Racing with the Wind and Against the Wind, by Regan Walker, Agents of the Crown Trilogy, # 1and # 2

 Passionate and Intriguing Regency Romances

In Regan Walker’s Agents of the Crown series we  experience the ballrooms and great houses of Regency England and the danger and excitement of a post Napoleonic Paris, during the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. We also bear witness to the introduction of repressive laws in England, as the government believe that  revolution will spread amongst a populace who are unhappy with poor harvests and the loss of their livelihood.  Against this backdrop Regan Walker brings us tales of passion , danger and intrigue, involving agents working for the Prince Regent and the women who fall for them. I was lucky enough to be given the first two books in the trilogy, by the author, for an honest and fair review.

RacingWithTheWind_800px-001Racing with the Wind, (Agents of the Crown Trilogy # 1), by Regan Walker (scroll down for the review of Against the Wind)

The Hellion and the Spy

Racing with the Wind is the first book in Regan Walker’s Agents of the Crown Trilogy. It is a passionate romance between an unconventional debutante, Mary Campbell and the dashing Hugh Redgrave, the Marquess of Ormand. It is set in 1816, in the turbulent aftermath of the defeat and imprisonment of Napoleon and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy.

Hugh is an agent for the British crown and as the legendary spy, the Nighthawk, obtained intelligence, securing Napoleon’s defeat. He is in retreat from this role and is working closely with Lord Baynes, a top diplomat, and fellow agents to ensure that peace and prosperity are restored to France under King Louis. As heir to a dukedom, Hugh is under pressure to marry, a pressure he has no wish to succumb to, preferring freedom and adventure.

On to this stage steps Mary Campbell, a young debutante. Mary shuns convention being regarded as a hellion. She is educated, schooled in European affairs and politics and an excellent horsewoman. She has been indulged by her uncle, Lord Baynes and her mother, widowed since the untimely death of the Earl. She craves adventure more that the ballroom and wishes to avoid marriage, which she feels will curtail her freedom and prevent her from riding her stallion Midnight, clad in men’s breeches.

Once Mary and Hugh meet, there is an undeniable attraction. However, Hugh resolves to keep his distance, being wary of her wilful nature and favouring discrete affairs with older, more experienced women. Similarly Mary decides to avoid Hugh, viewing him as an arrogant rake. Yet circumstances throw them together in London and later Paris, as Mary persuades her uncle, Lord Baynes, that she will be a useful pair of eyes and ears for him whilst he carries out his diplomatic work. Mary has no idea that Hugh and the Nighthawk, whom she admires, are one and the same and she is unaware of Hugh’s activities as a spy for the Prince Regent.

Once in France, the tension in the plot increases dramatically and passion ignites. A double agent is on the loose and Mary endangers herself as she uncovers suspicious activities. Hugh is sworn to protect her and the exciting and suspenseful plot, in which Mary could pay the ultimate price, involves Bonapartists, royalists, English agents and the Prussians.

Hugh is a great hero, handsome and honourable, willing to go to great lengths to protect Mary, even from his own desire, which he reigns in on numerous occasions. He finds it hard to admit his love, being scarred by an event in his past, which has lead him to take great risks as an agent for the crown. He is extremely jealous of Mary’s admirers and I found his reactions amusing and endearing. Despite his initial resolve he is drawn to Mary, admiring her beauty, intelligence and bravery. He soon realises that she is his perfect match.

Mary cannot prevent her attraction to Hugh, even though initially she regards him as a dissolute rake. She soon realises that there is more to him than meets the eye and falls under his spell. However, she does not want to be just a pleasant liaison and she will be no man’s mistress. The romance is sweet. When lovemaking scenes do occur, it is Hugh’s sense of honour that prevails. However, Hugh fires Mary’s blood and when presented with the opportunity to get to know Hugh more intimately, Mary eventually decides to seize it, in some memorable scenes!

This book is different to many Regency romances I have read, the foray onto France adding a definite frisson of danger, romance and excitement. The author has clearly done a lot of research into the politics, fashions and places where she sets her scenes. I enjoyed the secondary characters, which included some historical figures. We are also introduced to Martin Powell, Hugh’s fellow agent, the lead in book 2 in the series, Against the Wind.

I recommend this book to all lovers of historical romance, particularly those who like an unconventional heroine and a strong and honourable hero, whose passion ignites in a tale full of intrigue an adventure.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

This book was given to me by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Regan Walker’s website

Publisher Boroughs Publishing Group

Digital edition created by Maureen Cutajar

ReganWalker_AgainstTheWind_logo-001Against the Wind (Agents of the Crown Trilogy # 2), by Regan Walker

Lusty and Loving Intrigue 

Against the Wind, the second book in Regan Walker’s Agents of the Crown Trilogy, is a passionate love story, in the best tradition of Regency romances! Set in 1817, Martin Powell returns to England after years spying in France, to complete one last mission. On his return, he visits a high class brothel, where he falls under the spell of a courtesan, whom he calls ‘Kitten’. After a passionate night of lovemaking, he finds that Kit has vanished. Kit is no courtesan, but Lady Egerton, who is fleeing a crime scene where she believes that she has killed her evil brother-in-law. Martin resolves to find her and make her his.

Kit sought refuge at Willow House, an establishment ran by her former governess, after experiencing some terrible events. Her beloved sister Anne was not even in the grave before her brother-in-law forced himself on her and she was compelled to retaliate. Ashamed at what took place at Willow House, between her and the mysterious gentleman, she flees, taking employment launching two girls on their first season. However, Martin finds Kit, rescuing her from the violent Earl Rutledge, who is seeking revenge. Attracted to Kit and wishing to protect her Martin offers marriage, although he fears that his clandestine activities could endanger her.

The England that Martin has returned to has changed. The  introduction of machinery threatens workers’ livelihoods and poor harvests and an economic recession have led to  discontent, riots and marches.  The couple travel to the Midlands, where Martin goes undercover, posing as a Frenchman with reformist tendencies. His task is to infiltrate the rebels to ascertain the extent their activities are stirred up by agents provocateurs, employed by those in government who wish to justify further repressive legislation. However, as Kit innocently strolls through the countryside with her sketch book, is she safe from the lust of a vengeful man or the powder keg of social unrest which could explode any moment?  Also can she trust her  husband who will not divulge his secrets and the reason for his absences?

I adored Martin, who has been knighted for his services to the crown. He is brave, intelligent and resourceful and devoted to Kit. I also liked the fact that he is a very passionate individual, who cannot keep his hands off his new wife. He is however, tortured by tragic events in his past,  prompting him to keep the truth about his true activities a secret from Kit , creating danger and tension in the plot and their relationship.

Kit is the type of heroine I love to root for. She has experienced much sadness and on the death of her father, she and her sister were both left destitute due to his gambling debts.  Kit was married off to a much older man, who died soon after their marriage, leaving her no option but to live with her sister and her husband, the sadistic Earl Rutledge, who  lusts after her. She is tired of being controlled by others, as she is a strong and independent individual by nature, who also empathises with the plight of others. However, she cannot resist losing her heart to Martin! Indeed, I loved the tender yet passionate lovemaking between the couple. The scene where they come together for the first time is very sensual and the author maintains this level of intensity in their relationship, with numerous romantic encounters. The love story is artfully balanced with the danger and intrigue in the plot.

The detail within the narrative shows that once again Regan Walker has carried out a great deal of research in crafting this novel. The author’s descriptions of the living and working conditions of the inhabitants of rural Derbyshire, where much of the plot takes place, are credible, and her characters well drawn. I enjoyed meeting the real historical figures who were included in the tale and also reacquainting myself with Hugh and Mary, the couple from the first book Racing with the Wind. We are also introduced to Nick, Martin’s older brother, the hero of Wind Raven, the final book in the trilogy, whose book I am eagerly awaiting.

In reading this novel, I feel that I not only enjoyed a great romantic read but also learned much about the social and economic conditions and the political machinations of the time. I recommend it to those who enjoy historical romance with  elements of intrigue and suspense.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

This book was given to me by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Regan Walker’s website

Publisher Boroughs Publishing Group

Digital edition created by Maureen Cutajar

Betrayed (# 3 in the Roman/Druid Series), by Christina Phillips

17401185[1]-002Erotic Historical Romance

Adult content 18+

A Beautiful and Passionate Meeting Of Soul Mates

Betrayed is an erotic historical romance, set in Roman Britain. It describes a beautiful and passionate love between two sworn enemies, Tacitus, a Roman Tribune and Nimue, a priestess from the Druid nobility, whom the Romans are pledged to eradicate. It is a fantastic addition to the other two books in Christina Phillips’ Roman/Druid Series, Forbidden and Captive, and can be read as a stand alone.

Betrayed takes place in Cymru, in 51 A.D, where the Romans are committed to quashing rebellion. Whilst on an important mission for Caratacus, the Briton King, Druid priestess Nimue is injured and captured. Tacitus is entranced by her beauty and demeanor. To prevent her being treated as a spoil of war to be sold to the highest bidder, he purchases her as his slave, lest any other man seeks to possess her.

Tacitus ensures that Nimue has the best medical care while she recuperates and gives her more freedoms than a slave is due. Initially Nimue is unaware that Tacitus owns her and does not comprehend why she is not held with the other prisoners. There is a strong sexual chemistry between them and as passion ignites, Nimue decides to take advantage of what his body has to offer, whilst biding her time until her recovery so that she can complete her mission for the Briton King.

Nimue is angry and mortified when she comprehends her lowly status, which she regards as being little more than a whore. However, she cannot prevent herself falling in love with Tacitus, enemy of the Druids, who would turn her over for torture and cruxifiction if he knew of her true heritage. She knows that she is coveted by other officers in the legion and realises that Tacitus spoke the truth when he said that he enslaved her for her own safety. However, her promise to Caratacus and her birthright dictate that she must betray him and this is heartbreaking. Nimue also has a task to carry out for her goddess, linked to a sacred bluestone, which her people hold in high esteem. I was so drawn into the world that the author created that I lay awake at night fretting about what would happen to Nimue and Tacitus and whether they would get their HEA!

Nimue is a fantastic heroine, not only brave but also possessing great knowledge as she is an acolyte to the goddess Arianrhod. She seeks guidance and enlightenment in some mystical scenes which take place throughout the novel. She is also a skilled healer and archer. She is loyal to her people and wants to free them from the indignities she sees them suffer. She knows that Tacitus will view her actions as the ultimate betrayal and also what will happen to her if she fails. She also carries a secret burden and heartbreak from her past.

Tacitus is a wonderful hero, masterful and passionate. A complex and honourable individual, he does not always conform to Roman views. He has never taken a slave and will not force himself on a woman. Tacitus is entranced by Nimue, who is open and confident in her sexuality and is amused that she, a slave, gives him orders. He strives to understand her customs and beliefs. However, what will he do when he discovers that she is not just a Celt, but a Druid who communes with the gods, let alone one who is hell bent on betraying his trust?

The author creates a world full characters that jumped of the page. I am no scholar of ancient Britain but she appears to have done a lot of research into the customs, religion and medicinal uses of various herbs etc. of the time. The erotic scenes are beautifully executed and you could really sense the growing connection between the lovers, who, despite being sworn enemies were a perfect foil for each other. I feared that I, along with my Kindle, would spontaneously combust whilst reading it!

I recommend this novel to all lovers of erotic romance, especially those who like a historical theme and a strong heroine and a leading man who is the embodiment of male sexuality and virtue. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, Tainted.

I was lucky enough to win a copy of the e-book of Betrayed in a competition and have carried out an honest and fair review.

Click for Christina Phillips’ website.

Find out more at Ellora’s Cave

Permission to feature cover art kindly received from Ellora’s Cave

Edited by Victoria Reese

Cover design by Fiona Jayde

Cover photography by Andreas Gradin and Medvedev Vladimir/

Update from Caroline

Cursed: A Werewolf's TaleThis week we have added a double-review of ‘Addicted’ by JoAnn DeLazzari, launched our Lycanthrope Love-in/Werewolf theme with reviews on ‘Cursed: A Werewolf’s Tale’, also known as ‘Frostbite’, by David Wellington and Blood Law (A Blood Moon Rising Novel #1) by Karin Tabke. We also have a post on Werewolves in Myths and Legends and Early Literature.

A beautiful tie-in to our theme was the full moon and partial lunar eclipse on Thursday 25th April. We would love to hear your experience on this and would be happy to show any photographs you may have taken. You can contact us by e-mail at or Unfortunately it was very cloudy where we are in Tamworth, UK, and I couldn’t see at all!

Tina has posted her review on ‘Wanderlust’, Skye Warren’s new book. You can find her short review on A Reader’s Review Blog, however due to the adult content you can find Tina’s full review at Sizzle and Burn Book Reviews. Sizzle and Burn Book Reviews is a blog that Tina has created for the more adult/erotic book reviews and therefore it is recommended for 18yrs+!

Also, this week I have downloaded Tim O’Rourke’s podcasts on the Keira Hudson series. So far the first 10 chapters have been released from Vampire Shift (Keira Hudson Series One, Book One). These podcasts are FREE and available on iTunes. They create such a great atmosphere with the narrative and sound effects. As you may know, I am a huge fan of Tim’s and these podcasts compliment his work brilliantly. If you haven’t already begun to read the Keira Hudson series I would highly recommend it. These FREE podcasts would definitely be great to listen to and give you a taster on the style of the writing and the great characters that Tim has created!


This week I am reading the currently unreleased ‘The Wolfstone Curse’ by Justin Richards, the Creative Consultant for BBC Books on the Dr Who titles. With it’s release due in July, Tina and myself are hoping to both write reviews – this week you have mine to read and closer to it’s release date in July, Tina will post her review! ‘The Wolfstone Curse’ is an action-packed adventure where teenager Peter, during time working with his archaeologist father in a remote village named Wolfstone, reveals the truth behind the werewolf myth! For adults and teenagers alike this novel is going to be a very, very exciting thriller!!!

