Book Review · Romantic Suspense

// REVIEW \\ The Lavender Phantom

The Lavender Phantom
(Club Lavender, #1)
by Lainey Delaroque

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Excerpt: Chapter 1 available HERE

Buy links: 

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NHRBZYQ 
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08NHRBZYQ 
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08NHRBZYQ 
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08NHRBZYQ
Available at all other Amazon marketplaces too.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre – Erotic Suspense

Sophie Taylor, 24, loves three things: her sister, tea and kinky pain. As the single guardian of 14-year-old Melanie, she works hard and plays hard, navigating being a good sister and a responsible adult every day.
When her sister returns home with a myriad of bruises and a single memory of club Lavender, Sophie feels like a failed parent– and itches to see justice done.
She infiltrates Lavender in search of the culprits and hard evidence to bring them down. Lavender unravels before her with its sumptuous drinks and lavish aesthetic but as she finds an attractive man tied-up in the basement, she uncovers the place has a vicious, depraved side, ready to suck her in.
Alone in a club full of enemies, Sophie struggles to keep sight of her goal. But someone has her back. The Lavender Phantom, an urban legend said to haunt Lavender and help those in need, has taken an interest in her. Can Sophie really trust this mysterious stranger, or is he another hook to drag her deeper into Lavender’s intoxicating danger?
When she learns the life of another child could be destroyed in Lavender’s extravagant rooms, she has to choose – save him or save herself. 

Book available at: Amazon, Kindle Unlimited

ASIN: B08NHRBZYQ

Publication date: February 9, 2021

Language: English

Print length: 278 pages

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56273412-the-lavender-phantom 

Bio:

Lainey Delaroque is a 5ft writer who can’t stop imagining sexy worlds packed with action, danger and romance from the comfort of her equally tiny home.
She is passionate about writing productivity and mental health and has married the two in her podcast The Pen Garden.
She has no cats and dogs to include in this but hopes that the next bio she writes will have at least one.

Books available:

The Lavender Phantom (Club Lavender 1) – Feb 2021

Contact, author pages and social media:

Website: www.laineydelaroque.com 
Email: laineydelaroque@gmail.com 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20968270.Lainey_Delaroque 
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Lainey-Delaroque/e/B08NZSL8P8/ 
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lainey-Delaroque/e/B08NZSL8P8 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lainey-Delaroque-104439858165615/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaineyDelaroque 
Contact the author: Laineydelaroque@gmail.com

Photo by Inga Seliverstova on Pexels.com
Book Review · Romantic Suspense

// REVIEW \\ Protecting It All

Protecting It All
(The Punishment Pit #6)
by Livia Grant

Well Livia Grant certainly saved the best until last. Or at least last for now since a “series 2” is already in the pipeline.


I’ve had my ups and downs with this series, so it was a great relief to end on a truly big “up”. The fact that this book didn’t really include much D/s or BDSM seems very telling. Generally I enjoy the author’s style of writing, but I did find myself agreeing with one reviewer who spoke of how the punishments seemed more important than the welfare of the submissive. I get that this is fiction, and clearly many readers have enjoyed the books, I just struggled with the men never seeming to atone for their wrongs yet going over the top in their punishment of the submissive for the slightest transgression. Particularly given that one was pretty much still a sub-in-training.


However I’m digressing form Protecting It All, which is a great romantic suspense and even though it was insta-love I still found myself believing in Dylan and Hannah’s emotions. Probably more so Dylan but that’s because he’s already a little obsessed by Hannah before she’s even really acknowledged his existence. Whilst we do get some Lukas/Marcus/Tiffany/Brianna scenes, most of the book was either from Dylan or from Hannah’s POV, so it gave it a bit of a “spin off” feel. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed it more, I wasn’t carrying any previous baggage for the two MC’s of this book.


I am wondering if you could read this one stand alone. A part of me thinks that you could, but I’ve read the other books so can’t be sure. I really did enjoy this one though, and I do recommend it. 

Photo by Ellen Araujo on Pexels.com

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic Romantic Suspense

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54818820-protecting-it-all

Protecting it All is book six in the deliciously dark and dirty Punishment Pit series that readers are devouring. 
He would protect her with his life. 

Photo by Ana Maria Moroz on Pexels.com
BDSM · Book Review · Romantic Suspense

// REVIEW \\ Beautiful Tyrant by C.P. Mandara

Beautiful Tyrant
(Enemies to Lovers #3)
by C.P. Mandara

The man is about as much use as the ‘g’ in lasagne.

Harper, Brandt, Gabriel et al definitely saved their best until last!


C.P. Mandara never ceases to amaze me with the unexpected and eccentrically offbeat way her stories evolve. That’s “eccentrically offbeat” in a very mesmerising, amusing and bloody brilliant manner, just in case you wondered. It’s a cliche but it’s also true that I couldn’t put this book down. No I’d not had an accident with superglue, it was the fast paced and exciting plot, the mind-bending twists and the even more amazing characters that had me hooked.

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This was the book where I fell in love with Gabriel, and where he found that gooey, soft centre that we all knew he possessed. He’s still a sadistic alpha-hole but one that you worryingly find quite attractive and appealing. Especially once you compare him to the unhinged malevolence that is Mal. These two are cut from the same cloth, but it’s the tailoring of the outfit crafted from that fabric that makes all the difference.

Is it me, or are we going around in circles? Why won’t Mal take no for an answer? I seem to be a homing beacon for psychopaths.
His question hangs in the air between us like an STD, because Mal’s sure he’s got it, and I sue as hell don’t want to touch it. I don’t have the energy to lie to him any more , either. Still, I guess I can give him a weak smile. Sell the lie, Harper. Sell it good.

How I can be reading scenes of torture and terror and laugh at the sarcasm and irreverent humour is testament to the superior writing of this author. That or I’m just a twisted saddo, but I prefer to believe it’s the first option. The lies, the secrets, the hope offered, the nightmare promised, the pain, the joy, the horror and love, the bluffs, the double bluffs are piled one atop the other until your head is spinning in the best possible way.


Whilst there is foreshadowing, it is very lightly done, so there is no guessing as to just what exactly will transpire next. However all the shock reveals and gob-smacking twists worked . I’ve read plenty of stories where the big twist was obvious from chapter 2, and others where the twist required a sudden influx of never previously mentioned characters or facts to work. It’s rare for me to genuinely feel surprised by a twist and yet know that all the hints were there just waiting to be woven together. C.P. Mandara has that ability in spades.


This ending gave me everything I wanted, including the requisite HEA, a scorching hot sex scene (I’m still wondering just how big that butt plug was) and an epilogue to go to heaven on. I adored this trilogy and highly recommend it to all those who love a good dark romantic suspense with a generous dollop of kinkiness in it. In fact I already want to re-read the whole thing because I was in such a rush to read it all I’m bound to find even more amazingness to absorb from within it’s pages. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre- Erotic Romantic Suspense

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55050165-beautiful-tyrant

Brandt and Gabriel have me tied down on the bed. While Mal points a gun at them, they’re going to mess with me a little. Gabriel looks almost gleeful at the prospect, Brandt not so much. It’s too bad. He might as well get his kicks where he can.
After Mal’s finished with them, hopefully he’ll find something unpleasant for them to do. He always needs a patsy to murder someone or other. My fingers are crossed that the pair can find an opportunity to run and get out of this mess. That’s what I’d do if I had the chance.
Unfortunately for me, my last few days are to be spent at Mal’s warehouse. The Airfix King is about to take his superglue addiction out on me, before he chops me up into little pieces and leaves me for dead.
This is probably not the time to wish I’d killed myself earlier, right?

Book Review · Romantic Suspense

Review //\\ In A Haze

In A Haze by Jade C. Jamison

My mind is also in a haze – I think it’s because I was still reading this at well gone 1 am last night!


In A Haze isn’t my usual sort of read, it has more of a suspense feel than it did romance, but I really enjoyed it. Anna wakes up one day with no memory of who or where she is, though that subconscious memory tells her she is in some sort of hospital, and has been for a while. I was quickly engaged, wanting to know more about her and soon found myself invested in her story. The book is written entirely from her viewpoint, normally I prefer dual but because of the storyline it worked for me on this one, to the point that I didn’t really notice until just now!


In terms of solving the mystery of Anna, felt the plot moved with a good pace and it easily held my attention. There are several surprises and twists along the way, none of which were obvious or easy to guess in advance. Whilst some problems felt easily overcome, the author did world build to provide reasons/evidence for them and so I found myself readily accepting those elements of the story.


I fully believed in the attraction between Anna and Joe, they definitely had great chemistry and we are treated to several hot scenes. I maybe wasn’t quite as convinced that it was love, though in part that was due to where we picked the story up. It did feel a little “insta-love” but the strength of the story and suspense elements meant that it didn’t bother me in the same way it often would.

