**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

*REVIEW* – Delirium (Atom and Evil #1), by Myra Danvers

#Sci-fi #Romance #DarkHumour

Blurb

Living on the fringe of deep space, Iris is nothing like the woman she was Before.
She’s broken. A shadow. Running from a shady past filled with trauma and unspeakable pain, she’s lost and trying not to be found. Numbing her anguish with boredom and opium.
Because she knows he’s coming.
A vicious criminal.
The enemy she used to love.
Her biggest mistake.
Fifteen years wasn’t nearly long enough to dull the ache of what they lost. Scars branded too deep, wounds that never healed.
They say pain is temporary, that it leads to personal growth. But Iris is a creature remade in blistering agony. Forged by a drive to wreak havoc. He should have known better than to abduct and blackmail her.
She will claim vengeance, or die trying.
There are no heroes here. Only a pipe full of the good stuff and villains fighting over scraps.

My Review

Action-packed and crazy tale of vengeance – 5 stars

This is one crazy ass read from start to finish and I certainly enjoyed the ride. Iris, the protagonist, has little sense of self-preservation and even less concern for the lives of others, the men who have dared to kidnap and blackmail her. Vengeance will be hers and I just loved how the read contains scene after scene of destruction and mayhem, steeped in dark humour.

I was glued to the pages to see what she had planned next for her abductors who want to use her for her technical wizardry. There are a number of laugh-out-loud moments – her methods are certainly twisted and violent and designed to take no prisoners. If you have ever dreamed about taking revenge on your enemies then this book will feed your fantasies!

Big Evil, her ex lover, now  her sworn enemy, with whom she has a history, is the only one who understands her version of crazy and he too does not appear to be of sane mind. We are given snippets of Iris’ past and their relationship, gaining more understanding as the book progresses and I found myself trying to work out what had happened to propel her to her drug filled and solitary existence and make her despise him so.

The book ends on a cliffhanger and I am looking forward to the next instalment to see how the plot and the intense relationships unravel.

Recommended for fans of sci-fi reads who like strong, crazy anti-heroes and heroines.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author ad I am voluntarily leaving a review.

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Author Links

https://myradanvers.com/

*REVIEW* – Flame to Frost (The Last Tritan Book 1), by Myra Danvers

#DarkFantasy

Flame

Blurb

Back by popular demand, the infamous cult classic has returned in its original glory! Complete with bonus scenes, this chart-topping fan favorite is available for purchase for the first time!
Sheltered in the lap of luxury, Mila is eighteen when her world dissolves in flames around her.
War.
A utopia swallowed in a single night.
Orphaned and alone, terrified of being captured, Mila flees the conquerors who have come to claim. To snatch up those gifted few called priestess―Tritan women born with magic in their blood. They are healers. Peacekeepers bound and chained, used as living batteries, they become the fuel that feeds the Caledonian army and creates unstoppable warriors.
The elite.
Warmongers. Dogs of the state, they are the perfect soldiers―everything a Tritan priestess isn’t, wielding power that does not belong to them.
But Mila is an enigma. A priestess hidden from her own people, hers is a secret her father died to keep. One Mila will use to fight from the shadows, striking against the empire in any way she can. An army of one, with the power of many…
Until she is betrayed.
Captured.
Sold.
To Captain Asher Rawlings.
Captor. Villain. Elite. Even without a priestess of his own, Asher’s power lashes at her senses. Dark flames lapping at her nape, whispering of untapped potential Mila didn’t think possible.
Helpless, subject to Asher’s every whim, Mila is made to obey his every sordid command. Left with nothing but her secret.
That she is a Tritan priestess―the one thing he needs to seize a legendary power that could tip the scales of the war and ensure an everlasting Caledonian rule.
Now Mila must navigate a world of villains and political conspiracy, endure anything Asher throws her way, and above all else… never reveal what she is.

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… 

My Review

Amazing Dark Fantasy – 5 stars

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.

As soon as her path crosses with the uber anti-hero Asher Rawlings, her captor and a member of the enemy Elite, the air positively crackles with tension. He is an alpha to die for, but one you would not want to get on the wrong side of – as Mila is wont to do. He typifies everything Mila despises and I adored how she defies him at every turn, even though it costs her. I was on pins as she strives to hide her secret from him – that she is a priestess with powers he will exploit to the maximum if he discovers them. 

I can’t wait to read the next instalment of this superbly sexy and suspenseful captor/captive romance.

Recommended to fans of dark fantasy who adore villainous anti- heroes you love to hate and strong heroines who do all they can to resist their fate.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received a copy of this book from Booksprout and I am voluntarily lieaving a review.

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Author Links

Myra Danvers | USA Today Bestselling Author