Friday, 18 January 2019

Review: Three Trials - Kristy Cunning

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.

**Sexual situations/content
**Reverse Harem
**Dark humor galore
**Language warning

The Dark Side Series:
Four Psychos
Thee Trials
Two Kingdoms
One Apocalypse

Visit Kristy Cunning's website for more information

Review:
Three Trials picks up Keyla's story right after the end of Four Psychos so Keyla and her men are stuck in hell and about to take part in a series of trials that they are very unlikely to survive. Luckily for the warriors they have a friendly ghost on their side and since she's appointed herself their guardian she is going to use whatever abilities she has to make sure they make it through.

I don't want to give too much away about this story but I enjoyed it even more than the first book. Keyla is still the snarky and hilarious girl we already knew and loved but I found myself liking the guys much more in this one because while they're still wary of her they do manage to treat her better than before. I like the fact that the romance is slow build in this series but things are starting to heat up a little as the guys are finding it harder and harder to resist temptation.

We get some really interesting revelations about Keyla's background here as we finally learn who she actually is and why she has such a strong connection to Kai, Jude, Ezekiel and Gage. There was also plenty of action and some really nice developments in the world building so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where the story takes us next and I'll be diving into the next book very soon.

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.

Kindle:

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Review: Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox - Forthright

Tsumiko inherits an ancestral home, a vast fortune, and a butler who isn’t exactly human.

Humanity is rocked by the Emergence of a people who call themselves the Amaranthine. They are our myths and legends come to life. Neither human nor animal, yet embracing qualities of both, the inhuman races inspire both awe and fear. Every newsfeed is clogged with updates about the peace process, but some places don’t concern themselves with worldly affairs. Like the girls’ school run by Saint Midori’s of the Heavenly Lights, where Tsumiko Hajime grew up.

A letter from a long-lost aunt names Tsumiko heiress to an ancestral estate and its accompanying fortune. Only the legacy comes with an aloof heirloom: an inhuman butler. Argent has served the Hajime family for centuries, and Tsumiko must renew the generational bond or he’ll die. Argent hates her for the hold she has over him, but he craves her soul almost as much as he craves his freedom.

Amaranthine Saga:
Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox
Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal
Tamiko and the Two Janitors (2019)

Visit Jessie Mihalik's website for more information

Review:
I first heard about Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox when Ilona Andrews recommended it on her blog and that was enough to have me immediately downloading the sample to give it a try. I've never read manga or watched anime so this style of story was quite different to my usual fare but I really enjoyed the world that Forthright has created. I still have questions that I hope will be answered in future books but I was given enough information to pull me into the story without being overwhelmed by unnecessary details.

Tsumiko is an orphan who was working as a teacher at a boarding school while her brother is studying at college. I'm not sure if she's supporting him financially but they do have a very close connection and are friends as well as siblings. Tsumiko's life is turned upside-down when she discovers she has inherited a vast estate from a distant relative, now not only does she have control of a very large fortune and own a stately home but she has also inherited the staff that work on the estate. That includes a very special bond with her new butler, Argent. An Amaranthine fox, Argent has been enslaved to Tsumiko's family for centuries and he is not happy to have a new mistress that he will be forced to serve. Tsumiko is equally horrified about the thought of enslaving another person and determined to find a way to break the bond so that Argent can have his freedom.

This story is quite a slow burn one rather than an action packed adventure but it still managed to completely hold my attention and I was fascinated by the different types of Amaranthine that we are introduced to. It was interesting to see the connection between the shapeshifting Amaranthine and the not quite fully human Reavers who tend to them. I admit the whole tending thing could come across as a little creepy at times (like the way Argent would lick Tsumiko's neck or how they had to kiss the first time they met just to solidify their bond) but there was also an innocence to the connection between them. Tsumiko herself is quite naive about the new world she finds herself in and she was a tiny bit too innocent and pure for my taste but she does have an inner strength that shines through at times and she was very caring towards the people around her which is something I always appreciate.

Argent has suffered centuries of torment at the hands of Tsumiko's family so it was understandable that he found it difficult to trust her at first but I enjoyed seeing their connection grow as he got to know her better. I think what I loved most about this book was the side characters though. I really liked Michael and Sansa, other Reavers who worked on the estate as well as the younger fox Ginko who was the gardener. The connection between Tsumiko and her brother Akira was great and I'm really curious about his roommate Suuzu. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next book in this series and seeing Forthright expand on the world they've created.

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Review: The Queen's Gambit - Jessie Mihalik

When the Quint Confederacy and the Kos Empire went to war—again—Queen Samara wisely kept her Rogue Coalition out of the conflict. But staying neutral in a galactic war doesn’t pay the bills, not when both sides refuse to trade with neutral sectors.

With her people on the brink of starvation, Samara hatches a daring plan to snatch the kidnapped Kos Emperor from the Quint mercenaries holding him. The Kos Empire will pay a fortune for their emperor’s return, enough to feed the Coalition’s citizens while they wait for the return to a begrudging peace.

But when her plan goes sideways, Samara finds herself evading Quint mercenaries with the very man she intends to capture. And the more time she spends with Valentin Kos, the more she realizes that he’s not the coldly indifferent villain she imagined. Torn between duty and desire, Samara must decide if saving her people is worth giving up the one thing she’s always wanted.

Rogue Queen:
The Queen's Gambit
The Queen's Ambition (currently being published as an online serial via the author's blog)

Visit Jessie Mihalik's website for more information

Review:
I first read The Queen’s Gambit 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.

