Having read all the stories in the anthology, there is definitely something in here for every one who enjoys an erotic twisted story.
1. Echo by Dani Rene I really enjoyed the idea of two completely different personalities in one body and whilst this is they type of anthology where I’m not expecting any sort of traditional HEA, the ending seemed a little bit pointless. It’s hard to explain without spoiling the story but I couldn’t understand what had led Dr Ansel to suddenly change his mind/behaviour. Where did that sudden volt face come from? I liked the story but it was just a little too disjointed/underdeveloped for me to totally love it.
2. Marbh by Anna Edwards I really liked this, particularly in it having an antiheroine as the main focus. Again this is vague because it’s a fairly short story and – spoilers! – but I loved the reveal and thought the ending was not only brave but actually perfect. The story totally drew me in, had me fascinated and Marbh is an amazing character.
3. Hostile Illusion by India R Adams
A wonderfully tragic, dark, depraved, inspiring, heartwarming, heartbreaking story. Words, words have left me. This story alone makes the book worth buying. I really can’t say too much but it’s got such a wonderfully dark but happy ending. Beautiful, tragic, amazing.
4. Mr Cat Is Not Real by Cassandra Faye (Jennifer Bene) Oh my word, Nina made me cry! Her desperation to be good, to go outside, to have a friend, for Tom to like her, maybe to get well enough to go home. I’m not quite sure how I feel about Dr Nickelsen and Tom. Are they truly trying to help or just taking advantage. This is such a dark, very dub-con story. In fact given Nina’s mental state it’s non-con, even if she does agree and enjoy it. JB dragged me through a whole range of emotions with this short story, and left me sort of heart hurt and sort of hopeful. I need to give Nina a hug.
5. Release Me by Murphy Wallace As I was reading this I wondered how the author was going to wrap things up, because it read and progressed like a full length book. Then I got to the part that said ‘end of part one’ and realised that this probably will eventually become a full length story. However don’t be put off because the story of Dr Richard and B contained in this book is a twisted, difficult, thought provoking, well paced and very erotic read. It totally captivated me and I definitely will read the rest of the story when it’s released. I would describe it as ending at a natural break point rather than a cliff-hanger ending.
6. Sanitorim by Sian B. Claven This is a totally new-to-me author and I have to say I was very impressed with the story of Mollie, Lizzie and James. I sort of guessed a few of the twists because of the foreshadowing but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment in anyway. Especially since there were plenty of other twists and surprises along the way. I’m still wondering about Riley and Jana, that’s possibly the only plot hole but nothing too big and irrelevant anyway given the ending. Which I LOVED!
Blurb: The Institute Serenity is an illusion
Dear Reader, I trust this letter finds you well. It is with the utmost concern that we invite you to join us at the infamous Serenity Institute. You’ll be able to observe the goings on of the asylum, meet the patients and the doctors. We do however ask that you please be quiet. Do not interact with the patients, and respect the special treatments our doctors administer. This is where nightmares come alive. A home for the shattered psyche of its patients. Hope is lost when they cross the threshold. The deranged. The demented. The unstable. Six stories, six authors, non-stop madness.
Kind regards, The Authors Dani René, Anna Edwards, Murphy Wallace, India R. Adams, Cassandra Faye, Sian Claven
April was a pretty decent reading month. Whilst I struggled to get into a couple of books, and just struggled to read anything at times, that is more a reflection of my state of mind than the quality of story. I didn’t have ANY DNF’s, though that was probably more due to me being a lot more picky about what I chose to read. Some books were quite gripping and enjoyable, some were good but forgettable.
ReReads – 12 Arc Reads – 13 (strangely this includes 2 of the re-reads due to them being updated and re-released) Arc Books That I Subsequently Bought – 5 (+1 more when finances allow)
This month has been unusual in the number of books I have re-read. It isn’t something I normally do but I have a couple of series’ I needed to complete, so it was necessary to remind myself of the plot line. For some it was just plain fun, and knowing they were books that wouldn’t take much thought power.
I started the month with some very dark and dirty reads and finished it with a couple of YA stories. I don’t think you could ask for much more of a contrast!
Blurb: Mila Secrets. Lies. Deception. It’s all part of his vendetta, and so am I. He stole me, used me as one of his pawns by forcing me into a marriage I wanted no part of. I had to sign my name on the dotted line, and now he owns me…body, mind, and soul. That’s why I ran. I had to escape the monster whose touch corrupted me. Break free from the man who seduced me, the beast who gave me a taste of the darkness. But now I crave it. I need it. I need him. I’m his to play with…until I break.
Saint Distraction. Addictive. Toxic. Mila wasn’t supposed to be anything more than a signature, a beautiful secret, a wife with no voice. Instead, she became an addiction, a complication that could cost me everything—a price I wasn’t willing to pay…until she ran from me. Now, the game has changed, and the stakes are much higher. She thinks she’s seen the worst of me, convinced I couldn’t be more vicious and cruel. But I’m about to prove her wrong because I’ll risk everything to get what I want. Revenge…and my wife.
Author Bio: All the way from Cape Town, South Africa, Bella J lives for the days when she’s able to retreat to her writer’s cave where she can get lost in her little pretend world of romance, love, and insanely hot bad boys. Bella J is a Hybrid Author with both Self-Published and Traditional Published work. Even though her novels range from drama, to comedy, to suspense, it’s the dark, twisted side of romance she loves the most.
