**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








**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

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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.


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.


Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

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


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

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.



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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**ARC Review** – Better when it Hurts (#2 in the Stripped series), by Skye Warren

Dark Erotic Romance

Adult/18+ Read

I loved Better when it Hurts, Skye Warren’s latest addition to the awesome Stripped series! It’s another deliciously dark and decadent romance about a woman who tries her utmost to hide her real self from the world, but who is about to become undone when a bad  boy from her past comes looking for revenge. The novel is scheduled for release on June 4th, but I was lucky enough to be given an Advanced Reader Copy and you can read my review here.  Tina ❤



Better when it hurtsFive 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.

My Review ~ FIVE Deliciously Dark Stars! *****

Dark, Dirty and Emotional!

Yet more awesomeness from Skye Warren! I was thrilled to be given an ARC to review Better When it Hurts, the second novel in the Stripped series. This is the story of Lola, one of the strippers at the Grand, and Blue, who provides security. It’s dark, dirty and emotional and once I started it there was no way I could put it down until I had finished it!

I LOVED the character of Blue: the angry and conflicted alpha, always there in the shadows, watching Lola and waiting…. The couple have one helluva history, which reveals itself as the tale unfolds. Lola knows that Blue has not forgiven her for her past actions. His presence unnerves her and she knows that it is only a matter of time before she will have to atone for what she has done and she knows that it’s going to hurt. They have a tragic and tangled past and they have much to work through if they are ever to find resolution.

Skye Warren does a superb job of creating the most intense scenes of sexual tension and like Lola I was on tenterhooks waiting for this powerful alpha to make his move and demand payback! When he did I was absolutely gobsmacked by what transpired: the scenes between them sizzle with a bruising combination of raw emotion and passion. They are dark, dirty and primal and I loved them! Blue is able to strip away Lola’s confident demeanour, revealing the fragile woman underneath.

I was in no doubt that this couple had deep seated feelings for each other from their every word or action. I particularly liked how Blue is committed to preventing Lola being harmed by the Grand’s customers if they step over the line, wanting her for himself. The question is will Lola survive with her emotions intact and will Blue forgive her once he has meted out his revenge?

The author sets the scene perfectly with her descriptions of the Grand where Lola and the other girls strip. The faded grandeur of the once luxury hotel provides the perfect backdrop for the heart-rending life led by those who work there night after night. Lola and Blue’s story is a fabulous addition to the series and I am so looking forward to finding out about what is going n between the club’s owner Ivan and Candy, one of the other strippers.

If  you are a reader of dark romance you will definitely want to put this on your reading list! .

Reviewed by Tina Williams

An ARC of this book was given to me by the author for a fair and honest review.

For the link to my review of Love the Way You Lie, book 1 in the series, click on the book title.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

Connect with the Author

Website: http://skyewarren.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skyewarren

Newsletter: http://www.skyewarren.com/newsletter


30 Days of Summer Blog Tour – Spotlight on *HER VENGEFUL SCOT* ~ by Christina Phillips

Sizzling Historical Erotic Romance

 Book blurb, teaser, excerpt and giveaway


For me Summer is by far the best time of the year. I live in the UK and while we are not guaranteed sun during June, July and August, when it does shine I am a happy bunny. I can sit out and eat in the garden, wear what I want and generally celebrate the good life! Whatever the season though I am never without a good book and the 30 DAYS OF SUMMER BLOG TOUR is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about  some authors you already know, discover some new ones and try your hand at winning some super prizes!

One of my favourite authors, Christina Phillips, is visiting our blog today to share the cover and blurb for her brand spanking new release, HER VENGEFUL SCOT, an historical erotic romance. Having read the first book in this series, Her Savage Scot, I am chomping at the bit to find out about the romance between the hero and heroine of this novel, Scottish warrior Cameron and the Pictish lady Elise. This author’s romances sizzle with passion and raw emotion and always have a page turning plot! There is also a sexy excerpt and a some great prizes up for grabs in the giveaway including gift cards, paperbacks, swag and jewellery.


Series: Highland Warrior Chronicles (Book 2)
Author: Christina Phillips
Word/Page count: 83,000 words
Buy links: Amazon Ellora’s Cave

Christina Phillips - Cover


To avenge his sister’s honor, he must destroy the woman he wants most in the world…

Ordered to remain in Pictland, Cameron MacNeil fights the lust that consumes him whenever he encounters the aloof princess, Elise. Not only is she a cursed Pict, she belongs to the man he has vowed vengeance upon.

Despite her reputation, Elise has no interest in men until she meets Cameron. Lacking the famed Scots charm, his blunt ways enchant her and he ignites a passion she long thought dead. When she is freed from her difficult marriage, Elise places her trust in the tough Scot warrior who has stolen her heart.

Bound by blood oaths, the only way Cam can protect Elise from political schemes is to make her his bride. When Elise discovers the truth, she fears everything she knew about her husband was a lie. All she can do is trust her goddess was right and Cameron is her one true love.

A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


Christina Phillips - Teaser



Cameron MacNeil continued to glare at her, his eyes smoldering with black passion. She tried to ignore the prickles of awareness that burned her flesh beneath his gaze. But her chest constricted and it was hard to breathe, never mind engage in conversation with him.

That he desired her was obvious. That he hated the fact he wanted her was also painfully obvious. She could only hope he had no idea of the effect he had on her.

“Why are you out here alone, my lady?” he said, still speaking in his bone-meltingly accented Pictish although it was apparent to them both, she was more fluent in his language than he was in hers.
But how did he manage to inject so much venom into such a mundane question? If he loathed conversing with her people to this degree then why did he continue to torment her with his unwelcome presence?

As if to belie her thought, her treacherous gaze drank in the way his unbound hair whipped across his face in the Highland breeze. The way his white linen shirt stretched across his broad shoulders. How it molded against his powerful chest beneath the length of plaid slung over his shoulder.

His presence tormented her. But despite that, it was not unwelcome.

Fire flooded her veins, warming her cheeks. Goddess, she was blushing like a maid. No man made her blush. She was immune to their charms, no matter how much she enjoyed their company. And even if Cameron MacNeil awoke long dormant desires within her, it was nothing but a cruel contradiction—for she certainly did not enjoy his company.

Her heart hammered an erratic rhythm as she watched him step closer to her. The sky receded. The earth fell away. He filled the world and stole the air, raised the heat and made it hard to think, to reason.

He was so close she could feel his uneven breath across her face. Could see the deep brown of his eyes, the intriguing thickness of his lashes. For a fleeting instant his features softened and she saw beneath the simmering hatred he appeared to hold against her people. And in that moment the gaping chasm of want and loneliness that corroded his soul slammed through her breast.

She gasped. A shiver trickled along her spine at the eerie certainty that she had just glimpsed the true man beneath the warrior. For one brief moment, his façade had cracked. And even though now, once again, his countenance was as forbidding as it had always been, she knew the truth.

His air of fury and his curt words were not intended as a personal affront against her or her people.
It was an act of self-preservation.



Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing paranormal, historical and contemporary romance but whether the hero is a fallen angel, tough warrior or sexy mortal, the romance will be sizzling and the heroine will bring her hero to his knees.

Christina is addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.


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5 x various paperbacks
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The Harlot (#1 in the Taskill Witches Series), by Saskia Walker

11549064[1]A Wickedly Sexy Romp for Lovers of Erotic Historical Romance!

Adult Read/18+ only

Mmmm… a bawdy wench, a masterful hero seeking to use the heroine’s sexual charms to seek revenge on his enemy, sprinkled with a fair bit of magic, a mouth watering combination! This is an very lusty read, set in Eighteenth century Scotland, with some extremely naughty characters. If you are familiar with the images often portrayed by the Georgian satirist Hogarth, you will have some idea of the licentious scenes that you can expect to encounter! Please note that in addition to the many scorching consensual lovemaking scenes between the main couple, there is also one f/f scene (involving the heroine) and a m/m scene (not involving the hero).

The Harlot is the first book in Saskia Walker’s Taskill Witches series, books 2 and 3 (which I have not yet had the pleasure of reading) being entitled The Libertine and The Jezebel. There is aso a novella in the series, Their Private Arrangement, which contains some characters we meet in The Harlot. The character in each of the main books is one of three siblings, who were cruelly separated after their mother was burnt at the stake for being a witch. All three have inherited their mother’s gift. The Harlot of this book’s title is Jessie, who has had a hard time since the death of her mother and is pursuing a career as a whore, in the hope of saving enough money to return to the Highlands.

Jessie is confident of her sexuality and in the opening scene, which I ABSOLUTELY ADORED, she is brawling in a tavern with one of her colleagues, accused of poaching a customer from her. It is there that she catches the admiring eye of the hero, Gregor Ramsay, a ship’s captain, who has taken leave from his business to take revenge upon a man who did him and his family great wrong. During the brawl Jessie is accused of witchcraft and is thrown into prison. Gregor, who has decided that Jessie would be the perfect instrument in his revenge, disguises himself as a priest and springs her out of gaol in return for her services. This is also an extremely HOT AND SEXY scene which I vastly enjoyed! Jessie is to use her considerable sexual charms to seduce and ruin his enemy.

There are many erotic and humorous scenes throughout. Jessie finds much pleasure in Gregor’s embrace, as he trains her for her role, and whilst she toys with him, Gregor tries unsuccessfully to distance himself from her charms. The sexual energy they create by their coupling greatly enhances Jessie’s powers, putting her at an even greater risk of being denounced as a witch.

Jessie soon becomes emotionally involved as does Gregor. Yet how will he react when Jessie’s powers become so powerful that he finds out that she is in fact a witch? What will happen if this is discovered by others? The plot hots up in all respects as the novel progressed and I could not put it down! What starts off as a very erotic lust fest soon turns to something very emotional and far deeper and whilst the erotic scenes do not cease in intensity, romance blooms and I found myself rooting for a HEA, as danger looms.

I loved the characters of both the hero and the heroine. Neither conformed to society and both have truly heart breaking pasts, yet they have the potential to heal each other and are well suited. Will Gregor’ s desire for revenge and the danger Jessie is in of discovery thwart any future they have together? The supporting cast of lusty characters are equally colourful and there is an unexpected plot twist. There is also a great balance between the erotic and paranormal scenes and the overall plot and character development.

I will most definitely be reading the other books in the series and other steamy offerings by this author. I recommend The Harlot to lovers of erotic historical romance who also enjoy tales of magic, set in a fascinating period of Scottish history.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Check out the following links to find out more:

http://www.saskiawalker.co.uk/theharlot.html – contains a scorching excerpt from chapter one!

Amazon US

Amazon UK