Monthly Archives: January 2017

MISTS OF THE SERENGETI by LEYLAH ATTAR :: REVIEW & EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

See why we declared this incredible story “one of the best books we’ve ever read.”


TBB Top ‘All Time Fave’ Read
5++ STAR SPOILER FREE REVIEW :: MISTS OF THE SERENGETI

Standalone epic, breathtakingly beautiful romance. 

mists on the serengeti

SYNOPSIS

Once in Africa, I kissed a king…

“And just like that, in an old red barn at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, I discovered the elusive magic I had only ever glimpsed between the pages of great love stories. It fluttered around me like a newly born butterfly and settled in a corner of my heart. I held my breath, afraid to exhale for fear it would slip out, never to be found again.”

When a bomb explodes in a mall in East Africa, its aftershocks send two strangers on a collision course that neither one sees coming.

Jack Warden, a divorced coffee farmer in Tanzania, loses his only daughter. An ocean away, in the English countryside, Rodel Emerson loses her only sibling.

Two ordinary people, bound by a tragic afternoon, set out to achieve the extraordinary, as they make three stops to rescue three children across the vast plains of the Serengeti—children who are worth more dead than alive.

But even if they beat the odds, another challenge looms at the end of the line. Can they survive yet another loss—this time of a love that’s bound to slip through their fingers, like the mists that dissipate in the light of the sun?

“Sometimes you come across a rainbow story—one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.”

A blend of romance and women’s fiction, Mists of The Serengeti is inspired by true events and contains emotional triggers, including the death of a child. Not recommended for sensitive readers. Standalone, contemporary fiction.

MISTS OF THE SERENGETI is available to purchase below

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Mists of the Serengeti

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“Will I miss you? Like a dream that starves and curls up beneath my bones.”

Sometimes a book comes along that grabs your imagination by the very scruff and demands you to vividly experience, feel, see, scent and taste every single word conveyed by its Author. A story that burrows so deep into your heart that it finds a home. A story that makes you feel as if you are an integral part of events unfolding, whilst it takes you on an unforgettable journey, forever seared into your very being. A story that sings hymns of truth in an exquisite, powerful, harrowing and passionate manner.

‘It was the kind of magic that comes after a lifetime of searching, when you stumble upon something so perfect, you stop looking, and you say: Yes. This. I know this. I feel this. I’ve heard its footsteps echo down the hallways of my soul.’

A reader lives a thousand lives and the life we led in the Mists of the Serengeti was quite simply spectacular. A masterpiece. A rich and fragrant life filled with beauty, heartbreak, tragedy, hope, suspense and ultimately a love story of grand proportion. A love story that convinced and compelled us to the point where we saw nothing else but two souls merging through fate and ultimate consequence. Love in picturesque multicolour where darkness seeps in to scar and destroy. A love that rose out of rubble and dust. Despair and injustice walking hand in hand with hope, spirit and inspiration.

‘This is what it looks like when you wander somewhere between the sand and stardust, and meet a piece of yourself in someone else.’

Sometimes a book comes along where you feel a heart beating amidst the pages. A story where the very life, breath and soul of its Author lives – where words are penned by the heart – the hand a mere conveyor of the magic that resides within. A fluid transfer of an epic love story set amongst passionate, sumptuous and colourful beauty. We felt the magic deep in our bones, our tears flowing in time to the beat of the rhythm of this story’s magnificent heart.

‘My greatest loss had led to my greatest love. Hearts were broken, and hearts were healed. Lives were lost, and lives were saved.’

We know without a doubt that what we just experienced will never leave us. Its impact and poignancy so grand and its searing splendour so vibrant it left a lasting imprint which whispers and echoes; out of the most heart-breaking tragedy an inspirational love can rise and emerge stronger than that which tries to tear it down. Leylah Attar has left us speechless and awestruck; she has left a piece of herself in our hearts forever.

‘Sometimes you come across a rainbow story – one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.’


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Laylah Attar

I woke up early the next morning. For a few long, languid moments, I lay in bed enjoying the warmth of the woman sleeping beside me. My eyes roved over her brow, the small hairs that blended into her hairline, the pink, soft cushion of her lips. I placed the tip of my little finger in the groove between her nose and upper lip. The philtrum. I had looked it up. It was mine. It fit me perfectly. Just like the rest of her. Every part of me was made to fit every part of her.

My desire stirred, hot and heavy, under the covers. I wanted her with a craving that knew no depth. She was beautiful and devastating. Just like love should be. I could spend forever in the corners of her mind and never get bored. I could kiss her lips every morning and still not learn all the flavors of her soul. I was gone for this girl—so far gone that it terrified me.

I pulled the comforter over her and slipped out of bed, smiling as she snuggled deeper. We had woken up and gone at it again. And then again. I had exhausted her. In the best possible way.

Take that, I said to the naughty paperback lying on the floor. Then I paused and flipped through it. Hmm. Maybe we can do this tonight. No. This. This is even hotter. Holy fuck.

When Rodel came downstairs, I was on the couch, feet propped up, eyeballs deep in a romance novel.

“Really?” She crawled on top of me and kissed me. “I don’t know which I find sexier. You reading this book or the morning stubble on your face.” Her fingers traced my jawline. “I’m still not used to seeing you without the beard.”

“Does it feel different when I do this?” I pulled her in and reclaimed her lips.

“Wait!” She rescued the book getting crushed between us. “Oh. My. God. Did you bend the corners of my book?” She sat back on her heels and flipped through it.

“Just the parts I think we should re-enact.”

“Jack.” She shook her head in woe. “You never, ever fold a corner over in a book.”

“You’re so hot when you go all book-nerd on me.” Her nightshirt was riding high on her thighs, her lips were pouty, and she was cradling the book as if it were a hurt child. “Do you know—” I flipped her over so she was on all fours, her nose lodged in the folds of the novel “—I have sex with you a lot. In my head. Just like this.” I squeezed her sweet, round ass and rubbed my throbbing shaft over her panties. “Read to me, Rodel. Read to me while I ride you.” I pushed the fabric of her panties aside and slipped my finger inside of her. She let out a muffled groan.

“Are you burying your face in that book? Rodel.” I tsked. “You never, ever manhandle a book like that. This sexy ass, yes.” I slapped her full, round cheek. “But the book…” I grabbed her hair and tugged so she was looking down at the pages before her. “Read it, Rodel. Unless you want me to stop?” I slid another finger inside her and nipped the back of her neck.

Her voice quivered as she started reading the passages aloud. She kept losing track. I kept reminding her. A little yank, a little spank, to keep her head in the game. Her body squirmed against mine, engulfing my senses, engorging my passion, until the air was thick with hot, heated need.

She opened her mouth to say something, but as I thrust into her, the book fell away and the only word that escaped her was: “Unghhh.” It was a throaty, unintelligible whisper that was mind-blowingly hotter than all the erotic words I’d made her read.


TBB Also recommends this wonderful Standalone by Leylah

THE PAPER SWAN can be purchased below

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the paper swan cover

SYNOPSIS

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.
They lie.
For 21 days she held on.
But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death.
Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.

A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense.

Please note: This is NOT a love triangle.

A full-length, standalone novel, intended for mature audiences due to violence, sex and language. Subject matter may be disturbing for some readers. 

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Filed under 5 Stars, Excerpt, Leylah Attar, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

STAY (Bleeding Stars #5) by A.L. JACKSON

Standalone in a series. Emotional Rock Star romance.

stay

SYNOPSIS
I’m Ash Evans.
The life of the party.
Hot. Rich. Charismatic.
A tattooed rock star with the world at my feet.
I burn through women faster than the strike of a match.

I’ve embraced my lifestyle and live it to the fullest.
Until the day my lifestyle caught up to me.

Willow Langston found me at my lowest.
Literally.
Facedown in a puddle of my own blood.

I owe her my life and I have three months to repay that debt.
What I never should have done was touch her. Kiss her. Take her to my bed.

Love wasn’t supposed to be a part of the equation.
I gave up that nasty complication a long damned time ago.
Now I want her more than my next breath.
But she doesn’t know what I know.

Do I leave to protect her? Or can I face my demons and ask her to Stay?

STAY is available to purchase below

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Stay Review (1)

***4.5 STAR REVIEW***
Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny 

‘We bled with the stars. Where they streaked and wept across the endless sky. Infinite. Burning bright right before they quickly burned out. Ashes.’

So we have to admit this book is our first in this series, gasp! Something which is in dire need of rectifying. We were told Stay can be read as a standalone and yes we agree, however we did feel like we were missing out on Sunder’s backstory and the bond between the lads. That’s not saying we didn’t enjoy it, we did, in fact we loved this story, we just think we would have had a more complete connection and understanding of relationships. On the flipside, we’re now excited to go 1Click the entire series because we have a feeling we will fall in love. We need more reading hours!!!! Who do we need to see about that?  We loved how AL Jackson made us disappear into her love story. We were completely drawn in and swept away on a current of emotions and beauty.

“Sometimes our greatest gifts are found in our darkest hour.”

Stay had everything we love to see in this type romance, it literally ticked all the boxes. It was sweet, sexy, emotional, reflective, vulnerable, passionate and so very beautiful. A sweet heroine whose heart is so big it literally just embraces everyone and everything with heartfelt love whilst seeking that very thing out to fulfil her own dream and wishes. Willow was a beautiful character, she endeared herself to us as she was so genuine and caring whilst having a feisty streak when needed. Nothing seemed over the top nor false. She was just a wonderful heroine.

“Sometimes we get so comfortable behind the protection of our walls, we forget we need to step out from behind them to actually live.”

Willow meets the bad boy serial philanderer, Ash- from the high profile band Sunder, under distressing and violent circumstances. An immediate connection and intriguing recognition is formed, for both Willow and Ash. Why is this connection so strong?

“Just…let me feel something. Something different. Something better. Something good.”

Now, we’ve not been privy to Ash’s rock star lifestyle until now but we soon got the idea, this man is hiding a tragic secret which is the root cause as to why he acts the way he does. Despite his cad-ish ways, it was clear to us from the start that this man was about so much more. We could tell from his inner voice, his friendships and his extremely protective side. Not only is this man a sight to behold, he has the heart to match.

“Even if I wanted to hold you…keep you…it’s all wrong, baby. It’s all wrong because I’m wrong. I’m ugly in all those places people can’t see. That’s the place I can’t let you go. Won’t let you go. You deserve so much better than what’s waiting there.”

The journey of Ash and Willow is a twisted path of tragedy, loss, hope, despair, dreams and love. If you wish upon a dream you must act upon your heart. We loved it! And we’re not pretending…..

Stay


THE BLEEDING STARS SERIES by A.L. JACKSON
(Please note: Books #4-6 (Wait, Stay, & Stand) are Bleeding Stars stand-alone novels.)

A STONE IN THE SEA – BOOK ONE – FREE

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DROWNING TO BREATHE – BOOK TWO

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WHERE LIGHTNING STRIKES – BOOK THREE

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WAIT – BOOK FOUR (Standalone)

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STAY – BOOK FIVE (Standalone)

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STAND – BOOK SIX (Standalone)

                    

 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, A L Jackson, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

GRAVITY by LAUREN RUNOW :: REVIEW

Standalone : Childhood friends to lovers angsty romance spanning over twenty years.

24th TBB Rec

SYNOPSIS
Gravity is not your normal, sweet romance of childhood friends to lovers. Spanning over twenty years—it’s raw, it’s real, asking the question if soul mates really exist.

Lily
At eight years old, the boy next door changed my life. He was the force pulling me toward him despite our differences. It was like magic.
We understood each other, supported each other and in the process became everything to each other.
But in chasing Trevin’s dream, I lost myself along the way.

Trevin
Through tremendous heartache, she was there. Through fame and fortune, she was there. Loving Lily was the one thing I got right.
Eclipsing her in my shadow, I took from her until she was empty. Now I must do anything to prove I can be the man she wants, no, the man she deserves.

Pre Order GRAVITY below – Releasing 24th January

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Gravity Review

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“You and me, we’re meant to be together.”

This was our first experience with Lauren Runow’s stories and we’re certainly keen to try out more. In Gravity we meet Lily Pace and Trevin Allen who become firm friends at eight years old and who live a life of ups and down, successes and failures, missed opportunities. And as the synopsis suggest, it’s certainly not a warm and gooey childhood to lover’s story, indeed it’s not. This is one angsty journey for Lily and Trevin that’s full of heartbreak, loss and bad decisions, and begs the question, can soulmate love fight, survive and conquer?

‘Without each other, we both will float away into darkness, because my life would be nothing without her.’

Trevin Allen lives in a troubled household with an alcoholic cruel father who really was one of the most revolting characters we’ve met. He made our stomach turn and his treatment of Trevin was hard reading, in fact his behaviour was downright bizarre at times.

A friendship with Lily develops when they are both eight, with Lily’s companionship being the reprieve Trevin craves. They share a reckless innocence which is so sweet and develops as the year’s progress into something more than friendship. At thirteen Trevin’s talent and passion for Baseball could be his passport out of his situation, but it is music that is his dream, and apart from Lily, his love.

‘I will try my hardest to be the best man anyone would want to love, especially the girl holding me right now.’

Trevin’s life begins to take a downward spiral thanks to his father in which Lily tries to pull him out and show him his potential, signing him up for an audition with Sony records. Trevin’s life changes, leaving Lily behind as he chases his music dream.

Trevin tries to include Lily into his life but it’s clear the prim and proper Lily is out of her depth with Trevin’s drug taking, rock star companions and cracks in their relationship and friendship develop.

Gravity follows Trevin and Lily from eight to thirty five and it’s quite the journey. We advise you to hang onto your Kindles because you’ll want to throw them a time or two! Both Lily and Trevin change in personality, behaviour throughout the story, fighting to find their identity whilst exploring the complexities of growth and eventual maturity. Life at times is erratic, separation unavoidable, and both have to learn to bend and make allowances for the other, which is easier said than done.

‘He’s been here, with me, every day since I was eight years old, and now he’s gone.’

Despite Lily’s belief and encouragement in Trevin, we did find Lily to be a little judgemental at times, and felt the time jumps didn’t allow for us to actually feel and live their story some of the time. We know Trevin had drug issues throughout his rock and roll lifestyle but we feel as though we didn’t really experience the gritty, raw aspects of this, and so the impact wasn’t as compelling as it would’ve been if we had lay witness to it.

“He’s my gravity I’m pulled toward him, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

The path to true love isn’t always straight and narrow, it’s rocky and full of potholes, and no more so than in the case of Lily and Trevin. Their love tested us, their reasoning frustrated us, some of their decision making infuriated and confused us, but there’s no doubt Lauren Runow’s story held us captive as we hoped with our hearts in knots that love would eventually prevail for these two.

4 Stars

Gravity

 

 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Lauren Runow, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

GOOD ME, BAD ME by ALI LAND :: REVIEW

A TBB 5 Star Top Read
Standalone psychological suspense thriller.

good me bad me

SYNOPSIS
‘NEW N A M E .
NEW F A M I L Y.
S H I N Y.
NEW.
ME . ‘

Annie’s mother is a serial killer.

The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.

But out of sight is not out of mind.

As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly.

A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.

But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.

Good me, bad me.

She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…

GOOD ME, BAD ME is available to purchase below

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Good Me Bad Me

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny – 5 Star Spoiler-Free Review

‘But the hearts of small children are delicate organs. A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes.’

Well this was certainly a psychological thriller that packed quite the punch. It felt unique and the writing was compellingly different, short and sharp sentences where every punctuated word hits you hard. Harrowing, disturbing, chilling and haunting. Nothing detailed, most left unsaid, yet the simplicity of the thought provoking words conjuring up a thousand pictures of a horrific childhood, a parental serial killer and a heart-breaking tragedy. The imagination runs rampant.

‘The word ‘no’ lodges in my throat, won’t launch. Can’t say it, doesn’t work anyway. No meant yes, meant you always got what you wanted. Took it anyway.’

Human conditioning through violence and pain. Your empathy will be questioned as you try to lend support to a girl’s fight against the emotional grip from the only parent she has. Mummy dearest….chills run up the spine. A mother’s love which disregards everything good, decent and loving.

“How come no one knew what she was doing?” “She was clever. Spectacular.” “In what way?” “People liked her, trusted her. She knew how to fool them.”

Twisted, daring and through provoking, this is a must read for anyone who loves to read with one eye open. Milly’s voice will shock you, it’ll frighten you, and it’ll break your heart. It’s a voice that reflects every second, minute, hour, day, week, year she’s spent being frightened and forced to play a part from the strong hold of her Mum’s terrorising ways. Milly’s voice questioning, conflicted, separated into good and bad- in her own words. Trying to be different to everything she’s known. Trying to desperately find normality in a world in which she feels lost, lonely and isolated. Human compassion and understanding up against everything that came before. Trying to grasp at any human decency and contact she possibly can. Is everything as it seems?

‘I welcome the contact. I am real. See me, feel me, but know that I come from a place where this is merely a warm-up.’

Bravo Ali Land- this debut novel set in London ticks every box for originality. An intriguing chilling account by a teenage girl brought up in a house of horror. This is a story that’ll be discussed and dissected till the early hours of the morning.

‘I can do this, I can do life after you.’

 Good Me Bad Me

 

 

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Filed under 5 Stars, Ali Land, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

RAW DEAL (Larson Brothers #1) by CHERRIE LYNN :: REVIEW

Standalone in a series. MMA Romance

raw-deal

SYNOPSIS

Savannah’s brother was killed in a cage fight with Mike “Red Reaper” Larson after a savage punch to the head.

When Mike shows up at the funeral, he’s nothing like Savannah expected. Gone is the fierce, brutal beast she’s seen in the cage. In his place is a beautiful man torn with guilt, seeking forgiveness, and willing to do anything to ease her pain.

Her family doesn’t approve, but her heart doesn’t stand a chance. Irresistibly drawn together, neither of them can deny the intoxicating desire unleashed between them, turning their pain into the most exquisite pleasure.

But every time Mike steps into the cage, Savannah knows she could lose him too. She can’t go through that again, but how can she let go of the one man who sets her body and soul on fire?

Purchase RAW DEAL below

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Raw Deal Review

4 Stars

‘They were only two people trying to come to grips with their new realities.’

It’s been quite a few years since we last read a book by Cherrie Lynn. We’ve missed her. When we talk ‘frowned upon’ love stories a specific kind is conjured in our minds. However, Raw Deal can be thought of in those terms, as in two people who due to circumstances should not be together. This romance had us thinking about emotional morality and comparing it to what we would feel, should this be real life. Would we be in the yes or the no camp? However, nothing is just black nor white. There’s ultimately grey as well, and in that grey are a swirl of emotions, passions, understanding and compassion all mixed up together to make an area of; but what if?

‘Hard to believe a hand that touched her so gently could ever hurt anyone.’

Savannah and her family suffer a tragic loss when her brother dies in a cage fight against the fierce beast that is Mike Larson. A tragic accident with dire repercussions. How do you go on from here? How do you cope and who do you turn to? Who would have thought that love can blossom in the face of violence?

‘What the fuck did you do when the “right thing” felt so completely wrong?’

Mike Larson has a story behind him and it’s one of sadness and grave responsibility. He’s a force to be reckoned with, but his heart is caring and he loves fiercely. All he wants is to protect those he cares about, those he loves. Savannah’s heart wants what it wants but her conscience questions it every step of the way until the only voice she can hear is the beat of her heart.

“But I do want you to be real.”

“This is…real as it gets, darlin’.”

“You’re nothing like I expected you to be. I only saw how you were with your opponents…”

We haven’t read an MMA fighter romance in a while but can’t help think that this is one of our favourites. Why? Because we felt like we were in the audience, we tasted and smelt the blood, sweat and heightened adrenaline. We saw it and we believed it. Not only that, we felt the guilt and the grief; the confusion and the rejection. We understood it, yet we fought against it alongside our heroine. This, at the same time as feeling protective of our hero despite what transpired at his hands. We loved Savannah and Mike’s story. There was something sweet and innocent about it whilst at the same time it was steamy with a dash of angst and aggression.

“It was just…a perfect storm of catastrophic circumstances.”

 Raw Deal


PRE ORDER RAW DEAL – BOOK TWO 
Amazon US | Amazon UK


Click Below for more TBB RECOMMENDED READS by CHERRIE LYNN

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Filed under 4 Stars, Cherrie Lynn, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny