Update by Caroline

Hi readers, I hope it has been a fantastic start of the New Year for you. I can’t believe that October last year A Reader’s Review Blog had it’s first birthday and on 15th January our Facebook page will also turn 1! It has been an exciting journey for Tina and myself having fun reading, reviewing and socialising with many of our followers, readers and authors alike. We would also like to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to author, Samantha Holt, who has recently held a fantastic giveaway on her site and shown her appreciation by spreading the word of bloggers she has been working with. Due to this we have noticed a great deal of traffic come our way (via Facebook, Twitter and our blog) and would like to welcome every one of you who have visited us on this amazing journey through books!

If you haven’t already you can check out our Top Reads of 2013 below:-

Caroline’s Top Reads for 2013        Tina’s Top Reads for 2013

319607_2093943793106_1277644539_n[1]                                      Tina Misc 004-002

Vampire Seeker (Samantha Carter #1)This week, on Wednesday 15th January, I am happy to say will be Tim O’Rourke’s first paperback release from major publishing house Little Brown/Piatkus with Vampire Seeker (Samantha Carter #1). To celebrate this release we will be hosting a main feature over the following days, including the book blurb, our review and a GIVEAWAY of a signed paperback! We wish Tim every success 🙂

And so, below you will find the journey that Tina and myself have been on over the last month with reviews we have written, followed by a small selection of books we will be reviewing in the very near future. As our current reading lists are lengthy we will be posting a separate list with our current ‘to-reads’ on. As always, I am sure that there will be something for everyone! (Please click on titles to read our reviews.)

Pastels & Jingle Bells (a Heavenly Bites novella) by Christine S. Feldman (reviewed by Caroline)

PastelsJingleBellsTrish Ackerly never expected to cross paths with Ian Rafferty again, but when she spots the former bully of her childhood years through her bakery window, she thinks she may just have been given the best Christmas gift ever:  the opportunity to finally give Ian the comeuppance he deserves.

But clearly she does not have a knack for this whole revenge thing, because before she can make good on her plans, Trish gets inadvertently drawn into Ian’s life in an unexpected way that lets her see just how different the man is from the boy he used to be.  In fact, much to her astonishment, she actually starts to like the guy.

A lot.

Trouble is, Ian doesn’t know who she really is, and explaining it to him is going to be a little difficult now—which is bad news, because Trish is starting to realize that all she really wants for Christmas this yearis Ian.

Demonica by Will Davis (reviewed by Caroline)

Demonica_Cover_(Resized)When spoilt eighteen year old Miranda suffers a terrible accident she survives, but her face is hideously scarred.

Unable to bear what has happened to her, she locks herself away. Her only companions are Veronica, her cruel and beautiful mother, and Nelly, the sympathetic housekeeper.

As time passes Veronica inflicts cruelty after cruelty on her disfigured daughter. Lonely and filled with despair, Miranda is astonished when Bernard, Veronica’s handsome younger boyfriend, takes an interest in her circumstances.

For Bernard believes there is an operation that can restore Miranda’s face. But it will involve committing an unspeakable crime. A decision that will haunt her for the rest of her life…

In the tradition of Angela Carter and Daphne du Maurier, Demonica is a terrifying modern fairy tale.

To Have and to Hold & Reluctant Rapture (101 Nights Series, Books 1 & 2) by Kellyann Zuzulo (reviewed by Tina)

101nights_tiny[1]To Have and To Hold is the first instalment in the ongoing tale of love, lust, lies and loyalty that surround a beautiful genie living in the New Jersey suburbs. There will be four more episodes in the 101 Nights series.

Conspiracies abound, and enemies lie in wait. Introduced to her new husband-of-convenience, Dr. Jason Masters, Amani must decide if their chemistry will save her world…or end his.

101nights_no2_reluctant-rapture[1]Reluctant Rapture: The wedding night was a blaze of ecstasy, but soon Amani feels the white picket fences of her suburban prison closing in. Worse, while she had no misconceptions that this was a love match, she can’t help but be alarmed by her husband’s emotional past—and the woman who threatens to emerge from it. But a true friend waits in the wings, and a better connection to the man she wed.