If you like a well written mystery/suspense story, with a romantic element, then I recommend this book to you. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In A Haze by Jade C. Jamison

Genre – Romantic Suspense
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54832208-in-a-haze

What if waking up was like being reborn?
The first question I ask upon awakening is where am I?
The second is who am I?
The bare walls, the locked doors, and the glazed eyes of so many people around here tell me I’m in a psychiatric hospital. But why am I here?
I begin discovering answers with the help of fellow resident Joe, a man I’m falling in love with. But as I find clues to the mysteries of my past, I wonder if I can trust him or any of the professionals supposedly here to help me as I begin to uncover the ugly truth underneath this haze they’ve submerged me in.

Or, when I wake up tomorrow, will this all be forgotten again?

Book Review · Romantic Suspense

Review // Redemption (Fragile Ties #3)

Redemption (Fragile Ties #3) by Jennifer Bene

Damn you Ms Bene, you left me on such a floaty and wondrous ending. And I should have known better than to trust that you wanted me to be happy, but no! So I foolishly sallied forth and read the bonus scene. My advice to other readers is DON’T DO IT!, well at least for a few days. Not unless you want to have all that warm gooeyness ripped from your grasp only to be replaced with utter heartbreak and devastation.


It’s said that good things are worth waiting for and that was never more true than when referring to the conclusion to David and Lianna’s story, which is so very, very good indeed.  Redemption took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions, though it was like riding one blindfold, never sure when the next drop, twist or turn would occur. I want to say I devoured this book but at times I felt more like it devoured me, as it caught me in it’s tangled web and did with me as it pleased.

Their connection had started in the darkest of places, fueled by pain and rage, but they’d both changed. Become someone new. Evolved together, and she hoped that continued even though the Faures had a place in her life now.
Because as messed up as their story was… she didn’t want anyone else at her side.

There are a lot of new characters introduced in this book, some good, some not so good. Who to trust, who is lying, who is being honest… not only is it difficult to know, but Lianna and David struggle to agree on it. Just as things seems to be working out for them, meeting the Faures imposes untold stresses on their relationship and you just know there will be trouble ahead.

The whisper of the belt moving through the air wasn’t near enough warning for it to crash down onto that impossibly agonizing strip of skin… She cried out, tears burning her eyes as she kicked, digging her toes into the floor to try and move, but she was caught. Each blistering strike only hurt worse than the last, building on top of each other, bleeding together until her ass and thighs throbbed and she couldn’t hold the sobs back anymore.
Finally, he stopped, releasing her wrist and removing his knee from her back so he could rip her off the floor by her hair. She only made it to her knees, but he leaned down to look into her eyes.
“God, I love it when you cry for me.”

This pair have a complex relationship, rooted in all that is wrong and twisted, but from it has blossomed something that is their beautiful. The sex scenes are not sweet nor gentle, because neither of them want that. Theirs is a love that is brutal, extreme, violent and furious, all encompassing and no-holds bared. David has a darkness to his cravings, a darkness Lianna craves. They may have been softened by love but there are times when you wonder if he truly has them under control.

She wasn’t even halfway there when he slammed into her back, his arms coming around to squeeze her tight, lifting her off the floor as he laughed in her ear.
“You know I like it when you struggle, so feel free.”

I re-read Destruction and Inheritance in preparation for reading this. I wasn’t sure if it would (a) live up to the magnificence of those books and (b) just what exactly would be in store for me. It totally surpassed all my expectations. Jennifer Bene wrote a conclusion to the Fragile Ties series that was unpredictable, captivating and I quite simply couldn’t have wished for better than this.

Photo by Anthony Beck on Pexels.com

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Redemption (Fragile Ties #2) by Jennifer Bene
Genre – Romantic Suspense
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54394899-redemption

“No one will tear us apart.”
Everything would be easier if he could just tie her up.
Lock her away and keep her safe.
Well… from everyone except him.
But that’s not how love works.
David chose Lianna over his hate. Every part of her.
Love of his life. Heiress to a dangerous crime family. Prior focus of all his rage and obsession,
and current focus of his… everything.
Her family is the only thing standing in their way.
But family isn’t everything, no matter what they say.
She may share their blood, but those can be fragile ties when put to the test.
In the end, it’s who we choose that matters. And he will always choose her