#Review: Escaping Fate by Regine Abel @regineabel

Description

Born and raised on a slaver’s ship, Amalia plans to escape before she’s forced to participate in her master’s psi breeding program. She finds refuge on a foreign planet where she meets the cousins Lhor and Khel. Together, they fight against those hunting her down, while attempting to rescue the other victims of her master’s slave ring.

Between her master’s dogged pursuit, deadly rivalries, assassins, and corrupted nobles, can the cousins keep Amalia safe or will their respective feelings for her tear them apart?

This MFM novel is a constant toe-curling, action-packed thriller, and the first book in the Veredian Chronicles series. It is standalone with no cliffhanger.

Review

Amalia has known nothing of life except what she has seen and experienced on the slaver’s ship she has been brought up on. After a failed escape attempt as a teenager she has waited patiently for a chance to run and at twenty-two her chance has come.

After escaping she becomes bonded with cousins Lhor and Khel who help her hunt down her captors and rescue the women he enslaved.

I loved how the story developed, it moved at a steady pace with a good mix of emotion, action and romance. I was deeply moved by the way the taint was a ticking time bomb for Lhor and Khel and the question of if Amalia could save them was always hanging over them all.

I found the romance side of this story captivating and impatiently wanted to move it along while simultaneously enjoying the slower pace of the story.

The world building was fascinating and I’m looking forward to gaining a better understanding of this world as the series progresses.

This is one of those books that makes me realise I don’t read anywhere near enough sci-fi romance. I’m hooked and am super pleased I have more books in this series to dive into straight away.

Thanks to Regine Abel for the eARC of this book so that I could read and honestly review the book. I cannot wait to read the next book…actually I’ve already started it.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleEscaping Fate
Series: Veredian Chronicles #1
Author: Regine Abel
Genre: Romance | Sci-Fi | Menage | Aliens
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 14 April 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsPaperback
Pages: 459
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link Redirects to Preferred Retailer)

#Review: Cursed by Mila Young @MilaYoungAuthor

If you would like to catch up on my reviews of the earlier books in this series catch them at the links below:

Description

Beauty and the Four Beasts. A Deadly Curse. A Fallen Kingdom.

With magic banned in the human realm, Bee, a powerful witch, has had to offer her services in secret. When a request to break a curse comes from the dangerous mountains and royal bear shifters, Bee is hesitant, but winter is coming and funds are tight.

At the castle, Bee finds things are not quite what she was led to believe. The curse Bee is meant to break has reached its zenith, siphoning off the Prince’s life while preventing him from controlling his shifting abilities. He is volatile, angry, and far stronger than she had imagined. His brothers, who commissioned her, present her with a challenge – fix it, or lose everything.

Soon the curse is spreading throughout the castle, taking brother alike. It’s a race against the clock, buffeted by dark magic, intrigue, and a strange attraction that has her looking at the four brothers in a new light.

Note: Each book in the Haven Realm series is a standalone book.

Review

Bee is a magic caster (also known as a witch but she doesn’t like that term) who has a job in the mountains working for some bear shifters. Bee is best friends with Scarlet who we meet in the first book in this series so if you’ve read in order then you will have briefly met her already. If you haven’t read in order there are no issues these books have very little overlap and the stories are steadfastly standalone so you can pick them up in whatever order you like.

When Bee arrives at the home of the shifters she is surprised to find it is a castle and they are Princes. She is also surprised to find the curse she has been hired to cure is much more dangerous than she could have anticipated. As she digs her heels in time running out and her heart becoming more attached to these four men the adrenaline really pumps through this story.

This is a retelling of beauty and the beast, which ironically is my least favourite fairy tale, I absolutely hate it. But I loved this retelling so much. I was on the edge of my seat willing Bee to find the answers and some happiness as well. This book has some much drama and intensity in it that it just feels non-stop. I had no idea how things were going to resolve or even if they would.

The character development and world building in this book is solid with Bee and all four of the men; Leven, Talin, Ash and Raze each having unique personalities which made them stand apart on the page.

There was another angle where Bee is a writer in her world and Mila Young put a few little twists in around Bee’s writing which I absolutely loved. I’m not going to give away what Mila did but they were perfect little twists and so well done.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series to date but Cursed was absolutely outstanding, beyond all of my expectations and will take some beating. A standing ovation for Mila Young for this one, her writing is on fire from the first word to the last, I can’t praise this book highly enough.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleCursed
Series: Haven Realm #3
Author: Mila Young
Genre: Romance | Reverse Harem | Adult | Fairy Tale | Retelling | Magic
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 20 February 2018
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsN/A
Pages: 293
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link Redirects to Preferred Retailer)

#Review: Goddess of the Sea by P.C. Cast @pccastauthor

Description

On the night of her twenty-fifth birthday, alone in her apartment, Air Force Sergeant Christine Canady wished for one thing: a little magic in her life. After drinking way too much champagne, she performed, of all crazy things, a goddess-summoning ritual, hoping that it would somehow make her life a little less ordinary…but she never believed the spell would actually work.

When her military plane crashes into the ocean, CC’s mission overseas takes an unexpected turn. She awakens to find herself in a legendary time and place where magic rules the land—occupying the body of the mythic mermaid Undine. But there is danger in the waters and the goddess Gaea turns this modern, military gal into a beautiful damsel so that she can seek shelter on land.

CC is soon rescued (literally) by a knight in shining armor. She should be falling in love with this dream-come-true, but instead she aches for the sea and Dylan, the sexy merman who has stolen her heart.

Review

This is another of those books I have had on my shelf for years, I bought it while I was deep in the House of Night series which I got a little bored of added to the fact I had never really bonded with mermaid stories I think this just got pushed further and further back on my list. I’m so glad I finally decided to read it though. It was such a refreshing read, with original ideas and a fresh approach to the mythology it uses.

CC or Christine is a woman who has never quite found her place, a sergeant in the US Air Force she is good at her job, she’s also afraid of flying (great twist there). After everybody in her life forgets her twenty-fifth birthday she drowns her sorrows in champagne and performs a goddess summoning ritual she finds in one of her old books.

When her plane crashes on her way to her next posting she finds her self magically transported to a medieval world, and inside the body of a beautiful mermaid, Undine, the daughter of the goddess she summoned. And so her adventure really begins with the match her father has chosen for her pursuing her relentlessly, to escape from him she heads for dry land and is rescued by a bona fide Knight in Shining Armour, but CC has already found love with Dylan a merman who has nothing more to offer her than his heart, but how they find a future together neither of them know.

I loved the complexity of this story, it appears on the surface like a simple love triangle but it is far more than that. P.C. Cast woven together a novel that perfectly sits between the historical and mythological. I spent the last thirty minutes I was reading sobbing as the story unravelled and didn’t end at all how I had expected.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable novel and the first mermaid based story I’ve enjoyed.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleGoddess of the Sea
Series: Goddess Summoning #1
Author: P.C. Cast
Genre: Paranormal Romance | Romance | Mythology | Magic
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: 7 July 2011
Review Format: Paperback
Other FormatseBook | Audio
Pages: 411
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link Redirects to Preferred Retailer)

#Review: The Castle of Earth and Embers by Steffanie Holmes @steffmetal

Description

BRAND NEW reverse harem series laced with Celtic mythology, gothic mystery, and four gorgeous guys, all served up with lashings of British wit.

Maeve Crawford has her life mathematically calculated down to the last detail; Leave her podunk Arizona town, graduate MIT, get into the space program, be the first woman on Mars, read lots of books, get a cat (not necessarily in this order).

All Maeve’s careful plans come crashing down when her parents are killed in a freak accident, and she discovers she’s inherited a real, honest-to-goodness English castle – complete with turrets, ramparts, and four gorgeous male tenants.

Corbin – the protector wallowing in guilt
Arthur – the warrior tired of fighting
Flynn – the trickster with an artist’s soul
Rowan – the enigma whose scars run deep

As soon as Maeve enters Briarwood, she’s drawn to Corbin, Arthur, Flynn and Rowan – four beautiful boys drenched in grief, hope, and ancient magic. Maeve needs them all to heal her broken heart, and they need her to help them protect the world from the fae host baying at the castle gates.

Dark forces converge on Briarwood castle, and Maeve Crawford – science geek, scarred soul, lover of four remarkable men – must draw from herself a power she never imagined in order to protect the shattered remains of her life.

The Castle of Earth and Embers is the first in a brand new steamy reverse harem romance by USA Today bestselling author, Steffanie Holmes. This full-length book glitters with love, heartache, hope, grief, dark magic, fairy trickery, steamy scenes, British slang, meat pies, second chances, and the healing powers of a good cup of tea. Read on only if you believe one just isn’t enough.

Review

Steffanie Holmes has been on my radar for ages, not least because we have a mutual friend who has been telling me to pick up her books for years now…this is where I bow my head in shame that I haven’t got further than adding books to my wishlist because having now read one of her books I have some serious backpedalling to do!

The Castle of Earth and Ember is Holmes’ first reverse harem and by gum can this woman write? (That’s a ‘yes’ by the way…) Maeve is 21, newly orphaned for the second time having just lost her adoptive parents, and about to walk into an English Castle which she has discovered she inherited from her birth mother. So things aren’t too weird for her. To top it off she’s about to discover the fae, that magic is real and she’s part of a coven of witches, the rest of the coven being four rather delicious looking guys.

Maeve is one of my favourite reverse harem heroines. She’s a physicist who sees everything in a very scientific, black and white way. She wants to be able to back up the unexplainable with justifiable proof and that sends the dialogue for the novel in different directions than you would normally expect. I like how she starts to see links between magical elements and physics and where she also sees that sometimes it may not work at all. She is also very down to earth, friendly and open to the guys so the romance aspects of the story still flow in a very natural manner.

The guys are great and bring a real sense of personality and purpose to the story. Corbin is their leader and certain he will be the one Maeve will choose to lead them, Arthur is the one who fights with swords and gives Maeve that sense of safety, Flynn is the joker and life and soul of the group, and Rowan suffers from anxiety, he struggles to be around people but Maeve knows there is more to him. Each one of them is there for a good reason, and they each bring something to the table which is unique and valuable to the coven. Probably one of the things I loved most about this book was how we have a coven with male witches. This is so rarely done it makes it such a unique proposition and really interested to see men taking on that role.

There were some outstanding evil characters King of the Unseelie just about taking the prize for evil wrongdoing and his sons Blake and Kalen full of dastardly wrongdoing.

I loved the way the fae lore was used here, there was some interesting use of lore around changelings and how they are used, how the fae get their strength, and how the fae can cross over into the humans land. It’s clear a lot of research has gone into this as so much of it links back to existing lore.

I loved this book, I loved the writing, I loved the characters (even the bad ones…especially the bad ones)

Thanks to Steffanie Holmes for the eARC of this book so that I could read and honestly review the book. I cannot wait to read the next book and I’ve bought some of the back catalogue at last.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Castle of Earth and Embers
Series: Briarwood Reverse Harem #1
Author: Steffanie Holmes
Genre: Reverse Harem | Romance | Paranormal Romance | Magic
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 13 March 2018
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsPaperback
Pages: 328
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link Redirects to Preferred Retailer)

#Review: Ruin by Samantha Towle @samtowlewrites

Description

From Samantha Towle, the New York Times bestselling author of Wardrobe Malfunction and Breaking Hollywood, comes a dramatically powerful and passionate new contemporary romance.

And the new heavyweight champion of the world is… 

Those are the words that Zeus Kincaid has been waiting to hear since he first put on a pair of boxing gloves. He just didn’t think they would come with a tragedy that would change how he viewed the sport forever.

Cameron Reed was in her second year at Juilliard when her childhood sweetheart, Zeus Kincaid, walked away from her. A few months later, Cam realized that she would never fulfill her dream of dancing for the New York City Ballet.

Now working as a dancer in an upscale club in Manhattan, Cam is brought face-to-face with the man she once loved. And it’s her turn to walk away from him.

After five years of missing Cam, Zeus isn’t prepared to let her go again. But when he finds himself standing on her doorstep the next morning, things don’t go quite as he expected…

Review

It’s always nice to get unexpected book post when that book post is a second chance romance featuring a well built hot boxer named after a Greek God then I’m all in baby! Zeus Kincaid dreamed of being the world’s best boxer, it’s all he’s ever wanted. Except for ballet dancer Cameron Reed. From the moment they met as teenagers they were destined for each other and then he broke both of their hearts by walking away thinking it was the best thing for their careers.

It has taken Zeus five years to knock on her door and he has so much more to make up for than he even knows when he knocks that door. Cam is one of those women you can’t help but love. A single mother, she works two jobs and puts her daughter first in everything she does. So having Zeus back in her life is difficult and not something she wants to deal with.

She doesn’t want her emotions re-ignited, she doesn’t want to be reminded of the love she still holds for him, she doesn’t want him upsetting her simple life. But Zeus is a man on a mission and he isn’t taking these things into consideration in his single-minded pursuit of the woman he loves.

Zeus was all alpha male, but soft-hearted to the core. He fought this battle like a true boxer, strategically and carefully. Taking hits when he needed to and pushing through each round like a pro. He came in knowing what he wanted and didn’t let any of the surprises along the way put him off.

I loved this book, it was paced really well with characters you couldn’t help but love thoroughly.

Thanks to Samantha Towle and Headline Eternal for the advanced review copy so that I could read and honestly review it.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleRuin
Series: Gods #1
Author: Samantha Towle
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance | Sports Romance | Adult
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Publication Date: 6 March 2018
Review Format: Paperback
Other FormatseBook
Pages: 352
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link)

#Review: A Bed of Brambles by Sam Russell @SamRussellBooks

This was my TBR Topple winner for March. Thank you to everyone who voted and if you haven’t voted this month today is your last chance the poll can be found here.

Description

This was never going to be a conventional love story. No bed of roses. Proud, passionate and wilful, Hettie and Alexander are alike in so many ways. That has to be a good thing, doesn’t it? Or it could be a disaster…both carry scars, and old wounds have a habit of causing new hurt.

Physical attraction draws them together. Hearts and minds can be thorny, less easy to satisfy. One thing is certain, together or apart their lives will move on. Alexander and Hettie’s clashes of spirit will only be part of the story.
Second chances. New Beginnings. The opportunity to make things right. Or to make the same mistakes all over again. Unless fate takes the future out of your hands…

Review

I won a copy of A Bed of Brambles quite a while ago and after winning my TBR Topple poll in March I dove in. I haven’t read book one so I had some concerns about diving into book two but I took the risk.

Hettie returns from South Africa to Alexander the two of them bonding and trying to build their relationship while hitting some bumps in the road. This is a couple who have both made mistakes, but Alexander is one of those self-absorbed men who have one set of rules for himself and another for her.

As the book progressed I liked him less and less hoping that Hettie would find another man to take his place, someone who would appreciate her far more and help her with her business venture not just frown, moan and sleep around. I loved that this was very much centred around stables and horses. That wonderful country feel as you read is all-encompassing and the people in the book are reassuring and friendly.

I found some of the transitions between scenes a little abrupt, and it was sometimes a little slow going but overall this is a really enjoyable romance.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleA Bed of Brambles
Series: Draymere Hall #2
Author: Sam Russell
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 3 March 2017
Review Format: Paperback
Other FormatseBook
Pages: 381
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link Redirects to Preferred Retailer)

#Review: All For 1 by C.M. Stunich @CMStunich

Description

I don’t have a name, just a number.

1.

A single slash across a keyboard.

1.

That’s the number of people I know that are worth dying for.

1.

The total number of women I’ve ever loved.

1.

The number of weeks I have left to save her.

ALL FOR 1 (aka ALL FOR ONE) is a romantic suspense story. This book includes cursing, graphic sex scenes, and tough subjects.

Review

There are few authors who would be brave enough to centre a romance around the brutal world of sex trafficking but C.M. Stunich is nothing if not brave, her brutal publishing schedule proves that if nothing else.

1 is a puppet. Trained since he was a boy to execute the will of his masters, men in government who are fighting the men in powerful positions in the sex trafficking game. He is ruthless, strong, and dedicated to his position. He has no name because he doesn’t exist. Except to her, the girl he saved all those years ago. She sees him, the man beneath the number.

Cyrah was being sold into the sex game and 1 saved her, their connection was immediate, scorching, and over in an instant. He walked away back to his life as a puppet. She walked away and started a new life as a warrior, a campaigner. The only person that women who had been sold as sex slaves could look up to. She fought for them, she was the person their families went to when they were taken and she didn’t rest until she had answers, even if they were of the devastating kind.

When Cyrah and 1 cross paths again the results are unexpected, beautiful, devastating. Can Cyrah be the one to make him feel human, like a man? Will he go against all of his training for this beautiful woman?

And will C.M. Stunich end this novella on the cliffhanger to beat all cliffhangers … that one is a yes. Aargh!

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleAll For 1
Series: N/A
Author: C.M. Stunich
Genre: Romance | Dark Romance | Romantic Suspense
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 19 February 2018
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsN/A
Pages: TBA
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link)