Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Come Together - Mia Kerick

Come Together
Mia Kerick
(If I Fell, #3)
Publication date: January 24th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

In the dramatic conclusion to award-winning author Mia Kerick’s IF I FELL Series, lovers Timmy Hale and Cole Ledger meet with danger when they attempt to mend broken family bonds.

Timmy and Cole faced brutal obstacles to their union from the moment they fell in love. It nearly drove them apart for good, but they overcame hostility, distance, and the deceptively alluring escape of alcohol. Now they’re ready to settle into the future as a married couple. With their spirited dog, Blackbird, and a close circle of friends, they’ve made a home and a happy life. But they don’t want to step into marriage until they’ve put complicated family problems behind them.

Cole’s son, Robbie, has turned bitter, refusing to accept his father’s engagement to the much younger man. His cold rejection threatens to destroy Cole. Meanwhile, Timmy’s dysfunctional family turns more treacherous than ever after the couple takes in his abandoned teenage niece, Lucy.

Soon, mysterious, threatening messages begin to appear.

When Cole leaves town on a trip to rebuild the severed bond with his son, the threats become real. Timmy’s brother—Lucy’s missing father—reappears. Addicted, violent, and homophobic he’s determined to either coax Lucy away from the shelter of the couple’s home…or destroy it.

Will the two families come together in an explosive collision or in reconciliation? The journey to marriage takes Cole and Timmy on one more wild ride. Through it all, can they hold on tight to their love and its promised happily-ever-after?

IF I FELL Series: age gap, hurt/comfort, contemporary MM romance

Book 1 Hide Your Love Away
Book 2 Blackbird
Book 3 Come Together

For maximum enjoyment, read in order.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children–all named after saints–and five nonpedigreed cats–all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

My themes I always write about:

Sweetness. Unconventional love, tortured/damaged heroes- only love can save them.

Mia Kerick focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men within the boundaries of blossoming, supportive relationships. She believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. And Mia’s stories are centered around a certain theme: even heroes can be sweet. Sweet, but not completely innocent.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

My Review

Come Together might be able to be read as a standalone, but it really works better if you have read the first two books In these books we meet Timmy and Cole and learn about who they are and their relationship. This third book sees the conclusion of their romance, with them really discovering who they are to one and another and where they fit within each others families.

Like the previous two installments, Timmy and Cole have a lot to face as their relationship grows. Most of it comes from outside, but this book also explores the idea of keeping secrets and why you might hide something from someone you love even in an otherwise honest relationship.

I really enjoyed this final book in the series, having followed this couple through their earlier story. It was a nice way to finish and tied up any remaining loose ends. A good, if fairly quick, read. 

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Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Demon Huntress-- Elizabeth Mason

Demon Huntress: Love Me To Hell And Back
Elizabeth Mason
Publication date: September 18th 2021
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

A search for a cure. A journey fraught with danger. A fateful bond.

Determined demon-hunter, Maeve, must risk everything to obtain The Book of Raziel—a font of spells, divine magic, and ethereal knowledge—to cure her work partner of a deadly supernatural virus. And though she isn’t surprised to discover that the book is in the Garden of Eden, she is surprised to learn that the garden is situated in Hell!

Now Maeve faces her biggest challenge: fighting her inner demons¬, or be lost to the wanderlust of Hell forever.

Broken and reclusive, Ezra Virunas has one goal—kill the demon who stole the Sacred Seals, and, in return, he would regain his freedom. Never mind that Ezra has to use Maeve’s soul as bait to close the case, Ezra knows just how deceitful women can be, and he is convinced Maeve is no different. But he is mistaken, and despite fighting against it, her pure heart soon becomes a light to his darkened past.

As Maeve and Ezra’s bond deepens, so too does the danger awaiting them. Will they emerge from Hell unscathed?

Love Me To Hell And Back is a haunting tale of self-reflection and forgiveness.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

Elizabeth is a Cali girl who should enjoy the California sun more than she does. She’s content being indoors writing and creating spooky stories with strong leading women and bad boy leading men. With a degree in psychology, Elizabeth is drawn to the complexities of human behavior. The diversity of personalities, interactions, emotions, and relationships reflect in her writing.

When Elizabeth isn’t busy typing away, she enjoys time with her husband, two boys, and her two Weimaraner pups. And thanks to her love for lattes, she enjoys reading paranormal romance late into the night. Her husband and her two boys inspired her to never give up, and thanks to them, she’s proud to announce her debut novel: Love Me To Hell And Back. A haunting tale of self-reflection and forgiveness, even in the darkness of Hell.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

Excerpt

(Maeve):


According to an ancient scroll discovered a few hundred years ago, there will come a human with god-like powers— an Eda.”

