Friday Book Blogger Hop

 The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books. It is now hosted by Billy @Coffee Addicted Writings. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

Today’s question is
“Do you read books by authors from outside your country?
Any book recommendations?
Also, if non-US/UK, could you name one author/book from your country?” (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)


Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

First of all thank you to Kristin for a really great discussion starter! So, yes I do read books by authors from outside my country. I’m UK based and actually read very few UK authors, though I do read some. For me I read mainly US, Aussie, Canadian and NZ authors, though I am currently beta reading for a French author and recently finished beta reading for an author whose first language is Spanish.

Personally I find the Aussie and New Zealand authors have a voice more in tune with my own English one. Colloquialisms, dialect and figures of speech are much easier to translate or are even ones that I use, sometimes it feels as though American English is a completely different language!

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

So for non-US and non-UK authors I would recommend Cari Silverwood, Sorcha Black, Cassie-Ann L Miller and Nicolina Martin.

30 Day Book Challenge

Day #17 – Dystopian

The book I’m featuring today has just had a new cover so it’s providence that today’s prompt allows me to highlight I Am Eve, by Nicolina Martin. I absolutely adored this book, it’s a very touching, intense and hauntingly beautiful. It’s not too “way out there” and I would highly recommend it to those who like an well written, finely crafted romance.

Review // I Am Eve

Photo by Mochammad Algi on Pexels.com

I Am Eve by Nicolina Martin

This story is intense and so hauntingly beautiful.


Set in a dystopian near future, I Am Eve is the heartrending story of two damaged individuals. The outcast – feared, judged, tormented – and the lost one – hurt, angry, scared. A bonding of souls, a visceral fusing on the deepest of levels, forged by a loneliness that is painful to witness. I adored this lyrically poetic story of two broken halves fusing to form the most gloriously prepossessing whole.

He smells of strength and kindness, but also of a sorrow that eats at his insides and hollows him out.

Adam and Eve’s story is one of hope, of resilience, of trust and of love. They shared their screams, creating something wonderful and amazing from them. Most of the story features our two main characters together so, despite my intolerance for all things insta-love, I completely believed in the strength of their connection. I trusted the way that they completed one another and gave credence to how it soothed the bone deep ache whose existence had never been acknowledged.

As I lean in and plant a kiss on her hip, I realize that’s exactly what has happened. She has seen me. Our few short hours together have been cathartic. I’ve rarely experienced such a sense of peace with anyone.

Eve was easy to connect with, and love, from the start. She is a strong woman, despite a life filled with rejection and hate. The way she saw through her other senses was wonderful and I loved how she described in smells and emotions. Adam deliberately took longer to get to know, here is a man closed off from life, full of guilt, pain and sorrow, destructive and maybe self destructive. It takes Eve’s sightless eyes seeing him for Adam to find the man he once was, the man he wanted to be.

Or I can be who she thinks I am. The man she sees in me that I didn’t even know was still in there.

Photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels.com

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I Am Eve by Nicolina Martin

Dystopian/ Apocalyptic Romance

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53652588-i-am-eve

I survived the fall of civilization, but I didn’t live… until I met him.
Adam is not a good man. He’s a criminal. A warlord. Someone who takes without asking. He is guarded and cold. But that’s not all he is. He’s also a father. A leader. A battered soul who refuses to stop fighting.
I’m blind, but I see the real man behind the wounded, world-weary façade, and I want him more than I’ve ever wanted anything. His touch sets my skin ablaze. He fills my house with laughter and light, and then leaves me with a gift that might bring life to a dying world.
It seems our love can save… everything.

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.

Can’t Wait Wednesday

Can’t Wait Wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine


This week has felt long – and we’re only at Wednesday though, in contrast, the last few months have disappeared in the blink of an eye. Work is now a strange mix of some phone lessons, some sessions spent at the small centre where I am based, online meetings and emailing work to a few remaining students. It has been difficult to get into a routine as timings seem to change with every week that passes!


The two books I’m featuring today are both due for release in the next week or two. I love both these authors, they are both indie authors but that’s where the similarities end. Eva Dresden writes dark, dark omegaverse stories whilst Nicolina Martin has published several BDSM romances and a series of darker mafia romances. However both these books are very different to their prior work.

Title – I Am Eve
Author – Nicolina Martin
Genre – Dystopian Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53652588-i-am-eve
Blurb – Eve’s sculptures capture the cries of agony as the plague ravages mankind.
I call her the collector of tears.
I watch her, waiting, biding my time. Alone in her rickety castle she knows nothing of my intentions.
We’re the outcasts, the freaks, the dregs of this broken realm, but we will rise and I will make the strange artist my queen.
Hidden from sight, fiercely protected by her kin, untouched by any man.
Mine.
I’m the devil to her angel, and together we will save the world.

Title – Rite of Omega
Author – Eva Dresden
Genre – Fantasy Omegaverse Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50263074-rite-of-the-omega
Blurb – Orphan. Jealously guarded possession. The object of her cruel guardian’s desires. These are the only things Aida Vertia has known in her life. Locked away in the high towers of Logoria, the seat of Aeslomor, she has little contact with the outside world. Knowing nothing of its splendor and beauty, she sees only the cruelties within the sooty stone walls of her prison.
Then he comes on the crest of a raging inferno. Destroying everything she’s ever known. Freeing her from one prison for the cold, hard chains of the next.
They call him the Usurper. A blood crazed mage, no different than the one before.
Yet he is wholly different.
Forcing her to bend to his will, she is helpless to stop the way he makes her soul sing. No matter the murderous vengeance in his eyes or the vicious oaths he swears.
He claims she has a purpose that he’ll see fulfilled, but amid the ruins of her past, she’ll find a destiny far more devastating.

REVIEW //\\ Commanding Casey

Commanding Casey by Nicolina Martin

This story has more depth and complexity than most Domination/submission/spanking stories.


Having read, and loved, most of this author’s Russo Saga series (and if you haven’t read it yet you need to rectify that!) I of course couldn’t resist reading this story. Whilst it doesn’t have the darkness, the grittiness, of that series it DOES have the same great writing and a hero who needs the love of a good woman to save his sorry ass.


Nicolina Martin sure can write a damaged, cranky, dangerous but utterly sexy and totally desirable alpha-hole hero. Cole was both loveable and smack-around-the-head-able at the same time. No wonder Casey couldn’t resist him! His constant blowing hot and cold could have become irritating BUT I felt that we got enough of his mental battles, his emotional struggles to understand his inability to not be a complete dick most of the time.


Casey living, working and surviving in what was very much a man’s world meant that she never felt weak. Even when she maybe made silly choices (especially regarding Alex) they came from a desire to protect, or to not be dictated to. I really liked her, and her bravery in going after what she wanted, what she needed, from Cole.


I’ve read a fair few Stormy Nights books and you sort of get to know the ‘formula’ of them. However, whilst this stayed within their remit, it also felt like it offered so much more. More complexity in its characters, more depth from them, more conflict both between them and within them, more story, just… more.


I started reading this last night and gritty, tired 1 a.m. eyes were the only thing that stopped me completing this in one sitting. If you’re looking for a great story, with themes of power exchange, a redeemable bad boy and a tough take-no-prisoners heroine then you need to be reading this book right now.

Casey Keagan is fleeing from a man hellbent on destroying her.
I couldn’t care less. She needs to run somewhere else. Being a mechanic at a construction site in Alaska is no job for a girl, and I intend to put her on the next flight out.
She claims that she hates my guts, but her eyes tell a different story and her big mouth is going to get her into so much trouble one day. Trouble spelled Cole Hooper.
When her submissive side calls to the Dominant in me, it’s only a matter of time before she becomes my latest addiction. The dirty games we play are forbidden, and if we’re caught it will ruin us both.
I keep telling her it’s only temporary.
But telling her is one thing. Convincing myself is another.

REVIEW //\\ The Russo Saga Collection



Russo Saga Collection by Nicolina Martin


The Russo Collection is a set of interlinked stories, all with high heat levels, great characters and captivating plots. Several of the stories contain some violent scenes and there are also elements of dubious consent in some of the books. I can barely slide a cigarette paper between these books to choose my favourite, each has it’s own amazing heroine and redeemable bad boy, each is so full of emotional, so packed with feels that you will be transported into another world. However I do think the duet, Redemption and Absolution just pip the others to the post.

These are the type of stories that, once started, you simply can’t put down until you have read every word and reached the HEA. There is plenty of suspense, angst, anger, danger and scorching hot steam along the way. Heat is probably the lightest story out of the 6, with less violence and no dub-con elements. This has been rewritten and greatly improved on since it’s original release and the stories just seem to get better, and darker, from there.

Although there are 6 books there are 5 separate stories, all of which are fantastically written and an absolute pleasure to read. I cannot recommend this series/box set enough, both to those who love mafia romances, those who love darker reads and those who enjoy an excellent contemporary romance.



I’m a monster. Violence, pain, and power is my life. Nothing soft, nothing pure. My work as a mafia enforcer demands it. In my world, everything soft and pure dies.

She’s innocent. I have no business dirtying her with my touch.

But I can’t stay away.

Discover the entire collection of six, dark mafia romances and hot troubled bad boys featuring Heat, Ruin, Shame, Redemption, Absolution, and Capo.



Capo by Nicolina Martin


Capo by Nicolina Martin (Russo Saga, #6)

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (US only)
Thirty-One Jewelry Case and a Sterling Silver Celtic Knot Charm

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233524/


Published by: Blushing Books Publications
Publication date: January 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance




Synopsis:

You’ll die if you talk.

The warning haunts her every waking hour.

After a rough start, Chloe finally has financial stability, a place to call home, and friends she’d die for. It never occurred to her that the sentiment would be put to the test, but when her best friend gets on the wrong side of infamous mob boss, Luciano Salvatore, Chloe intervenes, sealing her own fate.

Salvatore never intends for Chloe Becker to live. Beaten to within an inch of her life by his most ruthless enforcer, she still stands tall, refusing to bend to his will. Curiosity gets the better of him and he decides to see what it takes to make her lose that last streak of defiance.

He definitely doesn’t intend for her to get under his skin.

When his existence crumbles and one heart stops beating, it kicks his own back to life, but it might be too late for forgiveness.

This is the sixth and final book in the Russo Saga series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary, mafia romance contains elements of danger, suspense, adult themes, power exchange, sensual scenes and is intended for adults only. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.


Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/series/259348-russo-saga


Purchase:Book 1 is currently FREE!Amazon: https://amzn.to/2t4poNE

EXCERPT

“Sit,” I hiss.

He stares me down with a hint of a challenge in his eyes, then he sits back down. “You fucking know I’ll do my job.”

“Good,” I say with finality in my voice. “Tonight, we have work to do.” I nod to Ivan who knows what it’s about. I’m about to test just how unflinchingly loyal my guys are. They don’t know of Roberto’s affairs, only Ivan does, and in a moment he’ll relay my order to them to take out the weasel. Roberto’s been working with us for fifteen years. They know him well, they know his wife and kids, they’ve killed and partied with this guy. Now they’re gonna do him in. 

I stand and pull the girl up by her nape until she’s on her feet. Tucking my cock back in my pants, I steer her toward the glass double doors. In the corner of my eye, I see Ivan stand and pull out his gun, striding over to Roberto, putting it to his head. 

“Let’s walk,” he says. 

The pleading begins. Matteo, Christian and Eric dart up, as does the rest of the crowd. I smirk as I push the girl before me, reveling in the sounds of chaos. My forte. Roberto is in for a world of hurt tonight and just thinking about it makes me rock hard. Ivan will inform me who hesitated and who didn’t. 

Steering the girl into my bedroom, I slam the door closed and shove my hand between her legs, push her panties to the side and thrust my fingers up her cunt. She twitches from the rough intrusion and I haven’t even begun yet. 

“Knees hurt?”

“No, sir, I’m good,” she gasps.

I glance down at the flattened skin over her kneecaps. Her dark hue doesn’t allow the redness to show. “Know what?” I pull out and tear her panties off her. “I hate liars. Bend over.”

Breathing erratically, she turns and obeys, presenting her mouthwatering round butt. I smack it. Hard. She stumbles forward. 

“Don’t fucking move,” I growl. “Hands on the floor.” I take a step closer and smack her again, making her rock forward yet another step. 

She whimpers. “I can’t keep my balance, sir.” She steadies herself, spreading her legs as she puts her palms to the floor. 

Her cunt is hairless and too enticing not to explore further. I slide my fingers along her slit, back and forth, rubbing against her clit, then a little rougher in between her folds. Like a bitch in heat, she begins to rock against my hand, getting wetter by the second. I push my fingers inside her, thrusting, a thumb on her increasingly swollen nub. Then I pull out and slap her right across her pussy, making her scream and shoot forward. 

I snap open my belt and pull down my zipper. “Bend over the edge of the bed.”

She darts around, her eyes huge and confused, a single tear trickling down her cheek. “Sir, I—” 

“This is what I pay you to do. Get on the fucking bed. Now.” 

I’m rock hard, stroking my cock in my hand. Her eyes dart between my face and my thick length, then her gaze turns distant, as if she gives up all hope. She turns slowly and walks up to the bed, spreading her legs as she falls forward clutching the comforter. 

I don’t like that she gives up already. I want to pull them to the edge of despair, I want them to plead and weep. But I want the first fucking part to last a little longer than this. Glancing over at the curtain that covers my rack of canes and whips, I already know how I’ll pull her right back to the present. 

Pulling off my belt, loop by loop, I then wrap it around my fist and whip it right over her beautiful ass. She’ll plead. And when she does, I’ll fuck her. Hard. 

In my basement, at this very moment, someone else is pleading. This girl will leave the building, a hefty sum in her bank account, probably bleeding, definitely crying, but alive. Roberto won’t be as lucky. 

AUTHOR BIO:
Nicolina Martin is a Swedish born author who escapes the long, dark winter nights by writing hot contemporary romance/suspense.

She’s a mother of three teenage girls, a medical doctor, a quirky loner, and a social human being. She has traveled the globe, has had more lovers than she can count, has loved and hated, succeeded and failed, has gone through marriage and divorce. She has seen darkness and despair, as well as light and happiness.

All these experiences, she pours into her tales, taking her readers for a wild ride while twisting their minds. She loves showing that stories can be different even if the trope is the same.

Nicolina believes that life is too short for regrets and in looking forward, no matter what. She wants to enjoy every moment, and cherish life.



To find out more about Nicolina Martin, visit her official website.
Author links:
https://www.nicolinamartin.com/
https://www.facebook.com/authornicolinamartin
https://www.instagram.com/author.nicolinamartin/
https://twitter.com/nicolinamartin
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18340949.Nicolina_Martin

CAPO – A dark, mafia romance

Capo by Nicolina Martin
(Russo Saga, #6)


Published by: Blushing Books Publications
Publication date: January 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


An amazing, amazing conclusion to this fabulous series. I’m just a little sad that it’s all over.

I thought I’d read just a couple of chapters of this last night. Ha! Big mistake, once picked up and started I just didn’t want to put this book down. Nicolina Martin has created such a sinister, terrifying man in Luciano Salvatore and yet somehow I still wanted him to get his HEA with Chloe.

This couple have intense chemistry, a passion that is scorching hot and violently explosive. I thought Chloe was a naive fool at first, but as we unpeel her many layers we find a woman strong enough to withstand the tour de force that is Salvatore. Theirs is a relationship that is created from so many wrongs, one that skirts the line of abuse and falls frequently into dub-con. A connection crafted by threat, manipulation and battles of will.

Salvatore is not a good man, he is used to taking what he wants and he thrives on fear, especially Chloe’s fear. Despite how scared she may be, Chloe is one tough cookie and eventually he realises just what a treasure she could be. Of course he’s a foolish man, used to getting his own way and not having to explain himself to anyone, so this leads to him unintentionally hurting Chloe far too often. Add in the troubles brought to her door by his day job and the end result is that this couple have a lot of crap to wade through.

This book is captivating, mesmerising, heart wrenching and soul destroying. It stomps on your emotions repeatedly but those last few chapters? They will melt your heart and more than make up for the difficult journey it took to get there.



Synopsis:

You’ll die if you talk.

The warning haunts her every waking hour.

After a rough start, Chloe finally has financial stability, a place to call home, and friends she’d die for. It never occurred to her that the sentiment would be put to the test, but when her best friend gets on the wrong side of infamous mob boss, Luciano Salvatore, Chloe intervenes, sealing her own fate.

Salvatore never intends for Chloe Becker to live. Beaten to within an inch of her life by his most ruthless enforcer, she still stands tall, refusing to bend to his will. Curiosity gets the better of him and he decides to see what it takes to make her lose that last streak of defiance.

He definitely doesn’t intend for her to get under his skin.

When his existence crumbles and one heart stops beating, it kicks his own back to life, but it might be too late for forgiveness.

This is the sixth and final book in the Russo Saga series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary, mafia romance contains elements of danger, suspense, adult themes, power exchange, sensual scenes and is intended for adults only. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.



Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/series/259348-russo-saga


Purchase:Book 1 is currently FREE!Amazon: https://amzn.to/2t4poNE


AUTHOR BIO:
Nicolina Martin is a Swedish born author who escapes the long, dark winter nights by writing hot contemporary romance/suspense.

She’s a mother of three teenage girls, a medical doctor, a quirky loner, and a social human being. She has traveled the globe, has had more lovers than she can count, has loved and hated, succeeded and failed, has gone through marriage and divorce. She has seen darkness and despair, as well as light and happiness.

All these experiences, she pours into her tales, taking her readers for a wild ride while twisting their minds. She loves showing that stories can be different even if the trope is the same.

Nicolina believes that life is too short for regrets and in looking forward, no matter what. She wants to enjoy every moment, and cherish life.

To find out more about Nicolina Martin, visit her official website.


Author links:

https://www.nicolinamartin.com/

https://www.facebook.com/authornicolinamartin

https://www.instagram.com/author.nicolinamartin/

https://twitter.com/nicolinamartin

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18340949.Nicolina_Martin

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.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE


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/.