Category: enemies to lovers

Review: Kiss of Vengeance by S. Young

 

img_1040Book: Kiss of Vengeance

Series: A True Immortality novel #2

Author: S. Young

Release date: 3 March 2020

Main characters: Rose Kelly, currently exploring Europe, never staying too long in one place. Searching for something. Fionn Mór, enigmatic, seeking vengeance that won’t be denied. No matter the cost.

BLURB:

Fionn Mór was once a high king of Ireland; a fierce warrior who led his tribes against the invading fae. It was a war he couldn’t win and to save his family he turned consort for the Fae Queen. Fionn escaped as the thing he once despised, and the people he loved betrayed him for it. Now, centuries later, it’s time to reopen the gates to Faerie to take his revenge against the Faerie Queen.

At sixteen Rose Kelly discovered family secrets that changed her forever. Years after, she’s still lost, traveling across Europe in search of that elusive missing ‘something’. When she’s attacked by a vampire, not only is she wrenched into a supernatural underworld she never knew existed, a knock on the head releases a spell on her mind and unlocks powers beyond her wildest imaginings. And with them more questions. Questions Fionn Mór claims to have answers to.

Following the powerful and enigmatic Fionn to Ireland, Rose quickly realizes she’s a pawn in his plan for vengeance. What begins as a passionate battle of wills leads to an inexplicable but undeniable connection. One that will force them to face an impossible choice between the deepest love… and the darkest revenge.

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness! How I love this series! I didn’t think S. Young would be able to top War of Hearts but that goes to show how little I know! Kiss of Vengeance, from the get go, is a rollercoaster ride and it doesn’t let up until the epilogue! It was action-packed, sexy, had great dialogue and kept me guessing. The chemistry between Rose and Fionn built steadily and happily there was no insta-love! (Not that there ever is with this author!) The story is rich and full of folklore and the obstacles keep coming for Rose, making the pace frenetic. I couldn’t put the book down.

What you might not like: No idea! I loved it! But, I did need to bookmark the glossary as the Gaelic pronunciations of names would not stick in my head! I think I’ve finally got them memorised now (I so don’t)!

Rating: 5/5 for a truly exciting, fully formed, masterful piece of writing. It was an epic read and one I’ll be sure to return to again and again.

BOOK REVIEW: So Close by Serena Bell

Book: So Close

Series: Tierney Bay #1

Author: Serena Bell

Release date: 23rd January 2020

Main characters: Auburn Campbell, guest house owner if she can raise the funds to buy her beloved Beachcrest; Trey Xavier, would-be billionaire, if not for an unwise investment. He has plans for Beachcrest, and they don’t include Auburn…

Blurb:

In his world, money is the one thing you can count on. In hers, it ruins everything. They have one week to find out who’s right—or both lose what matters most.

After being derailed for too many years, Auburn Campbell is back on track. She’s living in the town she loves and running the inn that is her destiny. But it all falls apart when a bossy billionaire shows up with plans to tear down her beloved Beachcrest and build soulless beachfront condos. No way she’s going to be a sucker again for a strong-willed man in an expensive suit, no matter how good he makes it look.

For as long as Trey Xavier can remember, money is the one thing he can count on—especially since the end of his marriage. And the future he’s fought to build for himself and his family is on the line. He just has to figure out what to do about Auburn Campbell, his grandfather’s protege, who is determined to throw every possible obstacle in his way. It would be easier to win the battle if he weren’t constantly distracted by her quick wit, her non-stop curves, and his body’s reaction to being in the same room with her.

Summer in Tierney Bay is irresistible, and town and innkeeper slowly seduce Trey. When the sparks between them flare hotter and brighter than any Fourth of July fireworks, can he surrender more than just money?

Why you should read it: How I loved this book! The feel of it – it was a small, beach resort, whose pace of life is that much slower than the big city. A place where people can find peace and gain a little perspective on life. Who wouldn’t want that?! Auburn was a great heroine. She’s made a few mistakes in life but she’s determined to get back on an even keel with the help of her siblings and the business she loves so much.

Trey was also a revelation. He’s adorable! Once you see what makes him tick, and the baggage he’s carrying around, you can’t help but love him. He’s a total softie at heart and he’s a decent person in a tough situation. This book is a total slow burn – my god these two steamed up my Kindle. Their chemistry was incandescent. The sexy times do NOT disappoint! Maybe don’t read those parts in public if you don’t have a poker face!

What you may not like: Can’t think of anything wrong with this one – this was a really strong opening book to what should be a very exciting series! Next up is Auburn’s sister Chiara’s story in So True. I don’t know much about it but it sounds right up my street!

Rating: easy peasy – 5/5 for a romance that had it all. Fireworks, sexy hikes and descriptions of lots of delicious food! All of the senses will be satisfied…

Buy links:

https://serenabell.com/r/SoClose-Amazon

https://serenabell.com/r/SoClose-Apple

https://serenabell.com/r/SoClose-Kobo coupon code –> 40SOCLOSE

https://serenabell.com/r/SoClose-Nook coupon code –> BNPSOCLOSE40

https://serenabell.com/r/SoClose-Google

Review: Headliners by Lucy Parker

Book: Headliners

Series: London Celebrities #5

Author: Lucy Parker

Release date: 20th January 2020

Main characters: Sabrina Carlton, presenter and sister of stage actor Freddie Carlton; Nick Davenport, her competition, a very popular presenter and javelin-sized thorn in her side.

Blurb:

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves–quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

Why you should read it: I truly ADORE this series! The whole enemies-to-lovers trope often has varying degrees of success in books, but this series is solid and consistently entertaining! It’s so smart and the dialogue and narrative arc kept me reading avidly.

Sabrina and Nick have been circling each other for years and their professional rivalry has kept them in each other’s orbit. Now they have to work together, things are about to get interesting! The chemistry between Sabrina and Nick is very much the slow burn. Once they start thawing out, you really see them develop as people. I loved them together. They really brought out the best in each other, as well as maintaining the verbal sparring that kept it from getting too sweet and overly-romantic.

What you may not like: Not a darn thing! It was pitch perfect. Punctuated by the magic of the season, with a side of professional intrigue, and some much loved characters from earlier in the series – what more could you ask for?

Rating: easy peasy – 5/5 stars for a smart, sexy and real romance. If by any chance you’re new to this series, I urge you to give it as chance! You won’t regret it.

COVER REVEAL: Kiss of Vengeance by S. Young

Kiss of Vengeance (A True Immortality Novel) by S. Young

Release date: 3rd March 2020

Photo: Wander Aguiar

Cover Design: By Hang Le

A standalone paranormal romance from New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young, writing as S. Young.

Fionn Mór was once a high king of Ireland; a fierce warrior who led his tribes against the invading fae. It was a war he couldn’t win and to save his family he turned consort for the Fae Queen. Fionn escaped as the thing he once despised, and the people he loved betrayed him for it. Now, centuries later, it’s time to reopen the gates to Faerie to take his revenge against the Faerie Queen.

At sixteen Rose Kelly discovered family secrets that changed her forever. Years after, she’s still lost, traveling across Europe in search of that elusive missing ‘something’. When she’s attacked by a vampire, not only is she wrenched into a supernatural underworld she never knew existed, a knock on the head releases a spell on her mind and unlocks powers beyond her wildest imaginings. And with them more questions. Questions Fionn Mór claims to have answers to.

Following the powerful and enigmatic Fionn to Ireland, Rose quickly realizes she’s a pawn in his plan for vengeance. What begins as a passionate battle of wills leads to an inexplicable but undeniable connection. One that will force them to face an impossible choice between the deepest love… and the darkest revenge.

Preorder Now:

Add it Goodreads – http://bit.ly/2pjjKF2

Apple Books – https://apple.co/2MFzUAC

Kindle US – https://amzn.to/2M8JjSq

Kindle Worldwide – mybook.to/KissOfVengeance

Nook – http://bit.ly/35v8I04

Kobo US – http://bit.ly/2B6AMsP

BLOG TOUR: Two Together by Lisa Renee Jones

Book: Two Together

Series: Naked trilogy #3

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release date: 19 November 2019

Main characters: Emma Knight, Jax North – their families are sworn enemies but can these two end the enmity once and for all?

