Transcendence, by Shay Savage

20504754Totally, Utterly and Completely Spellbinding!

Time travel romance/science fiction/historical    Adult read

Transcendence is one of those rare books that as soon as I started  I COULD NOT PUT DOWN! My mind was totally fixated on the characters and the world that the author Shay Savage had created, wondering what would happen next. It is a love story like no other and it is difficult to shoe-horn into one particular genre, as it encompasses time travel, science fiction, historical romance and is also a super sensual and erotic read.

Book Blurb

It is said that women and men are from two different planets when it comes to communication, but how can they overcome the obstacles of prehistoric times when one of them simply doesn’t have the ability to comprehend language?

Ehd’s a caveman living on his own in a harsh wilderness. He’s strong and intelligent, but completely alone. When he finds a beautiful young woman in his pit trap, it’s obvious to him that she is meant to be his mate. He doesn’t know where she came from; she’s wearing some pretty odd clothing, and she makes a lot of noises with her mouth that give him a headache. Still, he’s determined to fulfill his purpose in life – provide for her, protect her, and put a baby in her.

Elizabeth doesn’t know where she is or exactly how she got there. She’s confused and distressed by her predicament, and there’s a caveman hauling her back to his cavehome. She’s not at all interested in Ehd’s primitive advances, and she just can’t seem to get him to listen. No matter what she tries, getting her point across to this primitive, but beautiful, man is a constant – and often hilarious – struggle.

With only each other for company, they must rely on one another to fight the dangers of the wild and prepare for the winter months. As they struggle to coexist, theirs becomes a love story that transcends language and time.

As soon as the book  opens we are introduced to the hero, Ehd and learn about his lonely existence and his struggle to get though the harsh winter since the fire that destroyed his village and tribe a year past. I felt his delight when he discovered a young woman in his animal trap. He is extremely attracted to her form and believes her to be his ideal mate despite her strange clothes and behaviour. It is a mystery where the woman Eizabeth (whom he calls Beh) has come from but Ehd has an overwhelming desire to provide for her, protect her and impregnate her as she is HIS!

It would have been so easy for this book to have cast Ehd as a alpha male who immediately bends the heroine to his will and compels her to accept his sexual advances, but instead Ehd is a beta male through and through, empathising with Elizabeth’s initial fear and her ocassional tears and sadness. He is often frustrated at not understanding her and also when she repels his sexual advances.

Beh’s reactions to waking up and finding herself in an alien landscape and being plucked from the trap by Ehd is realistic, as is how she struggles to adapt to her new reality. Initially she is forced to stay with Ehd to survive, but slowly grows to trust him and shares her own innovations with him to ensure their survival in this harsh world. Their blossoming romance is truly beautiful to behold and when they do ‘get it together’ the scenes are extremely sensual as the couple explore each others bodies and communicate to each other their intimate and carnal needs.

In addition to the originality of the plot and the well drawn characterisations the author’s masterstroke is writing the novel in the first person POV of Ehd. Much of our emotional journey throughout the novel is therefore with Ehd, which is highly unusual in a romance novel. However, such is the skill of the author that we are left with little doubt as to how Elizabeth is bearing up in the strange new world she finds herself in and what she feels about her relationship with Ehd.  I LOVED the many humorous and touching  scenes in the novel where the couple struggle to communicate what they want and need from each other and Ehd strives to prove to Beh that he is the perfect mate for her. Ehd and Beh are without doubt an unforgettable hero and a heroine!

Transcendence is one of my fave reads of this year  and I will definitely be checking out other books by Shay Savage. I recommend it to readers who love historical novels, science-fiction or time travel tales with the focus very much on the psychology of the relationship between the hero and heroine.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Cover Design by Mayhem Cover Creations

Purchase Links

Amazon UK    Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://www.shaysavage.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ShaySavage7289

You Will Pay – She Left Her Abusive Husband, He Took Revenge, by Eve Rabi

653962d29dd7fccecf0e8d6db178974dfcbfa584-thumb[1]A Dark and Intense Journey

This is not one of those tales where the hero seeks revenge on the heroine, falls in love with her and seeks redemption. Instead, the plot, which is a cracking good read, has elements of a thriller, although it does contain some sweet romance. The main focus of the novel is how a sociopathic man seeks revenge on his wife who leaves him after he subjects her to emotional and physical abuse.

