Monthly Archives: November 2016

A VEIL OF VINES by TILLIE COLE :: REVIEW

Standalone sweet and beautiful romance


a-veil

SYNOPSIS

To most people, princes, princesses, counts and dukes are found only in the pages of the most famous of fairytales. Crowns, priceless jewels and gilded thrones belong only in childhood dreams.
But for some, these frivolous fancies are truth.
For some, they are real life.
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, people have always treated me as someone special. All because of my ancestral name and legacy. All because of a connection I share to our home country’s most important family of all.
I am Caresa Acardi, the Duchessa di Parma. A blue blood of Italy. I was born to marry well. And now the marriage date is set.
I am to marry into House Savona. The family that would have been the royals had Italy not abolished the monarchy in 1946. But to the aristocrats of my home, the abolition means nothing at all.
The Savonas still hold power where it counts most.
In our tight-knit world of money, status and masked balls, they are everything and more.
And I am soon to become one of them.
I am soon to become Prince Zeno Savona’s wife…
… or at least I was, until I met Achille.
And everything changed.

A Veil of Vines can be purchased below

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a-veil-of-vines

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘My papa always said that how a man was with his family said a lot about what made up their soul. And if they were good with animals, it proved patience and gentleness, and an understanding of what it was to be pure and kind. It was funny really. My father had always wanted me with someone who bore those traits.’

This story was beautifully written and so rich in flavour and scenery, we felt as if we were there, in the rolling hills of Italy, home to everything sumptuous and decadent. We’ve said this many times before, but it’s truly the sign of a great artist when they can write anything and everything and do it naturally and so well, like Tillie Cole can. She makes us laugh, swoon and cry- happy or sad tears. She makes us feel. Whilst we very much loved aspects of A Veil of Vines, especially the latter part, it wasn’t one of our favourites. That however is not necessarily the story’s fault. For us, what we were expecting from book teasers we’d seen, the synopsis added to the pacing and a bit of a struggle with character connection; all sadly impacted our full reading enjoyment. Despite that, there is no question that the writing was once again stunning and the attention to detail, perfection.  In some ways this story was a perfect, easy and romantic Sunday read that just makes you feel all warm inside.

‘We were tangled, chaotic perfection, a frantic, flawless mess.’

Slow and sweet does it when you’re dealing with two beautiful hearts that are two halves of one whole. Soulmates. Meant to be. Pure love. It was oh so romantic and we relished that, the heart wants what it wants no matter the obstacles thrown in its way. Who’s to say what’s written in the stars where emotions, passion, understanding and friendship is concerned. It’s the ties that bind us that prevents us from always seeing the beautiful light.

‘….for a brief moment in time, we had been two halves of one whole.’

Caresa, Zeno and Achille; their story was a twist on an old yet modernised fairy tale where really, there was no evil for us to despair at or rebel against. Rather, we felt for them all and we rejoiced and basked in any moment of happiness or hopelessness with compassion and love. Whilst we thought this book would heavily feature Zeno as the Royal Prince, in many respects it didn’t, so we would LOVE to hear his story and see him settled and happy. We did guess the plot early on for various reasons yet our hearts still melt into a puddle towards the end, it was sheer romantic beauty! This is definitely one for the hopeless romantics like us.

“…as Plato said…’and they don’t want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment.”

4 sweet romantic stars

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**TB ALSO RECOMMENDS by TILLIE COLE**


A THOUSAND BOY KISSES – STANDALONE
A deeply moving and epic love story. Have tissues ready!
Available to Purchase below
our reviewamazon us | amazon uk

a thousand boy kisses



 ETERNALLY NORTH – STANDALONE
A funny and heartwarming romcom that will tickle your ribs!
Available to Purchase below

amazon us amazon uk | our review

eternally



THE SWEET HOME SERIES
An football theme romance full of sweetness and  loads of emotion

Sweet Home Series

Available to Purchase below
Sweet Home Book #1 : amazon us | amazon uk our review
 Sweet Rome Book #1.5 amazon us amazon uk | our review

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SWEET HOME / CARILLO BOYS SERIES
A beautiful, moving, heartwrenching series of love, loyalty and sacrifice.

