*REVIEW* ~ Dirty Ugly Toy, by K Webster

#dark #romance #darkread #suspense

Adult/18+ read

dirty

Blurb

Her time is over.
Things are looking up.

She’s dirty and ugly.
He’s wicked but handsome.

Six months to toy with her.
Six months of vacation and a ton of money.

I’ll hurt her beyond repair.
I’ve been through much worse.

She’s difficult to control and doesn’t obey.
I’m done submitting to anyone or anything in this life.

I should hate her.
I should hate him.

The game has changed.
I will win.

Dirty Ugly Toy is a novel that blurs the lines of right and wrong, deals with abuse, contains dubious consent, and adult subject matter. If you are sensitive to violent sexual situations, the book may not be suitable for you. Some parts of this book are not easy to read and are not intended for everyone. However, those that keep an open mind and stick with it will not be disappointed.

My Review ~ 5 stars

Down and Dirty Dark Read

Dirty, Ugly Toy is the second book that I have read by K Webster, the first was Apartment 28. This read is a lot darker but again I really loved the author’s voice, not to mention how her writing made me really connect with the characters. I was drawn into the plot from the off and entertained throughout. The read is sexy, dirty and heartfelt. Brax is a dangerous and tortured hero I just loved, and Jessica is just perfect for him.

Brax, a wealthy billionaire, has a twisted side – taking girls from the street and transforming them into his ‘toy’ for 6 months before disposing of them – the opening scene leaves the reader with a real insight into his modus operandi and it is brutal. Yet when Brax rescues Jessica, the latest in a long line of ‘toys’, it soon becomes apparent that she is like no other. She is not just the dirty, drug addicted whore she first appears to be. Not only does she have hidden depths and intelligence, that over time reveal themselves to Brax and his loyal staff, but she also stands up to her tormentor, playing Brax at his own game.

I just LOVED how the relationship between these two strong individuals  grew and how the author reveals Jessica’s past. Brax is knocked for six by his new acquisition and is torn, constantly at war with himself as to how to train her. Will he break his addiction to his ‘toys’ or will Jessica meet the same fate as the others as he refuses to allow a woman to rule his emotions?

Brax is definitely a tortured character with dark needs. As the plot unfolds we learn about the traumatic events which shaped his psychology. He likes to dominate his ‘toys’, training them to fulfil his base desires, and there are numerous down and dirty scenes in the book – scenes in which Jessica shows him what she is made of. Jessica is a diamond in the rough and her own back story is revealed where we learn that she has had to cope with monsters far worse than Brax.

I loved how the couple connected emotionally and physically. Yet can Brax break the habits of a lifetime? Also what happens when the six months are up? Neither characters can escape their pasts, or can they?

The book also contains some super secondary characters in Dubois and Cartier. I will definitely be reading more of this author’s books!

Highly recommended for dark romance fans.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28195608-dirty-ugly-toy?ac=1&from_search=true

http://www.authorkwebster.com/

*REVIEW* ~ Sacrifice (Fashionably Impure book 3), by Natasha Blackthorne

Erotic Historical Romance
Adult/18+ only

sacrifice

Blurb

Adrian Sutherland, the Earl of Danvers, loves Miss Miranda Jones with all his heart and soul. His love is so ardent that he will marry her and make her his countess, despite her past as a courtesan. He loves her so much in fact, that he is prepared to do anything to keep her safe. No matter the cost.

Miranda loves Adrian with a passionate love that equals his. She wants only him, no matter the hardships she must face as wife to an impoverished earl.

Miranda and Adrian, two tortured and damaged souls, whose only solace is each other. As they share the dark secrets that have tormented them for years, their love is put to the test again and again. But when Adrian makes the ultimate sacrifice to ensure her safety, all their future happiness is put at risk.

How great a price must they pay for their obsessive, all-consuming love?

My Review ~ 5 stars

Sizzling and Emotional

Sacrifice is an emotional conclusion to the tempestuous romance between the courtesan Miranda and the aristocratic Adrian which began in Miranda’s Dilemma and continued in A Most Demanding Mistress click on the titles for review. Please note, if you have not read these books this review, whilst I have taken great care not to reveal the plot, does contain spoilers.

I loved how, to protect the woman he loves Adrian flies in the face of propriety and weds Miranda, who has hitherto led the life of a courtesan. He not only risks his standing as an Earl but he makes his impoverished position even more precarious. Yet this is not enough and he must go to extraordinary lengths to protect Miranda, at great risk to himself and their future as man and wife. That the couple love each other passionately is not in question, yet will it be enough for them to survive the trials and tribulations that come their way? This is an emotional and rollercoaster read.

The dynamics of their relationship are challenging. Once again Adrian needs to reconcile his need to possess and own Miranda with his distaste of her former profession. Miranda too must make her own sacrifice, facing up to demons from her past. Will their respective sacrifices be enough to secure a HEA for them? The couple’s relationship is intense and is anything but plain-sailing. A number of times in the book I was frustrated by the actions of both Adrian and Miranda and the situation they found themselves in. Both are proud and stubborn individuals with their own scarred pasts and they must learn to trust each other.

The book is a scorching read – the author writes deliciously sensual and erotic love-making scenes, her descriptive powers reflecting the love, passion and emotion this couple hold in their heart for one another.

I found it an emotional and fitting conclusion to the series.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Please note that this book will shortly be available as part of a bundle containing all three books and is available for pre-order now:

Amazon US  Amazon UK

About the Author

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/natasha.blac…

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author…

Website: http://natashablackthorne.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nblackthorne

*DOUBLE REVIEW* ~ The General’s Daughter and Stolen Melody (Snow and Ash books 1 and 2), by Heather Knight

#postapocalyptic #romance #darkromance #erotic, #romanticsuspense

Adult/18+ Read

Must read series for dark romance fans!

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of dark romance. I also love post-apocalyptic novels, so when I came across the Snow and Ash series by Heather Knight I was positively salivating. I pre-ordered the first book, The General’s Daughter and read it in one sitting, after which I downloaded book #2, Stolen Melody and feasted on that too. After a difficult week with one thing and another, escaping into the harsh, brutal world the author paints, complete with alpha males, mind blowing sex and suspenseful plots was just the tonic I needed! I will be downloading book #3 in the series, The Other Brother, as soon as it is available.

Each book pairs a swoonworthy anti-hero with a heroine who is broken/damaged. The sex scenes sometimes push the boundaries of consent –  remember it’s a dark romance. The author paints an excellent picture of the post-apocalyptic world which remains after the Yellowstone volcano goes off, destroying much of civilisation and the population and leaving the world in a perpetual winter. Only the strong and/or the very fortunate survive. Women are very much a commodity, controlled by various militaristic male led factions, who vie for control and survival, whilst out in the wilderness many have turned to cannibalism…

My Reviews

The General’s Daughter (Snow and Ash #1)

HKEighteen year-old Ilsa’s father, General Balenchuk, is one of the few men with balls enough to build a tiny island of civilization after a global catastrophe sends humanity to near extinction. He runs Bluefield Mountain with an iron fist, and he’s even more controlling when it comes to his daughter. Ilsa’s been dead inside for years—that is, until the person who hates her most takes her hostage.

When twenty-two year-old Talon Heinesman kidnaps Ilsa Balenchuk, it’s not just because the leader of a rival territory ordered him to capture the general’s daughter. Four years ago, her selfishness set into motion a series of events that resulted in his mother’s and sister’s murders. He’s buried his rage for four years, and now it’s time to mete out the punishment she deserves.

Their story sets Ilsa and Talon on a steamy, turbulent path full of danger, incendiary passion, and a bond so deep it could kill.

This romantic suspense novel contains dark, mature situations and sensitive subject matter, and contains triggers some readers may find discomforting. It is a work of fiction and is intended for adult readers.

My Review ~  Five deliciously dark stars *****

The General’s Daughter, an extremely hot and sexy read, is a tale of revenge and redemption but also absolution.  In it Isla, the daughter of a brutal General,  is kidnapped by a man working for a rival leader. Her kidnapper is none other than Talon, a man whose family she unwittingly destroyed. Talon is hungry for revenge  and jumped at the chance to get his hands on this selfish and spoiled woman. Yet can he hand her over to his boss before he has exacted his revenge? Indeed, does he want to? Would he rather see her suffer at his hands rather than those of another?

Isla’s captivity is brutal and she despairs of surviving it. As she gets to know Talon their relationship develops and they learn much about their respective roles that led to their shared tragic past and its repercussions. There are a number of hightly charged scenes. It becomes clear that Isla is not the woman Talon believed her to be yet nevertheless she was responsible for the deaths of those he held dear. Over time Talon, a man who both despises and desires her, becomes Isla’s only hope for survival.

Isla and Talon are fantastic characters. Both have tragic backstories and have contributed to each others pain. Can they forgive each other and even themselves before it is too late? Their relationship is both sizzling and conflicted and I loved it! Talon struggles to fight his attraction to his captive, a woman whom he should despise. Whilst his words are often cruel, his actions are not always so and Isla comes to depend on him for her survival.

Isla has had led an awful past, controlled by a father she hates and recognises that she is in a situation where she may not survive. I enjoyed how the author developed her character and how she stepped  up to the challenge of facing both Talon and her demons. She is a strong woman but even I doubted how she would withstand the events that came her way as the plot developed. Is her future wth Talon, a man who despises her? Is she better off with her controlling father? Will Talon hand her over to his boss, which would herald her death or has he something else entirely planned for her? Either way she appears to be screwed. The stakes are high and the sex is hot!

A recommended read for dark romance fans!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Stolen Melody (Snow and Ash #2)

The rest of the world knew her as Melody, the beautiful young siren who rose to the top of the music scene just before a HK1volcano blew and wiped out most of civilization. For the past three years, nineteen year-old “Imogen” has been living under the protection of a small town pastor, and no one else in this increasingly righteous parish knows her infamous history. The whole The rest of the world knew her as Melody, the beautiful young siren who rose to the top of the music scene just before a volcano blew and wiped out most of civilization. For the past three years, nineteen year-old “Imogen” has been living under the protection of a small town pastor, and no one else in this increasingly righteous parish knows her infamous history. The whole persona of Melody was a corporate fabrication, and Imogen would like to forget that part of her past.

Ex-felon Axel Diehl is scouting ahead for a well-organized gang when he spots his fantasy girl. There’s no mistaking the small scar on her hand, those full lips, or that kick-ass figure. It’s too good to be true, and when the gang takes control of Sadie’s Bend he publicly claims Melody for his own.

Can sweet Imogen become the sexy Melody of Axel’s dreams? Can Axel give his poster girl the love she craves? Or will the violence of this new, post-apocalyptic world tear them apart?

This dark romance novel contains mature situations and sensitive subject matter, and contains triggers some readers may find discomforting. It is a work of fiction and is intended for adult readers.

My Review ~ Fast paced and sizzling! ~ Five stars *****

I loved both the premise and the execution of Stolen Melody. It has a very different plot and feel to The General’s Daughter in that it contains more characters and further explores the landscape and society of the post apocalyptic world in which it is set. It pairs an ex-felon Axel with Imogen, a young woman who, prior to the apocalypse, was a young music star at the top of her career. As Melody she was the proverbial wet dream, with her raunchy stage show and persona, an image that was far from the truth of Imogen the girl. Imogen’s refuge in a restrictive small town religious community comes to an abrupt end when she is claimed by Axel, who recognises her, the girl from his fantasies.

Axel’s character is dark and alpha to the core, taking what he wants and defending it to the hilt.  He starts off as a violent, controlling and unlikable character, but we soon find out that he had an appalling childhood, learning that to survive he must be stronger, tougher and meaner than the rest. Melody is a prize that he will not share and he is intent on enjoying her and not afraid of punishing her if she transgresses.  Indeed, he is a very bad boy and once again the plot contains some dubious consent and some hot scenes!  Obsessed with the image he lusted after he is surprised when the real woman reveals herself. How can the couple possibly find any common ground?

Imogen is at first terrified of Axel, yet she realises that he is her only protection against others who covet her. She also lives in fear of her old identity becoming common knowledge. Surprised and afraid of the emotions that Axel’s rough love stirs up in her, should she escape if given the chance or should she stay? Also how can they survive the violence that is closing in around them as different leaders vie for dominance?

The novel reveals more of the post apocalyptic world, a world of violence, cannibals, and survival of the fittest. It also introduces us to the hero of The Other Brother, book #3, whose story I am very eager to read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/352997.Heather_Knight?from_search=true&search_version=service

 

 

**REVIEW** ~ Necessary Evils (Nick Harland Crime Thriller, book 1), by Bill Carson

Serial Killer/Crime Thriller

Necessary Evils

Book Blurb

John Kane’s quiet mundane world is suddenly ripped apart and he is thrust into a hellish nightmare existence after the murder of his beloved wife. The pain and anguish over his wife’s murder has been harnessed, molded and channeled into a hatred of the most abnormal ferocity, and an un-closable door had now been wrenched open in his mind, and he had crossed over into the darker realms of humanity where the merciless, cruel, vicious and uncompromising sides of human nature reside. His brain had been rewired and the switch had been flicked.

Has all this been preordained? Are there sinister dark forces at work at here? Necessary Evils will have you on the edge of your seat with your heart in your mouth.

My Review

An Electrifying Read ***** (Five stars)

Necessary Evils is a totally electrifying reading experience, involving murder, madness and twisted revenge. It is the second novel that I have read from the pen of Bill Carson, the first being Dark City, book 4 in the Nick Harland series. The read introduces the character of Nick Harland, in this novel in his job as a police officer, which Bill Carson develops later in the series and also the serial killer John Kane.

In it the lines between right and wrong are blurred, and I found myself empathizing with the acts of violence and depravity perpetrated by John Kane, the protagonist. When his beloved wife Sarah is brutally murdered the combination of his anger and grief combine to create a startling metamorphosis from middle aged office worker to cold blooded assassin. I enjoyed how the author described the change in his personality and although I found it terrifying it was also very credible. Kanes’s character almost regains a semblance of normality at one point in the novel, but the darkness that is ever present within him is never far away and when circumstances once again compel him to act all hell breaks loose…..

Of course, serial killers like john Kane cannot be allowed to continue wreaking revenge, even if his victims represent the scum of society and the Police, spearheaded by Nick Harland, race to apprehend this criminal who is creating terror on the streets of London. Yet the killer has done his research well and remains one step ahead of the authorities. However, will luck remain on his side or will Nick Harland finally get his lucky break and crack the case, enabling him to catch the killer.

There are a number of major twists and turns and some surprising turn of events for both John and Nick before the novel concludes. An absolutely super read for fans of crime/serial killer novels!

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.

For our review of Dark City click on the title.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://www.billcarsonbooks.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bill.carson.75098?ref=ts&fref=ts

https://twitter.com/billcarsonbooks

 

 

 

 

**REVIEW** ~ White Heat, by Serge de Moliere

Erotic Romance

Adult/18+ Read

White Heat

Book 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…

My Review

Steamy and Suspenseful! ****

White Heat is one hot read, containing a hero and heroine both trying to escape their pasts. I really liked the premise of this short read from the off – the hero Josh saves the heroine Carol, who is fleeing her brutal and controlling husband, from certain death. Josh takes her back to his isolated cabin in the frozen Canadian wilderness, where they succumb to the growing attraction between them, unaware that Carol’s husband is out to find her and to bring her home to face  punishment, eradicating anyone who stands in his way…

Although it is a short read we find out eough about Josh and Carol to understand their back-stories and what makes them tick. Both characters have troubled pasts and I liked how they came together. I also enjoyed the atmosphere the author created in the read, namely the freezing cold and the isolation whch took me well out of my comfort zone. This contasted nicely with the highly erotic senes in the cabin betwen the hero and heroine which became a oasis of warmth, love and lust. The brutal intent of Carol’s husband adds suspense to the mix and leads the reader to a shocking finale.