Lightning Strike (short read) by Beverly Ovalle (reviewed by Tina)

LightningStrike_MEDFor generations Levi’s family had guarded a sacred glen in the mountains. Still  far from man this isolated area was a favorite spot of his grandfather. Levi  grew up listening to his tales and fell in love without ever having stepped foot there.

Now Levi’s family, led by his grandmother, wanted to sell the land. With only his grandfather and Levi against it, Levi has to prove to the  rest of the family why they needed to continue their guardianship. Believing in his grandfather’s tales despite himself, Levi went armed with his camera and his  well-known expertise behind the lens and headed out for proof.

Providing that proof and protecting the secrets of the glen from the world, Gaia needs to convince Levi to continue that protection. Daphnaie, the embodiment of his every dream, is sent to show him why, stealing his heart in the process to save her  world.

Stilts (Tessa Dark Trilogy #1) by Tim O’Rourke (reviewed by Caroline)

Stilts Resized‘Stilts’ is the first book in a new dystopian trilogy by #1 bestselling author Tim O’Rourke.

While eighteen-year-old, Tessa Dark was serving her prison sentence for murder, the world beyond her cell walls changed forever. The thunder came and destroyed the world she had once known. 

Trapped inside the prison and faced with no future, Tessa’s only glimmer of hope is her friendship with fellow inmate Joe McBride. 

Despite Tessa’s fear, Joe decides to go beyond the prison walls to seek help. But when he fails to return, Tessa is determined to go and search for him. 

To gain her freedom, Tessa must first learn to walk, run, and fight on stilts if she is to survive the new and terrifying world on the other side of the prison walls.

Lightpoints by Peter Kassan (reviewed by Caroline)

Lightpoints_3What if you suddenly discovered you had a sense-and powers-that almost no one else in the world did? When Amanda Lindner Nichols, a 24-year-old graphic artist living with her husband in Queens, New York, is revived from a near-death experience, she discovers she perceives everyone around her as points of light-but not with her eyes. She soon learns she can not only perceive the life energy of others, but she can give and take it. With the help of others like her, she brings her husband Chris to the brink of death and back to bestow on him the same remarkable faculty, and they’re the happiest they’ve been. But not for long. All over the world, people who’ve been revived from their own near-death experience at just the right moment discover themselves with these same unusual powers. They find ways to use them-some for good and some for evil. When Amanda and Chris encounter a ruthless group of gangsters with the same faculty, tragedy follows-and Amanda faces the greatest challenge of her life.

The Twelfth Night Wager by Regan Walker (reviewed by Tina)

It was a dull day at White’s, the day he agreed to the wager: seduce bed and walk away from the lovely Lady Leisterfield, all by Twelfth Night. This holiday season, Christopher St. Ives, Viscount Eustace, planned to give himself a gift.

She was too proper by half—or so was the accusation of her friends, which was why her father had to find her a husband. But Lord Leisterfield was now gone a year, and Grace was at last shedding the drab colors of mourning. The house felt empty, more so during the coming Christmastide, and so tonight her coming out would begin with a scandalous piece of theater. The play would attract rogues, or so promised her friend the dowager countess. It would indeed. The night would bring about the greatest danger—and the greatest happiness—that Grace had ever known.

Her Savage Scot (Highland Warrior Chronicles #1) by Christina Phillips by (reviewed by Tina)

hersavagescott_msrIn Her Savage Scot, when tough Scot warrior Connor MacKenzie rides into the barbaric lands of the Picts on a mission for his king, he never expects to be captivated by a beautiful Pictish widow. Drawn under her spell, yet unaware of her true identity, he risks everything for one passionate night in her arms.

Aila, princess of Pictland, swore long ago she would do anything within her power to help defeat the Vikings who invaded her land and murdered her husband. But after meeting Connor, her frozen heart thaws and once again she imagines a future filled with love and passion.

When Connor delivers the message from his king, Aila becomes a pawn in a deadly game of politics. Her heart belongs to Connor, but she must marry the prince of Dal Riada – Connor’s half-brother. But the fates have other plans for the star-crossed lovers as they fight their enemies and themselves to find true love.