Carillo Brothers

Available to Purchase below

 Sweet Fall Book#2 (Carillo Boys #1) amazon us | amazon  uk | our review
Sweet Hope Book #3 /Carillo Boys #2 : amazon us  | amazon  uk | our review
 Sweet Soul Book #4 / Carillo Boys #3 : amazon us | amazon uk | our review



THE HADES HANGMEN SERIES
Contemporary Dark MC romance
Must be read in order

Hades Hangmen (1)

Available to purchase below
It Ain’t Me Babe Book One :
our review
amazon  us | amazon  uk
Heart Recaptured Book Two : our reviewamazon us | amazon uk
Souls Unfractured Book Three : our reviewamazon usamazon uk
Deep Redemption Book Four : our reviewamazon usamazon uk



THE SCARRED SOULS SERIES
A Russian Mafia romance series that’s dark, gritty and addictive reading!

Scarred Souls

Available to Purchase below

Raze Book #1 : amazon us || amazon uk |our review
Reap Book #2 : amazon us | amazon uk | our review
Ravage Book #3 :
 amazon us | amazon uk

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Filed under 4 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Tillie Cole

HOSTILE WORKPLACE (A Breaking The Rules Novel) by A.M. MADDEN :: REVIEW

Standalone in a series. Emotional romance with a comedic bite.


hostile

 

SYNOPSIS
Sam Stanton knows these simple facts:
~ He is a great catch—successful, smart, gorgeous…but the wrong woman caught him.
~ He has the perfect girl who is madly in love with him.
~ He wasted six years of his life by playing it safe.
~ He is damn good at his job and intends to keep climbing the ladder.
~ He can’t get her off his mind or out of his heart—no matter how hard he tries.

But, what he doesn’t know is just as important:
~ Will he ever really move on and forget how badly she broke his heart?
~ Should he settle for a sure thing, even knowing it’s the wrong thing?
~ Can he give up his career for a chance at happiness?
~ Does he correct one mistake with another?
~ What would he do if she were to return?

Confused yet? Welcome to Sam Stanton’s life.

Hostile Workplace can be purchased below:

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hostile-workplace

*Spoiler Free Review* by Gitte & Jenny

“I hope you don’t waste your life chasing a ghost, Sam.”

Hostile Workplace is a romantic, angsty and funny second chance romance. Mostly told in the hero’s POV we both hated and loved him but mostly we just felt so bloody sorry for him. He’s an infuriating cock but he does have a huge heart that belongs to his past, leaving him unable to find peace and true love in the present. Every relationship is a struggle and mostly his life is a perfected habit. He comes across sullen and disrespectful yet this façade hides a broken heart, loneliness and a sense of loss. Sam is actually a bloody decent bloke who’s still confused about a part of his life which is playing into the present.

‘She killed everything we could have been. She stopped the wonderful.’

Routine and habit is an easy slot to fall into and it takes one hell of a shock to the system to rouse yourself out of it. Sam makes a discovery that makes him question everything and when a familiar face from the past rears it’s beautiful and much loved face he embarks on a journey full of truth finding and revelations that’ll shock him to the core.

“Then you don’t understand what I went through. No matter what I said, the one person on earth who always had my back, whom I loved more than anything on this fucking planet, who always believed in me suddenly didn’t. And there was nothing I could do about it.”

There’s so much anger, hostility and resentment in this story it needed the laughs and romance to balance it out and mostly it had those elements. Reading Hostile Workplace was like unravelling a mystery through snippets from the past as well as through friends and family accounts. It’s amazing what can grow from insecurities and small misunderstandings. This story and A.M. Madden’s fabulous storytelling made for one of those perfect easy reads on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Well that’s just what it was for us and we enjoyed every minute of it.

‘I knew the moment we saw each other again, we’d fix everything that was broken.’

4 stars.


Marco and Rebecca’s story, LOVE ON THE HORIZON 

love-on-the-horizon

A feelgood contemporary romance.

SYNOPSIS
Love isn’t always smooth sailing.

Graduating from college is supposed to be a promise for excitement and limitless possibilities. But for unemployed Rebecca Stanton, the highlight of her day is sitting in her parents’ home with a pint of Chunky Monkey while watching The Bachelor. Desperate for change and inspired by a late night commercial, she stumbles onto a job opportunity with a new cruise line, packs her bags, and sets sail toward her new destiny.

Life is full of an endless supply of exciting possibilities for Marco Puglia. The tall, dark, handsome, ITALIAN Cruise Director with Sunset Cruise Lines is practically a celebrity in the cruising industry. When Marco adds Rebecca to his staff, he soon discovers it is both the best and worst decision he’s ever made. The beautiful siren has captured his attention and ensnared his heart. An intense attraction like theirs doesn’t follow the rules, even one that forbids a boss/employee relationship.

Will their blatant mutiny force their newly found love aground, or will Rebecca and Marco find love on their horizon?

Love on the Horizon is available to purchase below:

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Filed under 4 Stars, A M Madden, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE PAWN (EndGame #1) by SKYE WARREN :: REVIEW plus EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT!


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & REVIEW :: THE PAWN by SKYE WARREN

‘I’m the pawn, and he’s my triumphant captor.’

THE END GAME SERIES 

The Pawn Book One

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The Knight Book Two

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The Game Book Three 

          


the-pawn

SYNOPSIS
The price of survival…
Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.
There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.
My virginity.
A forbidden auction…
Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.
Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.
THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love.

Purchase THE PAWN below

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT
THE PAWN BY SKYE WARREN

“You said you’re a virgin, but exactly how inexperienced are we talking?”

The most embarrassing part is that I don’t know how to answer that question. Girls in my school whispered about what they did with their boyfriends. Lord knows Harper has told me some dirty things, but they almost felt like a made-up story to me. People don’t really do those things to each other, do they?

I would find out soon enough. I’d experience them firsthand.

“I’ve done things,” I say even though it feels like a lie.

“What kind of things?” he says, and I wonder whether it’s prurient interest or concern that compels him to ask. “Making out on the couch when Daddy isn’t home? Letting a boy feel under your shirt?”

“No,” I whisper.

“Have you ever been kissed?”

I manage to nod. That was as far as I let Justin go. He pushed me for more in the darkened back hallways at parties, in the empty storage rooms outside hotel ballrooms.

And I always told him no.

“What are you afraid of?” he murmurs.

The way he asks, I know he doesn’t mean the auction. He’s asking why I never let a boy go further with me. He’s asking why I’m still a virgin.

Our position makes it feel more intimate, as if there isn’t a stranger only a few feet behind us, as if I’m not being forced to do this. The wavy lighting adds to the effect, as if this is only in a dream. I can tell the truth because this isn’t even real.

“Daddy caught me once,” I say as if in a trance. “I was sleeping in on the weekend, or he thought I was. But I was actually touching myself.”

“What did he say?”

“He told me it was wrong. He said that it wasn’t ladylike, that that kind of behavior would disgrace our family name.” The intense shame I felt then hits me like a blow to the stomach, almost doubling me over. It’s only Gabriel’s steady presence behind me that holds me up. He hardly touches me, only the lightest brush of his hands on my arms, but they might as well be made of iron.

“And then he was the one who disgraced your family name.”

“He put chili juice on my fingers every night for a month.”

The irony is enough to make me throw up. For years I resisted what the other girls were doing, refused what the boys wanted from me. The only boy willing to wait until marriage was Justin, and it turned out that was only because he viewed our relationship as a political stepping stone.

“Stay here, little virgin.”

He moves away from me, and I feel his loss like a wintry wind. I’m alone, bereft.

The camera clicks behind me, invading my privacy, reminding me of just how public this will be. I can’t even touch my body without feeling guilt, but some stranger will soon have the right.

“Look at me.” Gabriel’s voice comes to me from near the camera.

I turn to look at him over my shoulder. Most of my face is still hidden by my hair, but he can see more of me. Is my turmoil visible in my posture? Can they read the pain in my eyes? Everything that I believed was a lie, but the truth hurts enough that I want it back.

“Touch yourself,” he says.

My heart stops, because if he wants me to do this for the camera, I’ll falter. I’ll fail.

“Tonight. When you’re in bed, alone. In the dark. Lock the door if you need to. No one will walk in on you. Touch yourself and make yourself feel good. You remember how to do that, don’t you?”

The memory comes like a tangible caress, a stroke on my private place. My lips part on a soft sigh. Heat suffuses my cheeks. I squeeze my legs together, seeking more.

The click of the camera captures my illicit pleasure.

“That’s it,” the photographer says.

Gabriel studies whatever is on the view screen, his expression enigmatic. “Yes. That’s the one.”


the-pawn

 Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“You’re innocent. And I’m going to ruin you.”

We love that excitement we experience when a much loved Author has a new series coming out. So when The Pawn landed on our kindles -which is book one in a series- we jumped right in. When you meet the anti-hero – Gabriel Miller– you’ll know what we mean when we say; consider knickers melting off at first ‘sight’ because woah!!! Once again Skye Warren showed us why we love her writing as much as we do, it has real depth and such fabulous characterisation.

“There’s only one thing I’m going to call you. Mine.” The possession in his voice made me shiver. “Never.”

We love our dark romance reads- falling in love with the anti-hero and the strong but wronged, beautiful heroine who loses a part of her heart unwillingly. There’s something about these stories, you just know that despite hating the fact that you fall in love with a wicked man, there’s something vulnerable and passionate hiding within him, it just takes a hell of a lot of work to find it but you know it’s there. The passion calls to you and you can’t help yourself. So yeah, we were there every step of the way with Avery as she sold a beautiful part of herself, encountering an enigmatic man who stands for everything she rejects, and whose role in her father’s demise may have been pivotal.

‘Everything he says is designed to scare me. Everything he does is designed to knock me down.’
“Be careful. I’m more dangerous than you know.”

The Pawn was sexy, enticing, dark, mysterious and passionate and we were hooked from page one. We felt the connection and whilst Avery was an ‘open book’ if you will – Gabriel stayed a bit of a hard nut to crack. What we saw, felt and experienced though made us fall in love with this man. The glimpses we got of what was hiding beneath convinced us of that. It felt as if a captor may somehow become a saviour?

‘I’m the pawn, and he’s my triumphant captor.’

Poor innocent Avery, everything changes from one day to the next. Her life, what she believes to be real turns out to be not so. She’s had such tragedy and emotional upheaval in her life, ruled and nurtured by a beloved hand of lies. The sacrifice she’s willing to make is huge, almost unbelievable, yet we understood her intentions and desperation.

‘I have to believe I’m doing this for a reason. Have to believe that it will be enough. There’s no one left to save us except me.’

Gabriel Miller; he saw, he wanted, so he took.  Yes please! This man has that whole over protective, dark and dangerous, insanely sexy vibe going on which we love so much. But….we don’t believe we’ve seen his complete true nature yet.

‘He is eccentric, but he’s also methodical, intelligent. Strategic. Everything he does had a purpose.’

Pasts are revealed, people exposed and hearts unveiled yet mystery and secrets remain. We have a feeling there’ll be more twists to come on the road of recovery, redemption, love and revenge. We were gutted when we turned that last page as we could’ve kept reading, desperate for more. We inhaled it! At least we don’t have too long to wait before we find out just where their story goes in The Knight. LOVED it and highly recommend for lovers of dark romance and their anti-heroes.

“You hurt me, you know….Whenever I think about you, I hurt.”
He puts a hand to his chest. “Here.”

4.5 ‘we need more’ stars!


TBB SKYE WARREN RECOMMENDED READS

THE STRIPPED SERIES
Gritty and addictive Mafia romance
purchase“I’m someone else now, someone darker. Someone you don’t want to know.”

Available to purchase below:
Love the Way You Lie
:
amazon us | amazon uk 
Tough Love – A Mafia Romance  (Free Novella)amazon us | amazon uk
Hold You Against Me :  amazon us | amazon uk



wanderlustWANDERLUST
Standalone gritty dark erotice romance.

“Up close, I realized he was one of the most handsome men I’d ever met….I never would have expected him to look twice at me…”

SYNOPSIS
Can love come from pain?
Evie always dreamed of seeing the world, but her first night at a motel turns into a nightmare. Hunter is a rugged trucker willing to do anything to keep her—including kidnapping. As they cross the country in his rig, Evie plots her escape, but she may find what she’s been looking for right beside her.
Author note: Wanderlust is a dark erotic novel which explores dubious consent, captivity, and power play.
Please do not read this if you’re uncomfortable with the subject matter or under 18 years of age

 

Wanderlust is available to purchase below

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prisoner

PRISONER by ANNIKA MARTIN & SKYE WARREN
A gripping anti hero story we couldn’t put down!

‘He takes my air and breathes it back into me. He takes control of me, and I can finally give in.’

SYNOPSIS
He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell.

But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think.

And you might crave him more than your next breath.

Prisoner is available to purchase below

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Meet the Author

skye

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

Connect with Skye
Twitter || Facebook || Instagram || Pinterest || Web



pawn

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Filed under Excerpt, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Skye Warren

IMPOSTER by K. LARSEN :: REVIEW

Standalone mystery suspense thriller.


22nd TBB Rec

SYNOPSIS
In idyllic Brunswick, Maine, a tragedy strikes, leaving one family struggling to stay together.
7 year old Sophie Anderson vanished from a neighbors front lawn in 2006 leaving the Anderson family reeling. Helen, a mother who never gave up hope.
Sam, a father who couldn’t cope. Cora, the even keeled sister and Shane, the angry half brother fought to maintain their family after losing Sophie.
Just when the Anderson’s thought they had moved past Sophie’s disappearance,
Cora finds Sophie shivering behind a dumpster in Portland, Maine 10 years later.
As Sophie integrates back into her family home a series of dark revelations rear their ugly heads leaving you wondering… is anyone who you think they are?

Imposter is available to purchase below:

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imposter-teaser

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“Sometimes the missing aren’t meant to be found.”

What a gripping read! For us, this wasn’t just a suspenseful mystery thriller, it was also a story explored how healing can come from the most tragic and awful of circumstances. How can prosper from bad. Told in varying pov’s with seamless past/present switches, we couldn’t wait to uncover the whole story! To unveil the toll secrets, lies and deceit could weigh on a family!

‘A mother knew if her baby’s heart was still beating somewhere out there, and Helen never felt the loss of Sophie in the deepest recesses of her heart.’

It was the phone call that turned a family’s world upside down. A parent’s worst nightmare. Helen and Sam Anderson appeared to be living the idyllic life. Helen was a stay at home Mum devoted to her children. Sam a hardworking and devoted father to their children Cora (11), Sophie (7) and Sam’s son Shane (15) from a previous marriage.

Helen Anderson lived her worst moment as a mother when her 7 year old daughter, Sophie went missing after being dropped off by her father for a sleepover at a neighbour’s house. Our hearts skipped a beat as K Larsen so brilliantly captured the sheer terror, panic and palpable hopelessness Helen felt at that moment, and during the aftermath of Sophie’s disappearance. We felt it all!

“Where’s our baby?” she rasped. Fear clutched at her chest as she started crying. She let out a wailing cry. “Make this go away!”

But what happened to Sophie? Was she murdered? Kidnapped? Is she still alive? After ten years of grieving yet never giving up hope that her daughter being alive, Helen’s life takes a turn when her other daughter, Cora, now 21 calls to say she had stumbled across Sophie (now 18) shivering, cold, undernourished behind a dumpster.

As the family welcome Sophie back into their lives, there are questions they so desperately need answered yet Sophie is unwilling to discuss what had transpired in her life since that fateful day.

We have to say we picked the direction of this story very quickly, but then again, we don’t feel the author was hiding it in any way given the title and as we had recently watched a documentary with the same theme, we knew what to expect plot wise, so that wasn’t a revelation for us.

What was a revelation and what kept us voraciously turning the pages, were the what’s and why for’s that we desperately needed answers to. Where had Sophie been, why is she so reluctant to talk about the ten years of her disappearance? And more importantly was everything as it seemed?

‘Good people did bad things and bad people did good things. Black and white, somewhere along the years, mixed and made gray and now the gray was all that remained.”

K Larsen is a master manipulator and fabulous suspenseful author. She has woven a story of pain, loss, grief and showcased how closure and healing can come from the most tragic and painful of situations.  We understood the reasoning and actions from both sides. The desire to belong, the need to accept and we felt the raw emotion experienced by this family. It was addictive reading that’s for sure. Who is lying? Who is hiding a secret and is anyone who they say they are? You’ll have to read and find out!

4 Stars


Also, check out Jezebel – a standalone 5 Star thriller by K Larsen

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“I promise you this story will make your head spin. It’s worth hearing.”

jezebel

SYNOPSIS
30 years of affection.
10 years of soul shattering love.
8 years of happy employment.
2 months of turmoil.
1 week of truth.
A lifetime of betrayal.

Would you have seen it coming?

Annabelle Fortin landed herself in a bit of trouble. Mandated to community service at an assisted living facility for early onset dementia she meets Jezebel, one of the residents. This is the story that unfolds over the course of Annabelle’s court ordered six month sentence. Nothing is what it seems.

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Filed under 4 Stars, K Larsen, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

WILLING VICTIM and BRUTAL GAME (Flynn and Laurel Duet) by CARA McKENNA :: DUAL REVIEW

Willing Victim – Currently ON SALE for Only 99c/99p!
Erotic, passionate and gripping romance. 


WILLING VICTIM – LAUREL & FLYNN BOOK ONE

willing
SYNOPSIS
For the past couple years Laurel’s been coasting, hiding in the backseat while her life drifts off course. Then one summer afternoon a tall, built bruiser named Flynn strides in and steers her straight into an infatuation she never saw coming.
Flynn introduces Laurel to things she’s never imagined—to the violent but exciting realm of the underground boxing circuit, to rough sex and even rougher role-playing, and to an attraction she craves even as it intimidates her. As Flynn invites her deeper into his world and his life, Laurel has to make a choice—let fear keep her holed up where it’s safe, or take a chance and fight for the man who makes her feel more alive than she’d dreamed possible.
Reader Advisory: This book contains consensual but intense rape role-playing scenes that some may find upsetting.

Willing Victim is available to purchase below for ONLY 99c/99p

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BRUTAL GAME – LAUREL & FLYNN BOOK TWO

brutal-game-22nd-nov

SYNOPSIS
Nine months ago Laurel walked into an underground boxing gym and found herself mesmerized by a stranger named Flynn—a man who fights hard and loves harder. Since then he’s taken her places where fear and curiosity clash in exquisite pleasure, where trust is the price of ecstasy, and in time their brutal games have become her kink as much as his.
But when real life intrudes and hard decisions demand action, will these two whose bond is rooted in fantasy take shelter in each other’s arms, or discover that lust is no substitute for a lasting commitment?

Brutal Game is available to Purchase

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brutal-game

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘A man capable of things few women would welcome.
A man capable of exactly what Laurel wanted, tonight.’

It’s been nearly 5 years since we became engrossed in the erotic story between Michael Flynn (Flynn) and Laurel White. Five years since we first sampled this authors work and became immediate fans. Although we remember everything about Willing Victim, we decided to do a re-read before diving into Brutal Games, the highly hoped for, and much anticipated follow up, and we’re so glad we did.

“I’m happy to be your fuckbuddy, Laurel, but I’m not afraid of getting attached to you either. I’m a pretty simple creature.”

Willing Victim has been digitally remastered with an extended ending however we read off our old copies so our review is based on this. We wanted to familiarise ourselves with the story build, allowing the emotion from Willing Victim to spill over into Brutal Games.

“Sex is…I don’t know, it’s like the realest sort of human experience I got, aside from fighting. It’s hard, going without.”

It is imperative that you read these books in order as Brutal Games picks up 8 months after WV. Besides being a must read, it’s an incredibly erotic and scorching hot read. Whilst not a particularly long read, what it lacks in pages it more than makes up for in character development, story and blistering sex!

Flynn oozes potent virility from every pore. A construction worker by day, an underground MMA fighter, which he does as a form of stress release, on the odd weekend. Flynn is commanding and demanding in the bedroom; and his dirty mouth… pass the fan!  However, beneath the tough exterior of this Boston bloke who possesses ‘textbook working class Boston Irishness” lies a soft and yielding side.

She watched him wind tape around his palms and wrists. “You have no clue how manly you are, do you.” He cocked an eyebrow but didn’t reply.

Laurel White suffers with confidence issues and has her own kind of needs in the bedroom. She’s broached the issue with former boyfriends much to their horror. With Flynn she finds the release she so craves. In Laurel, Flynn finds a woman who is in tune emotionally and physically to his needs.

“I’m just a willing body.”

We desperately craved an epilogue in WV, however, once we found out BG’s was a possibility we looked forward to one being in there, sadly we’re sort of bummed there wasn’t one. Brutal Games was a terrific journey into the progression of this couples relationship and how it is tested. Although the ending wasn’t ambiguous, we felt we needed a little more closure as it were.

‘She could turn him inside-out with a few whispered pleas.’

We loved the passion, the eroticism, the emotion and the strength of the characters in these books. Cara McKenna has delivered some truly gripping and sincere characters who wear their heart on their sleeve which was so refreshing. Her character building is exquisite. We lived and breathed Boston as though we were in the moment and again we were in awe of this author’s talent.

There is an author warning regarding rape scenes however as everything that happens in the bedroom between Laurel and Flynn is completely consensual, we didn’t feel uncomfortable or shocked. Quite the contrary. We found their exploration of their own brand of kink to be bloody hot!

‘Tonight was hers. Tomorrow could go fuck itself.’

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Cara McKenna, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny