*REVIEW* – The Isle of Sin and Shadows – by Keri Lake

#Gothic #Romance #SouthernGothic #Mystery #Suspense

Blurb

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

In the Louisiana swamplands, ghost stories are as much a part of childhood as chasing fireflies and crawfishing. They never much scared me, though, nor the possibility of evil out to do me harm. Until the night I watched shadows come to life and butcher everything I loved.

With a stranger’s help, I managed to escape to an isolated place miles north, and, in time, became my own ghost story. A cautionary tale for the locals.

Nearly a decade passed, before I returned to my birthplace, in hopes of unearthing long-awaited answers. Instead, I found something I wasn’t looking for. Someone. A remedy for my loneliness.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, Thierry Bergeron is no elixir. He’s a deadly poison, cursed by the demons of his past, and feared by those who call him the elusive Rougarou of the bayou. A devious rogue, whose seductive whispers and rough hands haunt my dreams. The big bad wolf that defiles me without apology, or remorse.

I should resist him, but I can’t.

And when the shadows return to stake their claim on me, his darkness is the only safe place to hide.

The Isle of Sin & Shadows is a southern gothic mystery & romance standalone

My Review

Southern Gothic par excellence – 5 dark and sexy stars!

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!

The read is a haunting one, being set in and around the Louisiana swamps with its close-knit community and its many secrets and local legends. The stakes are high when Céleste returns to her childhood home in an attempt to face the demons of her past and find out answers, so far denied. She soon finds her path crossing with the notorious Thierry, the owner of a strip club, who is a powerful force in the local community and feared by many. I enjoyed how Thierry is intrigued from the off by Celeste, a young woman who refuses to fear and respect him, and wants to know her secrets. I just loved the battle of words and deeds between them and their relationship is passionate and intense, each scene that takes place between them just crackles with sexual tension.

Both central characters are flawed and we learn about their respective backstories as the plot develops. Thierry is the type of dark anti-hero I adore and on the face of it he is just so wrong for Celeste, on so many levels. He is not looking for any type of relationship other than a quick hook-up. Céleste herself is traumatised by her past and sometimes she is confused by her reality. She is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery of her past and I admired her inner strength which tempers her vulnerability. She hides her pain under a tough exterior but has a heart of gold.

Somehow the couple are just perfect together, their relationship developing over the course of the book as they find their paths becoming ever more entwinned. There is such a lot going on in this read as the past and present collide, and I admired how the author pulled it all together whilst creating a powerful romance amidst the hauntingly beautiful and dangerous atmosphere of the swamps. I was gripped from the first page to the very last.

Perfect for fans of Gothic romances.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Goodreads

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*REVIEW* – Frost to Dust (The Last Tritan #2), by Myra Danvers

#DarkFantasy

Blurb

Their lives are linked.

Mila’s power has been stolen. Taken by a villain she can’t escape, her secrets all revealed. Held in thrall by an enemy she hates, she is consumed by the man whose mark circles her throat. Her wrists…

Her every action subject to the whims of Captain Asher Rawlings.

Controlling, jealous and possessive, he means to keep her for his own. To claim her magic and use it to rise within the ranks of the Caledonian army with a powerful priestess chained to his side—but Mila is untrained. Her magic volatile when it should be a soothing balm.

And what is dangerous to one, is deadly to the other.

A weakness in what should be an unbreakable bond.

In a place where even the slightest vulnerability is an open invitation for disaster, their bond is a lure for powerful men to strike without mercy.

On her knees but not defeated, Mila must choose. Give in to Asher and embrace her power…

Or let them both fall… 

Goodreads

My Review – 5 stars

Passionate and Intense – a brilliant read!

The latest instalment in Mila and Asher’s story is fast-paced, passionate and intense, crackling with raw emotions. As the book before it, Flame to Frost, I found it to be another brilliant dark fantasy read.

The the battle of wits between Asher and his captive priestess Mila is just exquisite to read. The scenes where they are together are smoking hot and the book is also cleverly plotted and populated with well-drawn characters. Mila continues to defy her captor at every turn, a task that is so much more difficult since they are now linked. She is not only subject to Asher’s control, but also the rules of others of his ilk, the hated invaders who destroyed her homeland.

I hugely enjoyed the descriptions of the couple’s bond and the magic that swirls in and around them and others. Mila’s magic is untamed and wild and she has so many internal battles as she attempts to gain control over her powers and her developing relationship with Asher, a member of the enemy Elite. She despises him for what he represents and what he makes her do and feel – Asher is an Alpha through and through and he will be obeyed. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, with hidden agendas and plots aplenty.

When it all unravels and comes to the crunch what will Mila and Asher do, as their bond means that their survival is linked? I was literally swept away by their story and blown away by the ending which I did not see coming. I cannot wait to read the next instalment to see what happens next!

Readers of dark fantasy who like a smoking and highly charged captor/captive or enemies to lovers trope will love this story.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Author Links

https://myradanvers.com/

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.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Connect with the Authors

Christina Phillips

Mel Teshco

Cathleen Ross

*REVIEW* – Cut and Run: A Contemporary Reverse Harem Romance Novel (The Dreadnoughts Book 2), by Lucy Felthouse

#Romance #ReverseHarem #Suspense #Superheroes

Blurb

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.

Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple. Someone knows what Kim’s up to and wants to get their hands on her and the object she now calls the ygrene. As if that wasn’t concerning enough, Chastain goes missing, spurring Kim and the others into action. The team’s newfound abilities come in handy as they attempt to find their friend and navigate the murky underworld of dirty energy and those who profit from it.

But, even with their powers, will they be a match for a greedy megalomaniac with no morals?

PLEASE NOTE: Cut and Run has a cliffhanger ending.

Cut and Run is the second book in The Dreadnoughts reverse harem romance series.

My Review

Superpowered and sexy! 5 stars

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 do 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!

It soon becomes apparent that someone out there is not happy at all with Kim’s discovery of the mysterious and powerful substance ygrene, and will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. I loved how protective the men were of Kim and enjoyed the superhero premise of the story, especially how they used their newfound abilities to work together to achieve their aims.

Whilst Kim’s attraction to the twins is more instantaneous, it is more of a slow burn when it comes to Chastain. Indeed, sparks fly between the two and I thoroughly enjoyed how they went from rubbing each other up the wrong way to succumbing to their mutual attraction.

The tension increases as the plot develops and the book ends on another cliffhanger. I am looking forward to how it all plays out in terms of the danger the team are in and how Kim and her men manage the the complexities of their relationship.

Recommended for readers who enjoy a sexy and engaging read with a strong heroine and a superhero theme.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Connect with the Author

https://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/

*RELEASE BLITZ/EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY – HONEYBEES AND SEXY TEES, BY KATIE METTNER


Publication date: July 20th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis:

The devil is in the details, and the Lady of the Lake holds the clue.

Honey Blois is no stranger to pain. The lasting effects of an abusive childhood have made her life challenging, but it’s the ache of unrequited love she can no longer bear. When her confession goes unanswered, she has no choice but to fall out of love with her best friend.

Mathias Jørgensen is living a lie. The billionaire playboy buries the pain of loving the one woman he can’t have with flashy cars and bad decisions—until Honey’s letter comes to light. With renewed hope for the future, he vows to find his way back to the boy she fell in love with if it’s the last thing he does.

And it might be.

As the pair blurs the line between friends and lovers, his unscrupulous past demands a reckoning. To save the woman he loves from a watery grave, Mathias will have to remember every last detail of the life he’s desperate to forget.

Goodreads

Excerpt

I had dreamed of kissing my best friend for as long as I could remember. Now, here I was in the middle of the most romantic place in Plentiful, his lips pressed to mine and my heart pounding in my chest. Who was this man? Why was he kissing me? How had I missed how much he’d changed over the last year? Was my Mattie finely going to rise up and take control? I sighed again.

Mattie was kissing me.

Finally, my soul was connected with what it had needed for twenty years. Its mate.

His lips left mine slowly, and I waited. I waited to open my eyes and find out all of this was a dream. Instead, I opened them to the lake blue of his. I dropped my arms from around his neck and brought one hand to my lips in a haze of shock and lust.

“Why—why did you do that?” My voice shook from the array of emotions coursing through me. I was drowning in the love that swelled inside my heart for this man. I couldn’t catch my breath, and I wasn’t sure I ever would again.

He ran his thumb over my lips with tenderness and wonder. “Because I’ve been pretending that I haven’t wanted to for years.”

“And now you’re done pretending?” I was unsure of myself when I spoke, and I didn’t want to say too much before letting him explain.

“No,” he said with a dazed head shake. “Now I had to know if I was crazy.”

“You had to kiss me to know if you were crazy?” The thrumming of my heart paused in my chest while I waited for his answer.

His gaze darted away from mine while he put his thoughts together. The expression on his face and the stiffness of his spine told me he was looking for the right way to describe what he was feeling. “I guess curiosity is a better word.”

Anger filled me and overpowered the love I’d found just moments ago. I pushed myself up off the bench with purpose. “I’m thrilled to have appeased your curiosity then.” My voice and body shook from the soul-shattering pain of betrayal. “Don’t mistake me for one of your playthings, Mathias Jørgensen. You don’t get to use me to relieve an itch or as a gauge of how well you’re doing in the morality department.”

He opened his mouth, but I held up my hand. “I can’t, Mathias. No, you know what? You can’t. You can’t do this to me when you know how I feel about you. It’s not fair,” I whispered right before I disappeared into the trees, tears on my face and my life with him over.

I almost collapsed to one knee at the thought. Tears fell down my cheeks, and I wiped them away as I plowed on into a new life. I didn’t know where I was going to go or what I was going to do, but I did know it would no longer be with him. I might need someone to watch over me but allowing Mathias to be that someone was no longer possible. Not after that kiss. It was more than I’d ever dreamed it could be, and now the memory of it would break my heart over and over for the rest of my days.

Purchase:

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AUTHOR BIO:

Katie Mettner writes small-town romantic tales, filled with epic love stories and happily-ever-afters. She proudly wears the title of ‘the only person to lose her leg after falling down the bunny hill’ and loves decorating her prosthetic with the latest fashion trends. She lives in Northern Wisconsin with her own happily-ever-after and three mini-mes. Katie has a massive addiction to coffee and Twitter, and a lessening aversion to Pinterest— now that she’s quit trying to make the things she pins.

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