#BookReview #Omegaverse // Captured By The Alpha by Liliana Carlisle

Captured By The Alpha
by Liliana Carlisle



This is a fairly quick read, and I always struggle to rate and review stories of this length as it’s impossible for them to have the depth of story that I normally look for. Maybe it was the brevity of the book but I actually found myself totally caught up by Ivy’s and Darian’s tale and did enjoy the story.


I really liked Ivy, she felt a very credible character, the length of story meant that Darian’s character arc was so rapid it fell somewhere between unbelievable and whiplash. I would love the author to expand this story to include more time and scenes between the H and h prior to her heat as well as a transition period between that heat and the event leading to the culmination of the book. This would allow us to see the connection between Ivy and Darian establish and grow, as well as allow the author time to convince us of both his change of attitude as well as their emerging feelings.


The fated mates theme allowed for the very insta-love aspects of the story, but it felt like a convenient way to avoid redeeming an antihero rather than a genuine, and vital, plot line. Overall this is an entertaining, high heat read and perfect for one you don’t want anything too heavy.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Paranormal Erotica

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55318456-captured-by-the-alpha

Synopsis
Good Omegas never disobey their Alpha. Too bad I’m not one of them. Everyone I know thinks I’m insane. That my own imagination pushed me to a life of solitude. But I know better.

The monster that’s been haunting me is very real and he’s finally captured what he wants… me. Darien Stone is used to taking what he wants. As the world’s most influential Alpha, his power and wealth have Omegas groveling at his feet. But I’m not like other Omegas.

I know exactly who he really is, and want nothing to do with his blood money. He thinks he can control me, that I’ll bend to his every desire. But he’ll quickly learn this seemingly perfect Omega won’t go down without a fight.


Captured by the Alpha is a dark standalone novella, complete with a HEA!


#BookReview #Dark #PsychologicalSuspense // What Lies by Willow Madison

What Lies
Existential Angst #1
by Willow Madison

It’s not often I’m at a loss for words in a review, but Willow Madison has completely effed up my brain with this book. Every single moment of this book is wrong, wrong, WRONG, but also absolutely perfect in a disgustingly degraded and beautifully broken way. There is definitely something very wrong with me for having loved What Lies as much as I did.


Gut-wrenching, horrifying and disturbingly compelling I could NOT put this book down. I felt so many emotions whilst reading this, I railed against the injustice of Larissa’s situation, I begged her to fight to the bitter end (though it wouldn’t have made for a good story, lol), I rejoiced in her strength and understood her decisions. I wanted to stab Him through the eye with a rusty fork, yet loved how utterly devoted he was to Larissa. He’s as crazy as a box of frogs and I’m still reserving judgement on what I want to happen to him.


The intensity of the story left me with a massive book hangover and I cannot wait for What Love.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dark Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25757235-what-lies

Synopsis
Taken without a trace. Held by a sadist intent on loving her.

He said I was the only perfect woman in the world. It’s why he had to have me.

“The game today, Larissa, is called pick your poison.”
He took me while I was sitting alone in my backyard. I had my feet cooling in the pool, face heating in the sun when his shadow eclipsed all happiness four days ago. I don’t remember any sounds or words, only waking up here…and his games.

“I expect you to either make a choice, or don’t.”
In this box of horrors, he wanted me to find my purpose. I thought I already had—to save my heart from pain and to hold out for freedom.

Turns out, I wasn’t wrong. Only my perceptions were. And he’s giving me a chance to choose again.

“I’m going to hurt you.”
I’ve been a monster for him, a perfect version of myself, and I don’t think I can pretend that I haven’t liked it. Whoever said knowledge is power wasn’t chained up when they said it.


What Lies is a prequel to What Love and should be read first.

Trigger Warning: Contains explicit scenes, on-page violence, the dubiest of dub con, blood, a dark captor – captive romance, a jealous / possessive / obsessive antihero, and gripping psychological suspense. Also loads of angst (it’s in the title after all). No cheating. Author’s version of happy for now.

#BookReview #PNR #RH // Three Trials by Kristy Cunning

Three Trials
The Dark Side #2
by Kristy Cunning

I’m really not quite sure how or why, but this series is really working for me. It doesn’t have the greatest world building or the most complex of plots, but I adore Keyla/Paca’s feisty, sarcastic and adorably sweet nature. Her banter, random comments and crazy attitude utterly pleases me and she is definitely one of my favourite book heroines.


I enjoyed the second half of the book more though hindsight, following some expected and unexpected revelations, helps to explain how our intrepid quintet were able to complete the task in hell so easily. We finally (and in that we I am definitely including Paca) got our long anticipated steamy moments. Kai definitely ended up as my favourite following that rather steamy not so little tryst.


Thank you to my fellow Buddy Readers over in the DE group – can’t wait to read book #3 with you all!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

**Contains sex scenes**

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36839899-three-trials

Synopsis
So, I’ve checked off some life goals and added a few new ones to my list.

Goal #5: Get out of hell’s belly without letting my ungrateful charges die.
Goal #6: Get a new name that’s more badass.
Goal #7: Stop wasting my breath on lectures and start annoying the quad hell squad every time they annoy me. Fight fire with fire. Ha! Another hell pun.
Goal 8: Find out who the hell killed me.


I’ll add more. I don’t want to overwhelm myself before I even finish checking off my old goals. But seriously, I really do need a more badass name, considering how much I have to keep saving my damsels in distress. I probably shouldn’t call them damsels, since they’re a little murderous and all.

Maybe I should add seeing a hell-certified psychologist to my list of goals.

#BookReview #RomanticSuspense // Crow by A. Zavarelli

Crow
Boston Underworld #1

A. Zavarelli

Mackenzie “Mack” Wilder is searching for her BFF, the girl who helped her survive the horrors of being a teen in the care system. No one wants to know or help and all the clues point to a club run by Lachlan Crow, a mover and shaker in the Mackenna syndicate aka the Irish mafia. Throwing caution to the wind, because without Talia what’s the point anyway, Mack decides to step into the lion’s den. What she didn’t expect was to catch the eye of the pride male. Lachlan Crow doesn’t need the complication of the dark haired, blue eyed beauty, he’s already promised to another and his Russian associates want her “controlled”.


Does Mack feel like the average 22 year old? Not really, but then her backstory doesn’t paint her in that light either. So despite her usually feeling much older, I didn’t find her maturity, or her strength, out of the bounds of believability. Lachlan is probably an awful lot nicer than most genuine members of a criminal gang, however we wouldn’t fall in love with him if he was without some morals, compassion and integrity. On balance I did feel his character was plausible, and his utter obsession with Mack allowed me to forgive the rest!


The chemistry between this pair is scorching and this is one pretty hot read. It was easy to believe in the feelings that developed between Crow and Mack, particularly as the book is written first person from both perspectives. Being able to listen in on their thoughts, to feel their passion and the incredible attraction they share, had me sold on their feelings.


Unlike many mafia romances, this did feature the syndicate in a believable way. It wasn’t overly sanitised though many of the darker aspects were more briefly touched on, so this didn’t feel a particularly dark read. I was left with some questions, particularly around the Russian mafia and the betrayals, but if I remember correctly subsequent books run concurrently with this and more of the story is revealed with each new instalment.


I’m so glad I got the chance to re-read this. It did take a couple of chapters to really get into the story, but once I did it became a book I just did not want to put down.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mafia Romance

Age 18+, Contains adult content

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31309440-crow

Synopsis
An Irish mobster. A missing friend. Two loyalties, ripping me apart.

I had a plan. Get in, get my information, and get out. Easy, right?

That’s when Lachlan Crow noticed me. Problem was, he wasn’t a soldier. No, he was next in line for the throne of the Irish underworld. And he was determined to hate me from the outset. My sob story about needing a job? Yeah, he wasn’t buying that either.

Too bad for him, I won’t let anyone get in the way of my mission.

Who cares if we have some kind of crazy chemistry? He’s the worst kind of wrong- and I would never in a million years be with a guy like him.

Because they took her from me, and I’m going to make them pay.

#BookReview #Fantasy #FantasyRomance // A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
Blood and Ash #2
Jennifer L. Armentrout

Sing along –

And nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before….

Having spent several hours reading this, and boy did I feel everyone of them, even thought it’s a DNF for now, I do feel I’ve read enough to comment. And that comment is “congratulations on winning first prize for the most boring and repetitive book I’ve read in years!


I got to approximately the 50% mark, but seeing 6 – 7 hours of reading time left in the book just crushed my soul. It shouldn’t have, because the author’s voice is beautiful, her characterisation is good (though not so good in book 2 as it was book 1) and I enjoyed her world building. What IS an issue is the waffling inner monologue that she insists on. As a result the pace slowed to such a crawl the plot is in actual danger of going backwards! In all the hours I spent reading this there was no real movement, metaphorically or physically. We had 7 or 8 chapters of story s-t—–r——-e——t——c—–h——e-d over two or three times that figure.


Yeah, I’m seriously wishing I’d read reviews for book #2 BEFORE starting book #1. The pacing for that was bad enough, but I could forgive a first book in the series being slower to allow for all the world building, introduction of characters etc. But lord above, how the hell can you spend 300+ pages in the same place? I’ll tell you how!!!!! BY GOING ROUND AND ROUND IN BLOODY CIRCLES THAT’S HOW.


There is something seriously wrong when you see you have over 5 hours of reading time left in a book and all it does is make you want to cry. Honest to god I was in despair at the though of having ro read another sentence that involved Poppy stabbing someone, Casteel dragging his fangs over his lip, Poppy’s uncontrollable lust for him or how Casteel smelled. The answer to which is variously like fruit, earth, smoke and various other things that sounded stupid. I’d rather it had been Brut 45 or Old Spice 🤣🤣🤣.


Really, unless you enjoy being bored out of your skull avoid this at all cost.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Fantasy Romance

Age 18+, Contains violence and sex scene

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54319549-a-kingdom-of-flesh-and-fire

Synopsis

A Betrayal…

Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice…

Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…

But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.

#BookReview #Dyspopian #Romance // The Champion by Elin Peer

The Champion
(Men of the North #15)
by Elin Peer

Set in a far off post-apocalyptic, dystopian future, The Champion is the last book in the Men of the North series. This final quintet of books, featuring the children of the original five couples, has been steadily building towards Victor and Freya’s story. I almost didn’t want to read this, in case I had built my expectations too high but I should have known to trust that Elin Peer would not let us down.



Freya has been an immensely likeable character throughout the previous four books, one I already liked and admired. However we discover many hidden facets to this strong, determined yet gentle and caring woman. I was hugely and very pleasantly surprised by just how much I liked Victor, seeing through his eyes, hearing how is mind worked, allowed me to understand just how much he was a product of his environment and upbringing. Both protagonists underwent huge growth in their character arcs resulting in a very believable HEA.



To the outside world Freya and Victor struggle to get along, more inclined to argue and bicker than to be cordial to one another. However the simmering undercurrents of sexual attraction have always been obvious to the reader. The trouble is Freya grew up in a family where love and commitment is everything, whilst Victor has been conditioned since birth to eschew romantic love and emotional attachments. With such opposite views on love and marriage the author set up some difficult barriers to overcome. The plot progressed in a believable and engaging way, some ground was gained easily, whilst other victories were very hard won.



Ms Peer has a very smooth and easy to read writing voice, her prose is engaging and flows well. Written in first person, and from both MC’s viewpoint, we can truly get to know and understand both protagonists. I soon found myself “within” the story, totally absorbed by it and experience things alongside Victor and Freya. The pacing was excellent and I soon found myself not wanting to put the book down.



The author has created an amazing world and a beautiful love story, both of which carry messages of tolerance, acceptance, equality and respect. The three nations of this finely crafted future Earth all have strengths in their cultures, but also exhibit great flaws. It is how they find the middle ground, how the resolve conflict that makes these stories so fascinating and enjoyable to read.



The ending to the story was really good and the epilogue was heartbreakingly beautiful. It was a necessary move, executed well, leaving both a sense of joy and hope to tempter the sadness.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Dystopian Romance


Age 15+, Contains some sex scene

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57980101-the-champion


Synopsis
What is stronger, emotion or intellect?

As the biggest genius in France, I’ve been the hope of my nation since I was a child. I’m cherished and adored by all and get a free pick of beautiful women whenever I want. It should be enough to make any man happy, so why do I feel so lost?

It’s a red flag to Victor when the only women to get his brief interest are those who look like Freya Aurelius. When did he develop a fetish for the most frustrating and unattainable woman in the world?
Is his plan to work closely with Freya for the next five weeks a matter of masochism or the final proof that there’s a fine line between genius and insanity?


The 15th and last instalment of Elin Peer’s best-selling series, The Men of the North, has fans wishing they could read slower to devour the delicious dialogue between two brilliant minds from different countries with opposing values.

#BookReview #UrbanFantasy // Twisted Pretty Things by Ariana Nash

Twisted Pretty Things
Shadows of London #1

Ariana Nash

Fans of Ms Nash will probably know she also writes under the name Pippa DaCosta. This book is the perfect fusion of both those halves, a fast paced story that is chock full of surprises, intrigue and lies. All the passion and heat of the AN name blended with the world building and complexity of PDC books. This had the best of everything the author has to offer and was a 5 star read for me the entire length from start to finish. I am totally enraptured by the series already and cannot wait for the next book to be released!



Dom, our slightly tarnished hero, will absolutely steal your heart, which will then be repeatedly battered as he rebounds from learning one shocking/crushing/terrible secret to another. Hindsight had me spotting all the foreshadowing and clues that had been cleverly woven into the story, but I never ONCE guessed at the myriad of the twists and turns as I was reading this.



Just as I thought the story was complete the author threw in that little twist, right at the end. Because she is cruel and relishes her power to torment us all. Added in to all that were hints of a love triangle – and please don’t ask me to chose between EITHER of those two delicious morsels of untrustworthiness. Oh yes, we can’t leave it at Dom being used and abused by life, downtrodden and outcast because he is a latent. Oh no, we have to have two extremely hot “possibles” messing with his libido, head and heart, both of whom are keeping secrets from him, lying to him and manipulating him for their own ends.



I am totally hooked on this series, are Hollywood and Kempthorne good guys doing bad things for good reasons or bad guys who are good at lying? Oh the dilemmas and conundrums that this pair elicit. There is also the fact that the author’s long term plans for these men has me more than a little worried, she has a track record for being mean not only to her characters but also us poor readers. My mind is spinning and whirling with all the possibilities, dreading she might pull a Nye, or a Brendan or even a Julian move in a future book, just for the fun of shattering my poor heart.



If the words “Urban Fantasy” and “M/M” set your heart and mind aflutter then you definitely need to be reading this series. Oh and when you do you will fully understand why I couldn’t resist this final gif…


description

Rating: 5 out of 5.

MM PNR Romance

Age 16+ MM Sex scenes, profanities


Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55244683-twisted-pretty-things


Synopsis
Something wicked is moving in the shadows of London…

In the underground world of glitzy illegal auctions, fast cars, and stolen magical artifacts, John “Dom” Domenici knows he’s out of his depth. But he needs the job at Kempthorne & Co like he needs to breathe. The alternative—going back to the organized crime gangs of London’s East End—is unthinkable.

So when Alexander Kempthorne, boss of Kempthorne & Co Artifact Retrieval Agency, wants him on a special case to track down an illegal artifact dealer, Dom can’t say no.

It shouldn’t matter that Kempthorne’s world is full of deadly secrets. It shouldn’t matter that the billionaire is sexy as sin, and it really shouldn’t matter how there’s an American agent stalking Dom, an American who knows more than he should about Dom’s case, including the real reason Alexander Kempthorne hired Dom.

The only thing that really matters to Dom is solving the case and finding the artifact dealer. Because there are worse things in London than a conflicted billionaire and a trigger-happy American. Something wicked is stalking London’s streets, and if Dom doesn’t stop it, its shadows will rise and consume them all.

REVIEW – Paranormal Romance // Blood Lust by Kitty Thomas

Blood Lust
Blood Lust #1-3
by Kitty Thomas & Zoe Winters

Blood Lust is a trilogy of novellas, interlinked via the female protagonists. These are much lighter reads than one would normally associate with the name Kitty Thomas , though they still demonstrate the same high quality of story telling that her books contain.



These felt like the PNR equivalent of a cosy mystery – fun, quirky and steamy reads with a good pace, interesting plot and great characters. I would have liked to have seen more of Greta in Charlee’s book, given how close this pair are meant to be, but that is pretty much the only “complaint” I have. I loved how towards the end of Claimed we started to see more depth to Jane, whilst in Mated we get to truly know and understand her. Cole was definitely my favourite hero, he was an alpha without the arrogance that often comes with the role.

Each story had it’s own individual feel, in part due to the very different heroines. The heroes were delightful, totally alpha and more bad boy than truly bad. Because there was a lot of plot to fit in, the relationship does move at a rapid pace, though I still found myself rooting for a HEA for each of these amazing couples. A definite must read for those who love a fun PNR read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Paranormal Demons & Devils Romance

Age 18+, Contains some violence and consensual sex scenes

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58423742-blood-lust

Synopsis
The blood is everything…

KEPT:
Cat shifter blood is sought after to enhance spells and potions, but due to a quirk of her birth, Greta’s blood is potent enough to kill for. When she learns she will be sacrificed, Greta is forced to ally herself with Dayne, the dangerous local sorcerer, and the only person strong enough to protect her.

CLAIMED:
Charlee wakes in a strange bed without any memory of who she is. All she knows is that a man who claims to be a doctor and is there to help her, doesn’t seem to want to let her go. And maybe this is just her imagination, but does he have fangs?

MATED:
Jane isn’t a vampire, but their blood runs through her veins, making her a target for those who resent a human being “kindred”. When she’s given to the leader of the werewolf pack to satisfy a gambling debt, she discovers her blood has a far greater impact on her destiny than she ever could have imagined.



NOTE: This title was originally published by Zoe Winters as Blood Lust (Preternaturals Series book 1). All content from the original remains the same.

REVIEW – Gaslamp Fantasy // Tools of the Trade by G.L. Francis

Tools of the Trade
The Suntosun Chronicles #1
by G.L. Francis

This was a really captivating series opener. It has left me wanting to read more about Sophie, Kazimir and their adventures. It’s not often that a short story/novella captures me in the way this one did. The story was fast pace, exciting and intriguing, totally capturing my attention from start to finish.



I really liked Sophie, she is a solid character with both depth and an air of believability. I loved her determination and no-nonsense approach and she, along with a good plot, was a big part of why I really enjoyed the book.



There could have been a little more world building but to be honest it would probably have been at the expense of plot and character development, so I was happy to accept it. It also means I have plenty to look forward to in future stories involving this adventurous pair.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fantasy Fairy Tale

Age 13+

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58476951-tools-of-the-trade


Synopsis
As seductive demons rise from the waters of the Missouri River, Sophie Asher and her family join forces with Kazimir Anastov, a mysterious defender from Russia, to battle this new threat.


~*~


Launching The Suntosun Chronicles, a historical fantasy series, Tools of the Trade is an exciting adventure filled with demons, magical beings, and a clever heroine at the helm.

REVIEW – Epic Fantasy // Shadow Lands by K.F. Breene

Shadow Lands
The Warrior Chronicles #3
by K.F. Breene

Back in the day, the men made the law for their family. Is it so wrong that women have a defense?”
Ruisa shifted, sticking out one hip and adopting an expression Marc had already come to realize was stubbornness.
“You can use swords and knives and muscles, and we’re supposed to… what, be totally fine in our vulnerability? We aren’t allowed to look after ourselves because we have vaginas, is that it?”

Marc winced at the word—female anatomy was still mostly foreign to him.
Even the words embarrassed him.

God I love this series. I really love Shanti, I totally love Cayan and I absolutely love Marc, Leilius and the rest of the Honor Guard. I massively have a soft spot for Marc. These characters have become real people to me, from the slightly mad Burson, to the soft-centred Rohnan and the take no $**! Sanders. Even some of the animals wove their way into my heart. This is one of those books that you want everyone you know to read, just so you can fan girl and sigh over it endlessly with someone who loved it just as much as you.



The whole story is rife with humour from the gentlest of touches to the most cutting sarcasm, yet at the same time it has a well paced plot, amazing world building, a cracking story and captivating writing. As soon as I finished this I wanted to immediately jump into book 4, even though I have a TBR of already owned books longer than my arm. Shanti and Cayan’s journey to the Shadow Lands gave me all the feels, it smashed my emotions and left me with a huge book hangover. This took me back to my days of reading David EddingsMercedes LackeyKatharine KerrAndre Norton and Melanie Rawn but with more sarcasm.



And have I said yet just how much I loved this or how much you need to read? After you’ve read Books #1 and #2 of course.

Sanders glanced at Marc, red-faced and looking at the ground.
The youth said, “S’am always jumps out at us. If you don’t strike first, you get punched really hard.”
“And the running?” Sanders asked as he checked his weapons.
Marc shrugged. “I was always too slow to get her, so rather than getting thumped after I struck out, I ran.”
“Ruisa got the other one.” Tobias threw her a proud wink. “Who says girls are only for cooking?”
“Not me. She’s a terrible cook,” Marc mumbled. Ruisa shoved him.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fantasy Adventure

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25617383-shadow-lands

Synopsis
***Book three in the bestselling series.***

In order to finally claim her title of Chosen and lead the Shadow People out of the Land of Mist, Shanti must make it through a century’s old system to test her battle awareness, her fighting skill, and her ability to stay alive. She’s about to enter The Trials, and she must do it alone.

Separated from Shanti on a dangerous island, Cayan must learn to use his mental skill while keeping his men safe from the people set out to kill them. But as more Inkna and Graygual flood the island, Cayan hears of a sinister force deep in the woods, rigging The Trials and killing any who venture too close.

It is now a race against time. The battle to become the Chosen has begun, and the victor is anything but decided.