Bewitching the WerewolfI will also be posting my review on Caroline Hanson’s short story, ‘Bewitching the Werewolf’. This is such a fun, quirky and hot paranormal little read. The local werewolf pack leader, Zach Connor, has been finding it difficult to find his mate. Without his mate, there will be no offspring and the pack will disperse. A witch, Megan Stephens, is hired to use her magic to help Zach find his mate! This is FREE on Amazon!

Also, this week Tina will be posting reviews on books 1 and 2 in Regan Walker’s exciting and passionate Agents of the Crown Trilogy. Book 1 Racing with the Wind takes place in 1816 and sweeps from the ballrooms and great houses of England to the majesty and instability of a Paris after the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy following the defeat and imprisonment of Napoleon. Master spy Hugh Redgrave, the Marquess of Ormand is called on to keep Mary Campbell, an impetuous and unconventional debutante, who is accompanying her diplomat uncle, safe from the nefarious plots of Bonapartists and double agents. Of course they fall in love, but there are many twists and turns in this exciting plot before a HEA is in their grasp.

In book 2, Against the Wind Sir Martin Powell, also an agent of the Crown, is celebrating the end of his spying against Napoleon, by spending the night in an exclusive London brothel. The courtesan he calls “Kitten” is in truth Katherine, Lady Egerton, a dowager baroness and the daughter of an earl. Katherine is fleeing a fate worse than death into Martin’s arms.  Martin too has known darkness and the couple soon find themselves involved in events in the English Midlands, where revolution threatens.

Next week, for our werewolf theme, Tina will also be posting a review of Bloodright, book # 2 in Karin Tabke’s Blood Moon Rising Trilogy, which continues the story of Falon, Lucien and Raphael. She will be looking at werewolves in film and literature as well as posting a review of Christina Phillips’ erotic historical romance, Betrayed, set in Roman Britain.

At the top of her ‘to read’ list are Eve Rabi’s ‘Burn’s World’, whilst I am hoping to read ‘Mere Enchantment’ and ‘Rings of Enchantment’ novels by Alicia Rivoli and ‘Charades’ by Ann Logan, which will also be a double review from Tina and myself but more on these in Tina’s next update!

Have a fantastic weekend and enjoy your reading!

Caroline 🙂

‘Cursed: A Werewolf’s Tale’ cover art by                      Photograph: Getty Images

‘Bewitching the Werewolf’ cover art by Kim Van Meter

Lycanthrope Love – In

shutterstock Werewolf1_89654491-001Join us for a ‘Howl’ lot of Fun!

Welcome to our ’ Lycanthrope Love-In.’ During the next few weeks we will be running this theme, alongside reviews of books in other genres, to celebrate our lupine friends. We will be posting some reviews of werewolf themed books that we have read and also including other random information of interest, such as werewolves in myths, legends and early literature, along with werewolves in post twentieth century film and literature . We hope you enjoy it! We are very interested in hearing what you think of werewolves in literature and if you have any recommendations. If you have any thoughts that you wish to share with us on werewolves please comment below.

Scroll down  or click on the link for our latest werewolf themed review by Tina, From Out of the Shadows, by Linda Mooney. Also see Caroline’s review of, ‘A Night of Yowling Dogs’ (short story) by Henri Bauhaus. We also have the long awaited ‘The Wolfstone Curse’ by Justin Richards, along with an author biog!!! Recently added have also been  ‘Bewitching the Werewolf’ by Caroline Hanson as well as a post on Werewolves in Paranormal Romance. Our latest non werewolf themed review is You Will Pay –  She Left Her Abusive Husband, He took Revenge, by Eve Rabi, which you can find by clicking in the link or scrolling down.

Happy reading!

Tina and Caroline :)

Post image: Minerva Studio/

Blood Law (A Blood Moon Rising Novel #1), by Karin Tabke



Vengeance, Love and Lycan Destiny      

Blood Law is an erotic paranormal romance. It is the tale of two alpha werewolves, twins Raphael and Lucien and of Falon, who is inadvertently drawn into their blood feud.

In Blood Law, Raphael slew Lucien’s chosen one, believing that she was a Slayer, pledged to eradicate his kind. Under Blood Law, which governs the Lycans, Lucien now has the right to kill Raphael’s chosen one. Raphael  therefore remains unmated, not wanting to lose his future consort. This has prevented his pack from procreating, for it is only when an alpha’s mate conceives that the females become fertile. Similarly Lucien remains unmated and his pack has also declined, a great risk with the coming Blood Moon, when wolves will be pitted against slayers in a violent showdown.

Raphael rescues Falon from a Slayer and thinking that she, a human, has seen too much, he orders one of his men to kill her. However, he uses his Lycan powers to bring her back from death’s door, intrigued as to what the Slayer could have wanted with her. At the same time he removes a ring, the Eye of Fenrir, from the finger of the dead Slayer. The ring holds the powerful spirit of the immortal wolf Fenrir, who aided the Slayers and nearly annihilated the Lycans centuries ago. He takes Falon back to his pack, heals her and marks her as his mate, willing to sacrifice her, a non Lycan, to the Blood Law. This will leave him free to mate with one of his own kind, allowing his pack to procreate.

Lucien scents that Raphael has claimed a mate and appears ready to kill her. Falon, an orphan, has always felt apart from humans and once marked by Raphael, her ability to heal and her physic powers increase, as does her strength. Falon physically repels Lucien and he departs, vowing to return to exact his due. Raphael and Falon’s bond grows and Raphael wars with himself over whether he can sacrifice her life. Falon proves herself a worthy mate, is useful in the war with the Slayers, and is accepted by his pack. However, it is the Lycan Council who will decide her fate.

Both brothers are natural alphas, Raphael the light twin and Lucien the dark, and I adored them. Honour rules Raphael and although I understood that as alpha he has to put the future of his pack first, I disliked that he deliberately mated with Falon, accepting that she would die by his brother’s hand. However, as his love for Falon grows, his attitude softens. For Lucien, the prodigal son, passion rules and I loved his bad ass attitude, particularly when sparring with Falon, with whom there is a strong attraction.

Falon is a strong heroine, in an impossible situation, where she could  lose her life, through no fault of her own. She is drawn to Raphael and quickly falls in love, having an affinity with him, but also his pack. She nevertheless feels a strong pull to Lucien, a pull which he exploits, undermining her relationship with Raphael. Falon’s powers grow the longer she is mated with Raphael and as the Council meeting approaches, we wonder whether she will pay the ultimate sacrifice. The novel does end in a cliff hanger, but as all three books have now been published, the final one in December 2012, you will not have to wait long if you choose to indulge!

There is a strong cast of supporting characters, including the evil Slayers, the Amoraks, the human spirit keepers of the wolves, and Lycans loyal to Raphael and Lucien in their respective packs. I loved how the author explained the history of the Lycan nation and their 800 year old battle with the Slayers, entwining both medieval English history and Inuit culture and beliefs.

This novel has a strong plot , punctuated by frequent and scorching sex scenes, often lasting several pages, as you would expect from an erotic romance. If you are not comfortable with reading erotic romance, I would not recommend this novel to you. However, if, like me, you enjoy descriptions of rampant and inventive sex scenes between consenting adults who exhibit great stamina and supernatural powers you will enjoy this book. For lovers of erotic romance or those who want to experience some explosive passion with their paranormal read! I plan to read book 2 in the series, Bloodright and book 3, Blood Vow very shortly – I desperately need to know what happens next!

Cover photograph – Kind permission received from Claudio Marinesco

Cover design by Rita Frangie

Text design by Laura K. Corless

Publisher’s website Penguin – Berkely Heat

Author, Karin Tabke’s website


Werewolves in Myths and Legends and early Literature

shutterstock Werewolf1_89654491-001Werewolf myths and legends represent  something buried deep within our psyche, collective memory or consciousness, call it what you like. Many of these myths and legends have influenced the werewolf themed books we read and I thought that it would be fun to have a quick look at them!

In werewolf myths and legends a werewolf is a human who transforms into a wolf or wolf-like creature. Some choose when and where they do this whereas for others they may not have a choice, as they may have been cursed.

The oldest reference to werewolves comes from ancient Greece where Lycaon angered Zeus and was transformed into a wolf. Other classical works refer to people or whole tribes turning into wolves or wolf clans, often involving magic or sorcery. Werewolf legends were particularly strong in parts of Europe where wolves were commonplace (e.g. France, Spain, Germany and the Baltic regions) and viewed as violent and a threat to the community.

The French medieval romance of, ‘Bisclavret’ (the Werewolf), written by Marie de France, tells the tale of a man trapped in Tina2 (2)wolf form due to the treachery of his wife’s evil magic. The fairytale of Red Riding Hood portrays the wolf as an evil creature out to kill its victims. Lycanthrope (from the Greek term for a man-wolf) is a person who believes that they have changed into a wolf and it is a recognised medical condition. People behave like a wolf, including howling, going down on all fours, ‘gnawing’, attacking others with the intent to tear their flesh and drink their blood, allied with hyper sexual activity and a belief that they will grow fur and fangs.

In Slavic and European folklore there are links between vampires and werewolves. In Greek and Serbian lore for example, a werewolf was condemned to become a vampire after death. In some rural areas of Europe those who died sinners could come back to life as blood-drinking wolves, returning to their human corpse at daylight. They could be killed by decapitation and exorcism. In Serbia the werewolf and vampire are known collectively as one creature, the volkodlak.

Many thousands of cases of werewolves were reported between 1520 and 1630 in the late Middle Ages in Europe and there were a number of witch-werewolf trials, where werewolves were seen as Satan’s creatures who craved human flesh. Werewolf legends, like those of vampires, were also used to explain serial killings in the past.

Werewolves also featured in Nineteenth Century tales of Gothic horror. ‘Hugues, the Wer-wolf’, by Sutherland Menzies, published in 1838, draws on much of the established folklore and legend. I was particularly intrigued by the 1896 tale of ‘The Were-Wolf’, by Clemence Housman, which features a femme-fatale who transforms into lupine form to devour her victims!

If you know of any myths and legends or early literature featuring werewolves please let us know.

Tina 🙂

In exploring the concept of werewolves in myths and legends and early literature we are beholden not only to Wikipedia but also information contained in the excellent publication, ‘The Element Encyclopedia of Vampires. An A-Z of the Undead’, written by Theresa Cheung.

Post image: Minerva Studio/


Full Moon – Thursday 25th April

What a fantastic tie-in to our Werewolf theme. Tonight there will be a full moon and for approximately 4 hours, beginning 9pm GMT (UK), there will be a partial lunar eclipse!!! I would love to hear about any of your sightings or any strange events that take place overnight!

Let’s hope for a clear sky for those of you that wish to take a glimpse of this partial lunar eclipse. For those of you that are interested it will be shown live at!

If you are lucky enough to see it and take photo’s Tina and myself would love to see them and post them on our blog. You can e-mail us at either or It would be great to see them!

Enjoy your evening, readers! 🙂

Caroline & Tina

‘Cursed (A Werewolf’s Tale #1)’ otherwise known as ‘Frostbite’ by David Wellington

Cursed: A Werewolf's TaleThe first book to be reviewed for our Werewolf theme, ‘Cursed: a Werewolf’s Tale’, otherwise known as Frostbite, is an urban fantasy that will blow your mind with panic and horror. A very quick-paced novel with plenty of action that the reader will read in no time at all. David Wellington surely knows how to scare the pants off you and yet allow you to completely endure the ferocious attacks and animalistic behaviour no matter how chilling and raw!!!

The story begins with Cheyenne Clark lost, hungry, cold and lonely in the Arctic amid the trees and snow. Before too long she is being tracked by a pack of wolves. Knowing that she couldn’t possibly run from them, and with very little energy, her only chance is to climb a tree high enough so that the pack can’t reach her. However, when howling of another is heard nearby the pack of timber wolves below Cheyenne’s feet soon flee, leaving her sitting on a branch of the tree. Moments later Cheyenne meets with the wolf whose howling she heard. Much larger than the timber wolves and much more ferocious this one tries to reach Cheyenne, jumping at her, lashing at her with large paws. Until he reaches her ankle and manages to claw into her flesh!

Although the beast couldn’t quite attack Cheyenne completely, enough damage was done to make Cheyenne’s world come crashing down. She would never be the same again. She was a werewolf, a monster, a Lycanthrope. There are many names for these species and now she herself carried the curse! For every time the moon rises, Cheyenne would transform, having to learn a different way to survive and avoiding the one element that could kill her: silver, silver, silver!

Loneliness is not natural for a wolf as they tend to live and move around in packs. As a new lone wolf, Cheyenne could really do with a companion. This proves to be just as difficult as trying to deal with her new ‘self’ as the only one who could truly understand is the one that tried to kill her. Now a wolf, Cheyenne not only needs to worry about being the victim, the prey, but also has to live with being a hunter. Will she kill the one that cursed her? Will he return to kill her?

Cheyenne’s character is written with a great deal of contrast from how she feels and thinks as a human and how she is in her wolf state. The natural animalistic behaviour takes over when she is transformed, her sense of smell and hearing is much greater than her sight. As a wolf she doesn’t reason, she doesn’t use logic she survives the only way she can. Back in human form, Cheyenne wakes frozen, naked and never fully aware of what her wolf has done.

Without trying to spoil the story one of my favourite areas of the novel was when the reader begins to understand the man of the wolf that attacked Cheyenne, Powell. The reader is educated in Powell’s history as a man and how the curse affected him and we also learn a little of werewolf mythology! I found this to be very interesting and exciting but cannot elaborate more than that. This novel simply needs to be read without much explanation beforehand. It truly does speak for itself!

On a different note, David Wellington has written the setting of the scenes beautifully as one can imagine the freezing cold of the Arctic wind, the icy water of the small streams and lakes, all silent and remote from most civilisation with only the sun or moonlight to estimate time. Although not a novel of romance it most certainly is a novel of survival! But can one survive alone? Would one want to survive alone? Or is their only option to try and kill the other to eliminate a dangerous threat?

‘Cursed: A Werewolf’s Tale’ is an absolutely fascinating read. For more fur, fangs and fear I am hoping to read the sequel, ‘Ravaged’, otherwise known as ‘Overwinter’, very soon!

Cover design:

Photograph: Getty Images

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Lycanthrope Love-In

shutterstock Werewolf1_89654491-001Join us for a ‘Howl’ lot of Fun!

Welcome to the start of our ‘ Lycanthrope Love-In.’ During the next few weeks we will be running this theme, alongside reviews of books in other genres, to celebrate our lupine friends. We will be posting some reviews of werewolf themed books that we have read and also including other random information of interest. We hope you enjoy it!

We are very interested in hearing what you think of werewolves in literature and if you have any recommendations. Also we would love to learn of any myths and legends relating to lycanthropes from across the globe as we will have a post about this on Friday for you to sink your fangs into!  If you have any thoughts that you wish to share with us on werewolves please comment below. To kick us off with our theme we have Caroline’s thoughts on ‘Cursed: A Werewolf’s Tale‘ (also known as ‘Frostbite’) by David Wellington.

Happy reading!

Tina and Caroline 🙂

Post image: Minerva Studio/

Addicted, by JoAnn DeLazzari

17617578[1]-001Steamy Romantic Suspense

We were both lucky enough to be sent copies of this release by Blue Star Books, to provide an honest and fair review. Rather than post the reviews separately, we have decided to post them together and share our opinions through the comments box. Feel free to join in the discussion or share your thoughts. 🙂

Tina’s Review (scroll down for Caroline’s review which follows on from this).

Addicted, by JoAnn DeLazzari is a steamy romantic suspense that delves into the dark and dangerous world of drug trafficking and corruption at the highest level. At its heart is a passionate love affair between two people who are unexpectedly thrown together in their quest for justice. I found this to be a much hotter read than many others in this genre, which for me was a definite plus!

In Addicted, Nikki Bradley, a well known journalist, enters the jungles of Columbia, to avenge the death of her brother who died of a drug overdose. She intends to find evidence against the man responsible, expose his drug ring and ruin him. In doing so she is taken prisoner by a drug trafficker, Kingsley Shaw. King, second in command to the local drug lord Pascal, has his own agenda and claims Nikki as his woman. This not only keeps her safe from rape and certain death at the hands of the other traffickers, but also prevents her from jeopardising his mission to find out who is behind the drug operation.

Nikki believes that King is a dangerous criminal as he keeps her his prisoner. He is also not averse to using some violence against her to prevent her escape. Their forced intimacy reveals a strong mutual attraction, which they both find it hard to deny, causing a lot of sexual tension and frustration. King will not force Nikki to capitulate to him sexually and Nikki fights her attraction, being repulsed that King is a drug smuggler. Before Nikki knows the truth about his true motives they reach an uneasy truce so that they can each satisfy their goals and they become lovers.

The complex plot includes violence and action, subterfuge, kidnap and many nail biting scenes, which take place in Columbia, Puerto Rico and back in the USA. The man behind the drug cartel is not going down without a fight, and he fights dirty, using his considerable resources to destroy Nikki, King and King’s associate Rob. The reader is kept guessing as to whether the couple will achieve their goals and also if they will have a future together, as the plot goes through many unexpected twists and turns before the tale reaches its climax.

King is an alpha male with a strong heart, adept at defending himself and Nikki and dishing out violence when necessary. He admires Nikki’s guts and determination and the fact that she makes him laugh. King realises early on that he has fallen in love with her and needs to protect her at all costs, professing his love to her, which I liked. He is a caring and masterful lover whom Nikki soon becomes addicted to.

Nikki is both stubborn and feisty, determined to expose the man responsible for her brother’s death, even risking her own safety as she very much wants to be an equal partner with King. Her relative inexperience with men and her reluctance to commit heightens the sexual tension between the couple. Nikki’s initial ignorance of King’s true motivations lead her to feel very angry, betrayed and used by him at one point, though she finds it impossible to resist him. Whilst I generally liked the heroine, I felt that some of her actions exposed her and others to unnecessary danger. However, perfect people do not always make for the most entertaining narrative and this tale was certainly a great read. Overall I felt that the hero and the heroine were well matched and I enjoyed the passion, humour and self-sacrifice in their volatile relationship, and their passionate and steamy love making scenes.

There are many other key players, including Rob, King’s associate, Senator Eversham and Pascal, the drug lord, to name a few. I enjoyed the humorous banter between Rob and King and also Rob and Nikki and found their adversaries to be worthy opponents. All the characters were believable and well rounded, all playing their part in a plot which involves high level politicians, drug producers, traffickers and those who wish to bring them to justice. I enjoyed the inventiveness of the plot and the way the author balanced the romance with the suspense element of the plot and I would definitely read her past or future work.

I recommend this book to readers who like to read an action packed and sensual romantic suspense, with an alpha hero and a feisty heroine.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Published by Blue Star Books 

Please find below Caroline’s review on ‘Addicted’:-

‘Addicted’ is addictive! An amazing passionate romance, suspense and thriller that definitely keeps the reader on their toes throughout. JoAnn DeLazzari has completely filled this novel with excitement, adventure, fear, fun and action with the odd amusing comments made by some of the main characters, Nikki, King and Rob. Within the first few chapters of reading this novel I could not help but remember movies such as ‘Romancing the Stone’ and ‘Crocodile Dundee’!! Although a completely different storyline (with plenty of hot, saucy moments!), we have the setting of the jungle, the attraction of the woman to the man and the disgust and fear of the man to the woman – as well as the comedic one liners and sarcasm. However, as ‘Addicted’ unfolds there is more intensity regarding the physical relationship of the two main characters as well as a serious underlying plot.

A high profile reporter, Nikki Bradley, in the Colombian jungle is trying to find sufficient evidence to bring down a high and mighty drug trafficking operation after her brother died of a possible cocaine overdose. However, when she is found and captured she finds her captor wants to have her for himself! King, her captor, happens to be a ruggedly handsome man that makes Nikki fear for him but also strangely desire him. Nikki finds herself torn between surrendering and losing hope on her mission or taking a risk and fighting for her brother! The heartbeat definitely increases pace during this great sexy, intense thriller/adventure!

Nikki’s character is possibly what one would believe a reporter to be like. She is very independent, intelligent, outspoken, strong-willed, aware of others and her surroundings and over time has developed survival skills having reported on many major new stories from across the globe. However, it is great to see a different side to Nikki after being captured as she does reveal a vulnerable side, making it easier for the reader to connect with her.

I do like Nikki’s character, however King steals the show for me! Here we have a dangerous, menacing drug trafficking captor who would stand up to any man who questioned him. However, when Nikki is captured he steps forward and ensures that his men are aware that she is his! I absolutely love this storyline. Here is this fearsome individual, taking hostage a young woman, and yet he is handsomely rugged and mysterious and preventing the rest of his men to harm her. The intensity and fear he allows Nikki to feel truly does make the heartbeat faster. Why does he want her for his own? What will become of her? With only the two of them to share his cabin, Nikki is left alone with King who has a strange way of teasing and threatening her with desire.

The reporter in Nikki wants to fight for survival. Does she run? Can she bring these criminals down? Or, does the woman in her try to find a way to give in to King’s desires? The scenes between Nikki and King are very intense, with King teasing her until she finds herself thinking more and more about him. When they are together it is very intimate and reveals a side to both characters that they obviously haven’t shown in a very long time. However, as they both have other reasons for being where they are they have to make decisions on their own missions.

Once the reader is quite familiar with both characters emotionally and physically the story carries on unfolding, providing more trouble for both Nikki and King. The novel takes the reader on an action/adventure, thriller suspense as we follow the characters through Puerto Rico and Los Angeles. Although both characters have their own ultimate goals, throughout the travelling, dangerous surroundings and threatening characters around they have to use their survival skills/instincts which mostly brings them together even more.

One of my favourite characters, aside from King and Nikki, is Rob. Rob is a man of King’s and also a friend of his. At times when King has other tasks to carry out Rob is asked to keep an eye on Nikki. Therefore, over time Rob begins to know Nikki quite well and, as man in the middle, he sees both of their perspectives and can be the logic that they both need when their own minds are clouded with thoughts of each other!

JoAnn DeLazzari has written this novel beautifully. From the beginning the reader engages with the two main characters, their motives and passions, and is also aware of the underlying plot. We are then taken on this wild ride of being scared but curious about King and so wanting Nikki to give in to her desires. I was gripped throughout and did not want to put the book down. My only disappointment was when it ended, making me want to read it all over again. I would love to hear more about these characters!

I would recommend this novel for readers above 16yrs, due to the passionate and steamy sex scenes.

‘Addicted’ by JoAnnn DeLazzari was received gratefully from the publishers in return for an honest and fair review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker