempts at gardening. We are emptynesters with two grown daughters and two beautiful grandchildren.

During my long and varied working life I did business writing including everything from press releases to policy and procedure manuals. I served as managing editor of an inhouse newspaper where I enjoyed every aspect of production including writing, photography, and even dummy layout. From there, I moved into marketing pieces and business plans.

My favorite venture, however, was fourteen years in the Bed & Breakfast industry. This was my passion. When we left our lovely old Victorian it left a hole in my heart and I found myself with an indistinguishable yearning to be more and do more. The little wheels in my head started turning and it dawned on me, if I liked commercial writing, why won’t I like creative writing?

Becoming a grandmother was the fuel that fed the fire, and I decided to leave my grandchildren a legacy of words that would outlast any other inheritance I could give.

My first two books in the Emerson’s Attic series, for middle-grade readers, were so much fun that I decided to give an adult novel a try. I love stories about smart, mature women and the characters of Windward Secrets introduced themselves to me when I least expected it. And so, I have found my new adventure and hope to learn and grow as an author.

The knitting needles have slowed, the flower beds (or what’s left of them) have weeds, my fishing rod leans lonely in a corner of the garage, and I can’t get enough of my grandchildren.

Email: KathleenAndrewsDavis@gmail.com

Website: KathleenAndrewsDavis.com

HOSTED BY WORDS TURN ME ON

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https://www.facebook.com/TurnedOnByWords/

 

Review Round-Up for our October reads

12087236_10154263570968696_5735409078405643180_oDear readers, we hope that you have enjoyed these autumn months, and that you celebrated Halloween in style. It would be great to see your Halloween photo’s!! This was my attempt (right) at being a vampiress at a much-loved friend’s birthday party – a friend who is absolutely hooked on Halloween, and then celebrated her birthday in style by going to New York and visiting Central Park at this real beautiful time of year!

And, how time seems to be sprinting by this year, with Thanksgiving only a few days away, and Christmas a few weeks!

During October we had 12 fab reads to review for you from Tim O’Rourke‘s Beautiful Immortals series 2 release to international best-selling author Catherine McKenzie‘s Smoke. We had a cheeky contemporary comedy horror short with Deborah Melanie‘s Vivian’s Vampire and the dark horror/sci-fi of J.G. Clay‘s Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor. Not to mention the many romances and paranormals in between. We hope you enjoy our selection of reads, as always.

Much love.

Caroline & Tina ❤

(As always, please click on the title and author for our full review)

Living the DreamLiving the Dream by Celia J. Anderson, contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: When dreams and reality crash and mingle, escape can be the hardest challenge of all.

Longing to get away from her troubled marriage, the opportunity to cross America by train seems like a dream come true for Vita Craythorne. But charismatic travel agent Moriarty Miles has other ideas; by replacing their mutual friend Jack on the trip, Vita has unwittingly set herself up as a guinea pig for Moriarty’s mind-blowing and potentially dangerous virtual-travelling project. His plan is to give clients the holiday of a lifetime without ever having to leave the comfort of their own homes. It’s exciting. It’s time-saving. It’s innovative. Maybe this trip is just what Vita needs? That is, if she can avoid becoming trapped inside her own, miraculous dream world.

Vampires of Maze 1Vampires of Maze (Beautiful Immortals, Series 2, Book 1) by Tim O’Rourke, paranormal romance, thriller adventure (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: From Tim O’Rourke #1 bestselling author of ‘Werewolves of Shade’ (Beautiful Immortals Series One) comes ‘Vampires of Maze’ (Beautiful Immortals Series Two) a vampire and werewolf romance with a twist.

Witch, Julia Miller, has been sent by the Wicce to bring an end to the war that rages between the Beautiful Immortals. Joining a pack of werewolves, Julia must travel with them to a land unknown to her. Here she will learn the horrifying truth about the dark secrets hidden in the town of Maze.

To stay alive, Julia will not only have to figure out who to trust but also who to love. For Julia’s worst nightmares are about to get a whole lot more terrifying as she heads into the war raging between the vampires and werewolves where even her own magic abilities won’t be able to protect her.

Into the UnknowmInto the Unknown by Lorna Peel, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: London on 3 September 1939 is in upheaval. War is inevitable. Into this turmoil steps Kate Sheridan newly arrived from Ireland to live with her aunt and uncle and look for work. When she meets Flight Lieutenant Charlie Butler sparks fly, but he is a notorious womaniser. Should she ignore all the warnings and get involved with a ladies man whose life will be in daily danger?

Charlie Butler has no intention of getting involved with a woman. But when he meets Kate his resolve is shattered. Should he allow his heart to rule his head and fall for a nineteen-year-old Irish girl while there is a war to fight?

Private conflicts and personal doubts are soon overshadowed. Will the horrors of total war bring Kate and Charlie together or tear them apart?

SmokeSmoke by Catherine McKenzie, contemporary women’s fiction, mystery drama, chicklit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: From the internationally bestselling author Catherine McKenzie comes an evocative tale of two women navigating the secrets and lies at the heart of a wildfire threatening their town.

After a decade-long career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in her former life for a quieter one with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce and a fire in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed.

For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who has lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation.

As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved.

White HeatWhite Heat by Serge de Moliere, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A frigid wilderness. A blazing encounter.

In the frigid wilderness of Northern Canada, Carol treks through the snow, desperate to escape her violent and obsessed husband, Dugan. Unprepared for the harsh conditions, she soon finds herself trapped in the ice. She’s rescued by Josh, a loner who has fled society for his own reasons, and he brings her to his isolated cabin.

Carol and Josh are trapped together in the cabin as a snowstorm rages outside. Soon neither of them can fight their building desire, giving in to the temptation of shared heat and intimacy. Josh is nothing like the man Carol fled. He brings out feelings in her she’d long since suppressed.

But Dugan is hunting for her, and he plans to have his revenge on any man who dares share her company…

prettyPretty When You Cry (Stripped #3) by Skye Warren, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A new dark romance novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderlust and Prisoner…

I came from a place of dirt floors and holy scriptures. They told me the world outside was full of sin, and the first night I escape, I find out it’s true. Ivan saves me, but he does more than that. He takes me. He makes me his own girl.

My conditioning runs too deep. Ivan sees what I am.

That’s the thing about showing a mouse to a cat. He wants to play. And it’s terrifying, even for me. Because the only thing darker than my past is his.

Jace (River Pack Wolves 2) for Kindle_28Jace (River Pack Wolves #2) by Alisa Woods, NA paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: His wolf is out of control. She’s a wild thing that won’t be tamed.
Ex-Army Specialist Jace River has a lock on his bedroom door, but it’s not to keep anyone out; it’s to keep his nightmares from breaking loose. His wolf is an out-of-control killer, which means he can never risk shifting, never truly be part of his pack, and definitely never take a mate.

Piper Wilding works for the Army as a civilian, traveling the world for her work in counterintelligence and fighting the bad guys while bedding down the good ones. The best part? It keeps her far from her asshole father in Seattle, the rest of the Wilding pack, and the pressure to take a mate. Settling down isn’t her thing, and after what happened to her mother, Piper vowed she would never be tied down by magic or men again.

While Jace’s wolf keeps him Sleepless in Seattle, Piper returns home to find her missing kid brother. When she breaks into the River brother’s safehouse, sparks fly and claws come out. Her sexy skills threaten to bring out Jace’s wolf, and Jace’s good-guy hotness reminds Piper how tempting shifter men can be. They’re like fire and gasoline, and as they race to find Piper’s brother, the heat threatens to burn down all their carefully constructed walls. But falling in love has never been so dangerous—and being together means taking risks that neither might survive.

Jace is a complete novel with HEA, the second in the River Pack Wolves trilogy (all standalone stories, but best enjoyed if you read them in order!).

Contains scorching hot shifters, alpha military heroes, and sexy spy girls. Only readers over 18 should dive into the deliciously hot world of the River brothers.

BrakeBrake (The Redline Series #3) by Skye Callahan, dark romantic suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Bitter feud between brothers, Colt and Devlin, speeds out of control.

From Colt’s pawn to Devlin’s captive, Aubrey is caught even deeper in their pact to destroy one another. Imprisoned in darkness, she fights for her life–and her sanity. Her only hope is a cocky and sadistic car thief who is already wrestling with his own demons.

Colt swore he’d never end up in this place again. That he’d never be held captive to heroin or rendered helpless by his brother to watch as another life is destroyed. He’s ready to tear the city apart to find Aubrey, but that’s only if his own mind doesn’t tear him apart first.

Lines have been crossed. Promises broken. Souls shattered. And the worst has only begun.

Note: If you’re looking for rainbows, butterflies, and happy endings coated in chocolate and caramel, turn back now! This story deals with dark themes and intense situations that aren’t suitable for sensitive readers. If you’re looking for an intense roller coaster of emotions and situations that will warp your sense of right and wrong and drag you through the debauched underworld of crime and deceit, then you’re in the right place.

This is a work of serial fiction, so it will be released in distinct parts with no resolute ending until the end of the series.

Watcher Lotus's Journey 2 cj pinardWatcher (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part II by C.J. Pinard, paranormal mystery romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: As hybrid vampire/faery Lotus’s journey has taken her from solving the vampire-committed murders in Denver to Las Vegas, she begins to learn a lot more about herself and the evil vampire of a father who has been searching for her for years. She has to make a decision on whether she’s going to run from Vlad or search for him and confront him as he continues to terrorize her dreams. She wonders if finding him will lead her to her faery mother, or if it will just lead to more death, destruction, and heartbreak.

With the relationship between her sexy neighbor, Drew, and her beginning to blossom, Lotus wonders if she should just give up the search and try to lead a normal life for once. She’s finally found a decent guy who is not only gorgeous, but seems to want to protect her. Something she’s never needed, but is now finding she wants. That is, until she finds out Drew’s got his own secrets.

This is part II of Lotus’s journey. Part III will be out in early 2016.

Dark CityDark City (Nick Harland, British Detective Series #4) by Bill Carson, dark crime (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A must read for all those who like to sit uncomfortably on the edge of their seats.

Dark City is the fourth book in the Nick Harland detective series. In this one we follow him on his most perplexing and disturbing case to date, as he tracks down a serial killer from the past.
The book begins with an elderly man being released from prison, after serving seventeen years for a double murder. A few days after his release a young woman is snatched from outside a London pub.

The police seem to be dragging their heels, so the family of the missing girl call on the services of the tough, uncompromising ex murder squad detective, turned Private Investigator, Nick Harland. During his initial investigation another girl suddenly goes missing, he then gets a tip off that Charles Thorpe had just been released from prison. Nick knows the killer, as he was the detective who put him behind bars when he was a detective in the murder squad. And so the hunt is now on for Thorpe, and Nick will not rest until Thorpe is found, and he promises that Thorpe will pay the ultimate price for his crimes this time around.

Much more can’t be revealed, as it would give too much of the exciting plot away.
This is a fast paced dark and gritty story, packed with hard hitting action, highs and lows, intrigue and tension. This story has characters, that are good, and sometimes very, very bad. Dark City is crime noir in the truest sense.

Vivian's VampireVivian’s Vampire (short story) by Deborah Melanie, contemporary paranormal comedy horror romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: She’s got a scythe, a severed head and she’s looking for love.

Waitress Vivian Shawcross loves a costume party. When Halloween comes along, she can’t wait for the spooky fun to start. However, a mix up over her costume and a road diversion, are just two of the mini disasters she encounters en route to her ghostly night out. Stranded in a remote English village, isn’t her idea of fun, but when a gorgeous vampire is thrown into the equation, Vivian discovers that her fun night out has only just begun. 

Tales of Blood and SulphurTales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor by J.G. Clay, dark horror sci-fi (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Eleven Tales steeped in Blood and reeking of Sulphur

There are cracks in the skin of Reality. Some are microscopic, others are as wide as a four-lane motorway. As the fault lines increase and widen, the door to our world shines like a beacon in the darkness, a warm and inviting sight to others beyond our understanding. When They cross over into our realm, The Tales begin……

A gambler taking one last desperate throw of the dice. A struggling writer making an unholy alliance. An eternal being fighting to stay alive in the financial capital of India. A man burdened with a terrible town secret. The Law Enforcers who must never cry. The End of Days live and direct from the rural heartland of England.

J.G. Clay takes you on a journey through the voids of Reality and into dark places where demons, mutants and inter-dimensional creatures taunt, taint and corrupt Humanity. Survival is not guaranteed, sanity is not assured and death lurks in every corner. These are the Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor; eleven twisted tales of terror and mayhem.

The blood is warm, the sulphur is burning, the tales will be told, the Apocalypse Minor is imminent!

*Halloween Promo w/Excerpt* Memphis Hoodoo Murders by Kathryn Rogers

Memphis Hoodoo Murders is an occult horror mystery novel that sounds like a dark, gripping read, especially at this time of year. I can’t wait to review this shortly!

Hoodoo BOOK COVERTitle: Memphis Hoodoo Murders

Author: Kathryn Rogers

Genre: Occult horror mystery

Date released: August 15th, 2015

Released by: Sartoris Literary Group

Length: 360 pages

Synopsis: Addie Jackson has witnessed people trying to kill her family her entire life, and now her grandparents’ attackers are hunting her. The Memphis police are never able to catch these crooks since the cops have been bewitched to stay away. Her grandparents, Pop and Grandma, habitually lie to Addie, but she is attentive enough to overhear the secrets they keep from her. In her predictive dreams, Addie regularly sees future events, which disturb her, but to her dismay, she has never been able to stop them from coming true. She often dreams of a dark character, who she is later shocked to discover is the Man, a devil from hoodoo legend. 

Addie is disturbed to discover she is being stalked by a witch doctor named Hoodoo Helen. To make matters worse, the more secrets Addie uncovers, the more danger she finds. Addie presses Grandma for answers about the power behind the ring and pocket watch she often toys with, but Grandma remains tight-lipped. Knowing their deaths are imminent, Grandma makes a deal with the hoodoo devil to take care of Addie, and Addie is later horrified to discover that her beloved family has been murdered. John, a family friend, steps in to help Addie, and she soon realizes he knows more about her family’s tainted past than she ever has. Addie begins receiving cryptic letters from her deceased grandmother, which reveal a shocking family history revolving around slavery, time travel, and magic. 

If Addie can survive jail, her cousin’s abduction, threats from a menacing gang, corrupt law enforcement, and hoodooed attacks, maybe she can finally dream of a future where she will be safe and free. 

AMAZON BUY LINK

Praise for Memphis Hoodoo Murders:-

Dripping with grisly spells, wry humor and a distinctly southern brand of magical realism, you’ll be quickly mesmerized by this magnetic paranormal thriller. A home run for author Kathryn Rogers.”Reviewed by Best Thrillers

Addie Jackson is not your average college student. For starters, she lives with her slightly odd grandparents in a not-so-nice part of Memphis, Tennessee. Most of her life revolves around taking care of her grandparents and trying to keep a low profile in her neighborhood instead of going on dates, talking about new music, and having fun. When her grandparents’ behavior becomes even more bizarre, there are break-ins at the church the family attends, and she begins to have dreams that come true, Addie becomes even more aware of the strange life she is living. She begins to believe that her grandparents have been hiding something from her for her entire life, something big, something that could put everyone’s lives in danger. Something that could mean that Hoodoo magic is real. Kathryn Rogers’ novel, Memphis Hoodoo Murders, immediately catches the reader with an exciting title and a surprising first chapter.Reviewed by Red City Review

 Author bio:

Kathryn RogersKathryn Rogers is a Memphis native with an affinity for local BBQ and blues rock-n-roll. As a licensed therapist, she holds her Masters in Counseling and Psychology, and as a licensed educator, she holds her Bachelors in Education. Her experience providing counseling services to the community prepared her to expound upon the psychological issues her characters wrestle with in her stories. She currently lives in Jackson, Mississippi with her husband, playful preschooler, and rambunctious Labrador Retrievers.

Readers can connect with Kathryn on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

EXCERPT

Chapter 1

If I told you that people had been trying to kill my family and me my entire life, you would probably just think I was being paranoid, but it’s not paranoia if it’s real.

Sometimes healthy people run for exercise, and oftentimes energetic individuals run for fun. In my neck of the woods, you run just to stay alive. Today I only hoped that the gang members didn’t murder me so I could make it home in one piece. My legs were pumping so hard I thought they might fall off.

Grandma and Pop would tell you I’m petite and pretty when really I’m short and perfectly ordinary. I don’t look anything like them except that we are all small in stature, though I’m so little I look like a shrimp by comparison. I have straight, brown hair with no bangs, smooth skin, and sharp, green eyes. I’ve never dressed fancy as I’ve never had much to begin with. Besides, in my neck of the woods, when you get something shiny, folks try to take it or talk about you for having it, so the more you blend in, the better off you’re bound to be.

Hey, short stuff! You with the ponytail! I told you to get over here!”

It was my favorite neighborhood thug heckling me.

Just don’t trip. Whatever you do, don’t trip, Addie.

The limb from the fallen tree did not hear my inner monologue, because my foot caught on the log and slung me onto the sidewalk.

I told you there was no point in running from us,” he said coldly. “We always get what we want.”

I winced in pain and grabbed my right knee, which was running red. I felt like a bleeding fish in the middle of a shark tank.

Show no fear. Don’t cry.

I forced myself to stand and face my antagonists. Their clothes and tattoos were clearly reflective of the Memphis gang, the Skullbangerz—not that I would be privy to any admission from them about this.

Ouch! Looks like you got a boo-boo,” said a slim, jumpy guy, eyeing me from the stems up. “Want me to kiss on you to make it all better?”

No, thanks—you’re really not my type,” I said, thankful I had enough spirit to sound snarky.

Oohh, she’s a feisty one. I like that in a lady,” he toyed dangerously with me.

Enough with your mouth. You’re wasting my time.” The tall, muscular gang leader cut him off as he stepped towards me. “Yeah, you got to be her,” he remarked as he studied my face.

Got to be whom?” I asked sullenly.

June Jackson’s granddaughter,” Jaydon Swisher announced.

I was surprised that he knew who I was. Everyone around here knew him. Just thinking about his cruel reputation made me shudder.

How do you know her?” I asked to try to pump information out of him.

So, you is Mrs. Jackson’s girl?” he quizzed me clearly not wanting to give anything away.

What’s it to you?”

You ain’t in the position to be asking questions of me. You give me what I want, and I might let you go in one piece…might. You act uncooperative, and I’ll butcher you up while you’re still alive. Then I’ll mail individual pieces of you wrapped up as Christmas presents to your Grandma. Do you understand what I’m telling you right now?”

He was close enough for me to feel his hot breath on my neck.

I knew most people made idle threats. However, I could tell from the way the other gang members kept their distance from him, Jaydon was telling the Gospel truth.

The waterfall of blood continued to rain down my leg. Every fiber in my being told me to get as far away from them as possible. Unfortunately though, as history had indicated, I was too clumsy to outrun them. So, I stalled for time and willed myself to exhibit grace under fire.

The leader of the pack misinterpreted my silence for newfound cooperation and continued to press me, “So, where is it?”

Where’s what?”

**Release Day Review** Watcher (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part II by C.J. Pinard

You may recall our review of Lotus’s Journey Part I, Lotus (Daughter of Darkness), last month. And today is the release of Watcher, Part II of Lotus’s Journey by one of our favourite authors, C.J. Pinard. Lotus is one of four ‘daughters of darkness’, with the other three daughters being written about by authors Chrissy Peebles, Kristen Middleton and W.J. May. These female heroines are clearly connected by their father, Vlad Montour, or Vlad the Impaler, known to be an evil villain in history. But, some of the sisters are unacquainted with each other. In Watcher, Vampire Vlad now wants all four daughters to be brought to him – alive. But, what are his intentions?

Watcher Lotus's Journey 2 cj pinard

Title: Watcher (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part II

Author: C.J. Pinard

Genre: Paranormal mystery, crime, thriller, romance

Release date: October 27th, 2015

Length: 103 pages

Blurb:

As hybrid vampire/faery Lotus’s journey has taken her from solving the vampire-committed murders in Denver to Las Vegas, she begins to learn a lot more about herself and the evil vampire of a father who has been searching for her for years. She has to make a decision on whether she’s going to run from Vlad or search for him and confront him as he continues to terrorize her dreams. She wonders if finding him will lead her to her faery mother, or if it will just lead to more death, destruction, and heartbreak.

With the relationship between her sexy neighbor, Drew, and her beginning to blossom, Lotus wonders if she should just give up the search and try to lead a normal life for once. She’s finally found a decent guy who is not only gorgeous, but seems to want to protect her. Something she’s never needed, but is now finding she wants. That is, until she finds out Drew’s got his own secrets.

This is part II of Lotus’s journey. Part III will be out in early 2016.

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

When author C.J. Pinard released her last paranormal series, Rebel Riders, I knew with the first book it was my favourite of her work to date. However, I am now indecisive as Lotus (Daughter of Darkness) is definitely a contender. Lotus provides a great deal of action, nice, hot romantic scenes, and a story that includes both vampires and Lycans at an equal balance.

Watcher begins with Lotus, half-faery and half-vamp, having caught a vampire suspected of following her. She learns that it is her vampire father, Vlad Montour, who has sent him to bring her to him, along with his three other daughters: Jezebel, Blair, and Victoria. Sisters she has only recently learned of having. Lotus realises at this point that a psychic faery she had visited years before actually had some real meaning behind what she said.

Does she use this as an opportunity to meet her father at last? Or, does she have a reason to run in the opposite direction? With very little knowledge of the supernaturals, she has been living for over a century as humanlike as possible. Will she now have to use her faery and vampire skills to deal with her father and sisters?

Fans of Lotus’s Journey Part I will love to hear that Lotus’s hot, sexy neighbour, Drew, plays a larger role in Watcher. And, who can’t love him? We saw his lighter, flirtatious and cheeky moments in part I, and now we learn that he had been watching Lotus all along to protect her. The relationship between them is a little more serious in Watcher due to the circumstances of the story and the deeper attraction they both feel towards each other. Drew is cute and kind, and strong and direct when he has to be, and yet not overwhelmingly flirtatious or pushy. This makes it very easy for Lotus and the reader to fall for him and believe that he is someone to be trusted!

Some of my favourite moments in both parts I and II of Lotus’s Journey have been Lotus’s dreams of her father. They are a little nightmarish at times, being creepy and eerie. The use of fog, Lotus being in a forest and in her nightgown all help create a great sense of atmosphere. Vlad’s character is seemingly dark, powerful and frightful, yet spell-binding. I actually felt some attraction to his evilness, gripped by his hold. Does he want to kill his daughters? Or, is there another purpose for them to all meet with him? The mystery surrounding this vampire villain is killing me and pulling me towards him so badly!

C.J. Pinard’s writing is becoming more and more addictive. I LOVE this series and cannot wait for Part III of Lotus’s Journey. Especially after that fantastic cliff-hanger!

A copy of Watcher, Lotus’s Journey Part II was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

Watcher (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part II by C.J. Pinard is available at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

You can also check out our review of Lotus (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part I here.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Review Round Up Sept ’15

Hi readers, we do hope that you have been able to settle down with a great book, especially now that we are seeing the early autumnal leaves fall and the weather has now taken to a chillier feel! Yes, the warm sunshine from those September afternoons is truly behind us, and my favourite time to read is this time of year when pj’s become your best friend, along with a blanket, the sofa, a nice, warm beverage, and of course, a great book.

And so, for a few romantic read ideas, a little later than planned, we have our September reviewed titles for you to take a sneaky glimpse at and hopefully indulge yourself with! They consist of twelve titles mostly covering contemporary, chicklit, historical, erotic and comedy romances, with some paranormals and a revenge thriller!

If you’d like to share some of your cosy autumn/winter reads we would love to hear from you.

Happy reading! 🙂

Caroline & Tina ❤

As always, please click on the title/author for our full review posts!

Perfectly InnocentPerfectly Innocent (Audio Book) by Tamra Lassiter, contemporary romance, suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Innocent or guilty—there’s nothing perfect about it.

Phoebe Davidson is a good girl who’s been through some bad times. Her life changed forever when she learned that her husband was living a secret life. Now, six years later, she’s just going through the motions of her life, afraid to let anyone in.

When a horrific crime occurs in her home, she meets Logan Matthews, a police detective working the case. When Phoebe herself is charged with the murder, can she trust Logan? Can she, and should she let him into her life?

Lotus daughter of darkness pt 1Lotus (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part I by C.J. Pinard, paranormal crime mystery thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: 4 authors will each take a different daughter born from the Prince of Darkness, Vlad Montour. (Also known as Vlad the Impaler, an evil villain from history).

Blair – Chrissy Peebles
Jezebel – Kristen Middleton
Victoria – W.J. May
Lotus – C.J. Pinard

The Daughters of Darkness is a series of female heroines who may or may not know each other, but all have the same father, Vlad Montour.

Lotus
Don’t let the pretty name fool you. This daughter is no delicate flower.

Lotus grew up orphaned. Having no idea who her real parents were, she’s been drifting around the U.S. for over 100 years moving every 15 years or so since she just doesn’t seem to age. She’d figured out on her own that she had to be at least part vampire, as she needs to suck on a few blood bags a month to survive.

Working as a detective with the Denver P.D., Lotus is searching desperately for a serial killer who is murdering the homeless of the city. Except these are not ritualistic or thrill killings. These victims have been drained of blood and Lotus knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have been committed by a vampire.

Her search will take her to Las Vegas, and that is where the true adventure will begin, when she finds out who has been searching for her.

This is part I of Lotus’s journey. Part II will be out in late October 2015.

Jaxson (River Pack Wolves 1) - New Adult Paranormal RomanceJaxson (River Pack Wolves #1) by Alisa Woods, New Adult paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Three brothers. Three Secrets. One hope to save the shifters of Seattle.
Former SEAL Jaxson River would give his life for his brothers and his pack, but if he doesn’t claim a mate soon, he’ll be forced to step down as their alpha. There’s only one problem: Jaxson’s dark secret would kill any mate he claimed. With someone kidnapping shifters off the street—and only Jaxson and his brothers, Jace and Jared, to stop them—now is not the time for his secret to come out.

Curvy Olivia Lilyfield is a half-witch orphan with a dark secret of her own. She wants to atone for it by doing good in the world, so when she finds a wolf being tortured in an alley, she doesn’t hesitate to help… even though wolves and witches mix like matches and TNT.

Olivia’s dangerous magic means she can’t let anyone get too close—but Jaxson can’t keep his hands off her, and his kisses are more than she can resist. As they race to save the disappearing shifters of Seattle, the true danger lies in loving each other. They’re playing with magical fire… and their secrets could end up destroying them both.

Jaxson is a complete novel with HEA, the first in the River Pack Wolves trilogy (Jace and Jared coming soon).

Contains scorching shifter sex, alpha military heroes, and sexy witches. Only readers over 18 should dive into the deliciously hot world of the River brothers.

Lady BlayneThe Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne (Intimate Secrets #1) by Natasha Blackthorne, erotic historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Catriona, Lady Blayne is recovering from a most delicate situation. Driven to the brink of madness by love for her late husband, a young man too ill to meet the demands of the marriage bed, she teeters on the brink of scandal. Now she must face the carnal temptation personified by her husband’s cousin and heir, James, the new Lord Blayne. His sensual appeal, contrasted with his iron will and stern self-mastery fascinates her. She can’t help but ask: what if sensual indulgence is the only way out of her darkness? However, she is not free to explore the idea. There are those who seek to control the young widow, keeping her imprisoned through emotional manipulation and physical coercion. With her growing restlessness, the very people she loves and trusts the most are becoming an increasing danger to her sanity and safety.

James is determined to protect Catriona—but he will not soften to her again. She rejected him once and James can’t risk losing his heart a second time. As heir to the Blayne baronetcy, he must marry a woman socially and politically appropriate. Such a scandalously self-indulgent lady as Catriona won’t do. Yet the pretty girl he once knew has grown into a beautiful, curvaceous woman that is every man’s dream.

Especially his.

Erotic Romance; Regency Historical; Elements of Sensual Domination, Spanking and Light Bondage; Rubenesque Heroine; Character-Driven Story with Angst and Strong Internal Conflicts; Standalone Long Novel.

Reader Advisory: The characters discuss issues of abuse which took place in the heroine’s backstory. Frank sexual language & period appropriate sexual slang and general bedchamber naughtiness. 

a59da-newaacoverAbigail’s Affair (Looking for Love #1) by Pat Spence, contemporary rom-com, chicklit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Reasoning that absence makes the heart grow fonder and attempting to force her married lover’s hand, 30 -year old Abigail Aske decides to visit an old friend in Australia.

But staying with a 6’2”Amazonian fitness freak proves something of a challenge, as does maintaining ‘no contact’ with Jake, not to mention resisting other tempting ‘offers’.

Set against a wonderful Australian backdrop, with a host of quirky, emotionally dysfunctional characters, Abigail’s Affair tells of a woman’s search for love and happiness, revealing the highs and lows of having an affair, and showing how the experience of travel becomes a voyage of self-discovery, with surprising results.

A story of love, lies, betrayal and hope…

For anyone who is having an affair, has had an affair or is thinking of having an affair, this book is ESSENTIAL reading…

rob watkins

How to Kill a Minority Shareholder and get away with it by Rob Watkins, revenge thriller (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Deb had worked and fought her way from council estate to a position that promised a comfortable retirement for her and her husband, Bob, and would make all their sacrifices over the years worthwhile. Her skill, dedication and knowledge had enabled her to take a failing, small family business she had joined a quarter century before and turn it into an international empire. She had made her boss and the shareholders multi-millionaires. On paper, even Deb would walk away with a few million when it came time to retire.

At the happiest and proudest point of her hard-working life, Deb’s evil boss, Ms Summer Ponsenbury, after twenty-five years of festering, hidden jealousy, shattered Deb’s world. With the help of her unscrupulous cohorts, Summer took everything she had promised. She destroyed Deb’s reputation, took her rewards, trashed Deb’s achievements and dumped her at rock bottom.

All concerned believed they were above the law. They were too powerful and too rich to have to worry about Deb getting justice. They thought no one would care… they were wrong. They had forgotten about Bob. The fight was just about to start.

Sinful Confessions (Cynfell Brothers #1)Sinful Confessions (The Cynfell Brothers #1) novella by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The Cynfell brothers are the very embodiment of a sinful existence. But could the right woman change that?

Wrath

Locked behind the walls of Lockwood Manor, Julian Cynfell, the Marquess of Lockwood whiles away his days writing angry letters, drinking and sleeping. He never expects his solitude to be interrupted by a brazen American heiress.

An American heiress who is expecting a wedding.

Viola Thompson can’t believe her luck when the English lord she has been corresponding with for the better part of a year asks her to visit him. This has to mean an offer of marriage surely? Finally, Viola will prove to her family and friends that she is more than a ruined woman with no prospects. Not to mention she knows they will be a love match. No one could write such beautiful letters without being the perfect man.

But when she arrives in cold, dreary England to be faced by a foul-tempered, grizzled—albeit in a handsome way—marquess, her dreams of marriage are quickly dashed. Can she draw the lord out of his melancholy ways? And does she even want to remain in England while rumours of three dead wives circulate around Lockwood?

One thing is for certain, this American heiress has never been one to back down from a challenge—especially when not even the Atlantic Ocean could dampen the patent desire running between them.

The temptressThe Temptress by C.J. Fallowfield, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: There’s just something about a French accent, something that conjures images of romance, sex and passion. There’s a reason French is called ‘the language of love.’

Lulu McQueen runs an exclusive honeytrap agency, to test the fidelity of rich men for their suspicious partners. While her business flourishes and her track record in the field remains unbroken, earning her the nickname of The Temptress, her personal life isn’t so successful.

A trip to Paris, years ago, led to the most erotic encounter of her life with Luc, a charismatic, dominant, irresistible Frenchman. For one night she experienced bliss on a scale she’d never encountered and fled in the morning, ashamed of herself, but her Parisian one night stand was burned into her memories and no one since had compared.

With no one available on short notice, Lulu steps in to lure Mrs. Le Grand’s rich husband, for an extortionately high fee. Lulu’s in for the shock of her life when she finds her mark at the hotel bar. Luc Le Grand still has a face and body to make Adonis weep. He exudes confidence, masculinity and raw sex appeal.

The question now isn’t whether Lulu can tempt him, but whether she can resist him, retain her reputation and secure her fee, or whether she’ll fall under Mr. Le Grand’s spell. Again.

Crimson coveThe Crimson Corset: The Vampires of Crimson Cove by Alistair Cross, modern gothic paranormal horror (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Welcome to Crimson Cove

Sheltered by ancient redwoods overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.

When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.

Darkness at the Edge of Town

Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.

Blood Wars

The streets are running red with blood, and as violence and murder ravage the night, Cade must face the darkest forces inside himself, and perhaps even abandon his own humanity, in order to protect what he loves.

“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”
– Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID

“This drop-deadly tale of seduction and terror will leave you begging to be fanged … ”
– Tamara Thorne, international bestselling author of HAUNTED and MOONFALL

“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s got more hooks than a day boat out of San Pedro Harbor!”
– QL Pearce, bestselling author of SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEP-OVERS

hold me until morning

Hold Me Until Morning (Grayson Brothers #2) by Christina Phillips, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

She’s the one girl he should never touch…

Cooper Grayson is supposed to hole up in a mountain cabin and protect his best friend’s little sister from the paparazzi for a week. That’s it. But Paris O’Connell isn’t a kid anymore, and it’s hard to remember this is strictly business when she bats her big green eyes at him…then crashes through all his carefully placed boundaries.

Paris loves a challenge. And gorgeous Cooper Grayson is the most dangerous challenge she’s faced yet. He ignores the sizzling attraction that keeps her awake at nights, and he doesn’t care about her fame or her contacts, only seeing her. When they finally kiss, Cooper leaves her bare. Exposed. His for the taking. And take he does…

For one incredibly hot week, Cooper fulfils her every fantasy. But when the real world crashes in, so does reality. And reality tells them there’s no way a Hollywood star and a bad boy from the wrong side of town could ever have a future together…

ItHappenedOneNight 500x750It Happened One Night (Adventures of Blind Dating #1) by Christine S. Feldman, contemporary rom-com (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Who has time for dating these days? Certainly not struggling entrepreneur Paisley Jameson, who has way too much on her plate to pay any real attention to her shriveling social life. And not mechanic Joe Spencer either, who has a lot on his mind with both the family business and family in general. But neither can say no to the beloved mutual acquaintance who wants to set them both up on a blind date.

Which is too bad, because they both kind of wish they had said no when they show up for the dinner date and realize they’ve met before–and not under happy circumstances.

But fate seems determined to prove that they’re not so wrong for each other after all, because in spite of the intentions of both Paisley and Joe to nip this whole unfortunate blind date thing in the bud and go their separate ways, events transpire to keep them together for an evening involving muggers, foot-chases, and even a high-speed trip to the ER–

And that’s all before dessert.

Dating: it’s not for wimps…

Rogue KnightRogue Knight (Medieval Warriors #2) by Regan Walker, historical medieval romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: “Mesmerizing medieval romance! A vivid portrayal of love flourishing amidst the turbulence of the years after the Norman Conquest.” — Kathryn Le Veque, USA Today Bestselling Author

York, England 1069… three years after the Norman Conquest

The North of England seethes with discontent under the heavy hand of William the Conqueror, who unleashes his fury on the rebels who dare to defy him. Amid the ensuing devastation, love blooms in the heart of a gallant Norman knight for a Yorkshire widow.

A LOVE NEITHER CAN DENY, A PASSION NEITHER CAN RESIST

Angry at the cruelty she has witnessed at the Normans’ hands, Emma of York is torn between her loyalty to her noble Danish father, a leader of the rebels, and her growing passion for an honorable French knight.

Loyal to King William, Sir Geoffroi de Tournai has no idea Emma hides a secret that could mean death for him and his fellow knights.

WAR DREW THEM TOGETHER, WAR WOULD TEAR THEM APART

War erupts, tearing asunder the tentative love growing between them, leaving each the enemy of the other. Will Sir Geoffroi, convinced Emma has betrayed him, defy his king to save her?