**MY TOP READS OF 2021**

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

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

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

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

The Isle of Sin and Shadows, by Keri Lake

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

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

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

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

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

The Last Hour of Gann, R Lee Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blood Money, Dinero de Sangre #1, Lana Sky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#ContemporaryRomance #FirefighterRomance

Blurb

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

Book 1 – Resisting Tate by Christina Phillips

Everyone loves a hero… don’t they?

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

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

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

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

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

Book 2 – Resisting Lachlan by Mel Teshco

Can he save her from herself?

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

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

Book 3 – Resisting Adam by Cathleen Ross

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

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

My Review – 5 stars

Steam, sass and emotions run high…

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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Christina Phillips

Mel Teshco

Cathleen Ross

~**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

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

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

 

*ARC REVIEW* ~ Nemesis (Realm of Flame and Shadow Book 2)

#paranormal #romance #urbanfantasy #enemiestolovers

Blurb

When a vampire hunter cursed by her tainted heritage falls for an archangel out for her blood, an ancient covenant threatens to claim more than their lives…

All dhampir Rowan Moreton wants is a normal life, but as an assassin of the Enclave of the Phoenix, she knows that’s impossible. She learned the hard way it’s too dangerous to be distracted, when her enemies lurk in every shadow. But one night with the gorgeous Azrael has her wishing things can be different. Is it possible to keep her sordid life a secret from him, without endangering him?

The archangel Azrael only cares about one thing. To hunt down the dhampir army of his sworn enemy. But when he meets the bewitching Rowan, he’s tempted to break every rule in the book to keep her by his side.

As outside forces close in on them, neither will sacrifice the other. But after a bitter betrayal, their pasts come back to haunt them, and the hunters become the hunted.

Caught in a deadly web of deception, and with time running out, they must risk everything to survive. But sometimes power isn’t everything, and the price of freedom is just too high…

My Review

Powerful, passionate and emotional enemies-to-lovers romance  ~ 5 stars

I absolutely LOVED this latest instalment of the author’s Realm of Flame and Shadow series. Nemesis is an enemies-to-lovers romance telling the story of the archangel Azrael and his fateful relationship with dhampir assassin Rowan. It’s a sexy, fast-paced paranormal/urban fantasy read containing secrets, danger and betrayal plus oodles of passion and hotness! Azrael is a side character in the first book Redemption, which I also enjoyed (click on the title for my review), but this book can easily be read as a standalone.

Both Azrael and Rowan are such strong characters but each have their vulnerabilities which are well portrayed by the author. The powerful immortal Azrael is drawn to Rowan like no other woman and she, despite knowing a normal life is not her destiny, is equally enamoured.  I  adored that she is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with when the truth is out. Indeed, her very existence is entwined with that of Azreal’s despised vampire enemy, for whom his hatred runs long and deep.

Their battle to overcome their preconceived ideas about each other – their kind are after all mortal enemies, and the many threats to them over the course of the book made for a memorable and thrilling read. When the chips are down how will their relationship survive? Will they choose each other or defend their own kind? It’s a powerful, passionate and emotional read.

Azrael and Rowan are so perfect for each other but there are just so many obstacles to their pairing that I really despaired of their chance of a HEA. This fact, not to mention the addictive plot and well fleshed out secondary characters kept me on my toes and I didn’t want to put the book down until I found out what was in store for the couple.

The series is shaping up to showcase the author’s ability to craft memorable characters and world building, not to mention unforgettable romantic pairings! I thoroughly recommend it to fans of paranormal/urban fantasy.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this book was given to me by the author and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

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*ARC REVIEW* ~ Redemption (Realm of Flame and Shadow, Book 1), by Christina Phillips

#paranormalromance

Book Blurb

A fallen archangel saves a woman from a deadly fate, and unleashes an ancient power that could destroy the universe itself…

Gabe has no time for humans after the way they betrayed the ones he loved so long ago. But when he snatches a woman from the jaws of the hellish Guardians, he’s compelled to protect her at all costs. Even if she does drive him crazy with her smart mouth and refusal to fall under his archangelic spell.

Desperate to discover her true heritage, Aurora opens a rift between dimensions. But before she can enter her mother’s world, the most breathtakingly gorgeous man she’s ever met teleports her to an impossible island.

Thrown together, they can’t ignore the scorching lust that risks consuming them, or the threat to Aurora’s existence. When raw sex evolves into something far more dangerous, it’s more than their lives that are on the line.

As Gabe and Aurora race against time to outwit the Guardians, they come closer to uncovering an explosive revelation that will challenge everything they’ve ever believed in.

But deep in the shadows, the merciless Guardians lurk. And they have no intention of allowing Aurora to escape their clutches. Even if it means defying the wrath of an archangel.

This book was previously published by Penguin US under another title and penname, but the current book has been completely reimagined, rewritten, and edited.

My Review

Sexy and Captivating paranormal/sci-fi read – 5 stars

Redemption, the first in Christina Phillips’ Realm of Flame and Shadow series, is sexy and captivating read with a delicious twist, which had me hooked from the first page. As a lover of both paranormal and sci-fi I  enjoyed how the author seamlessly blends the world and mythology of fallen angels with that of those from other worlds in such a convincing way.

As to the central characters, the fallen archangel Gabe and Aurora, I just adored them! Their chemistry sizzles from the off, despite Aurora being a human, a race Gabe holds responsible for betraying those he loved and Aurora finding Gabe cocky and overbearing. This fallen angel has a reputation amongst his kind of being somewhat hardened to emotion. However, something about Aurora gets under his skin – he cannot put his finger on why he is drawn to her and feels an overwhelming need to protect her from the Guardians whose laws she has contravened.

For Aurora’s part, she is determined to find out her hidden heritage and will not let a mere immortal get in her way, despite his dominance and her attraction to him. I admired that she is not afraid, going toe to toe with him to speak her mind. Indeed, her sass attracts rather than repels Gabe – the dialogue between them is witty and entertaining and the sex scenes sizzle!

Can Gabe protect Aurora from the all powerful Guardians who desire to capture her and do her harm? What is it about Aurora’s actions that have earned their wrath and will she ever find out her true heritage? Will their instant attraction and growing lust for each other turn into something deeper? If it does what future can an immortal have with a mere human?

To recap, an enthralling standalone read which sizzles! Lovers of sexy paranormal and sci-fi romance will love it! I am looking forward to future books in the series.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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*ARC REVIEW* ~ Burned (Viking Bastards MC #3), by Christina Phillips

#erotic #romance #mcromance

Blurb

Ty…

Ten years ago I offered her everything, and she threw it back in my face. When she walked, I vowed no other woman would ever screw with my head the way she did. I moved on. Now I’m the V.P. of the Bastards, run my own nightclub, and nameless sex keeps me sane. No commitment or ties, just the way I like it.

Now she’s back, for one week only, gorgeous, successful, and I can’t keep away. She offers a long goodbye, a way to heal our fractured past. She burned me so bad––there’s no way I should even want to be near her. But the more she gives, the more I need. Until I discover the real reason she left, and my whole damn world implodes…

My Review

Sizzling second-chance MC Romance – 4.5 stars

Burned is a moving second-chance romance from Christina Phillips that positively sizzles. The book is the third in the author’s Viking Bastards MC series and although it features characters from the earlier novels, it works perfectly well as a standalone as the focus is very much on the hero and heroine, Ty and Jas.

Jas, who left L.A. 10 years ago is now back to attend her estranged mother’s funeral and wrap up her affairs before returning to the new life and career she has forged elsewhere. She is not keen to be reminded of her past and Ty, the man she left behind. Yet fate has other ideas and their paths cross almost as soon as she arrives.

Both Ty and Jas appear to be doing very well without each other – Jas is a successful career woman and Ty, well he is the V.P. of his beloved Viking Bastards and certainly has no shortage of women  keen to satisfy him. Yet Ty is still drawn to Jas and they agree to spend the night together to finally give each other closure. One encounter is not enough –  the heart wants what the heart wants, and without giving away any spoilers emotions get very complicated… The read contains some smoking hot and emotional scenes as Ty and Jas come together again and again, each fighting their attraction to one another.

I felt for Ty early on in the book, as it was clear that he had never come to terms with Jas’s hasty departure – his man-whore existence and mouthy attitude masking his feelings. I was also shocked as Jas’s true reasons for leaving are revealed. Both will have to re-evaluate and learn from the secrets and misconceptions of the past if they are to have a chance of a HEA. Will the couple be able to move forward once the truth reveals itself or does distance and the intervening years mean it too late?

Recommended for readers of second-chance romances who enjoy a steamy read featuring a strong and vulnerable female lead and an alpha male.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38909389-burned

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ARC REVIEW ~ Cinderella and the Geek (British Bad Boys), by Christina Phillips

#newadult #romcom #contemporary #romance

Blurb

From Christina Phillips a sexy, new romance with a hero you won’t forget…

I’m not looking for love or a Happily-Ever-After because I know how that ends. I just need to concentrate on my degree and look after myself. But there’s something about my boss, Harry, I can’t resist. It’s crazy since he’s so hot and smart it should be illegal.
And then, just like Cinderella, I have my night at
the ball and a midnight kiss, and for a week all my sexy daydreams come true. That fake date changes my life in a way I could never imagine. It turns out, Harry wants me too.

But I’m off to pursue my dreams, and he’s taking his business to the next level. There’s no way this fairytale has a happy ending, but that doesn’t keep me from wishing for it.

My Review

Enchanting twist on the Cinderella story ~ 4 stars

I loved this sweet new adult romantic comedy by Christina Phillips. It’s a perfect feel-good read with a distinctly British flavour which re-creates perfectly the excitement and angst of a new relationship between two young people who are very much in love.

Alice has been attracted to her boss Harry as long as she has been working at his high tech gaming firm. However, she has never had the courage to let him know her true feelings and is soon to leave his company and attend university hundreds of miles away. She is desperate to seduce him at some point during her remaining weeks at the firm, after all what does she have to lose? However, it never seems to happen, until  Harry invites her to a ‘fake date’ which sees her accompany him on an unforgettable night at an awards ceremony.

The night is a game changer for them both and afterwards they begin to spend time together. It becomes clear that Harry does not just see Alice solely as his irreplaceable office administrator, but as something more… However, has their relationship got staying power or is it just a quick fling before Alice begins her studies?

Both Harry and Alice are thoroughly likeable characters and it is obvious to the reader that they are destined for each other. Harry is the quintessentially handsome geek – in his case an expert in computers, but a man who is not so good at letting his true feelings be known. Alice’s’s experience of relationships with the opposite sex is a big fat zero, her lifelong ambition before meeting Harry being to gain a degree and embark on a stellar career. She also has her own insecurities – what young person doesn’t?

The story is told in their dual POV and there are are some very funny scenes and internal and external dialogue as the couple navigate around each other, their colleagues and family. The physical scenes between them are sweet, funny and romantic at the same time and are beautifully depicted, although at times I did feel like banging their heads together!

Between them the path to lasting love is fraught with ups and downs, as they deal with intense feeings and situations they have not experienced before and issues arising from their past. The reader is left wondering whether their fragile bond will last.

All in all a cute and sexy feel-good read!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

An ARC of this novel was given to me by the publisher for the purpose of a fair an honest review.

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