In You Will Pay, Arena, a young South African woman, is married to Tom, a rich Australian. Tom likes to control every aspect of her life and Tom’s needs and desires come first. Arena is vulnerable, her confidence has been eroded, and she is far from her family, with a young baby to cope with and no means to support herself. When this abuse turns more physical and Tom actually hits her, she resolves to leave him. However she is shocked to find out that she is again pregnant and for a time is compelled to remain with him.

Once Arena’s baby girl is born the abuse intensifies and Arena carefully plots to safely escape Tom’s clutches and file for divorce, on grounds of abuse. The plan works and despite Tom’s chilling words that he will hurt her in such a way that she will never recover and she will suffer every day, she finds a modest apartment of her own and gets her life back. She makes friends, socialises and even finds a new man. Tom appears to have backed off and is cooperative over the split. Yet it all appears too easy…….

One day Arena finds herself in a nightmare situation and is again rendered powerless and vulnerable. She is sure that Tom is behind it, yet she has no proof. She suffers greatly for something she suspects that he is responsible for and must remain strong if she is to get her revenge and outwit a man who has all the cards stacked in his favour.

This tale contains violence, domestic and child abuse and I found it to be an intense read, with some really dark moments. However, there are scenes of hope, such as when Arena flees Tom and gets her life back together. There are also some moments of happiness and humour, from her relationship with the new man in her life, Bear, and from her new friend Soong. I liked the way Arena carefully plots and executes her escape, showing that she is a strong woman, despite Tom’s efforts to subjugate her. I was with her all the way through the dark times in the book and was satisfied with the outcome which is told in Eve Rabi’s unique and indomitable style!

Tom is a truly evil man and to elaborate any further on his deeds would ruin the story for those of you who want to read it. With the character of Tom, the author gets into the psyche of many abusers. Tom clearly relishes the control he wields over Arena and enjoys her pain, physical and emotional, a mark of a true sociopath. Bear, Arena’s new man, is an adorable character, who clearly loves her and shows it in some tender and romantic scenes. He has secrets of his own and it is those secrets that come into their own as the plot unravels. Soong, the young mother and Arena’s neighbour, also proves to be a loyal friend. Both Bear and Soong inject some humour and lightness into the plot.

Overall You Will Pay is an engrossing read, which I stayed up until the early hours to finish, holding my breath at the awesome ending. This read was a lot darker than Burn’s World and even Gringa, the other books I have read by the author. It contains what I am beginning to recognise as Eve Rabi’s trademarks: strong heroines who find the resources to cope with what life throws at them; characters and plots which stray into activities that are not always within the law and dark themes and (sometimes) humour. I recommend it to readers who enjoy an intense and unique emotional ride that will stay with you a long time after you have read it.

This book is currently free on Smashwords (click on the link) as it hasn’t been professionally edited as yet. Once it’s edited, the price will be $2.99.

Eve Rabi’s website

‘Cursed (A Werewolf’s Tale #1)’ otherwise known as ‘Frostbite’ by David Wellington

Cursed: A Werewolf's TaleThe first book to be reviewed for our Werewolf theme, ‘Cursed: a Werewolf’s Tale’, otherwise known as Frostbite, is an urban fantasy that will blow your mind with panic and horror. A very quick-paced novel with plenty of action that the reader will read in no time at all. David Wellington surely knows how to scare the pants off you and yet allow you to completely endure the ferocious attacks and animalistic behaviour no matter how chilling and raw!!!