Samara is a great character, she’s the queen of a ragtag group of refugees and rebels who are living in the outer reaches of the solar system and just trying to get by without drawing attention of two warring factions. The war has made food and other supplies scarce and her people are struggling just to survive on very low rations. Samara has done everything she can think of to get food for her people but desperation has made her a little reckless and now she’s decided to kidnap Valentin, the new Emperor of the Kos Federation hoping to use the ransom for food and supplies. After all Valentin’s war is the reason her people are suffering in the first place so the least he can do is provide the means to save them.

I don’t want to say much more about the story but things with Valentin aren’t all what they first seemed and Samara may have bitten off more than she can chew by abducting him. Now she just has to decide if she can work with him for the good of her people or whether he will stab her in the back at the first chance he gets.

Jessie Mihalik has created a fun futuristic world with lots of interesting technology but even though this is only a novella I never found myself lost or struggling to keep up. There was a nice amount of action, a good selection of side characters and I also enjoyed the developing romance. I’m already looking forward to reading the sequel and luckily I don’t have to wait long because the author has already started posting instalments of The Queen’s Advantage 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

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Review: Silk & Steel - Ariana Nash

A tormented dragon prince.
A captured elven assassin.
Duty demands they fight for their people but love has other plans.

Eroan, one of the last elven assassins, lives for one purpose: kill the queen.

He would have succeeded if not for her last line of defense: Prince Lysander. Now, captured and forced into the queen’s harem, Eroan sees another opportunity. Why kill just the queen when he can kill them all? It would be simple, if not for the troubled and alluring dragon prince. A warrior, a killer, and something else… something Eroan finds himself inexplicably drawn to.

Trapped in a life he despises, Lysander knows his time is running out.

If the queen doesn’t kill him for his failures, her enemies will. There’s nothing left to live for, until an elf assassin almost kills him. A stubborn, prideful, fool of an elf who doesn’t know when to quit. An elf who sparks a violent, forbidden desire in Lysander. If Lysander can’t save himself, maybe he can save the elf and maybe, just maybe… one stubborn elf will be enough to bring down the queen before her reign brings death to them all.

Silk & Steel is a 85,000 word full-length novel.

This series is a dark fantasy intended for mature readers.
Silk & Steel features gay and bisexual characters and encounters.

Silk & Steel Series:
Sealed with a Kiss (Prequel short story)
Silk and Steel
Iron and Fire (2019)

Visit Ariana Nash's website or Pippa DaCosta's website for more information

Review:
I'm a huge fan of Pippa DaCosta's writing so when I found out she was writing a dark fantasy M/M story under the pen name of Ariana Nash I immediately added it to my wish list. Throw in the fact that the main characters of Silk & Steel are an elven assassin and a dragon prince and I just couldn't wait to get started! Anyone who has ever read any of Pippa's stories will know that she excels at detailed world building and tortured heroes and she has outdone herself on both of those fronts with this book.

Eroan is one of the few surviving members of the elven assassins, his whole life has been spent training to kill the dragon queen although he has always known that he is more likely to die in the attempt than to actually succeed. He came so close to achieving his goal but he was captured by the dragon prince Lysander and now he is being held prisoner in their stronghold. The only thing keeping Eroan going is his dream of ending the dragon queen once and for all but the longer he spends in captivity being tortured the slimmer his chances appear.

Lysander has been his mother's plaything since he was a child, nothing he ever did was good enough to earn her acceptance and the title prince is a mockery when he is just as much a prisoner of his circumstances as Eroan. Lysander has given up hope of surviving his mother but there is something about the fierce and proud elf that makes him long for a future he knows is impossible. Perhaps if he can just manage to save Eroan then his entire life won't have been wasted but to do that he's going to have to stand up to the woman who has made his entire life a misery.

You only need to read the blurb for Silk & Steel and the warnings it contains to know that this story is going to be a dark one, it's actually quite uncomfortable to read at times but in that best kind of ways where your heart hurts but you just can't stop reading. The characters are complex with believable motives and although there is a great forbidden romance bubbling along in the background it's definitely  a slow build which works perfectly in this situation. That's not to say there's no heat in this story because there's still plenty of sex happening, both of the M/M and M/F variety, but Eroan and Lysander have a long road to travel if they want any chance at a happily ever after and they're nowhere near the finish line yet.

I'm ridiculously excited to see where this series is going to take us, there have already been plenty of unexpected developments and I'm sure Ariana Nash is going to throw in a few more curveballs along the way. This is shaping up to be one heck of a ride!

Source: Received for free from the author 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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Monday, 14 January 2019

Release Blitz: Sealed with A Curse Interactive Game App - Cecy Robson


Download the Free App and explore the Crazy Maple’s Chapters games

Choose your story with Chapters, the interactive story game that lets you choose your path in every story. Read through chapters and chapters of fun interactive stories that fit your mood, from romance to suspense!

Choose your story from our top collection of romance, fantasy, sci-fi, young adult, comedy, and drama series! Chapters combines a unique style of choose your own story gameplay with fiction stories from our top authors that you simply can't put down!

YOU get to make the choices in each story. Decide on hard life choices such as falling in love, discovering secrets, or unravelling deep mysteries! Make your choices wisely; every ending is different!

Chapters Features:
- Choose your story! Dive in and start making choices that affect the overall outcome!
- Adventures start with you choosing your name and style to reflect your personality.
- All stories come with info directly from the author!

Download the FREE APP here:

http://bit.ly/ChaptersAndroid

http://bit.ly/ChaptersDownload

Find Crazy Maple's Chapter Games on social media:

Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBChapters
Twitter http://bit.ly/ChaptersTwit

Game Trailer:



Giveaways:

Gem Giveaway:

Chapter Apps will provide five lucky winners with 100 gems

a Rafflecopter giveaway


US Only Autograph Print Bundle:

Cecy will give one US winner an autographed print bundle of Gone Hunting, A Curse Awakened, and The Weird Girls

a Rafflecopter giveaway


ABOUT CECY ROBSON:


Cecy Robson is an author of contemporary and new adult romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double-nominated RITA® Finalist, Winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and published author of more than twenty titles, you can typically find Cecy on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

Connect with Cecy online:

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Review: A Whole New World - Liz Braswell

Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie?

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

Twisted Tales Series:
A Whole New World - Liz Braswell
Once Upon a Dream - Liz Braswell
As Old As Time - Liz Braswell
Reflection - Elizabeth Lim
Part of Your World - Liz Braswell
Mirror, Mirror - Jen Calonita (2019)

Visit Liz Braswell's website for more information.

Review:
I grew up watching the Aladdin cartoon, it’s still one of my favourite Disney movies and I absolutely adore Robin Williams as the genie. Then last year I went to see the Aladdin musical with friends and I walked out of the theatre in the mood for Aladdin in book form, I knew A Whole New World was a twisted version of the story and it sounded like it would hit the spot perfectly so I couldn’t wait to dive in.

The beginning of this book follows the movie pretty much word for word, apart from a little extra from Aladdin’s childhood fans of the cartoon will easily be able to picture events as they unfold so I can understand why some people have said the beginning is a little on the slow side. That didn’t stop my enjoyment at all because it was exactly what I’d picked up this book hoping for.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Twisted Tale if the story stayed exactly the same as the original though and it doesn’t take long for the story to go in a completely different direction. What would have happened if Jafar had stolen the lamp before Aladdin had discovered the genie and made his wishes? Well you’re going to have to read the book for yourself to find out that but it does involve a street rat and a princess who join together to lead a revolution.

I really enjoyed Liz Braswell’s take on such a familiar story and I’m looking forward to seeing how she twists other familiar fairytales on their head.

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.

Paperback:

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Review: The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang

It's high time for Stella Lane to settle down and find a husband - or so her mother tells her. This is no easy task for a wealthy, successful woman like Stella, who also happens to have Asperger's. Analyzing data is easy; handling the awkwardness of one-on-one dates is hard. To overcome her lack of dating experience, Stella decides to hire a male escort to teach her how to be a good girlfriend.

Faced with mounting bills, Michael decides to use his good looks and charm to make extra cash on the side. He has a very firm no repeat customer policy, but he's tempted to bend that rule when Stella approaches him with an unconventional proposal.

The more time they spend together, the harder Michael falls for this disarming woman with a beautiful mind, and Stella discovers that love defies logic.

Visit Helen Hoang's website for more information

Review:
Since she turned 30 Stella's mother has started putting on the pressure about her getting married and starting to produce some much longed for grandkids. Stella doesn't want to let her parents down but as someone with Aspergers Syndrome she finds interpersonal relationships extremely difficult and her few attempts at sex have all ended in disaster because she couldn't bear to be touched so intimately by a practical stranger. She's extremely successful at her career but feels like a failure because of her struggles to hold down a relationship so she decides to hire a professional to teach her how to enjoy, or at least tolerate, sex. She's sure that once she's mastered sex she'll have a chance to find a husband and start building a family.

Michael has been an escort for three years, working on the side to earn enough money to cover his mother's medical bills. It wasn't a career path he went looking for and he's become pretty jaded about both women and sex so he finds Stella's openness about her goals incredibly refreshing. Michael is patient, calm and willing to take things very slowly so that Stella is always in control and feeling comfortable with what they're doing. He listens to her fears, goes out of his way to make things easier for her and never makes her feel awkward. In fact, he's the first person who seems to like her for her quirks rather than in spite of them.

I really loved The Kiss Quotient, it's like a gender swapped version of Pretty Woman and the story was both sweet, sexy and incredibly romantic. I loved Stella's personality, she's very intelligent and caring so although she finds it hard to read people she works hard to understand Michael and his family. She's a total novice when it comes to relationships but the way things slowly develop between them was totally believable and I loved how willing they both were to talk things through and discuss their hopes and dreams. Michael has a lot of baggage of his own and doesn't feel worthy of Stella thanks to some things in his past but he was really sweet and protective of her and they just fitted together as a couple so well. I wasn't a big fan of Stella's parents but Michael's mother and sisters more than made up for that and this whole book just left me with a massive smile on my face.

It's not often that I fall so totally in love with a contemporary romance story but The Kiss Quotient was a one sitting read that I absolutely devoured and I'm definitely going to be purchasing everything that Helen Hoang writes in the future.

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Review: Make Me Crave - Katee Robert

UK Cover
‘I crave you…’
Can their hunger be satisfied?

Roman Bassani will do anything to close a deal. Even chase down Allie Landers on her Caribbean vacation to make an offer on her company. He expects a challenge—but not their immediate intense attraction. After an accidental one-night stand they agree to put business aside—for now. The island lulls them into a heated sexual journey…but what happens to their opposing interests when they return from paradise?

Make Me Series:
Make Me Want
Make Me Crave
Make Me Yours (2019)

Visit Katee Robert's website for more information.

Review:
Roman can be quite ruthless when it comes to business and since Allie is determined to avoid him at her work place he thinks nothing of following her to a Caribbean island paradise where she’s taking a much-needed holiday. Allie has put her heart and soul into building a successful gym and using the profits to run a women’s shelter, she sees the two parts of her business working hand in hand and the last thing she wants is a large investor to come along who is more interested in profit than helping people. It’s been years since she last had a holiday so she’s determined to make the most of this break and it doesn’t take much for a hot stranger to talk her into a one-night stand. Unfortunately, the pair get more than they bargained for when they realise they’ve been sleeping with the enemy.

I love a good enemies to lovers story so Make Me Crave was right up my street, throw in a gorgeous paradise island as the location for much of the story and I was totally swept up in the holiday romance fantasy that Katee Robert was selling. Both of the main characters were very likeable, Allie was determined to help people and she wanted to do that by running her business the way she saw fit. Roman on the other hand new that the business was in trouble and wanted to get a big investor on board to help her.

I did think it was a bit silly of Allie to refuse to listen to Roman, she wouldn’t even let him explain his plan to her for such a long time because she was so worried that he would try to take over when in fact his investor liked what she was doing and just wanted to help her continue the good work. They could have resolved things much easier if Allie had just been adult enough to have a proper conversation with him about it. Having said that I did like her independent streak and I did think they made a good couple when she finally started admitting her feelings to herself. This has been an enjoyable series so far and I’m looking forward to the next book.

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.

US Cover
Paperback / Kindle:

Friday, 11 January 2019

Review: The Dark Vault - V.E. Schwab

The two novels from The Archived Series appearing together for the first time.

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Mackenzie Bishop’s grandfather first brought her here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now her grandfather is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

The Archived Series:
The Archived
The Unbound
Leave the Window Open (Short Story)
The Dark Vault (bind up containing all 3 stories in The Archived series)

Visit V.E. Schwab's website for more information

Review:
The Dark Vault is a bind up that contains all three stories in Victoria Schwab's Archived series together in print for the first time. I'm going to review each of the stories separately but this has been a really fun series to read so it's one I'd definitely recommend trying.

The Archived:

Imagine a world where after you die a kind of copy of your soul is taken to the Archive to be kept as part of the world history. These copies, also known as “Histories”, contain all of your memories and thoughts but they aren’t real people so they are kept unconscious in special drawers a bit like books on a shelf. Occasionally these Histories wake up and escape from the library and it’s at that point where Keepers, like Mackenzie, are called in to capture them and bring them back to the Archive.

Being a Keeper is a dangerous job and it can be really difficult to juggle its challenges alongside real life, especially as Mac isn’t allowed to tell anyone about the Archive or her role in it. It gets really hard to explain her constant disappearing act to her parents but the whole family is already in crisis since the death of her brother and this is just one more way they’re falling apart. As Mac finds herself having to deal with more and more escaped Histories she starts to question everything she thought she knew about the Archive but she has help from a fellow Keeper to try and figure things out.

I have no idea where Victoria Schwab gets her ideas from but I love how completely different each of her series are from each other. You never know quite what to expect from one of her books and I love it when an author can keep me on my toes by constantly surprising me! I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like The Archived before, the world she has created is totally unique and really intriguing so I can’t wait to continue the series.

This story focuses a lot on grief, it’s not been long since Mac lost her younger brother and it was really hard to see how badly that has affected her entire family. They’re all dealing with it, or not dealing with it as the case may be, in their own ways and that side of the story felt incredibly realistic. Mac is also dealing with the loss of her grandfather, the man who introduced her to the Archive and who was the rock who she had always been able to turn to in the past. She’s a bit adrift at the beginning of the story and makes some stupid decisions because of that but she was always relatable and easy to root for. I still have a lot of questions about the Archive in general and think there are a lot of secrets still waiting to be uncovered so I’m really looking forward to continuing the series.

The Unbound:

The Unbound picks up Mac's story a few weeks after the end of The Archived. She's still traumatised from everything that she went through and suffering with nightmares and flashbacks about what Owen tried to do to her. Mac is in a very fragile state emotionally and I thought Victoria Scwhab handled her PTSD very well. She's afraid to sleep because of the nightmares, she's nervous about walking into the Narrows to carry out her job of Keeper and she's having a very difficult time convincing her parents that there is nothing strange going on.

As if that wasn't bad enough she's been put on warning my the Librarians and if they decide she's not capable of doing her job they'll have no qualms about wiping her memory and kicking her out of the Archive. When she finds out about a series of disappearances she realises they all have one thing in common, Mac was the last person to have contact with them before they disappeared, and now her paranoia only gets worse.

I think I enjoyed this story even more than the first one, I was glad that Mac was suffering with real life consequences to everything that had happened. I was also pleased to come across YA parents who actually take an interest in their child and notice when she disappears at odd times with no warning. It makes things more complicated for Mac but it was so much more realistic because of that.

I don't think I mentioned it in my review of the first story but I also really love Wesley, he's another Keeper so he knows all about Mac's secret life and he's the one person she can be completely open and honest with about what is going on. I did find it really frustrating that Mac continues to keep secrets from him and from her librarian mentor Roland but I could understand why she was trying to deal with her problems on her own. I still think she would have figured out things a lot sooner if she'd had their help though and hopefully she's learned her lesson from that.

Leave the Window Open:

Leave the Window Open is a short story told from Wesley's point of view that you can read for free on Victoria Schwab's website here or find in The Dark Vault bind up of The Archived series. The story won't make a lot of sense if you don't read The Unbound first but I loved getting a glimpse inside Wesley's head. He's just so cute and I love his relationship with Mac. Plus we FINALLY get to find out his real name & it was worth waiting for!

Source: Received from Titan Books 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.

Paperback Bind up of the series / Both stories are available separately on Kindle:

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Review: No Mercy - Sherrilyn Kenyon

Shapeshifter Dev Peltier thought he knew it all. But one night when a Dark-Hunter, who is also an official member of the Dogs of War, sashays into his bar, he realises that he might have met his match.

Samia, aka Sam, was one of the fiercest Amazon warriors in her tribe. But an act of brutal betrayal made her a Dark-Hunter and she's been angry ever since. Live fast, fight hard and enjoy the night. That's her credo. But as old enemies and new move into New Orleans, she realises that Dev might just be the only hope she and mankind have to save the world.

The Dark-Hunters Series:
The Beginning (Short Story)
Fantasy Lover
Dragonswan (Novella) (Were-Hunter 0.5)
Night Pleasures
Night Embrace
Dance with the Devil
Kiss of the Night
Night Play (Were-Hunter 1)
Seize the Night
Sins of the Night
Unleash the Night (Were-Hunter 2)
Dark Side of the Moon (Were-Hunter 3)
The Dream-Hunter (Dream-Hunter 1)
Fear the Darkness (Short Story)
Devil May Cry
Upon the Midnight Clear (Dream-Hunter 2)
Dream Chaser (Dream-Hunter 3)
Acheron
One Silent Night
Dream Warrior (Dream-Hunter 4)
Bad Moon Rising (Hellchaser 1, Were-Hunter 4)
Dark-Hunter: An Insider's Guide (Hellchaser 2)
No Mercy (Were-Hunter 5)
Retribution
The Guardian (Dream-Hunter 5, Were-Hunter 6, Hellchaser 3)
Time Untime (Were-Hunter 7, Hellchaser 4)
Styxx
Dark Bites (Short Story Anthology)
Son of No One (Were-Hunter 8, Hellchaser 5)
Dragonbane (Were-Hunter 9, Hellchaser 6)
Dragonmark (2016)

Chronicles of Nick Series:
(This is a YA spin off from Sherrilyn Kenyon's adult Dark-Hunters series)
Infinity
Invincible
Infamous
Inferno
Illusion
Instinct
Invasion
Intensity

Visit Sherrilyn Kenyon's website for more information

Review:
Samia was an amazon warrior before she sold her soul to Artemis for an act of revenge and became a Dark-Hunter. Now she uses her fighting skills to protect humans from daimons and trying to keep the world in balance. She has been called to New Orleans by Acheron to help protect Nick and it's there that she meets shapeshifter Dev Peltier. Dev is the first person who is unaffected by Samia's magic which means he's the first person she's been able to touch without being inundated by his thoughts and feelings but the last thing she really needs in her life at the moment is romance, especially with a possessive bear who wants to claim her as his own.

My favourite Dark Hunter stories tend to be the ones set in New Orleans where we get to see all our favourite characters like Ash, Savitar and Nick so I had high hopes for No Mercy. I did really enjoy the romance between Sam and Dev and I live for the appearances from Ash but I'm starting to get really bored of the daimons and in my opinion this book spent far too much time with the likes of Stryker and Zephyra. Normally my hard and fast PNR rule is don't mess with the happily ever after of previous couples but I really can't stand those two and I hate having to spend time with them. They didn't manage to redeem themselves in their own book and to be honest their actions just get worse and worse every time we see them so I keep hoping that one of the Dark-Hunters is going to just put me out of my misery and kill them both. The daimons got a really hard deal thanks to Apollyon and I'd love to see them find a way to remove the curse BUT Stryker is so horrible that he's starting to make me lose any sympathy for the lot of them.

This book wasn't awful by any means but it definitely wasn't my favourite in the series. I'd have liked more focus on the main couple and less on the bad guys. I just hope that the Stryker storyline gets resolved soon because I don't want it to continue playing a part in every book in the series.

Source: Received from Piatkus in exchange for an honest review

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Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Cover Reveal: A Cursed Moon - Cecy Robson


A CURSED MOON

by Cecy Robson
Weird Girls, #2.5
Publication Date: January 30, 2019
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance


#PREORDER NOW!


SYNOPSIS

Meet the furry big brother that the Wird sisters never had…

Bren is a cocky, brash hound of a werewolf who loathes the idea of belonging to Aric’s pack—much less finding a mate. But Bren’s hotheaded behavior lands him in the doghouse when he defies Aric’s authority in front of his pack, bringing up a sore subject that’s bound to make the Alpha wolf’s blood boil…

Luckily for him, no one can stay mad at Bren and his wild charm for long. And when some frightening ghosts launch a hostile paranormal takeover, Bren will team up with Celia to take down the evil ghouls before they hurt someone they both love…


EXCLUSIVE REVEAL EXCERPT

“Damn it, Bren—wake up!”

“Hmmph?” Someone with a death wish was shaking me. You don’t disturb a werewolf’s sleep; that’s just common fucking sense. The breeze shot through the cracked opened window, bringing a strong whiff of Tahoe’s magic. I grinned and inhaled. That shit was better than witch ganja, and it lulled me back to sleep.

But then Dan flipped on the leg lamp on my nightstand and opened his yap again. “Wake up, I mean it.”

“Grrrrr.”

“You can take that werewolf shit and shove it up your ass.”

That made me chuckle into my pillow. Dan swearing was damn funnier than Elmo dropping the “F” bomb. He shook me again, this time harder. I flipped over and tried to get comfortable.

“For crying out loud, put some pants on! I don’t need to see your . . . stuff.”

“It’s my goddamn room. I can sleep naked if I want. And what the hell do you mean by ‘stuff’? What are you, ten?”

Dan ignored me. “Bren, your stupid one-night stand stole all our food, our DVDs, and our laundry detergent.”

I half-opened one eye. “Wendy wouldn’t do anything like that.”

“Her name was Natasha.”

“You sure?”

“That’s the name she wrote all over my bathroom with her lipstick.”

I sat abruptly, suddenly panicked. “She didn’t take my porn, did she?”

Dan’s jaw slacked. “Is that all you care about, that she took your porn?”

“No. For shit’s sake I’m hungrier than hell. How are you going to fix me breakfast without any food?”

Dan threw his hands in the air, in that same exaggerated way he always did when I pushed him to his breaking point. He kicked my dirty clothes on the floor and paced like an expectant dad. “You have the audacity to think I’d actually cook you breakfast—after what your one-nighter did?”

I scratched my beard. Damn, I needed a trim. “Well, yeah. It’s your job around here, you’re the woman. You’re supposed to cook, clean, and pay most of the bills. My job is to keep your ass safe from humans, vamps, weres, witches, little old ladies, and pretty much anything else you’re afraid of. It’s part of our deal, along with me getting you laid.”

Dan stomped to the side of my bed, stumbling over a pair of my old jeans. “First of all, it was just that one little old lady. I may be human, but I’m pretty sure she was some kind of spirit―especially given the amount of supernatural activity around here lately. Secondly, I don’t need help getting laid.”

I stared at my beanpole roommate. His messy curly hair hung over his thick black-framed glasses, and he tripped over air on a regular basis. Jesus. There were Girl Scouts more muscular and agile than him.

“Yes, you do, Dan.”

“I’ve gotten laid a lot lately, all without your help.”

“Ugly girls don’t count, man.”

“Celia’s not ugly.”

I laughed and yanked at my overgrown hair. Damn, I needed a cut, too. But unlike Dan, I did grunge well. “Celia was more than eight years ago.” I chuckled again. Talk about a mercy lay.

He narrowed his eyes. “What’s so funny?”

“I still can’t believe you were her first. How’d you talk her into it? Did you promise to tutor her in chemistry or something?”

Dan’s entire face reddened, making him look more like a tomato than a walking piece of broccoli.

“Whatever, Bren. I’ll prove to you I can get laid.”

“Sure, sure, you can get laid. Don’t get your thong in a bunch.”

Dan stamped his foot. Shit, I only thought girls did that.

“I mean it, Bren. I have to work late at the lab tonight, but I’ll meet you at eleven at the Watering Hole. I’m going to get a girl so hot your head will spin.”

I yawned. “Sure you will, buddy.”

“Fine. If you don’t believe me, how about we bet on it?”

“Dan, you don’t want to bet me on something like that. You’ll only lose and embarrass yourself.”

“You’re just afraid. I thought you were a wolf, not a chicken.”

My brows furrowed and I snarled. “Did you just call me a chicken?” This time it was Dan’s turn to laugh. I could be pretty damn intimidating, but he knew I’d never hurt him. He was a mothering pain in the ass, but also the best friend I’d ever had.

“You heard me, clucky.”

A slow grin eased across my face. “All right then, name the terms.”

“The loser has to clean and cook for the rest of the year . . .”

“Is that the best you can come up with? Oooh, I’m real scared now.”

“. . . wearing a French maid outfit, regardless of who’s in the apartment.”

My grin widened. The little turd had some balls after all. “You’re on.” I held out my hand. He refused to shake it until after I showered.


ABOUT CECY ROBSON:


Cecy Robson is an author of contemporary and new adult romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double-nominated RITA® Finalist, Winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and published author of more than twenty titles, you can typically find Cecy on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

Connect with Cecy online:


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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Review: Evidence of Desire - Lexi Blake

A fast-paced contemporary romance that sizzles from the New York Times bestselling author of Order of Protection where passion for the aw isn't the only thing heating up the courtroom.

Isla Shayne knows she's in over her head. As former all-star linebacker Trey Adams's personal lawyer, she's used to handling his business dealings and private financial matters, not murder charges. She needs to find an experienced criminal attorney who speaks her client's language. David Cormack of Garrison, Cormack and Lawless is exactly what she needs in the courtroom—and the only man she wants in the bedroom.

For David, taking on the Adams case means diving back into a world he thought he'd left behind and colliding head on with tragic possibilities he's in no mood to face. There's a reason professional football is in his past and no matter how close Isla gets to the truth he intends to leave it there.

But long days working on the case together lead to hot nights in each other's arms. As their feelings grow, the case takes a deadly twist that could change the game between the two lovers forever.

Courting Justice Series:
Order of Protection
Evidence of Desire

Visit Lexi Blake's website for more information

Review:
Isla Shayne is the family lawyer for retired linebacker Trey Adams and his family, she's used to helping them with business deals or purchasing property but when Trey is accused of murdering his wife she is in completely over her head. She knows Trey is innocent but with the evidence stacking up against him she needs help and there is no criminal attorney she can trust more than David Cormack. As an ex player himself David has a unique perspective on the health issues that Trey is battling and he will do whatever it takes to get his client the help he needs but unless they can figure out who the real murderer is Trey is looking at a life behind bars.

Evidence of Desire is the second story in Lexi Blake's Courting Justice series and I enjoyed it even more than the first book. The chemistry between Isla and David was great from the very beginning and I liked how open they were about the attraction they felt. There are no rules against them dating so they fall into a relationship very quickly but although they have very strong feelings for each other David has a reason to keep Isla at a distance. I have to admit the relationship did move very quickly, I would have preferred a slightly slower build up, but I liked them as a couple and thought they suited each other.

As far as the murder mystery went I had a very good idea who my main suspect was from very early on but I was wrong about their accomplice and hadn't guessed the whole story so the book did manage to surprise me. I also found it really interesting learning more about Trey's traumatic brain injury and how it affected his personality, it made life so difficult for his whole family but I loved the way his wife stood by him and how strong they were as a couple. That made it all the more heartbreaking that their story ended in tragedy though. I also liked that we got to catch up with the previous couple Win and Henry and I have a feeling I'm going to love Noah's story which I'm guessing will be up next.

Source: Received from the 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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Blog Tour: Evidence of Desire - Lexi Blake


Evidence of Desire
A Courting Justice Novel
By Lexi Blake
Coming January 8, 2019

A fast-paced contemporary romance that sizzles from the New York Times bestselling author of Order of Protection where passion for the aw isn't the only thing heating up the courtroom.

Isla Shayne knows she's in over her head. As former all-star linebacker Trey Adams's personal lawyer, she's used to handling his business dealings and private financial matters, not murder charges. She needs to find an experienced criminal attorney who speaks her client's language. David Cormack of Garrison, Cormack and Lawless is exactly what she needs in the courtroom—and the only man she wants in the bedroom.

For David, taking on the Adams case means diving back into a world he thought he'd left behind and colliding head on with tragic possibilities he's in no mood to face. There's a reason professional football is in his past and no matter how close Isla gets to the truth he intends to leave it there.

But long days working on the case together lead to hot nights in each other's arms. As their feelings grow, the case takes a deadly twist that could change the game between the two lovers forever.



EXCERPT:

Isla couldn’t believe she was doing this, but the minute she got a good look at David Cormack without his suit on she knew there was no going back. She’d been ready to make a pot of tea and wait for him to come out of the shower when Erin Taggart had appeared in the kitchen.

“Not jumping his bones, then?” she’d asked as she dragged a bottle of water out of the fridge.

“He wants to take it slow.” She was aware of how disappointed she’d sounded.

“No man who looks at a woman the way that one looks at you wants to take things slow. He’s scared you’re too good for him or something stupid like that,” she said. “I should know. I held off my gorgeous hottie for way too long because he was a tiny bit younger than me. Don’t waste time. Take command. And then when he’s all in, give that control up. That always works for me. ’Night.”

There was something in the way the redhead smiled, something intimate and soft. Something Isla wanted for herself again. She’d had it as a girl with Austin. She wanted to know how it felt to have that connection as a woman.

So she’d made the decision. Maybe for the first time in her life, she’d genuinely made the decision to be brave, to go after what she wanted with a singular purpose, to put herself out there and see if she was bait enough to catch the one fish she wanted.

Though first she needed some fishing gear. According to Noah, that was in the nightstand drawer.

She’d stepped in and taken off her clothes. All in. Just like a poker game. If he refused to play, she would be devastated and potentially never be able to face the man again, but she’d felt almost compelled to undress and walk to the entry of that sexy natural stone shower. She’d stood there and looked, really looked at David Cormack. He’d been turned away from her, his back on full display. He was beautifully male, his muscles defined by years of athleticism. His back was strong, his butt practically perfect, and he was held up with strong legs. But his head hung low and she could swear she felt how lonely he was.

She hadn’t realized how lonely she was until she’d met him. “David?”

He started, every muscle tensing, and then he turned, though he mostly moved his torso as though trying to keep his private parts private. His eyes latched onto her, but he didn’t say a word.

Oh, she wanted to run. He was far too gorgeous. She wasn’t in his league. She knew she was attractive, but she wasn’t even close to being in the same condition he was in. He’d been an elite athlete and he’d obviously never stopped working out. She could stand to lose a few pounds.

And if those pounds and the roundness of her hips ran him off, then so be it. She was done sitting around and hoping she got what she wanted. At least she would know. “I don’t want to go slow.”

For a second, she was almost sure he would tell her to go. Then he turned and he was standing there in his full glory, as though let- ting her see what he had to offer. When she simply stared, he crossed the space between them and, without a word, his hands cupped her face and his mouth was on hers.

The minute they touched, something sparked to life inside her, something wild she’d never felt before. It seemed to start in her toes, making them curl as the sensation rushed through her system. Heat and anticipation and pure joy.

It had been forever since a man kissed her like this. Maybe never. The only thing that compared was the sweet high school fumbling between her and Austin. He’d been eager, but he had no idea what he was doing.

David Cormack knew how to kiss. He mastered her mouth with his, soft when he needed to be and then rough, sending a thrill through her system that burned a path straight to her pussy. He brushed his lips against hers and then zeroed in on her lower lip, biting gently and sucking briefly before another soft kiss allowed her to breathe again. And then when she was ready to beg, his tongue surged in, rubbing soft velvet against her own.

“Tell me you’re sure,” he said against her mouth as his hands moved down.

“I’m sure,” she replied with a breathy whisper. He could throw her up against the side of the shower and take her then and there and she would be perfectly satisfied.

“Because there’s no going back. I’ve been a good boy up until this point. I’ve been civilized, Isla. I’ve played the gentleman around you, but if you let me in, I’ll invade and you’ll see the real man under- neath the suit. I’ll be demanding and overly protective and I’ll want you every fucking minute of the day.”

And that was bad, how? She’d been on the outside looking in for so long, the idea of being someone’s center, being the person for him, made her heart ache with longing. “Please touch me, David. I want the real you, every dirty, possessive part of you.”

His hands found her hips and he dragged her against him, their bodies coming together for the first time. He was warm, his skin soft over the steel of his muscular body.

She took a moment, letting her arms wrap around him, her breasts against his chest, that hard erection of his cradled to her belly. This was sweet intimacy. Yes, it would lead to something wild, but for a moment she basked in the comfort of another body against hers.

He stepped back, taking her with him and bringing them into the warmth of the shower. He seemed to understand she needed a moment, and he followed her lead perfectly. One hand held her to him while the other smoothed back her now-wet hair as he brushed light kisses over her forehead and down to her nose, lavishing her with affection she’d been starved without. He stood like that with her, learning her body with his hands and mouth.

“See,” he said with the sexiest chuckle as he leaned over and ran his tongue along the shell of her ear. “We’re still taking it slow. I could do this for hours and I haven’t even gotten to your tasty parts yet. You’re sweet, Isla. I could eat you up. Are you going to let me eat you up?”

She nodded.

One hand tangled in her hair, gently drawing her back and forc- ing her to look up at him. His eyes were hot, his jaw tight with arousal. “Talk to me. I won’t let you disconnect from me when we’re intimate. Tell me. ‘‘Yes, David, I want you to eat me up.’”

“Yes, David. I want you to eat me up.”


About Lexi Blake:

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn't until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Monday, 7 January 2019

Review: Her Cocky Doctors - Tara Crescent

I'm going to destroy these cocky doctors.

In the town of Goat, Oregon, the two gorgeous doctors who run the Clinic of Love don’t just provide medical care.

Nope. These doctors are notorious for their bedside manner, if you know what I mean. Women come in desperate for a good time, and leave extra-satisfied.

Not me.

I’m a reporter. Doctors like Declan Wilde and Blake Thorpe give the entire medical profession a bad name, and I’m determined to expose them.

Even if their washboard abs cause my girl-bits to spontaneously combust.

Even if I really want to make an appointment with them, and I would love a special treatment of my own.

This story is going to get written. I will destroy these cocky doctors.

Her Cocky Doctors is a standalone MFM menage romance that is all about the woman. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and of course, Happily-ever-after guaranteed!

The Cocky Series:
Her Cocky Doctors
Her Cocky Firefighters

Visit Tara Crescent's website for more information.

Review:
Lana is an investigative reporter who has been sent to the small town of Goat in Oregon to do an expose on a local love clinic where the Doctors are apparently offering all kinds of extra special services (orgasms guaranteed!) to the women in town. She’s disgusted that Declan and Blake would take advantage of their patients like that and determined to name and shame them. What she doesn’t realise is that Declan and Blake have only just arrived in town, they’re there as locums to cover for the usual doctors who skipped town when they got wind of the trouble headed their way. Declan and Blake were expecting a normal small town practice and definitely weren’t prepared for the services their patients are expecting them to provide!

I’d never heard of Tara Crescent before the whole #cockygate mess but I was absolutely disgusted by the author who should not be named for trying to wreck other author’s careers so I bought Tara’s Cocky series to show her my support. I’m a bit of a sucker for a ménage story anyway so this series seemed right up my street and I enjoyed reading this first story. I was a bit nervous going in because I didn’t realise the doctors Lana was going to meet weren’t the pervy doctors who have been giving happy endings to half the town so it was a huge relief to me to confirm there was no cheating or anything untoward going on.

Her Cocky Doctors was a quick and fun read, Lana, Blake and Declan had great chemistry and I enjoyed the romance that developed.

Source: Purchased

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Kindle:

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Review: Nightchaser - Amanda Bouchet

US Cover
Tess Bailey: the galaxy's Most Wanted.

Captain Tess Bailey is in deep trouble. She and her crew are on the run, pursued by a tyrant who'll take them dead or alive. Tess's best hope is a tall, dark, and much-too-appealing stranger, Shade Ganavan, who says he can help her. But his motivations are far from clear...

Shade Ganavan: arrogance, charm...and that special something that makes you want to kick him.

With the dreaded Dark Watch closing in, what Tess and Shade don't know about each other might get them killed...unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other before it's too late.

The Endeavour Trilogy:
Nightchaser
Starbreaker (2020)

Visit Amanda Bouchet's website for more information

Review:
Tess Bailey is the captain of the spaceship Endeavour, a ship she stole with the help of her entire crew when they all managed to break out of prison in the middle of a riot. They’re all wanted criminals with a price on their heads but instead of laying low they all chose to join the rebellion against the oppressive Overseer who put them in prison in the first place. They spend their time stealing supplies like food and medicine from the rich to help people who are desperately in need and they do it without expecting anything in return.

When a close encounter with the Overseer’s military leaves them with a badly damaged ship they are forced to take refuge on a planet where they have no existing connections. It’s imperative to keep their identity safe and get the repairs completed as quickly as possible but with the Dark Watch hot on their tails and a huge price on their heads escape might not be as easy as they thought.

I’m a huge fan of Amanda Bouchet’s Kingmaker Chronicles so she’s already on my auto-buy list and I was incredibly excited to read Nightchaser, the first book in her new sci-fi romance series. Let’s just say we’re off to a fabulous start and I’m now desperately waiting for the rest of the series, so no pressure Amanda!

I really liked Tess and her whole crew, they all brought different skills to the table and combined they make a pretty good team. Tess is hiding some huge secrets but her crew are like her family and she will do whatever she has to in order to protect them. Tess is a pretty fierce character but she had some vulnerable moments too that made her very easy to relate to and of course I always feel like I could be friends with a woman who loves both books and cats!

They meet Shade when they land on planet and employ him to carry out repairs on their ship but he has his own secrets and they’re ones that could destroy everything Tess cares about. I was glad that we got parts of the story from his POV as well as from Tess’s because seeing his thoughts and feelings made his actions much easier to understand. I don’t want to give too much away about the story but Amanda Bouchet definitely excels at writing slow burn romances and I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here. Nightchaser is a brilliant start to a series that I’m excited to continue reading.

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

Other Reviews:
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