Excerpt: There was nothing tender about his kiss. It wasn’t loving, or caring, or an act to show affection. It was an act of hard passion to show ownership. To take and to mark, to make sure I knew who I belonged to. Him. He tore his lips from mine, his tongue lapping up what was left of our kiss. “I’m not done with you yet, segreto.” “What do you mean?” He sucked air through his teeth. “You ran from me. You think I’m going to let that go unpunished?” Chills wracked through me at the memory of my last punishment. I could still feel the burn of leather on my flesh just thinking about it. “I’m not playing one of your sexual games, Saint.” “Who says I’m playing?” I stepped back, my lips tender from his fierce kiss. “If I asked you not to hurt me—” “Don’t.” “Don’t what?” “Don’t ask me something I can’t give you.” I frowned. “You can’t give me your word? A promise?” He bit his lower lip, and the mask he always wore which kept me from reading his expression slipped back into place. “Not when it comes to hurting you.” A car drove by, the sound intruding on the silence around us. Saint walked around the car and stopped at the driver-side door. “Get in the car, Mila.” I looked his way. “You’re so sure you’re going to hurt me that you’re not even willing to give me your word that you won’t?” There was no attempt from him to respond. He merely stared back at me, not giving me an answer I wanted to hear. “I’m not like you.” I weaved my fingers together and turned to face him. “I’m not like you, Saint.” “A fact I’m very much aware of.” “Do you want me to be like you? Be someone who likes pain?” “No.” He shook his head. “You have it all wrong. I don’t like pain. I only like inflicting it.”
This is a very pleasant read with a high heat level and lots of mystery. Whist it is part of a duet, the ending isn’t a dramatic cliff-hanger, more of a natural break point. The author also informs us that this break point is not midway through the story and #2 will be the longer book.
Whilst the story maybe didn’t grip me in quite the same way that the Myth of Omega books did, it is still a very enjoyable read. I didn’t feel my emotions were engaged in as much depth as when reading the trilogies, though I very much enjoyed the world building, character development and overall story telling.
Ana is a very pampered and sheltered Princess, very naive in the truth of life but not spoilt or selfish. Her struggles following the first night were well portrayed, though I personally needed more fear, more anger, more sense of injustice in Ana priorto those events. She felt a little like a characterless doll, and I don’t care how eager to please she was, where was her anger at her parents for failing to protect her?
I really loved the last chapter, from Maddoc’s point of view. I wish we’d maybe had a few more ‘mini chapters’ from him to balance the story a little more, though I can understand why we didn’t. Whilst there are some incredibly steamy scenes between Ana and Maddoc, my lack of emotional connection to him as a character made them feel a little perfunctory at times. They lacked a bit of chemistry and zing, but again I’m expecting that passion to explode once this pair get to genuinely know each other. I interpreted that feeling of slight removal as a reflection of the distance between them at the moment. That said the balance between the smut and the plot was perfect, and the story moved with good pace.
Ana really does undergo some growth in quite a short time, mainly due to the machinations and manipulations (or is it actually support and help?) of Maddoc. She clearly isn’t going to believe what he tells her, so he has to find ways to open her eyes and see for herself. We get inklings and foreshadowing throughout that all is not rosy in the garden (particularly Milly’s ‘fall’) and I’m really looking forward to discovering hidden truths along side Ana. Though that girl certainly needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
Roll on book #2!
As payment for her father’s debt, he wants: Her At his mercy For three nights
Notorious outlaw Maddoc follows no rules. When he walks into the palace demanding repayment for a debt no one knew existed, he wants only one thing. The Omega princess. Protected and revered, Ana struggles to find control in a life planned for her from the moment she was born.
When she is forced to give three nights to a dark, lawless Alpha, his primal touch turns her world to chaos. But the more she tries to resist, the deeper she is sucked into the intense savagery he has saved just for her.
A SAVAGE DEBT is the first installment of the Beholden Duet, a fantasy Omegaverse romance that explores themes of justice, punishment, and dark, savage love. For fans of Alpha anti-heroes and sassy heroines. Cliffhanger included. This story features romance and situations of a dark nature.
Ratings 5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again. 4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others. 3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre. 2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters. 1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.
Love can strike like lightning — but so can trouble.
Lightning doesn’t just strike twice for Adara Grant. It strikes all the time. She suffers a setback; the heavens open up. She gets bullied; a tornado flattens a barn. Addie’s mother has always found an excuse to move before whispers and stares morph into pitchforks, but Addie suspects there’s a connection. She just doesn’t know how. Or why. Jake Wilcox is a witch hunter — for a good cause. His pet project is a powerful data-mining program that detects lone witches when their gifts manifest, thus bringing these “orphaned” witches under the Wilcox clan’s protection.
When Jake follows a lead to tiny, remote Kanab, Utah, he discovers a young witch as wild and beautiful as a desert storm. But he’s not the only witch hunter in town, and in an instant, Jake and Addie are on the run from someone hungry to use her gift for evil. Addie finds a new home and protection with the Wilcox clan, but as danger closes in like an icy storm front, she faces a heartbreaking choice to protect her newfound family — and the man she’s coming to love.
Author Bio: USA Today bestseller Christine Pope is the author of the paranormal romance Witches of Cleopatra Hill series and the Djinn Wars series, among many other books (sixty and counting!). Researching UFOs brought her to magical Sedona, Arizona, where she now makes her home. Find out more about her books at christinepope.com.
Some say, Nigel Hartagan is a legend, and that’s certainly true in his mind. He seems to have everything; a successful music career, a talented wife, and beautiful daughter, but nothing is as real as it appears from the outside.
