*Release Blitz & Review* – Safe and Sound (The Dreadnoughts #3), by Lucy Felthouse

 #reverseharem #rh #rhromance #whychoose #ku #kindleunlimited #thriller #superheroes

Safe and Sound is the third and final book in The Dreadnoughts series. All three books are currently in Kindle Unlimited, but will be withdrawn in August, so if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, make sure you read the books sooner rather than later! I would hate for you to miss out.

Blurb:

Kim is within touching distance of her goal – but is it already too late?

Kim Medhurst, ex-British military intelligence officer turned scientist and climate activist, is in a race against time. With help from her four men, she’s researching how to make the ygrene – the mysterious power source she retrieved from a remote Scottish island – a viable alternative to fossil fuel. An unexpected visitor recently bought them a little extra breathing space, but they’re painfully aware it won’t last forever.

Despite their hard work, the whole thing looks set to crash down around their ears when the greedy megalomaniac they’ve been desperate to avoid shows up on the Greig twins’ doorstep. While Kim and the gang would happily lay down their lives to stop the ygrene getting into the wrong hands, Kim would prefer to steer clear of violence. Their latest visitor claims he only wants to talk, but he’s brought goons carrying hardware, and Kim wouldn’t be Kim without a backup plan.

Will good prevail against evil, or have all the gang’s efforts and sacrifices been for nothing?

Buy at Amazon, read in Kindle Unlimited or purchase the paperback (audio coming later in the year): https://books2read.com/safeandsound

My Review

Fun, Sexy and Suspenseful –  5 stars

This fun, sexy and suspenseful read is a great conclusion to the Dreadnoughts trilogy. I liked how different Kim’s four men are and how the bond she has with them develops and gets ever stronger in this instalment. There are plenty of sexy times plus humour as they navigate the dynamics of their relationships – Kim is one lucky woman!

She is also a strong woman, with a determination to use her discovery to save the environment, and I love the respect these men have for her and how protective they are of her and she of them. They make a cracking team and I enkoyed reading how they were put to the test when members of the powerful Orlov family, who have a strong interest in the ygrene, appear.

I was on pins to find out if they would be able to protect the ygrene falling into the wrong hands and also how they would continue to develop and manage their newfound superpowers. I loved how the relationship dynamics of Kim and her men weave in and out of the drama, danger and the tension as the plot reaches its conclusion.

This book and the series is a fab addition to romances featuring superheroes and to those exploring reverse harem dynamics.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note a copy of this book was given to me by the author and I am voluntarily leaving a fair and honest review. 

Enjoy the other books in this completed series. It’s highly recommended you read them in order—it won’t make a lot of sense otherwise! These two books are available in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats.

Book one, Search and Rescue: http://books2read.com/searchandrescue

Book two, Cut and Run: https://books2read.com/cutandrunlf

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight, and The Heiress’s Harem and The Dreadnoughts series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services

*REVIEW*- Blurred Limits, by Marissa Farrar and S R Jones

#reverseharem

Blurb

For them it’s all a game, but to me it’s survival.

When an opportunity to work at the exclusive island resort called The Limit comes up, I can’t say no. I’ll only be a maid, but at least it’ll get me off the streets and offer me somewhere to hide out from my stepfather.

But a case of mistaken identity changes everything.

The men who own this place—Brody, Wilder, Rafferty, and Asher—think I am someone else, and when an offer of winning a million dollars is put in front of me, how can I tell them the truth?

These men are all different, but they all have one thing in common, they’re all broken, and now they want to break me.

The game involves a hunt across the island. If I win, I get my heart’s desire. If they win, they get to do whatever they want to me.

But as the days pass, limits get blurred and boundaries are broken, and as my secrets bubble to the surface, the danger only increases.

What will happen when they discover my lie?

Goodreads

My Review

Dark, Twisted and Smoking Hot! 5 stars

Oh my heart! This is one smoking hot dark and twisted capture fantasy from start to finish. Once I bought into the premise of the book I was hooked – when Honor reports for duty for employment as a maid at an exclusive island resort she is mistaken for another. She decides to go along with the offer of allowing herself to be hunted by the four uber alpha owners, Brody, Wilder, Rafferty, and Asher. With one million dollars up for grabs it would be rude not to and Honor can use the money to ensure her future safety.

Honor’s backstory which prompts her to deceive the men added an interesting layer to the story and made me feel for her. I also loved that the men in question, all so very different, are bound together by their own dark experiences (not to mention their various depravities which come to light).

I enjoyed the various hunt scenes Honor is subjected to and how the tension, stakes and the level of kink ratchet ever higher. Honor learns just what a devious and deviant group of men she has become in involved with.

Can Honor survive each of the hunts without falling prey to their desires and leave the island richer or will she find herself captured and subject to their whims? What of her self-worth in engaging in such activity and can she keep her emotions distant from what she endures? Has she discovered a side of herself she did not know existed? Also, what if the men discover she is not who she pretends to be?

This is a compulsive read which I could not put it down – literally shooing my family away until I had finished it. I can’t wait for next instalment – without giving anything away the way the book ends is killing me – in a good way!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Purchase Links

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*BOOK REVIEW TOUR* – A New Dark Age: A Reckoning, by Ross Patrick

#Dystopian #Speculative

 “A dark vision of our coming future where the flickering glimmer of hope is the human capacity to form relationships and help each other. This is rebel fiction.”

 For readers who appreciate Cormac McCarthy,

Nicholas Matthieu & Margaret Atwood

Publisher: Brown Dog Books

Publication date: eBook – 14th December 2021

Paperback – 27th January 2022

Blurb

When the collapsing began, in a system where scarcity was a commodity, there was always a need for the unemployed, the homeless and the hungry. When most people could no longer afford consumer goods, there were riots. The rulers called it an attack on democracy.

The riots were met with militarised, armoured police. With falling tax revenues, companies took over financing the police, so the police increasingly functioned as capitalism’s own Praetorian Guard; sometimes supporting rival business leaders, sometimes bringing about their demise, and all the while living standards fell and the state started to crumble. 
For Esme Sedgebrook, growing up in the provinces, there is no future other than an arranged marriage, motherhood, and domesticity, fleeing to join the uprising is as much about personal transformation as it is political. 

My Review

Prescient and dramatic tale of a dystopian future – 5 stars

Set in the year 2061, this novel is a bleak and dramatic tale of a dystopian future, which explores the best and worst of humanity. I found it to be eerily prescient – I could easily imagine a future world where at least some of the events come to pass, given the trajectory the planet is on at this point.

It is also a story of the journey and enlightenment of seventeen year old Esme Sedgebrook, a downtrodden young woman from the provinces, who joins the rebels in their bid to shake the foundations of a society that has become sick, twisted and corrupt. Women have been reduced to chattels and the exploitation of the populace by those in power is cruel and stark. The read is a dark one but there are shafts of light in the bonds of friendship and the bravery and commradeship of many of the characters, often at great personal cost.

The world building was excellent – I could easily visualise the people and places Esme and others encounter as the plot progresses.  This future England is still recognisable, but it is scarred, broken and decayed and technology and medicine have all but disappeared. Society is divided between the obscenely rich, isolated from the common people who eek out a living and many have reverted back to the old ways of building local community ties and religion has once again taken hold. And then there are the lawmakers and the military, who do the dirty work for those in power and finally the revolutionaries, who baulk at the many wrongs in society and devote their lives to bring the system down. 

I found it to be a deeply thoughtful read which draws on our collective memories of the Peasants’ Revolt, enclosures, the Industrial Revolution and the development of capitalism. It contains rich characterisations and descriptions and a complex plot with dark undercurrents of violence and desperation throughout, interspersed with friendship, hope and the determination to bring about change. 

I enjoyed how the lives of the various characters encountered within the story became interwoven as the book progressed and reached its conclusion. Esme is not the same person at the end of the book as she was at the beginning and she is at various points a bystander, an active participant and a victim of some of the events in between. Indeed, there are a number of violent and disrurbing scenes which are integral to the story and the development of its characters.

I know that this read will stay with me for a long time, not least because of Esme’s personal journey but also as it cautions us about what could very well come to pass if circumstances allow.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of the book was given to me by the author and I am voluntarily leaving a fair and honest review.

Goodreads

About the Author

Ross Patrick was born in the Scottish enclave of Corby in the English East Midlands. When the Steel Works started shedding jobs he moved with his family to rural Leicestershire. Introverted, Ross drifted through a grey school of tired buildings and lingering temporary classrooms to provincial universities at Leicester and then Norwich, the University of East Anglia, where he studied Literature, having previously studied History. He then “lost a decade” working in wine retail and education before a breakdown and suicide attempt in 2014. Ross learnt that people’s sympathy for mental illness is often more generous in theory than in deed. During a housebound recovery from depression and PTSD, initially as catharsis, he began writing more seriously. 

Ross lives quietly in a house by a stream back in the English East Midlands with his cat, Graham. He admits to disliking numbers, though this could be a reaction to his dad’s work in accounting: Life isn’t to be measured but to be experienced, though he says he’s mostly experienced his vicariously. He finds distraction in long walks, studying the philosophy of consciousness and the hope that we are all one dream experiencing itself subjectively from infinite disassociated perspectives. Otherwise, Ross says he suffers persistent disappointments of following Nottingham Forest, and the joyous feelgood escapism of following Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild. He enjoys both cooking and eating Italian food, an inheritance from his mother’s family. He is also vegetarian; Graham the cat is not. Ross believes in the collective whilst Graham is frustratingly individualistic – these differences continue to bring some small amount of tension to their otherwise companionable existence.

