Ashes: A Dark Romance Love Triangle
(A Special Agent Novel Book 6)

by C.P. Mandara

An amazing conclusion to a fantastic series – I’m going to miss these guys so much

I already know I’m going to struggle to write a review that does this book justice without also throwing spoilers around like confetti at a wedding. Suffice to say Alain continues to terrorize with how twisted, evil and psychotic he is. Which means James, Lois and Adie continue to suffer at his blood stained hands.

The story is fast-paced and action-packed, venturing repeatedly into some pretty dark territory. It didn’t want to put this down, and when my thoughtful teenage son had me awake at the crack-ass of dawn, instead of being sensible and attempting to grab a couple more hours of sleep, I picked this up and read it until it was finished.

Strike that, I didn’t read it, I devoured it like the most delicious of meals, savouring every morsel and extracting every last drop of flavour that I possibly could from it. I want to say I loved every single word of it but the author, and those who have already read the book, will know that isn’t possible. There is possibly a tiny little lose thread that was left. It didn’t play out the way I expected, but I’m hoping against hope that the author possibly has plans for it. Please. Otherwise I may seriously fall out with her.

Written first person from Adie, James and Lois’ points of view, all 6 books must be read in the correct order, this isn’t a stand alone. (I made the mistake of attempting to start with book #4 and quickly found myself totally lost.) This, along with Ariana Nash’s Silk & Steel series, is my joint favourite series of 2019 and is without a shadow of a doubt my top BDSM/romantic suspense/dark read of the year.

All hope is lost. James has slept with me twice. When we arrive back at Lavande, Alain takes a great deal of pleasure in telling me I have two weeks to live. Two miserable weeks where he will torture me with his hands and knives until I am screaming for mercy. The worst part is that James will be forced to watch every second of it.

Why didn’t we run when we had the chance? It’s a question I will ask myself again and again over the upcoming days because Alain is rather inventive with his torture methods. At first, I thought we might stand a chance, but then he brings out the drugs. There’s a reason his nickname is ‘The Chemist.’ The man is truly evil in every way that counts.

This is a war we cannot win, fought against an adversary who is one step ahead of everything we do.

We desperately need to turn his dark and twisted games against him. There is always a way – I hope.

Publisher’s Note: The Sixth Book in C.P. Mandara’s intense, suspense-filled thriller ‘Special Agent Series’ is a Dark Romance featuring BDSM erotic romance, complete power exchange, violence and drugs. If such material offends you, please do not purchase.

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.

Favourite Reads from – Part One

For the last few years I’ve written a post on my top 12 books of the year, and my top 12 series’ of the year. This time I’m going to do thinks a little differently and talk about my top 3 reads in various categories/genres/tropes.

First category is Contemporary Romance.

This is a genre I’ve found myself reading less and less of, at least in terms of ‘straight’ contemporary. My first, and greatest, love in reading was the sci-fi/fantasy genre with authors such as Anne McCaffrey, Julian May, Katherine Kerr, Andre Norton and David Eddings being amongst my favourites. Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams will forever hold a special place in my heart, and prominence on my book shelf. Of late I have found myself drawn back to the genre, but preferring those books which also combine it with a good love story.

However I have read some excellent contemporary romances this year, and actually struggled to narrow the group down to a top 3! Colour me surprised because I didn’t actually expect to find even that number to include.


1. Bass-Akwards by Eris Adderly.

This is one seriously under-recognised author. Her writing is superb and I just wished she was more well known, Eris thoroughly deserves it.

It’s the story of a seriously messed up pair, who are dysfunctional to the extreme yet who somehow come together to create something wonderful. It’s one of those “so wrong, it’s right” stories and I loved every minute of it.

My full review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/04/09/bass-akwards-eris-adderly/ – for what, to me, is a must read book.

2. Crazy on You by Amelia Wilde.

This is part of a series of books on the Bliss brothers, and oh what bliss they do bring. I really enjoyed the whole series, but Charlie and Leta just had that something extra special about them.

It’s a second chance romance, which has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I’m just a sucker for folks getting their much needed HEA and this story just ticked all my boxes.

The full review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/31/crazy-on-you-bliss-brothers-4-by-amelia-wilde/. This is a book that will give you plenty of feels.

3. Rogue Wave by Gwyn McNamee.

This is part of an ongoing series, which really needs to be read in order to fully enjoy and understand the back story. Each book features one couple, Cutter, the hero in this one, is a complete alpha-hole but in the best way possible. He’s constantly brought down to size by the bad-ass heroine that is Valentina.

The book is full of twists, turns and steam. Find the full review here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/22/rogue-wave/.

I did have a fourth book, Rebel’s Redemption by Lexi C Foss, that I also need to mention. It is A-MAZ-ING and it’s only because I’m going to be featuring this author in other categories that I didn’t feature the book more widely here.

Next are my favourite 3 books containing BDSM. This was a category that I DID struggle with deciding on, I could easily have included many more books. In fact I’m featuring a series as one of my choices.

BDSM romance

1. Special Agent BDSM series by C.P. Mandara.

There are 6 books in the series, the final one was released a few days ago and I am currently reading (and loving) it. The first book, Sparks, is free. It is more erotic, less dark than the subsequent books, which take us into a dark, underground world full of danger and kink.

These have been amongst my most favourite reads of the year in any genre/trope. The author writes with a subtle humour and her characters are always strong. In fact along with Cari Silverwood, she has written some of my favourite heroines.

Sparks review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/03/special-agent-bdsm-1/
Smoke review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/04/special-agent-bdsm-2/
Flames review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/05/special-agent-bdsm-3/
Fire review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/09/06/special-agent-bdsm-4/
Embers review link – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/12/21/embers/
Ashes – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3104159478

2. Twisted Fates by Kitty Thomas.

Let’s face it, Kitty Thomas is the QUEEN of the dark romance. If you haven’t read Comfort Food I can only say – “Why?”. It’s not an easy read but it is amazing, as is Twisted Fates which is part of the interlinked Pleasure House series and may be read as a stand alone story.

Whilst it’s a morally dubious story, it doesn’t contain non-consent and the dubious consent isn’t all that dubious either. On paper we should hate the hero, and in real life I’d want to see him locked away from society for a very long time. However Kitty persuades us that not only is Lyndsay perfect for Shannon, but she made me love him too.

My review can be found here – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2654606.Kitty_Thomas – heaven only knows why I haven’t shared it on the blog yet. It must have been a busy arc period!

3. Black Light: Scandalized by Livia Grant.

Technically the Black Light books can be read stand alone, though part of this story builds on a short story by the same author in the Celebrity Roulette anthology. The book features two separate couples, mainly focusing on two new characters, Shane and Nalani, but also concluding Piper and Nolan’s story that began in Switched.

This book should have a trigger warning – there is a very violent and detailed rape scene. It wasn’t added just for the shock factor and the aftermath was handled well, in my opinion.

My review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/10/30/a-journey-into-the-world-of-black-light/.

Romantic Suspense

1. The Savage Duet by Nicolina Martin.

The link will take you to all 5 books of the Russo Saga. It’s a series of interlinked books, all of which I can highly recommend, but the duet of Absolution and Redemption are definitely my favourites. T

he story takes you to hell and back, along with the anti-hero and heroine. There were times. whilst reading Absolution, where i had to take an “feelings break” in order to recharge my emotional batteries.

My reviews for this duet can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/08/redemption/ – and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/24/book-review-absolution/

2. The Kingmaker Saga #2, 3 & 4 by London Miller.

Book #1, White Rabbit: The Rise, was listed amongst my favourite reads of 2018. The series has gone from strength to strength this year, with the release of 3 further books and the imminent release of book #5, Dark Horse.

White Rabbit: The Fall, Black Swan and Red Herring continue the story of Belladonna and The Kingmaker, otherwise known as Karina and Uilleam. And oh what a twisty, cat-and-mouse, game-of-chess, power-play story it is. London Miller has an amazing talent for weaving a complex tale where a seemingly random array of threads pull together at the last minute to form an intricately detailed tapestry.

My links can be found here – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2722883777?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 , here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/27/black-swan-the-kingmaker-saga-3-by-london-miller/ – and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/17/red-herring/.

3. Beauty (Part 1 & Part 2) by Kirsty Dallas.

Part of the Blaire’s World collection, and based on Anita Gray’s books of the same name, this is a dark and delicious duet. It delves into the underbelly of society, a world of pain, cruelty and evil and it doesn’t pull it’s punches.

One could argue that this belongs in the “Dark” catagory, below, but it’s my post so it’s my rules.

My reviews can be found here – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2705398076?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/19/beau2y-part-1-by-kirsty-dallas/.

Again, I need to mention a Lexi C Foss book, this time it is the amazing Scarlet Mark. Part of the Cavalieri Della Morte series, it was the book that brought the author to my attention. When I discovered this was her first foray into Romantic Suspense I was gobsmacked to say the least. I tell you, she hit this one out of the ball park, and then some.

I’m going to finish today’s post with my top 3 Dark Reads of the year, and will be back tomorrow with 4 other categories of goodness to share. I think this was the hardest group to pare down to just 3 books, but I did it eventually!

Dark Romance

1. The Five by Lily White.

No list is complete without a Lily White book, she is an expert at knowing how to mess with your mind. She’s had some personal struggles this year, so has been very quite for the last few months, but we are expecting a new release soon and I, for one, can’t wait to read more by this wonderful author.

The Five is typical Lily White, and was a very popular Book of the Month over in the Dark Erotica group on Goodreads. It’s not your typical romance and is very psychological, testing your morals, pushing your boundaries and challenging your judgemental side. It was a book that seemed to have a marmite effect, dividing readers into loved it or hated it. I was most definitely in the former camp and highly recommend it.

My review can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/03/20/the-five-by-lily-white/.

2. Crazy Broken Love by Jennifer Bene.

This story started life as Cocoon in the ‘Just Breathe‘ anthology, but has since been extended and improved, even though I didn’t feel that was possible as I thought the original was already perfect.

This is not as dark a piece of work as we are used to from Ms Bene. It does contain strong elements of dub-con, hence including it in this group. Crazy Broken Love spoke to me deeply and left me questioning my own prejudices, however unintentional they are.

My review of this amazing story can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/11/16/a-truly-crazy-story/.

3. Dark Necessities Prequel series by Felicity Brandon.

For some reason the link only takes you to the first two books of the trilogy. Book #3, Forbidden, can be found here. The trilogy of books are NOT stand alone and must be read in order, they feature Ethan and Lily, the parents of Conor, who is the anti-hero of the original Dark Necessities trilogy.

Despite not liking Ethan for most of the story, my love for Lily (and her love of Ethan) made this one gripping must-read series for me. It’s dark and Ethan is not a good man, not a good man at all. But he does love Lily and that was his saving grace for this reader.

My review of the books can be found here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/05/07/flawed-by-felicity-brandon/ – here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/06/26/fallen-dark-necessities-prequel-by-felicity-brandon/ – and here – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2019/08/10/forbidden/.


Embers (Special Agent BDSM #5)
by C.P. Mandara

Embers? There are no embers, this is a raging inferno!

Talk about twisted plots and deception upon deception, just who is in cahoots with who? I’m fairly certain we can trust James, well most of the time, and Adie seems fairly sweet, in that twisted sadist way. Lois continues to be amazing, hard as nails but she is also so caring and warm too.

There is a lot of kink, some of it quite sadistic, along with the usual fast paced and exciting plot. Embers had me spellbound from the first page to the last, for me it was sheer perfection. Yes I’m impatient about getting to the end of the story, but then I always am, and if I’m totally honest I’ll also hate leaving this fantastic world and the hot, sexy and very kinky trio that inhabit it.

This is part of an ongoing series and can not be read as a stand alone, but it is well worth reading them all. Book #1 is the lightest of the bunch, it’s a very hot BDSM read, they all are, with subsequent books having darker and darker themes. (Though I wouldn’t call it a dark read per se). The suspense/peril elements have you on the edge of your seat and just as you get ‘comfortable’ another shocking revelation tips you off balance again.

I have LOVED this series, loved this book just as much and am massively looking forward to the final book, Ashes.


I did the unthinkable. I slept with James. It wasn’t as if I had a choice – but now that the deed is done, I am paying the price. One more mistake, and I’m dead.

At the moment, I’m doing my best to make sure he can’t stand the sight of me. It’s not working. Every day we spend together is torture, and the more I am around the man, the more I want him. We can’t get this close and hope to stay alive.

Our next assignment will push us to the limit in every way that matters. I’m not even sure we can work together after what I’ve done to him, but we have to rescue Adie, who is being held hostage.

Our goal is to kill Alain, but the chances of us achieving that are virtually impossible. I can work with those odds, though. There is no other option

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.

Special Agent BDSM #4

FIRE by C.P. Mandara


I’m just loving this series more and more. The only problem with it is the cliff-hanger I’ve been left dangling on! The intrigue, the twists, the shenanigans and the scheming leave you reeling, just when one character seems to make some headway the other two are dragged into the pits of hell.

There are times when you don’t know whether to kiss James and Adie or thump them, and in the middle of it all is Lois, trying to save her men and kill the bad guy. There are some disturbingly hot and kinky scenes, some quite dark scenes and one complete and utter incarnation of evil trying to control/destroy James, Adie and Lois.

The push and pull, the ups and downs, the highs and lows are amazing. The story had me on the edge of my seat, alternately full of anxiety, hot under the collar, angry, sad and just about everything in between.  Ms Mandara has me utterly and totally hooked on this series, craving my next fix like a crack addict. All I can say is GET WRITING WOMAN, I need my next shot asap!

PS I’m also questioning her sanity or morality as surely no one should be able to dream up such a twisted story 😉 – but I love her for it and I’m glad she did!

I am the pawn in a twisted game of revenge. Two men want me, but for entirely different reasons. The one I love must avoid me at all costs. If he doesn’t, I’ll be slaughtered by his enemy – Alain Dumortier. If James Leveritt touches the same woman twice, she’s dead.
Do I fear death? No. Is it something I want drawn out over two weeks as my lover watches me slowly bleed to death? That would be another no.
I need to figure a way out of this mess that won’t end in pain, death, and destruction. I want my life back. It will not be easy – it might even be impossible – but if I go down, I’m going down fighting.


AMAZON US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TFNLWNZ/
AMAZON UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07TFNLWNZ/


FLAMES by C.P. Mandara


I both love and hate Ms Mandara for this book (and series). She’s like a cat toying with a mouse, but in this case it’s her writing toying with my mind!!!! Half the time I’m a little confused about what’s happening. Not in a bad ‘this author can’t write’ way but in the good ‘Oh my word I think my mind’s been blown’ way. Reading Flames is like stepping onto the wildest of roller coaster rides – if you’re British think ‘Smiler’ only twice as fast and four times as crazy.


We get more answers but these are immediately replaced with more questions. We get some shocking revelations but they themselves lead to more unknowns. This book is less dark, more erotic than book 2, though it ends on a real nasty (in all ways) cliffhanger. I was totally mesmerised by this instalment and am pleased that book #4 has just release – though I’m already worried that I’ll be left on another nail biting cliffie because it’s only just live.

This is the book where we continue to fall more and more in love with Lois. God I either want to be her or sleep with her, even though I’m straight and have been happily married for almost 25 years! We eventually get James and Adie POV chapters, and what an amazing pair they are. I can’t pick a side, one minute I’m #TeamJames, the next I’m #TeamAdie. Mainly though I’m #TeamLois and can’t wait to see her kick some bad guy butt.

If you think you’d enjoy a kinky, thrills and spills, suspense filled well written, fast paced story then look no further than this series.

4.75 stars

I’ve been left in the hands of a monster. He’s beaten me up, torn my flesh to ribbons, and tried to steal my soul – but even though I crave death, my body refuses to die. 

Just when I begin to think that there is no God, an angel arrives to save me. Now it’s James Leveritt against Alain Dumortier with my life riding in the balance. I’m in love with both of them, but I’ll need to kill one if I want to survive.

The stakes have never been higher. 


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.


Smoke (Special Agent BDSM, #2) by C.P. Mandara

This ends on a doozy of a cliffhanger, but thankfully book #3 is already available!

The book isn’t a stand alone read and currently there are 4 books in the series, with more to follow. If the rest of the books are as gripping and well written as this, then I will definitely be continuing with the series until the end.

Whilst I guessed one of the twists fairly early on, to be honest it didn’t make any difference to my enjoyment because it just added to the suspense of waiting for Lois/Thirty Eight to discover the truth! There were also still plenty of unexpected twists and C.P. Mandara’s writing fills your head with so many possibilities and ideas that it is impossible to predict what will happen next.

I seemed to get into this book more than I did Sparks , I think it’s because we got to the ‘Carte Blanche’ part that I was itching for. In a similar fashion to the Pony Tales series, this book is more along the lines of erotica. There are a couple of occasions where Lois is subjected to abuse, but as we don’t experience the scenes first hand the book didn’t feel too dark.

The best thing is that whilst I can picture how the series might end, I have zero idea of where the journey in between will take us. What I do know is that it’s a journey I’m 100% intent on taking.

4.25 stars


I’ve been sold to Alain Dumortier. I was delivered to his doorstep naked as the day I was born, and two weeks later I haven’t got a stitch of clothing to my name. 

This should have been an easy assignment. Get in, have him fall under my spell, grab every little piece of intel I can find, and then assassinate him. They were simple instructions, and ones I’d followed countless times before. What could go wrong?

Just about everything. Alain’s kept me imprisoned and drugged up to my eyeballs. The mind games he’s playing are nearly my undoing, but it’s hard battling a body that’s full of barbiturates or opium. There’s one more problem, too. 

I think I’m falling in love with the bastard.

And that was how our story began. Little did I realise, but even though I was half in love with James back then, I would soon forget all about him in less than two weeks time. As unbelievable as it sounds, it was the truth. When the doors of Carte Blanche opened for me, they would strip my world bare, and I’ve never been a girl who was fond of black and white. Though James had tried his best to warn me, it wasn’t until I was on the road of no return that I realised I had made the biggest mistake of my life. All alone, and with no one to turn to, I’d made my bed, but lying in it was almost impossible. Alain Dumortier was out for blood.



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.


SPARKS (Special Agent BDSM #1) by C.P. Mandara

An intriguing opening to the series.

There are a few points I feel I need to make before I get onto the actual review of the book. Firstly this ends in a cliff-hanger and I know there are at least 3 more books in the series. The romance aspect (hopefully) builds later through the series, though there is plenty of action and attraction in this book. However I would describe the content of this particular instalment as erotica, really, really good erotica with a few little mind-f**ks dropped in for fun.

The book is written first person and entirely from Lois’ point of view. Much as I love dual point of views, there are secrets being kept that necessitate the single in this case. ‘Lois’ (and is that really her name?) is a complex character, and whilst we know her surface motivations there are so many other reasons that drive her actions. Some we can guess at, others will no doubt be revealed at the relevant time. It was harder to get a complete picture of James, and again it is clear he has many secrets behind that rock steady facade.

I can understand why the author chose to end the book where she did, it does make sense to break the story at that point and it is possible to read Sparks as simply an erotic encounter and to take the story no further (though you would be left with questions). However, despite being engrossed by the story a couple of times I did feel as though we weren’t making enough progress. The vast majority of the book revolves around sexual scenes, mainly ‘training/preparing’ Lois to (pretend to) be a sexual slave. However the cleverness of the writing, particularly in the mental power plays and the inner thoughts of Lois, lifts this out of being simply erotic porn and into being a really good story.

On balance I thought this was a great opener and am itching to read the rest of the series. I do recommend this book.

Gold star



“I am going to break you.

That’s the whole purpose of this exercise. From the moment the door inside that room closes, I am not going to be Mr. Nice Guy. I am going to do everything in my power to hear you scream, and I won’t stop until I hear you beg for mercy. Do you wish to proceed on that basis?”

Today my name is Lois Reeves. I have an appointment with my new boss, James Leverett, this morning because my next assignment requires that I assassinate one of the biggest gangsters in the world. This is a suicide mission that is almost guaranteed to get me killed, but I have to accept it. To refuse would mean death – and not just mine. This guy who I’m about to kill is lining up everyone I hold dear, and preparing to take them out one by one. This is every assassin’s worst nightmare, and this is the hell within which I now live.

At least the first task of the evening would be easy. Opening up my right palm to reveal the treasure hidden within, I grinned to myself. There nestled inside my hand was a set of car keys. Sporting the familiar three triangle emblem, they were the keys to a Mercedes saloon. When I landed on the floor, on my knees in front of him, I didn’t actually think he’d shoot me, but it wasn’t worth taking the risk. It also gave me ample opportunity to land heavily against him and whip his keys out of his pocket. I’d had a feeling I might need them, and my hunch had proved correct. Opening the car was going to be a cinch. Everything after that would be a bastard, but at least the car would be relatively painless. 
Pressing my ear to the door, I listened for sounds of movement outside. I gave it a minute, but in that time I heard nothing. Maybe James had decided I wasn’t much of a threat with my arms tied, and had finally gone to bed. It was time to find out. 
Pulling the door lever down sharply, to minimise the resulting squeak, I paused and listened intently. It was still deathly quiet. Good. Then I pulled back and… nothing. What the hell? My jaw dropped. He’d locked me in! How had I missed that? Geez, I was slipping. No wonder there wasn’t a sound to be heard. The man had nothing to worry about. I was locked in a room with my hands tied up. How much trouble could I be?
Urrghh. Next time I came on assignment I was going to hide my lock picking kit in an internal cavity. Honestly. Biting my lip in frustration, I did a few deep yoga breaths to get some perspective on the situation. In through the nose and out through the mouth. In through the nose, sod that. What was I thinking? Where did I need to be? Outside. Were there any other exits out of the room? Yes. There was a window. Was it locked? I ran over to check. No. Fan-bloody-tastic. This could still work.

C.P. Mandara is a USA TODAY BestSelling Author


BEAUTIFUL TEARS (Enemies to Lovers #1) by C.P. Mandara

Over on Goodreads, this is the Dark Erotica groups BOTM for August and I was only to happy to join in for this book. I very much enjoyed the story, once or twice I felt the pace slowed and that the story wasn’t moving forward as quickly as I’d like, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment. The author has written two complex characters who you shouldn’t like but somehow you do. S he doesn’t hold her punches and whilst we don’t experience some of the more horrific events as they occur, we do still get to hear about them and suffer the consequences of them.

The writing, plot and characters all combined together to produce a captivating read. There are some incredibly hot BDSM type scenes, though they do contain elements of non-consent/dubious consent. However there is no rape and only really one incident of true physical abuse. The book easily held my attention and it was really easy to read.

Whilst the book is set in the UK, it has clearly been adapted to appeal to the larger US market, neither of the protagonist names are typical of England (or the UK as a whole) but that isn’t a ‘biggie’. I did have an issue with a twist at the end, based on the fact that Brandt had served time in prison I can’t see how that trip would be possible, but since the book ends BEFORE that trip I will withhold further judgement. (Edited to add – the author discussed the book with us and yes she is aware of this and does have alternative plans!)

This was certainly good enough of a read that i will definitely be continuing with the series. I’m also happy to recommend it to others, as long as they are ok with dubious consent, non-consensual BDSM without intercourse and the blurb appeals to them!

4.25 stars

Five years ago I told a lie that would land Brandt Browning – local hero and heir to the Mentley Mill fortune – in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

I ruined his life with three small words. “He did it.” I didn’t even have to be there to testify in court. It was too easy.

But that was five years ago. And now Brandt has been released.

He’s coming for me.

This time I’m not waiting around. I’m going to run so far away that no one will ever find me. The trouble is, you can’t hide from money. Eventually Brandt will catch up with me, and when he does, he’ll want payment in blood.

I’m not strong enough to resist the pull between us. If that man gets his hands on me he’ll realise I’m still half in love with him – and that can only end in disaster.

AMAZON US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TWSV96D/

AMAZON UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07TWSV96D/

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46777971-beautiful-tears