June Round Up

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This was the month in which we had a mini-heat wave, with temperatures soaring to the high 20’s/low 30’s degrees celsius. Since then we’ve had grey skies, howling winds and torrential downpours, because if there is one thing you can be certain of in Britain, it’s that you will get some weather!


It might be a national obsession, but I’m currently looking at a November sky on a summer day. I’ve been led to believe that it is mainly due to us being an island. Large land masses heat up and cool down slowly, so the changes in weather are much more gradual. My brother certainly experienced that when he lived in Europe for 10 years.

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In June I read twenty one books, though for two I ended up skim reading some parts. I also had a DNF. Nineteen books were read from cover to cover, or whatever the e-reader equivalent of that is. 0 – 100% perhaps? There was also some beta reading mixed in at various points through the month.

Arc Reads – (I went on to buy 5 of these books.)

DNF – see post on consent for reasons why!

Personal Choice Reads

Beta and Arc read that I also bought

I published 68 posts, my most popular of which was one about consent in books, which can be found here.

My average rating for June was 3.7, which is perhaps a little high. However I also had a larger number than normal of ‘choice’ not ‘commitment’ reads.

This was made up of –
6 books with 5 stars
2 books with 4.5 stars
5 books with 4 stars
2 books with 3.5 stars
3 books with 3 stars
3 books with 2 stars
1 book with 1 star

Release Blitz & Giveaway // Genes

Title: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network Book 3)

Author: Mary Ting

Genre: YA Dystopian


Cover Reveal: Michael James Canales
Publication Date: June 30th, 2020
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

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Blurb: 
Allegiances will be tested.
Identities will be revealed.
No one is safe.

While searching for the HelixB88 anti-serum on the black market, Ava uncovers valuable intel that may help the rebels in their fight to bring down ISAN—the location of a hidden facility. But first, the insurgents must find the female citizens unexpectedly displaying powers without use of the Helix serum before ISAN captures them.

As the rebels join forces with other sectors, ISAN plans their destruction by using someone they don’t suspect at the rebel home base. A traitor within.

Now, Ava must make a dangerous decision, one that could risk their capture—or worse.

Book Links: 

ISAN: https://books2read.com/u/mY7GyM

HELIX: https://books2read.com/u/brWawA

GENES: https://books2read.com/u/bPKQQY

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54031786-genes

Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/128c0b31325/

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Author Bio:
Mary is an international bestselling, award-winning author. She writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers around the world. Her books span a wide range of genres, and her storytelling talents have earned a devoted legion of fans, as well as garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Being a huge Twilight fan, Mary was inspired to make book-themed jewelry and occasionally gives it away as prizes to her fans.

Author Links: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaryTing
Website: https://www.tangledtalesofting.com/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-ting
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryTing
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormaryting/
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Xj5LMN
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4388953.Mary_Ting
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1387164074921005/

Excerpt: 
Told from Rhett’s point of you.
If Ava could see herself, the sight would have stopped her cold. Even Rhett was afraid. The hair on his arm rose. His goosebumps had goosebumps.

Ava had absorbed Mia’s energy. Blue light zapped and crackled not only through her, but around her like an electric storm. She became the lightning and wind, uplifting everything around her. The ground shook, walls trembled, and lightbulbs popped like gunshots. Centered in the brilliant phenomenon, she was Mother Nature about to unleash her wrath.

“Holy mother of all mothers.” Ozzie’s jaw slackened. “Do you see what I see, Rhett?”

“Yes,” Rhett said with a grim smile. “That’s my girl. I hope she gives them hell.” 

Mia stood her ground. Rhett gave her credit for courage but she was a fool. Rhett knew Ava would make the right choice, so he didn’t try to stop her. 

“Well, what’s it going to be, Mia?” Ava’s voice sounded as grand as her display of powers.

Rhett was learning something new about Ava every time she pushed herself, though he worried she might burst. He had no idea how her ability worked.

“I’m not going to apologize, you freak.”

Oh, no. She did not just say that.

“Uh oh.” Ozzie crouched lower. “Ava hates that word.”

Four massage tables zoomed across the room at a flick of Ava’s finger, boxing in the girls. 

“Like this is going to stop me. Pathetic,” Mia spat. 

Mia didn’t know when to quit. Ava didn’t want to hurt her, but she kept punching Ava with insults. Rhett had to do something.

Ava’s hands trembled. Her body was shutting down.

“No, they weren’t intended to hurt you, and they certainly won’t hold you in.” Ava shook her thin shoulders. “That was a distraction—this will do the damage.” Ava flicked her index finger. A metal tray flew off the counter like a rocket and collided with Mia’s face, knocking her head to the table. “The table is to break your fall, idiot. I was being generous. What about you, Ella? Want to walk with me or be carried out like your friend?”

Ella blanched and softened her stance, giving the impression of compliance. Her voice squeaked like a frightened mouse. “I was going to cooperate. I swear I was. I’ll walk.” 

Poor girl. She shook with her arms crossed over her midsection.

The door slid open.

“Why are you all wet? What happened here?” Naomi cursed, her eyes darting around the wrecked room. “Are you guys okay?”

Ozzie pointed to Ava, gawking at her as if she was a goddess. “She did it. It was pretty awesome.”

Tamara laughed. “I should have been here earlier to see it all. The sounds did not do it justice.”

Reyna smoothed a hand over her face. “We’re in so much trouble. Zen’s not going to like this. It’s a good thing this room had no windows.”

“Well, at least we’re all going down together.” Rhett planted a kiss on his girl and supported her with an arm around her waist. When she’d stopped the bullets at Mitch’s apartment, she’d fainted. “You okay?”

Rhett gripped her shaky hand. So cold. All the warmth flushed out of her when Helix had diminished or had burned out. Or however her power worked.

“Yeah. Just a little lightheaded. At least I didn’t black out. I got a little carried away.”

“A little. Just a little.” Rhett chuckled to lighten the mood.

“Are you and Oz okay?” She examined him. “You’re wet.”

“Oz and I are fine. Do you want a change of clothes? We could try to find—”

“No. Let’s get out of here.”

Rhett was worried about her. How much could her body take? 

Ava had practiced every spare second. Anyone else would be wiped out, but maybe someone like her didn’t need a lot of time to recover. If Helix could replenish her quickly, then perhaps it was all good.

“Come on. Someone want to help me drag this lunatic?” Ozzie’s shoes squeaked and squashed through two inches of water as he headed toward Mia. “Yup, Zen is going to flip out. Can we pretend it didn’t happen? Or do one of you girls have the power to put everything back together? Why can’t I have that kind of power? Why am I talking and nobody is answering me?”

“‘Cause you talk too much, Ozwald.” Rhett grabbed Mia’s other arm and hauled her up with Ozzie’s help.

Ozzie’s mouth scrunched together into a pout. “Ozzie. It’s Ozzie or Oz.”

How Rhett loved to mess with him, and Rhett knew Ozzie liked it, too, since he did the same to Rhett. It was the way they were. 

Told from Ava’s point of view.

“Go,” I said to Reyna. 

I shot one of the newbies with my Taser just as she aimed her weapon at Reyna. Ozzie shot the other one.

The newbies dropped and convulsed. Two down, three to go.

“Oz, go,” I ordered, but I heard a swish in the air, one after the other. Not the sound of Taser pellets, but something far more dangerous. A rain of bullets.

We jumped apart to dodge them.

Thanks to Helix, I heard Payton command Justine to put her gun down because Novak wanted me alive. 

“Ava. Get Oz.”

Reyna’s panicked voice sliced through me like a razor blade. I whirled to find Ozzie hanging by one hand off the roof. His fingers were slipping. My pulse lurched, and I acted without another thought.

“Oz. Hold on.” I grabbed his arm and hauled him up halfway.

I pushed a button on his belt and flung the hook around the rope, a few yards from us and set him free. Ozzie’s eyes were thankful, and then full of concern as he soared backward.

Knowing Novak wanted me alive gave me an advantage. It also meant he knew I wouldn’t die from HelixB88 and had only meant to kill Brooke. Sadistic psycho.

All right, Justine. I can play, too.

“Justine, you should teach your soldiers some manners. Don’t they know not to shoot unless you give the order?” I clucked my tongue. “Oh, wait. You’re not the lead. You were so sure of yourself. What happened? Did your daddy deem you incompetent and unfit, like the rest of us did?”

“Shut up. Shut up.” Justine materialized out of the shadows and fired a Taser, unwisely abandoning her shield.

With exact aim, I countered each pellet coming toward me with one of my own. They collided like mini fireworks. Finally, she stopped.

“How can you do that without Helix?” she snarled. “And how are you alive? What about Brooke? I hope she’s dead.”

It took every fiber of my willpower not to attack, but I had the rock and time was running out. 

Don’t take the bait, Ava. Keep it together. Think of Brooke.

“She’s not dead. So you can give your daddy my regards.”

“Payton, do something,” Justine screamed. “Don’t just stand there.”

Payton, who seemed to have frozen when he saw me, at last held up his Taser in a trembling hand. “You’re surrounded, Ava. Your team is on another roof. You have no help.” Payton inched closer, his two-member troop left beside him. “ISAN guards are waiting for you below. They have your glider surrounded and the kids.”

His words sounded rehearsed, or maybe it was nerves.

Had he said, kids?

He might be playing me, but how would he know about Momo and her friends? Hopefully Rhett would …

No, no time. I had to solve the situation now.

“Fine.” I looked over my shoulder at my crew and then back to Payton. “I’ll surrender peacefully if you let my friends go.”

“No, Ava,” Naomi bellowed.

I ignored her. She was new to our band and didn’t understand I would never yield unless my teams’ lives were at stake. And they were not.

“Put your Taser down, Ava.” Justine could have fried an egg on her bright red face. 

From her toothy grimace, she didn’t know whether to gloat or sulk. Perhaps both. 

I dropped my Taser and stood there with my arms crossed. “Come and get me.”

“That’s Ava? The Ava?” The pretty-faced newbie’s voice cracked with fear as she approached.

The three assassins came in a straight line.

Justine glared at the newbie. “Shut up, Tessa. She’s not unbeatable. She’s not God.” 

“Wait.” I raised a hand.

“Why?” Payton’s fist went up and halted his unit.

I yawned and stretched my arms to the cloudy sky. “For this. You never knew about Tamara’s hobby, did ya? She never misses.”

I had given Tamara instructions in case of such an incident. Never hurts to over-plan.

Two daggers tore through the air from the other roof. One speared the newbie’s biceps with a fountain of blood, and the second skewered Payton’s hand, knocking his Taser over the edge. Both clutched their bleeding wounds while Justine’s eyes widened.

“Don’t piss me off again or I’ll ask them to target you next time. And this is for Brooke.” 

Willing the strength of Helix, I sprinted to Justine and landed a solid punch in her face. Bone cracked like a beautiful song, and then she smashed into the stairway wall, leaving an imprint in the cracked cement before she flopped down.

I flew across the rope, my squad cheering blissfully in my ears. But my satisfaction died when I spotted the few dozen ISAN guards Payton had mentioned below. 

It seemed Novak didn’t trust Payton’s unit to bring me in. And Payton’s words had been no bluff. Or maybe he’d been warning me.

Payton, whose side are you on?

Release // Reign of Secrets

Title: Reign of Secrets

Author: L.L. Hunter

Genre: YA Fantasy


Cover Designer: Stephanie Sew of Sevenstar Book Covers
Publication Date: June 30th, 2020
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

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Blurb:

At the Midnight Ball, leave your inhibitions at the door and be who you were born to be…

In the magical kingdom of Sydlandia, 17 year old Grace is hiding a secret.

You see, she’s the heir to the Sydlandian throne. But according to hundreds of years of tradition and history, those with her particular secret are not allowed to be Queen.

Grace is torn between two worlds: the one where she is queen, reigning over her people with strength and authority.

Then there’s the other world: the one where she doesn’t have to pretend. Where she can be herself. Where magic and secrets come out to play.

The Midnight Ball gives her the freedom to be someone else for the night.

But for Grace, that is not so easy.

When a devasting event upends Grace’s world, it will force her to rethink everything she’s ever known.

And question everyone around her.

After all, she’s not the only one hiding secrets.

From the bestselling author of The Dragon Heart series and the Legend of the Archangel series, comes the first book in an all new YA fantasy series.

Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/31G80W

Release Party: https://www.facebook.com/events/311566813132870/

Author Bio:
L.L. Hunter is the author of over 20 published works, including The Legend of the Archangel Series and The Garden of Eden. She has studied everything from veterinary nursing, forensic science, and dramatic arts, but has always known her true calling was to be an author. She has been writing since her teens – everything from fan fiction, to song lyrics, to plays and musicals. When not working on her next paranormal romance, she can be found at home in Australia, reading somewhere comfortable with one or both of her “fur babies.” Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @llhunterbooks, and her blog – http://llhunter.blogspot.com.au.

Author Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/LL-Hunter/110104129132865
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LLHunterbooks
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1So75bF
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6559537.L_L_Hunter
Blog: http://llhunter.blogspot.com.au
Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/LLHunterbooks
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/llhunter
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/l-l-hunter
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/by8k0r

Review //\\ Love and Music

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Love and Music (Small Town Secrets Book 3) by Jade C. Jamison

I’m not crying, you’re crying. Sorry, excuse me whilst I compose myself.


I love a sexy hero with a soft side, I love an everyday heroine and I’m a huge sucker for second-chance romance. All that, added to great writing, meant that I thoroughly enjoyed Love and Music. A few chapters from Tyler’s pov would have pushed this from 4.5 stars to the full 5, though I can understand that the one person perspective left us as unsure and anxiously hopeful as Megan.


What really stood out for me was just how emotional this story felt. I could feel my heartstrings being tugged on pretty much from the first page. There were times when I felt anxious, parts that made me smile , moments when it wasn’t just the summer weather raising the temperature and pieces that sliced my heart into ribbons. The majority of the book is set over a really short period of time, and yet I found myself utterly convinced by the genuineness of their feelings for one another. Circumstances didn’t give them opportunity to totally talk, in the way that both wanted, but it did offer untold opportunities to reconnect in so many other ways.


For me this was a beautiful story of reawakening, both of the heart and soul. An opportunity to correct past mistakes and to love in a forever way. 

Title – Love and Music
Author – Jade C. Jamison
Genre – Rockstar Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53504326-love-and-music


Years later, he still takes her breath away. Does that mean he’s the one?
Time has not changed the way Megan feels about her ex Tyler Green, now a famous rock star. It’s pathetic, and that’s why she absolutely will not—WILL NOT—attend her ten-year high school reunion. But her bestie convinces her that there’s no way a guy like Tyler would ever attend their reunion anyway. He’s got better things to do with his time.

Megan feels like a complete idiot when he shows, but she feels even more foolish when she confirms she’s still head-over-heels in love with him. It’s doomed to fail: their worlds are now completely different, urban rocker and country mouse. But how will she ever be able to let him go again?

Curl up by the fire with a glass of wine or a mug of hot chocolate and settle into Winchester, Colorado—where the nights are cold…but steamy!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Well we went from scorching temperatures in the UK (mid to high 80’s and since it happens so rarely we don’t have air-conditioning, so it gets very sweaty, very quickly!) to high winds and rain. However we are all still well, and working or being paid furlow, so no complaints here.


It was my birthday mid-week and I felt thoroughly spoilt. My sons actually managed to buy something under their own steam (one has his beautiful girlfriend to thank for that!), my daughter and husband also bought me some wonderful presents, including these gorgeous flowers.

I’m sharing my usual Monday post, summarising my reading week. It’s hosted by Book Date and is great fun to join in. It also helps me focus on achieving reading aims. There was one book on my to-read list last week that I didn’t get to, but it was replaced with other books, so I still got plenty of reading done.

Completed Last Week

Currently On My Kindle

Despite the cover, this is a very “gentle” rom-com with a sexy, slow-burn vibe. By gentle i mean this is a feel good, low angst read.

My Reading Plans For This Week

So that sum’s up my reading plans – what books are you planning to read this week?

Release // Never Trust A Bad Boy

Title: Never Trust a Bad Boy

Author: Kira Adams

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Designer: Alora Kate

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

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Blurb:
Mikhaela

The day I was kidnapped was the first time I truly felt alive. My captors had no idea of the hell they were saving me from; the jail I had been living in. The monsters who controlled my world would stop at nothing to make them pay, to get me back. But we became a family – a family that looked out for each other.
Bo
She was never supposed to be a part of the equation, but sometimes you act on impulse. Surprisingly, she fit, kind of like a glove. Once we knew where she came from, we couldn’t possibly make her go back. And maybe she was just what we needed. Someone to bring us back down to earth, to remind us what it felt like to be free.

Book Links: 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48586572-never-trust-a-bad-boy

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NC8We4

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Author Bio:
Krista Pakseresht has always been a dreamer, from the first time she opened her eyes, creating worlds through words is one thing she is truly talented at. She specializes in young adult/new adult romance, horror, action, fantasy, and non-fiction under the pen name Kira Adams. She is the author of the Infinite Love series, the Foundation series, the Darkness Falls series, A Date with the Devil, The Life I Never Asked For and Ultimate Game Changer.


Author Links
Web: https://www.kiraadamsauthor.com/
Blog: http://kristakakes.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KiraAdamsAuthor
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/xKiraAdamsx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7179367.Kira_Adams
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3eHDYNF
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KiraAdamsAuthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kiraadamsauthor/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kira-adams
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/300837703457578/
Newsletter: http://kristakakes.blogspot.com/p/kira-adams-newsletter.html

Excerpt:
Bo
My entire life has been weaved with violence. It wasn’t something that was sought out, but something that found me. My calmness in the face of danger is what drew the monsters to me. Eduardo tried recruiting me long ago back before he fully grew into the devil he is. Back then, I was still a novice; his world still turned me on. But lately, living the simple life seems like a better option moving forward. At the end of the day, if no one knew my name, I’d be fine with that.

Top 5… Books with Morally Grey Characters

Top 5 Books With Morally Grey Characters

Top 5 is a weekly meme hosted by Devouring Books – do visit them as a thank you for running it! It’s a great way to find even more gems to add to your TBR mountain.

There are three simple rules –

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post on Devouring Books.
  • Tag 5 people.

Morally grey characters are my favourite type of antihero (or heroine), narrowing the list down to just 5 will be a tough call! A dark romance isn’t dark without at least one character with questionable ethics. And if there’s one think I love it’s a romance that is wrong in all the right ways.

1 – Ryke, Branded Possession by Cari Silverwood

If this was a contemporary romance, based on Earth with Ryke as a human, I would consider him morally depraved and somewhat evil. He carries an air of menace and dark about him, exploiting the attraction between Gio and himself in order to manipulate her. However, since this is based in another universe I really liked him instead. In all probability I would run screaming in the opposite direction if I met Ryke, but my word he did some hot things to Gio!

Title – Branded Possession (Machinery of Desire #3)
Author – Cari Silverwood
Genre – Erotic Science Fiction Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39668394-branded-possession

Humans are precious on Aerthe.
Except for Gio.

Gio has killed. Now she is to be broken by Ryke, the King’s Own Lawgiver, a hooded, scarred man who exterminates people as if they were insects underfoot.
She will pay for her sins with her body, spill her secrets, and sob out her misery on Ryke’s spears.
The man has his ways. Though he reserves special treatment for his females, no one has ever escaped being broken. Clinging to hope, Gio prays she can still save her people.
But is there more to Ryke than torturer extraordinaire? Does a heart hide beneath the cold exterior?

Deep in the Underdeck of the royal landship, Ryke and his new toy, Gio, will wrestle with secrets from his past and maybe, just maybe, discover a way for his despicable people to salvage what’s left of themselves and find peace on Aerthe.
Inspired by the Gor series by John Norman

2. Sophia, Bedroom Hymns by Morgan Reeves

Sophia is the victim of a despicable crime but throughout it all she strives to be anything but a victim. The world she was dragged into made her behave well outside the bounds of the law and societal norms but my word she is one of my favourite bass-ass heroine. She is ‘da bomb’, with an steel core forged from the trials of both her childhood and her ‘training’ to be a slave.

Title – Bedroom Hymns
Author – Morgan Reeves
Genre – Erotic Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36110296-bedroom-hymns

They took me, broke me, remade me in their image. I am branded by their twisted ambitions; martyred by their greed. They ground me down until I was everything they wanted and more, and at the end I thanked them for it.
Jackson. Dominic. Cole.
They forced me to love them, and then they cast me aside like yesterday’s trash. But they taught me to be the best. So that’s exactly what they’ll get. Because in the end… Revenge is sweeter than love.
And they’ll never see me coming.

3. Synek AND Iris, Syn by London Miller

Syn is one of the most violent, crazy and messed-up of heroes, but at the same time you just can’t resist him. I totally bought into his character and loved him. I felt the background on how Iris had become a bounty hunter was a little vague, but I still really liked her, she was a strong, independent and no-nonsense woman. Syn and Iris worked so well as a couple. They had enough in common to understand each other, whilst being different enough that together they formed a perfect whole.

Title – Syn (Den of Mercenaries #6)
Author – London Miller
Genre – Organised Crime/Romantic Suspense
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38100623-syn

ONE NIGHT WAS ALL HE WANTED …
Synek ‘Syn’ Jøsson has never been anything more than a jaded, broken man trying not to lose himself in his darker urges, but sometimes, the need to do something reckless proves too strong.

ONE NIGHT WAS ALL SHE NEEDED …
Every job brings Iris Adler one step closer to the vengeance she swore against the men that murdered her father, so when she‘s tasked with finding a man that’s as terrifying as he is tempting, she refuses to back down.
ONE NIGHT WAS MORE THAN THEY BARGAINED FOR …
Two broken people searching for a way out of the darkness.
One impossible relationship they never saw coming.
Nothing proves more complicated than love in all the wrong places. 

4. Toby, Fools Paradise by Lilliana Anderson

Toby is the oldest brother in a family of career criminals. It’s the life the brothers were born into and they have never had a choice about it. I had been a little in love with Toby since we first saw his hidden heartache in Fool Me Twice, Book #1 of the series. In each successive book we’ve caught glimpses of a man who constantly puts his family before his own happiness. So this book was going to go one of two ways……… I was going to be broken in the best possible way, or I was going to be hugely disappointed. Thankfully I loved it.

Title – Fool’s Paradise (Cartwright Brothers #5)
Author – Lilliana Anderson
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42248462-fool-s-paradise

My job had a very specific goal: I found people who didn’t want to be found and delivered them to whoever employed me. After that, well, I tried not to think about what happened while I spent my money on things that made me happy. Resorts, men…I lived life by the seat of my pants because I never knew where I’d be the next week, or who I’d be looking for.
When the head of a lesser-known criminal family hired me to find her son, I wasn’t sure what I was walking into. I had his photo, so I knew the man was hot with a capital H. But I expected the usual agitated scumbag I normally went after. Not some guy running a fishing charter and looking like he didn’t have a care in the world.

I might have been curious. I might have gotten a little too close. I might have done a lot of things I shouldn’t have. Things that could get me killed this time. But hey, life wasn’t always about making the right choices. It was about making good ones.
And Toby Cartwright was a great choice.

5. Christian, Redemption by Nicolina Martin

Christian is all things bad, yet somehow through his unrelenting misery and pain, the author gives us a glimpse of who he could be. She allows us to begin to forgive the monster who made the wrong choice and begin to love the man who will do anything for those he loves. He isn’t a good or nice man, he is violent and threatening and comes very close to murdering the heroine.

Title – Redemption (Russo Saga #4)
Author – Nicolina Martin
Genre – Dark Romantic Suspense/ Mafia Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49220632-redemption

Redemption: Part one in the Savage duet.
Killing her wasn’t supposed to be complicated.
Drug Kerry Jackson and get rid of her, that was his simple task, but he screwed up everything. Unable to resist the enticing young woman, Christian seduced her and fell hard. Then it all went to hell. She beat him at his own game and disappeared without a trace. No one crossed a Russo and got away with it.
Night after night, their steamy encounters melted her will and twisted her mind. Then Christian Russo turned out to be her worst enemy. He robbed Kerry of her innocence, stole her trust, and made her life a living nightmare.

A second encounter would be fatal. For one of them. And Kerry was determined that it wasn’t going to be her.

REVIEW //\\ The Princess Tied

The Princess Tied by Cari Silverwood

Take one Princess, literally and in all senses of the word, a man who has been to hell and back, also literally-ish, add in a fluffy creature of dubious origins, a quest to save True Love, otherwise known as Xander, and some delicious kinkiness. Stir it all well, add a great story line, cook with the heat from the sexy scenes and – voila! – you have, THE PRINCESS TIED.

“He liked that worse word far too much.”

Where do I start with this? Based loosely on The Princess Bride, this is a kinky, dub-con, thigh slapping, funny adventure of the swashbuckling kind. If Monty Python, Errol Flynn and EL James produced a menage love child, it would be this. (I know MP isn’t a person but per-lease, you get the idea! 😉) In case you’re wondering, I really liked this book, which is why it got 4 stars here, but it will be 5 stars on Amazon. I’m pedantic like that.

Po shook her head and said nothing more. This adventure was feeling less organized by the hour. She liked her facts in rows and columns. She liked them organized in folders. With notes.

Floof Machines, magical doors (can you guess them all?), giant dwarfs and mechanised men join in the fun to produce a wonderful, adventurous, questing tale. The characters are somewhat stylized, deliberately so since this is a pastiche of a pastiche of the swashbuckling films of the 20’s and 30’s. These characters are also interesting, unusual, well crafted and genuine and despite being OTT they felt believable and loveable.

Making things happen, like fires, was a new thing. Many things were new, including naked men and sex.

This wouldn’t be a Cari Silverwood book if there wasn’t some dirty, filthy smut smut. And what incredibly hot and saucy sauce it is! Dabbling in the waters of dub-con, but mainly because Po is far too proper to admit to her unusual desires, there are lots of delightfully erotic scenes to indulge our baser desires. Sorry, I meant to say to indulge Prince Drakes deviant sexual preferences. Those scenes did absolutely nothing for me, no they did not. They didn’t induce hot flushes and a need to find privacy for a little one on one time.  Who shouted Liar, liar, pants on fire?  Humph, ok maybe those scenes are somewhat hot.

He walked on air with lust rampant in his veins. He took a small, careful bite of her neck then released it. She tasted of sex to him – future sex.

Whilst most of the book is written from Princess Po and John’s points of view, we do get just enough from Xander to both make him ‘real’ and to add interest to the tale. The adventure is epic, crazy and, at times, weird and I loved it all. The plot canters along, with your hands tied behind your back, oops sorry that’s Po I’m thinking of. The plot moves at a good pace, with surprises, twists and easter eggs thrown in to keep your interest. I know I’ve already mentioned the activities in Prince Drakes tent, but they’re so hot they totally deserve a second intimation. Talking of intimate, despite certain events that occur during the course of the story, the ending didn’t feel awkward, forced or contrived. In fact I was very pleasantly surprised by how smoothly everything came together (#punalert).

She was sure he had an erection. Not being an expert, she had to file it under maybe.

If you’ve made it this far (TL;DR) this is a great story that I highly recommend.

Her tutors aimed to educate her in a wide range of subject, so she could rule with wisdom. Most of which, like algebra, she thought she would never use. Clocks had been quite fun, in comparison to math, autopsies, and string theory.

Title – The Princess Tied
Author – Cari Silverwood
Genre – MfM Fantasy Rom-Com
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53465756-the-princess-tied


“Falling in love with Xander, the has-been noble I lined up to marry, is sadly wrong.” Princess Pollianna the First, smartest royal ever.
Wrong is about to get wronger.
Square-jawed, handsome Xander gets kidnapped and his brother, John, returns from Hell. The fire in this guy’s eyes says he’s not to be messed with.
With Princess Po tied and roped over his horse, and a hand firmly clasped on her ample ass, John sets out to rescue his beloved bro, while not looking at aforesaid cute ass…or doing anything bad to it.
As he travels the roads, a ragtag band falls in around him.
True Love will light their way, except John doesn’t believe in True Love.
“As wholesome as a threesome up against a thorn-entangled wall.”

Features Fighting, Dwarf Giants, a Killer Bunny, Storytellers, True Love, Angsty Tortured Anti-heroes, Snooty Princesses, Rope, Monsters, and sundry Mayhem. And quite a lot of Steam.
Inspired by The Princess Bride. Written with naughty words.

Cover Reveal // Things That Should Stay Buried

itle: Things That Should Stay Buried

Author: Casey L. Bond

Genre: YA Epic Fantasy/Mythology

Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen

Cover & Trailer Designer: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services

Publication Date: August 28th, 2020

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

A picture containing food

Description automatically generated


Blurb:
Some destinies are written in the stars. Others must be bought with blood… 

The Zodia are real. Clawing their way from a long-forgotten tomb, they emerge, ravenous to claim everyone born under their star signs. Plotting to resurrect kingdoms no human knew existed, they are driven by a hunger for vengeance against the one who buried them: Aries. 

Larken is a natural born sprinter, but even she can’t outrun the darkness closing in. A shelter-in-place order has been issued, causing widespread panic. Some brush the alarm off as a drill, until people begin to disappear… vanishing without a trace. Left with only one option, Larken’s brother does what he must to save her life… and calls forth Aries. 

Considered a traitor by his own kind, only Aries has the power to stand against the Zodia. But he can’t do it alone. Mystically bonded to Larken, the pair must band together for the fight to come if either hope to make it out alive. Neither anticipated the passion that would ignite between them. Yet, in a world suddenly thrust into chaos, it may be the key to their survival. 

The Zodia are out for blood with their attentions inexplicably focused on Larken. When long buried truths finally come to light, will their love be their salvation or their curse?

“A mesmerizing and haunting twist on a familiar tale you don’t want to miss. “ – Cameo Renae, USA Today bestselling author of the Hidden Wings Series

“Casey L. Bond reaches for the stars to bring us Things That Should Stay Buried. The Zodia are beautiful, dangerous and to die for.”- New York Times Bestselling Author Chanda Hahn

Book Links: 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53481286-ttssb

Author Bio:
Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn’t tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he’s the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy books, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page. 

Casey is the award-winning author of When Wishes Bleed, the Frenzy series, and fairy tale retellings such as Riches to Rags, Savage Beauty, Unlocked and Brutal Curse. Learn more about her work at http://www.authorcaseybond.com.


Author Links

Website: www.authorcaseybond.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorcaseybond 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorcaseybond
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7212486.Casey_L_Bond
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/caseyb007
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PmE0pg
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/casey-l-bond
Bond-Tourage: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1032678336804562/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gcAu9v

Blog Hopping

Book Blogger Hop

This is my first time at joining in with the Book Blog Hop hosted by Ramblings of A Coffee Addicted Writer. I did try and join in last week but misread the dates and posted on the day that the NEW prompt started!


The prompt/question this week was submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews, and is When you run out of bookshelf space, what do you do?”

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

This question sort of breaks my book loving heart. When my husband and I moved into our home, a rather long time ago and before our beautiful twin sons and our daughter were born, I owned a lot of books. A LOT. Most of them paperbacks, plenty of them purchased second-hand, in my Uni days, from book fairs. David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Andre Norton, Julian May, Katherine Kerr, Margaret Weis, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Terry Pratchett, Janny Wurts and many others filled half a dozen boxes. Their numbers were easily in the several hundreds and at first they graced several bookshelves I owned.


However as our family grew – and let me tell you twins take up a huge amount of space with their double of everything. Two cots, two highchairs, a much larger stroller, two bouncy seats etc etc. The books gradually got packed away and stored up the loft, until space became even tighter and many of them were donated to charity shops and the second hand bookstall at the local market. Do I regret it? Some days I do, but I know that they would still be sat in the loft and it would be highly unlikely that I would ever re-read them.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Pexels.com

I think there might be one box left up in the loft, holding the most favourite of my books. I also have a few scattered in strange places, such as the bottom of wardrobes and a shelf in the under-stairs cubby. I have 20 or so books on my chest of drawers, most of them new and bought for books signings or won in competitions.


Despite my initial reservations, I am now exclusively a reader of e-books. I can keep thousands of books in the cloud, or on my pc. I can carry hundreds of books around in my bag, available to read anywhere, anytime. It also feels better for the environment, yes there were the raw materials used in production and a couple of times a week it requires an hour or two on charge, but there isn’t the ongoing carbon footprint of paper production, printing and distribution.


As a result of exclusively e-reading I am unlikely to run out of “bookshelf space” anytime soon. However, I did recently notice that the memory of my kindle was almost full. After starting to delete them individually, and the frustration of just how time consuming that was proving to be, I reset my kindle. I now have the issue that I am having to manually download books, as they aren’t auto-delivering, but that isn’t a huge problem. I’ve had to adjust my settings to show ALL books and docs, rather than downloaded, though retaining my preference for ‘recent’ means anything new shows up on the first page.