To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne

tlacBook: To Love and to Cherish

Series: Wedding Belles #3

Author: Lauren Layne

Release date: October 18, 2016

Main characters: Alexis Morgan, (owner of Wedding Belles and the tricky heroine of the story) Logan Harris, Alexis’s silent partner, accountant and the man convinced she should be his.

Blurb: Alexis Morgan has devoted eight years to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premier wedding-planning company. Now it’s time to come up with a plan to tackle her personal life. Definitely not part of that plan is her silent business partner in the Wedding Belles, Logan Harris. But when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss, Alexis begins to suspect there’s more to Logan than just pinstripes and glasses.

Logan has wanted Alexis since they met and, when Alexis needs a date for her sister’s last-minute wedding in Florida, Logan sees the perfect opportunity to show her what she’s been missing. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan sets out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever…

Why you should read it: If you’ve been following the Wedding Belles series, then you’ll want to check this one out. It’s the final book in the series and focuses on Alexis and Logan – whose friendship has drawn plenty of speculation from the other characters since book one. We get to know a what makes Alexis tick and who Logan is beyond being her English accountant. The chemistry works between the pair, but their HEA is a long time coming.

What you may struggle with: One word: Alexis. I have to be honest, I’m getting a bit tired and exasperated by heroines like Alexis. The ones who have had disappointments in love before (but nothing truly traumatic) yet are completely incapable of trusting a man again. For goodness sake – get a grip! Stuff happens. Alexis’s inner monologue was exhausting at times, plus she was truly clueless despite Logan being very clear about his intentions! Grrrrrr! Sometimes the need to create drama in order to furnish an entertaining story can be so irritating.

Rating: 3/5 – I was entertained and the scorch factor was hot, hot hot – but this wasn’t my favourite story in the series by a long shot.

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry

tahbBook: The Air He Breathes

Series: Elements #1

Author: Brittainy Cherry

Published: 25 September, 2015

Main characters: Elizabeth, (widow and our struggling to cope heroine) Tristan Cole, (hero and all-round wounded beast)

Plot: Elizabeth has been through the toughest year of her life. A widow at the age of 28, life has become a series of minutes to be endured. The only thing keeping her strong is her daughter Emma.

She decides to return to her marital home and confront life without her partner and slowly become part of society again. She doesn’t bargain for running into the town’s resident psycho, Tristan Cole. He’s surly, downright belligerent and seems hell-bent on repulsing everyone he encounters.

However, beneath the forbidding veneer, Elizabeth sees a soul in pain. How does she know? Because it matches her own. He has experienced loss too, but chose to cut himself off from the world. Determined to chip away at the facade, Elizabeth puts her energies into becoming his friend. Perhaps they can help each other to breathe again…

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness! There’s so much to this book, I don’t quite know where to start. I hesitate to use the word ‘broken’ as it’s so overused these days – but these two characters are truly broken. Seeing whether they’re able to put themselves back together is what made this such a riveting read. Tristan is a bull dog when we first meet him – but considering what he’s been through, it’s not in the least surprising. Elizabeth is more measured, more stable, but only because she lives for her daughter. I enjoyed the growing relationship between she and Tristan – it didn’t move too fast and it had its ups and downs. The character progression kept me hooked as the way they developed over the course of the book surprised and delighted me. They both had a lot going on and so there was no petty angst going on with these characters.

What you might not like: You will totally hate the smalltown baddies and their smalltown minds. They’re mischievous and completely judgemental and I wanted them to back off and mind their own business. The true peril lies elsewhere though – not saying anymore than that!

Rating: This was a nice surprise for me. I read Loving Mr Daniels earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I borrowed this book – but may have to buy it as I can see myself coming back to it again and again. 4/5 for a heartwrenching, breathtaking read. Super romantic and will hit you. Hard.


Blog tour review – Sugar Free by Sawyer Bennett

28587653Book: Sugar Free

Series: The Sugar Bowl #3

Author: Sawyer Bennett

Release date: 11th October 2016

Main characters: Sela Halstead, (the heroine) Beckett North (the hero) and Jonathon Townsend (the villain)

Plot: Overnight, Sela has changed the course of both her and Beck’s life over a very stupid decision. Now the couple have to deal with the fallout. Convinced that nobody will believe the course of events were a matter of survival, Beck is determined to protect Sela at all costs. Even if that means he’ll lose both his freedom and the love of his life.

Sela cannot believe that events have led her to this point. She slowly realises the implications of what has happened and cannot bear to let Beck take on the burden of her actions. Making him see things her way however, is not so easy. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for him and so decides to make the ultimate sacrifice…

Why you should read it: It’s tough writing a resume of a plot and trying desperately not to give away too much! I enjoyed this final installment more than I did book 2 Sugar Rush, as Sela finally stops being a damsel in distress. She still does some questionable things, but I felt like I finally understood her and her motivations. Beck is her stalwart. Love is everything to a guy who didn’t experience much of it growing up. His singlemindedness was admirable and he’s a great hero.

Why you might not like: Sela is young and naive and doesn’t always see the big picture until it’s too late. This at times, was very frustrating, but she more than makes up for her failings by trying to do the right thing at the end. It was an exciting ride and I couldn’t put the book down. I loved this couple’s dynamic.

Rating: 4/5 for an exciting, nail-biting end to the series – all’s well that ends well? Not telling – you’ll have to read it to find out!

About the author
Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.
A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.
Sawyer likes her Bloody Mary’s strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.

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Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz

Book: Her Halloween Treat

Series: Men at Work #1

Author: Tiffany Reisz

Release date: 20 September 2016

Main characters: Joey Silvia (recently-wronged and heartbroken heroine, Chris Steffensen, hero and old friend of Joey’s.)

Plot: Joey Silva has just found out that her boyfriend of two years is in fact married. On that bombshell she gets out of dodge to attend her brother’s wedding in Oregon. The change is a welcome one. She loves her life in Hawaii – (who wouldn’t?) but the chance to return to her family and evaluate where things went so wrong, could be just what she needs.

Her friend Kira’s parting advice is to get busy with the first eligible guy she sees. Forget that louse of an ex. In a small retirement town, Joey’s unconvinced but she didn’t count on seeing Chris again. Chris Steffensen was her brother’s best friend growing up. And my, has he grown up. The Nirvana-loving, weed-smoking guy from her youth is gone. In his place is a tall, fit and talented builder.

The pair grow closer, both knowing that their fun has a shelf life. In two weeks, Joey will return to her life in Hawaii. Chris understands that but never backs away from a challenge. He has two weeks to show Joey that everything she needs is right under her nose.

Why you should read it: Because it’s written by Tiffany Reisz, that’s why! You always get something a bit different, seriously entertaining and sexy as hell with her books. This book for Harlequin Blaze was no exception – Joey and Chris have some great chemistry and I loved them as a potential couple. Joey is sweet, fun and trying to do the right thing. She has a battle going on between her heart and her head. Chris is oh so hot. A man that could renovate a house from scratch is a catch! Do you know how hard it is to find a contractor who not only won’t rip you off, but would give you multiple orgasms too? (Really hard!)

What you might not like: Nada – it was a sweet, quick read, set in what must be a beautiful part of the world  – so vivid, I could picture it. I loved both the hero and heroine, which these days is pretty rare for me! Chris has alpha tendencies, but this in no way becomes his dominant character trait. It was smart, it was funny and I can’t wait to read more from the series.

Rating: 5/5 – grab a copy and a fan. You’ll need it!

Author spotlight: Where We Left Off by Roan Parrish


Book: Where We Left Off (Middle of Somewhere #3)

Author: Roan Parrish

Publication: Dreamspinner Press, September 26, 2016


Leo Ware may be young, but he knows what he wants. And what he wants is Will Highland. Snarky, sophisticated, fiercely opinionated Will Highland, who burst into Leo’s unremarkable life like a supernova… and then was gone just as quickly.

For the past miserable year, Leo hasn’t been able to stop thinking about the powerful connection he and Will shared. So, when Leo moves to New York for college, he sweeps back into Will’s life, hopeful that they can pick up where they left off. What begins as a unique friendship soon burns with chemistry they can’t deny… though Will certainly tries.

But Leo longs for more than friendship and hot sex. A romantic to his core, Leo wants passion, love, commitment—everything Will isn’t interested in giving. Will thinks romance is a cheesy fairytale and love is overrated. He likes his space and he’s happy with things just the way they are, thank you very much. Or is he? Because as he and Leo get more and more tangled up in each other’s lives, Will begins to act like maybe love is something he could feel after all.

About the author:

bw-author-picRoan Parrish is currently wandering between Philadelphia and New Orleans. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.


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Other books in the series

book1In the Middle of Somewhere (Middle of Somewhere #1)

DANIEL MULLIGAN is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in—not at home with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates look down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Northern Michigan, but, a city boy through and through, when Daniel arrives in Holiday, Michigan, it’s clear that this small town is one more place he just won’t fit in.

REX VALE clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his large, muscular body until it can handle anything, perfecting his recipes, and making custom furniture. Rex has lived in Holiday for years, but his shyness and imposing size have kept him from connecting with people. Though he loves the quiet and solitude of his little cabin in the woods, Rex can’t help but want someone to share it with.

When Daniel arrives in Holiday, they are smitten with each other, but though the sex is intense and explosive, Rex fears that Daniel will be one more in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in could be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls that have been keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia where a secret is revealed that changes the way he understands

amazon  |  dreamspinner  |  allromance  |  kobo  |  barnes & noble  |  googleplay


mosOut of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere #2)

The only thing in COLIN MULLIGAN’s life that makes sense is taking cars apart and putting them back together. In the auto shop where he works with his father and brothers, he tries to get through the day without having a panic attack or flying into a rage. Drinking helps. So do running and lifting weights until he can hardly stand. But none of it can change the fact that he’s gay, a secret he has kept from everyone.

RAFAEL GUERRERA has found ways to live with the past he’s ashamed of. He’s dedicated his life to social justice work and to helping youth who, like him, had very little growing up. He has no time for love. Hell, he barely has time for himself. Somehow, everything about miserable, self-destructive Colin cries out to him. But down that path lie the troubles Rafe has worked so hard to leave behind. And as their relationship intensifies, Rafe and Colin are forced to dredge up secrets that both men would prefer stay buried.

amazon  |  dreamspinner  |  allromance ebooks  |  kobo  |  barnes & noble  |  googleplay

Blog tour: Loving Amber by Roya Carmen

book cover of Roya Carmen's book Loving AmberBook: Loving Amber

Series: Riverstone Estate #1

Author: Roya Carmen

Release date: 26 September, 2016

Main characters: Amber Mcanulty (née Riverstone) recently widowed and struggling to keep everything together. Aiden Rogers, old family friend and the person Amber holds responsible for her family’s problems.

Plot: Following the death of their beloved father, siblings Amber, Ruby and Flynn have all pitched together to keep the Riverstone estate afloat. Amber runs the inn and has her hands full bringing up her son and dealing with the grief of losing her twin, her husband and her father in a relatively short space of time.

Amber’s grief is a tangible burden. Despite losing her husband and brother two years earlier, the concept of moving on just seems impossible some days. When Aiden Rogers walks back into her life – the man she blames for the deaths of her brother and husband – suppressed anger erupts and the pair must face up to their unresolved issues.

Aiden has loved Amber since childhood and the loss of her as well as his two best friends is unbearable. He tries to stay away, but the pull of her is too strong. How can he make her see that their attraction to one another needn’t be something to feel guilty about? Will she ever feel for him what he feels for her? Or is he doomed to a life of unrequited love?

Why you should read it: I love Roya Carmen’s books. You usually get a lot of drama, entertainment and red-hot romance. This book is no exception. We have a heroine who’s been through the mill, is afraid of everything as a result and needs to find some peace. Her dynamic with Aiden was an interesting one because they’ve known each other forever. They’re a huge part of each other’s lives and their story was engaging. Their shared history meant that they understand each other a lot – but that doesn’t make things plain sailing at all! Aiden is pretty much a saint: he’s patient, kind and ready to settle down.

What you may not like: Ok, I’ll be honest – this book includes a challenging heroine. Amber is suffering, has suffered a lot in the past, so I gave her a free pass on a lot of stuff, but at times she was a real cow! And rather self-involved. She could be a real pill, but Aiden is no pushover and he gives as good as he gets. Amber’s indecision and inner monologue was a little repetitive at times, but I figure it showed how much turmoil she was in.

Rating: 3.5/5 – it’s an engaging book, the start of an exciting series and it kept my interest. I look forward to book 2 which comes out in Jan 2017. (Ruby’s story.)

roya-carmenAbout the Author:

Busy mom, naughty writer, comic-addict, artist & designer, book-aholic, nature lover, and hopeless romantic.

When I’m not writing, I can usually be found hanging with my family, reading, camping and travelling, painting, yoga-ing (very ungracefully), shooting pool, or at my favourite bookstore café with my book friends.

A Northern French-Canadian gal, I now live just near Toronto where it’s much, much warmer!

For all the latest updates, sign-up for my newsletter at or friend me on Facebook or Twitter!

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Twitter: @royacarmen

Wattpad: @royastories



Love Hacked by Penny Reid

lovehackedBook: Love Hacked

Series: Knitting in the City #3

Author: Penny Reid

Release date: March 2014

Main characters: Sandra Fielding, heroine and psychiatrist who wants to take care of everyone; Alexander Greene, troubled hero, sexy and super-secretive.)


Laughter is the best therapy for all ailments except bronchitis.


Plot: Dr Sandra Fielding is good at her job. So good in fact, that her dates of late have ended up crying (literally) on her shoulder instead of clamouring to take her home. She loves her job as a psychiatrist but can’t seem to turn off the shrink switch when it comes to potential romance.

To make matters worse, the hot waiter Alex is witness to her poor track record in the dating department. Every Friday night she ends up dining alone over butter chicken. He can’t figure Sandra out. Does she get a thrill from reducing all these men to tears? What’s her angle?

Sandra is attracted to Alex. He’s so…intense. And weird. And very very sexy, and when you haven’t been kissed in over 2 years, you notice these things. Some things in Sandra’s life need shaking up, and maybe the enigmatic Alex could be just what the good doctor needs…

Why you should read it: God I love this series – like, really love it. The heroines are smart, weird and engaging. The heroes are surly, complex and hot at hell. I loved the dynamic between Sandra and Alex. He’s the ‘younger’ man and a tough nut to crack. Sandra is patient, self-sufficient and very funny. They come from very different backgrounds which makes their story so interesting. This was a slow burn too – you’ll have to wait for those sexy times, but the wait is worth it!

What you might not like: I don’t honestly know – I guess if you’re not a fan of Penny Reid’s style of writing or innate quirkiness, this may not be at the top of your tbr list, but it has humour, heat, familiar fun characters and knitting!

Rating: 4/5 for a truly enjoyable read. Think I’ve read every book in the series so far and loved every one.

Release day promo – The One Real Thing by Samantha Young


Happy release day to the super-talented Samantha Young! You may have read her On Dublin Street series or her paranormal romances. Whatever the genre, she always creates a vivid world of humour, romance and drama.

The One Real Thing is out today – I’m looking forward to delving into this seaside series and learning about its residents!

9781101991671About the book:

Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life.  Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations.  But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her.

Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for…


“You’re not walking back to the inn alone at night, Doc. We’ve been over that.” He grinned as she flushed at the reminder of their make-out session on the beach.

She huffed. “I’m perfectly capable of doing so.”

“Not arguing about it.”

“What happened to the enlightened gentleman who let me pay for dinner the other day?”

“Splitting the cost of a date is different from seeing to your safety.”

“Date?” Bailey’s ears perked up.

“Fine, you can walk me home,” Jessica said abruptly, cutting off Bailey’s curiosity. “’Bye, all!” She hurried out of the house.

Cooper was met by four amused stares. He smiled back at them and Bailey looked ready to burst with delight. She thought they were a tag team.

They weren’t.

Cooper still wanted the doc to make up her own mind.

Didn’t mean teasing her wasn’t fun as hell.

He hurried to catch up with her outside. “Hold your horses, Doc.”

She turned to wait for him. The sadness he caught on her face kicked the amusement right out of him.

They walked together toward the inn in silence until Cooper couldn’t take it anymore. It needed to be talked about. “You happy back in Wilmington, Doc?”

He felt her tense beside him. She suddenly threw her hands up in seeming frustration. “I don’t know, okay? I don’t know. But I do know that my life is back in Wilmington, Cooper. My job is there. And I’m good at my job. Those women need someone like me. I made a commitment to my job that I can’t just break.”

“And what about you?” he argued. “What about what you need?”

Her only answer was this pained expression he didn’t quite understand.

It was full of so much hurt he decided to drop it.

Silence fell between them, but the usual camaraderie he enjoyed so much between them was gone. As the moments passed, he was aware of everything about her. The heat of her body close to his, the quick rise and fall of her chest that told him she was just as affected by his closeness, the little tremble in her full bottom lip he didn’t think she was even aware of.

The previous night, he’d dreamed about her.

She was in his bar like the day they’d met. No one else around but them.

He’d fucked her on top of one of the tables.

Fast. Furious.

So hot.

Cooper had woken up only to jump into the shower. He’d closed his eyes and remembered the dream as he took care of himself.

It was empty, so fucking empty, in comparison to what reality could be.

His dick tightened in his jeans thinking about it, his gaze shooting to Jessica’s mouth. It was time to remind her what was possible between them.

Cooper grabbed her wrist and pushed her up against the side of Dahlia’s gift shop. The alley between it and George’s place was dark and silent except for their heavy breathing. He pinned her in, his hands braced on the wall at either side of her head.

Jessica stared up at him with those big, dark eyes. “Coop—”

He cut off her coming question with his mouth just like last time.

She tasted of the mint ice cream they’d had for dessert and something else. Something all Jess.

She whimpered against his kiss a second before he felt her tongue touch his and that was it.

He was lost.

His kiss turned hungry as a feeling of desperation came over him and he pressed his body down the length of hers. The lush feel of her mouth mingled with the weight of her breasts pressed to him was enough on its own to fire him up, but when she wrapped her arms around his neck and tightened her fingers in his hair to draw him closer, he was done for.

He gripped her ass in his hand, urging her closer, his dick straining against her belly. His hand slid down to the back of her thigh and he hiked one of her legs up against his hip so he could be where he needed to be, fitting snugly between her thighs.

Fuck, he wished she were wearing a skirt.

“Cooper.” She breathed out his name, breaking the kiss. Her head fell back and her eyes fluttered with the sensation of him rubbing against her, mimicking sex. Her cheeks were flushed as she moaned and dug her hands into his shoulders to hold on. She flexed her hips against his and he felt his nerve endings catch fire.

He needed to be inside her.

The soft skin of her throat called to him and, as she gyrated against him, he tasted her, pressing kisses down her neck and across her collarbones. He moved his other hand down her back as his mouth reached the rise of her breasts. He brushed his thumb over the thin shirt and bra that hid them from him and groaned as her nipple visibly pebbled through the material.

If they didn’t stop soon he was going to take her right there.

“Fuck.” He pulled away from her abruptly and she stumbled back against the wall, looking as dazed as he felt.

All he’d wanted was a taste of her.

Now he knew for certain that just a taste would never be enough with this woman. “Tell me,” he said, a little breathless, “tell me you’ve got this back in Wilmington, Doc.”

He watched the muscle in her jaw twitch as she clenched her teeth.

She couldn’t tell him.

He knew that. Because what they had between them didn’t come around very often.

“Doc?” he persisted, and he learned in that moment that Jessica Huntington was not only smart and sassy but stubborn as hell.

“I can’t do this”—she gestured between them—“not with you.”

And she walked away.

Gutting him.

He was just asking her to think about making room in her life for him. The fact that she wouldn’t even contemplate it for a second, when his blood was on fire with need for her and his mind was on her most hours of the day, was like a gaping wound.

Strangely, the pain fired his determination. Jessica Huntington was lying to herself. Cooper didn’t know why, but he was going to find out.

By then the doc would be in his bed.

Right where they both knew she belonged.

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Buy links:

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About the author

Samantha Young is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series, including Moonlight on Nightingale WayEchoes of Scotland Street, and Fall from India Place, as well as the standalone novel Hero. She resides in Scotland.

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Cover reveal: The Cad and the Co-ed by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

Super excited to share the cover of L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid’s new book. (Although you’ll have to wait a while to read it – it’s not out until Feb 2017!)

This is a great series – with one foot in Ireland, the other in the US, the heroes are hot and hard to handle and the heroines are smart, sassy and more than capable of whipping these guys into shape.


Keeping a secret this big is going to take lots of balls. Specifically, rugby balls.

Bryan Leech is a cad.
Or, he *was* a cad.
No one is quite certain.

Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.

The only problem is, no one believes him.

Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.

The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.

Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.

But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

About the Authors

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.


Penny Reid
SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.


Ever So Madly by J.R. Gray

esmBook: Ever So Madly

Author: J.R. Gray

Genre: Science fiction romance

Release date: 30 August, 2016

Main characters: Jocelynn (heroine and member of the elite) Madden (hero from a much lower order and the planet Harden)

BlurbLove is for peasants; nobles marry for power. These are the rules Jocelynn has lived by. She is expected to be the poised and perfect vision of relentless power. Set to inherit the House of Akillie, she was bred to rule, and no man has ever turned her head—until now.

Madden achieved the impossible, the first in over a century to escape the life of hard labor and earn a place among the elite. With the chance for a fresh start, he has to stay focused, not damn himself by falling for the one girl forbidden to him.

Madden was Jocelynn’s experiment in freedom, and she didn’t mean to fall. But now she can’t live without him. He’s worth running from everything she’s ever known.

With no other options, Jocelynn turns to a formidable group of rebels to escape her fate. But with a war to be won, the rebels have their own agenda. Drowning in a game of power and politics, Madden and Jocelynn can’t trust anyone if they want to make it out alive…

Why you should read it: This is quite a departure from J.R. Gray’s earlier work. It’s quite a big leap into not only another genre, but setting the action on another planet is a completely different offering to what is currently out there. The characters of Madden and Jocelynn can be summed up as star-crossed lovers. They’re never meant to be together – it goes against the established order of their society and the rules governing the neighbouring planets. Despite the weight of the impossible situation, the pair are drawn to each other and cannot bear the thought of life without the other. Their love for each other was fervent and palpable and came across loud and clear in the narrative.

“I love you. Across a million miles, and thousands of worlds, I will never feel like this again.”

“And I love you, like I have never loved anyone before. I can’t lose you.” Hearing her say those words filled me with hope. It was nourishment for my soul. It gave me hope, and hope was all we had.

What I struggled with: I’m really not a fan of sci-fi to be honest. I prefer stories set in this realm, so for me, it took a while to get into the mindset of this dystopian universe and to just go with it. That said, I can’t fault the story or the narrative – the planets were well described. I could smell and almost taste the grit and dust of Madden’s home planet. My main problem was the back and forth between Madden and Jocelynn at times. Their love for each other switched to mutual distrust and then back again. It was very angsty and I wanted to shout at them to get their heads out of their posteriors at times!

Rating: 3/5 for a brave new world painted by a talented writer. Unfortunately, outer space doesn’t really captivate me so I couldn’t throw myself wholeheartedly into the story.