Blurb: He came into my life. He took me off guard, consumed me. Claimed me. But there is more to Jax North than meets the eye. There is more to this man than the way he makes me tremble, sigh, and even smile when I didn’t believe I still could smile. And as it turns out the two of us together are far more than fire and passion. The two of us together threaten to expose a secret about Jax, and our families, that not even we know. A secret that someone doesn’t want exposed. A secret that someone will do anything to hide.

Why you should read it: Do you like secrets? Lies? Family lies and secrets? Then you owe it to yourself to finish this series. You really need to have read One Man and One Woman before attempting Two Together (in case you somehow didn’t know this is a trilogy). Action picks up from the end of book 2 and from there on, there’s sexy times aplenty. There’s peril and intrigue, self-discovery and lots character growth. The was a ton of angst for Emma and Jax – namely because there’s danger and it’s not immediately clear where the danger is coming from. However, Jax and Emma are such a good team that they don’t spend a lot of time agonising about whether they should be together or not. I was thankful for this, as this kind of vacillating from characters can really slow down a plot and become repetitive.

What you may not like: For the most part I enjoyed the conclusion to this series. It was poignant, it was sexy and there was a good build up of intrigue. There were lots of surprises along the way, so I was kept guessing whodunnit. My only question would be Jill’s behaviour throughout the series and why it turned around seemingly overnight. It felt a little unresolved to me.

Rating: 3.5/5 for an intriguing, exciting and hot series. Being rich doesn’t equal happy, that’s for sure!

BUY LINKS:

Apple → https://apple.co/2Xg5ZCY

Amazon Universal → http://mybook.to/TwoTogether

Nook → http://bit.ly/2I43qPv

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2K6pdZe

BLOG TOUR: Violent Triumphs by Jessica Hawkins

Book: Violent Triumphs

Series: White Monarch #3

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Release date: 12 November 2019

Main characters: Natalia de la Rosa, beloved daughter of cartel kingpin Costa Cruz and Cristiano’s conflicted wife, Cristiano de la Rosa, her husband and leader of the Calavera cartel.

Blurb:

I’ve become a queen to the forsaken, a leader to thieves, and the wife of a man who instills fear in all who cross his path. He was the husband I didn’t want. Now, I can’t fathom life without my king.

I should’ve been ready for anything. Like the caterpillar that feeds on poison during metamorphosis, I was raised in the dangerous world of cartel crime. But nothing could’ve prepared me for Cristiano de la Rosa, his brother’s poison, or the Calavera cartel.

This is still a story about a love strong enough to topple households, unite enemies, and divide brothers. Resilient enough to bring down those who would try to destroy it . . . and selfless enough to make the ultimate sacrifice.

But I was warned, and so were you. Death’s day always comes. This time, it will find what was once a caterpillar is now a butterfly—and hell hath no fury like the White Monarch.

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness! This book! Jessica H made us wait until it was just right and I can see now just how worth the wait was! This book picks up where Violent Ends left off, which is just as well as I was truly going off my head at the ending of book 2! The plot, pace and action in Violent Triumphs was high octane all the way. There were lots and lots of scenes to enjoy featuring Natalia and Cristiano – seeing them treat each other with care and seeing them sort through their feelings for each other was delicious. I loved every minute. Natalia has no choice but to grow up in this book – she becomes strong and calculating and every bit the queen of the underworld. The chemistry between Natalia and Cristiano – ooh lawd! Off the charts and then some. Seeing them give in to their attraction completely – finally – was so satisfying. I wanted to shout AT LAST! Technically, I really enjoyed the mix of Spanish and English in the text – it felt natural and also correct. No Google translate here. The book was also full of beautiful dialogue, both poetic and romantic and I could not get enough.

What you may not like: I really don’t know what you’d dislike in this story if you’ve been following and enjoying the series. It closed the plot lines and provided a delightful conclusion to a very exciting series.

Rating: 5/5 for a seriously sexy, smart and satisfying story about cartels, honour and love. I totally inhaled it and can’t recommend it more.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Jessica Hawkins is a USA Today bestselling author known for her “emotionally gripping” and “off-the-charts hot” romance. Dubbed “queen of angst” by both peers and readers for her smart and provocative work, she’s garnered a cult-like following of fans who love to be torn apart…and put back together.

She writes romance both at home in New York City and around the world, a coffee shop traveler who bounces from café to café with just a laptop, headphones, and a coffee cup. She loves to keep in close touch with her readers, mostly via Facebook, Instagram, and her mailing list.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Mailing List: http://www.jessicahawkins.net/mailing-list.html
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nJHDjg
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicahawkinsauthor
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jessicahawkins
Website: http://www.jessicahawkins.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jess_hawk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessica_hawkins

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/2oUBhUr

UK: https://amzn.to/32oxxrZ

CA: https://amzn.to/36OM6si

AU: https://amzn.to/2WMfw5G

Apple Books: https://apple.co/33pxg9k

B&N: http://bit.ly/2WND0r0

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2WND5Lk

Google Play: http://bit.ly/34tFcGS

RELEASE BLITZ: Violent Triumphs by Jessica Hawkins

Happy release day to one of our favourite authors Jessica Hawkins! The wait is finally over!

Title: Violent Triumphs

Series: White Monarch #3

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 12, 2019

 

BLURB:
I’ve become a queen to the forsaken, a leader to thieves, and the wife of a man who instills fear in all who cross his path. He was the husband I didn’t want. Now, I can’t fathom life without my king.

I should’ve been ready for anything. Like the caterpillar that feeds on poison during metamorphosis, I was raised in the dangerous world of cartel crime. But nothing could’ve prepared me for Cristiano de la Rosa, his brother’s poison, or the Calavera cartel.

This is still a story about a love strong enough to topple households, unite enemies, and divide brothers. Resilient enough to bring down those who would try to destroy it . . . and selfless enough to make the ultimate sacrifice.

But I was warned, and so were you. Death’s day always comes. This time, it will find what was once a caterpillar is now a butterfly—and hell hath no fury like the White Monarch.

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/2oUBhUr
UK: https://amzn.to/32oxxrZ
CA: https://amzn.to/36OM6si
AU: https://amzn.to/2WMfw5G
Apple Books: https://apple.co/33pxg9k
B&N: http://bit.ly/2WND0r0
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2WND5Lk
Google Play: http://bit.ly/34tFcGS

EXCLUSIVE PROMO: Hard Chrome by Vanessa North

Hi!

We’re really lucky to have an exclusive from Vanessa North’s new release Hard Chrome. It’s out now (ebook) – the print version will be out on 29 October. If you love small town romance – you’ll want to check this one out!

He’s tough. But she’s tougher.

Tanner Ellis left American Heavy Metal in her rearview mirror. She didn’t see the beauty behind the grease stains and the polished chrome until it was too late. Now she’s back, determined to save her father’s legacy —and bring the South’s premier classic-car shop into the new century. Nothing is going to stop her—especially not the sexy tech who refuses to follow her lead.

American Heavy Metal is the only home Duke Wilson’s ever known, and no high-heeled, sharp-tongued princess is going to take it away. He tolerates Tanner’s advice, and it’s fun to push her buttons, but she doesn’t belong in the shop—never has, never will. The sooner she realizes that, the sooner he can find his new normal.

When Tanner falters, revealing the pain beneath her bravado, Duke comforts her the only way he knows how. And when violence from his past threatens their future, she’ll be there for him, offering him the one thing he’s always wanted—a shot at a real family. He just has to convince himself to take it.


About Vanessa North: 

Vanessa North is a romance novelist, a short fiction geek, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things. Her works have been shortlisted for both the Lambda Literary Award and the RITA© Award, and have garnered praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Northwest Georgia with her family: a Viking, twin boy-children, and two large dogs.

 

Exclusive excerpt

Note from the author: It’s hard to pick a favorite scene from something I wrote — I like and need them all in the book for different reasons, but this one is definitely one of my favorites, because it’s early in the book, and it’s one of the first scenes where Tanner acknowledges to herself her attraction to Duke. –VN

“Well, hey there, princess.” The gruff voice, drawled out in amusement, stiffens my spine.
“Duke.”
“Is this seat taken?” He parks himself on Mac’s barstool.
“Yes,” I hiss. “Get lost.”
“Oooh, are you on a date?” He peers around the room, and then his shoulders drop. “Nah, nobody in this place is fancy enough for Tanner fuckin’ Ellis.” He juts his chin out and smirks at me, and while it should make me want to smack him, I can’t help but notice how his scruffy jaw is thrown into prominence, and the effect is rough and virile in a way that sends heat racing down my spine.
“Except that guy,” he continues, standing up again to stage whisper, “But he’s gay. Hey, Alfie. I was just keeping your seat warm.”
“Join us.” Mac drops on the barstool and slides a basket of food across the table to me. Before I can protest the impromptu invitation, Duke pulls another barstool over and sits next to me. Despite his rough appearance, he smells more like soap than motor oil, and as his arm brushes mine, his smirk turns into a genuine smile.
Of course that smile is for Mac, not me. “Any luck with the kid?” Duke jerks his head toward the bar.
Mac shrugs. “We’re keeping it casual. He’s sweet but still hung up on his ex.”
Brendan returns with the flight of beer and an extra glass, which he places in front of Duke. “Golden Monkey for the biggest tool in the shed.”
Duke laughs. “Thanks.”
“And for the lady…” Brendan places the flight in front of me. “Left to right is fifteen to eighteen. The tap ran out on seventeen, so I’m not going to charge you for that one, but if you like it, number ten is fairly similar. I’ll be back to check on y’all in a few.”
“Cheers.” Duke holds up his glass, and I pick up the beer at the far right of the flight and clink it against his.
“Cheers.” I tip back my glass and take the first sip. A funk of sour explodes over my tongue and I almost choke on it, but manage to swallow. “What the fuck is that?”
Duke and Mac laugh, and Mac plucks the glass from my hand. “I’ll be drinking this one, I guess.”
“I don’t like sour beers either.” Duke glances sideways at me, a soft smile tilting his lips up, so different from his usual cocky smirk. “I think I had the same reaction the first time I tasted one.”
And I can’t help myself. I smile back at him. “That shit was nasty.”
“Amen.” He takes another swig of his beer. “You’ll probably like that one, though.” He points at the darkest beer in the flight. “It tastes like coconut and chocolate. A Mounds bar in a glass.”
I sniff it warily, and it does smell chocolate-y. I take a sip, more cautious this time. Sweetness rolls over my tongue. “Oh my god.”
He bites his lip, eyes sparkling. “Those words look awful nice coming out of that pretty mouth.”
Heat flashes over me — am I turned on? Insulted? Both? And how fucked up is that?
“Leave her alone, asshole.” Mac slaps his arm. “She’s your boss.”
Duke rolls his eyes. “Yeah. Of course she is.”
“That’s right. I am.” I straighten in my seat, trying to will away the flush on my cheeks.
I half expect him to rise to my challenge. I put it out there, eager as sin. I could feel it melting down my spine, singing through my blood. Pick up that motherfucking gauntlet, Duke.
But he grins instead and takes a deep swallow of his beer.
I watch his Adam’s apple bob in his throat, stubble halfway down his neck. What would it feel like under my fingers? The flush in my cheeks deepens.
His gaze meets mine, like he can see straight into those squirmy, hungry, angry parts of me I don’t like to admit exist. His grin falls, and it bottoms out in my bones. He does see.
Before I can say anything to turn it into a joke, or to cover that hunger with some kind of power game, he turns his attention to Mac.
“How’d you two meet?” He gestures at me like a painting on the wall.
Mac reaches across the table and places the sour beer glass back in the holder. “First day of kindergarten. I was scared out of my mind. Remember, T?”
I smile at him, forced into my part. How often had we told this story? “He was wearing a purple cape, and he was the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen. I knew he was going to be my best friend, so I told him so.”
“Bossy, bossy.” Mac grins at me. “It turns out, though, she needed a superhero in a purple cape because she was just as scared as I was.”
“Your dad let you wear a purple cape to school?” Duke stares back and forth between the two of us until Mac’s grin falls away and he gives a half shrug.
“Yeah, well. My dad was never big on telling me no. Neither is Mom.”
“Mac’s parents had him late in life,” I explain. “He was their miracle—I think they were afraid if they told him no, he’d vanish into thin air. Lucky for them, he doesn’t have the temperament to spoil. He wants everyone to be happy.”
Mac blushes. “She’s mostly exaggerating.”
Grinning at Mac, Duke picks up one of my neglected beers and drinks it down. “Sounds about right, though.” He reaches out and claps Mac on the shoulder. “I got the beers. Y’all heading to the show?”
“Show?” I look at Mac.
“There’s a free concert in the bowl.”
The bowl. It has an official name now—something or other bank amphitheater—but the little angled-lawn park across the street was still the bowl. And God only knows what kind of Brooks and Dunn tribute or Kiss cover group they’re hosting tonight.
“Do we have to?”
“C’mon, princess, save me a dance.” Duke leans over and rubs his stubble along my chin, a weird, intimate gesture—like he knew I’d been itching to feel it—but friendly, because a hug would send me running. And somehow, the beers gone straight to my head, I nod.
And that’s how I find myself howling along to, of all things, a Bon Jovi cover band, the feel of his stubble still tingling along my jaw, the last of the coconut and chocolate beer dancing on my tongue. Duke and Mac stand behind me, bouncing shoulder to shoulder in that camaraderie that still doesn’t make sense to me, until the music changes and Duke spins me into his arms.
I settle against him, hip to hip, as the strains of “I’ll Be There For You” swell through the bowl.
“You remember this song? My ma used to sing it a lot.” His left hand clasps my right and pulls it in close to our chests.
“Hardly. Maybe I was conceived to it.”
He throws his head back and laughs, and it might be the first unguarded laugh I’ve ever seen out of him, because it pulls a grin from me too. I relax into the dance, his body moving mine effortlessly in a small circle on the angled lawn, like he was taking care to shift our weight so I never stumbled into the downhill.
“I don’t get you,” I say into his chest.
“I don’t get you either,” he rumbles, his words too soft and close to carry out into crowd to Mac.

Review: Half Truths by Claire Contreras

Half Truths AMAZONBook: Half Truths

Author: Claire Contreras

Series: a standalone (so far)

Release date: 21 October 2019

Main characters: Amelia Bastón, Ellis university student desperate to find her way in life outside of her family’s influence; Logan Fitzgerald, star hockey player, and thorn in Amelia’s side from day one.

Blurb:

You’ve heard of these groups – the secretive ones that only the crème de la crème are invited into, the ones outsiders speculate about for centuries – I’m the second in my family invited to attend, but to them, I’m fresh meat. New blood. New money, too.

They think they’ll elbow past me, that I’m here for their amusement, for them to walk all over, they’ll find out soon enough that I’m not.
I may look like one of them, with my designer bags and clothes straight from the Parisian runways, but I’m not. I’m here for answers, to take revenge for blood spilled on their centuries-old Persian rugs.

I transferred here in search for answers about what happened to my older brother, who hightailed out of here, and my friend who seemingly disappeared into thin air. I certainly wasn’t here for the attention of the star hockey player, regardless of how much he willed my eyes his way. I wasn’t here for his scrutiny or his judgement or to read into his mysterious aura. I was here for the society, because only they held the answers I needed. That was, until I found out that in order to get those answers, I needed to go through him. He’s saying if I want in, I have to play by their rules, follow their lead.

It’s a game I’m willing to play.
I may be the second person I know of to be invited into their society, but I’ll be the first to make it out intact.

Why you should read it: Claire Contreras has a wonderful narrative style. Her books have the right blend of angst, sexual chemistry and an intricate side plot running through it. Contreras has embarked on a different subgenre and this book has been billed as romantic suspense – a sub-genre I love when done well.

The book’s setting is intriguing. A college whose students sit in the lap of luxury and where the country’s most powerful offspring belong to secret societies, doing who knows what. All the ingredients for a suspenseful tale are there. There are enigmatic characters who try to befriend Amelia, but their purpose isn’t always clear. Another key ingredient. Then there’s Logan, the love interest. He’s a big man on campus with a bright future in front of him. He seems to delight in antagonising her, but at the same time, can’t seem to leave her alone. The key elements are all there, and there were some truly exciting moments in the book – in particular, towards the end of the book.

What you may not like: I have to be honest, it took me a long while to get into this story. Why? Perhaps because so much of the book was setting the scene, I wanted action quicker than it actually occurred. Then there was Amelia. She’s young – I get that, but a lot of the time she came across as whiny and she really knew how to labour a point. Much of her inner monologue was repetitive and at times, I wanted to shake her. I’m used to punchy dialogue from Contreras’s heroines but Amelia really didn’t have a lot to say for herself that added value or gravitas to a given situation. Her dialogue with Logan was supposed to be flirtatious and at times combative, but again, it just didn’t land for me.

Logan as a character wasn’t entirely convincing either, until the latter portion of the book. So much of the book featured them circling each other, giving very little away, that by the time the exciting ending came, it was over in a few pages. I found this really disappointing as just as we were getting a handle on the characters and how they interacted with each other, it was over.

Rating3/5 for a solid and promising effort in a new genre, but some pacing issues hampered the book’s progress for me.

 

Buy links:

Amazonhttps://smarturl.it/HalfTruthsAmazon

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Blog tour: War of Hearts by S. Young

Book: War of Hearts

Series: a wolfy standalone

Author: S. Young

Release date: 1 October 2019

Main characters: Thea Quinn, extraordinarily powerful woman on the run from those who would harm her; Conall MacLennan, alpha leader of Clan MacLennan and supe sent to deliver her to his mysterious client, Jasper Ashforth.

Plot: Thea Quinn has been running for the last six years. She’s never able to remain in one place long enough, never able to put down roots. She’s forgotten how to live, all she knows is survival. She has managed to remain one step ahead of her pursuer all that time, but when Jasper Ashforth steps up his efforts to get her back and enlists the help of Conall MacLennan, the gap between hunter and his prey narrows dramatically.

Conall is no ordinary wolf. Already an alpha, leader of his clan, he also possesses tracking abilities that are second to none. He has his reasons for pursuing and delivering Thea to Ashforth, and nothing will stand in his way. The pair have a mutual distrust for one another from the outset, but a series of incidents force the pair to cooperate with each other if they wish to make it to their destination alive. There are twists and turns along the way and Conall is forced to reevaluate everything he thought he knew…

Why you should read it: My goodness this book was an epic ride! There were so many twists and turns – it was dense and packed full of adventure, intrigue and sexual tension. Conall was a pretty straightforward character who thinks he has the measure of life and people in general. Nothing could prepare him for meeting Thea – there’s no-one like her and she keeps on surprising him throughout the book. Their slow acceptance of each other and the growing dilemma facing Conall (as he realises the implications of the bargain he struck) really kept me reading. I was on the edge of my seat at times, as the action didn’t let up or drag at all. The pace of the book was pitched right, and I felt the intensity of Thea and Conall’s acquaintance. Their chemistry built steadily and I really enjoyed how their relationship developed. The book was romantic too – very sweet and poignant in places, and it didn’t become too saccharine either.

What you may not like: There was a lot of mythology in the book and a magical narrative that did require quite a lot of concentration to stick with. At times, I wanted to get back to the main action – but that’s down to my own impatience, not the subject matter being uninteresting.

Rating: 5/5 for a magical and intricate world that I became fully immersed in. I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters and how they interacted with each other. Can’t recommend enough to those who love paranormal – I forgot how brilliantly S Young can create an otherworldly universe without it becoming too outlandish.