Book Review · Omegaverse

#TBRChallenge2022 – Post #1

Donovan’s Girl (The Sacred Omega’s)
by Merel Pierce

This hadn’t actually been on my kindle for all that long, though I had pre-ordered it many months ago. However, it is one of those books that I would have promised myself I would read next, but never quite gotten to.

This was a much shorter read than I had realised, it took less than an hour to complete, so it fits the “quickie” bill perfectly.

The price and page length are clear indicators that this is a short book, so I held no high expectations of reading a deep or complex story. What we do get is more of an extended scene, a brief introduction with Donovan and December followed by the main body of the tale.


We only get Donovan’s point of view, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and as far as Alpha’s go he was pretty decent, respectful and caring. If the book had been any longer I would have wanted the heroine’s viewpoint too but I could appreciate why the author chose not to use it on this occasion.


Overall it’s quite a beautiful and touching story, one that definitely left me frustrated and needing more of this pair. Both protagonists are more mature in years, which is always a bonus for those of us who won’t see 35 again! As long as you go in expecting a quick read rather than a layered story you won’t be disappointed.

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59749547-donovan-s-girl

Genre – PNR/Omegaverse

Synopsis
No one should be alone on Christmas…
When Donovan checks in on the widow of a recently-deceased enforcer, he gets more than he bargained for.
Liv is alone, grieving, and going into heat.
Worried what she might do and unable to resist the instinctive need to care for the sweet, damaged Omega, Donovan decides to stay and see her through it. Whether she likes it or not.

~*~
Donovan’s Girl is a short Holiday story set in the world of The Sacred Omegas. Specifically, December’s world, and features appearances by several characters in the series.

Book Review · Fantasy · MM

#BookReview #Fantasy // The Final Masquerade by Ariana Nash

The Final Masquerade
by Ariana Nash


Oh my, what an emotionally turbulent, intensely evocative and utterly mesmerising story this is. I fell down a rabbit hole with Brice into a swirling, dizzying and ultimately soul-shattering melee of magic, mystery and mayhem. Lies are layered upon lies whilst deceptions, tricks and misdirection abound until you can no longer trust anyone or anything – not even the evidence seen with your own eyes.


Ariana Nash delivers up a dark, twisted tale of fae madness. An intriguing story of machination and manipulation, where every word is deceptive, every look meant to seduce. Whilst hidden desires may be fulfilled, it pays to remember that nothing is given freely and most things are not as they may seem. The story is by parts raw, vicious and heartrending, yet also delicate, gentle and loving.

He tasted of fae sweetness. Of sweet wine and bitter sadness. He didn’t believe anything would change; he didn’t believe Brice would succeed. He thought this was goodbye.

I adored Brice and his slippery fae paramour, couldn’t get enough of this wonderful pair truth be told. Their chemistry was explosively hot, though the path to a HEA was littered with pain, sadness and heartache. Each damaged in their own way, this pair of star-crossed lovers battled long and hard against the power of the Masquerade, but when truth and illusion are impossible to differentiate then suffering and angst are sure to follow.


Every moment in the masquerade held an air of peril and threat, blinding me with its devious illusions and leaving me unable to even begin guessing as to the twists that would unfold and the truths that would be revealed. It held me spellbound with its brilliance, tossed me on the stormy seas of its emotional intensity and left me wanting to never leave the world that had been created. If a golden-edged invitation should happen to fall on my doormat I’m not sure I could resist its siren call.



Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

MM Fantasy Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59739580-the-final-masquerade

Synopsis
The winter solstice. The darkest day, the longest night. Every year the solstice heralds the return of the masquerade ball. Fae and human dance and drink and make merry, so long as they remain masked. But there’s a darker side to this night. Should a guest lose their mask, their life is forfeit, cursed to dance forever for the entertainment of the masquerade’s cold and cruel fae host.
Ever since he was a boy, Brice LeChoix’s mother had warned him of the terrible fae. But it wasn’t the fae who took his parents from him. Madness did that. Years later, now Lord of the crumbling LeChoix estate and buckled by debt, he has more important things to think about than fairytales. Until the masquerade comes to town. Every year on the solstice it appears, and every year the townsfolk frolic with the fae. Some never return.
Brice warned his brother not to go. And when the masquerade vanishes like mist at dawn, it takes Charon with it. Now Brice must return to the masquerade, the very place he vowed never to set foot in again. The fae know his desires, they know his weaknesses. Forbidden lust will lure Brice from his world, into theirs. To save his brother, he must survive the masquerade’s beautiful lies and avoid the host’s wicked ways.
But the fae have other ideas. One in particular has his eye on Brice… The trickster, Raoul, will stop at nothing to seduce Brice because he knows, more than anyone, that the masquerade is a trap from which no soul truly ever escapes.

The longest night is upon us. Can you hear their call? Take my hand, come with me, to the masquerade ball…



A stunning adult MM dark fairytale standalone novel of 115,000 words. Coming Autumn/Winter 2021. Warning: this book contains devious fae, dubious consent, coercive rape, sex with multiple partners, suicide, and violent punishment, and is advised for readers aged 18+




Book Review · Contemporary Romance

#BookReview #ChristmasRomance // The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans

The Post Box at the North Pole
by Jaimie Admans


5 “Northern Lights” sparkling stars for this emotional and utterly captivating Christmas romance. Written entirely from Sasha’s viewpoint I initially found myself struggling to connect with her. However, it wasn’t long, no more than a chapter or two, until I found myself warming to the character who at first sight had appeared to be a bit of a do-nothing doormat. Once I’d gotten to know her, understand how worthless life had made her feel, she very quickly and easily captured my heart. I may also have shed tears for her – and on more than one occasion.

It’s just a sentence, but those are words I’ve always wished someone would say to me. Always wanted someone to feel about me. I’m on the periphery of most people’s vision – there but unimportant. Tav makes me feel like his number-one priority, and it’s a good thing I’m already sitting down because it makes my knees weak and my chest all quivery.

The Post Box at the North Pole is quite simply perfect, I wouldn’t change a single thing. The author created a beautiful and appealing setting, I actually feel quite sad that I can’t journey to Norway to stay in one of the themed cabins, watch the Northern Lights from a glass igloo, send a postcard with a North Pole stamp, see Santa’s home or take a reindeer-powered sleigh ride through the North Pole Forest. Even if something similar does exist it won’t have Tav, Sasha, Perce and Rudolph-slash-Clive, and they were what made this such a good book.


Tav and Sasha were eminently likeable characters, flawed, damaged by life, and a little worn around the edges. Wholly perfect for one another, I found myself delighting in every scene they shared, melting at Tav’s sweet, thoughtful gestures, and hoping beyond hope for Sasha’s dreams to come true. With themes of forgiveness, family and learning to trust, TPBatNP is a truly wonderful story. Even though I guessed the original owner of the North Pole Forest almost immediately I still adored watching how that aspect of the plot played out. The new owner twist took me by surprise though, as did the lists Sasha discovered, despite the generous amount of foreshadowing.


This was a book that I put down only begrudgingly, and that I couldn’t wait to get back to. If you are looking for a heart-warming Christmas romance then this is one I am happy to recommend.

“I don’t want to go,” I whisper into his hands, holding his arms around me.
It’s the first time I’ve said it out loud and there’s freedom in admitting it to myself as well as to him.
“I don’t want you to go.”
Tears. Instantaneous tears. No one has ever said that to me before. No one has ever cared whether I’m there or not, and I didn’t realise how much I wanted someone to want me until he did.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Holiday Fiction

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58871372-the-post-box-at-the-north-pole

Synopsis
Sasha Hansley hates Christmas. As a child, it was her favourite time of year, but ever since the tragic death of her mother, it has completely lost its magic.
But when she gets an unexpected phone call from her eccentric estranged father, she’s forced to dust off her snow boots.
He has been running a Lapland style Christmas village in Norway and after suffering a heart attack, he is on strict doctor’s orders to slow down. Eager to reconnect with her dad, Sasha books the next flight out there. Only she has never actually been on a plane before, let alone to the Arctic Circle.
Met at the runway by drop-dead-gorgeous Taavi Salvesen, they sleigh ride through the snow with the Northern Lights guiding their way.
When Sasha uncovers sacks of unopened Santa mail – letters that children and adults from all over the world write to Santa every year – she realises that she can send a little bit of magic out into the world by replying to some of them.
With Taavi on hand to help, will Sasha rediscover her own excitement for Christmas and find love among the letters?




Book Review · Contemporary Romance

#BookReview #ChristmasRomance // Christmas Carols and a Cornish Cream Tea by Cressida McLaughlin

Christmas Carols and a Cornish Cream Tea
The Cornish Cream Tea Novels #5
by Cressida McLaughlin


Oh my word, and sniffle, and swoon, and sigh. What an utterly delightful, heartwarming and perfect-for-the-season book this is. I just wish I could forget it so that I can re-discover it for the first time again!



Meredith and Finn, along with the delightful Cornish setting and the super gorgeous Crumble, totally captured my heart. Meredith, our heroine, is a down-to-earth young woman with whom I instantly felt a connection. Already a very likeable character I enjoyed seeing her overcome those mental obstacles to truly become the best person she could be. Very notable was how authentic that growth felt; whilst Finn was the spark that lit the fuse it still felt as though Meredith had autonomy over her decisions.



The plot spread beyond the mere seasonal romance and incorporated several different aspects that helped move the story forward as well as engage the reader even more! The side plots involving Anisha and her family, the mystery of neighbouring Bernie, the hampers, and the artwork all added a vibrant richness to the book. There were one or two things I might have added to my Christmas list such as having at least a small amount of Finn’s viewpoint – particularly around resolving the issues around his parents.



The author’s voice felt like a warm hug; it has a smooth flow and steady quality to it. It took absolutely no time at all for me to be caught up in the story and invested in the characters. Cressida McLaughlin has a wonderful way with words, evoking strong emotions and precise images without being overly complex or descriptive. I was inside Meredith looking out through her eyes, rather than feeling like an outside observer. There may even have been occasions when I shed a few tears.



The book had so much hidden depth, not only with its themes of grief, family and love but also some of the other topics it touched on. The community aspect, the truth of Britain’s struggling High Streets and the joy of the season all combined into a first-rate story. This was all further enhanced by the beautiful setting and subtle yet solid world-building. The author wove Cornwall into so many aspects of the story, but in such a gentle way that it didn’t detract from the plot.



This may be the first book I have read by Cressida McLaughlin, if it is any indication to go by then I do not intend it to be my last.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Contemporary Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58688991-christmas-carols-and-a-cornish-cream-tea

Synopsis
Warm hearted fun, with a sprinkle of love.’ Holly Martin
Can she spread Christmas cheer in Cornwall this year?
All Meredith Verren has ever wanted is to escape the holiday season without having to wear a Christmas jumper. Her new job at the cosy gift shop in a picturesque Cornish tourist spot is making it impossible for her to maintain her scrooge-like manner.
With their seasonal hampers on everyone’s wish list, Meredith must paste on a smile and fake some holiday cheer. Then she meets handsome new arrival, Finn, who wishes it could be Christmas every day and wants her to feel the same way too.
Can she embrace the holly and the ivy before the decorations are packed away for another year?




Book Review · Omegaverse · Science Fiction/Dystopian

#BookReview #Sci-Fi // Rescuing Red by Leann Ryans and V.T. Bonds

Rescuing Red
Sci-Fi Fairytale Fusions #1
by Leann Ryans & V.T. Bonds 



At 65% and I’ve totally stalled with this book. It isn’t terrible in the same way that boiled potatoes aren’t but just like those non-descript and rather bland starchy items it just didn’t have enough flavour to hold my interest.



I found the heroine to be rather a drip, full of rash decisions and impulsive choices. In her defence she is very young and the way she was written reflected those childhood fairytale heroines. However I moved on from those stories for a reason – I’m no longer that little girl but am an adult woman.



The hero was much more to my taste, though I’ve just had to look up what his name was, which shows how forgettable the whole reading experience was. He’s called Blaide by the way – I’m surprised I did forget that because I felt the name didn’t suit him and was far to reminiscent of watching UK Gladiator’s back in the 1990’s.



For me this was pleasant but unmemorable, it just didn’t have the grit, depth or emotional impact I look for in a story. It was, for me, words on a page rather than a tale that drew me in and held me captivated.





Rating: 2 out of 5.

Fannce

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58500622-rescuing-red

Synopsis
Once Upon a Time…
In a land where grandmothers live planets away instead of on the other side of the woods, Liz finds herself in trouble.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but she’d risk it all again to help her Nana.
When danger catches her scent, will her knight in… fur and fury… rescue her from the beasts?
And who’s going to save Red from the Wolf?


From two International Bestselling authors comes an exciting blend of traditional tales with the wonders of science fiction, taking the stories you love and twisting them to fit brand new worlds. Although darkness lurks within the pages of our Sci-Fi Fairytale Fusions, each one boasts a Happily Ever After for our hero and his mate. These steamy romances feature the ABO dynamic, thrilling action, and intense situations.

Are you ready to find your next alien addiction?