Saturday, 24 August 2019

Review: The Queen's Advantage - Jessie Mihalik

When Queen Samara Rani fulfills the promise she made to Emperor Valentin Kos to visit his court and meet with his advisors, she knows they won’t welcome her with open arms, especially when she’s been tasked with discovering the traitors within their ranks—traitors she tricked out of five million credits.

As soon as Samara begins her investigation it becomes clear that Valentin’s advisors want her gone and they aren’t picky about how. After their tactics turn violent, Samara and Valentin race to unravel the web of treachery and lies before the next attack ends in tragedy.

When the conflict escalates in ferocity and rumors start blaming Samara, she is forced to continue her hunt alone. Uncovering traitors is difficult when courtiers learn to lie before they learn to walk, and one misstep could cost her life. However, Rogue Queens aren’t easy to kill and Samara has more than a few tricks of her own.

Rogue Queen:
The Queen's Gambit
The Queen's Ambition

Visit Jessie Mihalik's website for more information

I first read The Queen’s Advantage when it was available on Jessie Mihalik’s blog as a free online serial and I enjoyed it enough that I purchased the final, edited version when it went on sale. The story was officially edited and expanded upon before official publication and I enjoyed the story as much, if not more, the second time around.

Queen Samara Rami promised to help Emperor Valentin Kos figure out the traitors in his court who are trying to have him killed. To fulfil that promise she's travelled to his home planet and plans to spend at least two weeks living at the palace pushing buttons trying to get the traitors to betray themselves. It quickly becomes clear that someone doesn't want her there and that they're willing to use her, and the rest of her people, as scapegoats for the continuing attacks on Valentin.

I think this story had a little less action than the first book, there were still some great fight scenes but there was also a lot of political intrigue as Samara tried to figure out who was targeting Valentin. It was interesting to meet some of the people closest to him but I have to admit I missed Samara's loyal people who had remained behind to hold the Rogue Coalition together while she was gone. I'm still really enjoying the developing romance between Samara and Valentin, it's still very slow build (come on just give into temptation already!) but I think that works for them as a couple since they both have good reason to be wary of outsiders.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next when Jessie Mihalik starts posting book 3 on her blog.

Source: Originally read as an online serial on Jessie Mihalik's blog but I then purchased a copy once it had been edited and published

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Friday, 23 August 2019

Cover Reveal: Edge of Darkness - Lara Adrian

It's no secret I'm a HUGE fan of Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series so I'm thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for the next book in the series Edge of Darkness. The book releases on the 30th of September 2019 in ebook and print and you can order from all major retailers now or visit for more information.

Story Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian is back with Edge of Darkness, the latest sizzling, spellbinding novel in the Hunter Legacy series of vampire romances set in the darkly seductive Midnight Breed paranormal story world.

As a survivor of the horrific Hunter program, Breed vampire and former assassin Knox is a solitary man, closed off to the pain of love—and loss. A loner by choice, Knox deals in death and dark justice, expecting nothing in return. Until one snowy night he drifts into a remote town in northern Maine, where a determined beauty enlists his lethal assistance, tempting not only his hunger, but his wounded heart as well.

Lenora Calhoun has lived in tiny Parrish Falls all her life. Owner of the local diner that’s been in her family for generations, Leni’s as stalwart and stubborn as the tall pines that surround her. That unshakable resolve doesn’t sit well with everyone, least of all the most powerful family in the logging town. Leni’s been the target of their animosity for years, but with their escalating threats now putting an innocent child’s safety at risk, she takes a desperate chance on a dangerous stranger—a man who is something more than human. Knox’s deadly skills and turbulent gaze should be warning enough for Leni to guard her heart, yet she cannot deny the yearning he stirs in her blood. For the merciless Breed male is the only man she can trust in a town full of secrets, and where taking a stand could rip away everything she holds dear.

While this novel is Book 3 in the Hunter Legacy series, each story in this Midnight Breed spin-off series can be read as a complete standalone with HEA and no cliffhangers.

Pre-order Links

Kindle US:

*** EDGE OF DARKNESS will be going into Kindle Unlimited a day or so after release and will be exclusive at Amazon for at least 90 days. If you're a Nook, Apple, or Kobo reader, please be sure to pre-order! ***

Available on release day

Release day TBA

Add it to your Goodreads shelf:

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Review: Innocent in Death - J.D. Robb

His heart began to thud, his throat to close. He tried to pull his body from the pool. 'I'll help you', his killer said. He felt no pain.

A young teacher sips a hot chocolate, blissfully unaware that his first taste condemns him to an agonising death. The community around him is devastated and suspiciously protective of their own. No one is better equipped to see through the lies than homicide Lieutenant Eve Dallas, but she is distracted by the arrival of her husband Roarke's ex-lover, an impossibly glamorous vixen, determined to steal Roarke back.

But Eve's personal life must wait when a second murder victim is found, and everyone's eyes turn to the perfect school at the heart of it all. Its secret will soon be out . . .

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
Creation in Death
Eternity in Death (Novella)
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.

In this instalment Eve is tasked with investigating the murder of a popular young teacher at a private school. That's the least of her worries this time though as one of Roarke's old flames is back on the scene and she seems determined to win him back. Eve is usually pretty chilled about Roarke's exes but there is something about Magdelana that puts her back up almost instantly and for the first time she finds herself impossibly jealous and paranoid. Her head tells her Roarke would never betray her trust but her heart is running scared. For once Roarke handles things badly, he doesn't understand her jealousy and is upset by the thought that Eve doesn't trust him. Friction at home has Eve completely off her game and it makes it far harder than normal for her to solve the case.

If you've been following my blog over the last few months you'll know I've been devouring this series and I can't get enough of Eve and Roarke as a couple so it was horrible to see them going through a rough patch in this book. But at the same time I really appreciate that J.D. Robb is still managing to make their relationship fresh and interesting 24 books into a long running series. Roarke can sometimes be too good to be true so it was nice to see him make a mistake for a change even though it left me wanting to smack some sense into him. I was so angry at him for hurting Eve but at the same time I could see why he was annoyed that she didn't seem to trust him. I never doubted them as a couple though, it's obvious they're both crazy about each other and that nobody is ever going to be able to come between them no matter how hard they try.

I have to give a shoutout to Summerset in this review too because there were some fantastic scenes between him and Eve this time around. I love the antagonistic relationship they usually have but I also really like the way that when the chips are down they can actually be quite sweet to each other. I don't want to say too much about the murder in this case but I will say I was shocked and pretty horrified at who the killer was and their motives. This was definitely a surprising case that nearly got past Eve, luckily she got her head back into the game in time to solve the mystery though.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
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Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Review: Danger's Fate - Amanda Carlson

The floating city exists…

Upon receiving the urgent missive, confirming the existence of the Flotilla, there’s nothing left for Holly to do but rush to their aid. Hundreds, if not thousands, of lives are at stake. But the government, now run by her crew, are holding back their efforts. Betraying them could mean the start of a bitter feud, just when the dark city has a chance to regain its lost resources.

Alaria Bancroft is in the fight of her life—against her father and his trusted followers. After cutting the hydro-farms loose, they’re in jeopardy of being lost at sea. To complicate matters, the biospheres are broken beyond repair and food stores are rapidly dwindling. If help doesn’t arrive soon, they all die.

Ari’s only option is to sneak back into the floating city, in one last attempt to save as many as she can. When Holly arrives, the two have to work together, but it might be too late…

Holly Danger Series:
Danger's Halo
Danger's Vice
Danger's Race
Danger's Cure
Danger's Hunt
Danger's Fate

Visit Amanda Carlson's website for more information

When an urgent message for help confirms that the floating flotilla still exists Holly and her crew have no choice but to mount a rescue operation, even if their fledgling new government is determined to stop them. Alaria has done everything she can to protect her people from her father's increasing madness but they're nearly out of supplies and with the hydro-farms no longer attached to the main flotilla they are at increased risk of starvation unless Ari risks it all to ask outsiders for help.

Danger's Fate was a fab instalment to the Holly Danger series, we've heard rumours about the flotilla since early in the series but this is the first time we have confirmation that the floating city is still out there. Holly and her crew take a huge risk flying out over the water but with thousands of lives at risk, and a potential trove of new technology that could help survivors across the city, they have no choice but to attempt a rescue.

This was the first time we've had another narrator alongside Holly and I really loved Ari's voice. We're introduced to a whole new group of characters as one major story arc of the series ends and another is set to begin. I've really enjoyed spending time with Holly, Case, Dax and the others but it was fun to see another way of life aboard the floating ships and I'm looking forward to getting to know Ari and her friends better.

I've been really enjoying this series so I'm very glad it's not over yet and I think there's plenty of excitement to come in the next few books!

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Review: Under Currents - Nora Roberts

Every town has its ugly little secrets...

From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looks perfect and the Bigelows seem like the perfect family: the respected surgeon father, the glamorous, devoted mother and two beautiful children. A perfect family, in a perfect house living their perfect lives.

But perfect surfaces can hide dark undercurrents and behind closed doors lies a very different story. Teenager Zane and his younger sister, Britt, are terrorised by their violent father and dysfunctional mother. Too afraid to speak out, Zane does his best to protect his sister and counts the days until they can finally be free.

One dark, brutal night when their father's temper takes a horrifying turn for the worse, the perfect façade is exposed for the lie it is and Zane and Britt manage to escape. With the help of their beloved aunt, they rebuild their lives a day at a time, creating new families and putting their past behind them. But a childhood like that can cast a shadow the length of a lifetime. Can Zane and Britt ever be free of their past? Or will those dark undercurrents rise to the surface, forcing them to fight for their lives once again...

Visit Nora Roberts' website for more information.

I've become completely addicted to Nora Roberts' In Death series this year (written under the pen name J.D. Robb) but I've actually read hardly any of her romantic suspense books written as Nora so I jumped at the chance to read Under Currents and I'm so glad I did. This is the kind of book you want to start on a lazy Sunday morning when you know you have the entire day to read because once I started it I could not put it down again. It's been ages since I devoured a book quite so quickly!

Under Currents wasn't always an easy read, it covers very difficult topics of abuse in all it's varied forms, both physical and emotional, from parents to their children as well as from husband to wife. Its also touches on how dangerous abusers can be to the partners or children who manage to escape from their clutches, something that most women are well aware of already. Nora Roberts doesn't shy away from the nasty details so although the level of violence isn't gratuitous it could definitely be triggering for anyone with abuse in their history. I certainly found parts of the book absolutely heart wrenching to read and I spent a good quarter of the book feeling physically sick about what I was reading.

Don't let that put you off picking it up though because ultimately this is a story about survival, a story about finding love and acceptance when you least expect it. About people who are willing to risk their own safety to protect others. It's about accepting that the family you are born to may not be the family you deserve and it's about finding your own place in life and choosing the people you let in. It's also a romance between two wounded people, ones who by rights could be scared to let anyone close but who are brave enough to take a chance.

I absolutely loved both Zane and Darby, they have both come through so much as individuals but they've found a way to put the past behind them and find happiness. I really enjoyed the slow build of their relationship and watching them fall in love and I particularly enjoyed spending time with Zane's chosen family. The story surprised me multiple times with the direction things took so it definitely kept me on my toes while I was reading and I found it impossible to put down. I definitely need to pick up more of Nora's contemporary stories because this one was absolutely fanatic and I haven't been able to stop thinking about the characters.

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

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

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Monday, 19 August 2019

Blog Tour: A Beggar's Kingdom - Paullina Simons

To celebrate the release of A Beggar's Kingdom, the second book in Paullina Simons' new End of Forever trilogy, I have a fab excerpt to share with you all today. But first I want to tell you a little more about the book, and the rest of the series!


The second novel in Paullina Simons's stunning End of Forever saga continues the heartbreaking story of Julian and Josephine, and a love that spans lifetimes.

Is there a fate beyond the fates?

Julian has failed Josephine once. Despite grave danger and impossible odds, he is determined to do the unimaginable and try again to save the woman he loves.

What follows is a love story like no other as the doomed lovers embark on an incredible adventure across time and space. Racing through history and against the merciless clock, they face countless dangers and deadly enemies.

Living amid beauty and ecstasy, bloodshed and betrayal, each time they court and cheat death brings Julian and Josephine closer to an unthinkable sacrifice and a confrontation with the harshest master of all…destiny.



Real Artefacts From Imaginary Places

ASHTON STOOD, HIS BLONDE HAIR SPRIKING OUT OF HIS baseball cap, his arms crossed, his crystal eyes incredulous, listening to Josephine trying to sweet-talk Zakiyyah into going on Peter Pan’s flight. Julian, Josephine, Ashton and Z were in Disneyland, the last two under protest.

“Z, what’s not to love?” Josephine was saying. “You fly over London with Peter Pan aboard a magical pirate ship to Neverland. Come on, let’s go – look, the line’s getting longer.”

“Is it pretend fly?” asked Zakiyyah.

“No,” replied Ashton. “It’s real fly. And real London. And a real pirate ship. And definitely real Neverland.”

Zakiyyah rolled her eyes. She almost gave him the finger.

“Is it fast? Is it spinny? Is it dark? I don’t want to be dizzy. I don’t want to be scared is what I’m saying, and I don’t want to be jostled.”

“Would you like to be some place else?” Ashton said.

“No, I just want to have fun.”

“And Peter Pan’s magical flight over London doesn’t qualify?” Ashton said, and sideways to Julian added, “What kind of fun are we supposed to have with someone like that? I can’t believe Riley agreed to let me come with you three. I’m going to have to take her to Jamaica to make it up to her.”

“You have a lot of making up to do all around, especially after the crap you pulled at lunch the other week,” Julian said. “So shut up and take it.”

“Story of my life,” Ashton said.

“What kind of fun are we supposed to have with someone like that?” Zakiyyah said to Josephine. “His idea of fun is making fun of me.”

“He’s not making fun of you, Z. He’s teasing you.”

“That’s not teasing!”

“Shh, yes, it is. You’re driving everybody nuts,” Josephine said, and then louder to the men, “You’ll have to excuse her, Z is new to this. She’s never been to Disneyland.”

“What kind of a human being has never been to Disneyland?” Ashton whispered to Julian.

“That’s not true!” Zakiyyah said. “I went once with my cousins.”

“Sitting on a bench while the kids go on rides is not going to Disneyland, Z.”

Zakiyyah tutted. “Is there maybe a slow train ride?”

“How about It’s a Small World?” Ashton said, addressing Zakiyyah but facing Julian and widening his eyes into saucers. “It’s a slow boat ride.”

“That might be okay. As long as the boat is not in real water. Is it in real water?”

“No,” Ashton said. “The boat is in fake water.”

“Is that what you mean when you say he’s teasing me?” Zakiyyah said to Josephine. “You sure it’s not mocking me?”

“Positive, Z. It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears. Let’s go on It’s a Small World.”

After it got dark and the toddlers had left and the crowds died down a bit, the three of them convinced Zakiyyah to go on Space Mountain. She half-agreed but balked when she saw the four-man luge they were supposed to board. Josephine would sit in front Julian, between his legs, and that meant that Zakiyyah would have to sit in front of Ashton, between his. “Can we try a different seating arrangement?” Z said.

“Like what?” Ashton kept his voice even.

“Like maybe the girls together and the boys together.”

“Jules, honey, what do you think?” Ashton asked, pitching his voice two octaves higher. “Would you like to sit between my legs, pumpkin, or do you want me between yours?”

“Z, come on,” Josephine said. “Don’t make that face. Ashton’s right. Get in. It’s one ride. You’ll love it. Just…”

“Instead of you sitting in front of me,” Ashton said to Zakiyyah, as cordial as could be, “would you prefer I sit in front of you?”

“You want to sit between my open legs?” Zakiyyah’s disbelieving tone was not even close to cordial.

“Just making suggestions, trying to be helpful.”

“Aside from other issues, I won’t be able to see anything,” Zakiyyah said. “You’re too tall. You’ll be blocking my view the whole ride.”

Ashton knocked into Julian as they were about to board. “Dude,” he whispered, “you haven’t told her Space Mountain is a black hole with nothing to see?”

“We haven’t even told her it’s a roller coaster,” Julian said. “You want her to go on the ride, or don’t you?”

“Do you really need me to answer that?”

They climbed in, Ashton and Julian first, then the girls in front of them. Zakiyyah tried to sit forward as much as possible, but the bench was narrow and short. Her hips fitted between Ashton’s splayed legs.

“Can you open your legs any wider?” she said.

“Said the bishop to the barmaid,” said Ashton.

“Josephine! Your friend’s friend is making inappropriate remarks to me.”

“Yes, they’re called jokes,” Ashton said.

“They’re most certainly not jokes because jokes are funny. People laugh at jokes. Did you hear anyone laughing?”

Zakiyyah sat primly, holding her purse in her lap.

Ashton shook his head, sighed. “Um, why don’t you put your bag down below, maybe hold on to the grip bars.”

“I’m fine just the way I am, thank you,” she said. “Don’t move too close.”

“Not to worry.”

They were off.

Zakiyyah was thrown backwards – into Ashton’s chest. Her hips locked inside Ashton’s legs. The purse dropped into the footwell. Seizing the handlebars, she screamed for two minutes into the cavernous dome.

When it was over, Julian helped a shaky Zakiyyah out, Josephine already on the platform, jumping and clapping. “Z! How was it? Did you love it, Z?”

“Did I love being terrified? Why didn’t you tell me it was a rollercoaster in pitch black?”

They had a ride photo made of the four of them: Zakiyyah’s mouth gaping open, her eyes huge, the other three exhilarated and laughing. They gave it to her as a keepsake of her first time on Space Mountain, a real artefact from an imaginary place.

“Maybe next time we can try Peter Pan,” Ashton said as they were leaving the park after the fireworks.
“Who says there’s going to be a next time?” said Zakiyyah.

“Thank you for making this happen,” Josephine whispered to Julian in the parking lot, wrapping herself around his arm. “I know it didn’t seem like it, but she had fun. Though you know what didn’t help? Your Ashton pretending to be a jester. You should tell him you don’t have to try so hard when you look like a knight. Is he trying to be funny like you?”

“He’s both a jester and a knight without any help from me, believe me,” said Julian.

Josephine kissed him without breaking stride. “You get bonus points for today,” she said. “Wait until we get home.”

And other days, while she walked through Limbo past the violent heretics and rowed down the River Styx in Paradise in the Park, Julian drove around L.A. looking for new places where she might fall in love with him, like Disneyland. New places where his hands could touch her body. They strolled down Beverly and shopped for some costume jewellery, they sat at the Montage and whispered in nostalgia for the old Hotel Bel Age that overlooked the hills. He raised a glass to her in the Viper Room where not long ago someone young and beautiful died. Someone young and beautiful always died in L.A. And when the wind blew in from Laurel Canyon, she lay in his bed and drowned in his love and wished for coral trees and red gums, while Julian wished for nothing because everything had come.

But that was then.

Praise for Paullina Simons

“One of our most exiting writers” Woman and Home

“Everything a romance glutton could wish for,” Daily Mail

“The Charisma of the writing and perfect pitch dialogue are apparent from page one.” Glamour

“Simons’ writing is high on feeling and suspense.” Sydney Morning Herald

“Simons handles her characters and setting with skill, slowly peeling away deceptions to reveal denial, cowardice and chilling indifference…an engrossing story.” Publisher’s Weekly.

The Tiger Catcher:

In case you missed the first book in the trilogy here's the synopsis for The Tiger Catcher

True Love Never Dies. The young and handsome Julian lives a charmed life in Los Angeles. That is, until his world is turned upside down by a love affair with Josephine, a mysterious young woman who takes him by storm. But she is not what she seems, carrying secrets that tear them apart—perhaps even forever.

And so begins Julian and Josephine’s extraordinary adventure of love, loss, and the mystical forces that bind people together across time and space. A journey that will propel Julian toward either love fulfilled…or oblivion.

Nearly twenty years after the publication of the runaway international bestseller, The Bronze Horseman, comes Paullina Simons’s first new epic love story in a generation. The End of Forever is a stunning new saga which will take readers from the depths of despair to the dizzying heights of joy with an unforgettable story of love lost and found.

Book 3, The Inexpressible Island, will be published in December so you don't have long to wait to find out how the trilogy ends!

About the Author:

Paullina Simons is the author of thirteen novels, a memoir, a cookbook, and two children’s books. Born and raised in the Soviet Union, she immigrated to the United States in the mid-seventies. She graduated from the University of Kansas and wrote her first novel, Tully, at twenty-nine. She has lived in Rome, London, and Dallas, and now lives in New York with her husband and half of her children.

Visit Paullina Simons' website for more information and don't forget to check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour:

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Review: The Undying King - Grace Draven

The stories are told in whispers, even after so long: of a man whose fair rule soured when he attained eternal youth. Imprisoned by a sorceress wife in a city out of time and place, he has passed into legend. Few believe in him, and fewer would set their hopes on his mercy. But Imogen has no choice. To break the curse that's isolated her since birth, she'll find the Undying King--and answer his secrets with her own...

^^Author Note: The Undying King is a stand-alone (not part of any series) novella of approximately 43,000 words and is also available in a duology titled FOR CROWN AND KINGDOM. This tale is intended for more mature audiences and contains graphic descriptions of physical intimacy.

Visit Grace Draven's website for more information

The Undying King is part beauty and the beast retelling, part fantasy romance and it all adds up into a great read. Friends have been recommending Grace Draven's books for years but it was only after reading Phoenix Unbound that I realised how much I'd been missing out. Now after enjoying this book too I'm planning on working my way through the rest of her backlist as soon as I get a chance.

Imogen has spent her whole life living with a curse and unable to have skin to skin contact with anyone without causing their death. Her mother helped her live in isolation but on her deathbed she offered Imogen a glimmer of hope telling her that if she could track down the Undying King he would be able to cure her. The Undying King is living with a curse of his own though, he achieved eternal youth but ended up imprisoned alone in a lost city. Most people don't even believe the legends anymore but Imogen is desperate and she'll take any chance she can for the possibility of a normal life.

I really enjoyed this story and found it easy to root for Imogen and Cededa, I liked the hints of beauty and the beast but that it was still completely it's own story. The world building was good but I have to admit I wanted a little more of that side, this is a relatively short book and as a stand alone it didn't have a lot of time to delve into a detailed new world. I was also hoping for more at the end, it finished a little abruptly and left me wishing for a sequel. It was still a great story though and I have very high expectations for this author's other books.

Source: Purchased

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