Review Round-Up – February ’15

Hi readers, we hope that you are all well and looking forward to the arrival of Spring, as Tina and I are. We want to say goodbye to the cold and gloominess, the bugs and viruses, and welcome some clear, blue, sunny skies to wake up to and motivate us to get out and about. I’m sure if it wasn’t for certain responsibilities I would just hibernate with my books and laptop throughout the winter months!

With Valentine’s Day just a few days away I hope that you are all in the mood for love! We have been reading many great romance novels, whether they are contemporary, historical, paranormal, comedy or erotic, and so there are more than enough reads to bury your head into to prepare you for the weekend of love!!

Amongst our latest, thirteen reviews we have two thrillers and a non/fiction travel and food book – if you are planning to go away, or want to try something new to eat, this is a fab read of first-hand accounts with recipes at the end of each chapter!

We hope you enjoy our selection. And whatever your plans, have a lovely Valentine’s weekend! (As always, please click on the titles for our full review!)

Caroline & Tina ❤

Torment (Dark Alpha 1)Torment (Dark Alpha #1) and Pleasure (Dark Alpha #2) by Alisa Woods, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Torment (Dark Alpha #1) – short story

New Adult Paranormal Romance serial

Shifters live in the shadows of Seattle, just under the skin of the alpha male, dot-com entrepreneurs who are building a new Silicon Valley in the Emerald City.

Jak enjoys the female human population of Seattle as much as any wolf, but his heart belongs to a female shifter who’s already mated. Worse, she’s the mate of his alpha’s brother.

Arianna was captured from her pack when she was only twenty and mated to a wolf whose dark side takes full advantage of her unbreakable bond to him. Her nights belong to him, but her days are free to explore other things… including feelings for a wolf she can never have.

Is love stronger than magic? Or will breaking an unbreakable bond destroy them both?

Torment (Dark Alpha 1) is 60 pages or 15,000 words. It’s the first of six episodes in the Dark Alpha serial.
Adult content. Ages 18+.

Pleasure (Dark Alpha 2)Pleasure (Dark Alpha #2) – short story

Blurb: New Adult Paranormal Romance serial

Shifters live in the shadows of Seattle, just under the skin of the alpha male, dot-com entrepreneurs who are building a new Silicon Valley in the Emerald City.

Jak and Arianna have found something special in each other’s arms… but is it something they can keep?

Is love stronger than magic? Or will breaking an unbreakable bond destroy them both?

Pleasure (Dark Alpha 2) is 60 pages or 15,000 words. It’s the second of six episodes in the Dark Alpha serial.

Adult content. Ages 18+.

Guildhall Guardian: Thamesian #1 (Thamesians)Guildhall Guradian: Thamesian (Thamesians #1) by Aidan Ladsow, paranormal romance, mystery (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: SHE HAS JUST FOUND THE ADVENTURE SHE CRAVED FOR

Italian Art Graduate Gioia Di Terzi has left Rome for England, upsetting all her plans of a future as a Museum administrator. Now working as a civil servant, she settles into a British working-class routine which comes nowhere close to her dreams of English Gothic tales.
That’s before she discovers the Medieval Quarter of the city and steps into its Guildhall, a building which instantaneously fascinates her.
Little does she know she just crossed the supernatural underworld’s threshold…

AFTER CENTURIES AS A GUARDIAN HE MUST COME OUT AND FIGHT

In 1430, Roydon Thamesian made a pact with Vampires who saved his life and became the powerful Guildhall’s guardian.
Ruling the Medieval Quarter, he doesn’t know humanity anymore.
Until Gioia Di Terzi stumbles into his life and he becomes the target of unmistakable attacks from a Hunter…

511kNDVGIzL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_Plea From a Stranger by Derek A Barrass, thriller, slight paranormal (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A young woman’s casual visit to a garage accompanied by her young daughter; becomes her worst imaginable nightmare when the owner tricks her and locks them in his basement. June, who was once a nude model for lad’s magazines, is the dream-girl he believes has been sent by fate to be his. He is a psychopath who has killed his wife and the man she left him for. He also hides other crimes from his past which he believes he was entitled to do if anyone crossed him.

Songs_of_the_ManiacsSongs of the Maniacs (novella) by Mickey J. Corrigan, new adult, psychological thriller, dark drama, urban crime, romantic suspense (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Who are we when we lose everything, including our personalities? From her office at a mental health institute in the tropics, a troubled young woman counsels deeply disturbed clients while coping with her own heightening concerns. These include frightening consciousness lapses, violent memories of a high school sexual relationship, a menacing stalker, and an annoyingly arousing visitor who may or may not be insane. All this on a single stormy day at a time when a new mental health disorder has become epidemic and is threatening to distort memory and identity, unmooring the validity of reality itself.

A seductive and chilling novella, Songs of the Maniacs takes readers on a fascinating descent into the abyss beneath the lush surfaces of contemporary American paradise.

jack5.500x8.500.inddBroken Dolls by Kitty Thomas, literary erotica 18+ (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Mina Calloway always finds herself in the hands of the wrong master: Gentle at first, then brutally sadistic and abusive. She no longer believes it’s possible to find a man who will be gentle with her. After seeing a kink-friendly therapist for months, the doctor makes her an illicit offer she isn’t yet smart enough to refuse: “Let me find you a good master.”

Brian Sloan is a borderline sociopath with a dark and brutal past. Only taking his sadistic urges out on the women at a submissive training house allows him to sleep through the night. When Brian sees Mina, she should be ripe for the picking, but her damage is too similar to his own. Can he fight past his demons to protect the one person he considers worth saving?

Note: This book happens in the same world as Guilty Pleasures with reoccurring settings and characters. However, it is not a direct sequel and it isn’t necessary to have read Guilty Pleasures first. If you enjoy this book, however, you may also enjoy Guilty Pleasures by Kitty Thomas.

Travel BitesTravel Bites by The Hungry Traveller, non-fiction, travel, food (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Travel Bites is a collection of short stories that criss-cross the globe. It is the first work by The Hungry Traveller who has combined his two great life passions: travelling and eating!

The Hungry Traveller has been travelling for the last fifteen years and, along the way, has experienced many different sights, tastes, smells and cultures. Central to his travel experiences has been the role of food. Through his unique and very personal style of storytelling, you too can share in the highs and the lows of his stories from around the world. At the end of each story is a recipe for a dish inspired by his adventure.

Travel Bites will capture your imagination and curiosity; and will leave you yearning to plan your next holiday, adventure or escape!

The Hungry Traveller is a travelling enthusiast who loves to eat! When travelling, he enjoys meeting new people and engaging with locals to learn about their culture, history and the food that they eat. He is ‘currently between trips’, saving money, but always has his passport on hand, ready for his next adventure! He always likes to hear about other peoples’ travel experiences and your thoughts on his book!

Lady Smut Dark DesiresThe Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires, erotic, paranormal, humour (reviewed by Tina)

 The Immortal Longing of Brenna Bang by Liz Everly

When a vampire materializes through her computer, successful vampire-romance romance author Brenna Bang finds herself marked for inescapable passion with a tech savvy bloodsucker.

The Lying, the Witch & the Wardrobe by Margery Kempe

Jeanie tries to figure out how to unlock her grandmother’s wardrobe and uncover what happened all those years ago when the goblins came to offer their sensuous erotic fruits.

Sexsomnia by Madeline Iva

Jenny needs to unravel the mystery of what she does at night and who she does it with in order to subdue the sexual demon inside her.

Divine by Elizabeth Shore

Locked in an abandoned mental asylum, an ambitious filmmaker soon discovers she’s trapped with a Dionysian god.  He offers her a glimpse of astounding future artistic success—but it will only come true if she’ll perform an erotic ritual to free him.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00057]Concealment (The Cassano Series) by Scarlet Wolfe, contemporary, erotic, romantic suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Victoria Hart is supposed to be the enemy. She is an undercover detective who infiltrated my hotel and casino as an employee to take down my illegal enterprise. What she doesn’t know is I am fully aware of it. The operation I’m orchestrating is monumental compared to anything her mind could envision.It’s the burning desire I feel when she’s near that I didn’t see coming. An unwavering draw to touch her, and the need to break down her walls is testing my restraint; however, nothing can stand in the way of my ultimate goal. She could destroy everything my brothers and I have worked toward to avenge our father’s death.To keep the upper hand, it is vital to know your enemy. How deeply can I go, peeling back her intriguing layers while still concealing the truth? How much of Victoria can I claim before she’s too close … too close for me to let her go? This novel ends in a cliffhanger and is for a mature audience due to harsh language and descriptive sexual scenes.

23006645A Desperate Wager by Em Taylor, regency historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Nathaniel Spencer, the Fourteenth Duke of Kirkbourne wakes up with an almighty hangover and a wager note in his pocket stating he has agreed to marry the Earl of Brackingham’s daughter. And he can’t even remember ever meeting the chit. Clearly his drinking has got out of hand.

Lady Sarah Steele is horrified when her father announces that the Duke of Kirkbourne has agreed to marry her and even more horrified that her father wagered her hand in a game of cards. Not only that, but the earl has not told the duke of the riding accident that left Sarah paralysed when she was sixteen. But he’s dying and she knows he wants to see her settled before the inevitable happens.

Despite Nate’s drinking and Sarah’s possible complicity in the earl’s plan, they agree to marry. But when accidents start to happen, the newly-weds must deal not only with the fact they are practically strangers, but they must find out who is trying to kill one or both of them. Nate’s drink problem and Sarah’s disability are only a couple of the hurdles they must face to find lasting love.

Werewolves of Shade (Book One)Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #1) by Tim O’Rourke, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: When the entire population of Shade go missing, investigative reporter Mila Watson knows this could be the big break she has been waiting for. Setting off into the mountains to the village of Shade, Mila soon learns that the village isn’t as deserted as she first believed it to be and that creatures lurk in the shades…

Note: This ends in a cliff-hanger. Part Two will be released 13th February 2015 and is now available for pre-order.

For readers 16+

strands-of-sollus-3Strands of Sollus by Cheryl Suchacek, fantasy, erotic (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: A contract from the Order of Aurora sends Myst in pursuit of a stolen magic sword. The job soon finds her partnering with Lotus, the rightful owner of the sword, as well as two beings bound to each other, Tol and Grayoch.

In the course of their mission, the group uncovers that behind the theft are sinister forces bent on resurrecting the dark lord, Maridon, in order to overwhelm the forces of light and take over the world of Sollus.

Facing their enemies, Myst finds that not only does she have to contend with Maridon and his minions, she also has to deal with the growing complications of her relationship with Tol and Lotus.


Tequila & Tea Bags by Laura Barnard, contemporary, romantic comedy, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Sent to live with her cousin Elsie in the Yorkshire countryside, Rose has only one thing on her mind; joining her friends as a club rep in Mexico.

When she hears about a council incentive offering the promise of free flights to the person who clocks the most volunteering hours at the local care home, she’s got her plan set.

But she doesn’t plan on bonding with the old ladies, going after the village bad boy and trying to persuade Elsie not to become a Nun.

Soon she’s questioning who her real friends are and whether her old life is one she wants to return to.

Can the village win her over and will she win the chance to leave it behind? Will she even want to?

*REVIEW* Strands of Sollus by Cheryl Suchacek

DEBUT novel ‘Strands of Sollus’ by Cheryl Suchacek is the first of a series. It is a mix of two different genres of high fantasy and erotica. Book 2 of the series is currently in the making. For more info and to check out some more fantastic artwork on the characters of Strands of Sollus you can check out the website www.strandsofsollus.com.

strands-of-sollus-3Author: Cheryl Suchacek

Title: Strands of Sollus
 
Genre: Fantasy, erotica
 
Release date: April 1st 2014

Released by: Dorrance Publishing Co.
 
Length: 248 pages
 
Blurb: A contract from the Order of Aurora sends Myst in pursuit of a stolen magic sword. The job soon finds her partnering with Lotus, the rightful owner of the sword, as well as two beings bound to each other, Tol and Grayoch.

In the course of their mission, the group uncovers that behind the theft are sinister forces bent on resurrecting the dark lord, Maridon, in order to overwhelm the forces of light and take over the world of Sollus.

Facing their enemies, Myst finds that not only does she have to contend with Maridon and his minions, she also has to deal with the growing complications of her relationship with Tol and Lotus.

REVIEW

Strands of Sollus is a great introduction to this new and original series. Fans of fantasy, magic and erotica will love this combination of adventure, friendship, mystery and passion. It is recommended that the reader be of 18yrs+ due to the adult content.

Without her knowledge, Lotus’ father, Tobias, is having a magic sword made for her coming-of-age. En route to them, it is stolen and Tobias sends for help to locate and retrieve it. This is where Myst makes an appearance as she is the one that offers to help, and together, with Lotus, they both prepare to find the sword that is rightfully Lotus’s.

The most fascinating aspect of Strands of Sollus are the characters and the strong, passionate relationships that they have with each other. Lotus and Myst hit it off brilliantly, however their relationship is to reach a completely other level after Lotus is subject to an unfortunate ordeal on the night of her coming-of-age. The magic involved leaves her feeling lustful and needy most of the time and she needs help to control and/or abate her powerful feelings of desire.

Not only bound as friends now, but before their mission to retrieve the magic sword, Lotus and Myst agree to be bound with magic anklets, which help share both of their desires. Only, when they reach their peak and they need a release, it is inevitable that they must help each other through their times of need. Myst is incredibly admirable as she volunteers to help with no hesitance whatsoever, whilst there are moments Lotus feels guilty for Myst’s involvement. However, they are both selfless characters and prove themselves and their love for each other again and again. Their bond is like no other.

Circumstances are likely to become a little more awkward when either Myst or Lotus are attracted to the opposite sex and long to have a romantic affair with a man. As they both feel the strength of desire at the same time, it does mean that they would have to share a man and need that man to understand them and want them both. Otherwise, one of them would have to be left out and try to avoid feeling any resentment or jealousy:-

“Surely, you must know by now that what we share is a bonding of the soul,” Myst said softly. “We are kindred spirits moved by the gods. It is a form of love but, perhaps, not the love either of us was looking for. What concerns me is what will happen when you desire another. How will we deal with that if we become linked as these anklets will make us? If you desire him, I will as well. If I am right in my understanding of it, that will be the case, so do we share him if he is willing? I know of few men that would complain, but what if he refuses? Can I distance myself enough to seek another way to sate my own desire, or will I have to seek him out behind your back? A man taking on two mates is not frowned upon, nor is that unusual, but where will your desire end and mine begin, or will they be one and the same?…”

Tol and Grayoch also share a bond, albeit somewhat different. They can speak to each by using their minds. This can add some humour to the story as sometimes they share personal feelings and thoughts that was not intended for the other to hear. They are working together to track down the sword, ready for Lotus and Myst to retrieve it. However, during their search they also learn that a friend of theirs, Leeta, has been kidnapped by the group who took the sword. As they follow the trail, which later separates into two, Tol has the dilemma of choosing his mission over his kidnapped friend. But he is sworn to carry out his mission regardless, which leaves him feeling a great deal of guilt. Will they find Leeta as they continue with their official mission?

When Tol and Grayoch later meet with Myst and Lotus this is where the action takes hold the most as they are nearing the end of their mission and have to work together in the retrieving of the sword. The magic that holds Lotus, however, does have a hold on people around her and Tol feels the attraction and her desire at times, even though subtle initially. The mission is the main focus for him, but as the desires of Lotus and Myst grow it is difficult for him not to be pulled towards them.

The erotic scenes are sensual and written with care as they are woven into the story in a believable manner. However, I did feel at times that aside from the erotic scenes other areas were written in such a way that a younger audience could follow the story as it wasn’t a story that was difficult to follow, and had a slower pace in the middle sections. Towards the end the pace quickens as there is more action and the story pulls together.

The reader will be left curious to the quartet’s next adventure and just how their bonds will grow with each other. Will they find what they are seeking?

A copy of Strands of Sollus was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.

Strands of Sollus by Cheryl Suchacek is available at Amazon US and Amazon UK, as well as Barnes & Noble.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Introducing *Strands of Sollus* by Cheryl Suchacek

strands-of-sollus-3DEBUT novel ‘Strands of Sollus’ by Cheryl Suchacek is an erotic/fantasy novel that I am looking forward to reviewing over the coming months. Planned to be the first of a series of 5, Strands of Sollus is a mix of two different genres,of which are high fantasy and erotica.

Blurb: A contract from the Order of Aurora sends Myst in pursuit of a stolen magic sword. The job soon finds her partnering with Lotus, the rightful owner of the sword, as well as two beings bound to each other, Tol and Grayoch.

In the course of their mission, the group uncovers that behind the theft are sinister forces bent on resurrecting the dark lord, Maridon, in order to overwhelm the forces of light and take over the world of Sollus.

Facing their enemies, Myst finds that not only does she have to contend with Maridon and his minions, she also has to deal with the growing complications of her relationship with Tol and Lotus.

Book 2 of the series is currently in the making.

Strands of Sollus is available now on Amazon US and Amazon UK, as well as Barnes & Noble.

For more info and to check out some more fantastic artwork on the characters of Strands of Sollus you can check out the website www.strandsofsollus.com.