Purchase Links

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*REVIEW* – Perfection, Kitty Thomas

#DarkRomance #Contemporary

Blurb

Everyone thought I was married to the perfect man. But if Conall Walsh were perfect, I wouldn’t have killed him.

I thought I got away with it until I received an anonymous note at the ballet company I dance for:

You were a very bad girl. If you don’t want me to report what I know about last night, meet me at the old opera house after rehearsal. I will tell you the price of my silence when you arrive. If you speak of this or bring anyone with you… no deal.

But his price isn’t money. It’s me.

THIS BOOK IS A STANDALONE contemporary dark romance.

My Review

Beautiful and suspenseful dark read – 5 stars

This is a dark romance containing murder, blackmail and eroticism set within the beautiful world of ballet and I read it in one sitting. I particulary liked the Phantom of the Opera vibes of the setting where much of the action takes place.

Having rid herself of her controlling and abusive husband, Cassia falls prey to a blackmailer who threatens to tell all if she does not pay the price he demands. Rather than money, the blackmailer insists that Cassia submits to him at a specific time and place and in a manner of his choosing…

I will not reveal any more, suffice to say that there are plenty of deliciously erotic scenes where Cassia is compelled to surrender to the will of her blackmailer. What starts off as understandable fear and trepidation on Cassia’s part soon turns to compulsion as she becomes wrapped up in his twisted game. I was on the edge of my seat throughout wondering what would happen next. I also found myself craving the growing connection between the couple, despite the obvious wrongness of the situation.

The read, which explores control and submission, also contains plenty of mystery and suspense as Cassia strives to come to terms with her new reality. The twist at the end completely blindsided me! It is a super read for fans of the genre.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Purchase Links

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**MY TOP READS OF 2021**

We are still living in strange times and once again reading has been a welcome escape and at times a balm to my senses. That authors have continued to create such amazing stories in the middle of a pandemic is  definitely something to be celebrated. In this post, I have highlighted my top reads of the year (in no particular order), followed by extracts from the blurb for each book and from my review. Click on individual book titles to read its review in full and find out more, including author and purchase links.🙂

Her Baseborn Scot (The Highland Warrior Chronicles #3), Christina Phillips

A warrior with cursed royal blood. A princess who will never submit to the enemy. A forbidden love that could cost them everything…

Romance, Secrets and Intrigue – Romance, secret identities and royal intrigue abound in the latest instalment in Christina Phillip’s Highland Warrior Chronicles. Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favourite tropes when it comes to romance so I just loved the pairing of a Scottish warrior with a Pictish princess and the push/pull of their relationship. There is also a supernatural element to the story which adds depth and interest. #Scotland #HistoricalRomance

The Isle of Sin and Shadows, by Keri Lake

This island alone boasts more ghost stories than all of Louisiana combined.
And I’m one of them.

Southern Gothic par excellence – If you fancy a walk on the dark side, The Isle of Sin and Shadows by Keri Lake, a standalone Southern Gothic Romance fits the bill perfectly. This suspenseful and atmospheric read features ghostly goings on, voodoo, crime lords and a slow burn/tension filled romance which set alight my Kindle when the couple finally get it together. I loved it!  #Romance #SouthernGothic #Mystery #Suspense

Ensnared: The Spider’s Mate #1, Tiffany Roberts

He’s spent years as a hunter, but now he’s the one ensnared in a creature’s trap.

Original, Sexy and Fun! – When I started to read this book, it was not without some trepidation as I am a HUMONGOUS arachnophobe. Yet, whilst the male lead is well and truly spider-like, the author writes in such a way that by the end of the story it mattered not as his character and his relationship with Ivy transcended any physical attributes and differences between them. #MonsterRomance #Romance #SciFi #Fantasy

The Last Hour of Gann, R Lee Smith

It was her last chance: Amber Bierce had nothing left except her sister and two tickets on Earth’s first colony-ship. She entered her Sleeper with a five-year contract and the promise of a better life, but awakened in wreckage on an unknown world. For the survivors, there is no rescue, no way home and no hope until they are found by Meoraq—a holy warrior more deadly than any hungering beast on this hostile new world…but whose eyes show a different sort of hunger when he looks at her. 

In a word EPIC! This sci-fi/fantasy is a long and intense read and one to truly savour. The tale, which also contains a beautiful love story, is mind blowing and emotional and I was totally sucked into the world and the characters created by the author. #DarkFantasy #Scifi  #Epic #Romance #LoveStory

The Rake of Hearts (A Lady to Suit #2), Emily Windsor

Sensual Regency romance with warmth and wit, this tale also includes a seductive rake, an icy widow, a castle, a disreputable aunt with a secondary love story, Cotswold country fairs, sinful masquerades and…a goat.

Beautiful – I absolutely adored Hebe and Ernest’s story. It is full of wit, charm and romance and such an emotional read – It brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion, but also a gladness to my heart as it is such a love affirming tale.

The young widow Hebe despises rakes and she has very good reason to. She has decided that Lord Ernest Brook, a shallow and self-confessed libertine, is a man to avoid at all costs. Ernest is attracted to Hebe and sees her icy demeanour as a challenge. Yet as soon as the couple inadvertently find themselves spending the summer together at Ernest’s childhood home in the Cotswolds, it becomes clear that both are not what they seem and the scene is set for a heartfelt and unforgettable Regency romance. #RegencyRomance #HistoricalRomance

Cut and Run. A Contemporary Reverse Harem Romance Novel. (The Dreadnoughts #2), Lucy Felthouse

Kim’s on track to save the world—but will she pay with her life?

Kim Medhurst, ex-British military intelligence officer turned scientist and climate activist, has a vitally important project on her hands. The mysterious object she set out to retrieve from the remote Scottish island has the potential to power the entire planet. All she needs to do is figure out exactly how to make it happen, and the Scottish Highlands seems the perfect place to complete her research in peace—as well as enjoy the company of the gorgeous Greig twins.

Superpowered and sexy! – Cut and Run is the second book in the Dreadnoughts series and I found it to be a suspenseful, sexy and action-packed read. I recommend that you read the first in the series, Search and Rescue, before this one to get maximum enjoyment as this instalment starts off where the previous one ended: Chastain goes missing in London and Kim and the Greig twins go all out to rescue him, calling on their recently acquired superpowers to do so – I just loved these scenes! #Romance #ReverseHarem #Suspense #Superheroes

Blood Money, Dinero de Sangre #1, Lana Sky

In this twisted dark cartel romance, revenge and hate collide with the past… Ten years after a devastating betrayal, revenge has come back to bite Ada Pavalos. Literally. Once her family’s trusted bodyguard, Domino Valenciaga is out for blood. Or her heart. Whichever goal takes more violence to achieve…

An Emotional Tsunami – This book is DARK, an emotional tsunami of hate, anger, despair, violence and lust and I LOVED it! I am familiar with the author’s work, having read most of her back catalogue, and it is one of the darkest reads she has penned to date. I devoured it as soon as I got my mitts on it, in one single read. #DarkCartelRomance #TwistedRomance #RevengeAndHate 

Stolen Lust: A Diamond Magnate Novel (Beauty in the Stolen Trilogy #1), Charmaine Pauls

Ian Hart is the most notorious criminal in the country. Like the thief he is, he came in the dark and stole a night of my life. He left me with souvenirs. Disaster and fear are my new realities. I’ll forever look over my shoulder, terrified he’d return, because when he took me, he stole more than just a few hours of my time.

Hot and Intense – Hold on to your hats! This is one hot and intense ride from start to finish and as a huge fan of the dark romance genre, I lapped it up! I loved both the heroine Cassandra (Cas) and the anti-hero Ian. Cas is vulnerable in so many ways, but despite this she stands up for herself and does so with plenty of sass and is nobody’s fool. Due to Ian’s actions, her life speedily spins out of control as the truth of who he is and his deeds come to light I hugely enjoyed the story and their evolving relationship and found Cas to be a plucky character and a perfect match for Ian. #RomanticSuspense #Crime

Flame to Frost (The Last Triton #1), Myra Danvers

The Last Tritan is perfect for fans of the Grishaverse. Those who fell completely in love with the Darkling―a smoldering villain we wanted to see win… 

Amazing Dark Fantasy – I absolutely inhaled this amazing dark fantasy read. It is the first book I have read by the author Myra Danvers and  is one of her earlier works, reworked as part of her Triton Evolution series. I have now found another awesome author to add to my list!

I loved the central character of Mila and her journey from a pampered and orphaned escapee to when she becomes a thorn in the side of her enemies, until she is finally captured. She is strong, empathetic and kick-ass, but with a secret that she is at great pains to conceal, lest it lead to her downfall. The contrast between her frugal existence in hiding in the forest and the debauched life of the world she is thrust into is well done, as is the worldbuilding. #DarkFantasy

Dirty Dealings (A Zeta Cartel Novel #3), A J Adams

Enrique ‘Quique’ Ramas is having a bad time. Back in Mexico his marriage has fallen apart and his wife has made him a laughing stock by cheating on him. Now he’s in London and out of his depth with a complex commercial deal. To make things worse, Natalia Truelove, a chef and pub manager, is blackmailing him. Quique is ready to commit murder and he’s pretty sure who his first victim will be.

Dirty Dealings is an enthralling tale of deceit, murder, cartel violence and finding love in the darkest of times.

One crazy cartel read – loved it! – I just inhaled this crazy cartel read and I found it impossible to put down. If you are a fan of this genre and alpha heroes who develop a soft spot for strong and feisty heroines with a vulnerable side, than you too will love this enemies to lovers romance. It has oodles of suspense and action, great banter and sexual tension between the main couple and some super sexy scenes. #CartelRomance #Crime

*REVIEW* – Logistics: A Christmas Story, by Chris Coppel

#ChristmasRead #Mystery #Fairytale #SciFi #Romance

Blurb

After being abandoned at the age of two and a half, Holly Hillman was raised without whimsy or fantasy. She was taught that there were no such things as Santa Claus, fairies, elves or any other accepted fantasies that help a child deal with the harder realities of life. Now in her forties, she is the CEO of a Fortune 400 company. She rose to the top through hard work, but also by living without distractions or social attachments. Despite her rigidly ingrained dedication, Holly was content with her life, having never lived by any other tenet. Everything was perfect until she was required to give her DNA as part of a health check leading up her company’s merger with an Asian conglomerate.

The results of her test unlocked the secret of her unique ancestry, leading to her having to confront a fantastical truth that would forever change her views on life and reality itself.

Goodreads

My Review

Uplifting and Original – Loved it! – 5 stars

In Logistics: A Christmas Story, author Chris Coppel seamlessly blends mystery and romance with a sprinkling of humour to create an original and page turning read which I loved. The protaganist, businesswoman Holly Hillman, has her life upended, after the results of a simple DNA test reveal her unique ancestry, in what is one of the most surprising plot twists I have ever read. This leads to her re-evaluating her own existence and the world around her – indeed, the book also ventures into the world of physics, but not as we know it!

I do not want to give the plot away as Holly’s origins are truly fantastical and it would take away the pleasure of reading the book. Suffice to say I enjoyed the personal and life changing journey she goes on and how she interacts with the other characters as the story unfolds. At the start of the novel, I found her to be a rather singleminded but colourless character with a tragic back story, and I was heartened by how she was slowly but surely transformed by events and her interactions with those from her past, present and future.

Logistics is a modern-day fairy tale which speaks to the reader on many different levels. I found it to be an uplifting read which underlined that it is never too late to seize what is truly important in life.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of the book was given to me by the author and I am voluntarily leaving a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

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Connect with the Author

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*REVIEW* – Delirium (Atom and Evil #1), by Myra Danvers

#Sci-fi #Romance #DarkHumour

Blurb

Living on the fringe of deep space, Iris is nothing like the woman she was Before.
She’s broken. A shadow. Running from a shady past filled with trauma and unspeakable pain, she’s lost and trying not to be found. Numbing her anguish with boredom and opium.
Because she knows he’s coming.
A vicious criminal.
The enemy she used to love.
Her biggest mistake.
Fifteen years wasn’t nearly long enough to dull the ache of what they lost. Scars branded too deep, wounds that never healed.
They say pain is temporary, that it leads to personal growth. But Iris is a creature remade in blistering agony. Forged by a drive to wreak havoc. He should have known better than to abduct and blackmail her.
She will claim vengeance, or die trying.
There are no heroes here. Only a pipe full of the good stuff and villains fighting over scraps.

My Review

Action-packed and crazy tale of vengeance – 5 stars

This is one crazy ass read from start to finish and I certainly enjoyed the ride. Iris, the protagonist, has little sense of self-preservation and even less concern for the lives of others, the men who have dared to kidnap and blackmail her. Vengeance will be hers and I just loved how the read contains scene after scene of destruction and mayhem, steeped in dark humour.

I was glued to the pages to see what she had planned next for her abductors who want to use her for her technical wizardry. There are a number of laugh-out-loud moments – her methods are certainly twisted and violent and designed to take no prisoners. If you have ever dreamed about taking revenge on your enemies then this book will feed your fantasies!

Big Evil, her ex lover, now  her sworn enemy, with whom she has a history, is the only one who understands her version of crazy and he too does not appear to be of sane mind. We are given snippets of Iris’ past and their relationship, gaining more understanding as the book progresses and I found myself trying to work out what had happened to propel her to her drug filled and solitary existence and make her despise him so.

The book ends on a cliffhanger and I am looking forward to the next instalment to see how the plot and the intense relationships unravel.

Recommended for fans of sci-fi reads who like strong, crazy anti-heroes and heroines.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author ad I am voluntarily leaving a review.

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

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Author Links

https://myradanvers.com/

*NEW RELEASE* – Shopping for a Turkey (Shopping for a Billionaire Series Book 18) by Julia Kent (@jkentauthor

#romanticcomedy #romance #contemporary #contemporaryromance #holiday #holidayromance

Description:

I don’t understand Americans.

Or, as we say in Scotland, I dinna understand ye eedjits.

And I definitely dinna understand the crazy mother-in-law of my cousin Declan. Who in their right mind names a wee dog Chuffy?

I’m stuck in New York after ma agent makes a bloody mess of an otherwise good endorsement contract for a sports towel company, and this crazy American holiday–Thanksgiving–is in two days.

The invitation to spend it in Mendon, Massachusetts, with the Jacoby family is about as appealing as rotten haggis. As far as I can tell, Thanksgiving is about stuffing yerself silly, watching pathetic American “football,” while fighting with relatives ye only see once a year.

If I wanted that last one, I’d head back to Scotland, where we dinna need a holiday to be salty to each other.

Ma firm answer is nae.

Until I remember Amy is part of the family.

Suddenly, I’m available.

Eager, even. Perhaps she’ll pull ma wishbone. I hear that’s part of the Turkey Day festivities, aye?

What I canna admit, though, is how she pulls ma heartstrings, too.

Which shouldna feel better than the wishbone, but it does.

And here comes Amy’s mother with another holiday tradition, this one a bit early.

A sprig o’ mistletoe, dangling right above Amy’s bonnie head.

Shopping for a Turkey features Scottish football player Hamish McCormick and Amy Jacoby as they navigate unusual cultural norms, new traditions, and the undeniable attraction between these two characters, who have appeared as supporting players in Julia Kent’s New York Times-bestselling Shopping series.

It’s their turn to have their own all-new spinoff series. And to pull the wishbone. 😉

Excerpt: 

Amy

He’s been in his birthday suit on sports magazine covers. Done endorsements for regional breweries and energy bars. I know from Declan that he’s close to making it big.

He’s already big.

My eyes dart to his feet.

How big is he?

Heat fills me at the thought, a combination of self-loathing and desire. Which is nothing new for me when it comes to Hamish McCormick.

Why did he have to be here? Now? Of all times, when Mom has a broken leg, Declan’s brother Terry is filling in for her as yoga instructor, and we’re already in disarray? I’m finally finishing my MBA, working another co-op at a venture capital firm. My last one was disrupted by scandal after the high-profile associate gunning for partner turned out to be married to a massive conman. I think I might have gotten my new co-op just for my potential gossip supply.

But my life is smoothing out now. It took me eight years to earn my bachelor’s, but with Declan’s help, the MBA has been full time, which is so much easier. I’ve told him straight out I don’t want any favors, and I refuse to work for Grind It Fresh! Or Anterdec. No nepotism.

Though I’ll certainly network and accept help making connections.

I’m on the cusp of a new life, moving into adulthood at last. I finished a major project yesterday, excited for the Thanksgiving break. I was at the gym, fresh off submitting my group work to our professor, when Dad called about the –

Well. You know.

And now Mom and Dad broke her leg and half their bedroom, my sisters and I have to manage Thanksgiving dinner from scratch, and I can’t stop ogling Hamish’s backside.

That’s too much input.

“Let go of troubling thoughts,” Terry says in soothing, deep dulcet tones as we do triangle pose, our breathing syncing with slow movement. Hamish’s arms stretch out and down. He has muscles on top of muscles, with fine ginger hair all over his arms, darkening as it tapers to his wrists. When we all go into a partial squat, his hamstrings pop like cello strings under his skin, each tiny muscle and tendon in stark relief across a body I could watch forever.

Too bad he has the emotional maturity of a hedgehog.

And that might be giving him too much credit.

“Fine form,” Hamish whispers to Shannon, who blinks fast.

“Thanks. I’ve been doing yoga on my lunch breaks. Even fifteen minutes makes a difference.”

“Aye. People think it’s about doing long workouts but smaller amounts of time really do add up.”

Insane–they’re driving me insane. How can they just idly chat like that while every inch of my skin is on fire? Every breath turns into a proto-orgasm as I watch him stealthily.

Or maybe not stealthily enough. He turns around, catches me watching, and winks.

I hate this. I hate reacting to him like this. I hate that he knows he’s doing this to me, and he revels in it. I hate that he’s so smarmy and overconfident and…

Tantalizing.

I’m going to assume that when all the blood in my body rushes to the surface of my skin and between my legs, it means my IQ drops a bit; lack of oxygen to the brain is the only explanation I have for finding him so attractive. This is a purely physiological response, driven entirely by evolution.

This is not my fault.

He’s big and strong, and his physicality signals virility and protection. Biology is an amazing science, its processes optimized to drive us to reproduce.

My blushing, my throbbing, the zings running across my arms and legs–it’s just electrical impulses, a response shaped over hundreds of thousands of years to produce the right outcome: hot, sweaty, reproductive activity to repopulate the earth.

It’s really just that simple.

I don’t emotionally desire this guy. Not one little bit. My heart isn’t attracted to Hamish McCormick.

My eggs are.

Bad ova. Bad, bad ova.

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Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 1.5 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 16 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French and German, with more titles releasing soon. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three children in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

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Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services

*RELEASE BLITZ* – Blood Bound (Dinero de Sangre #3), by Lana Sky

#DarkRomance #CartelRomance #MafiaRomance

Release Date: October 30th

BLURB

In this twisted dark cartel romance, revenge and hate collide with the past…

Hunted by a dangerous enemy, Ada Pavalos is forced to place her faith—and her life—in the hands of the man who has been holding her captive in his own twisted bid for revenge.

But the truce they’ve forged between them is fragile, impeded by Ada’s struggle to trust where Domino’s loyalties lie—because what if the deadliest threat isn’t Jaguar after all?

What if it’s Domino who will destroy her in the end?

All Retailers ➜ https://books2read.com/DDS-BloodBound 

Read Book One: All Retailers ➜ https://books2read.com/BloodMoney

#NewRelease #DarkCartelRomance #NewSeries #LanaSky #TwistedRomance #RevengeAndHate #NeedToReadItNow #ReadMoreRomance #Bookstagram #RomanceBookAddict #Romancelandia #BookWorm #BookObsessed #RomanceBooks #SteamyReads⁠ #DarkRomance

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lana Sky is a reclusive writer in the United States who spends most of her time daydreaming about complex male characters and parenting her Cockapoo Joey. She writes dark, twisted romance across several genres. Her titles include everything from mafia romance to vampires.

AUTHOR LINKS

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*REVIEW* – The Isle of Sin and Shadows – by Keri Lake

#Gothic #Romance #SouthernGothic #Mystery #Suspense

Blurb

This island alone boasts more ghost stories than all of Louisiana combined.
And I’m one of them.

In the Louisiana swamplands, ghost stories are as much a part of childhood as chasing fireflies and crawfishing. They never much scared me, though, nor the possibility of evil out to do me harm. Until the night I watched shadows come to life and butcher everything I loved.

With a stranger’s help, I managed to escape to an isolated place miles north, and, in time, became my own ghost story. A cautionary tale for the locals.

Nearly a decade passed, before I returned to my birthplace, in hopes of unearthing long-awaited answers. Instead, I found something I wasn’t looking for. Someone. A remedy for my loneliness.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, Thierry Bergeron is no elixir. He’s a deadly poison, cursed by the demons of his past, and feared by those who call him the elusive Rougarou of the bayou. A devious rogue, whose seductive whispers and rough hands haunt my dreams. The big bad wolf that defiles me without apology, or remorse.

I should resist him, but I can’t.

And when the shadows return to stake their claim on me, his darkness is the only safe place to hide.

The Isle of Sin & Shadows is a southern gothic mystery & romance standalone

My Review

Southern Gothic par excellence – 5 dark and sexy stars!

If you fancy a walk on the dark side, The Isle of Sin and Shadows by Keri Lake, a standalone Southern Gothic Romance fits the bill perfectly. This suspenseful and atmospheric read features ghostly goings on, voodoo, crime lords and a slow burn/tension filled romance which set alight my Kindle when the couple finally get it together. I loved it!

The read is a haunting one, being set in and around the Louisiana swamps with its close-knit community and its many secrets and local legends. The stakes are high when Céleste returns to her childhood home in an attempt to face the demons of her past and find out answers, so far denied. She soon finds her path crossing with the notorious Thierry, the owner of a strip club, who is a powerful force in the local community and feared by many. I enjoyed how Thierry is intrigued from the off by Celeste, a young woman who refuses to fear and respect him, and wants to know her secrets. I just loved the battle of words and deeds between them and their relationship is passionate and intense, each scene that takes place between them just crackles with sexual tension.

Both central characters are flawed and we learn about their respective backstories as the plot develops. Thierry is the type of dark anti-hero I adore and on the face of it he is just so wrong for Celeste, on so many levels. He is not looking for any type of relationship other than a quick hook-up. Céleste herself is traumatised by her past and sometimes she is confused by her reality. She is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery of her past and I admired her inner strength which tempers her vulnerability. She hides her pain under a tough exterior but has a heart of gold.

Somehow the couple are just perfect together, their relationship developing over the course of the book as they find their paths becoming ever more entwinned. There is such a lot going on in this read as the past and present collide, and I admired how the author pulled it all together whilst creating a powerful romance amidst the hauntingly beautiful and dangerous atmosphere of the swamps. I was gripped from the first page to the very last.

Perfect for fans of Gothic romances.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Goodreads

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*REVIEW* – Ensnared: The Spider’s Mate #1, by Tiffany Roberts

#MonsterRomance #Romance #SciFi #Fantasy

Blurb

He’s spent years as a hunter, but now he’s the one ensnared in a creature’s trap.

Ketahn did not want a mate. Fate has a different plan for him. When the queen he despises declares her intention to claim him, he retreats into the jungle.

What he finds there changes his world.

Small, delicate, and pale skinned, Ivy Foster is nothing like the females Ketahn has known. She’s not of his kind at all. Yet the moment he sees her, he knows the truth in his soul—she is his heartsthread.

And now that he has her, he won’t let anything take her away. Not the jungle, not the gods, not the queen.

Whether Ivy agrees or not, their webs are entangled. No one will ever sever those threads.
—-
Book 1 of 3 in The Spider’s Mate Trilogy.

Warning: Contains darker themes and S/A. There is also a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

My Review – 5 stars

Original, Sexy and Fun! 

When I started to read this book, it was not without some trepidation as I am a HUMONGOUS arachnophobe. Yet, whilst the male lead is well and truly spider-like, the author writes in such a way that by the end of the story it mattered not as his character and his relationship with Ivy transcended any physical attributes and differences between them.

We learn a lot about Ketahn at the beginning of the story and how he lives alone in the jungle, away from his own kind to avoid the machinations of the court of the evil queen, a female who has her sights well and truly set on him. I loved how the circumstances of how Ketahn and Ivy meet set the scene for events which play out later in the novel. Ketahn is immediately fascinated by Ivy. He takes it upon himself to protect her as she is so vulnerable and unlike the fearsome females he knows. He keeps her close to him and hidden from his kind. 

Overall their romance is a slow burn, with some truly sweet moments and also some humourous ones. Ivy’s initial, and very understandable, terror of Ketahn turns at first to friendship and then to something more, something they both try and deny to themselves, but which cannot be denied – cue some HOT scenes, where Ketahn’s spider-like attributes come into their own…

This is an inspired read by the author in SO many ways – if you had told me a few weeks ago I would be lapping up a romance with a human female and an alien spider-like creature, I would not have believed you! However, their romance is one to savour as shared respect and understanding grows between them as Ketahn teaches Ivy to survive – I particularly loved how they learned to communicate with each other and learn each others’ language and about their many differences. As Ivy learns about the world she finds herself in and Ketahn learns about Ivy they become ever closer.

The worldbuilding and plotting is excellent, the author painting a detailed and credible picture of Ketahn’s society and home world.  We are introduced to a number of key characters who play an important role in the evolving plot and from the outset Ketahn is a sympathetic character who is protective of those he cares for and there is nothing he cares more about than Ivy. Yet will she agree to bond with him and what of the queen, who will stop at nothing to make him bond with her. There are some heart stopping moments in the book, which ends on a cliffhanger, and I am looking forward to the next instalment.

Recommended for lovers of sci-fi and fantasy romance. 

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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*REVIEW* – Frost to Dust (The Last Tritan #2), by Myra Danvers

#DarkFantasy

Blurb

Their lives are linked.

Mila’s power has been stolen. Taken by a villain she can’t escape, her secrets all revealed. Held in thrall by an enemy she hates, she is consumed by the man whose mark circles her throat. Her wrists…

Her every action subject to the whims of Captain Asher Rawlings.

Controlling, jealous and possessive, he means to keep her for his own. To claim her magic and use it to rise within the ranks of the Caledonian army with a powerful priestess chained to his side—but Mila is untrained. Her magic volatile when it should be a soothing balm.

And what is dangerous to one, is deadly to the other.

A weakness in what should be an unbreakable bond.

In a place where even the slightest vulnerability is an open invitation for disaster, their bond is a lure for powerful men to strike without mercy.

On her knees but not defeated, Mila must choose. Give in to Asher and embrace her power…

Or let them both fall… 

Goodreads

My Review – 5 stars

Passionate and Intense – a brilliant read!

The latest instalment in Mila and Asher’s story is fast-paced, passionate and intense, crackling with raw emotions. As the book before it, Flame to Frost, I found it to be another brilliant dark fantasy read.

The the battle of wits between Asher and his captive priestess Mila is just exquisite to read. The scenes where they are together are smoking hot and the book is also cleverly plotted and populated with well-drawn characters. Mila continues to defy her captor at every turn, a task that is so much more difficult since they are now linked. She is not only subject to Asher’s control, but also the rules of others of his ilk, the hated invaders who destroyed her homeland.

I hugely enjoyed the descriptions of the couple’s bond and the magic that swirls in and around them and others. Mila’s magic is untamed and wild and she has so many internal battles as she attempts to gain control over her powers and her developing relationship with Asher, a member of the enemy Elite. She despises him for what he represents and what he makes her do and feel – Asher is an Alpha through and through and he will be obeyed. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, with hidden agendas and plots aplenty.

When it all unravels and comes to the crunch what will Mila and Asher do, as their bond means that their survival is linked? I was literally swept away by their story and blown away by the ending which I did not see coming. I cannot wait to read the next instalment to see what happens next!

Readers of dark fantasy who like a smoking and highly charged captor/captive or enemies to lovers trope will love this story.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received a copy of this book from Booksprout and I am voluntarily lieaving a review.

Purchase Links

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Author Links

https://myradanvers.com/

*REVIEW* – The Last Hour of Gann, by R. Lee Smith

#DarkFantasy #Scifi  #Epic #Romance #LoveStory

Adult Read

Blurb

It was her last chance:

Amber Bierce had nothing left except her sister and two tickets on Earth’s first colony-ship. She entered her Sleeper with a five-year contract and the promise of a better life, but awakened in wreckage on an unknown world. For the survivors, there is no rescue, no way home and no hope until they are found by Meoraq—a holy warrior more deadly than any hungering beast on this hostile new world…but whose eyes show a different sort of hunger when he looks at her.

It was his last year of freedom:

Uyane Meoraq is a Sword of Sheul, God’s own instrument of judgment, victor of hundreds of trials, with a conqueror’s rights over all men. Or at least he was until his father’s death. Now, without divine intervention, he will be forced to assume stewardship over House Uyane and lose the life he has always known. At the legendary temple of Xi’Matezh, Meoraq hopes to find the deliverance he seeks, but the humans he encounters on his pilgrimage may prove too great a test even for him…especially the one called Amber, behind whose monstrous appearance burns a woman’s heart unlike any he has ever known.

Goodreads

My Review = 5 stars

In a word EPIC!

This sci-fi/fantasy is a long and intense read and one to truly savour. The tale, which also contains a beautiful love story, is mind blowing and emotional and I was totally sucked into the world and the characters created by the author.

The worldbuilding is superb; the complex society Amber and her fellow humans find themselves on after their ship crashes onto an unknown planet is brutal and inhospitable and their survival is questionable. It is only when their paths cross with the warrior/priest Meoraq that their salvation seems possible. Meoraq’s own destiny becomes inextricably entwinned with that of Amber and the humans, setting the scene  for an unforgettable and complex story.

The read is dark and graphic in content, especially when it comes to sex and violence. There are some horrific scenes and a number of characters can only be described as truly wicked. I felt broken at various points, but I was compelled to continue as the plot was so gripping and there are moments of light and pure love which shone through the darkness.

I enjoyed how we are able to see the humans through the eyes of Meoraq, who regards them as ugly and weak. At first the humans view him as little more than an animal – yet my goodness they are in for a surprise! We soon learn that humans can be equally as monstrous as Meoraq’s fellow citizens, the lizardmen who are natives of the planet they find themselves on.

Amber is a character who I warmed through as the book progressed – she is mouthy and stubborn and not afraid to speak her mind, even though her comments fall on stony ground (which they do to her own detriment). Her her journey is a painful one. As for Meoraq, I wanted to shake him at times but he is a product of his culture and upbringing and his path too is one full of challenges. He is deeply religious, yet also a warrior who is used to being powerful and in control at all times and taking his due wherever he goes. His faith is tested throughout by people and events.

I loved how Amber questions him throughout. There is no fated mates human/alien love trope here – their romance is a slow burn and they cannot even understand each other to start with. I loved how the couple came together and how the relationship grew and developed into such an epic love story.

There are many dark moments and surprises in the book and the read is certainly not for the faint hearted. It will appeal to readers who enjoy sci-fi and/or fantasy where the world building and characters come together to create a truly inforgettable and thought provoking read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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*BOOK TOUR/REVIEW* – Curry Compendium, by Richard Sayce

ABOUT CURRY COMPENDIUM

Richard Sayce, the man behind Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen, does it again. Following his award winning two previous curry volumes, Curry Compendium is a hardback masterpiece for all those wanting to reproduce that British Indian restaurant style of cooking.

Beautifully compiled with mouth-watering photography and additional images credited to many of the author’s social media devotees, this compendium is a book that will be revisited time and time again, not least for its top tips on scaling up recipes and innovative use of QR codes.  Available for most recipes chefs in the making can simply scan the QR code with their smartphone and instantly watch the associated YouTube video.

For all those hesitant to cook a curry from scratch let Richard Sayce show you the way.  You won’t be disappointed.

Curry Compendium is based on the two top selling paperback prequels Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volumes 1 and 2 which have collectively sold over 50,000 copies in three years. Both books won Gourmand World Cookbook awards for the best UK self-published cookbooks.

Richard Sayce has combined all the content from both these books into a quality hardback format, added a splattering of new recipes, and updated many of the photographs and illustrations.

Inside the new book you’ll find an abundance of mouth-watering, delightfully easy to follow Indian restaurant recipes. These are all backed up with detailed and comprehensive informational chapters: everything you need to learn the art of curry cooking.

Curry Compendium contains all you need to create your own restaurant quality food at home in your kitchen. Start saving a fortune on takeaways!

ISBN: 978-1-9996608-3-3
Publication Date: 1st September 2021
Format: Hardback, 320 pages, colour throughout

My Review – 5 stars

Inspirational, no-nonsense and practical. A treasure trove of traditional and lesser known recipes

I adore Indian food, whether I am eating out or cooking it at home. However, when it comes to my own culinary efforts, I can count on the fingers of one hand the occasions when I have cooked an Indian dish from scratch. Instead, I rely on using the jars, with their limited supply of recipes, which adorn the supermarket shelves. The unfamiliarity of some of the ingredients and my lack of knowledge and expertise when it comes to preparing such dishes has been a barrier. I was therefore delighted when I was given the opportunity to review this book by Richard Sayce and was keen to learn, put aside my crises of confidence and finally get hands on with the Indian cuisine.

The book is both informative and inspirational. I enjoyed the author’s own recollections of his first encounters with Indian food (similar to my own and many others I am sure) and how he overcome his own reticence to cook such delicious dishes that comprise the British Indian Restaurant style which the book focuses on.

The book is beautifully illustrated and the style of writing is engaging, taking the reader from the basics to more involved recipes in a no-nonsense practical style. I particularly enjoyed the hints and tips which the author shares with the reader throughout, gained from his many years mastering the cuisine. It contains chapters on starters, classic curries, special dishes, extra hot curries, vegeatable curries, side dishes, rice and breads and sundries, not to mention  a selection of mouthwatering street food and specialities.

This book has not only demystified the cusine’s most iconic recipes, but it has also introduced me to many more. It is indeed a treasure trove to all who desire to gain confidence in cooking and delve further into the myriad of dishes  available. I have now stocked up on just a number of key Indian spices and am armed with the know-how to produce a host of dishes I would never dream of having a go at cooking in the past.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received a copy of this book from the author and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Richard Sayce, the man behind Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen, Curry Compendium and the cookbooks Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volumes 1 & 2, has many years’ experience in the world of Indian food. A love of curry from an early age motivated him to master the art of BIR (British Indian Restaurant) cooking and to share his passion with others.

“I’ve been interested in cooking since an early age and have always loved Indian food. My passion led me to learn all about how curry is cooked in restaurants and takeaways here in the UK, which was my first experience of Indian food.

I endeavoured to finally master the art of creating excellent BIR style curry, and with time and a lot of experimentation, finally gained enough skill and knowledge to be happy with sharing my experiences.”

Richard lives in the North West of England and dedicates his ‘foodie’ time to cooking, recipes, social media, catering, and of course eating. A firm love of Indian food in both home and restaurant styles gives plenty of motivation to experiment and try out new recipes and ideas.

His two previous books, Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1 and 2, have each won the Gourmand World Cookbook award for best UK Self-Published Cookbook, 2019 and 2020 respectively, and have sold many thousands of copies in the UK and abroad. His long-standing YouTube channel has over 40,000 subscribers and over six million views.

Website: www.mistyricardo.com

Facebook: www.mistyricardo.com/mistyricardoscurrykitchen

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/mistyricardo

Instagram: www.instagram.com/mistyricardo

Twitter: www.twitter.com/mistyricardo

Email: sales@mistyricardo.com

LEMON RICE from Curry Compendium by Richard Sayce

You may have noticed lemon rice in the ‘rice & sundries’ section of Indian restaurant and takeaway menus. It’s yet another hidden gem which is sadly disregarded.

My version uses both lemon juice and the essential lemon rind, along with some unconventional spices which I think complement the zesty flavour of this fried rice accompaniment.

This recipe will make enough for one or two people when served alongside a main dish. If you wish to make extra it’s best to repeat the recipe each time instead of scaling up. It’s quick to cook and the results are well worth it!

This recipe is based on that from my new book, Curry Compendium, published on 10th Sept 2021.

All spoon measurements are level. Dig in!

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g Cooked Basmati Rice (left to dry/cool so not moist)
  • 2 TBSP (30ml) Vegetable Oil or Butter Ghee
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • ½ tsp Black or Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 60g Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely sliced
  • 1-2 tsp finely chopped fresh Green Chilli (optional)
  • ¼-½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Spice Mix – see separate recipe
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • ½ tsp Tandoori Masala powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp Kalonji Seeds (also known as Nigella or Onion seeds)
  • 1-2 tsp Lemon Rind (finely grated or chopped)
  • 2 TBSP fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1-2 tsp Butter Ghee to finish (optional)

METHOD

  1. Cook the basmati rice according to the instructions on the packet or your preferred method. Make sure any excess water is drained, then run a fork through it gently a few times and leave to dry off a bit and cool. Don’t leave rice at room temperature for more than an hour or so. If in doubt place the rice container in ice cold water or refrigerate after cooking.
  2. Heat the oil or ghee in a wok or frying pan on high heat.
  3. Add the cumin and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop add the chopped onion and 2 garlic cloves.
  4. Stir fry for 30-45 seconds or until the onion browns at the edges. The sweetness of the partly caramelised onion will complement the sharpness of the lemon.
  5. Now add the salt, mix powder, turmeric, tandoori masala, kalonji seeds, and the optional green chilli.
  6. Continue frying for 20-30 seconds stirring diligently to prevent the spices from sticking and burning.
  7. Then add the lemon rind, the cooked basmati rice, and the finely chopped coriander leaves.
  8. Mix well and continue stir frying for a minimum of 90 seconds until the rice is piping hot.
  9. Add the fresh lemon juice shortly before the end of cooking, and if you wish, top with some butter ghee for extra richness.
  10. Serve, sprinkling a little bit more fresh coriander on top.

RECIPE FOR SPICE MIX USED IN ABOVE LEMON RICE

Also known commonly as ‘Mix Powder’, this is a mixture of basic spices, and is used in most British Indian restaurants to form the basis of the spicing. This is the recipe I most commonly use, which I find gives a good foundation of flavour to all curries.

This recipe will make enough for at least 12 curries but you can scale the ingredients down if you wish. For the best result, ground the cumin and coriander seeds.

Once prepared, store airtight and away from light – it will then last for months.

Simply mix the following together:

  • 1 TBSP Cumin Powder
  • 1 TBSP Coriander Powder
  • 1½ TBSP Turmeric Powder
  • ½ TBSP Paprika (NOT smoked)
  • 1½ TBSP Mild Madras Curry Powder
  • ¼ tsp Garam Masala

Recipes credited to Curry Compendium by Richard Sayce, available online and in all good bookshops, £24.99.

 

Resisting the Firefighter: Bad Boys of Baltown, by Christina Phillips, Mel Teshco and Cathleen Ross

#ContemporaryRomance #FirefighterRomance

Blurb

Three hot firefighter brothers – and the women they save.
Any way they can…

Book 1 – Resisting Tate by Christina Phillips

Everyone loves a hero… don’t they?

To most people Tate Thompson is a catch. Good looking, funny and a firefighter who has saved plenty of lives. But to Ruby he spells danger.

Still grieving for the loss of her dad, who was also a firefighter and died in the line of duty, there’s no way she can go through that kind of pain again. Except her insides melt when she’s in Tate’s arms. Maybe she should take a chance on him?

Firefighting is in Tate’s blood and he’s never let anything get between him and his job. Until he meets Ruby.

She’s not just sexy as hell. She’s the first person who’s been able to quiet the roar of guilt he’s lived with for half his life. Maybe commitment isn’t such a dirty word, after all?

But when fires ravage the country, both Tate and Ruby must confront their darkest fears if they want a chance of making it together.

Book 2 – Resisting Lachlan by Mel Teshco

Can he save her from herself?

Lachlan might have a well-earned reputation with the ladies, but outside of the bedroom he has a strong moral code. His clients at the gym can’t thank him enough for their health transformations, and when he’s not at work he’s often pulling on his volunteer firefighter suit to help put out fires. Then he spies his new neighbor. Even before they become lovers he knows he wants more than a one night stand. He wants her permanently in his bed. If only he can convince her that losing one man in a fire doesn’t mean she’ll lose him, too.

After a house fire takes the life of her violent husband, Justine leaves the past behind and moves to the outskirts of Baltown. But when bush fires threaten the tinder dry area, and her sexy neighbor turned lover is one of the fire crew risking his life to save others, she realizes she can run again, but she can’t leave survivor guilt behind. But will she face her fears head-on or escape from the one man who might break her heart?

Book 3 – Resisting Adam by Cathleen Ross

Secrets shadow Emma Cain’s life, ones she can’t unlock by herself. When a bushfire threatens the valley she lives in, her ex-boyfriend, firefighter, Adam Thompson, demands she leave her home. Saving her precious cattle means everything to Emma, even if she has to agist them on Adam’s property. His fireproof place is the one safe place, but is it safe for her heart?

Adam Thompson is determined to get Emma back and right the wrongs of the past. Bit by bit he unlocks Emma’s heart, except he is holding on to a secret that could totally destroy her.

My Review – 5 stars

Steam, sass and emotions run high…

A super collection of three sexy and steamy novellas featuring Aussie firefighter siblings, Tate, Lachlan and Adam Thompson, and Ruby, Justine and Emma, the sassy women who turn their lives upside down. The collection contains themes of grief, secrets, ill-health and domestic abuse, all of which are portrayed in a realistic and sensitive way. I particularly loved how each of the couples worked through their respective issues and backstories to reach their HEA. I also enjoyed that each of the romances were very different whilst being linked in terms of the time frame.

Christina Philips’s Resisting Tate is an emotional read – Ruby has been through a lot and is still grieving, yet her attraction to Tate is off the charts. For sure, Tate is a real hottie, and I enjoyed how their relationship played out and how Ruby faced her demons. I found Ruby’s great-aunt to be a real character too!

I loved how in Mel Teshco’s Resisting Lachlan, Justine turned the tables on the ladies man Lachlan, and it is he who has to do the running. They are so good together and I was itching for Justine to put her trust in him, despite her misgivings.

Cathleen Ross’ Resisting Adam is a lovely second chance romance. Trust, secrets and forgiveness are key themes as Adam tries to keep his ex safe from the wildfires, whilst trying to persuade her to make a go of the attraction they still have for one another. I enjoyed how Emma grew in strength, both because of and despite her past. As with the other romances in the collection I was urging them on to confront and overcome their personal issues.

The collection is perfect for readers looking for contemporary romances which pack in some serious steam and emotion.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of the book was given to me by the authors for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

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Amazon US

Connect with the Authors

Christina Phillips

Mel Teshco

Cathleen Ross

*REVIEW* – Cut and Run: A Contemporary Reverse Harem Romance Novel (The Dreadnoughts Book 2), by Lucy Felthouse

#Romance #ReverseHarem #Suspense #Superheroes

Blurb

Kim’s on track to save the world—but will she pay with her life?

Kim Medhurst, ex-British military intelligence officer turned scientist and climate activist, has a vitally important project on her hands. The mysterious object she set out to retrieve from the remote Scottish island has the potential to power the entire planet. All she needs to do is figure out exactly how to make it happen, and the Scottish Highlands seems the perfect place to complete her research in peace—as well as enjoy the company of the gorgeous Greig twins.

Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple. Someone knows what Kim’s up to and wants to get their hands on her and the object she now calls the ygrene. As if that wasn’t concerning enough, Chastain goes missing, spurring Kim and the others into action. The team’s newfound abilities come in handy as they attempt to find their friend and navigate the murky underworld of dirty energy and those who profit from it.

But, even with their powers, will they be a match for a greedy megalomaniac with no morals?

PLEASE NOTE: Cut and Run has a cliffhanger ending.

Cut and Run is the second book in The Dreadnoughts reverse harem romance series.

My Review

Superpowered and sexy! 5 stars

Cut and Run is the second book in the Dreadnoughts series and I found it to be a suspenseful, sexy and action-packed read. I do recommend that you read the first in the series, Search and Rescue, before this one to get maximum enjoyment as this instalment starts off where the previous one ended: Chastain goes missing in London and Kim and the Greig twins go all out to rescue him, calling on their recently acquired superpowers to do so – I just loved these scenes!

It soon becomes apparent that someone out there is not happy at all with Kim’s discovery of the mysterious and powerful substance ygrene, and will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. I loved how protective the men were of Kim and enjoyed the superhero premise of the story, especially how they used their newfound abilities to work together to achieve their aims.

Whilst Kim’s attraction to the twins is more instantaneous, it is more of a slow burn when it comes to Chastain. Indeed, sparks fly between the two and I thoroughly enjoyed how they went from rubbing each other up the wrong way to succumbing to their mutual attraction.

The tension increases as the plot develops and the book ends on another cliffhanger. I am looking forward to how it all plays out in terms of the danger the team are in and how Kim and her men manage the the complexities of their relationship.

Recommended for readers who enjoy a sexy and engaging read with a strong heroine and a superhero theme.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

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https://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/

*COVER REVEAL* – A Christmas at Gingerbread Falls, by Katie Mettner

#OwnVoices #Romance #ChristmasRomance #HolidayRomance

Publication Date: 12 Oct 2021

Publisher: Breaking Night Press

Blurb

Actress Carrie Murray’s films are a Christmas lover’s delight. Filled with twinkling lights, festive carols, and happy endings, they’re the perfect escape from reality—for her and the audience. Then Tinseltown calls.

Braxton Timothy is Hollywood’s biggest action star. Handsome and talented but decidedly on the naughty list, no one can fathom his sudden desire to produce a feel-good Christmas movie—least of all, his no-name co-star.

Alternating between scenes reminiscent of everyone’s favorite made-for-TV movies and unexpected, off-screen chemistry, Gingerbread Falls has surprises in store this holiday season. The question is, will there be enough Christmas magic to convince two imperfect people that they’re perfect for each other?

This “sweet as a Christmas cookie” romance (bestselling author Heidi Swain) includes an original recipe for Maple Glazed Gingerbread Scones.

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About the Author

Katie Mettner writes small-town romantic tales, filled with epic love stories and happily-ever-afters. She proudly wears the title of ‘the only person to lose her leg after falling down the bunny hill’ and loves decorating her prosthetic with the latest fashion trends. She lives in Northern Wisconsin with her own happily-ever-after and three mini-mes. Katie has a massive addiction to coffee and Twitter, and a lessening aversion to Pinterest— now that she’s quit trying to make the things she pins.

Website: http://www.katiemettner.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wisconsinwriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatieMettner

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*RELEASE BLITZ/EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY – HONEYBEES AND SEXY TEES, BY KATIE METTNER


Publication date: July 20th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis:

The devil is in the details, and the Lady of the Lake holds the clue.

Honey Blois is no stranger to pain. The lasting effects of an abusive childhood have made her life challenging, but it’s the ache of unrequited love she can no longer bear. When her confession goes unanswered, she has no choice but to fall out of love with her best friend.

Mathias Jørgensen is living a lie. The billionaire playboy buries the pain of loving the one woman he can’t have with flashy cars and bad decisions—until Honey’s letter comes to light. With renewed hope for the future, he vows to find his way back to the boy she fell in love with if it’s the last thing he does.

And it might be.

As the pair blurs the line between friends and lovers, his unscrupulous past demands a reckoning. To save the woman he loves from a watery grave, Mathias will have to remember every last detail of the life he’s desperate to forget.

Goodreads

Excerpt

I had dreamed of kissing my best friend for as long as I could remember. Now, here I was in the middle of the most romantic place in Plentiful, his lips pressed to mine and my heart pounding in my chest. Who was this man? Why was he kissing me? How had I missed how much he’d changed over the last year? Was my Mattie finely going to rise up and take control? I sighed again.

Mattie was kissing me.

Finally, my soul was connected with what it had needed for twenty years. Its mate.

His lips left mine slowly, and I waited. I waited to open my eyes and find out all of this was a dream. Instead, I opened them to the lake blue of his. I dropped my arms from around his neck and brought one hand to my lips in a haze of shock and lust.

“Why—why did you do that?” My voice shook from the array of emotions coursing through me. I was drowning in the love that swelled inside my heart for this man. I couldn’t catch my breath, and I wasn’t sure I ever would again.

He ran his thumb over my lips with tenderness and wonder. “Because I’ve been pretending that I haven’t wanted to for years.”

“And now you’re done pretending?” I was unsure of myself when I spoke, and I didn’t want to say too much before letting him explain.

“No,” he said with a dazed head shake. “Now I had to know if I was crazy.”

“You had to kiss me to know if you were crazy?” The thrumming of my heart paused in my chest while I waited for his answer.

His gaze darted away from mine while he put his thoughts together. The expression on his face and the stiffness of his spine told me he was looking for the right way to describe what he was feeling. “I guess curiosity is a better word.”

Anger filled me and overpowered the love I’d found just moments ago. I pushed myself up off the bench with purpose. “I’m thrilled to have appeased your curiosity then.” My voice and body shook from the soul-shattering pain of betrayal. “Don’t mistake me for one of your playthings, Mathias Jørgensen. You don’t get to use me to relieve an itch or as a gauge of how well you’re doing in the morality department.”

He opened his mouth, but I held up my hand. “I can’t, Mathias. No, you know what? You can’t. You can’t do this to me when you know how I feel about you. It’s not fair,” I whispered right before I disappeared into the trees, tears on my face and my life with him over.

I almost collapsed to one knee at the thought. Tears fell down my cheeks, and I wiped them away as I plowed on into a new life. I didn’t know where I was going to go or what I was going to do, but I did know it would no longer be with him. I might need someone to watch over me but allowing Mathias to be that someone was no longer possible. Not after that kiss. It was more than I’d ever dreamed it could be, and now the memory of it would break my heart over and over for the rest of my days.

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AUTHOR BIO:

Katie Mettner writes small-town romantic tales, filled with epic love stories and happily-ever-afters. She proudly wears the title of ‘the only person to lose her leg after falling down the bunny hill’ and loves decorating her prosthetic with the latest fashion trends. She lives in Northern Wisconsin with her own happily-ever-after and three mini-mes. Katie has a massive addiction to coffee and Twitter, and a lessening aversion to Pinterest— now that she’s quit trying to make the things she pins.

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*REVIEW* – Assassins (A Ryker Returns Thriller Book 2), by Rob Sinclair

#Thriller

assassins

Blurb

He’s never going to stop…

Stalking the streets of Prague, James Ryker is on the hunt for justice when he hears a news report of a murder in rural England. Big problem. He knows the victim. Ten years ago, in Qatar, Ryker led a team of assassins to kill him. He thought they had.

So how has a man Ryker thought dead for over a decade suddenly resurfaced?

Travelling across the globe, Ryker sets off on a quest to discover the truth from that fateful night in Qatar. When he realises that his old team members are now under threat from a ruthless female assassin, he knows his problems have only just started.

In a race against time, Ryker must work out who is behind the killings and evade the assassin before he becomes the next victim…

Also available in the Ryker Return Series:

Book 1: Renegade

Goodreads

My Review

Gripping and Heart-Pounding  – 5 stars

This is another thrilling read from Rob Sinclair, featuring the former special agent James Ryker as he races around Europe to find the truth about what really happened on a mission he led a decade ago. To the surprise of Ryker and others, the man he thought had been killed by his team survived, only to have been murdered in England, many years after. He soon finds that the murderer, a female assassin, has others in her sights, members of his team and Ryker himself.

Ryker goes all out and uses all the means at his disposal to get to the bottom of what really happened in Qatar ten years ago. There’s plenty of suspense as he realises he is up against an assassin who is sublimely skilled and ruthless – can he get to his team members and discover the truth before she dispatches them? Is Ryker himself safe from her machinations and those of others involved in the web of deceit?

I was entertained by the many twists and turns in this tale and loved the female assassin – the snippets from her own past were a great addition to the text and gave depth to her character. She is a worthy adversary and I got perverse enjoyment out of the varied grisly ways she despatched her targets.

The book can be read as a standalone but also makes a great addition to previous James Ryker (aka Carl Logan) books which the author has also penned.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book ws given to me by the author and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

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*REVIEW* – Flame to Frost (The Last Tritan Book 1), by Myra Danvers

#DarkFantasy

Flame

Blurb

Back by popular demand, the infamous cult classic has returned in its original glory! Complete with bonus scenes, this chart-topping fan favorite is available for purchase for the first time!
Sheltered in the lap of luxury, Mila is eighteen when her world dissolves in flames around her.
War.
A utopia swallowed in a single night.
Orphaned and alone, terrified of being captured, Mila flees the conquerors who have come to claim. To snatch up those gifted few called priestess―Tritan women born with magic in their blood. They are healers. Peacekeepers bound and chained, used as living batteries, they become the fuel that feeds the Caledonian army and creates unstoppable warriors.
The elite.
Warmongers. Dogs of the state, they are the perfect soldiers―everything a Tritan priestess isn’t, wielding power that does not belong to them.
But Mila is an enigma. A priestess hidden from her own people, hers is a secret her father died to keep. One Mila will use to fight from the shadows, striking against the empire in any way she can. An army of one, with the power of many…
Until she is betrayed.
Captured.
Sold.
To Captain Asher Rawlings.
Captor. Villain. Elite. Even without a priestess of his own, Asher’s power lashes at her senses. Dark flames lapping at her nape, whispering of untapped potential Mila didn’t think possible.
Helpless, subject to Asher’s every whim, Mila is made to obey his every sordid command. Left with nothing but her secret.
That she is a Tritan priestess―the one thing he needs to seize a legendary power that could tip the scales of the war and ensure an everlasting Caledonian rule.
Now Mila must navigate a world of villains and political conspiracy, endure anything Asher throws her way, and above all else… never reveal what she is.

The Last Tritan is perfect for fans of the Grishaverse. Those who fell completely in love with the Darkling―a smoldering villain we wanted to see win… 

My Review

Amazing Dark Fantasy – 5 stars

I absolutely inhaled this amazing dark fantasy read. It is the first book I have read by the author Myra Danvers and  is one of her earlier works, reworked as part of her Triton Evolution series. I have now found another awesome author to add to my list!

I loved the central character of Mila and her journey from a pampered and orphaned escapee to when she becomes a thorn in the side of her enemies, until she is finally captured. She is strong, empathetic and kick-ass, but with a secret that she is at great pains to conceal, lest it lead to her downfall. The contrast between her frugal existence in hiding in the forest and the debauched life of the world she is thrust into is well done, as is the worldbuilding.

As soon as her path crosses with the uber anti-hero Asher Rawlings, her captor and a member of the enemy Elite, the air positively crackles with tension. He is an alpha to die for, but one you would not want to get on the wrong side of – as Mila is wont to do. He typifies everything Mila despises and I adored how she defies him at every turn, even though it costs her. I was on pins as she strives to hide her secret from him – that she is a priestess with powers he will exploit to the maximum if he discovers them. 

I can’t wait to read the next instalment of this superbly sexy and suspenseful captor/captive romance.

Recommended to fans of dark fantasy who adore villainous anti- heroes you love to hate and strong heroines who do all they can to resist their fate.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received a copy of this book from Booksprout and I am voluntarily lieaving a review.

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Myra Danvers | USA Today Bestselling Author

 

*ARC GIVEAWAY* – Blood Money: A Dark Cartel Romance (Dinero de Sangre Book 1), by Lana Sky

💸 Hot New Series and ARC Giveaway 💸

Blood Money by Lana Sky!

A New Dark Cartel Romance!

Releases June 28th!

# 1-click today!

Blurb

In this twisted dark cartel romance, revenge and hate collide with the past…

Ten years after a devastating betrayal, revenge has come back to bite Ada Pavalos.

Literally.

Once her family’s trusted bodyguard, Domino Valenciaga is out for blood.

Or her heart.

Whichever goal takes more violence to achieve…

#Preorder #DarkCartelRomance #NewSeries #LanaSky #TwistedRomance #RevengeAndHate #NeedToReadItNow #ReadMoreRomance #Bookstagram

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Author Info

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Lana Sky is a reclusive writer in the United States who spends most of her time daydreaming about complex male characters and legless cats. She writes mostly paranormal romance, in between watching reruns of Ab Fab and drinking iced tea. Only iced tea. 

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*BOOK TOUR & REVIEW* – Am I Loved? The Most Asked Question Of All Time by John D. Bieber.

#nonfiction #philosophical #psychological

Am I Loved TWITTER GRAPHIC

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Book Blurb

We did not enter this world with a manual. This book is the next best thing. As the world’s only emotional beings is it not truly astonishing that we function through emotions that we do not remotely understand or control? How then can we possibly understand or control ourselves? Bound together by a total ignorance of the human condition, we conduct our lives unaware of how we are meant to live.

Am I Loved? is nothing if not about being human. It is a book of secrets. A book about life, how life has been lived by a parade of humanity 65 billion names long all of whom have got it wrong, failing to understand how things are meant to be. This book defines the human condition as it is and, unknown until now, how it has always been. Our emotions exist not to benefit us but to safeguard our genes, protecting the life within us. Thus is the language of our emotions translated for us to understand, their crucial interaction with the greatest human need of all, our need to be loved, duly explained. All else flows from this.

We spend our lives intent on surviving when fulfilment comes from loving and being loved. Nature’s Protections serve to liberate us yet we allow them to inhibit our lives without realising that the majority of our many emotional problems are solvable simply by a proper understanding of the human condition. Understanding what we do not understand will be a hugely fulfilling experience significantly enhancing the quality of our lives. Am I Loved? explains how this may be done enabling us to get everything right.

Publisher: Umbria Press

My Review

Insightful and thought-provoking – 5 stars

Am I Loved? Is an insightful contribution into the human condition and how we manage the myriad of emotions which we experience and which impact on our existence. It proposes a way forward in which we can understand and channel our emotions so that we gain greater happiness and fulfilment. It left me, the reader, with the tools to begin re-examining my own emotional outlook and how I relate to others so that I do not solely survive but love and be loved in a way I had not previously contemplated in quite the same way.

The author delves into the realms of history, faith, genes and psychology and it is clear he has spent many years of research before producing his own thoughts. His book encourages us to comprehend the forces at play within ourselves and our emotions, why they exist and how they relate to our innate need to be loved. Whilst the read contained a number of concepts unfamiliar to me, the book did well in introducing them step by step so that by the end the way forward made practical sense.

I feel that this is a book I will want to return to again and again as I contemplate my relationships with others and also my own psyche.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

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Syndicated Interview with John Bieber

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In short, what is the primary message behind Am I Loved??

The very things that make us human are those that cause us to feel ill at ease in our humanity because right back to the first human being everyone has got everything wrong. For how can we function as sophisticated emotional beings when we can neither understand nor control our emotions? This book examines the human condition establishing where and why we have gone wrong and how we can now get everything right leading to a more fulfilling and meaningful existence and the chance to feel truly comfortable in ourselves and at ease in our nature for the very first time.

What initially inspired you the write the book?

My experience as a Divorce lawyer witnessing people in huge distress who were rendered incapable of taking constructive decisions due to the onslaught of their emotions. This led me to write a book on the emotional side of divorce which in turn led to a detailed study of our emotions. which were clearly not understood at all.

What is your goal for the book following publication?

None particularly although I would love my book to be accepted as the definitive analysis of the human condition.

What was the writing process like for such an epic tome? Did the book involve a lot of research and if so, where did your research take you?

I read widely around the subject. See my bibliography. Every book seemed to miss the point but by considering them all I was able to build my theories from where theirs’ had left off.

Is Am I Loved? your first book? If not, how does it differ to your previous book(s)?

No. If Divorce is the Only Way? (Penguin) was my first published book although I have written two unpublished novels and have a play I would love to write but probably never will.

In your opinion, what one thing most defines us as humans?

Our overwhelming need to be loved.

Is it truly possible to fully control and manage our emotions?

No. Emotions come to us fully formed responding to the needs of our genes for the preservation of life, rather than to our personal needs. And so, preserving the Life within us they are beyond our control. The best we can do is to try to control our reactions to them by the suppression of anger or the masking of sadness or surprise.

Why is it so necessary to understand our emotions?

Because all personal feelings and human intercourse flows through them.

Could you tell us more about the concept of ‘The Speechless Real’?

The Speechless Real is not my term it originated with Jacques Barzun. It is the reason for our ignorance of how we function. It envelops us all blotting out a full understanding of the human condition to the extent that no one can even explain what it feels like to be alive although all of us experience that feeling all the time every day. In this way people will believe that despite its limitations the way we live is the only way there is despite the misery and sadness this may engender. It is a block on understanding inimical to a full knowledge of the human condition that my book seeks to dispel.

Why do we have such a strong need to be and feel loved?

These needs are our greatest needs, again designed for the better protection of life.

What is the link between our emotions and our need to be loved?

Very strong. Our Supreme Sense analyses our every emotion by reference to the effect that such emotions have on our need to be loved. Hence the question “Am I Loved? “A negative emotion will have a negative effect whilst a positive emotion will have a positive effect enabling us, though our Supreme Sense, to gauge how we are surviving at any one time.

Could you tell us more about the fundamental role our genes play in our existence?

Inhabiting a parallel universe to our own, feeling nothing, caring for nothing and intending nothing save for their own preservation, genes exist beyond our senses. We do not feel them, we are not aware of physically carrying them, but as the architects and builders of Creation they are the sine qua non of all existence. Life may be Nature’s most treasured and precious creation and the host bodies of Creation her greatest triumph, but ultimately both Life and Creation are wholly dependent upon genes for survival.

How can we learn to feel truly comfortable in ourselves?

Read my book! Understand the human condition as I have explained it which incidentally holds out the beguiling prospect of our being able to resolve the majority of our emotional problems with far greater facility. There is really too much to explain in a single answer. It has taken a book to set out.

Why do humans so often misunderstand, and/or misinterpret, emotions?

Because they arise unsummoned responding to the need of our genes for the preservation of Life, rather than to our personal needs as we would construe them.

How, as humans, does our nature and emotions differ to that of other species?

We have far larger brains, and the special gifts of a substantial range of emotions, the capacity to love and the great need to be loved. In addition, of course, we have the dexterity of our thumbs not given to the majority of species which makes a huge difference.

How can we live a truly fulfilled existence?

By understanding the human condition as I have explained it.

What are some of the most frequently misunderstood or misinterpreted human emotions?

The desire that everyone should conform leading to grief beginning in the playground, and, if unchecked, eventually causing some of the world’s worst atrocities.

Does Am I Loved? explore religion? Could you tell us more about the relationship between religion and human emotions?

Yes, in two chapters. We love God because we want him to love and bless us in return. We do so as we believe in him as a matter of faith. Paradoxically, the worse things become the more we turn to him to protect us. However, God cannot love us in return as he cannot requite our love. It follows that in giving him our love we may have given him something we should have given each other. Spinoza said if you really love God you should not expect him to love you in return. How many people would pass that test?  Two huge questions are also raised. What would happen if we could prove either that God did or did not exist? Why should God have emotions?

The book explores some fundamental questions; in addition to those about love, what other big questions do you look into in the book?

Emotions, genes, survival, folly of pursuing survival rather than love, heredity, religion, why so many people seek love from an invisible God, the Supreme Sense, Nature’s Morality, consciousness, Creation, ancestry, fear, happiness, ignorance, Life, Nature, Nature’s Protections, reproduction.

And finally, what would you like readers to take away from the book after reading it?

A feeling of relief in discovering that Nature never intended us to function as imperfect beings after all. That the human condition as explained offers a whole new take on life offering the opportunity of greater happiness and fulfilment and the chance to feel comfortable in ourselves and at ease in our nature for the very first time. That our emotions can be managed after all that life begins to make sense.

-Ends-

*REVIEW* Mr Whippy goes to Schaumberg, by Robin Tudge

#Humour #comingofage 

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Blurb

It’s the mid-90s. Jim, a naïve, film-obsessed student who’s suicidally in love with Elly, goes with her to Chicago where they plan to spend the summer making thousands of dollars selling ice-cream to cute kids in the shadow of the Sears Tower, and where he’ll win her over. He finds the Land of the Free is anything but, and time and again through sweltering days, bitterly cold realities trammel his dreams. But through adversity Jim grows, and grows to love himself again, while tempering his infatuation for Elly. But will a man break out of the boy, win the girl, and escape with a bound?

My Review – 5 stars

A humorous read, full of emotional highs and lows

This is a very funny read that also tugs at the heartstrings as the reader witnesses the emotional high and lows of Jim, the main character, and his attempts to win over his fellow student Elly. The story takes place in the oppressive heat of the  summer as they along with others spend their vacation selling ice cream in the US and contemplating life, love and the universe.

I enjoyed how the book delved into the boundaries separating friendship and love, and how the characters of Jim and Elly progressed throughout the read. I was also entertained by the self-depreciating internal dialogue of Jim in his quest to secure Elly’s affections, often cringing at his painful emotional journey to realise his self-worth. I found myself empathising with the situation – Elly is quite a girl and their relationship is one which many of us have either witnessed or been part of.

The supporting cast of characters is varied and colourful and make for a riotous read with the many escapades they get into individually and collectively. Indeed, the book, peppered with insightful clutural references, fully encapsulates the spirt of youth and the heady decade of the 1990s. 

Recommended if you are looking for a humorous and perceptive read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of the book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

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