I recommend this read to those who like an erotic and suspenseful read which transports them to an environment where only the strongest survive.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon.com   Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

https://www.facebook.com/Serge-de-Moliere-753266598106095/timeline/

https://twitter.com/Serge_deMoliere

How to Kill a Minority Shareholder and get away with it, by Rob Watkins (Author Interview and Review)

Author Interview

Where I dig deep into the mind of Rob Watkins, author of How to Kill a Minority Shareholder and get away with it!

Genre: Revenge Thriller

Rob Watkins has recently published his first novel, How to Kill a Minority Shareholder and get away with it. I recently interviewed Rob in person and quizzed him on its publication, his writing and his future projects. A synopsis of the book and a review follows the interview. We wish Rob every success with the publication of this, his first novel. 🙂

rob watkinsThe title of this book really intrigued me from the off as did the synopsis as I am partial to tales where the underdog fights back and triumphs.  I invited Rob to tell us about himself and what prompted him to write it. Rob explained that although he has worked in many different roles throughout his working life – his current occupation is that of a painter and decorator, not once did he envisage that he would write a novel!

It is clear that the inspiration and compulsion for How to Kill a Minority Shareholder and Get Away with it was very much a personal one. Rob acknowledges that the first third of the story flowed from his experiences of witnessing someone very close to him suffer the crushing blow of having their successful career brought to an abrupt end, due to what he describes as the deliberate and questionable actions of others

The novel’s main themes are pretty dark: greed, jealousy, bullying, mental cruelty, violence and revenge, reflecting human nature at its worst. When questioned further about these themes, Rob stated that he finds it difficult to comprehend how the legal system can do little to protect employees subjected to situations such as those experienced by Deb, the heroine of his novel. He stressed how he wanted the book to serve as a warning to those in the corporate world, so that they take any necessary steps to prevent a similar event befalling them.

Although the issues raised in the novel are serious ones, there is a great deal of humour peppered throughout, much of it dark. Rob stated that the final two thirds of the book, where the hero Bob begins to contemplate and exact his revenge upon his wife’s persecutors, allowed him more scope to introduce humour into the narrative. One of my personal favourites is the passage where Bob dreams of exterminating his wife’s persecutors, in bloody technicolour glory! It comes at the point when I believed that those who destroyed the professional reputation and the life of Bob’s wife deserved to meet a grisly end! Rob underlined how he enjoyed injecting humorous elements into his novel, believing it important to lighten the mood for the reader. The passage in the novel where Bob attempts (with comical consequences) to secure the pontoons in the Venice canal so that his victim is forced out of his water taxi and onto dry land was one of Rob’s favourite passages.

Rob maintained that he endeavoured to illustrate to the reader how and why Bob was spurred on by a desire to avenge the wrongs that had been done to his wife. Before reaching this point Bob had tried to seek assistance from every avenue available to man or woman; personal entreaties; legal assistance and media coverage, but to no avail. Indeed, events soon spiral out of control and lead him deeper and deeper into darker actions and questionable moral behaviour. Rob stated that he was inspired by some of the scenes portrayed by the character William Foster played by Michael Douglas in the 1990’s film Falling Down. I remember this film well and think that he succeeded in doing this perfectly.  Throughout the novel I was constantly torn by the question of whether I believed Bob to be the hero or the villain of the piece! I will not say which side of the fence I opted for – you will need to read Rob’s work and navigate the moral dilemma it presents for yourself!

The metamorphosis that Bob goes through, from supportive husband to master avenger fascinated me and I was particularly interested in how adept Bob became at planning and executing the technical aspects of his ‘hits.’ Rob stressed that he tried to inject realism into his work, especially with regards to the systematic and ordered way Bob eliminated those who had wronged his wife. Rob explained that his penchant for crime thrillers helped to fire his imagination, particularly when it came to ensuring that Bob’s activities left no traceable clues for forensics to link him with a particular crime scene.

As much of the book was autobiographical Rob stated that he rarely experienced writer’s block. The challenge was not writing too much rather than too little. Rob reported that once he had the rough outline worked out, the main task was to weave the various elements of the narrative together, to create a book that offered an enjoyable reading experience but at the same time conveyed Rob’s message about how those in the corporate world should take care not to fall prey to the jealousy and greed of others.