When a temptress, he calls the Powder Goddess comes into his world, Nigel soon discovers a monster lurking inside him. Everything he once treasured has become worthless as he slips further into the Goddess’s clutches. The inner beast takes control and debauchery becomes his goal.
While he loves his new Goddess more than his musical mistress, Nigel soon begins to question if the price she requires is too high as he realizes he’s in a battle for his life.
“Pay close attention to the word DARK in the title…………….. What this book is not – A Rock Romance or Is it????? What this book is a detailed train wreck/can’t look away/front row seat into the life of the vilest person you will ever read about.”
“For anyone who wants to read about the dark gritty underbelly of fame in rock & roll, don’t miss this book! It deals with all of the bad things things that can come with fame: sex, drug’s, and how it is all dropped into your lap at all times.”
“This was a wild ride in the crazy world of Rock n Roll and one man’s ability to destroy himself at every turn. Part of the time I hated him, part of the time I felt for him and all he had gone through in his life. The book was written as the characters journal. The lifestyle he chose and the mistakes he made. His crazy ride kept me wanting more. Looking forward to book 2.”
If I think back, to my glory days, the first dance with fame, not the second time Sambuka Fedora rose to success. I have fond memories of those days when everyone wanted a piece of me. I could do no wrong. It didn’t matter to the fans if the show sucked because the girls who filled the auditorium would out scream most of our songs anyway.
The feeling of all those voices joining in to chant your name over and over, Mmmm, it has to be more intoxicating than any drug around. “Nigel, Nigel.” “Fuck me, Nigel!” “I Love you Nigel” That mixed with the rhythmic applause and the pounding of drums; it’s as if a mistress is inviting you into an ill-fated love affair. You try to focus on what your fingers are doing and not the busty blonde in the front row. Sometimes it’s a nearly impossible task as she is almost falling out of her top. She licks her lips and leans a little forward letting you see her ample cleavage. She dances seductively to your throbbing bass. The girl next to her is jumping up and down, screaming at you, but the blonde has your attention. I imagine as my hand slides up the neck of my bass that I’m having a little foreplay with the blonde. After all, isn’t that what this all is?
All I have to do is send her a pass and invite her back. She will be more than ready after watching me. Her panties would come up on stage after the third song. I’d graciously catch them and smell them, so delightful and moist. She will want me to use these fingers that I manipulated my instrument with to manipulate her; turning her moans of pleasure into music to my ears. She thinks she is going to get me alone and suck on my bottom lip as she rides my cock. She will want my cock so bad that she will let me stick it anywhere and I will. That is if we are staying in town for the night.
I loved the weeks when we set up a base camp. Then I could have one girl to service me for at least a week. Sometimes I would mix it up and have two or three. Most of the time it’s better just to have one, though. If we aren’t staying in town, then the name of the game is a quickie. Get a bird on the tour bus or in the dressing room and shag her good. Sometimes they are willing before the show, and other times it is a quickie right after we get off the stage before heading to the airport.
There was one bird that was so hot for Tristan and I that she wanted to ride in the limo with us. She was near perfection, and she didn’t care how she got back to her car. She just wanted to be fucked by both of us. She went to work on me as soon as the door closed. Tristan went to work on her. Before I knew it, she was sticking her wet pussy on my cock as she sucked Tristan. I fucked her hard and heard him moan every time I drove my cock deep into her. I gave her my load, and then Tristan filled her mouth. She cleaned both of us off and offered us some blow. Sure, why not, what was another bump after the one I had before we started this sexcapade.
Sex always distracts me. I was sharing with you how powerful the chanting of your name can be when as always, a blonde comes to mind. They’re my bird of choice. I don’t know why I just have a thing for them. I’m doing it again.
When the chanting stops and you’re sober and alone in a hotel room, reality has a harsh way of coming at you. What’s worse is when you’re in your bed alone at home. There is no one calling your name: no chanting, no adoration, just solitude. You’re left to wonder if they will ever cheer for you again or will you be relegated to being the spouse of someone or a has been. It can be disconcerting. It creates fear and anxiety. You wonder if your life will ever be what it once was. Will you have accolades showered upon you again, or will there be the whispers, “Didn’t he used to be.” When that happens, I just want to scream that I’m still me. I haven’t changed. I did all those things. I’m still cool. I’m still relevant. I’m still me. – N.
Moment of Coronation
9 September 1997
Do you know what it feels like to be the underdog, the freak, or the outcast? Most would believe that I wouldn’t either, but that isn’t true. Before I met Julian, I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t want to play with the toy cars with the other kids in the mud. I was more content drawing and beating on my mum’s pots. Even if my mother said, I was too old. I didn’t want to go out and play with the other kids. However, my mum never knew because I kept it to myself. I didn’t want her to know that the other kids picked on me. They laughed at me for my glasses for the noises I would make with my trucks. When I got older, the other kids laughed at my clothes and pimples. I wasn’t perfect. I was called Pansy, among other things.
When Julian moved to the neighborhood, he was the only one who understood. He understood my creative side and my flair for fashion. When it came to music, Bowie was tops for him as well. As we talked more, I learned he had a keyboard at home and was working on writing music. It wouldn’t be long before he inspired me to beg my parents for enough cash to buy a cheap electric guitar and amp. I think after I explained that I had a friend and we were going to start a band, it made their choice easier. Their son had a friend for the first time, and they were overjoyed.
You may think after that everything was easy. You may think because we were going to start a band, things just fell in our lap, but anyone who has ever been in a group starting out knows it isn’t easy. They know the struggles of finding other like minded people, people that share your vision and your dream. Some people are in it for the music, and the other ones are in it to get laid. Honestly, I’ve had my share of moments when the music has come second.
I digress. My point is when you have retreated from the world, coming out again and claiming yourself is a strange experience. It isn’t something easy to embrace. When you create something, you’re terrified that everyone will think it’s rubbish. What if, becomes the scariest thoughts you can ever have. Beliefs that can grow and hold you back from anything you might want to attempt if you let them.
Imagine you as the underdog who has created something and then all of a sudden you hear a few people talking about it. They are saying how great it is and they tell a friend, and it grows. They come up to you and are applauding something that you still have a feeling that you could’ve made better or tweaked here for a better sound. To them, they see the genius, and all you see is the imperfection. Why? Why not just accept what they like and move on? So, while they are applauding you, part of you is in deep denial.
The first time we played, Madison Square Garden was in the summer of 1983. We sold it out, not just one day, but three days in a row. Three fucking days and sometimes I think back and still can’t believe it. When we got to this point, was I still insecure, still wondering ‘What if?’ Yes, I was, and unfortunately, it’s heightened. For as you stand on the stage at sound check and see the sea of seats that will be filled, you take a step back and wonder. What if something goes wrong tonight, I hit a bum note or fall on my ass? What if? What if? What if? I think that might be one of the reasons I embraced the escape. With a little liquid libation or a visit from the Goddess, everything is so much better. Courage has been found to quash what if and now you are ready to rock the fucking world.
That first night at MSG, I had a little liquid courage, but I wanted to feel the experience. Midway through our set, I realized how silly it was for me to worry. They may have loved our music, but you would never know as the screams drowned out almost every note we played. They weren’t here for the songs. They were here to see their heartthrob live and in person. That’s when I realized just how high you could get from them. We had played many dates, but this was the biggest at the time. To hear the chants and screams, girls clutching their signs and some flashing their tits; all I could think was they like me. They really want me. Some were very willing to prove this by jumping on stage.
That was the exact moment of our coronation; we had a sold-out tour and two songs in the top ten in the US and Britain. They loved me, and I loved them. Magazine covers, Interviews, and TV appearances all part of this frenzied world that had embraced the outcast. I remember thinking there was no way this would ever end. They’ll always love us, hmm, if only. No, like with everything else in life, it doesn’t last forever.
For some, the ups and downs are easy to deal, but when it is all thrust upon you so quickly, it is a lot to handle. If things hadn’t taken off so fast, I might have been able to pace myself; instead, I was like a shooting star. I burned quickly and bright and left to find my way back to reality. Don’t get me wrong; almost every time I step on stage, I feel that rush. That welcoming of an old friend, but now she is not so embracing, and even though I’ve moved past being an outcast, I still have to learn to embrace who I truly am. –N.
Worth Waiting For
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Jenn Poff had a hit movie, but since her television series was canceled, auditions have been few and far between. The lack of auditions hadn’t been a problem because it had allowed her to spend time with the love of her life, Wes.
There were only two things that Wes Blenkenship lived for, singing and Jenn. While his good looks and velvet voice had ladies begging to be with him, Jenn was the only one who understood him and loved him for who he was and not illusion his fans had created.
However, one night, something happened which would alter their lives forever. Jenn now finds herself asking, is she willing to give up five years to give Wes his dream?
“Jenn Poff is a down on her luck actress whose career is sputtering. Wes Blankenship is the love of her life and lives to sing and write music. Mason is a Hollywood hot shot who offers to help Jenn jump start her career. Mason’s number one priority is himself and how the public sees him. Jenn doesn’t realize his offer to help her comes with some really big strings attached.”
I really appreciate Ms Needom’s use of natural vernacular with her characters. If someone says they are “Fixin’ to” work on something, it may not be proper grammar, but it is relate-able dialog. Seeing real conversations of the characters make the story flow seamlessly, as though I could meet them.If you are looking for a romance that is not your standard ‘bodice ripper’, written as if the walls were writing, this is a wonderful Summer (or anytime) read.I have a feeling we will be seeing more from DM Needom’s diaries from the secret crevices in Hollywood- here’s to hoping.
I just finished worth waiting for and I’m so glad it was worth waiting for. Seeing The Journey of this couple brought into my awareness all of the times that I have done stupid things. And it’s very easy to say oh don’t do that you know it’s going to turn out bad, but in my own life I have been unaware, just like the couple in this book. All the things they do are the Journey Into the love that they have for each other. It gives me hope at finding the love I so desire.
September 7, 1990
I always dreamed of this moment, now though I was filled with uncertainty. When I fantasied about it, I’d lay in bed and think about what I’d wear, the flowers, everything that would make this the best day of my life. However, as I gazed at my reflection in the full-length white oval mirror, I knew this day would be beyond every little dream I had. Sure, I looked prettier than I ever thought I’d be. However, this wasn’t the wedding I wanted. My dress was gorgeous, and while I had picked out a simple white halter dress, my mother and Mason had other ideas. Their choice was this exquisite white strapless, lace, and pearl beaded form-fitting dress. I glanced at the huge sapphire cut diamond engagement ring and thought about how much my life was about to change and felt my stomach twist. To everyone on the outside, I should be happy as I had everything now. This should’ve been my crowning moment of all the success I’d been blessed with, but it wasn’t.
Kerri handed me a glass of champagne. “You’re actually marrying Mason Langford.” She laughed a bit.
I smiled and wondered if she was trying to make me come to my senses and back out. I took a sip, “Yeah, who would’ve believed it?”
“I always thought Wes would be the one.” She repeated her words from last night, letting her eyes meet mine before I turned away.
I put the glass of bubbly down and looked out at the ocean. I thought he was the one too. We had been through so much. I walked back over to look at my reflection again. I thought about Wes; he loved me. He always had. I saw the sadness in my eyes that I tried to hide. I thought about the pictures I looked at last night. So many images from of us hanging together at the beach or with friends, some were after his gigs. It didn’t matter, none of that did. I was marrying Mason. Everyone kept saying he was better for me; after all, he saved my mother. My mother told me numerous times how I owed him my life, really the person who owed him their life was her, but as usual, I would pay the price for her mistake.
There was a gentle wrapping on the door. I didn’t turn from the mirror as I knew Kerri would get it. I closed my eyes before I felt the slightly calloused hand on my shoulder and knew it was Wes. My heart leaped at his touch. My hand reached up to meet his as I inhaled his cedar infused cologne. It was Perry Ellis, and he knew it was one of my favorites. Opening my eyes, I saw our reflection staring back at us. I felt a deep pain in my heart as my eyes met Wes’s. There we were, standing like the happy couple on their wedding day. The white brocade woodwork around the mirror created the illusion of a wedding photo. This was how I visualized photographs of us.
“Man, he is lucky.” He said, caressing my cheek with the back of his hand. “You look beautiful.”
“Thanks,” I said, turning around to face him. “You look pretty good yourself.”
His hands held mine; they were the only thing keeping us from embracing. “I always knew you would be a beautiful bride. I always thought I’d be the one at the end of the aisle waiting for you, though.” He smiled a soft smile as he leaned in closer. “You know you could just call the whole thing off and marry me instead.” He said with a wink. “We could run away, get married, have a few kids, and live happily ever after.”
I looked at him, trying to see if he was serious. My heart was racing at the thought of being his wife. We had talked about getting married, but I had to wait. Why did he have to do this now? “You’re joking, right?”
His eyes met mine, and I knew he was only half-joking. “Of course,” he said, chuckling. “But if he doesn’t show, I’d step in gladly.”
I looked at him, torn. I loved him but knew if I ran, Mason would destroy both of us. I looked around the room and saw that Kerri was talking with the photographer. I felt my eyes moisten as I squeezed his hands. A slight smile formed on my face as I leaned in closer. “I love you, always and forever.” I laid my hand on his chest where I knew the tattoo was, so he could see the ring he gave me.
I could see the tears he was holding back as he laid his hand on top of mine, “Always and forever.”
The door flew open as soon as he leaned in to kiss my hand. My mother walked in, “It’s almost time,” Taylor said as she came over to us. I stepped back from Wes before she placed her hand on Wes’s chest, “Don’t get any ideas, things are in place that if she runs away, it will ruin her. So don’t be a selfish prick.”
“Shouldn’t you be downstairs waiting to be ushered to your seat or something?” I asked.
“Since Wes was missing I figured I should make sure he wouldn’t cause any problems,” she said, touching his face.
“I’m not; I just came to…”
“Damn it,” Kerri exclaimed.
I turned and saw her wiping up spilled liquid on the counter. Taylor noticed and walked away. I knew she would have a drink. Another rehab attempt down the drain, I thought. I watched as the two of them were wiping things up before focusing back on Wes. Our eyes were searching the others before he pulled me toward him. My hands were in his, as our lips were inches away. His cheek brushed mine as he leaned in and whispered. “Five years isn’t that long.” I felt the warmth of his breath on my cheek as he pulled back. His eyes met mine as he continued in hushed tones. “I love you, and you’re my best friend. I’ll always be here for you, no matter what.”
“I know, and the same is true for you.” My hands squeezed his before he pulled away. I saw the pools in his eyes and felt my tears rising.
He looked down at the ground and exhaled before he spoke. “I better get down there. I wouldn’t want to miss your grand entrance.” He leaned in and kissed my cheek.
I grabbed his arm before I kissed his cheek. “I know this must be hard, but thank you for being here.”
“I told you last night; I wouldn’t be anywhere else.” He said with a smile before he turned away.
I watched as he walked to the door and glanced back at me. The urge I felt to run toward him was squelched when my mother’s laughter filled the room. I glanced over as my mom as she pointed toward the door. I looked toward where Wes was, but he was gone.
Kerri and I exchanged glances before I walked back toward the mirror. I saw my reflection, but Wes’s image was ingrained in my mind. What was I doing? Maybe Kerri was right. Perhaps I should fuck the lot of them and run. I was about to take the veil out of my hair when my mother grabbed my wrist.
She was standing next to me, “Don’t be stupid. Love can’t buy you security; you don’t want to end up like me. Mason will give you a bright future. Wes is just some flunky musician that will never amount to anything.”
“That’s not true. He has a contract and…”
“Just because he has a contract doesn’t mean he has what it takes. Look at me,” my mother said, raising her glass.
I ignored the comment about her past. “Maybe not, but I know I could be happy with Wes.”
“Wait until you can’t afford your rent or the electric bill? Worse yet, what happens when you pop out two kids, and he is still gigging at some bar hooking up with some random groupie while your home alone. Don’t blow this. Mason adores you, and he’s put you on the map. Once this merger is complete, your only going to get bigger roles.”
“I don’t care about roles,” I said, looking at her like she was insane.
“You should because when he dumps you for someone younger and he will, you’ll be set for the rest of your life.”
“Don’t you mean you? I mean isn’t that part of this contract that you’re taken care of too.”
“I’m thinking about your future, Jennifer Marie,” she said, squeezing my hand. “Don’t throw it away for an illusion.” She let go of my hand, “Now, grab your bouquet and let’s go, I’m walking you down the aisle since your dad didn’t make it.
I glanced at Kerri, “I guess, it’s showtime.”
She looked at me quizzically, before shooting me a weak look.
D.M. Needom has been creating stories since she was a kid and finally started committing them to paper when she was in high school. While most of her classmates went on to college, she opted to take a different and often exciting and sometimes difficult life path. While she did attend college on and off during this journey, she appreciates, the opportunities she had working in the music, television, and film industries. She now realizes this adventure gave her the life experiences she needed to complete her book.
Originally from New Orleans, she now calls the North West Burbs of Chicago her home with her wonderful husband and their two fur babies; Chloe, kitty, and Cami, pup. Besides writing, she enjoys intuitively reading Tarot and Oracle for others. She also enjoys watching a variety of television and movies though often finds that there isn’t enough time in the day to do this and write.
In 2010, her short story Immortal Love won the Vicious Seduction Award from the Key Publications Network. She also holds memberships in the Author’s Guild and with the Romance Writers of America.
Blurb: From USA Today bestselling author Sedona Venez comes a new, intense stand-alone firefighter romance about overcoming breathtaking losses at a young age, first love and second chances. A friendship torn apart by fire… Lukas was my best friend, the first kid to greet me when I moved from NYC to Vermont. We never got past friendship, but when he disappeared shortly after his mother’s tragic death in a fire, I always wondered if we could have been more. Back in New York City, working the beat, I got the wind knocked out of my sails—and found out what happened to the boy I’d known. Even when we tell ourselves it’s just catching up between friends, I can’t deny that Lukas feels like home, even more than the place I grew up. But I can’t be the carefree girl I once was. I can’t trust myself to know what I want, or how to get it anymore. I can’t trust anyone, even my grandmother, to understand my scars. What happened to me as a cop haunts me, makes me question whether I chose the right career—but when a crime spree starts in my hometown, I can’t help but jump in. And when Lukas shows me his scars, I know he can handle mine. With a career with the NYPD beckoning me back to the city, and obligations pulling me back home, how can I know whether things with Lukas can even work, no matter how much we care about each other?
Heart of Fire is a stand-alone, Second Chance, Firefighter Romance.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Sedona Venez lives in New York City with her hot ex-military hubby–hooah–and their fur babies. She loves writing sizzling, sexy intricate stories about strong but broken characters who push limits, overcome their fears, and risk it all for love.
Blurb: Get Ready to Rock! This five-book collection is filled with hot rockers and tough chicks all wrapped up in a ton of angst and heat. In this award winning series, follow Immortal Angel as they rise from Brooklyn garage band to become one of the biggest punk rock sensations in America. Whether you love a heartthrob, a damaged soul, a playboy or a romantic, these rockers and the women who love them will leave a mark on your heart that will have you thinking about them for a long time to come.
The Prince of Punk Rock, Book 1 – Finalist, 2015 Bisexual Book Awards. Winner, Angel, Tommy & Jessi, Saints & Sinners Couples Battle. Winner, Jessi Blade, Best Rocker Babe.
I love her, but I also love him. She’s everything to me. He sets my world on fire. It’s our dirty little secret, and it’s about to blow our record deal sky high. I’m Tommy Blade, the Prince of Punk Rock, and this is our story.
Between A Rock and A Hard Place, Book 2 She’s a rock goddess. He’s a sex pistol. I need them both, in my life and in my bed, and I’m not living without either one of them. I’ll do whatever it takes, even if it costs me everything I’ve ever wanted. I’m Tommy Blade, The Prince of Punk Rock, and this is the continuation of our story.
Punk Rock Resurrection, Book 3 This is a dark tale of loneliness and self-worth, and how the love of a woman can change a man. My world was dark and filled with pain. Loneliness gnawed at my soul. I found solace in a bottle. Music was my only refuge . . . until I met her. She was a dark Gothic goddess in thigh-high leather boots. She brought light into my life and showed me what it was like to be loved. But could she handle the demons that haunted me . . . and the vices that kept them at bay? This is the one everyone’s been waiting for. This is Damien and Alyssa’s story.
Rock Star Redemption, Book 4 I live life in the fast lane. My days and nights are a never-ending party of women, fast cars and alcohol. I’m the one your daddy warned you about. I have everything I ever wanted—except Audra Abelman. She was always the good girl. She was off limits. I held out for almost a decade. It’s time to set her inner bad girl free. I’m Jimmy Wilder, and I’m going to claim the most sought-after girl in the record industry.
Bonus Read! Radical Rendezvous – an erotic short Punk Rock-A-Bye Baby, Book 5 Revisit our original trio and follow up with the evolution of Angel, Tommy & Jessi’s relationship. Time only makes this trio burn hotter! She rocks my world. He sets my soul on fire. We’ve traveled down a bumpy road, but we’ve finally found the balance. It’s time to bring a new little rock star into our lives.
I’m Tommy Blade, the Prince of Punk Rock, and this is the next chapter in our story.
Other Books in the Radical Rock Stars Series: The Stage, Book 6 (an Immortal Angel/Bulletproof crossover novella) The Roadie, Book 7 (Coming Summer 2020)
DON’T MISS THE NEXT GENERATION OF ROCK STARS! The progeny of legendary punk rock band Immortal Angel brings you an enemies-to-lovers and friends-to-lovers duet.
LUCAS BLADE, Radical Rock Stars Next Generation Duet Book 1 He’s the son of guitar legend, Tommy Blade. He’s smart. He’s gorgeous. He’s talented beyond belief. He’s perfect. And he knows it. He’s also giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. He’s trying to teach me his wisdom, but I just want to play music. He’s so damn confident and self-assured it makes me crazy. He’s also breaking through all of my barriers.
MASON WILDER, Radical Rock Stars Next Generation Duet Book 2 She’s my best friend’s little sister. She’s off limits. I’ve known her since the day she was born, but it’s taken me 22 years to realize how much I love her. Just when everything seems perfect, my world gets turned upside down, and I need to take sides between people I’ve loved and trusted my entire life, and someone I never thought I’d see again.
Author Bio: Jenna Galicki writes in multiple genres including mmf, mf, and mm. She loves music, Rottweilers, and meeting new people. A native New Yorker, she now calls Southern California home. When she’s not hunched over a computer, you can find her front row at a rock concert.
“The Prince of Punk is one smoking hot rock and roll fantasy where the boy gets everything he ever wanted – a hot wife, a hot boyfriend and a hot band playing sold out venues.” ~ Kindle Crack Book Reviews
“…racy, hot filled with fury…From love to hatred, from peace to turbulence…I could almost see it happening on the big screen.” ~ Adriana LG “L.A.N.G.”
“…mesmorising, unputdownable and exhausting – but SO worth it. . .Stunning.” ~ Wicked Reads Team
“Crazy writing and reading at its best…I loved it.” ~ Wicked Reads Team
“This book was just heart wrenching. The emotional roller coaster all of the characters go through was almost more than I could take.” ~ Jodie’s W.I.N.E. List
“Jenna Galicki gives us a scorching hot romance . . . Ms. Galicki doesn’t hold back and gives us the gritty lows as well as the highs.” ~ Illustrious Illusions
Excerpt #1: The Prince of Punk Rock, Book 1
Jessi let the warm water from the shower spray onto her face. She was happy. Tommy was happy. Angel was happy. Their much-needed talk at the breakfast table set some ground rules. Angel was open to communication and encouraged it. It gave her comfort.
After she showered, she meandered back to the bedroom, as she towel dried her hair. Tommy and Angel were already naked and in each other’s arms on top of the unmade bed.
“What took you so long?” Tommy asked, before returning his lips to Angel’s neck.
Jessi didn’t answer. She wanted to watch. She leaned against the doorway and folded her arms. She watched Tommy kiss Angel with an urgency that she never saw before, and the love that Angel had for Tommy was never clearer to the naked eye than it was right now. She knew they were in love. It didn’t scare her as much as she thought it would. The confidence she had in their marriage overshadowed her fears and doubts.
Her thoughts were pushed aside by the sound of Tommy moaning and breathing heavily. Angel was stroking Tommy and nibbling on his neck. Jessi let the towel around her body drop to the floor and crawled into bed, on the other side of Tommy. She glided her hand up his back and kissed his shoulder. He immediately turned onto his back, so that he could share himself equally between her and Angel, and he kissed her. Her mouth moved to his chest, and she could feel his heart gently beating underneath her lips. She kissed her way down his torso and her tongue crawled across his skin. It accidentally collided with Angel’s mouth. They both looked up in surprise and shared a smile.
She wasn’t sure what Angel was thinking, but she wanted to kiss him. Fear of rejection made her hesitate, but it was unwarranted. Angel grabbed her by the back of the neck and firmly planted his mouth on hers. His tongue invaded her mouth and bathed its circumference. She was spellbound by the intensity of his kiss. She couldn’t think about anything else except Angel’s warm, authoritative tongue inside her mouth, and she immediately felt warmth and wetness between her legs. Now she understood why Tommy had that dreamy look on his face whenever Angel kissed him.
Angel withdrew his tongue, but she wanted more and placed a long kiss on his lips, hoping for another visit from his magical tongue. But he just smiled at her, and then moved his mouth back down to Tommy’s belly.
Tommy pulled her up and kissed her. It was like night and day. Angel’s kiss was forceful and commanding. Tommy’s was slow and soft. She loved the tenderness in which he slowly moved his tongue in gentle, purposeful circles around her mouth, but she found herself still reminiscing over the kiss she just shared with Angel.
Excerpt #2: Punk Rock Resurrection, Book 3
Alyssa held up her shot, and Damien held up his half-full tumbler. She clinked his glass. “That’s a pretty big shot you got there.”
“Big is an understatement. I like to use the term huge. And impressive.”
She laughed. “Oh really? Don’t set yourself up for failure”
His eyes never left hers as he took a big swig of his glass. “Don’t take my word for it. You can judge for yourself.”
She folded her arms across her chest and stared back at him with a smile pressed into her plump, crimson lips.
He finally silenced her. “What’s wrong? No comeback? No witty retort?”
“I have plenty of witty comebacks. I’m just not sure how far I want to take this tonight.” She was enjoying watching him squirm.
He took another gulp of his drink, while hers remained untouched on the bar. “I thought you wanted that shot. Can’t handle the hard stuff after all, huh?” He placed his empty glass on the bar and taunted her with a smile. “I bet that hard-ass exterior is really just a front. Underneath it all, I bet you’re just a girly-girl.”
Her eyes opened wide, and her face went blank. For a minute Damien thought he went too far and pissed her off. He was about to apologize, but she picked up the shot glass and drained it, then slammed it down on the bar. She grabbed his shirt and pulled him so close he felt her breath on his lips. “I’m an expert at dishing out the hard stuff. I wield a needle for a living and pierce it through raw flesh without an anesthetic. The question is, can you handle it?”
Her self-righteous smirk mocked him with playful satisfaction, but Damien was about to keel over from the overwhelming heat that covered his body. Tiny dots of perspiration broke out on his forehead, and he was starting to think that maybe she was right—he couldn’t handle her in the bedroom. Had he finally met his match? Could this gorgeous, ferocious woman break him? Could she be the one to make him surrender and beg for mercy?
“What’s the matter? You look a little stunned. Did I scare you?”
“Hell no.” He stepped closer. “You got me excited.”
Four and a half weeks into a lockdown, still trying to get my head around working from home (a surreal situation when you’re a 1 to 1 home ed teacher who can’t video call students because of safeguarding). Rapidly loosing track of the days along with my sanity, I’ve struggled to read anything other than lightweight stories or fantasy books, things that take no brain power or are so far removed from real life that I can sink into them. The last thing my head thought it could cope with was a gritty romantic suspense. Yet not only did Jaded prove me wrong, it damn well hooked me tight and reeled me in.
Mason was a substantial side character in the book Jasmine, Trish held a much smaller role. However fantastic writing means that you don’t need to have read ANY of that story to both understand and enjoy this one. I adored Mason, really grew to understand him and, yes, my heart broke for him when we got the 10 years ago prologue. Trish was strong, smart and so, so sassy and I loved her. She set her sights on Mason Jones and was not going to let her quarry escape.
The suspense element was very convincingly executed, the various threads weaving together into a fast paced, engaging, fleshed out and convincing tale. The balance between the romance, character building, story development and plot was perfect, I mean *maybe* we could have had another steamy scene between Trish and Mason, but I loved that what there was felt like an organic development of the storyline, rather than being shoe-horned in to tick a box. And boy do that pair have some scorching hot chemistry!
To summarise – Jaded is well written, captivating and just an all round wonderful read.
Blurb: One broken FBI agent. One sassy, sarcastic journalist. Brought together by one set of circumstances, there’s another—a threat which could destroy them both—that may push them even closer. But he’ll need to bring down the walls he’s built so carefully and let her in. And she’ll need to trust a man so jaded…
He might be incapable of the very thing she’s looking for.
Today’s challenge posted by That Artsy Reader Girl felt a little challenging at first. I was a voracious reader as a child, the library was my second home and a good chunk of my pocket money (and my parents money) went on feeding my obsession. So on first reflection I read what I wanted to as a child.
I read The Famous Five, Tom’s Midnight Garden, Carrie’s War, The Secret Garden, Little Women and so many more. I think I read all the Chronicles of Narnia, I remember Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Prince Caspian. These books, however, belonged to my brother and he had strict rules for how they were to be treated.
His book shelves were organised to the nth degree and the books upon it looked unread, even though they weren’t. He kept them pristine, no bending of the spine on a paperback, no folding dog-ear corners. I had to gently curve the pages to form a shallow ‘u’ shape, so that no creases formed anywhere on the cover. Lo and behold if any damage occurred, and the stress of maintaining his high standards often negated any enjoyment to be found from the story.
But then inspiration struck and I realised that there have been quite a considerable number of years between when I was a child and now. Which opens up a whole host of books, both read and unread, that have been released in the intervening years. There were also a couple that were around then that I can add to the list.
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and it’s sequel Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator, were amongst my favourite stories as a child. However it wasn’t until I saw Rik Mayall perform this book on Jackanory – one of the greatest shows the BBC ever created for children – that I knew of it’s existence. I felt a little too old to read it, but I sure enjoyed secretly watching Rik’s amazing and funny performance.
On a side note Bernard Cribbins was hands down my favourite narrator on Jackanory, though Kenneth Williams was a close second.
I have since read the book many times to my children, along with many other Dahl classics that we all love and enjoy.
I adored science fiction and in particular fantasy, as both a child and teenager. I’m sure that love developed from my love of fairy tales and Alice in Wonderland (oh and Through the Looking Glass too).
I was the strange kid who willingly read Day of the Triffids and not only enjoyed reading the short story A Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury, but still to this day remember both the plot and how it made me feel.
Via my son our household actually has the paperback copies of these three books, and one day I WILL read them!
I have read some of these, but as an adult. I still loved them, with all the wearing of black and the Wee Free men, but I do feel my childhood would have been enhanced had they been available back then.
Nobody writes quite like the late, great Terry Pratchett. The random, seemingly bizarre little facts and events that, with one tug on a thread, he could pull together into the most astounding and amazing of stories was simply amazing.
I’ve read every single one of these books, and watched the films too many times to count. I envy those who grew up alongside Harry, Hermione and Ron. I was forever the adult peering in from the outside, but these a right of passage books and should be on every child’s reading list.
I might have seen 1 or 2 of the film adaptations, though we all know the book is always better, but that’s probably as close as I’ve gotten to this series.
The fact that the main character is a boy (yucky😉 ) might have put my younger self off, but gods, myths, legends and magic? Who could resist that? Not me.
So technically my list is either a lot more than 10 books, or a lot less if you count a series as 1 entry, but it’s my post so there! I was wondering if there were any other books to add into the mix but, if I have to go searching for inspiration, then they probably wouldn’t have been for me. Thank you if you’ve taken the time to read my list! Are there any of these books you would have, or indeed DID read, as a child?