Monthly Archives: March 2014

FRAGILE TRUTHS (A Shadows of Sin Novel #1) by D H SIDEBOTTOM & R M JAMES

shadows of sin

SYNOPSIS

To live is to suffer; to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. Friedrich Nietzsche.

Frankie…

The bitterness is consuming. It’s intensity slashes and claws at my insides, it’s hatred wrenching my soul as it curls and nurtures my need for revenge.

HIS torture only feeds my vice. I won’t let HIM break me, only strengthen me. The pain HE gives is welcomed, it’s rawness fuelling the loathing inside with each of HIS thrashes and tears on my pale skin, with every harsh truth HE breathes in my ear and with each of HIS crippling holds.

I have waited too long for this and I’ll never let the bastard win.
He will have to end me before I give in.
But now HE has a weapon against me. Something I swore throughout my life I would never let in;
Love.
Tate.

Tate…

Her strength astounds me. HE doesn’t seem to break her.
HIS relentless persecution and determination to bury her under his furious reign and brutality eats at my soul. It has found that dark place inside me, the pit of hell I had locked and secured away, and enriched it, demanded its flourish and ripened its ferocity. The family wrath.

She’ll never give in, and I pray every night as I guide her through the darkness that tomorrow will bring the light to her soul before it is consumed, finally, by the plague of HIM.
Evil.
Jude.

Jude…

She blossoms under my torture, the soft suppleness of her skin ripping and tearing as though her soul is trying to break free from the agony.
I’ll allow it, because I can. Because I need her soul. I crave the sustenance it feeds my rage with, my thirst for cruelty quenched by the sounds of her desolate screams and my hunger for blood, nourished by the slow drip of her life force at my feet.
She thinks I won’t break her, so does he. They underestimate the blood that slithers through my veins. It’s the blood that tenures those around me.
The bloodthirsty.
The Shadows of Sin.

♦♦♦♦

fragile truths collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

Jenny & Gitte: 4.5  completely addictive stars

“Don’t you like the dark?”

Gitte: Uh….okay. Where do I start, Jenny? Do I start with a warning of impending darkness and disturbing and gruesome visual images? Do I express a relief that I survived without breaking down? Or do I just say, go read Fragile Truths if you like your boundaries tested and you enjoy your dark gritty reads?

See, if ever there was a story that needs to be approached blind for maximum affect, this right here is it, and we did just that. Sure, we’d read the synopsis and the intrigue was immediately there. We wanted to read this book by Authors we’d never experienced before. Oh and also we loved the cover!

To say I was left gobsmacked does not even cover it. This is true soul mates romance swept up in violence, brutality, torture and heart-break. This is revenge and retribution. This is a love story spanning years, set in the most grossly unique and thought provoking environment.

“But without darkness, the stars can’t shine, Frankie.”

There are so many twists and shocking developments that I found myself exhausted by the time I’d finished. Did I enjoy it? Well, it kept me hooked, it kept me teetering on the edge of do I continue or not. The writing was fantastic; the characters Tate and Frankie unique and troubled. Our heroine Frankie kicks arse. I have trouble remembering many heroines who are as strong and determined; fierce and loyal as she. As for Tate, his voice and story brings the romance; the light in the dark. The passion and the all-encompassing love and endurance.

“The unknown scares them, twists at their minds and gives them false truths of what is actually just the norm for us.” – Tate

The story of Frankie and Tate is mind-blowing in its beauty and vulnerability; its ugliness, depravity and animalistic behaviour. The back-drop of this romance is not pretty and sweet nor is it hopeful or heart-warming. Rather, it’s reminiscent of that determined little green sprout that fights all odds and grows in the dark shadow of a grotty crack in a pavement slab.

“I could sense you with me, feel your heart beating beside mine but it was like seeing your reflection in water and every time I reached out and touched you, you floated away again…” – Tate

We are hesitant, aren’t we Jenny, to go into the story for fear of spoiling the gripping tension and reveal any hints of the magnitude of secrets, lies and family feuds?!

“I won’t let them ruin this.” – Nik

Jenny: Wow Gitte! It’s hard to know where to start and I think I’m still reeling from parts of this story. I have to agree with you wholeheartedly about going into this book blind. It’s the only way to experience it as some of the revelations will leave you breathless. I think “wtf?” was my most texted message to you throughout….in a good, twisted way that is!  Fragile Truths is best read with no preconceived ideas…..just jump right in there, but take heed….whilst this is not one for the faint-hearted I was completely consumed and addicted from start to finish.

“……there’s this darkness in him that is so potent it’s almost physical.”

My heart was a beating mess, I had that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach and I felt as though I held my breath from the very first to the very last page and when I say I read Fragile Truths in one sitting I mean it. I couldn’t stop.  The brutality of this story certainly made me squirm at times with some scenes being quite disturbing. The suspense was intense and this story of revenge, jealousy, hatred, retribution and love had me completely engrossed. I was transfixed as this intriguing story unfolded before my eyes. Whilst Fragile Truths could certainly be quite gruesome, there were moments of true tenderness, a lot of heat and characters who each had a compelling voice to be heard.

“There were no stars where the darkness tormented me.”

Yes I was aghast that I could find such beauty amongst the horror, the cruelty and the pain that I witnessed and in Tate and Frankie’s unconventional love story these moments reached into my heart.

‘She was the virtue. I was the sin.’

This was a story of soul mates meeting adversity in place where violence, torture and revenge is king, where human life is easily disregarded and where power lies in those discarded along the way.

Frankie and Tate’s story was gripping, their relationship raw and intense. Frankie, the strong, tenacious woman who fought such inner conflict yet had courage that was beyond admirable. Tate, the raw, filthy talking alpha man who oozed sin and sexuality, who was the heart in this story  and whose past held so many questions…both had me every step of the way.

“This is your story and however long it takes you to tell it, I’ll be right here listening.”

Fragile Truths had so many twists, turns and revelations that I got whiplash as each one had me gasping and wondering what the hell was coming next! My heart clamoured in my chest many a time in a story that is as cruel as it is tender, as heart-breaking as it is uplifting and it was one where I hungrily devoured every word.

J&G:  Fragile Truths is primarily told from Frankie and Tate’s perspective which gives the reader a front row seat to this gritty, raw, dark, horrifyingly beautiful and utterly, utterly addictive read. The intermittent pov’s from Jude sent shivers down our spines and in a story where nothing is as it seems, these authors have created a compellingly potent, brutal love story set in gruesome and callous surrounding, some complex characters and a leading man who was rather unconventional, never afraid to speak his mind (and and wasn’t he filthy when he did!) and we bloody loved him!

‘He had taken my soul that night many years ago…’

The only gripe we had, and the only reason Fragile Truths wasn’t a 5 star for comes down to authenticity. Being that this story is set in London, we didn’t ‘feel’ that part of the story. The colloquialisms weren’t there and it came across as if it was set in Amercia. We understand this may have been a market based decision, but as the setting of this story was English; we would have really loved to have experienced it as such.  Although we realise this may not be an issue for the majority of readers, it was for us.

“I’ve put my life on hold for this day….”

So, if you like your romance stories dark and disturbing and if you love having your resolve tested by authors who really know how to weave a twisted tale, then be sure to add Fragile Truths to your reading lists. You won’t be disappointed! There was a point where the authors threw such a curve ball at us, we were so gobsmacked and pretty sure our mouths were gaping as we prepared to hurl our Kindles through the window. Well played guys, well played…you certainly got our heart rates spiking!   We’re really looking forward to more in this series a but for now we’re off to 1Click some of this author’s previous work.  We need more!

ARC provided by authors in exchange for an honest review 

Check out and purchase FRAGILE TRUTHS here:

Fragile Truths (The Shadows of Sin)

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, D H Sidebottom, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, R M James, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

BOMB: A Day in the Life of Spencer Shrike – A Rook and Ronin Spinoff by J A HUSS

bomb

A NOVELLA – about 80 pages

SYNOPSIS Spencer Shrike is a plotter. Known for his ingenious, albeit illegal, plans that keeps the Team running efficiently and out of jail, he carries this same love of order into his personal life. He’s kept his long-time main squeeze on the sidelines for years as he builds the Shrike Bikes empire.

Veronica Vaughn is an explosion ready to happen. Ronnie lives in the here and now. She lives for today. She knows what she wants, and she wants it now. And right now Ron the Bomb Vaughn wants Spencer shrike to leave her the hell alone. She’s done playing his game. She’s done waiting around. She’s moving forward with her own plots, plans, and dreams and she’s moving forwardtonight. Ron the Bomb is finally–finally–gonna get some satisfaction.

Too bad Spencer Shrike is standing in her way.

♥♥♥

bomb collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

J&G: 4.5 Stars

Jenny & Gitte Wow! Wasn’t this book enlightening! Who knew there was so much going on with Spencer Shrike. We knew we had a lot to learn about this man as he was a real enigma, but we were also intrigued by his relationship with the mysterious Veronica Vaughn. Why did he always seem to keep her hanging, but in the same instance be pushing her away.

“I watched you stand your ground and toss your hair at the same time. And I told myself, she’s mine. I need her. I don’t know her, but I will.” – Spencer

Well, it all came to light in Bomb when we learnt how they met and fell in love, and what a story it was. Now, it all makes sense why Spencer is the way he is and what his reasons are for keeping Veronica at arm’s length.  How could we not fall even more in love and lust with this gorgeous man!?!

“When I ask if I can touch you tonight, I want you to say yes. When I ask if I can kiss you tonight, I want you to say yes. When I ask if I can have you tonight, I want you to say yes. Just say yes, Ronnie. I want you to say yes. One word, that’s it. One word is all it takes. And I really will change your life.” – Spencer

There’s nefarious dealings afoot and Spencer is trying to keep everything from spiralling. He has feelings for Veronica but there is so much going on in the background which he needs to remain focused on.  All we can say is hold on to your Kindles because when all this explodes in Guns we think we’re going to be left with our mouths hanging wide open.  Have we mentioned much we’re GAGGING for Guns?  We can’t wait for everything to come to a head when all our favourite characters from this series come together and worlds collide. It’s going to be AMAZING and THRILLING!

Veronica was something else. She’s sexy, volatile and a perfect for Spencer. She’s a ballsy lady alright! She’s sick and tired of being shafted by Spencer, intending to put her life in order without him. After the to’ing and fro’ing he’s put her through, she’s done, but arrgghh the attraction and sexual chemistry between these two is scorching!

“I think you just changed my life, Spencer Shrike.”

“That was the plan, Bombshell. That was always the plan.”

This may have been novella size but what we gleamed from Mr Spencer Shrike was detailed indeed. Seeing this side of Spencer was mouth-watering! He’s cocky, he’s confident and he knows what he wants, but getting it…well, that’s another story!

‘I have that effect on people. I’m blessed in the body department. Ronin has his charm, Ford has his brain and I’ve got this beautiful body.’ – Spencer

Yes, yes you are indeed blessed Mr Shrike! Ahhhh how is a girl supposed to decide….Ronin, Ford, Spencer? Spencer, Ford, Ronin?  Ohhh this is just too damn hard! We’ll leave our decision until after Guns…that’s if we can pick a clear winner after that. Having said that…..Spencer is a bit of a frontrunner at the moment!  We’ll be charging those Kindles, because we don’t think we’ll be coming up for air once we start Guns!

 

Check out and purchase BOMB here:
BOMB: A Day in the Life of Spencer Shrike: Rook and Ronin Spinoff

A Note on the Rook and Ronin Books
Our Reviews for the whole series can be found here
TRAGIC
MANIC
PANIC
SLACK
TAUT
BOMB
GUNS (Out March 31, 2014) TAUT and SLACK can be read as standalones.
BOMB is a prequel to GUNS and is not optional if you plan on reading GUNS. There are a lot of critical plot points in this one.

We loved this whole series and would definitely recommend reading them all!

rook

Check out and purchase The ROOK & RONIN SERIES here:

TRAGIC: Rook and Ronin, #1

MANIC: Rook and Ronin, #2

PANIC: Rook and Ronin, #3

SLACK: A Day in the Life of Ford Aston (Rook and Ronin Spin-off)

TAUT: The Ford Book: (Rook and Ronin Spinoff)

BOMB: A Day in the Life of Spencer Shrike: Rook and Ronin Spinoff

GUNS: The Spencer Book: (Rook and Ronin Spinoff)

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, J A Huss, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

LOVELINES (The Wilmington Saga #1) by S WALDEN

Follow the stories of Wilmington, NC residents as they fall in and out of love, mend and break hearts, grow, change, lose, win, and experience what it means to truly live in this small coastal community.
This is a Standalone read

lovelines

SYNOPSIS

Arrive at work at 7:58 A.M. sharp. Check. Count forty-seven steps to cubicle. Check. Arrange pens in their red-blue-black-green-purple order of importance. Check. Apply hand sanitizer before opening email. Double check.

And that’s just the first few minutes of her work day.

Thirty-one-year-old proofreader Bailey Mitchell is a slave to her tics. She inherited Obsessive Compulsive Disorder from her father, and it’s done nothing but inhibit her love life. She’s run the gamut of boyfriends—none of them willing or able to cope with her condition.

Enter 32-year-old Reece Powell, her new coworker at Beach Elite Marketing Firm. He’s more than willing to cope. He finds her habits cute and quirky . . . for now. Reece wins her over, and life coasts along for them until Bailey experiences a devastating blow. Tragedy exacerbates her OCD, and Reece realizes her tics aren’t so cute and quirky anymore. Just like all the others, he has the choice to leave.

But Reece isn’t like all the others.

 ♥ ♥ 

lovelines pic

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

J&G: 4.5 Bebopping beautiful stars!

“You never gave me the choice. I wanted you. Always. And you wouldn’t let me choose you.”

Gitte: LoveLines was a sweet, heart-breaking, hilarious and sexy read and I enjoyed every minute I spent with Reece and Bailey. There was no unnecessary or over the top drama in LoveLines, it felt real and it also dealt with the stigmatized issue of actual OCD. Not the kind we fling around haphazardly in daily conversations in regard to how clean we like our house or how our shoes are lined up by the front door. This is the real deal OCD, the kind that dictates your life magnified by stress and severe emotions.

It was heart-breaking and having lived with someone who was diagnosed OCD, I know how destructive this illness can be for the person in question and those around them. It really can be a debilitating condition. I thought S. Walden handled OCD as the crux of the storyline as well as she could considering this is romantic fiction, though the good times aren’t necessarily that good. However, the emotional aspect was perfectly executed and the consequential behaviour and actions spot on in regards to Bailey and those around her.

“Beboppin’ Bailey. Better Than All the Rest Bailey. Best decision I Ever Made Bailey. Bet on That Girl Bailey. Beat the Odds Bailey…Bait Me with a Kiss Bailey…..Because I Love Her Bailey…..Because I love her….” – Reece

This is my first book by this Author and I loved the wicked sense of humour, the well written in-depth characters and I fell in complete love with Reece and Bailey. Their love is what romance dreams are made of. All conquering love that weathers the fiercest storm.

“You’re too easy to love. That’s your real problem. You know how I know that? Because I can’t stay away from you. I just wanna be with you all the time. You’re my favorite person, Bailey. That’s not hard. That’s a cakewalk.” – Reece

Bailey was a lovely and sweet heroine with a potty mouth to boot. Poor girl, suffering with her OCD hampering her love life; preventing her from achieving what she truly desires. This girl has some great coping strategies but is so afraid of what will inevitably come and what she might miss out on. That is until Reece.

“I find it uncomfortably sexy.” – Reece

“You’re seeing it from a distance. Imagine dating it. Living with it. Fucking it. Totally different ballgame.” – Camden

I did struggle with the style of writing at times and had to re-read to figure out who was talking. Also, it swapped from first person to third which threw me a few times. I’m not sure I enjoyed this style of writing really, however, the story had me hooked so I just had to get used to that. What did you think Jenny?

Jenny I absolutely LOVED it! There were times I laughed out loud through this book and I had to keep checking myself when I was reading in my lunchbreak because I know I had this big cheesy grin plastered on my face. But this wasn’t all laughs and fun and at one point I had to put LoveLines down because I was in a flood of tears.  The beauty, the heartbreak and sheer emotion was certainly experienced in this story yet it never felt too heavy as S Walden brought tender, funny, sexy and swoony to Lovelines in equal, heartwarming measures.

‘He’d never seen someone walk happy. Yes, she walked happy, like she’d just ingested Coke and Pop Rocks.’

I was completely gone. I adored Reece and Bailey both individually and as a couple and found myself fighting the voices in Bailey’s head right along with her as she fought to control the voices that demanded she surrender to her compulsions.  Bailey was an absolute sweetheart with a sharp and witty sense of humour yet her life is a constant struggle and the author brought all the emotion, anguish, frustration and fear of this disorder to her story, yet it was all handled so beautifully and the romance between Bailey and Reece stole my heart.

‘When a man talks to you like that, you pay attention. You believe him. And in that moment, I believed Reece. I believed everything he’d ever say to me.’

LoveLines was sweet, sexy, funny and heartbreaking and there were many highlights for me in this book. I felt it all. From Bailey’s despondency through to her hope. From her feelings of being unworthy and unlovable to feeling loved, wanted and treasured and through her struggles to be ‘normal’ in her world. I felt it all.

‘That’s the great thing about hope – no matter your past, no matter your mistakes – hope is the constant force in your heart driving you forward……..Hope is my one healthy compulsion. ‘

Lovelines had some of the most engaging, witty and wonderful supporting characters. They were stellar friends who cared about Bailey and Reece, who were never afraid to give them the hard truths and the banter between them all was such fun. Yep, “chickchat” will forever be in my dictionary.

This was a real winner for me too Gitte. I adored this book. I do agree that the switch to third person POV for Reece was a bit confusing at first and I had to flick back and forth a couple of times to work out who was speaking at a specific time and that’s the only reason this isn’t a 5 star for me. Other than that, this book delivered everything I could have asked for.

Gitte: Now, Let’s talk about Reece Jenny!! What a beautiful, beautiful man. He has a huge heart and a personality that would light up the darkest sky and have you in tears of laughter.

‘…a genuine nature is too transparent. It has nothing to hide. Only the sinister ones are sneaky. And nothing about Reece Powell was sneaky. He was genuine. Through and through.

Reece is extremely easy-going, he’s funny, sweet, vulnerable, clumsy AND so bloody gorgeous and sexy. Reese is LUSH and such a breath of fresh air!! I think I laughed, swooned and cried for him throughout this story. He loves with his whole heart, his childhood having left a huge mark on his beautiful soul. He sees the real Bailey and rather than being put off by her condition he wants to be there for her no matter how rough that ride might be. The man is perfection!

“Everyone’s pain is different,” Reece went on. “I don’t like when people compare. I don’t like when people marginalize their feelings because they think they’re not allowed to have them…”

Oh and he made me reach for the freezer a few times too, he’s a dirty dirty filthy walking talking contradiction, our Reece’s pieces…right J?!

Jenny:  Right G! Yes Gitte, let’s talk about Reece. Who wouldn’t want a piece of Reece? He most certainly was a contradiction and I bloody loved him! Reece was self-assured yet vulnerable, sexy yet goofy and he was a perfect balance for Bailey. Together they were an absolute delight! Reece being a breath of fresh air is spot on Gitte. Reece was so different to a lot of characters and getting to the crux of his story had me clutching my heart. This was Reece’s battle as much as it was Bailey’s, both from his past and his want for a future with Bailey, and he handled it all with such aplomb. He faced Bailey’s problems head on and gave her hope when she needed it.

“I fell in love with you because of you. I like your quirky ways. You know how many times I got myself off thinking about your ‘just so’ ponytail? You know how fucking weird that is?”

Ummm his dirty mouth! He was so naughty. Oh my goodness, much of it was unexpected and yeah…freezer time was a requirement!  Reece brought joy to my heart that’s for sure!

Gitte & Jenny: So, we absolutely loved LoveLines. Not just the characters of Reece and Bailey but also the secondary characters. They all had a role to play that had a real impact and came across integral to the story. The friendships and loyalties were brilliant as was the banter and emotional ties. As we mentioned, our only gripe was the confusion over who was talking in the POV changes as well as the interspersed third person. We wholeheartedly applaud S. Walden for weaving a beautiful, sweet and funny story through such a heart-breaking condition as OCD, skating close to the reality of this incapacitating condition.

“But we’re a team,” he whispered. His heart broke then. He felt the ripping. No cracking. It was ripping, like his heart was made out of construction paper….

We also want to thank this Author for Reece, he was a beautiful, funny and loving man who was such a breath of fresh air, we fell in love……..

“You’re as freaking weird as I am,” I noted.

“I know, right?! Bailey, if you think I wanna fix you, you’re dead wrong. I don’t even wanna help you manage this thing you’ve got going on. I’m only doing it because I know it’s the right thing to do, but I’d much rather you go tic-ing all over my heart and brain.”

So don’t let the cover fool you. Whilst LoveLines provided us with many smiles and many laughs and whilst it could be a really sweet and cute read, there was also depth to this story and depth to the characters. There were moments of heart-breaking sadness, moments of pure joy and some very sexy times. Yep, this one delivered and had us phantastically spellbound.

 

 ♥

LOVELINES by S WALDEN
Amazon us || Amazon uk

lovelines

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, S Walden

PLAY (Stage Dive #2) by KYLIE SCOTT

play

SYNOPSIS

Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated follow-up to international bestseller LICK Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl. Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones.
But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

´♥´♥´♥

play collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
Our Review for LICK can be found here

J&G: 4 Stars

“Life’s a song, Anne. Let’s play.”

Gitte: Oh wow, how much were we gagging to get stuck into Mal Ericson…uhh I mean Play! Mal’s been teasing us for a while and we were so ready for him and he DID NOT disappoint.

“Whatever you’re imagining, it’s bigger.”

“I’m not imagining anything.”

“I’m serious. It’s basically a monster. I cannot control it.”

“Malcolm -”

“You’re pretty much going to need a whip and a chair to tame it, Anne.”

“Stop it.”

“That okay with you?”

This dude is without doubt one of the funniest blokes; his wit is sharp and quick, his banter and dialogue hilarious. I laughed out loud so many times my jaw ached. Mal Ericson is like a child a times, manic even, a filthy talker and a dirty humoured comedian. He left me completely shattered and reminded me of the Energizer Bunny.

“You know, you can be kind of intense sometimes, Malcolm Ericson.”

Not only that though, he’s gorgeous, he plays the drums like a demon and he’s sexy as!! For me, this story was all Mal, he is what kept me reading and unable to put Play down. The writing and humour was brilliant too, I want to take Kylie Scott down the pub and listen to her all night as we get bladdered because this woman ROCKS!!!

Jenny: Nice save there Gitte!! It seems like forever ago when we got our first glimpse of Mel in Lick (Sage Dive #1) and we’ve been dying to know more about this cheeky, sexy and very, very amusing man in greater detail and he most certainly did not disappoint.  His antics and his brain farts regularly had me smiling throughout Play and his manic exuberance, his naughtiness, playfulness and  his sheer childlike qualities constantly had me in fits. OMG! Those text messages…he was such a man-child with a touch of ADD – he cracked me up repeatedly and yes, I absolutely LOVED him!

“I’m the drummer from Stage Dive.I don’t get kept awake by other people having wild sex. I keep them awake. I keep entire fucking neighbourhoods awake.”

I have to agree with you about Mal ‘being’ the story because that’s exactly how I felt too. He was such a fun, funny and imposing character that I found myself eagerly flipping the page awaiting the next Mal’ism. He really did try to be the romantic and although he didn’t quite pull it off you had to give him A for effort and to be honest, he would have won me over regardless!

‘He played with abandon and he looked like a God.’ – Anne

Oh geez yes! Wouldn’t you just love to share a tipple or two with Kylie Scott because anyone who can produce a character like Mal has to be a bit off the wall, funny and our type of person haha!

Gitte: For me, what was lacking in the story Mal Ericson made up for, as did the snippets we got with the much loved characters from Lick namely David and Ev. I loved when the whole crowd was together. Sadly though, the story line and development was just okay for me. The build-up was too long where nothing really happened resulting in the conflict and crux of the story being over way too quickly. It didn’t quite work for me as for so long nothing really happened except for funny banter; it didn’t seem as if we were getting anywhere really. I also found the sweet and unsure Anne hard work to begin with, though she did have me smiling at times and she grew on me as the story built. However, despite these concerns, the class writing and the humour had me reading Play in one sitting and Mal and Anne did turn out to be perfectly perfect together. I swooned!!!!

“It’s fate, Anne. Written in the stars. Leave it the fuck alone.”

Jenny:  I must admit Gitte, I did get quite a way along into Play when I found myself questioning just what the story was.  Don’t get me wrong, I was enjoying it, or I should I say, I was enjoying Mal…how could I not? But I did wonder where it was leading and although I was having fun and my stomach was in knots waiting for the “other shoe to drop” I did feel the build-up lasted a little too long.  When we finally did reach the climax it seemed to be over a little too quickly for me as I was really settling in and knuckling down for some gritty “afters” at that point.

Meeting up with David, Ev and all the guys was absolute magic. Ev and David certainly have my heart and yes, the banter between them all was so much fun and I embraced the times they bonded and even the times they fought, as a unit. These guys really do have unique relationships that transcend so well in Play and have you wanting to know more!  Like you, I did find Anne a little bland at first but she shone when she started finding the girl inside and standing up for herself as she began to understand Mal on another level.

“Word to the wise, next time when it comes to us, try talking to me instead of Davie.” – Anne

I was fist bumping her big time when she started to speak her mind. But one thing Anne….who is John Bonham?  Really?  Shame on you woman!!

Gitte & Jenny: So whilst we enjoyed Play, specifically Mal Ericson we didn’t fall in love like we did in Lick. It was missing something for us. The emphasis was on Mal and yes, we admit he is what had us inhaling this story and kept us entertained throughout.  This crazy arsed drummer with a wicked streak and a blinding sense of humour had us in stitches and falling in love with his character all over again. Malcolm Ericson; you give us ‘Crazy eyes’!!

“I’m your boyfriend now, which means there’s no room for your hipster admirer. He’ll just have to lick his wounds while we lick other things.” – Mal

We love this Author and her writing; especially her stellar ability of injecting timeless humour and creating some amazingly endearing and off the wall characters, so no question we’re now gagging for the next book in this series. Excuse us while we go swoon some more over our fave drummer; Malcolm Ericson.

“Hello, Anne’s clitoris. It’s me, Malcom, your lord and master.”

“Oh, God, no.” I covered my face with my hands. “Please don’t.”

“Shh. This is a private conversation.”

We love those Stage Dive guys, we love this author’s work and we can’t wait for more!! Jimmy’s book promises to be something else!

“ARC provided by publisher via author in exchange for an honest review”

STAGE DIVE SERIES by KYLIE SCOTT 
Meet David, Mal, Jimmy and Ben
EACH CAN BE READ AS A STANDLONE

stage dive series

LICK:  amazon us / amazon uk
PLAYamazon us /amazon uk
LEADamazon us amazon uk
DEEPamazon us / amazon uk

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Filed under 4 Stars, Kylie Scott, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

BALL & CHAIN (Cut & Run #8) by ABIGAIL ROUX

ball and chain

SYNOPSIS

Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed—even the men he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.

Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.

With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.

´♥´♥ ´♥

ball and chain collage

Reviewed by Gitte

4.5 Ty & Zane Swoony Stars

First off, I love this series, it’s my indulgence, my kindle crack if you will. I start each new book that comes out with a beating heart and a huge smile on my face because I know, every time, it will feel like coming home. Abi Roux makes it so.

Ty and Zane are my boys and I will always love them, they make me laugh, swoon and cry. They test me yes, yet they always confirm why I love them so; their romance and passion is addictive and somewhat volatile at times. Their personal journey together and apart through this series is epic as it unfolds amongst the drama and the slightly insane conflicts they find themselves embroiled in, some brilliant some less so. But….it’s Ty and Zane after all. That warm and fuzzy feeling will never go away as these characters have a permanent place in my heart; they feel like old friends who’ll always be special to me. I will fight fiercely for these characters and often marvel at the protectiveness I truly feel over them. I always end up saying, I wanted more Ty & Zane and I think, actually I know that this is why.

‘Ty’s fingers tangled with his, lacing together. Ty didn’t say anything. They were content to hold hands as they lay on the floor together, soaking in the warmth of the fire and the morning sun stretching toward them.’

Adding Nick and Kelly so prolifically to the mix this time in Ball & Chain made it even better in some respects and it made perfect sense in regards to Nick which fell in line with Ty’s self-realisation and the part they’ve played through this series and will play. Though at times I did think they monopolised it too much and took away the much wanted and desired spot light from Ty and Zane’s relationship. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve fallen utterly and completely in love with these lads too from their roles in this series and from reading Sidewinder. There were some truly beautiful and epic moments between Nick and Kelly in this instalment, I may have cried hard during one in particular! So yeah, mostly I loved that we got them too in Ball and Chain.

I’m not going to go into the story of Ty and Zane, after all this is book #8. What I will say is, please pick this series up. Whether you are new to m/m or old hat; this series demands to be read. It deserves to be read. The writing is brilliant, the characters are extremely lovable and there’s never a dull moment. In fact, at times it’s bloody exhausting with the predicaments they find themselves in, with the one constant simmering in the periphery that I’m guessing will be the next final focus now.

The character growth of Ty and Zane; the changes they’ve gone through, be they good or bad, self-inflicted or not, well it’s a journey that’s embedded in my heart. Ty and Zane make me cry for so many reasons; but mostly I cry over ‘the beauty of them’.

‘Zane thought he had experienced love before. Thought he had known what it felt like to be the center of someone’s world. He had been wrong, because it had never felt like this.’

I think this is the only time I’ve said to myself upon finishing that I wanted more and actually meant that there really and truly wasn’t enough of just Ty and Zane. The drama of the running storyline overshadowed all the beloved characters at different times. The balance felt slightly off kilter in my opinion. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the drama and intrigue of the murder mystery which Ty, Zane, Nick & Kelly had to fight through. However, I wasn’t overly sold on the ‘whodunit Miss Marple style’~ stuck with a killer in a stranded location and drawing all the suspects into the drawing room for questioning/elimination with dead bodies left, right and centre. I wanted the gritty, suspenseful and raw emotion that’s been part and parcel of this series on the whole. Did I enjoy it less because of this, hmm not overly so, but it did play a part when having to rate it in comparison to the previous books.

To end this review I just want to emphasise that if you want to fall in love, cry, laugh, and feel your heart beating like the clappers from thrilling suspense yet also from intense passion and romance. Feel the value of friendships and family ties. Well, then I honestly urge you to pick this series up and be blown away by just how much you’ll end up loving and feeling…you’ll soon become addicted! Oh and if you can’t tell already, this is one of my favourite series EVER! That.Is.All♥♥

“You’ve taken a lot of hits in the last few days, Ty. Let me take this last one for you.”

Ty stared at him, struck breathless, struck speechless. He snaked his arm around Zane’s neck and hugged him tight. He nodded, still unable to speak.”

♥♥♥

THE CUT & RUN SERIES by ABIGAIL ROUX

Cut & Run Books

CUT & RUN – BOOK ONE
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU

STICKS & STONES – BOOK TWO
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU

 *FISH & CHIPS – BOOK THREE
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU

DIVIDE & CONQUER – BOOK FOUR
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU

ARMED & DANGEROUS – BOOK FIVE
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU

STARS & STRIPES – BOOK SIX
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU

TOUCH & GEAUX – BOOK SEVEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU

BALL & CHAIN – BOOK EIGHT
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU

CRASH & BURN – BOOK NINE
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU

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Filed under 5 Stars, Abigail Roux, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte