*ARC REVIEW* ~ The Spymaster’s Redeemer (Dreda’s Men), by Alexie Bolton

#historical #romance

Blurb

Two people on opposite sides of a civil war. Frances Dreda is an officer in the Taylian State Security Bureau who enforces obedience to the law by the deterrent of prison and the noose. He investigates the activities of the outspoken and intellectual Lady Felea Whelani who he suspects aids the rebels by codebreaking and feeding and educating their children.

They should be mortal enemies but are intrigued by each other but he mistrusts women and Felea is repulsed by his detachment and his severity. Can love overcome cultural differences and prejudice? Can Felea humanise this officer?

My Review ~ 4 and a half stars

Entertaining and Compulsive 

Alexie Bolton’s The Spymaster’s Redeemer, the author’s first novel, kept me entertained from beginning to end. It is a sweeping historical romance with complex characters and a well developed plot.

The central story is that of the relationship between the two protagonists – the ‘Spymaster’ of the title Frances Dreda, and Lady Felea, the daughter of an academic suspected of supporting enemies of the Emperor of Taylia, a fictional country near the Austria- Hungary border. There is also much emphasis on the politics and power play between different individuals and factions. The push and pull between the couple also highlight the differing expectations put on men and women. I found the result to be a thoroughly compulsive read as the author skilfully weaves these different threads together.

I enjoyed both the sexual tension and the heated exchanges between Dreda and Felea which begin as soon as their paths cross. Dreda is investigating her father’s potential guilt, a crime punishable by death and as his daughter Felea herself is under suspicion. Dreda takes an uncharacteristic personal interest in the case as something about the young woman intrigues him, taking it on himself to establish the extent of her guilt or innocence. As for Felea, she fears for her own fate and that of her father and wants rid of this odious man who is an unwelcome threat to her sanity and wellbeing! I will not divulge how the plot develops, suffice to say that the story is a complex one and is full of unexpected twists with plenty of action, suspense and romance.

Of particular merit is the good job the author does in developing both Dreda’s and Felea’s characters. I found Dreda to be a fascinating individual who attracts and repels at the same time. As the Emperor’s right hand man, he is cold and calculating, a misogynist who uses women for his own ends and a master manipulator. Felea blindsides him not only with her exuberance and apparent innocence but also with her intelligence. I enjoyed how she gets under his skin and challenges his preconceptions. For her part she is an accomplished individual due to the freedoms given to her by her academic father and loathes the thought of being controlled by a man. Although they are opposites in many respects, they are well matched and I enjoyed how their relationship develops given the obstacles in their way, not least their own pride and preconceptions.

It is an impressive first novel by the author and I am looking forward to reading more of her work.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Connect with the Author

https://www.facebook.com/The-Spymasters-Redeemer-292324974543422/

 

*REVIEW* ~ Hooked (Viking Bastards MC #1), by Christina Phillips

#Erotic #MC #Romance

Adult/18+ read

Blurb

I like my sex dirty and disposable. I’m not into commitment or chicks who want more than one night. My brothers and club come first, second and last.

Until she walks into my life. Classy, rich and so out of my league it’s crazy. A week together should get her out of my system, but this good girl is so bad when we’re all alone and I can’t get enough of her.

I don’t do forever, but she’s hooked me so bad I don’t ever want to let her go. Except there’s no way a princess can live in my world and I sure as hell won’t live in hers…  

My Review  – 5 stars *****

Opposites attract in this sizzling erotic MC romance

Hooked, by Christina Phillips is the first book in her new contemporary romance series, a sizzling erotic foray into the lives and loves of the Viking Bastards Motorcyle Club. It is a scorching read which pairs Zach, the hot and dirty commitment-phobe with the mega rich and uber classy Grace. It’s definitely a case of opposites attract when Grace’s car breaks down on the wrong side of town and she ventures into the club’s bar to seek help. Yet help is not all she finds once she catches the eye of Zach…

Zach is angling for a casual hook up with one hell of an attractive female and Grace throws her usual caution to the wind and indulges in one night stand. Neither think it will go any further but it does. Very soon it develops into a  case of ‘friends with benefits’ and the couple, whilst telling themselves their relationship is not serious – after all their lives are chalk and cheese, cannot get enough of each other. Zach finds that although Grace does not fit into his usual love ’em and leave ’em plan, he is not sure where their relationship is going and Grace is equally unsure whether Zach sees any future for them other than casual sex.

The sex scenes and the banter between Grace and Zach sizzle and I loved how the couple fell for each other. Yet their HEA seems so elusive as their lives are so different. Will Grace find the courage to escape a lifetime of conformity and can Zach break his cardinal rule of not getting emotionally involved with a woman, least of all one whose life is far removed for his own? Will their burgeoning relationship survive when their worlds collide?

Christina Phillips writes the most scorching sex scenes (hot and down and dirty)! There is also plenty of romance and I found the couple very believable. If you like strong alpha types and classy heroines not afraid to put them in their place, you will love this read.

Recommended for fans of the genre.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter

 

 

 

*REVIEW* ~ Going the Distance (No Excuses #1), by Mila Rossi

#sports #romance

Adult/18+ read

gtdBlurb

Once you slap the hell out of the light heavyweight champion of the world on the night of his first loss, how do you convince him to give you an interview? That’s the dilemma Samantha Wellington finds herself in after turning down the most desirable yet foul-mouthed athlete she’s come across. Unfortunately for her, her job depends on getting his interview and this boxer’s not talking.

When Trent “The Punisher” Page is humiliated by the spunky reporter, then cornered for an interview, he does what he does best: he plays dirty. He didn’t earn his nickname for being nice, after all. If the little minx wants to know more about him, she’ll have to pay with the one thing she’s not willing to give – herself.

Her elements of surprise meet their match in his determination to succeed. With vastly different motivations, can they break down the enemy without jeopardizing themselves?

DISCLAIMER: Due to Trent’s foul mouth and sexual situations, this book is intended for mature readers.

My Review

Sweet, Sassy and Sexy! ~ 4 smexy stars!

Mila Rossi’s Going the Distance contains a boxer who is facing the first disappointment of his hitherto stellar career and a sassy reporter who is trying to get an interview with him, the very man she rebuffed only days before! Samantha’s attempts to persuade the man-whore Trent to give her an interview without giving in to his, shall we say, less than honourable demands certainly make for a delightfully entertaining read!

Trent is attracted to Samantha and, smarting from her very public rejection of him, attempts to use the situation to his advantage. However, Samantha is no pushover and is adamant that she will not succumb to his wicked ways, refusing to be just another notch on his bedpost. She negotiates a series of ‘dates’ with Trent designed to persuade him to allow her the coveted interview and she finds herself becoming attracted to him more and more, as she realizes that there is more to this complex man than she initially thought.

Similarly Trent becomes more and more entertained and intrigued with Samantha’s attempts at persuasion and finds that he cannot get this persistent reporter out of his mind. However, Trent finds that he has to concentrate on regaining his fighting form and distractions such as Samantha can play no part in his life….

Overall the romance between Trent and Samantha is a sweet one, but that said there is plenty of smoking hot scenes and smexy banter between the potty mouthed straight talking Trent and the sassy Samantha.

If you are after a novella length sexy read and love tales of alpha males and spunky heroines you will love this read!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

http://www.milarossi.com/

 

 

**REVIEW** ~ In His Corner, by Vina Arno

Contemporary Romance

In His Corner

Book Blurb

WORK OUT

No sex for almost a year could kill a guy, but when you’re the boxer known as the Juggernaut, it’s the price you pay for turning pro. Tommy’s fully dedicated to his craft, until he meets the incredibly gorgeous Dr. Siena Carr. Now he’s looking forward to taking on this prim and proper lady in a wet and wild work-out…

KNOCK OUT

Siena has seen many patients come through the ER, but none as sexy as Tommy Raines. With a nasty cut over his eye, she knows he needs stiches, but after he takes off his shirt, she needs some air. With rock-hard abs and taut biceps, it’s clear this man takes care of his body. And all Siena can think about is letting him take care of hers…

My Review ~ 4.5 stars!

Opposites Attract in this Sexy Sports Romance

In His Corner is a well written and sexy contemporary romance, where sparks and passion fly between two people who were born on opposite sides of the tracks. When boxer Tommy aka the Juggernaut and Siena, the serious and dedicated ER doctor, meet their attraction is instantaneous.

Despite Tommy’s advice to remain relationship free before his next big fight, he cannot let the chance to hook up with the reserved but sexy Siena pass him by, even though on the surface this straight laced miss, is way out of his league. Siena has only ever dated conservative, Ivy League guys, yet once she sets eyes on this hot male specimen she succumbs to his request for a date and literally becomes putty in his hands, unlocking some unexpected passion within her. Their relationship is both fun and hot as they both introduce each other to their respective worlds. Yet will their growing love and attraction be enough or will their different backgrounds and outlook mean their HEA is doomed?

I found the book a great read. Tommy is a super sexy guy and I loved how he encouraged Siena to push her boundaries both sexually and socially, without expecting her to change. By contrast Siena has a hard time accepting Tommy and his background, so different from her own, and tries to influence his tastes in clothes and foods. Tommy goes with the flow until her behaviour strikes at the very heart of what he is and it will take a lot of soul searching from Siena if their relationship is to last.

This entertaining and thought-provoking read is both hot and emotional and I recommend it to fans of contemporary romance, particularly if you enjoy sexy alpha males!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Connect with the Author

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9800535.Vina_Arno

https://cindyfazzi.com/

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

All’s Fair in Love and Weddings by Christine S. Feldman **SPOTLIGHT with excerpt**

AllsFairinLoveandWeddings 500x750-3We are delighted to bring to your attention the latest release by Christine S. Feldman, ‘All’s Fair in Love and Weddings’! This contemporary romance focuses on an opposites attract romance and the blurb alone makes out for a fun read! But you can also take a sneaky peak at more with an excerpt (below), which will leave you feeling curious after an awkward and tense, but playful, moment. I will be looking forward to reviewing this one in the New Year! Don’t miss your chance – go grab a copy tomorrow on the release day – 30th September 2014 (or pre-order available)!!! (Purchase links below.)

