Wealthy, attractive Lucas Reika treats life like a party, moving from bar to bar and man to man. Thumbing his nose at his restaurateur father's demand that he earn his keep, Lucas instead seduces a valued employee in the kitchen of their flagship restaurant, earning himself an ultimatum: lose access to his father's money or stay in the middle of nowhere with a man he has secretly lusted over from afar.
Quiet, hard-working Jared McFarland loves his farm on the outskirts of Hope, Arizona. Jared agrees to take in his longtime crush as a favor. When Lucas invades his heart in addition to his space, Jared has to decide how much of himself he's willing to risk and figure out if he can offer Lucas enough to keep him after his father's punishment is over.
Fantasy, Romance - novel
TBR Reviewer: Daniella
This story begins with King Oryan being attacked by his wizard brother Haerold. The Queen is killed during the attack, but Oryan and his son Gawain manage to get away with the aid of the Fairy Queen Kyri and her people. With the King is his closest man and friend, The High Marshall, Morgan. In order to keep Gawain safe, he is sent away with a guardian. Kyri and Morgan work together to raise rebel forces and help Oryan get his crown back. This is an epic fantasy romance, where we follow Kyri and Morgan in their battles against Haerold and his men. They fall in love as they are working together and fight for their love in a time when duty calls and time for a relationship is hard to find.
I want to start by saying that I really enjoyed the story and I did read it in pretty much one sitting. Kyri and Morgan are great together, with just the right amount of love and lust. Was it the best fantasy I ever read? No. Was it the worst I ever read? Far from. Was it a good romance? Oh yeah!
The story is based on a plot that has been done many times in the genre, but it had certain parts and characters that made it original enough. Even though the focus is on Morgan and Kyri, there are a lot of other characters, both human and fairy that bring a lot to the story. You can really feel the camaraderie between the King and his men. The Fairy is a fun and cheeky people with a mischievous side.
The first half of the story was a little slow with a lot of repetition. Attack by bad guys, Morgan is hurt and saved by Kyri. Attack by bad guys, Kyri is hurt and saved by Morgan. The second half of the story is where it picks up and there is more action, both in the war and in the love story.
As a romance (in a fantasy setting) this story had a lot more going for it than as a fantasy (with romance). I liked Kyri and Morgan together and how deep their love for each other went. They had ups and downs, had to make some hard decisions, but came out strong in the end. For the fantasy part I would have liked a little more. The fairy and their lore were pretty well developed, but the wizardry and the place for magic in the world did not feel developed at all. Also I lacked any insight in Haerold´s thinking and person. I like when the enemy is
as well developed as the main characters. Haerold was mostly the “power hungry, evil brother who beats down on all his people”-stereotype, while on the good side everyone was noble with a heart of gold (luckily, there were a few exceptions). I would also have loved to follow Gawain's journey, learning about his new life and abilities as he comes back from exile.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to read a light epic fantasy with a good romance baked into it.
Ahead of them they heard the sounds of fighting.
Oryan swore. “Whatever happens, they must not take Gawain.”
All of them knew it. If Oryan’s line was to survive the boy was their only hope. All of them knew of Haerold, the rumors and the truths—which were far darker.
Morgan and his men sprinted ahead in a great flying wedge, Morgan at the lead as the last of the King’s men defending the back servant’s stair fell before the surge of invaders.
In a clash of steel and flesh they came together, Morgan’s Marshals and the intruders, the intruders caught unprepared for the new assault.
No one stopped for even a second nor even paused.
Liliane looked the boy Gawain square in the eyes.
“On my back,” she said, fiercely, “and you stay there. You don’t let go. You hear me?”
The boy nodded and she swung him around behind her, freeing her hands, freeing her swords.
They would have to kill her to get to him.
Swords flashed as Morgan hacked a way through and his people drove into the mass of
fighters, scattering them, cutting through, cutting past. The dark clad invaders fell but they took Armand with them, an ill-timed thrust getting past his guard and armor both.
An invader leaped at Oryan but the King, no slouch with a sword himself, cut the man down on the fly with one quick swipe of his longsword as those of Morgan’s men behind him joined the battle, too.
Then they were past. Not a single invader survived that assault.
Distantly behind them they could hear the sounds of running men coming toward them, boots clattered. There was the crash of doors being kicked in, shouts of frustration
and fury. Searching. Not theirs then.
Pain pierced Oryan’s heart. Gwen? If they had come so far…then she was fallen… Gwenifer!
Grief nearly swallowed him. He knew then his beloved Queen was gone.
They raced up the stairs of the circular tower, desperate to reach the top before Haerold’s men reached them, before his magic found them.
Below on the stair came the sound of battle, the clang and clamor of steel on steel, the grunt and groan of men in combat as Morgan’s men held the door. They hammered the invaders back and back, slammed the door shut and barred it quickly. It wouldn’t hold long.
They burst out into darkness as the wind whipped at their hair, their clothes, as it battered at them.
Far beneath them in the courtyard below, the castle Guard fought a hopeless battle. Steel rang on steel, metal crashed on wood… Light flashed luridly, greenish and unnatural… magic… Men died in the roar of the flames…Shouts, screams and desperate cries filled the air clearly even so high above.
Oryan looked up to the black night sky to find it filled with gossamer wings…
CONTEST: Valerie Douglas is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner. Comment below to enter. Contest ends March 20th.
Contemporary, Dark, Suspense - novel
TBR Reviewer: Luta Wolf
At Eighteen years old it often seems the world is your oyster but two years prior Diana Walker found how just how not invincible she was. Now at eighteen she embarks on another summer at the same camp that stripped away her innocents such a short time ago. This time she is joined by Cheryl Redmond and in her already chaotic emotions she feels the stirrings of something else. Can Cheryl help her let go of the past or will she prove the catalyst to turbulent times.
It took me a long time to review this book, I had to take a step back and really analyze how I felt about it. At first glance the plot seems simple enough, a young woman coming of age feeling the stirrings of lust for another female. That’s what the plot appears to be any way and as you first get into the book all appearances having you believe this too. The characters act like teens and the sexual tension between the characters is angst filled and high octane.
Then you get deeper into the story and it’s like opening a journal to find deep dark secrets. The plot began to take on a sinister, creepy feel.
There wasn’t really a single character that I liked but I totally got them and I fell into who they were and their impact was large and impressionable. The pace was really interestingly done in that the author eases you into the gruesome and then picks up the pace.
What I didn’t like is how a lot of details were clumped together. A lot of it was given at once when it would have been better to stretch it out. Best example is that we know how Cheryl looks in the first to paragraphs, the author did this with other details through out the book. Also while I understand there is going to be a sequel the ending kind of left me scratching my head a bit.
To be honest had I known what was in this book, I wouldn’t have read it. I just didn’t anticipate how dark this was going to be. I looked at it and thought, it’s written for young adults just how bad can it be. It can be pretty bad. With that said after taking some time to really thinking things through, I came to some conclusions. This book has high impact, it really makes you think and well that’s a mark of a pretty good book.
I can't believe that cover is in YA, totally not appropriate! I don’t recommend this in any way for a young adult. It has too much adult content. I personally have friends that like some darkness and I’ll be recommending this book to them.
M/M, Romance - novel
TBR Reviewer: Amanda
In an unknown future time, earth has been destroyed and the wider galaxy colonized. As some people have re-colonized earth, they have tried to escape the "Distant Rule" that seems to run everywhere else and have been at war ever since, twenty-years. Herman is a cyborg and part of the invading forces who has become mixed up with Blaze, a magician in the earth's army and is starting to doubt everything he has ever believed.
Because everything is shown from Herman's point of view, there are often murky points because his memories have been tampered with as well as his physical modifications. As Herman learns more about the force he fights for, he becomes more confused about which side is right and what he should do. When he finally has to choose a side, it becomes obvious that he must make a decision - and that alone helps him to decide what to do. Once he discovers that he has a choice, he becomes a freer man. He also fights mixed signals from Blaze. One moment he thinks the red-haired magician wants him, the next he thinks he is just a pawn, no longer even a soldier but just a tool. There are a lot of undercurrents in this story, like the issue of free-will and how the cyborgs memories are continously erased to keep them from caring about each other or empathizing with their enemies. Herman fights bias and prejudice from the people that he is helping on one hand, and the lies and manipulations that are all he knows on the other hand.
I admired his character for doing what he felt he should at great cost to himself and against all odds, and I was pleased with the end of the story when it looked as if he and Blaze might have a chance. Blaze himself is not as fully-realized a character as Herman, again because of the way the story is written, but some of his compassion and caring seemed to help in pushing Herman out of his "perfect soldier" mold. In all, I found this an enjoyable story and would recommend it for those who like science-fiction with romance thrown into the mix.
Science Fiction, Horror - novel
TBR Reviewer: Mark
The Icarus is on an experimental voyage deep into the atmosphere of the sun, going further than any other vessel has gone before it. It is Captain Gordon Markov's last mission but it could well be the one from which he never returns. The crew are at breaking point through stress, the Ship is threatening to fall apart at the seams because of the immense pressure it is under and the onboard Lead Research scientist is becoming increasingly more obsessed with an Alien artifact that really shouldn't be there the closer they get to achieving their
original objective. Reluctantly the Captain agrees to take the artifact onboard but it is not long before he has cause to regret that decision as he feels his command slowly spiraling out of control!
The Icarus Void is an awesome, awesome tale that takes its influence from a whole generation of Sci-Fi books and movies before it then gives them its own unique and original twist! There are elements here taken from the likes of Aliens, Event Horizon, Sunshine and Sphere but Burch manages to combine these influences to good effect creating a story in the process that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the start all the way through to its terrifying climax!
An English teacher at High School once told me that one of the best ways to hook your readers right from the start is to put them in a perilous situation and have them fight their way out of it through the course of your tale and this is a technique that Burch uses here to full and frightening effect! The tension in this book is razor sharp through-out right from the very first chapter and, even in its quieter moments, the suspense almost becomes too much to bear. This is a story that is action-packed from the very beginning and barely gives you a moment to catch your breath before chucking something new and even more deadly
in your direction. As such, it is also a book that will really tire you out and leave you feeling emotionally drained!
I could barely put this down and only thank my lucky stars that I read this on Kindle because I think if I had read this on paper I would either have set the pages alight I was turning them so quick or else have ended up with a fistful of paper-cuts! Honestly, it is rarely that proper, grown-up Sci-Fi this good comes along and if you only read one Science-Fiction novel this year, really it needs to be this one! I guessed the very final twist right at the end, even this could not spoil the book for me. Burch is an author I will be looking out for in the future for definite and if this debut is anything to go by, then he has a highly promising career ahead of him as a writer and one which deserves every success! This was that good that, if I was able, I even would have given this 6 stars out of 5! Highly recommended!!
The Icarus Void is the best Science Fiction book I've read in years! Thanks TBR for bringing this author to my attention.
″I have to agree with Doctors Tybalt and Kerrick,″ Straub said. ″The artifact is an important find. It's going to help us immensely in the sciences field. But I think it's my responsibility as a member of the crew to acknowledge the risk of capturing it with that much radiation present. Risky, but worthwhile? Yes. Ultimately, however, it's your ship.″ That was as diplomatic as he could be. Tybalt wanted that goddamn thing, Kerrick was keeping her shapeshifting personality in line, and the crew needed this mission to be over with. Straub
didn't give a damn anymore. All he saw was the potential relationship that he had been fostering with Kerrick dying in her eyes, and on top of it, he wanted off this goddamn ship.
Markov nodded. ″For the record, your advice is noted, Doctor Straub. Thank you.″ Markov turned to Tybalt, and held her gaze as he removed his comm from his magbelt. The chief engineer's voice came back, and Markov said to him, ″I don't know where you are right now, but I need you down in engineering on the bounce. We need to dive early.″
Tybalt clasped her hands together, made a slight bow to acknowledge the captain's decision and her appreciation, and then pointed to Kerrick and Straub and said, ″Let's go.″
Markov slipped something into Straub's hands; it was a personal communicator. ″This is set to my frequency,″ the captain said, his voice low. ″If anything goes wrong, call me instantly.″
Straub nodded, and pocketed the comm. He followed Tybalt and Kerrick off the bridge. As they left, he turned and saw Captain Udeh lean in close to Captain Markov and begin to confer over something, probably this clusterfuck of a mission, and Straub caught Markov's eyes.
CONTEST: CK Burch is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner! Comment below to enter. Contest ends March 18th.
Contemporary, Romance - novel
TBR Reviewer: Amanda
Jules Frayne finds her life turned completely upside down when a stranger shows up on her doorstep insisting on finding his missing wife - Julia Frances Frayne. Once Jules has satisfactorily convinced Gray Reynard, that although she IS Julia Frances Frayne, she is NOT the woman he married, she finds herself in a mystery of stolen identity and strange coincidences. As the two try to untangle the strange mystery of the other "Julia" and when she started using Jules' identity, they also have to battle an instantaneous lust for each other.
I really enjoyed this story with its quirky characters and strange coincidences. Jules' obsessive journal-keeping helped them unravel the mystery of the other woman, and their explosive sexual encounters made for a great read. I also really liked Sean, the investigator helping Gray find his soon to be ex-wife and the jewelry that disappeared when she did. Once all had been revealed I was satisfied with the story's end, and I felt that Jules and Gray
were a great fit. Other than a few places where I had to re-read to really understand what the author was trying to say, and some British slang or idioms that I didn't truly get, this is an enjoyable book.
Taken Identity is a quirky, hot book that I would recommend!
TypicallyCeltic, she thought ruefully, eyeing her red hair, green eyes, pale
skin that never tanned properly, and the myriad of freckles sprinkled over her
nose. Never was she going to be a page three girl—thankfully. But, as her mother
used to say, “What you've got is all yours!”
Making sure there was a sturdy umbrella handy—for poking him if need be—in its
usual place in the hallway, she slipped the chain on before opening the door as
far as it allowed. A foot immediately inserted itself into the gap.
"Congratulations," Jules said sarcastically. "A bit slow last time weren’t
you? But be warned, Mr.Reynard, that’s as far as you’ll get. An expert fixed
this chain. Now if you look to the window on your right, I’ll show you my
passport." Jules felt she could almost hear his teeth grinding. Too bad, she
had no intention of handing her passport to a stranger. For any reason.
She moved to the side of the door, where there was a small window, set in
to bring more natural light into her otherwise darkish
hallway, and pressed the photograph page of her passport to the glass.
"Satisfied? I, Mr. Reynard, am I! Julia Frances Frayne. Spinster of this
parish. Do you need anything else?"
His voice was no longer sharp. More bewildered.
"Yes, actually. I want my wife. Julia Frayne."
There was silence on both sides of the door. Slowly Jules moved to the gap
between door and jamb. When she thought about it later, she could not believe her
stupidity. Her actions went so totally against all she knew was wise. Put it down
to shock? Or the fact that somewhere, deep in her subconscious, she felt a spark
of recognition? Whatever it was, it allowed her to behave in a manner alien to
her normally cautious nature.
"Move your foot," she advised. "I need to close it slightly to get the chain
off. The door I mean, not your foot. Although that can be arranged if you step
out of line."
She saw his lips twitch, unexpected under thecircumstances.
"Are you sure you can trust me not to be an axe murderer now, then?" he asked
Jules almost laughed. "No," she replied. "But I have a very sharp heel on my
shoe, which can cause grave damage if applied correctly. And a brother who
has taught me very well how to defend myself when necessary. My knee
is well known for its stunning abilities. In more ways than one."
Contest: Ms. MCallan is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner! Comment below to enter. Contest ends March 16th.
Paranormal, Thriller - novel
TBR Reviewer: Shyla
Conner is a private investigator with a painful past. His life was once decimated by the paranormal , and now he does his best to avoid anything supernatural. Problem is , the other world has their sights set on him When people close to him begin to disappear and spirits show up to give him warnings. Connor is forced to face the horrendous event he’s been struggling to forget. It’s a race for him to figure out what’s after him and how to stop it, before he loses the person who means the most to him.
Nightfall had a great concept, but it was so background, and detail heavy I had a hard time wading through it. The story jumped a lot between past memories, and events to the present which really threw me off. It prevented me from getting lost into the complex world P.W. created, the way I wanted to. On the upside there were plenty of twists, and turns, and I was kept guessing, till the very last.
Humor - novel
TBR Reviewer: Kim
This is the story of the parish of Ceanngoorley and it's highly irreverent parish priest, Father Fergus O'Hoora. When one of the parishioners wins the Lottery and claims the Statue of our Lady gave him the numbers, he sets off a chain of events that noone could have foreseen. Thwarted by a vengeful bishop, and an American tourist bent on finding his roots, Father O'Hoora has a hilarious riot on his hands.
Despite the horrible cover, this was laugh out loud funny from the get go. The cast of characters played on the stereotype of being ever so slightly thick Irishmen and portrayed the clergy to be drunken adulterers. The story itself was loosely based around the Lottery win and the so-called miracle, but even that seemed to play second fiddle to the hilarious goings on in the background. I would advise you not to read this in public unless you like funny looks being shot in your direction.
I understand this is the author's debut novel. If this is the standard set, I for one cannot wait until the next one. Highly recommended!
"CEANNGOORLEY LOTTO MIRACLE", was the front page headline on the first newspaper O'Hoora picked up on Monday morning. He was in his study by eight AM. His first phone call was from Bishop St. Patrick.
"Father O'Hoora, where were you last night?" he demanded.
If only you knew, thought O'Hoora, remembering Sisters Inga and Eileen and the best six hundred pounds of parish funds he had spent in a very long time.
"Attending to some urgent business," he replied. "What can I do for you on this glorious summer morning, your Grace?"
"What's this nonsense about a lottery miracle? Your parish is all over the front pages of every newspaper in the country, except the Daily Lord."
"What's on their front page?"
"NOAH'S ARK FOUND ON THE MOON. But never mind that. You must put a stop to this foolishness, at once. That drunken imbecile, whom I'm informed is not even a regular churchgoer, has turned Ceanngoorley into a circus. Even as I speak, there are probably newspaper hacks, television crews and all manner of undesirables beating a path to the village, intent on exploiting an innocent statue for every ounce of publicity they can milk from it."
"I should hope so," said O'Hoora.
"What!" exploded the Bishop. "May God forgive you, Father O'Hoora. That drunk was playing a childish joke. If the statue of our Blessed Virgin did see fit to move, it would not be to aid and abet an enterprise of gambling, a vice of which God and I both strongly disapprove."
O'Hoora sighed patiently. "Listen, your Grace. Whether or not Jimmy O'Jaysus was telling the truth is irrelevant. As far as the general public is concerned, a miracle has occurred. By this afternoon, Ceanngoorley will be like Vatican City on Easter Sunday. We'll be on news bulletins from here to the darkest recesses of Africa. Think of all that publicity. All those pilgrims clutching rosary beads and lottery tickets. All that money."
CONTEST: Mr. O'Connor is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner. Comment below to enter. Contest ends March 14th.
+Giveaway and COFFEE MUG
Contemporary, Romance - novel
TBR reviewer: Amanda
Sophia Ashwood is a 26 year old nanny who takes a live-in position caring for six-year old Victoria Bishop when her current nanny and Sophia's good friend leaves to get married. From the very beginning, Sophia is bothered by the intense, cold Dr. Collin Bishop, whom she mentally calls the "Antichrist". As she spends more time with Victoria and unintentionally gets to know Dr. Bishop's wealthy, dysfunctional family and friends, her life becomes inextricably mixed with his.
I thoroughly enjoyed Sophia's interactions with Victoria and how she drew the spoiled but attention-starved child out. I also like the last part of the book as all the hiccups and disagreements began to be resolved. However, I disliked Collin for the first two-thirds of the book, especially when he first pursued Sophia despite her continually telling him no and the danger to his custody of his daughter. I just could not buy their relationship for a significant part of the book; regardless of how attractive she found him, Sophia did not know Collin well and what she did know she did not like, so how they got together felt contrived.
In the end, Collin redeemed himself and I was happy with the ending, but this felt more like a soap opera with many interwoven story lines than a typical romance.
With the black boots, mask, and gloves in my hand, I walked into my bedroom. Two steps toward the bathroom, I started to pull at the zipper.
I gasped and spun. “Good god, Collin,” I heaved. “What are you doing in the dark?”
Stealthily, he approached me. Before I could catch my breath, his lips were on mine and his hands were sliding over the second skin costume.
“Put the mask back on,” he murmured against my mouth.
I pulled back. “What?”
“You heard me.” His eyes scanned my body. “Do you know how hot this costume is?”
“What?”My eyes widened.
He grinned slyly. “Catwoman is a personal favorite. Did you know that?” He examined my face as I shook my head. He grabbed the mask and brought it up to my head. “Please?” His eyes were intense.
I would never have been able to fight him. Not with the way he was looking at me. I slid the mask back on. He smiled large.
“Where’s the rest? The gloves, the boots?”
The laugh I’d been holding back erupted out of my mouth. I couldn’t help it. He was like a teenage boy in a wet dream. He found the items without my help and rushed them back onto me.
“You know, I was looking forward to taking this outfit off, not putting it back on,” I dead panned.
His mouth captured mine. The kiss seared through me. His hands moved down over the suit, teasing me. I wanted to feel his bare fingertips on my skin, not through the material. When he reached my thighs, he dipped down and lifted me around his waist.
“Don’t worry, it won’t be on long.” A boyish grin spread across his mouth.
CONTEST: Ms. Tice is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner and a coffee mug! Comment below to enter. Contest ends March 12th.
Contemporary, Romance - novel
TBR Reviewer: Luta Wolf
All it takes is one phone call for Eva and Gabe to feel a mutual connection. When they meet sparks along with foul language fly. When a woman scorned comes back to seek revenge and the drama begins to unfold can this budding romance stand a chance when it’s just begun.
While I wouldn’t call the plot original it doesn’t fall into the standard category of plots either and the characters make sure that it’s anything but ordinary. The pace was pretty fast and kept me entertained from start to finish with amusing and sensual, steamy scenes.
I adored Eva. She is a down to earth, born and raised on a farm, girl making it as a jack of all trades but mostly chef extraordinary in her job. She is intelligent and a spit fire, but with an added hint of vulnerability with her inability to understand what Gabe sees in her. Gabe is a playboy, while he is an honest playboy in that he never leads a woman on. He likes to drape the eye candy across his arm but that all changes immediately when he sets eyes on Eva,
it was immensely fun to see him struggle with how a relationship is suppose to work.
There are some editing issues, not a lot but enough that I took note because I would have to try and figure out the correct word needed in the sentence, which did throw me a bit out of the story. There is also no use of birth control of any kind used in the story, while this didn’t bother me because the author did such a detailed job of describing Gabe and Eva that I knew this was an unusual thing for both of them. I felt it should be mentioned as I do know some
readers who really prefer to steer clear of books like this.
I really enjoyed Beauty and The Feast it was fast, entertaining, spunky, and just plan fun. I don’t think there are many readers who wouldn’t get a kick out of it.
CONTEST: Ms. Barrett is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner. Comment below to enter. Contest ends March 11th.
M/M, Science Fiction - novel
TBR Reviewer: Brutally Honest
Another Mark Alders novel, I’ve been a fan of his after reading several fantastic books.
(Oddly, the only thing I don’t like about Mr. Alders is the titles he picks. Eh, to each his own.) This particular book is about David who been on solo space missions for years. On a mission from Ardross Major David comes upon a stowaway. One that isn’t quite human but sexy as hell.
Mr. Alders has done it again. Mouse in the Wainscott is a fantastic, unique and sexy novel. He has more wonderful one-liners. His descriptions are almost poetic and really pulls the reader in. This ship was well detailed, the hot men even more so but without any dragging. Naru is the stowaway who’s actually a shifter. His background story is very interesting and deep. I loved reading about his world, why he’s being hunted and why he considers himself a murderer. David’s only companion has been a female computer, Miranda. She’s fantastic and witty, although she didn’t sound like a normal AI, it was still a fun character.
There’s a good amount of action as Naru’s hunters find the ship and attack. There are a few editing issues but nothing major. There isn’t much sex in this as Alder’s usual novels but I think that was a good call. David and Naru had a chance to really connect and form a relationship. When they did finally discover each other it was more meaningful and really hot.
As I said, Mark Alders books are some of my favorite to sink into. The stories are fuel for fantasies and dreams. Mouse in the Wainscott is another great addition to Mark Alders successful book shelf.
If you haven’t read him yet – what the hell are you waiting for?
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