Rob makes us look at our own friends and acquaintances and begs the question “how much would it take for the people you know and trust, and class as best friends, to betray and denounce you to get a share of the pie or increase the size of their slice?” Even when they know the “pie” is only there thanks to you? The answer, and how small the amount might be, may make you look at your closest friends and people around you in a new slightly sinister light and will shock even the most cynical of readers.

The book is Rob’s first published novel, taking four years to write, and I asked him if he had any experience of creative writing prior to penning it. Surprisingly, given the literary quality of the work, Rob stated that he had no prior experience, although he conceded that he has always been artistic, having attended art college in his youth. Although the characters per se are purely fictional, they nevertheless reflect Rob’s own experiences of a lifetime of people watching! Rob is particularly well traveled, often to places off the main tourist map and writes with authority about a number of these far flung places in the novel. Thailand in particular features heavily, and it is there where he met a number of acquaintances who inspired many of the characters in the book, including the Lady Boy owner of the brothel and the expat ex-military personnel whose activities sail close to the wind!

Rob explained that as this was his first novel he wanted to find an established publisher, rather than self-publish, partly because he felt it would validate the book to himself and also because the world of publishing and book marketing was very much outside his realm of experience. He feels very fortunate in that he found a publisher in Book Guild (now part of the Troubadour publishing group) and a very supportive and enthusiastic editorial team.

What of Rob’s own reading material and future works? Rob’s favourite genres to read are sci-fi, fantasy and crime and thriller books, although he laments that since becoming a writer he does not have he chance to read as extensively as in the past. He confirmed that he has another work in the pipeline, also set in the corporate world, involving a character who is being blackmailed and set up to be the fall guy. This work he explains contains more humour, although it too deals with questionable morals and business practices. He hopes to progress this further at some point.

As to all the readers out there, Rob very much hopes that they have as much fun reading his novel as he had writing it; that they laugh and cry at what he writes and that they learn something from it.

Disclaimer: All the characters mentioned in the above interview and in the author’s work, How To Kill A Minority Shareholder and get away with it are purely fictitious.

Book 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.

Review

A Dark and Humorous Revenge Thriller *****

I am drawn to tales of where the underdog fights back and triumphs, and this gripping read fits the bill! It dramatizes how Bob, after witnessing how his wife’s business associates deliberately destroy her credibility and career, avenges her by making them pay with the ultimate price, their lives.

The first third of the novel illustrates how easy it can be for those in the corporate world to destroy the life and reputation of another human being. Bob’s wife, Deborah, a brilliant and successful businesswoman, has dragged herself up from her humble beginnings to reach top management. If Deb has a fault it is that she is too trusting of others. She is secretly resented by all around her, who use her to further their own careers, at the same time despising her for her competence and intellect. This hatred and jealousy goes so deep that one woman, the villain of the piece, Summer Ponsenbury actively sets out to destroy her, urging others wield the knife on her behalf or sit passively on the side-lines.

In many regards, the reader is presented with a very negative version of the human condition, delving deep into greed, jealousy, bullying, mental cruelty, violence and revenge. Yet the read is not devoid of humour, albeit much of it dark! Bob’s metamorphosis, as he goes from supportive and angry husband to avenger extraordinaire. is at the heart of the final two thirds of the novel and the author executes the narrative with flair. It is up to the reader to decide whether or not the central character, Bob, is the hero or the villain of the piece. Many of the descriptions are very visual and this aspect coupled with the personal drama and humour make the book ideal for  TV adaptation.

The read will appeal to thriller readers who are looking for a satisfying read which delves deep into the psyche of its characters, is peppered with dark humour and which contains a serious message on human nature for us all.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rob-Watkins/e/B00XNQSSS4

http://www.facebook.com/100008589104341

 

 

 

 

 

 

**BOOK BLITZ** ~ Better When It Hurts, by Skye Warren (includes excerpt and giveaway)

BetterWhenItHurtsBlitz

Better When It Hurts
by Skye Warren
Stripped #2
Publication Date: June 4, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Blitz: Better When It Hurts by Skye Warren
AmazonNookiBooks

Five years ago we lived in the same house. He was the ultimate bad boy. And my foster brother.