Buckle Down (3 erotic cowboy novellas) by Samantha Holt, CV Madison and JT Seate (reviewed by Tina)

BuckleDown_200[1]An anthology

Her Dream Cowboy

Talked into experiencing ranch life for herself by her best friend, Sophie comes all the way from England to Nevada, alone. But while her friend may have abandoned her, her guide for the week promises to stick close to her side.

A guide who just happens to be an honest to goodness, sexy cowboy.

Luke Harper is a busy man. He’s dedicated years to turning his ranch into a successful holiday business. He’s yet to find a woman who can deal with the realities of dating a cowboy. In his experience, they’re all after a dream. But Sophie proves too tempting for her own good and Luke can’t help wondering if the gorgeous woman would be willing to give him a chance.

Or is she just looking for a dream cowboy too?

The Layover

Security officer and avowed city boy Reno Locke drops into The Meeting Place for a little loving to fill his off hours. Country boy Wilder Henderson swings through to blow off a little steam after winning a rodeo competition. Locke finally works up the nerve to hit on Wilder and Locke takes Wilder back to his room. He finds out this urban cowboy is just what he was looking for during The Layover.

Faith, Hope and Charity

True grit and humor accompany sex and cowboy clichés in this adventurous western set in the New Mexico Territory. A young girl wants to run off with a sexy cowboy, but her daddy doesn’t approve. Not only that, but Daddy’s a Territorial Marshall who wants to kill poor Johnny for taking advantage of his daughter. With the chance of a fresh start and an interesting future, will love conquer all?

In the old west, a young couple have plotted a future rendezvous for any chance of a life together, if only poor Johnny isn’t gunned down first by Faith’s father who is out for the cowboy’s blood.

Johnny, a wrangler, and Faith, the apple of her mother and father’s eye, meet at a fiesta in a small New Mexico town. She’s different from any girl Johnny’s ever met, the kind of girl that tickles the thought of settling down. At a late night rendezvous, they reveal everything there is to know about each other, except for one ominous circumstance. Faith’s father is the Territorial Marshall and he doesn’t take kindly to what happened between the young couple along a riverbank. The Marshall sets out on a quest to make the young cowboy answer for his misdeeds and bring an end to this sudden, lovesick couple’s plans to reunite. While Johnny dodges the man in search of blood, a train awaits the couple if they are allowed to carry out their plan.  But philosophies are bound to clash during the final showdown between generational attitudes.

Where Secrets Lie (Where Secrets Lie series #1) by Ebony Kent (reviewed by Tina Williams)

19292862[1]When Detective Kara Everitt’s sister Alyssa becomes enthralled by a clan of vampires, Kara must choose to become a slave to the head vampire Michael Caswell in order to protect and save her sister. Hating vampires is in Kara’s blood, but as she grows to know Michael, she finds herself falling for the brooding vampire.

Unfortunately, being part of the Caswell Clan isn’t all romance and glamor. New threats emerge, and Kara realizes this is no longer a simple rescue mission. Despite the danger, Kara refuses to stop fighting to protect herself, her sister and her new family.

One Way or Another You Will Pay (You Will Pay, Book 2) by Eve Rabi (reviewed by Tina)

9d21ea6598dc1a6fb595349e08843b8dc88e340a-thumb[1]Years ago, I managed to flee my abusive husband, fell in love with a beautiful man called Bear and was blissfully happy.
My ex-husband Tom was livid and promised to get back at me.
He did. He murdered my baby. My gut told me it was him behind the murder, but I just couldn’t prove it, so he got away with it.
Then, he quietly found a way to send me to prison.
When I got out of prison, together with Bear, I fought back and found a way to turn the tables on Tom. I sent him to prison for more than thirty years.
I am now happier than I have been in my whole life.
But Tom, even though he’s behind bars, is determined to have the last word. He has found a way to wedge himself in my life once again and is threatening my marriage and my children.
Something has to be done. Something final, this time.
Warning: Contains violence, sex scenes and strong language.
Before you read this book, please read the first part of this story in, You Will Pay For Leaving me.
It’s free on amazon and smashwords!!!
Here are the links:

Gentleman Traitor by Alan Williams (reviewed by Caroline)


After years of exile in Russia, Kim Philby has had enough. He wants out. But where can he go? He knows too much to be let loose. Above all, he knows too much about his old accomplices who still operate at the highest levels of the British Establishment, occupying top Whitehall positions. So once he sticks his nose outside his privileged Soviet lair, the old wolf’s as good as dead. MI6, the KGB – above all, MI6 – will ruthlessly hunt him down. But Philby is, after all, one of the most skilful agents of all time. So he risks it.

Vicious power politics in London and Moscow… murder beside the Black Sea… bloody massacres in the heart of Africa – as Philby makes his break, violent death follows him. And British Intelligence is threatened with the exposure of the greatest infamy in its history…

Spy fiction from the same stable as Ian Fleming’s James Bond.

Our following reads are going to be:-

(Please click on titles to view on Goodreads)

Summer in Rye (novella) by Lucy Oliver (Caroline to review)

Summer in RyeA tragedy brought Eva Brookwell and Samuel Shaw back into each other’s lives. But will lies from the past destroy their chances of a future?

Left penniless after the death of her philandering father, Eva Brookwell takes a job as a governess at Rye Hall, but didn’t expect to find her young charges scarred and blinded from smallpox. Rye Hall is an unhappy house with a tyrannical master and Eva is forced to turn to her pupils’ uncle, Samuel Shaw for help.

Eva and Samuel had once been engaged, until his lies drove them apart. Still in love with him, Eva knows she could never trust him again; however he is her only ally in the dark and disturbed household she now lives in.

Tour of Duty (When Riley Met Cara 2) by C.J. Pinard (Caroline to review)

Tour of Duty (When Riley Met Cara #2)Army Sergeant Riley Forrester knew all about love, loss, and pain. He knew the love of a woman just to lose it. He had spent the best summer of his life with a beautiful single mother named Cara Reid, and then desperately needed her love to get him through a long, cold deployment. When things went horribly wrong overseas, he decided it was best to let Cara go and let her move on with her life. Cara wouldn’t be forgotten that easily, though. She had seeped her way into his heart and his dreams and Riley knew he’d never love another like her.

Contains adult content, for readers 18 and older. Also contains minor scenes of war.

The Drake Equation by Heather Walsh (Caroline to review)

The Drake EquationShe’s a Democrat, he’s a Republican. She spends her days fighting global warming at an environmental non-profit, he makes his living doing PR for Bell Motors and their fleet of SUVs. But as soon as they meet, Emily Crossley and Robert Drake realize they have encountered their intellectual match. You’re never challenged, he tells her. You’ve surrounded yourself in a cocoon of people who think exactly the same way you do. She hurls the same accusation back at him, and the fiery debates begin. Despite both of their attempts to derail it, there is no denying that they are falling in love. But their relationship is threatened by political differences, Robert’s excessive work hours, and Emily’s fear of losing her identity as she falls deeper in love. Can their love survive? The Drake Equation is a tale of modern love and all its complexities.

The Lakeside Legacy by Jean Jennett (Caroline to review)

Jean Jennett pictureWhat Krista Lucas finds when she arrives in picturesque Camden, South Carolina, is beyond all expectations. Her biological father, a man she never knew, has left her a large house in town and beautiful lakeside wooded acreage. How he came to own the property is a mystery Krista needs to solve for her own peace of mind.

Jake Thornton maintains that his family owns the house and land, and he can prove it with a document his own father left.

… Or can he?

Jake isn’t the only one with an interest in the property. His three brothers are ready and eager to develop the land, and nothing is going to stop them.

Including Krista Lucas.

With Krista’s life in danger, whose side will Jake take? His family … or Krista? Will the truth be discovered in time?

Early readers have said that The Lakeside Legacy has it all: suspense, danger, mystery, romance … and love.

The Lakeside Legacy is the first book in the South Carolina Romantic Suspense series.

WARNING: This book contains graphic sexual descriptions.

Stray by Mark Matthews (Caroline to review)

StrayTherapist Tomas Cleaves is many years sober from his addiction but is now losing his mind. There are voices in his head and the occasional seizure, and then his wife has a miscarriage on the same day his client dies of a heroin overdose. Tom becomes certain that the addicts he treats must have infected the womb of his wife.

Lost and bitter after the miscarriage, Tom is in desperate need of a client who can give him some hope.

James White is one such client — a newly orphaned alcoholic dead bent on drinking again until he gets discharged and finds himself rescuing lost strays at the next door animal shelter. Can James find a reason to live by rescuing the throw-away pets of the city? 

A gritty novel with an edge yet surprisingly gentle and sweet, Stray will take you through the dog fighting dens and crack houses of Detroit where Stray souls can find connections in the most unusual of places.

Dark Reaper (WesternWind #8) by Charlotte Boyett-Compo (Tina to review)

Dark Reaper (Western Wind, #8)Iden Belial, the youngest Reaper, finds a great evil in Land’s End. He also finds Kallista, his mate, the woman the Goddess intends for him, and the only way he can claim her from her disapproving mother is to sate his lust and make her his.

But when they are torn apart by the Nikkeson, a demon that brings death and destruction to everything it touches, part of its wickedness is left inside him, warping the warrior and twisting him to its own evil ends. The Shadowlords of the Citadel are determined to heal him, but what Iden needs is the touch of his wife – the only one whose loving and sensual touch can truly make him whole again.

Not Another Soldier by Samantha Holt (Tina to review)

Not Another Soldier“I’ve just buried my husband. I was going to divorce him and now he’s dead.”

After five years as a military wife, Sienna is moving on. She’s keen to leave behind the misery of her marriage to Rob but for some reason the past won’t let her go. It doesn’t help that her closest friend, Nick, is also a soldier. Unfortunately Sienna is struggling to deny her attraction to the sexy marine, even knowing there can be no future in it. When the injured soldier admits he wants her just as badly, and has always wanted her, the fight to control her feelings becomes harder.

And now she’s learning things about her late husband that surprise even her. When the secrets of Rob’s life come to light, Sienna finds herself involved with some very nasty people and Nick is determined to protect her, no matter what.

As the danger grows to both her heart and her life, Sienna needs to decide if it was the army that was the problem or her late husband. Is Nick worth the heartache of being a military spouse again? And will he be able to protect her from the ring of drug dealers slowly closing in?

Rain by Nicole Hurley-Moore (Tina to review)

Rain1216 AD
Nuri is caught between heaven and hell. Two men fight for her love and her soul. The first is Maras, an elemental being who follows the storms. The second is Brother Erebus, a pious monk whose tortured soul is twisted by his desire for her. But Nuri may sacrifice more than her heart when the Church brands her angel a demon. As Brother Erebus will do anything to protect her soul from the silver haired devil, even if he has to crush her body to do it.

And last, but not least……

By Force (Forever Fae #1) by Sara Hubbard (Tina to review)

By Force (Forever Fae, #1)Isame wanted freedom: the freedom to travel, the freedom to explore, but most of all, the freedom to choose the life she wanted over the life—and the husband—her parents had chosen for her. But when Isame leaves home to accept another man’s proposal, she happens across five fierce, handsome warriors. She wonders why they’ve travelled so far from home, but she never imagines their purpose might have something to do with her. Not even after they kidnap her.

Remmie is a man of honor and fierce loyalty. So when his king commands him to find a specific young woman on the island of Copaxa, he’s prepared to obey. But he’s not prepared for the woman to change everything. Isame is special. He can see it from the start. But how can one puny woman make him question everything he’s always known, including the rightness of doing what he’s promised?

Happy reading, guys! And thanks again for the ongoing support 🙂

Caroline and Tina 🙂

About Caroline Barker

I am a happily engaged mother of three and I absolutely love to read and write. Therefore, I am setting up a book blog in the hope to influence some readers out there!

2 thoughts on “Update by Caroline

  1. Lyn Austin says:

    Caroline, I have thoroughly enjoyed your website this past year and some of my favorite books of the year were ones the two of you suggested. How can a writer get a chance to be reviewed by you? I have a new book out with Boroughs Publishing Group and I would love to get an opportunity to work with the two of you. Thanks Lyn Austin

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