I yawned. “Excuse me,” I muttered. “How does a human become an Eda?”

We only know what the scroll tells us, and according to the scroll, when the sacrifice is made, the Eda is born.”

He paused a moment and stared at me, seemingly deep in thought. Finally, slowly shaking his head, he spoke again. “This world is full of mysteries.”

Leaning back, I crossed my arms over my chest. “What were you thinking?”

When?”

Just now.”

I only hope this prophesied Eda is good. If you give a human ‘God-like’ powers,” he shook his head, “Well, let’s just say, I’ve never met a man who used power for good.”

I scoffed at him. “What makes you think it’ll be a man?”

He laughed as if what I had said was a joke. It was far from a joke. “Because women are too selfish to sacrifice themselves for someone else.” I heard the pure distrust he had for women in each word he spoke. It made my heart hurt.

We stayed quiet, staring at each other. I moved my eyes over his face. His eyes were sad, his lips turned down, and his jaw muscles were tense.

Maybe you’re right,” I said. Ezra lowered his brows, looking at me curiously. “But I’m pretty sure you’re wrong.”

Ezra folded his arms over his chest. “You disagree?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know, Ezra. I have faith in mankind. After all, you and I are going to Hell without greedy intentions.”

He made a steeple with his hands and touched his lips. I tilted my head, unsure again what he was thinking. “Are you sure about that?” he asked.

I shifted in my seat, unsure where this conversation was going. “What do you mean?”

He leaned forward, and a few gold strands fell over his strong cheekbones. “I sense a bit of regret in you.”

I jerked my head back as I was caught off guard. I didn’t think he’d say that. “Regret?”

You’re going to Hell to save a friend.” I nodded. “Or are you going to Hell to ease your guilt?”

I narrowed my eyes, glaring at him. Yup, I totally wasn’t expecting that. “And what guilt do I have, Ezra?”

His lips turned up into a cocky smile. “You tell me.”

Was he right?

Sure, I regret not listening to Emerich when he said not to go on this last hunt, but who would go to Hell just to ease their guilt? That’s a bit excessive. But I do believe someone would go to Hell to save a friend.

Right?

I held up a hand to ward off the truth behind his words. “You don’t know me, Ezra. Not well enough to judge me like that, anyway.”

You’re a strong fighter and damned skilled at throwing knives, but that isn’t enough to survive Hell.” What was he saying? I’m a trained jinn hunter. “I fear you’re weak here.” He pointed to his right temple. “That can make you weak here.” He brought his finger to his heart.

I stood up and pushed a pile of boxes at him. “If I’m so damn weak, then find someone else.” I was tired of everybody pointing at my weakness, telling me to hold back. Damn it. I need people to point out my strengths!

He caught the boxes before they slid off the table. Then, lightning-fast, he was on his feet and in front of me.

I formed fists and turned my head away from his prying eyes. I was breathing heavily, my chest rising and falling to the fast rhythm of my heartbeat. Ezra was close— too close. He had a clean, dangerous scent. I felt my knees tremble as his body heat seeped into me, and when he placed his finger under my chin, the shared heat and sensation thrilled me.

He gently turned my head, but I kept my eyes down. “Maeve,” he whispered, getting me to look at him. I allowed my eyes to wander, taking in his beauty. His sheer maleness overwhelmed me, and every instinct I had said he was different. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Still, there was something about him that was.... contrasting. I couldn’t quite figure him out. It was a feeling of lust mixed with a feeling of fear. Like a jinn, he was beautiful yet scary. There was something dangerous simmering under his cool fa├žade. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I was captivated by that mysterious side of him. His eyes penetrated mine as if he were seeing into my soul. “I don’t want someone else,” he said.


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Saturday, 22 January 2022

A Secret at Tansy Falls - Cate Woods

 The old farmhouse at Tansy Falls. A little patch of paradise in the hills of Vermont. Home to happy couple Connie and Nate. And a long-buried secret that will ignite a devastating spark…


As the summer sun sets over the sleepy Vermont town of Tansy Falls, Connie is reminded of how lucky she is. Every day, when she leaves the job she loves, managing the Covered Bridge Inn with her best friend Piper, she looks forward to returning to the farmhouse she shares with her husband Nate. At home, her flowerbeds overflow with day lilies and the weathered brick walls of her beautiful house glow in the evening light. The air is filled with the scent of the puffed apple pancakes she prepared that morning.

