*REVIEW* ~ Bugger Banksy, by Roy D Hacksaw

#humour #drama

Blurb

Did you ever wonder what happens to the inhabitants of a building after the artist known as Banksy leaves one of his artworks on their wall? Especially when there’s something slightly less than legal going on inside? Join Glyn and Kevin as they desperately try to keep their clandestine business secret after the world’s most famous graffiti artist makes his mark on the side of their old barn in South Wales, and their solitude is invaded by an endless parade of unlikely visitors.

My Review

A Riotous Read – 5 stars

Bugger Banksy is one hell of a riotous read set in the valleys of South Wales, an area once famous for its coal mines, which are now long since gone. 

It features the hapless duo, Glyn and Kevin, who are anything but delighted when they get a visit from the most famous urban artist of all, who deposits one of his works on their barn. The pair prefer the quiet life for their own nefarious reasons and the knock on effects from the artist’s visit make for a page turning read. I found their efforts to deter the parade of onlookers hoping to catch site of the masterpiece nothing short of hilarious and the unfolding twists and turns of the story had me laughing out loud throughout. The antics of the boys remind me of some of the best of the buddy movies I have seen and I feel the tale would transfer well to screen.

The book has a host of larger than life supporting characters, including a number of  unruly sheep, who between them lead the duo on a merry dance across the Welsh countryside.

If you are after a feel-good read, full of irreverent comedy and crazy but lovable characters then this is definitely for you

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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*REVIEW* ~ Dirty Dealings, A Zeta Cartel novel, Book 3, by A J Adams

#MafiaRomance #Crime

Blurb

Warm-hearted Natalia Truelove will do anything for family, so when her ex-father-in-law is sent to prison, she shelves her restaurant plans and manages the family pub. But when she runs foul of a local gangster, and her niece is targeted, the gloves are off. As the police won’t help, Nats embarks on a lethal game: blackmailing the Zeta Cartel’s top hit man to do her bidding.

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. It is the third Zeta Cartel novel, and can be read as a standalone.

My Review

One crazy cartel read – loved it! 5 stars

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. Although it does contain reference to adult themes, it is not as dark as the preceding books in the author’s Zeta cartel series (a series I thoroughly recommend) and can be read as a standalone.

Still reeling after his wife’s antics back home in Mexico, Quique does not need a woman complicating his life, especially one such as Natalia who has the cheek to blackmail him. I really felt for him at what he had been through with his marriage, although he is certainly no pushover and is a man who is not to be messed with when it comes to Cartel business. As for Natalia, I adored her feisty nature and that she is not afraid to stand toe to toe with (or anyone else) to protect her dysfunctional family.

The couple are just so perfect for each other, although Natalia sees her future very much in London and Quique in Mexico. I hugely enjoyed their journey an also getting the chance to meet others from previous books such as Arturo and Kyle. The read is full of British slang and humour which gives it a fantastic sense of place and amidst the ensuing violence and general mayhem there are also some humorous moments.

Recommended to readers of the genre.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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~**MY TOP READS OF 2020**~

A Happy New Year wish!

It has certainly been a challenging year for us all across the globe and I do not think I just speak for myself when I say that the I am eternally grateful to the authors who create the wonderful stories and worlds I can escape into. In this post I thought I would highlight my favourite book of the year and then list what I consider my other top reads (in no particular order). As I read a number of different genres I have found it impossible to create a shorter list! 🙂

~**My Top Read of 2020**~

Steel Rose (The Cardinal Winds #1), by Kathryn Ann Kingsley

Must read enemies-to-lovers Steampunk Romance

Enemies-to- lovers romances are my favourite bookish trope and the fact that the story takes place in a dystopian steampunk world just added to my enjoyment of this quirky and hot read which contains moments of humour and some darker themes. I loved the author’s world building – Viktor, aka the East Wind, presides over a communist style society where each gives according to their abilities, for the good of all, contrasting with the society inhabited by Rose and her fellow rebels.

The romance is a slow burn, but when it does ignite it does so in stellar fashion and continues to deliver in terms of hotness! I absolutely adored Viktor the anti-hero/villain – at first he comes over as an unlikeable, albeit fascinating figure – cold, manipulative and controlling, but slowly we learn, as Rose does, that there is a lot more to him…  Rose’s character is a delightful contrast to Viktor – freedom loving and chaotic, wearing her heart very much on her sleeve. Viktor is determined to solve the mystery of this captive rebel pilot. #enemiestolovers #scifi #steampunk #dystopian #villainromance My Review

The Flame and the Blade, by Meredith Hart 

Superb Start to Fantasy Series

I literally inhaled this fantasy debut from author Meredith Wild – I was riveted from beginning to end. It contains adventure, romance, a quest (what fantasy novel would be complete without one?), magic and monsters . Once more the world building is just sublime.

Not only that but the main couple rock!  – Lyria is a woman who knows how to look after herself and wield a sword, and Vethe has  abilities far and above your average spoiled aristocrat, which Lyria initially thinks he is. Although the couple are just made for each other it is not immediately obvious to them. Indeed, their romance is a slow burn and so much the better for it. There are plenty of scenes of danger and suspense which afford the couple numerous opportunites  to get to know each other better and also some humorous moments – the repartee between the couple and their inner dialogues are  superb. #Fantasy #Adventure #Romance My Review

A Wanton Indiscretion (Wild, Wicked and Wanton Book #5), by Natasha Blackthorne

Moving, sensual & erotic – beautifully done

A Wanton Indiscretion, by Natasha Blackthorne, is a thoroughly emotional, sensual and erotic read. It is the 5th instalment in the author’s Wild, Wicked and Wanton series, but can be read as a standalone.

I  adored that Isaac and Abigail are such opposites when it comes to their characters: Isaac is a handsome philanderer, notorious for his affairs and reviled by many in society despite his wealth. Abigail is a respectable governess who has eschewed marriage and her own children, to instead support her brothers through her job as a governess, their own parents long gone. The scene where Isaac and Abigail first met is pure perfection. I enjoyed reading how single minded Isaac was in his pursuit of Abigail as he slowly breaks down her defences. Will he win this game of seduction and if he does what next for them both? Society’s expectations weigh heavily on them and I was eager for them to find a satisfactory resolution. Abigail is unlike any other woman Isaac has met and his obsession grows to an extent that he must have her, whatever the repercussions… #HistoricalRomance #EroticRomance #AmericanHistoricalRomance My Review

Salvation: Paranormal Angel Romance (Realm of Flame and Shadow, book 3), Christina Phillips

Captivating Enemies to Lovers Romance

I make no secret that the enemies to lovers trope is one of my favourites when it comes to romance and Christina Phillips delivers in spades with Salvation, book 3 in the Realm of Flame and Shadow series. This super read has a plot containing secrets, danger and deception and a hero and heroine who kept me entertained throughout with their lively  banter and sizzling lovemaking scenes. Although the book includes characters who feature in the earlier books (whom I loved meeting again), it works perfectly well as a standalone, Nate and Isabella’s relationship being at its core. #ParanormalRomance #Angels #Demons #SciFi My Review

Bright Lies, by AA Abbott

Gritty and realistic 

Well done AA Abbott for penning this thoroughly engaging read. It is both gritty and realistic, not only in how it portrays the sensitive issues of abuse, but also the difficulties faced by those who are compelled through one reason or another to live on the streets.

Emily’s relationship with her step-father David is toxic almost from the off, and finally his inappropriate actions cause her to flee from her wealthy home, finding herself on the streets in the heart of Birmingham. It is here  she meets Jack, who has his own difficult past to cope with. #pstchologicalthriller My Review

Moth (Dragon Triad Duet #1), Lana Sky

Twisty and Suspenseful Perfection 

Lana Sky has penned yet another addictive read in Moth, the first of her Dragon Triad duet. This Romantic Suspense has a deliciously dark and sexy as f*** anti-hero in the form of Rafe, a Triad enforcer and broken bookish Hannah, the heroine, who hides from the world. When their paths cross, something starts to give in both of them, their lives becoming ever more entwined despite their differences: Rafe seeks to torment Hannah and Hannah finds herself drawn to him despite the danger he represents. I found the title of the book perfect, conjuring up the image of the proverbial moth circling the flame, knowing that it may get hurt but powerless to resist the attraction. #RomanticSuspense #New Adult #Interracial My Review

Search and Rescue, A Contemporary Reverse Harem Romance (The Dreadnoughts #1), by Lucy Felthouse

Fabulous start to series 

This action packed Reverse Harem by Lucy Felthouse is a fab start to her new series The Dreadnoughts. It contains Kim, a confident and feisty heroine, four gorgeous ex Special Ops –Jason, Aiden, Taylor and Joshua and an astonishing discovery that took me, the reader, completely by surprise!

The read kicks off when the four guys embark on a retrieval mission to a remote Scottish island. They soon encounter a lot more than they bargained for after being engulfed by a very special energy, and find it difficult to walk away from their mission once it is accomplished. Kim is a woman who is not used to relying on others and I loved how she slowly grows to trust her rescuers as the plot unravels. #reverseharem #adventure #romance #superpowers My Review

A Governess should never…. Tempt a Prizefighter (The Governess Chronicles #1), by Emily Windsor

A beautifully crafted and uplifting romance 

I  loved this uplifting Regency Romance, the first book in Emily Windsor’s new series, The Governess Chronicles. It’s warm, witty and sensual and the hero and heroine, are just so perfect for each other, despite initially appearing to have so very little in common.

The ex-prizefighter Seth, a single parent, is finding it extraordinarily difficult to find a suitable governess for his daughter. In steps Matilda, a member of the ton who is masquerading as a governess to escape the nefarious plans of her guardian. Despite appearing to be his opposite in every way and having no experience for the post, he employs her nonetheless. I was smitten with him from this moment on! #Sensual #Regency #Romance My Review

Sin of Silence (Sinner’s Empire #1), Nikita Slater

Amazing mafia romance 

Sin of Silence, the new Romantic Suspense from Nikita Slater  is a super start to a new series. I was hooked on the premise of the book as soon as I had read the blurb and glued to my Kindle throughout. Mafia romances are amongst my favourite reads and this is a powerful read, containing a strong, principled heroine and a brute of an anti-hero.

After her abduction by mafia enforcer Josef, the heroine Shaun is catapulted into a world of wealth and excess funded by organised crime. The author does an excellent job of describing the brutality of the kidnap and how Shaun and Josef respond to the evolving attraction between them.  There is plenty of tension between Shaun and Josef, as well as other members of the Koba family and the lovemaking scenes between the main couple sizzle. #MafiaRomance #EnemiestoLovers #RomanticSuspense My Review

Dream Reaper, Alistair Cross

A battle between good and evil in another modern Gothic masterpiece 

Alistair Cross once again excels himself with another of his modern Gothic masterpieces, this time set in the seemingly sleepy town of Prominence in California. I am a real sucker for books pitting angels against demons, as I just love tales of good versus evil. I therefore jumped at the chance to review the author’s latest novel Dream Reaper, which blurs the lines between paranormal romance, urban fantasy and horror and is an absolute delight for fans of these genres. 

When a handsome and mysterious stranger saves Madison O’Riley from a fatal fall, little does she realise that her life and that of the inhabitants of the town of Prominence will soon descend into the depths of the Twilight Zone. It is not long before Madison and others start to realise that the amnesiac who calls himself Alejandro, has powers which defy comprehension…  Horror, Fantasy, Thriller, Romance My Review

Verik’s Price, Alpha Barbarians #3, Leann Ryans

Sinfully hot but sweet Omegaverse romance 

Verik’s Price is a sinfully hot but sweet contribution to the author’s Alpha Barbarians series which is set in an Omegaverse world. It is essentially a captor-captive romance featuring Verik, a passionate and powerful Alpha and Iris, a strong-minded Omega who has been torn from her village and gifted to him.

I was entertained by the interplay between the two – sparks fly and although Verik, as Alpha and leader of the Andtay clan has all the power, I respected that although Iris he gives Iris no option but to submit, he chooses not to totally go overboard on how he goes about taming her. That is not to say he is not dominant – indeed there is no absence of extremely intimate moments, but Verik is tortuously devious when it comes to seducing Iris to admit she desires him too – after all he wants her willing. #fantasy #omegaverse #erotic #romance My Review

Summer Warrior The Clan Donald Saga, Book 1, Regan Walker

A Spellbinding Tale 

In Summer Warrior, the first book in the Clan Donald Saga, Walker weaves a spellbinding tale of heroism and adventure coupled with a touching love story.

The backdrop to the tale, encompassing Scottish, Irish, Norse and English history, is an expansive one, worthy of the title saga. For me the writing conjured up vivid images of royal courts, battles and the ever present windswept coast and sea that surrounds the isles.

As with the author’s previous works, the novel is meticulously researched, breathing life into characters and events from history. In this instance it is the little known Somerled, the Summer Warrior of the title, who, through his valiant actions, comes to be crowned Lord of the Isles, a Kingdom independent of his Scottish allies and from the Norse he vanquishes. #HistoricalFiction #Histfic #ScottishFiction #NorseFiction My Review

Omega Awakening, The Controllers #0.5, by L V Lane

Loved this read so much!

 A prequel to the author’s Controllers series, it is a twist on the Cinderella trope but set in a dystopian Omegaverse, where the anti-hero Woodrow bears little resemblance to a Disney Prince! This alpha male is one who is utterly single-handed in his pursuit of the heroine Verity – he will make her his whatever it takes and he does not play fair. Having served his time in the military, he is now a Special Ops Director, who wants an Omega of his own and Verity becomes his obsession. #Omegaverse #Dystopian #Fantasy #Romance My Review

Not Just My Heart, Em Taylor

Sexy and heartfelt romance

This second chance romance is a heartfelt read with oodles of heat. It Is a story about finding yourself and your soulmate but also a tale of the importance of friends and family. Lacey and Rory have a lot of baggage to sort out and I enjoyed how they resolved their personal challenges and those they had as a couple, before they could contemplate their HEA.

The read, which is set in Scotland, contains some extremely sexy adult themes plus  emotional and sometimes humorous scenes and dialogue. The couple’s physical chemistry is assured but Rory soon realises just how hard he broke Lacey’s heart with his abrupt departure from her life six year’s previously. He knows he will have an uphill struggle to win over the girl he so carelessly discarded but what he doesn’t initially realise is that his actions had ramifications which went far beyond Lacey… Can he put things right and can he win the girl?#contemporary #secondchanceromance My Review

 

*NEW RELEASE & REVIEW* ~ A Governess Should Never…Tempt a Prizefighter (The Governess Chronicles #1), by Emily Windsor

#Sensual #Regency #Romance

The lady and the prizefighter. With scandalous kisses in midnight carriages, tavern visits and dressing as a nefarious footpad, the vocation of governess has never been so exciting… 

Release Date: Monday 9th November 2020

Tropes: A lady governess. A rugged prizefighter. Classes collide.

Tone: Romantic. Humorous. Warm. Poignant.

Blurb

“So tell me, Miss Griffin, why should I employ you as governess?”

A question to rouse fear within the breast of any prospective governess but for Matilda, a lady without references, appropriate brown clothing or any experience with children whatsoever, doubly so.

Yet alone in the world except for a brutish guardian and a malodorous betrothed, Matilda must seek her own future, even if that means employment in the household of a rugged ex-prizefighter with sizeable muscles and doubtless minuscule intellect.

 “Please continue to enlighten me, Miss Griffin.”

Mr Seth Hawkins, owner of famed Boxing Academy, has reached the point of desperation in his search for a governess.

Yet with no other suitable candidates, could this yellow-clad, bespectacled female who seemed to think him a witless dolt with calloused knuckles and no books, teach his daughter the ways of a lady?

 The Lady and the Prizefighter.

One should never judge a man by his well-defined muscles or a lady by her yellow-silk slippers, for beneath both façades lay yearning hearts, shared dreams and a taste for adventure.

With scandalous kisses in midnight carriages, tavern excursions, whifflers, nobblers and dressing as a nefarious footpad on the prowl, the vocation of governess has never been so exciting…

A fun, heart-warming Regency romance, this is the first book in a companion series to the Games of Gentlemen.

This tale contains sensual scenes.

Buy Links

US: Available on pre-order

UK: Available on pre-order

My Review

A beautifully crafted and uplifting romance ~ 5 stars

I  loved this uplifting Regency Romance, the first book in Emily Windsor’s new series, The Governess Chronicles. It’s warm, witty and sensual and the hero and heroine, are just so perfect for each other, despite initially appearing to have so very little in common.

The ex-prizefighter Seth, a single parent, is finding it extraordinarily difficult to find a suitable governess for his daughter. In steps Matilda, a member of the ton who is masquerading as a governess to escape the nefarious plans of her guardian. Despite appearing to be his opposite in every way and having no experience for the post, he employs her nonetheless. I was smitten with him from this moment on!

Seth has no airs and graces and welcomes Matilda into his small and unconventional household and she soon develops a sense of belonging which has eluded her for so long. As she gets to know her employer she discovers that there is far more to him that she initially thought and she develops a strong sense of admiration for and attraction to him. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue between the couple, which is full of wit, humour and increasing sexual tension as the romance heats up. Seth is a man who will do anything to protect those he cares for and he is beginning to care for Matilda…

As for Matilda, I really felt for her and enjoyed how Seth encouraged her to come out of her shell, have fun and experience life to the full. Both characters are changed for the better by being together, yet can they have a future together when they are from different classes and what of Matilda’s evil guardian who is still hell-bent on marrying her off to another?

There are some highly amusing scenes throughout the book, as the couple go on a series of riotous adventures in London, and I was hugely entertained throughout. The banter between the characters, replete with boxing slang, also added a lot of colour to the read.

This standalone romance is a fabulous start to this series and I recommend it to romance lovers who are looking for a warm, romantic and humorous read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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