Top 5… Books With A One Word Title

Top 5… Books With A One Word Title

Top 5 is a weekly meme hosted by Devouring Books, where each Saturday you share your Top 5 books on a given theme. The idea is to tag 5 other blogs, but I don’t seem to have much luck with tagging people from WordPress, so if you’re interested in writing your own post then consider yourself tagged!

Kate Canterbary was one of the many authors I discovered soon after I got my first e-reader. She’s one of the few who I still read to this day, a fact made even more impressive by the fact that “just” contemporary romance doesn’t feature very high on my TBR list these days.
Preservation was the final book of a wonderfully written, very salty, incredibly steamy and full of feels series based around the Walsh family. It is the story of the youngest brother, Riley, and his special someone. To truly appreciate all that is Riley, from his man-bun to his eclectic dress sense (including a propensity to not do up his flies), his love of all things super-hero and his gift of giving people nicknames, you really need to read the whole series. There was so much hype, so much expectation for his story, that I was worried it would prove to be a disappointing let down. It wasn’t, in fact it was the cherry and icing on a delicious, not-to-be-bested cake of delightful love stories.

Title – Preservation (The Walshes #7)
Author – Kate Canterbary
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31084536-preservation

Two lonely hearts.
Just once, she’d like to be someone’s first choice.
She’s strong-willed and spunky, but she’s left picking up the pieces from her ex’s lies and manipulations, and daydreaming about taking a scalpel to his scrotum.
Flying under the radar is what he does best.
He’s laid-back and loyal, but he wants the most off-limits woman in his world, and nothing will ever make that a reality.
An arrangement of mutual benefit.

Two months, four dates.
Five, if things go well.
Five at the most.
But possibly six.
Definitely no more than six dates.
Only the appearance of a romantic relationship is required, and they expect nothing more from their time together. There will be none of those benefits involved.
One wild weekend.
After waking up in bed together—very naked and even more hungover—the terms and conditions of their arrangement no longer apply. Now they’re faced with something riskier than exposing their fake relationship: letting go of the past and zipping up the future.
Some things have to fall apart before they can be put back together. 

Cari Silverwood writes in a genre all of her own. Her men range from flat out bad through to good but with devious tendencies. Her heroines are strong and smart but with a craving to submit to the delicious torment their heroes devise. Dry wit and humour are always part of the mix, along with sound world building and entertaining plots.
Blade is the story of two people travelling through space an a glorious quest, accompanied by a sentient sword who likes to chat, and can be read as a stand alone.

Title – Blade (Dark Monster Fantasy #3)
Author – Cari Silverwood
Genre – Dark Sci-Fi Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41825438-blade

When irresistible force meets irresistible girl more than sparks will fly – fur, spiky bits, and possibly tentacles.
Ledderik is a slightly homicidal cyborg and is ready to lose himself in a virtual world for the rest of his tomorrows, until he saves Thorn from death and gets sucked into the wake of her cataclysmic siren attraction.
Maybe life can be fun?
Besides, she has such a cute … tail.
One small problem, Led no longer owns his body.
Thorn has also lost everything in one day. Cross out being a starship captain or her own species, or having friends. Instead she’s been cursed with being a hurricane force sexual magnet.
She has questions.

Why is she a biohazard on most reputable planets and how can she avoid triggering an extinction event and killing every male nearby? The two of them cross the galaxy, with Led swapping from loaner body to loaner body.
He’s the one male who can resist her, and he’s upskilling.
Up against the wall? Upside down? With tentacles and DD drilling power? Led is good at what he does. Always.
Meet the hot ex-cyborg who no longer looks in the mirror, in case his latest loaner body is ugly. He has one priority – make sure the downstairs department is BIG.
Warning. This story may contain robots, cyborgs, dark naughtiness, and species that come equipped with extra wriggly bits.

If you visit here frequently, you’ll be aware that I may feature this author rather a lot. The 1000 Revolutions is one of my favourite series by her, it boths surprises and saddens me to know that it isn’t a good seller. Maybe it has too much romance for those more into sci-fi and isn’t steamy/explicit enough for the romance audience. For those of us who love both genres this is the perfect blend and truly deserves greater recognition to my mind.
Caleb Sheppard is full of bad choices, One is a malfunctioning AI, Fran can be trusted just about as far as you can throw her and far too many have a bone to pick with them.

Title – Betrayal (1000 Revolutions #1)
Author – Pippa DaCosta
Genre – Science Fiction Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35496899-betrayal

WARNING. Rated: R. Restricted. Contains space battles, killer AI, intergalactic ass-kicking. Read at own risk.
She is programmed to kill.
He’ll do anything to survive.

Ex-con Captain Caleb Shepperd believes being good is overrated. All he wants is to smuggle illegal cargo through the nine systems and live a prosperous (likely short) life on the wrong side of the law.
But there’s a problem with that plan. The priceless synthetic stowaway on his ship is a distraction he doesn’t need.
Torn between selling her and tossing her out the airlock, Shepperd fails to realize the synth is a killer, and he’s the one locked in her sights.
In a world where only one thousand synthetics were built, synthetic number One Thousand and One should not exist. She is no ordinary synth. Memories locked inside her code could bring Shepperd—and the entire nine systems—to its knees.
Captain Shepperd and the oppressive corporations are about to learn that you can’t hide from the sins of your past, especially when that past has orders to kill.

Elin Peer is a relationship coach, and that feeds into her romances, which avoid all the cliches and usual tropes of a contemporary romance. What I can rely on is reading a story where characters actually discuss their feelings and share concerns, though they are far from perfect. I also know that I will get a story filled with emotion and genuine feelings.

Title – Blue (Clashing Colors #4)
Author – Elin Peer
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33287651-blue

Am I the only one who purrs inside when I hear a deep male voice with a sexy Scottish accent?
Logan MacKay is a complicated man, scarred from a plane crash that left him gloomy and withdrawn. And yet, when we speak on the phone, the confident and flirtatious man he used to be, comes out to play. Of course, he has no idea that ‘Mary’, the stranger he flirts with on the phone, is me.

To him, I’m Faith. The too happy cheerleader who brings out his anxiety for beautiful women. It’s not that I want a relationship with him. I just want to help him past his ridiculous belief that all women find him unattractive because of his scars. Damaged people like Logan, are the whole reason I’m studying to be a psychologist. With my eternal optimism, I can fix Logan. I know I can.
If only he would stop scowling at me and say yes to my brilliant idea of taking me in as his roommate.
I’m broke and need a place to stay, and he needs help with the house chores. What could possibly go wrong?

Cassandra Faye is the paranormal/fantasy alter ego of Jennifer Bene. In Fae we get the same darkness that we have come to expect, but with magic, gods and intrigue. This story held me rapt from the beginning to the end, with a tough as nails heroine and a hero with unexpected warmth and reserve. From the world building, to the plot, pace and characterisation I loved every single moment.

Title – Fae (Daughters of Eltera #1)
Author – Cassandra Faye
Genre – Dark Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30341325-fae

Chosen. Cursed. Enslaved.
Fae just wants to live day to day. She doesn’t want to think about a future filled with another two thousand years of servitude. She doesn’t want to think about her past, or the way she failed the goddess she swore to serve forever. And she really doesn’t want to think about the men and women that suffer around her every day while she can’t protect them – no matter how hard she tries.
She’s definitely not ready when her entire world is turned upside down and the one person she would never choose to spend a minute with shows up. After millennia of suffering, is it even possible to trust someone? To let herself believe that good still exists?
Damned. Cursed. Corrupted.
Kiernan doesn’t know what he wants. After centuries of bloodshed, and war, and killing – he’s waking up, and if the things he dreams in his sleep were only nightmares that would be one thing, but they’re all real. The only light in his darkness is a girl inside a glass, and he can’t stop watching her. Her bravery fascinates him, inspires him. Her suffering is what he deserves.
Yet some part of him craves more, craves something good. But is there anything that can be done when gods have used you as pawns in their own war? Can good things come out of evil?

So that’s my top 5 – what books would you choose?

REVIEW //\\ Nathan



Nathan (Cultivated #4) by Elin Peer





Is it ok to be jealous of a character in a book? Because I may be a little jealous of Serena.


Nathan, our title character is just such an amazing guy. He’s alpha without being overwhelming, caring without being overbearing and sweet without being too soft. The fact that he was willing to “play” Serena in their first meeting in the book shows that he is fallible and not Mr Perfect, which only made him more relatable and human. Serena is equally likable and “real”, a victim of the media storm which surrounds them, but also not totally innocent of indulging in the publicity machine.


There are hidden depths to this story. Questions asked and situations created that on one level bring entertainment and enjoyment, but also designed to make you consider the impact of how your words and actions can have a deep impact on others. I loved how Elin Peer brought us a story about trust, not just of trusting the other person but of trusting yourself and your emotions. Trusting your heart and instincts.


This is so much more than just a romance, in fact so very different to your “typical” romance. Unlike most stories, the love, the connection, the declarations are the easy part – it’s life and circumstances that throw spanners into the works. And its how the protagonists face these challenges, how they choose to react, that sets this authors work apart from so many others. There are no “too stupid to live” moments, no ridiculous and highly unlikely decisions, no forced conflict. Just a wonderful and absorbing story.







People say that being in love is the best feeling in the world.
What a bloody lie!
I hate that I’m in love with Serena and that she used me to get what she wanted.
What good is it that my heart and body is a twisted mess of longing for her when I’m also furious with her for hurting my sister, River?
I don’t care if Serena is a Hollywood star — no one messes with my family!

Nathan is a man with too many ghosts in his past to stand still and face them. After being dismissed from the army for anger management issues, he’s traveling the world and setting records in extreme sports.

When a plot to get back at Serena for hurting his sister goes wrong, Nathan is front and center in a media storm that brings up his tragic past once again. This time, there’s no outrunning it. Nathan will need to prove that he’s more than what the media portray him as. But what if the media are also wrong about Serena?


Nathan’s story is the fourth installment in Elin Peer’s romance series, Cultivated. Readers find it impossible to put down and rave about the characters jumping off the page.

To avoid spoilers, this series is best read in order.

First Lines Friday



If you want to learn more about First Lines Fridays, hop on over to Wandering Words, where the meme is hosted. They pose the interesting question of “What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

The challenge is to pick a book you’ve read, are currently reading or even one from your TBR list and open it to the first page. Share the first few lines and then, after making your audience wait, and wait a little bit more, reveal the book.

First Lines Friday


Holding my breath, I pressed my back against the wall and whimpered low as death crept closer. With bulging eyes, I watched the snake’s body slither from side to side while it’s head aimed straight at me.
He was enormous, with a skull larger than mine, and a body so long that I couldn’t see where its tail ended.







Nathan (Cultivated Book 4) by Elin Peer


This book releases tomorrow, and I’ll be featuring my review of it then. This is just a little teaser for now.


People say that being in love is the best feeling in the world. What a bloody lie!
I hate that I’m in love with Serena and that she used me to get what she wanted. What good is it that my heart and body is a twisted mess of longing for her when I’m also furious with her for hurting my sister, River? I don’t care if Serena is a Hollywood star — no one messes with my family!

Nathan is a man with too many ghosts in his past to stand still and face them. After being dismissed from the army for anger management issues, he’s traveling the world and setting records in extreme sports.
When a plot to get back at Serena for hurting his sister goes wrong, Nathan is front and center in a media storm that brings up his tragic past once again. This time, there’s no outrunning it. Nathan will need to prove that he’s more than what the media portray him as. But what if the media are also wrong about Serena?
Nathan’s story is the fourth installment in Elin Peer’s romance series, Cultivated. Readers find it impossible to put down and rave about the characters jumping off the page.



IM!WAYR?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Date. It’s a chance to share the good, the bad and the ugly of your recent reads, as well as looking forward to the reading week ahead.


Books I Read Last Week


I had a real binge reading week – including the incredible Reign Trilogy by Zoey Ellis. The other 4 books were all arc reads that release this week. If I had to pick one to recommend, it would be Black Light: Charmed by Jennifer Bene, though Nathan by Elin Peer is a very close second.


What Am I Currently Reading?





What I Also Hope To Read Soon


Book Review – Lumi by Elin Peer

LUMI (Cultivated #3) by Elin Peer

A difficult and heart breaking path to a truly beautiful love story.


I adored Lumi and Damien’s story, which is told both in present day along with clearly defined flashbacks to the past. This allows a well paced reveal of many untold and unknown events that have shaped the people they are today. Once started I didn’t want to put this down, the excellent writing and engaging storyline kept me hooked. The emotions pour of the page and this was definitely a “box of tissues” read.

There were times when I would have liked to have felt more emotion from Damien, mainly in the past and particularly following his first night with Lumi. His decision, which I understood, didn’t come with enough angst and soul searching to convince me of the depth of his feelings at that time. He seemingly made his decision too easily . However in the whole scheme of things it was a minor wrinkle in an otherwise amazing story.

Lumi and Damien are both well written, rounded characters. Neither was perfect and Lumi in particular had issues to work through. The concept of the forced physical (but not sexual) intimacy was a really interesting plot device, providing drama and tension alongside some truly thought provoking moments. The story never felt cliched or predictable.

Elin Peer ‘s flawless storytelling is a joy to experience, her finely crafted characters are both believable and likeable. She totally convinced me of the strong connection between Lumi and Damien, as well as the depth of their feelings. She also teased us with both Nathan and River’s struggles, leaving me desperate for more of this family.








Damian took a bullet for me when I was seventeen.
He didn’t ask for my heart in return, but it’s been his ever since.
We are as different as night and day. He’s fun-loving and outgoing while I’m skeptical of new people and prefer to avoid social events.

So, why did I agree to be handcuffed to him for a full week in the name of science? It’s not because he dared me to do it, or because I need the money that comes with it. I’m the CFO of Solver Industries, after all.
It’s because I’m turning twenty-nine, and I’m sick and tired of my heart comparing every man to Damian when my brain knows full well that he’s far from perfect.

If my plan works, an overdose of the large Irishman should kill my crush on him and finally set me free.

Lumi is the third installment in Elin Peer’s psychological drama series, Cultivated. Readers rave about Elin Peer’s ability to make the characters jump off the page and stay in your thoughts for a long time after you close the book. If you love romance with depth, a fast pace, a bit of steam, and some great dialogue, then you’ve found your next read.




If you’ve already read the first two books in the series, Charlie and Atlas, then this is a no brainer. Buy Lumi on pre-sale and have it delivered straight to your Kindle App the moment it goes live on Amazon on Valentine’ day February 14th.



Amazon US _ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0823FRFVX
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0823FRFVX


Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49251158-lumi




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.

CULTIVATED #2

ATLAS (Cultivated #2)
by Elin Peer


MY REVIEW – 4.5 STARS

One of the things I really love about this author’s work is that you get so much more than just a love story. Her characters are multi-faceted and have incredible depth, so much so that you feel as though they might step off the page and into your life. The plots are always amazing, avoiding all the usual cliches yet complex and thought provoking too.

Atlas is such a conflicted character, ashamed of his sexually dominant nature, convinced he’s inherited psychopathic tendencies from his father. Jolene is a wonderfully strong and determined heroine, so very real in her actions and reactions. Atlas is haunted by his past, Jolene is hunted by a very real present day threat. The question is can this unlikely pair overcome the barriers they have placed between themselves.

I found myself emotionally invested in the characters and their story, found myself caring about their lives, hopes and dreams. With several different plot strands that cleverly weave together into a rich tapestry, Atlas is one fabulous, well written, and incredibly captivating read.








Is there a place for a man with a troubled past and a dark psyche?

Warning: Don’t pick up this book unless you have the capacity to embrace the imperfect and see light in the darkness.
It’s not a sweet romance, but it does have a satisfying end.


This book dives into the darkest corners of Atlas’ mind. He’s the son of a cult leader and battles some serious inner demons.

There were darling readers in my review team who couldn’t stomach his dominant nature or the fact that we get to see what his father did that disgusted Atlas so much. That scene was important though, because it shows why Atlas’ biggest fear is that he’s just like his father.





People think that I’m a nice guy.
They’re wrong!
What they see is the polished, non-threatening, good guy that I want them to see.
It helps distract them from the darkness within me.
No one can know that I have a sick mind like my dad, the infamous monster from the Red Manor Cult.
Except, unlike him, I suppress my urge to dominate, hurt, and control.
Every day, I tell myself that I’m NOT my father; that I’m a better man.
But after Jolene began working for me, my control is slipping.
It feels like there’s a wolf inside me, stirring, growling, and pushing to get to Jolene. The fantasies of the disturbing things the wolf wants to do to her, haunts me.
I can’t allow the wolf to get control over me… or Jolene!

**This is not a stand-alone. You must read Charlie(Cultivated #1) first.





Available in Kindle Unlimited
Buy Links:
US: https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Cultivated-Book-E…/…/B07Y49YYLD
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atlas-Cultivated-Book…/…/B07Y49YYLD
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Atlas-Cultivated-Book-El…/…/B07Y49YYLD



About the author:
Elin Peer is the author of the popular series, Men of the North, Clashing Colors, and the Slave Series. Her books are fast-paced, thought-provoking, and always offer humor and a solid romance story at the core.

Website: http://elinpeer.com/

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.

FORBIDDEN LETTERS (Men of the North #0.5) by Elin Peer

Quite simply this is Elin Peer at her very best

Whilst we’ve actually seen the end of the Men of the North series, this prequel gives us some insight into how and why the Motlanders and the Northmen grew so far apart. Elin’s narrative is not only that of a love story but also a warning of how divided we can become over the simplest of issues.

I adored this story and, if like me, you have read the rest of the series, it was so enlightening. It shows a time when the differences between the two nations were actually much less. A missed opportunity to build bridges rather than walls. Knowing the love of two very wonderful people led to even more suspicion, distrust and a worsening of relations between the Motherlands and the North was, at times, heartbreaking. A rather chilling analogy to so much of human history where something good has been twisted into something to fear.

Forbidden Letters is a beautiful story of love across the divide but also a warning of what happens when we allow prejudice and fear to lead our decision making. Whilst it is an amazing work of fiction, it also draws some eerie and foreboding parallels to the political situation in so many countries at the moment, my own included. Yet at no point does this ever feel as though the author is trying to force her views on us, but it does open ones eyes and elicit deeper contemplation at times. It’s also one heck of an emotion packed, full of feels love story.

For some reason Devina reminded me of Christina, though she was a much ‘freer’ Motlander due to living in a different era. She had the caring-sharing ethos of the Motherlands, but was much less of a conformer to societal expectations and so much more of a free thinker. Tyton was perhaps more like Finn, a much milder N’man than some of the later protagonists. I totally and utterly fell in love with this pair, thankfully they get a much better ending than Romeo and Juliet did, even though I consider their love story to be just as wonderful as that of the star-crossed lovers.

This book took me through the gamut of emotions with a story that has carved itself a special place within my heart. I won’t quote them, because of spoilers, but some of those lines in the epilogue were like a punch to the gut. I could feel them squeezing my heart!

I really can’t recommend this book enough. The writing, the story, the pace and the characters do not disappoint but are all outstanding.

AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / GOODREADS

BLURB

Curiosity has the ability to turn the smartest person into a reckless fool. 

“Few dared live as close to the border as us. Not even the long-standing peace treaty between our two nations could make people forget how the savage Men of the North used to hunt down and kidnap women here.”

If only Devina hadn’t been so damned curious by nature, she would have never picked up that letter thrown across the Northern wall. Now, she is horrified to see that it’s from a teenage girl who is only weeks away from being auctioned off in a bridal tournament. With no time to waste, Devina is determined to help the girl escape, even if it means putting herself in danger. 

Forbidden Letters is a stand-alone prequel to Elin Peer’s wildly popular dystopian romance series, Men of the North. 
The entire series is out, so if you like binge reading there will be no waiting for the next installment.

Get this book and see why readers are raving about the masterful dialogue and unexpected plotline.

THE PACIFIST – Elin Peer

Men of the North #10 – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


The Pacifist is the 10th and final book in the Men of the North series. Whilst many of the books can be read as a stand alone, and indeed the romance part of this could be, it also ties together an ongoing back story. For that reason I would recommend reading at least the previous two books in the series. (The Athlete and The Fighter)

Whilst the underlying theme of the book, and series, has been finding common ground and compromise, this book dealt with those themes outside of the relationship. In The Fighter we had a woman fighting to overcome prejudices in the Northlands, whereas The Pacifist deals with a Motlander man trying to change his country for the better. 

If you’ve read any of the other books, particularly the earlier ones in the series, you will know that Mila has lived in the Northlands since she was a young girl. With her gentle nature and kind soul, she captured the hearts of all those who met her. She particularly captured the love of Magni, one of the roughest, toughest and meanest of the N’men. Mila is a delightful heroine, she really grew emotionally during the book and even became somewhat of a temptress!

Jonah was a delight, a man not afraid to question injustice and stand up for what he believed in. There were times when he was so dense I wanted to shake him, but at the same time I loved how it was the woman who was the sexual aggressor in this story (or at least initially).



There is so much more to this book than just the ‘mere’ romance. Though it also demonstrates that romance is so very important in life and is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact there are a lot of messages in this book that, if followed, would make the world a much better place in which to live!

We get to see many familiar faces, along with a few new ones, and it was wonderful to catch up on their lives. Whilst I’m sad to see the end of the series, and this wonderful bunch of characters, it was also great to see the start of a more positive future for them too.



Blurb

A promise is a promise but this promise is one I should have never made. 

Mila, a sweet pacifist born in the Motherlands, has avoided conflicts all her life. Now, living in the Northlands with the ruling family who adopted her, she’s under pressure to follow the traditions of the North and let fierce warriors fight for her hand in marriage. 

But how can she marry if it means giving up on her friendship with Jonah, the first male councilman in the Motherlands and her closest friend? Every night they talk, laugh, and share their darkest secrets. 

Will Mila find a voice strong enough to say no, and is she willing to jeopardize her family’s political power for Jonah, who most likely wants nothing but a platonic friendship with her? Or does he? 

The Pacifist is the tenth and last book in Elin Peer’s wildly successful Men of the North series. Don’t miss out on this epic ending to a great dystopian adventure that offers suspense, humor, and romance. 

Purchase
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NCQ5W12
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NCQ5W12