+Giveaway: 1 ebook
Phantoms and Fantasies by Annie Rayburn
Genre - Romance, Sci-fi
Length - 76 pages
TBR Reviewer – Shyla
The heroine, Zeenie is a humanoid life form recovering from a vicious sexual attack. After years of living with her best friend, attending self-defense classes, and therapy her best friend believes she’s ready to dip her toes in the water and gets her to agree to go out to a party. When the party ends up to be a set up to put her with Turk, you know what hits the fan. Turk has known Zeenie was his mate for years, but after her assault, he knows he needs to wait for her to heal before he approaches her. Once he had the all clear from her friend, he proceeds to pursue her. The closer he gets to breaking down her walls, the more she tries to push him away. Can he overcome her fears?
This story gave me so much more than I anticipated! I loved the alternate reality world Ms. Rayburn has created. Crainesians are humanoid life forms who’ve existed alongside our kind for years. Able to communicate telepathically, they mate for life. This story asks the question, what would you do for the one you’re meant to be with? It’s rare that stories with mating/bonding have such a rocky path. It’s one of the reasons this story resonated so strongly with me. Phantoms and Fantasies is a touching tale of healing and love mixed with
passion. Kudos to Ms. Rayburn for broaching such a sensitive topic and hitting the perfect balance between Sci-fi and Romance. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a story about survival and love after tragedy.
Paranormal, Romance, - novel
TBR Reviewer: Luta Wolf
As humans we have control over our basic instincts, while the animals around us go into heat during spring we remain somewhat free from that driving desire but what if we didn’t. What if we weren’t human but something different and mating was about something other than love, a drive that is all about pheromones and doesn’t go away. Could you fight it?
I found the plot to this story hugely fascinating. In a way it isn’t new, you can read any shifter book and it talks about “mates” but the authors approach was unique and kept me entirely captivated. A little too captivated as I got so sucked into the emotional impact of the characters that it was hard to let go of the melancholy once the story was over.
All the characters are well written and three dimensional. Even the so called “bad guys” were anything but and pulled you into their own individual stories. I love Teriza, there is something queenly about her. Despite all that she goes through, all the pain and confusion, she still carries herself with grace. All together what I really loved about this book was that it was thought provoking, it called to the honor inside me and asked me “What would I do had I been in this situation?”
The sex scenes are hot as well, though be warned there is a lot of sex with “other” people, meaning others outside of the relationships that they end up in but no actual cheating. My only complaint is that I wish the author had put as much effort into bringing us out of the emotional turmoil that she worked so hard to put us in, however, this is a really good book that I feel compelled to recommend.
“I should go.”
Teriza absorbed the quiet sound of Paul’s voice, but startled as the oven
timer beeped. “Dinner’s ready.”
“It smells delicious, but we both know it’s best if I don’t stay.”
Teriza couldn’t step out on a limb with Paul. Not yet. This was too new. She
needed time to think rationally, if her body would allow her that luxury. Such
thinking wouldn’t be possible with him so close. Even knowing that, there was a
part of her that wanted to stake her claim on Paul.
Instead of skirting the counter to leave the kitchen area, he chose to pass
by her. Gaze locked on hers, Paul drew close, then closer still. One second more
and he would pass her. He made a slight shift and Teriza’s hand shot out, her
fingers clamping over his wrist. The action was motivated from an instinct she
couldn’t trust. Having found and lost her life-mate so recently, this could
merely be a manifestation of her fear of being alone, of not ever having a
family of her own.
Paul hooked one finger inside her sleeve and tugged twice, asking her to
close the distance between them. His gaze smoldered, but he didn’t make a move.
Teriza looked away, released him and a chill stole through her chest. Another
sign? She took a baby step forward, testing her body’s reaction. Paul remained
still. Teriza inched forward until her breasts were dangerously close to
brushing his chest when he inhaled. She lifted one hand, letting her fingertips
skim over his sweater-covered bicep, up, up over his shoulder.
Her name whispered along raw nerve endings. Raising her gaze to his face she
saw the tightly clenched jaw, the warning in his eyes. She was toying with an
For both their sakes she had to let him go. For now.
Dropping her hand, Teriza took a step back and knew physical pain when Paul
closed his eyes and shuddered. She turned away, lest he see her indecision. A
slight movement of air preceded muffled footsteps, then the front door opened
Only then did Teriza release the breath she held and take note of the
trembling. The ache. Not just for sex—though that was indisputably present—but
for Paul and the closeness, the serendipitous connection of a kindred spirit she
felt when he was near.