Thursday, 18 July 2019

Cover Reveal: Alphas Confess All - Anthology

Alphas Confess all, an all-new anthology featuring 10 bestselling authors and benefitting 4 Paws for Ability, is coming September 17th and we have the steamy cover!

Sometimes, all sin needs is a little confession.

And sometimes, those who need it the most have the highest walls, the darkest secrets…the dirtiest desires.

You’re obsessed with what he’ll do to you. How he’ll possess you in every way possible. Every naughty, forbidden way…

These heroes, created by ten of romance’s leading stars, are ready to step out of their shadows and confess all…to you. The wickedness of their world. The midnights of their fantasies. The forbidden fruit of their needs.

Are you daring enough to accept?

Once Upon An Alpha along with 4 Paws for Ability, and ten bestselling authors, bring you this page turning, limited edition, anthology that’s sure to keep you up well past your bed time and craving your own Forbidden Encounter.

Participating Authors:
Shayla Black
Lexi Blake
Sidney Bristol
Mari Carr
Sierra Cartwright
Katana Collins
Jenna Jacob
Geneva Lee
Angel Payne
Willow Winters

Pre-order your copy today!

Add to GoodReads:

Cover Designed by Rachel Connolly
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Models: Andrew Biernat & Sofia Romero

About 4 Paws for Ability:

4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to place quality service dogs with children with disabilities and veterans who have lost use of limbs or hearing and educate the public regarding use of service dogs in public places.

Connect with the Authors:

Shayla Black
Lexi Blake
Sidney Bristol
Mari Carr
Sierra Cartwright
Katana Collins
Jenna Jacob
Geneva Lee
Angel Payne
Willow Winters

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Review: Origin in Death - J.D. Robb

The sickness came into the center of her belly and lay there like a tumor. They've been cloning girls. Not just messing with DNA. But creating them. Selling them.

The world famous cosmetic surgeon, Dr Wilfred Icove, has been found dead - a cold, brutal scalpel to the heart. He is a man with nothing to hide, but when Lieutenant Eve Dallas exposes Dr Icove's patient records, a distressing image appears.

Eve's trail leads to an exclusive boarding school for girls. A strange, isolated place where everything seems perfect. A little too perfect. And when the main benefactor turns out to be a genius geneticist, Eve readies an attack.

With the girls nearing perfection and the men nearing insanity, Eve suspects something truly horrifying is happening . . .

In Death Series:
Naked in Death
Glory in Death
Immortal in Death
Rapture in Death
Ceremony in Death
Vengeance in Death
Holiday in Death
Midnight in Death (Novella)
Conspiracy in Death
Loyalty in Death
Witness in Death
Judgement in Death
Betrayal in Death
Interlude in Death (Novella)
Seduction in Death
Reunion in Death
Purity in Death
Portrait in Death
Imitation in Death
Big Jack (Available in the Remember When Anthology or separately)
Divided in Death
Visions in Death
Survivor in Death
Origin in Death
Memory in Death
Haunted in Death (Novella)
Born in Death
Innocent in Death
Eternity in Death (Novella)
Creation in Death
Strangers in Death
Salvation in Death
Ritual in Death (Novella)
Promises in Death
Kindred in Death
Missing in Death (Novella)
Fantasy in Death
Indulgence in Death
Possession in Death (Novella)
Treachery in Death
New York to Dallas
Chaos in Death (Novella)
Celebrity in Death
Delusion in Death
Calculated in Death
Thankless in Death
Taken in Death (Novella)
Concealed in Death
Festive in Death
Obsessed in Death
Devoted in Death
Wonderment in Death (Novella)
Brotherhood in Death
Apprentice in Death
Echoes in Death
Secrets in Death
Dark in Death
Leverage in Death
Connections in Death (2019)

Visit J.D. Robb's website for more information.

When Eve is brought in to investigate the murder of a world famous cosmetic surgeon a first look into his background shows a man with nothing to hide. But Eve thinks his records are too clean, there is something off about the doctor and she is determined to get to the bottom of it. Things only get more complicated when the doctor's son, who happens to also be his colleague, is also found killed. Now Eve is working against the clock trying to track down a murderer before anyone else dies.

I have to say I think Origin in Death was probably the creepiest book in the series so far. Dr Icov and his son have been breaking all kinds of laws when it comes to genetic manipulation and cloning and the results are horrendous to think about. I think what makes it worse is that in a lot of ways we're probably not far off some of the technology they were using and it's not at all difficult to imagine some awful megalomaniacs going off the books trying to create the perfect woman just like these doctors have been. We all know that slavery and trafficking goes on today and it's not hard to imagine evil people using technological advances to find new ways to abuse others.