BLURB: Prudence Collier spent the better part of her reckless youth proving that she was not aptly named, and unfortunately she burned a few bridges in the process, including where her family is concerned. So when her long-estranged sister invites her to her destination wedding in the Virgin Islands, Prue leaps at the chance to mend at least one broken family relationship and prove that she’s a changed person. 

Tucker Davies, on the other hand, has come to the islands for a very different reason: to stop the wedding. As a childhood friend of the groom, he has reason to believe that his friend is about to make a huge mistake and is intent on not letting that happen. One thing he didn’t count on, though, was going up against Prue. 

Determined to make up for the past, Prue resolves to keep Tucker from interfering with her sister’s happiness in the present and is willing to go to any lengths necessary to do so. Any. And if that requires a few tiny deceptions here and there, the occasional brush with the local authorities, and perhaps even instigating a barroom brawl, so be it. A sister has to do what a sister has to do. 

But so does a friend, and Tucker has no intention of backing down, no matter how aggravating or even—to his surprise—appealing Prudence Collier can be. 

The war is on, and neither side believes they can afford to surrender. 

Which is a shame, because they’re both beginning to suspect surrendering would be a lot of fun…

EXCERPT

She froze in front of him like a deer caught in the headlights, and despite the fact that she had some serious explaining to do, the first thought that went through Tucker’s mind when her eyes widened was that they certainly were a remarkable shade of green, weren’t they?

“Good morning,” she returned warily, and then those green eyes of hers narrowed.

Well, that seemed like an odd reaction. If either of them ought to be upset, he was fairly certain it should be him, not her. And had he not been so intensely curious as to why she had sent him on a wild goose chase yesterday, he might have been more upset than he already was.

“Coffee smells good,” Tucker said conversationally with a nod toward her cup. “Is there more where that came from?”

“Depends,” Prue returned, eyeing him as if she expected him to make a sudden move at any time. “Are you a guest of the resort?”

“Are you kidding? At their prices? No.”

“Then I think you’re out of luck.” And she drained the rest of her drink in front of him.

He watched her, unfazed. “Yeah, my luck has been pretty poor the past twenty-four hours.”

“Has it?”

She seemed to be avoiding his gaze. Under the circumstances, he was not surprised. “But it’s taking a turn for the better now, because I was hoping to run into you again.”

“I’ll bet,” she muttered, so much under her breath that he almost missed it.

“Mainly because I was hoping you could explain something to me. Like why you sent me racing after the wrong ferry?”

After a moment’s pause, she turned to look directly at him and widened her eyes again with what – in any other situation – he might have interpreted as innocence. It was almost, but not quite, convincing. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“I think you do know what I mean. You sent me to the Water Island ferry.”

One of her eyes twitched before both of them grew even wider. Too wide. “That’s the one you wanted, wasn’t it?”

He looked at her evenly, wondering what kind of game she was playing at here. “No. It wasn’t.”

“Well, that’s what I heard you say. You specifically said Water Island, I’m sure of it.”

“I said St. John.”

She shook her head. “I think you must be confused.”

Understatement of the year, he thought. “Very, yes, but not about the islands. And neither are you, are you?”

“I think you must be remembering wrong.”

“I fell for that line once already, remember? What else have you got?”

Instead of answering, she played with the empty coffee cup in her hands.

“Look, sweetheart, I don’t know if you just like to do this kind of thing to other people for kicks, but I’m really not in the mood for it today. I had a very long night, and it would be hard to say if the crowning moment was when one of the tires on my car blew up or when the tow truck guy discovered he was lactose intolerant while I was still riding beside him in his truck, but—” He caught another twitch around her eyes then, one that almost looked like guilt taking its toll. And then another thought occurred to him for the first time, and he stared at her, incredulous. “Wait—did you have something to do with that?”

“A lactose-intolerant truck driver? Not likely.”

“I meant my tire.”

She played with her cup some more without looking up, and he realized he had his answer.

“Are you kidding me?” He was almost too bewildered to be angry. Almost. “Do you usually screw over the people who do you favors, lady, or am I just special?”

Her head shot up then, and she had the nerve to look indignant. “Screw people over? You’re one to talk!”

“Huh?” Tourists all over these islands, and he had to cross paths with the one who appeared to be an escaped mental patient. A very attractive mental patient, he thought as a distracting curl escaped from the band she’d used to pull her hair back into a loose ponytail, but a mental patient nevertheless. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about that wedding you’re so anxious to stomp all over, that’s what.”

His irritation grew. “I don’t want to ‘stomp’ on anything. I just want to—”

“Ruin the bride’s special day. I know.”

“The bride—”

“Is my sister.”

He blinked and then stared at her, and she nodded back, her displeasure with him written all over her face. “No…” he breathed in disbelief.

“Guess again.”

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon US

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