*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

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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.

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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.

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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

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*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.

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*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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