Anyway, what I loved most about this story was seeing a different side to Eve, we all know she's an expert at catching killers and she's not unwilling to cross the occasional line to make sure that happens but here we see her searching for proper justice for the people involved in the conspiracy. Eve, Peabody and the rest of their team potentially put their own careers in jeopardy to protect the innocents in this whole mess and for the first time that might mean not putting a murderer behind bars.

While this story was quite dark we still had plenty of humour added thanks to the arrival of Roarke's family who have come to New York to celebrate thanksgiving. Neither Roarke or Eve quite know what to do with a family so they're both a bit unsure of themselves and it was hilarious seeing them both try to figure out how to cope with an Irish invasion. I really like seeing them out of their comfort zones and I think it's great that they've both been welcomed into Roarke's family with open arms. They had already started to build a close knit group of friends but that is expanding even more with the latest arrivals. In case it wasn't obvious I'm still loving this series and can't wait to dive into the next book!

Source: Purchased

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Review: Once Upon a Time in Bliss - Lexi Blake

Re-released in a second edition with new content.

Go back in time to Bliss’s first happily ever after…

CIA operative John Bishop arrived in Bliss, Colorado, seeking a respite from the high-stakes game of blood and lies that sent him to the worst corners of the world. A week playing the role of vacationing professor Henry Flanders would recharge his batteries, especially if he found a gorgeous woman to occupy his time.

Nell Finn has spent her life focused on helping others, but when she meets the tall and mysterious Henry Flanders, she can’t stop imagining what he might do for her. When Nell and her mother are threatened, Henry comes to her, offering his protection and comfort.

But as the threats escalate out of control, Henry discovers that the beautiful and innocent Nell is much more than a plaything. Can he save the woman he loves without exposing the secrets that would drive her away?

Nights in Bliss Series:
(Originally published under the pen name Sophie Oak)
Three to Ride
Two to Love
One to Keep
Lost in Bliss
Found in Bliss
Pure Bliss
Chasing Bliss
Once Upon a Time in Bliss

Visit Lexi Blake's website for more information

Once Upon a Time in Bliss is book 8 in the Nights in Bliss series but it's also kind of a prequel. Nell and Henry have been some of my favourite side characters since the beginning of the series so I loved this chance to go back in time and see how they first met. It was also great to see younger versions of so many of the characters we've already met and love, in particular Logan and his best friend Seth shine in this story and as their book is next this was the perfect introduction to them (I think this is the first time we've seen Seth on page but I could be wrong about that).

Anyway, lets get back to our main couple and discuss the romance. Nell has been such a fun character throughout the series, she's a bit hippy in her attitude, very much a free spirit who cares deeply about the people and the world around her. She's constantly picking causes to protest over but when the chips are down she's definitely someone you want on your side because she's fierce when it comes to looking out for her own. Henry is a much quieter and more serious type, he's happy to indulge Nell in her crazy whims but not likely to join her in her protests. Instead he watches proudly from the sidelines making sure she doesn't get into too much trouble. We know from his actions in previous books that there is a darker side to Henry but Nell definitely brings out the best in him.

This story gives us a chance to get to know more about Henry's past as a CIA operative. He has a dark and bloody past but he's relieved to have left it all behind him now. When he first arrives in Bliss the last thing he was looking for was to settle down but he was definitely suffering with burnout from his job. Nell was someone so light and pure that the attraction was instant but he worried about tainting her with his past so it wasn't easy for him to start a relationship. In a lot of ways these two are total opposites but they work so well as a couple, she makes his world a much brighter place while he is able to shield her from the darker side of life and keep her happy.

I loved spending time with Nell and Henry but it was also fun seeing younger versions of characters like Max, Stefan, Callie and even Mel. I really enjoyed the friendship between Logan and Seth too so I'm looking forward to reading their book next. This series really is so much fun to read and I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Other Reviews:
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Monday, 15 July 2019

Review: Any Way the Wind Blows - Seanan McGuire

As departs from its longtime home, the iconic Flatiron building, we present this sweet farewell from Seanan McGuire.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Visit Seanan McGuire's website for more information

Any Way the Wind Blows is a short story written by Seanan McGuire as a kind of goodbye to the Flatiron building as Tor move to new offices. Its available as a free ebook on Amazon (and presumably other ebook sites) or you can read it online at Tor's website here.

Seanan McGuire never fails to amaze me with the fantastic new story ideas that she keeps coming up with and this is no exception. I really loved her baklava take on the multiverse and like the idea of travellers breaking their way through the layers to explore new dimensions. It was such a fun idea and even though this is such a short story (around 20 pages) it already introduces us to some interesting new characters that I'd love to spend more time with.

As much as that's a positive it's also a negative because I think this world deserves so much more than a tiny short story. I'd love to revisit this in a full length book and go exploring with the crew. It could be such a fun universe to spend time in!

Also, let's just take a moment to appreciate that gorgeous cover artwork, isn't it stunning!

Source: Downloaded for free from Amazon but this can also be read on the Tor website here

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Sunday, 14 July 2019

Review: Kingdom of Exiles - Maxym Martineau

Assassin's Creed meets Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in this gripping, epic fantasy romance trilogy.

My heart wasn't part of the deal when I bargained for my life, but assassins so rarely keep their word.

Exiled Charmer Leena Edenfrell is running out of time. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts-an offense punishable by death-and now there's a price on her head. With the realm's most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes Noc an offer he can't refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

Plagued by a curse that kills everyone he loves, Noc agrees to Leena's terms in hopes of finding a cure. Never mind that the dark magic binding the assassin's oath will eventually force him to choose between Leena's continued survival...and his own.

The Beast Charmer Series:
Kingdom of Exiles
The Frozen Prince (coming early 2020)
The Shattered Crown (coming late 2020)

Visit Maxym Martineau's website for more information

Kingdom of Exiles is the first book in Maxym Martineau's Beast Charmer series and I though it was a great debut novel. The hook in the blurb for this book is "Assassin's Creed meets Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them" and it was that reference to Fantastic Beasts that totally made this a must read book (I have to confess to never having played Assassin's Creed but I am a HUGE fan of anything in the Wizarding World).

Leena is a Charmer with a collection of weird and wonderful magical beasts. She was exiled by her people after being betrayed by the man she loved and now she's surviving by slowly selling her beloved creatures even though that is something completely forbidden in her homeland. The punishment for her actions is death and now there is a price on her head, Leena's only choice for survival is to make a deal with the leader of the Assassins. Noc jumps at the chance of obtaining magical beasts for him and his closest allies but he is keeping huge secrets from Leena, one about a curse on his family and another about the nature of an assassin's oath. Both of these have huge potential to hurt Leena in the future so Noc has some big decisions to make.

There was a lot to love about this debut, firstly I have to talk about the different magical beasts we encountered and how much fun it was to learn about their abilities. If anything I'd have actually liked more of this side of the story, particularly about the bond between Charmers and beast and the magical realm that the beasts lived in after being captured. I have a few questions about how that all works that I'm sure will become clearer as the series continues but I could still have read about the bests all day long.

The story reminded me a little of Amanda Bouchet's Kingmaker Chronicles, it has a similar set up with a young woman with certain abilities and a group of men who are accompanying her on a journey because she can give them something no-one else can. I really liked the camaraderie of Noc and his closest team but I think it would have been nice if there had been at least one more girl included in the top tier of the assassin's guild, especially since there are so many further down the ladder. I liked both Leena and Noc but I do think the romance between them develops a little too quickly, it starts slow which was great and I thought we were going to get a slow build that develops across the entire series but by the end of the book it had taken things a little too far in my opinion, especially since they've only known each other a few days at that point.

I think we could have had slightly less of the romance and more of the world building and this would have felt like a more satisfying and well rounded read but don't let that put you off because it was still a really enjoyable story that left me eager to carry on with the series. It's definitely going to be fun to see where the story goes from here and I've already got books 2 and 3 at the top of my 2020 wish list.

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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Saturday, 13 July 2019

Review: The Second Time Around - Ella Quinn

Can a beautiful Worthington widow find love again? Depends on who’s asking . . .

Before he died, Patience was the Earl of Worthington’s second wife. So why shouldn’t Patience be allowed a second chance at marriage, too? Of course, finding a new husband was not something the mother of four had ever planned on. But a surprise encounter with her first love has suddenly made the impossible seem possible all over again . . .

It seems like a lifetime ago that Richard, Viscount Wolverton, was halfway around the world, looking for adventure . . . while Patience, at her coming-out, was left with no choice but to take old Worthington’s hand. Richard never forgot the woman whose heart he yearned for—and now that he’s back, he’s not going to let her slip away again . . .

The Worthingtons Series:
Three Weeks to Wed
When a Marquis Chooses a Bride
The Second Time Around (Novella)
It Started with a Kiss
The Marquis and I
You Never Forget Your First Earl
I'll Always Love You (Novella)
Believe in Me

Visit Ella Quinn's website for more information

Patience Worthington is Matt's stepmother, and the mother of the four younger sisters he's had custody of ever since his father died. Her marriage wasn't exactly a love match but it gave Patience her daughters and that's something she'll always be grateful for. When her old childhood sweetheart comes back to London he is determined to win back the only woman he ever loved, it was his fault she ended up in a loveless marriage and all he wants is to finally be able to claim her for himself. It's not quite that simple though, if Patience marries again she could lose her children, especially since the girls have become so close to Grace's siblings and the two families are living together so happily.

I really enjoyed this story, Patience was married young and although she has four daughters she's really not much older than her stepson Matt so she's far too young to be on her own forevermore. Richard missed his first chance with her because he was stupidly away travelling when she came out to society and he didn't return in time to stop her marriage to the old Duke. He never stopped loving her though so now that she's available again he will do whatever it takes to win her heart. Luckily Patience's children are on his side, they want their mother to be happy and along with the rest of their family they're willing to do a little plotting to help Richard win her hand.

It was really nice to see these two get a second chance at love, it would have been great to have had some flashbacks into their childhood together but for a novella we still had plenty of time to get invested in their relationship. It's always fun to spend time with the Worthington brood too and this was a great lighthearted read that I'm happy to recommend.

Source: Purchased

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Friday, 12 July 2019

Review: The Bride Test - Helen Hoang

From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart...

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions — like grief. And love. He thinks he's defective. His family knows better— that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can't turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn't go as planned. Esme's lessons in love seem to be working... but only on herself. She's hopelessly smitten with a man who's convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme's time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he's been wrong all along. And there's more than one way to love.

The Kiss Quotient Series:
The Kiss Quotient
The Bride Test
The Heart Principle (2020)

Visit Helen Hoang's website for more information

I seem to have a new favourite author when it comes to contemporary romance because I just can't get enough of Helen Hoang's writing. I was a little worried that The Bride Test wouldn't live up to my extremely high expectations because I adored The Kiss Quotient but I shouldn't have been because it was just as fun to read and I fell head over heels for Khai right alongside Esme.

We had already met Khai in the first book as he's Michael's cousin but don't worry if you're jumping into the series here because they're more companion novels than a direct series (I would HIGHLY recommend both books though so you're missing out if you've not read either of them!). Khai is autistic so he doesn't always react in the same way other people do, he didn't even cry when his best friend died and because of that he thinks he is incapable of love or any other strong emotion. His family know better though, they see that he is still grieving for his friend even if he doesn't show it in the same way other people do and his family want to see him happy. His mother in particular has decided that it's time for Khai to get married and start a family so she decided to travel to Vietnam and find him a bride.

This is where we meet Esme, she's a single mother who works hard every day to support her young daughter. She desperately wants to build a better life for her family but it's hard when you're living in the slums of Ho Chi Min City. When Khai's mother offers her the opportunity to travel to America for the summer and meet a potential husband it's an offer Esme can't refuse, especially when it might give her a chance to find her own American father too. Arriving in a country where everything is different and she barely speaks the language makes things really difficult for Esme but she is determined to make the best of things. As she sets about trying to seduce Khai it doesn't take long before she starts to fall in love herself but it looks as if she's the only one developing feelings and perhaps this adventure in America is going to end in disaster after all.

I can't even tell you how much I loved both of these characters, Khai thinks he doesn't know how to love but he's actually a really attentive and caring boyfriend, even when he's only doing it to keep his mother off his back. He's the type of guy who gives things his all so when he commits to a relationship he's all in. He makes a lot of mistakes along the way because he doesn't understand how Esme thinks but this leads to some hilarious misunderstandings and some brilliant conversations with his brother Quan and cousin Michael as they try to help him figure out sex and women. Esme works so hard to build a better life for herself, she gives her all to both her new job and her relationship but at the same time she also goes to college and takes classes to better herself. She wants to prove that she's worthy of Khai but along the way she starts to realise that she doesn't need a man to give her daughter a good life, she's actually strong and capable enough of doing it on her own and I really respected her for that.

On paper it doesn't look like these two fit but in reality they mesh really well. Esme doesn't understand Khai at first but she's willing to make allowances for him when she starts to realise how his autism affects him and they're both able to talk about things like adults when there is something bothering them. Khai is initially horrified at having his routine disrupted when Esme moves in but he quickly adapts as they start figuring out new routines together. I thought they made an adorable couple and I loved how innocent and awkward some of their interactions were, don't get me wrong they had great chemistry but it took time for them to figure out that side of things and get on the same page emotionally too. Quan has been a stand out side character since the beginning of the series so I'm ridiculously excited that he's going to be the hero of the next book and I definitely can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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