The story begins with Cheyenne Clark lost, hungry, cold and lonely in the Arctic amid the trees and snow. Before too long she is being tracked by a pack of wolves. Knowing that she couldn’t possibly run from them, and with very little energy, her only chance is to climb a tree high enough so that the pack can’t reach her. However, when howling of another is heard nearby the pack of timber wolves below Cheyenne’s feet soon flee, leaving her sitting on a branch of the tree. Moments later Cheyenne meets with the wolf whose howling she heard. Much larger than the timber wolves and much more ferocious this one tries to reach Cheyenne, jumping at her, lashing at her with large paws. Until he reaches her ankle and manages to claw into her flesh!

Although the beast couldn’t quite attack Cheyenne completely, enough damage was done to make Cheyenne’s world come crashing down. She would never be the same again. She was a werewolf, a monster, a Lycanthrope. There are many names for these species and now she herself carried the curse! For every time the moon rises, Cheyenne would transform, having to learn a different way to survive and avoiding the one element that could kill her: silver, silver, silver!

Loneliness is not natural for a wolf as they tend to live and move around in packs. As a new lone wolf, Cheyenne could really do with a companion. This proves to be just as difficult as trying to deal with her new ‘self’ as the only one who could truly understand is the one that tried to kill her. Now a wolf, Cheyenne not only needs to worry about being the victim, the prey, but also has to live with being a hunter. Will she kill the one that cursed her? Will he return to kill her?

Cheyenne’s character is written with a great deal of contrast from how she feels and thinks as a human and how she is in her wolf state. The natural animalistic behaviour takes over when she is transformed, her sense of smell and hearing is much greater than her sight. As a wolf she doesn’t reason, she doesn’t use logic she survives the only way she can. Back in human form, Cheyenne wakes frozen, naked and never fully aware of what her wolf has done.

Without trying to spoil the story one of my favourite areas of the novel was when the reader begins to understand the man of the wolf that attacked Cheyenne, Powell. The reader is educated in Powell’s history as a man and how the curse affected him and we also learn a little of werewolf mythology! I found this to be very interesting and exciting but cannot elaborate more than that. This novel simply needs to be read without much explanation beforehand. It truly does speak for itself!

On a different note, David Wellington has written the setting of the scenes beautifully as one can imagine the freezing cold of the Arctic wind, the icy water of the small streams and lakes, all silent and remote from most civilisation with only the sun or moonlight to estimate time. Although not a novel of romance it most certainly is a novel of survival! But can one survive alone? Would one want to survive alone? Or is their only option to try and kill the other to eliminate a dangerous threat?

‘Cursed: A Werewolf’s Tale’ is an absolutely fascinating read. For more fur, fangs and fear I am hoping to read the sequel, ‘Ravaged’, otherwise known as ‘Overwinter’, very soon!

Cover design: Unreal-uk.com

Photograph: Getty Images

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Eden by Louise Wise

Eden

Engaging Sci-Fi Romance

Eden is a beautiful story. At its heart it is a science fiction romance, a retelling of beauty and the beast. However, it has a lot of depth, exploring the themes of survival and discovery, overcoming prejudice and redemption. It is also full of action and adventure. It defies being put into a specific genre or even sub genre and in my opinion it is books like Eden, which should be winning major literary awards.

In Eden, Jenny is a pilot on a space shuttle team sent from Earth to survey the planet Eden, the others being Commander Brodie and Matt, the Mission Specialist. Just as they are about to descend to the surface, the shuttle is damaged by asteroids. Nevertheless the crew descend onto the planet in their buggies. Once there, after a brief foray into the immediate environment to assess its flora and fauna, they discover a large crater containing the remains of an alien spaceship, which appears to have crashed some time ago. Excited, yet full of trepidation, as no evidence of extra terrestrial life forms has been found by humans, they approach the craft. Jenny impulsively enters and is apprehended by a large, dark, humanoid, alien who drags her back outside. Brodie and Matt, followed by Jenny, who escapes the alien, run towards their buggies intending to return to the shuttle. However, Jenny falls and is knocked unconscious.