Now he’s back. Tougher, harder, meaner. All of it aimed at me, because I was the one who sent him away. It’s payback time. He wants his pound of flesh, and I am helpless to say no.

****************

Excerpt

I try not to scan the floor when I enter. There’s already a buzz in the air, the hunger and desperation of a strip club on Saturday night. I’m ready to earn money, ready to move my body.

Ready to pretend Blue doesn’t bother me.

He’s nowhere in sight, and I breathe a sigh of relief. A group of men are still gathered near the railing. They’d tipped me pretty well while I was up there, so I figure I have a good shot at a lap dance. I saunter over, my breasts barely contained in the red bikini top, my skin coated in sweat and glitter and the thick smoke of this place.

“Nice set,” says a low voice from behind me.

I turn to see Blue standing there, arms crossed so his muscles bulge, lids lowered in that intense way of his. Shit. “Thanks,” I say, but the only thing I’m really thankful for is that my voice doesn’t shake.

He’s the head of security at the Grand, which should make me feel safe. Except we have a history. And he hates my guts. So there’s no affection in his eyes when they scan me up and down. No kindness in his voice when he adds, “You look great.”

The way he says it, it sounds like a threat. He makes me feel like the scared little girl I used to be when I knew him before. And him? He’s like the big bad wolf, sizing me up before he swallows me whole.

I force myself to shrug at him, to toss my hair. “Thanks, sweetie.”

He circles me, surrounding me. “But then, you always look great. That’s what you like, isn’t it? Having men panting after you? Leading us along by our dicks?”

My throat gets tight. I know that’s what people think of me. They take one look at my lipstick and my short skirt and assume the worst. God, they’re right. But it’s worse to hear it from him. Worse because he once believed in me. “Do you expect me to apologize for earning a living?”

His lids lower. “Not for that.”

I can’t meet his eyes. I know exactly what he wants me to apologize for. And he’ll never believe me. Even showing weakness in this game is enough to get me killed. “I don’t apologize to anyone.”

“Of course you don’t,” he says, his voice full of loathing. “But I don’t want your words.”

I can’t help but whisper, “What do you want?”

That makes him smile. It’s not a nice smile. “I think you know the answer to that.”

He wants to hurt me, to use me. He wants to fuck me. I swallow hard. “That isn’t for sale.”

“I wasn’t planning to pay you.”

This should be easy. Tell him no. Make him believe it. I’ve done this for a thousand men before. Somehow he’s different. Maybe because I don’t really believe it myself.

I know he’s watching me. I know he’s hatching his plans. My heart speeds up every time I turn away from him, wondering if this is the time he’ll pounce. One of these times, he’s going to dig into me with his teeth and his claws. He’s going to hurt me, and I’m not sure I’ll survive it.

Not tonight, though. Not now.

I take a step away from him. “If you aren’t going to pay for my time, I think I’ll find someone who will.”

His eyes darken. “Your call, gorgeous.”

I hear the unspoken message beneath his words, steel under velvet. For now.

Books in the Stripped series

 ½. Tough Love (prequel)
1. Love the Way You Lie
2. Better When It Hurts
3. Pretty When You Cry

Praise for the Stripped series by Skye Warren:

“It’s gritty, edgy, and sexy, served to you in the well-written, absorbing style that Skye is so talented at delivering. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the Stripped series.” – Shameless Book Club

“A jagged, layered and enthralling adventure that weaves darkness and light with precision and purpose.” – the lusty literate

“It’s dark, mysterious, sexy, and I loved every page of it! There were twists and turns that I never saw coming! I love when an author is able to keep me guessing until the very end of the book.” – Book Fancy Book Blog

“Love The Way You Lie was heartwarming, exhilarating and tantalizing with just the right tinge of darkness.” – Warhawke’s Vault

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About Skye Warren

Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of dark romantic fiction. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely romantic.

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