But one night, when Nate returns home, he is distant. He and Connie have been married for a long time, and while the laughter and lingering kisses have dwindled, Connie believed they would be together forever. So when a stranger arrives on their doorstep with a shocking secret about Nate, Connie’s life changes beyond all recognition.

Connie never thought she’d need to start over and live a life without Nate by her side. But as her heart breaks, Piper and the team at the inn are ready to help stitch it back together, with thoughtful advice washed down with warm spiced cider. As Connie begins to feel whole again, distraction arrives in the form of olive-skinned, broad-shouldered newcomer James. Nate has taught Connie that she doesn’t need a man, but James’s arrival helps her discover that she can follow her own dreams too. But as more secrets come to the surface, Connie wonders if she’ll ever truly be able to leave behind her past for good…

If you love gripping, heartbreaking romantic stories by Elin Hildebrand and Robyn Carr, you will be hooked by A Secret at Tansy Falls. A completely compelling read about secrets and betrayal that will have you reaching for the tissues.

Author Bio:

Cate Woods made the most of her university degree in Anglo-Saxon Literature by embarking on a career making tea on programmes including The Big Breakfast, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and French & Saunders. After narrowly missing out on the chance to become a Channel 5 weather girl, she moved into the world of magazine journalism, then ghostwriting and now writes novels under her own name. She has written two best-selling romantic comedies – Just Haven't Met You Yet and More Than a Feeling – and a festive novel, The Christmas Guest, under the name Daisy Bell. Cate lives in London with her husband and two children.


Buy Links:

My Review

I really enjoyed the first Tansy Falls book; The Inn at Tansy Falls so I was looking forward to reading this one. Although they are set in the same town and the characters from the previous book do make a cameo appearance in this, you really don't need to have read the first book.
A secret at Tansy Falls is a different kind of read. It deals with older characters, Connie and Nate are in their late fifties and after twenty or so happy years of marriage, things seem to be falling apart for them.
The book deals with their relationship and how things can change over time, falling apart without you even really realizing why. I'm not usually one for getting emotional over a book, but I did find myself getting a little teary now and again as the story unfolded. I couldn't help but feel for Connie, who seems to be juggling so many balls all at once, feeling as though they are all going to smash to the ground at any second.
This was a lovely read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope that we are going to get a chance to return to Tansy Falls again before long.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.





Sunday, 16 January 2022

The German Wife - Debbie Rix

 Inspired by true events, this is a heart-stopping, unforgettable story of ordinary people fighting for
survival in the darkest of times. Fans of 
Orphan TrainThe Tattooist of Auschwitz and My Name is Eva will be utterly gripped by this beautiful, tragic World War Two novel.


Germany, 1939: Annaliese is trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband Hans has become cold and secretive since starting a new job as a doctor at Dachau. Every morning she watches from her kitchen window as he leaves in his car. The sight of him in the dark uniform of the SS sends shivers of fear down her spine and she longs to escape…

When a tall, handsome Russian prisoner named Alexander is sent from Dachau to work in their garden, lonely Annaliese finds herself drawn to him as they tend to the plants together. In snatched moments and broken whispers, Alexander tells her the shocking truth about the camp. Horrified, Annaliese vows to do everything she can to save him.

But as they grow closer, their feelings for each other put their lives at risk. And Annaliese finds herself in grave danger when she dares to fight for love and freedom…

America, 1989: Turning the pages of the newspaper, Annaliese gasps when she recognizes the face of a man she thought she’d never see again. It makes her heart skip a beat as a rush of wartime memories come flooding back to her. As she reads on, she realizes the past is catching up with her. And she must confront a decades-old secret – or risk losing her only son…

Author Bio:

Debbie Rix has had a long career in journalism, including working as a presenter for the BBC. Her first novel, The Girl with Emerald Eyes was set around the building of the tower of Pisa and she has since released Daughters of the Silk Road and The Silk Weaver’s Wife. Debbie writes heartbreaking historical novels about love, tragedy and secrets.


Buy Link:

Audio Links:

My Review

The German wife is a book that tries to understand what life must have been like for those women whose husbands, sons, fathers and other menfolk were involved in Hitler's Germany. The wife in question, Annalise, is married to a doctor at the Dachau concentration camp. We see the story from her point of view, when she is very much in the dark about what her husband is doing and from his point of view. While the book doesn't defend his actions, it does attempt to explain, to an extent, why he might have been involved in such a thing.
As is often the case with this kind of book, it's easy to forget that these were real events. While many of the characters on the page are the result of the writer's imagination, the events that they are witnessing are not. There are also some real-life characters shown here.
I have mixed feelings about this book and that is largely because of what it deals with. It is a gripping story, but also an unsettling one. I enjoyed the book and wanted to know what would come of the people within it, but as I say, the subject matter isn't really an easy one to deal with. Overall though, this was a good and interesting read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.




Thursday, 13 January 2022

The Italian Island - Daniela Sacerdoti

 My darling girl, don’t make the same mistakes as I did. Now that my life is coming to an end, take
your grandmother’s bracelet, unlock the secret of our family history, and discover who you are…


As the hazy sun sets on golden sand, twenty-year-old Annie arrives on the stunning Sicilian island of Galatea, her father’s final wish playing heavy on her heart: she must solve the mystery of her grandmother who disappeared during World War Two. Her only clues are the delicate gold band around her wrist and directions to Villa Onda - House of the Waves - where her grandmother once lived.

As she climbs the winding road up to the cliffside villa, Annie’s path collides with handsome local fisherman, Salvo. His sea-blue eyes sparkle with recognition at her bracelet, and Annie can’t tell if it’s his warm touch or the sun-kissed villa’s vine-covered splendour that takes her breath away. Swept into the warm arms of Salvo’s family, it’s not long before she finds herself dancing the night away in the cobbled piazza and finally beginning to heal.

But one afternoon she finds an antique gramophone hidden beneath a dusty sheet in her grandmother’s bedroom. Setting the needle, she unlocks a long-buried secret… And, through Salvo’s mother, starts to unravel the truth about the bracelet and her grandmother’s heart-shattering wartime sacrifice.

With Salvo’s first kiss lingering on her lips, Annie knows she must dig deeper into the scars that haunt this beautiful island. But can her fragile new-found love with Salvo survive uncovering the truth? Will she ever be able to move on with her life until she does?

An absolutely heart-wrenching page-turner about how the catastrophic consequences of war can echo through generations, and the power that true love has to save us all. From the author of million-copy bestseller, Watch Over Me, and Amazon Number 1. bestseller, The Italian Villa, this is the perfect one-sitting read for anyone who adores Fiona Valpy, Victoria Hislop, or The Letter by Kathryn Hughes.

Author Bio:

Daniela Sacerdoti is the author of the bestselling Glen Avich series which has sold over one million copies in ebook to date, Sacerdoti’s debut novel Watch Over Me was named the eighth bestselling Kindle book of all time in 2015, when she was also ranked as the eleventh top-selling Kindle author. She lives in a small village in the middle of nowhere, with her Scottish husband, two children, a Cocker spaniel and a foundling kitten (who was definitely a witch in a past life).


Buy Links:

My Review

The Italian Island is a book set both in the modern-day and during the war. Annie has recently lost her father and at his request, travels to the island of Galatea off Italy to find out more about his mother who died in childbirth and he never knew much about. As soon as she arrives she feels that the island has a story to tell her and she begins to have visions of what happened in the past.
This is a bit of a paranormal story with people able to see that past as well as the idea that the women of the island have a special spirituality that allows them skills such as diving for the shellfish that they turn into thread.
Although it's quite unusual in the way that it's told, it doesn't detract from how you are drawn into Annie or Mira's world and what they have experienced. This is a story that takes the idea of the actions of the past having an influence on what happens to the descendants of these people. And although Annie wants to find out what's happened, there's an idea that there is an inevitability to her being there and finding out what happens.
I don't really want to say much more about what happens, as I don't want to give away spoilers. It is a great read and I really enjoyed following Annie and Mira's life.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.



Friday, 7 January 2022

The Girl From Paris - Ella Carey

 Vianne rushes through the crowded streets of Paris as the German bombs begin to fall. As she
rounds the corner she sees the familiar spires of the old church burst into flames. Too late, she realizes that her mother and sister are trapped inside…


Paris, 1918. The end of war is in sight, and young seamstress Vianne Mercier is longing for the day when she can stop sewing military uniforms and start creating the beautiful dresses that she has been dreaming up in her head.

But just when it seems like peace is within reach, Vianne’s mother and sister are killed in a terrible air raid. To make matters worse, Vianne’s brother has returned home a changed man. Controlling and cruel, he presents Vianne with an ultimatum; give up her dreams of becoming a designer, or be forced onto the streets, penniless and alone.

With nothing left for her in Paris but sad memories, she decides to sail for New York. Determined not to look back, she throws herself into her new life—spending her days sewing dresses for wealthy Upper East Side women, and her evenings dancing the Charleston to Duke Ellington in the new downtown clubs. When Vianne meets handsome Italian Giorgio Conti, he encourages her career, and she feels safe for the first time since she lost her family.

Then news of a terrible accident compels Vianne to suddenly return to France, where she discovers proof of a wartime secret that changes everything she thought she knew about her family. Facing the threat of sickness and ruin, the people who forced Vianne out of her home now suddenly need her help.

Will Vianne find the courage to follow her heart, return to New York and her life with Giorgio? Or will duty bind her to the family she had left behind and force her to remain in France?

From Amazon Charts bestseller Ella Carey comes an utterly gripping and emotional historical wartime novel about the terrible choices people made during humanity’s darkest days. Fans of Fiona Valpy, Rhys Bowen and The Nightingale will adore this novel.

Author Bio:

Ella Carey is the USA Today and Amazon charts bestselling author of eight novels of historical fiction, including the Secrets of Paris Series, published with Hachette imprint, Bookouture. Ella’s novels have reached over one million readers and have been translated into fourteen languages. Ella has recently signed a six book deal in Germany and a nine book deal in Denmark. Ella’s latest novels are A New York Secret, and The Lost Girl of Berlin, both published with Bookouture in 2021. The Girl from Paris is the third novel in this new series, and will publish in January, 2022. Ella has a music degree in classical piano, and an arts degree majoring in English and history. Her novels have been shortlisted for ARRA awards. For further information:


Buy Link:

Audio Links:

My Review

Unlike the first two books in this series, this book doesn't take place close the the second world war, instead it begins during the first world war in France. These books are all standalone stories, but they have links to the other books. Vianne, who is the Girl from Paris of the title, has appeared before in A New York Secret but there she was a sucessful businesswoman and designer. Now we see her story of how she got there.
The book deals with the effect that the first world war had on those who lived through it. For Vianne and her family it destroyed them. Ripping the family apart and having both an emotionally and physically. Vianne moves to New York to start a new life and there she faces the new modern world that is open to young women, but also the constraints that still exist.
I don't want to give away spoilers to this book. I think that it might be enough to say that I read it in just over a day as I wanted to see what was going to happen and how Vianne's life would unfold. This was a great read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.


Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Side Effects - L.J. Green

Side Effects
LJ Greene
Publication date: December 13th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Who can you trust?

Ally Michels is fresh out of her MBA program at Cal and has landed her dream job at hot, up-and-coming video game developer, Jet Stream Studios, all thanks to her uncle, Jet’s largest venture capital investor. She’s feeling pretty good about her future until an inadvertent blurt in a company meeting brings down upon her the dangerous attention of Jet’s co-founder and chief developer, Marcus Abby.

Beautiful, brilliant, and vicious, Marcus is every bit the arrogant, deceitful founder her uncle warned her about. But in the power-fueled world of venture capital investing, things aren’t always what they seem. When Ally finds herself caught up in a play for corporate control, she must work with Marcus to save the company and an ideal she believes in, while navigating perilous family loyalties and fighting to hold onto her own integrity.

For Ally, there’s just one rule: never, ever trust Marcus Abby. Because the one man she needs to stop a high-stakes plot is the one man who has every reason to want her gone.

SIDE EFFECTS is an adult contemporary, twisty, underhanded, certainly unscrupulous . . . romance.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Review

I went into this, not realising that I have actually read an earlier book in the series. In all honesty, it didn't matter if you have or haven't read the other books. There are characters that are mentioned and our hero, Marcus, has appeared in a previous book, but you don't lose any understanding or enjoyment by not having read them.
Side Effects is an enemies to lovers romance, something that I'm a bit of a fan of. Ally is trying to prove herself in her new job, she has got the job through her Uncle, who is a big investor in the firm, but she knows that she has the skills in her own right. Unfortunately, one of the owners, Marcus, can't stand her. He's not the easiest man to get along with, but he really doesn't seem to like Ally. As they work together though, he begins to appreciate her skills. The more time that they spend together, the more that they like one another and understand where they are coming from.
In many ways, the romance in this book is almost secondary. I say almost because this is certainly a romance and the story of Ally and Marcus's romance. For much of the book though, we are learning about the company that they work for and how they are handling what is happening. The romance evolves out of this and I think that it is this that makes it such a good read.
This was a great romance and one that I really enjoyed.

Author Bio:

Romance author, obsessive multi-tasker, California native, music lover with no apparent musical talent, travel enthusiast, and cheese connoisseur.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Amazon


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