Jenny finds herself stranded on the planet with the alien, whom she names Fly, as it sounds like a shorter version of his name in his own language (they are able to communicate with the aid of an alien translation device which has survived). What follows next is an extremely original story of survival in a hostile yet strangely beautiful environment. Fly is intrigued by Jenny and recognising that she is female views her as a potential companion to satisfy his sexual needs. Jenny is initially terrified of Fly, who although humanoid in appearance has expressionless black eyes and a battered face and is unemotional and at times violent. Fly is pretty upfront about what he wants from Jenny and for some time she lives in constant fear of rape which puts a severe strain on their relationship.

During this time Jenny manages some sporadic communication with Brodie and Matt, using the transmitter on the buggy. She ignores their advice to keep away from Fly as she recognises that she needs his help to survive and she initially plans to gain his trust and kill him. The shuttle is severely damaged and is losing fuel and they too are effectively trapped with nowhere to go. Jenny spends a number of nights taking refuge on the buggy. However, one night some of the native wolf- like creatures violently attack her whilst she is in the buggy. Matt and Brodie hear her screams and the creatures’ howls over the transmitter and believe that she has been killed, although she is eventually saved by Fly. The buggy is badly damaged and she loses contact with the shuttle. Matt and Brodie repair the shuttle as best they can and argue about whether to return to the surface to confirm what has happened. Meanwhile Fly, seeing that Jenny is afraid of him, seeks to try to gain her trust and encourage her compliance. Through sharing his food and shelter with her and eventually teaching her valuable survival skills they slowly get to know each other, discussing their respective cultures and form a growing mutual attraction, friendship and eventually fall in love. They begin to build a life together on Eden.

I do not want to give away any more of the plot, but suffice to say that the love between Jenny and Fly is severely tested in the remainder of the book as the both face prejudice and danger and revelations about Fly’s past.

The two main characters held my interest from the start. Jenny, the human, is a strong, feisty individual at the start of the book, but is severely challenged by the situation she finds herself in. She is ashamed of her initial dependence on Fly for her survival and is repulsed by the very idea of physical contact, let alone sexual relations with him. Fly has been damaged physically by the crash but he is also harsh and unemotional, making it clear to Jenny that is only because she is female that he has not killed her. For a long time she fears that he will rape her to get what he wants and there is one harrowing scene where it appears that her fears are being realised, before Fly redeems himself and begins to open up emotionally.  I loved the way the relationship between them progressed and the turning point in the book where Jenny sees Fly as just another person and they succumbs to their mutual attraction is beautiful. I liked how their love for each other enabled them to grow and learn from each other.

There is a lot of sexual tension in the book between them, but the sex scenes themselves are not graphic, just a natural expression of their feelings at the time. The descriptions of the flora and fauna on Eden are also believable and the planet, which starts off as cold and uninviting, begins to thaw and reveal its beauty mirroring the relationship between Fly and Jenny.

The secondary characters, Brodie and Matt appear weak in comparison with Fly and Matt’s personality in particular is not attractive. He is jealous of Jenny’s professional achievements and like Brodie opposes her relationship with Fly. Brodie is very defensive of Jenny and her safety for reasons that become clear in the book. They too have to grow as individuals and overcome the prejudice they exhibit.

I read a lot of science fiction romance and I can say that this story stands head and shoulders above the others in its freshness, depth and intensity and character development. I would recommend this book to lovers of straightforward romance, science fiction romance and straight science fiction adventure novel enthusiasts. I read the book in one sitting so eager was I to find out what happens. The story can stand alone but Louise Wise’s website states that a follow up novel, dealing with the further adventures of Jenny and Fly, will be released in 2013. I will be purchasing this novel as soon as it is released.

Reviewed by Tina Williams