Monthly Archives: October 2017

A CHARM OF FINCHES (Venery #2) by SUANNE LAQUEUR

5+++  ‘standing ovation, magnificent’ stars! A TBB 2017 TOP READ!

Please note: We strongly advise reading An Exaltation of Larks before this book – currently on sale for 99c/99p!
A profoundly moving story of survival, strength friendship, compassion and love. 

SYNOPSIS

Ex-escort Javier Landes is asking for his third chance at love. And the third time is the charm. He meets an art therapist named Steffen Finch and what starts as casual deepens into a passionate relationship—everything Jav has ever wanted, and everything he fears losing.Stef’s business card reads Curator & Sailor. His creativity and insightful nature have made him into a talented therapist, the one to call for tough cases. His professional success can’t conceal a deep need to connect with someone, but Javier Landes is the last person Stef expected.

Geronimo “Geno” Caan is Stef’s most challenging case. To cope with his ordeal, he’s allowed an alter-ego called Mos to make decisions, and now lives a double life within a web of lies. Under Stef’s navigation, Geno uses art to express what Mos forbids to be spoken aloud. But as Geno’s attachment to Stef gradually extends to Jav, the boundaries between professional and personal begin to blur.

Over the course of a year, Jav, Stef and Geno form an unexpected and unconventional triangle, revealing how men make love in times of war and how love is a great wisdom made up of small understandings.

Purchase AN EXALTATION OF LARKS for ONLY 99c/99p Below

                    

Purchase A CHARM OF FINCHES Below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘I know you, he thought, wounded. I see you. I was born tangled with you. We started as one cell before becoming two.’

‘He felt nothing but conviction he was right. This was how it had to be. He knew no other way to survive what couldn’t be understood, other than to have it happen to someone else.’

A Charm of Finches by Suanne Laqueur was a masterpiece which we will never forget, our hearts may never recover but we wouldn’t want them to. We honestly have no words for how intensely overwhelmed we feel about this vivid and emotional story of high importance. Incredibly well written; this is a story of survival. Of tragedy shaping futures, of friendship, understanding, compassion and acceptance. This is not a romance in the ‘usual’ sense of the word rather this is a story of the ugly side of life and how friendships and soulmates are the true thread that binds us, giving the cloth of our humanity love, strength and methods of survival.

‘Just let me come home. Give me this chance. Please let me live to find out who I really am.’

The topic of this story is very –very- real and what we truly admire about this Author is how she writes about the harrowing soul destroying psychological as well as physical after effects whilst highlighting the truth that many turn their backs on: men get raped too. This is not something we often come across in the books we read and we applaud her wholeheartedly for it.

‘I am looking for you. Breathe in the air. Can you smell me? Do you taste me? If you do, then you are mine.’

Suanne Laqueur highlighted the disparity between the perception of female rape and male rape for both the victim and in regards to societal beliefs. Yet what she manages to do is weave hope and inspiration into the dark, gritty and quite frankly soul destroying reality. It was a heroic journey that left us exhausted.

‘She brought in a tall stack of blank, white masks’… “The way one fits snug on top of the other…We don’t just wear one mask, we wear many. First the mask we show to the outside world and under it, the mask we put over our feelings. Under that…”

Not a word was written purely for the purpose of creating a dramatic effect, of that we are adamant and convinced. This is a story that has indisputably been researched to the ninth degree making every single character and their individual as well as combined stories come alive in front of our eyes making us feel like we were part of their story. We became the story and the story became us. This intense feeling had us crying till we couldn’t breathe whilst feeling the shivers, shakes and despair, the hopelessness, the fear, the anger and the pain. As hard as this was, we wanted to feel it, we wanted to take every single step alongside the characters.

“Do you believe everything happens for a reason?”

“I do…but not everyone gets the privilege of liking the reason. Of feeling the reason was worth the ordeal or experience.”

Oh the characters; Geno, Steffen, Javier, Micah, Stav and the rest of the heroes; the survivors of atrocities and circumstance each with their own story and part to play; heavily entwined in an account of life with such depth and detail. We took them all to heart; we came to know them, experienced their stories and struggles, whilst rejoicing with them in their moments of beauty and bliss. Steffen Finch, this man became our North Star, a man we will never forget. A man like no other. We haven’t cried over so many wonderful yet pain tormented characters in a very long time; every tear and aching heartbeat belonged to them.

‘I’m on guard, little brother. You fought hard and brave. Rest your heart now. Don’t be afraid. I’m here. They’ll have to come through me to get to you this time.’

In the overwhelming darkness we were able to see the stars, the hope, the purity, the inspiration and the light. The gift Suanne Laqueur gave us is quite simply astounding, masterful, confronting, exhausting and one of the best we have ever received as readers. She obliterated our hearts and we thank her for that. We forgot to breathe – Suanne Laqueur slayed us emotionally. There are not enough stars in the sky to give…..

‘You are here and nowhere else. Nothing else exists. No other thought. No other feeling. No other moment in any other time but now. No other man but him. No other love but his.’


AN EXALTATION OF LARKS – BOOK ONE – ON SALE for 99c/99p

A 5 ++ deeply emotional, heartbreaking, uplifting and moving exploration of love.
Across three decades and two continents, this novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love’s downfall can turn to exaltation.
“We’re so alike, you and I. It’s no wonder we kept finding each other.”

exaltation-of-larks

SYNOPSIS
September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.
September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he’s long suppressed.
Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11’s, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.
“Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn’t yours.”

TBB ALSO RECOMMENDS by SUANNE


THE FISH TALES SERIES – A TBB 5 Star Series
This series isn’t a read. It’s an epic, emotinonally charged journey. An experience you do not want to miss!
(Please Note: The synopsis for Books #2 and #3 contain spoilers for Book #1)

fish-tales

✲✲✲✲


the man i love

THE MAN I LOVE BOOK ONE

‘Loving her felt like creating something. A cathedral. Spires and stained glass and bells. But she broke one window and I indiscriminately tore the whole thing down…’

SYNOPSIS
“Like it or not, she made you the man you are. And you never got over her. You just left.”
The man is Erik “Fish” Fiskare, a student of technical theatre at a Philadelphia university. At twenty-two, he is the lover and soul mate of Daisy Bianco, a beautiful and talented ballerina. His best friend is William Kaeger, Daisy’s charismatic, free-spirited partner.
While deeply in love with Daisy and astonished by their physical passion, Erik is fascinated by Will’s bisexuality. But when Will embarks on a disastrous affair with a dancer named James Dow, it pushes Erik’s tolerance and trust to the limit. Rejection soon pushes James over the edge of sanity, taking Will and Daisy with him and leaving Erik in the ruins.
The young stagehand soon discovers that in the face of heartache, grief and betrayal, love is not always enough to make you stay. And sometimes, it’s the only thing that can bring you back.
Spanning fifteen years and following a man’s thrilling emotional journey back to the truth of himself, Laqueur’s debut novel explores the complexities of sexual passion, the dark side of devotion and the futility of running from one’s past. The Man I Love is an epic tale of love and forgiveness that will linger long after the last page is turned.

Available to purchase below:

purchase link small              purchase link small           purchase


give me your answer

GIVE ME YOUR ANSWER TRUE BOOK TWO

“I can’t breathe without you.”

SYNOPSIS
“What I feel has no name…”
Suanne Laqueur’s award-winning debut novel The Man I Lovethrilled readers with its memorable characters and depth of emotion. Erik Fiskare’s journey of love, recovery and forgiveness captivated hearts but also left questions unanswered. Now Daisy Bianco has a chance to tell her story.
It’s been three years since a single lapse of judgment cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he’s chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her or acknowledge her betrayal. Alone and shattered, Daisy attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik’s unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the Lancaster shootings, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John “Opie” Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.
Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the college years with Daisy’s present life. Supported by John’s patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.
In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they are trying to evolve without being fully resolved. But when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.

Available to purchase below:

purchase link small             purchase link small


here to stay

HERE TO STAY BOOK THREE

“Love can bring out the best and worst in us. We’ve all been a jackass for love. But love makes us do amazing things. And if love drives us away, love is what brings us back. Love makes up pick up the phone. Love makes us listen. Love makes us say I’m sorry. Love makes us forgive. Love makes us better. Love makes us our best. “

SYNOPSIS
“You can’t sort of do this, Fish. Draw a line and get on one side or the other…”
Love is never so sweet as when it receives a second chance. In the sequel to her award-winning novel The Man I Love, Suanne Laqueur continues the story of Erik Fiskare’s romance with Daisy Bianco. Though separated for twelve years, the extraordinary bond forged in their youth has endured. But when your soulmate has caused you indescribable pain, how easy is it to forgive? How much trust is needed to place your heart back into the hands that once broke it? How much faith does it take to ask the question, “Do you still want me?” and believe in the reply: “I still want us.”
Erik and Daisy commit to creating a new life together. They are separated by geography, loyal to career commitments and burdened with lingering pain from a decade spent apart. Yet despite the challenges, Erik knows Daisy is the best thing to happen to him twice.
Slowly Erik earns back Daisy’s love as well as the trust of his incomparable friend, Will Kaeger. Both relationships grow deeper and more complex, as do Erik’s ties to the past. Unexpected contact with distant cousins offers new insight to the cruel childhood desertion that shaped so much of Erik’s adult life. With Daisy at his side, he travels back to his hometown to meet his people, explore his family’s history and learn about the men who wore his heirloom necklace before him.
The cathedral once burned down is rebuilt. But a love affair is never a finished thing. Life is never without its tragedies. Daisy and Erik soon face a threat more harrowing than gunfire, more sorrowful than the lost years. With Will at his back and family close by, Erik must fight for the things he once walked away from and prove his love is here to stay.

Available to purchase below:

purchase link small         purchase link small          purchase


1 Comment

Filed under 5 Stars, Pick an Author, Suanne Laqueur

BOUNTIFUL (True North #4) by SARINA BOWEN

Second chance small town romance – can be read as a standalone

SYNOPSIS

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on. 

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life. 

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

BOUNTIFUL is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

 

‘It was wild and ugly and beautifully and exactly what I needed. We consumed each other, and I forgot to be afraid.’

We adore small town romances as much as we do second chance romances….add a hockey player, a gorgeous little baby, a series we’ve loved from the very first book, add in the captivating words of Sarina Bowen, we expected Bountiful would be a winner…and it was!

‘One summer night I’d lain beneath him just like this, while we made a baby. My foolish, romantic heart liked the sound of that.’

We’ve read all the True North books and have fallen in love with every one! Each journey has been different and each has delivered the beautiful sweeping Vermont landscape, the heart-warming characters, the family unit and Sarina Bowen’s words which has been lush and inviting throughout.

Zara, the prickly bartender has been there from day one. Zara was the spurned friends with benefits partner of Griffin Shipley, and had always came across as a gregarious girl who had her barriers firmly in place, who teetered around on high heels tending bar whilst pregnant and never letting slip who the father of her baby was. She always felt so defensive in previous books. So it was welcoming to hear Zara’s side of the story which softened her immensely from the girl we had come to know.

‘He kissed my forehead so tenderly I wanted to die. Because moment like this didn’t last.’

Just who was the father of Zara’s baby, Nicole? It had been the topic of much town gossip, most pointing the finger at Griff Shipley who was now more than happy with the love of his life and now Zara’s bff, Audrey.  Nope, it turns out Nicole’s dad was the result of a short and lusty few weeks Zara spent with a man named Dave who was on vacation in Vermont. Their tryst was a strictly ‘no names, no personal information’ affair and Dave returned to his part of the world unknowingly leaving something behind….a pregnant Zara. Despite her best efforts, Zara couldn’t find Dave to share her news.

‘Watching her was like rediscovering espresso after a month of weak airplane coffee.’

Two years later, David Beringer, a professional hockey player, still retains memories of his time with the fierce, sexy woman he met previously, and heads back to Vermont seeking her out, hoping to pick up where they left off. Instead he’s met with quite the surprise when he finds out he’s a father. And…there’s no mistaking Nicole is his, thanks to the shock of matching copper hair!

‘I’d gone and one exactly what I shouldn’t have done – I’d gotten hung up on Dave, the ginger hottie.’

We adored this book. Seeing Dave move from a ‘strictly no relationships’, single guy with only Hockey on his mind, to a caring and loving Dad was a sight to behold. We could picture this big burly man so lovingly holding his cherished daughter in his capable hands.

The relationship between Dave and Zara moved at a realistic steady pace, as we would expect with the obstacles they needed to overcome. Trust, lifestyle and distance were all issues for Zara and Dave to work through and it’s not easy, with Sarina Bowen telling their story engagingly and heart-warmingly with dashes of heat, humour and a good helping of swoon!

‘I was starting to realize that getting older was just a lengthy exercise in getting schooled on all the ways you weren’t in charge of your own destiny.’

We so looking forward to our next trip back to the rich Vermont landscape to catch up with some old friends when Sarina Bowen pens the next book and we’re crossing everything that it’s Bess and Ben!


THE TRUE NORTH SERIES

Bittersweet Book One

Keepsake Book Two 

Steadfast Book Three

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 4 Stars, Pick an Author, Sarina Bowen

KILL GAME (Seven of Spades #1) by CORDELIA KINGSBRIDGE

5 gripping ‘we need more‘ stars!
MM suspense thriller romance series – the deck is not stacked in their favor with this game-playing killer.

SYNOPSIS

Homicide detective Levi Abrams is barely holding his life together. He’s reeling from the fallout of a fatal shooting, and his relationship with his boyfriend is crumbling. The last thing he’s prepared for is a serial killer stalking the streets of Las Vegas. Or how he keeps getting thrown into the path of annoyingly charming bounty hunter Dominic Russo.

Dominic likes his life free of complications. That means no tangling with cops—especially prickly, uptight detectives. But when he stumbles across one of the Seven of Spades’s horrifying crime scenes, he can’t let go, despite Levi’s warnings to stay away.

The Seven of Spades is ruthless and always two moves ahead. Worst of all, they’ve taken a dangerously personal interest in Levi and Dominic. Forced to trust each other, the two men race to discover the killer’s identity, revealing hidden truths along the way and sparking a bond neither man expected. But that may not be enough to protect them.

This killer likes to play games, and the deck is not stacked in Levi and Dominic’s favor.

KILL GAME is available to purchase below

           


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“I want the people of this city to know I’m on their side, and the animals to know I’m coming for them.”

Wow….wow…WOW we loved this book. We are so excited to find this new to us Author and a new series to fall in love with. Everything about Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge was just perfection. A thrilling who-dunnit set in Las Vegas with a simmering love story that had us hooked from the first page. We cannot wait for the next book in this series.  Kill Game was so well written, it enticed us, thrilled us and we were compelled by this story. Whilst we’d love to talk late into the night about this book we really do not want to spoil anything so we’ll be purposely brief.

“I keep going back and forth with myself on whether you have balls of steel or you’re just insane.” A grin broke across Dominic’s face. “I’m choosing to take that as a compliment.”

There’s a serial killer on the loose dubbed the ‘Seven of Spades killer’ for the simple fact that he or she places his calling card on every victim he leaves for Homicide Detective, Levi – the lead investigator. Every single victim has a story of their own but it’s never a good one; they’re all ‘criminal’ in their own right and it seems the Seven of Spades is committing his very own elaborate brand of justice.

“It’s a little disorienting, finding out that everything I’ve always assumed about you was wrong.”

Levi is feeling the stress of not only the added hours at work but the crumbling of his relationship with his rich boyfriend, Stanton who wants Levi to quit in order to be safe and more available to him. The pressure of an active serial killer, a haunting incident at work, as well as the difficulties in his personal life sees an exhausted Levi questioning everything he knows. Levi was a brilliantly written character who we immediately took to our hearts and we were rooting for him throughout this book. Although a forceful character to be reckoned with, he had real flaws and an endearing vulnerability.

“There’s something wrong with me,” Levi whispered.

“No, there’s not.” Dominic said, so firmly that Levi gave a startled jerk.

“You’re just human.”

The investigation of this case brings the bounty hunter Dominic too close for comfort. Whilst Levi has had prior fleeting interactions with him, the circumstances of this case means the two of them become closer and are having to work together. Neither are ready for the complications this brings but the chemistry is undeniable. Dominic, whose ex-army is a brute of a man who comes with his own inner demons fresh from battle. He too has a sensitive protective side that had us falling hook line and sinker. The pair of them had us swooning, tearing up and laughing at various stages throughout this story.

“You believe in soulmates?” Dominic asked surprised. He couldn’t reconcile that romantic notion with the practical, matter-of-fact man sitting in front of him.

“I believe that people can complement each other so well that they’re like two halves of one whole, yes.”

What we loved mostly about Kill Game was the way it centred on the suspense and chase to find the Seven of Spades killer. The added element of a slow building friendship and romance between Levi and Dominic was enticing and perfectly added the human element of showing the hearts and vulnerability of the characters. Now we wait for the next instalment with baited breath, and how excruciatingly exciting that is as theories still swirl round our heads. We haven’t read this type story in a long while and highly recommend it to readers of mm romance and thrillers.

“This isn’t how it happens, you and me,” he said quietly. “Not like this.”

ABOUT THE SEVEN OF SPADES SERIES

Las Vegas has never seen a serial killer like the Seven of Spades.

The self-styled vigilante is on a mission to cut down the wicked and treacherous, and Sin City has no shortage of targets for their bloody wrath. What happens in Vegas . . . ends with the Seven of Spades’s calling card on a grisly corpse.

Standing against the killer are Levi Abrams, a dedicated homicide detective locked in a constant struggle to restrain his own dark side, and bounty hunter Dominic Russo, a charming rogue with a heavy secret weighing on his shoulders.

The hunt for the Seven of Spades sends Levi and Dominic on a collision course, igniting a passionate relationship forged in conflict and sealed with blood. Together they’re stronger than the sum of their parts, but a wily, elusive serial killer isn’t the only threat that will strain their bond to the breaking point.

Ante up, because the Seven of Spades is all in. Are you?

Leave a Comment

Filed under 5 Stars, Cordelia Kingsbridge, Pick an Author

FOREVER RIGHT NOW by EMMA SCOTT

5 STAR REVIEW

NA Standalone emotional and beautiful story with a single Dad

SYNOPSIS

Darlene Montgomery has been to hell and back…more than once. After a stint in jail for drug possession, she is finally clean and ready to start over. Yet another failed relationship is just the motivation she needs to move from New York to San Francisco with the hopes of resurrecting her dance career and discovering that she is more than the sum of her rap sheet. As Darlene struggles in her new city, the last thing she wants is to become entangled with her handsome—but cranky—neighbor and his adorable little girl…

Sawyer Haas is weeks away from finishing law school, but exhaustion, dwindling finances, and the pressure to provide for himself and his daughter, Olivia, are wearing him down. A federal clerkship–a job he desperately needs–awaits him after graduation, but only if he passes the Bar Exam. Sawyer doesn’t have the time or patience for the capricious—if beautiful—dancer who moves into the apartment above his. But Darlene’s easy laugh and cheerful spirit seep into the cracks of his hardened heart, and slowly break down the walls he’s resurrected to keep from being betrayed ever again.

When the parents of Olivia’s absentee mother come to fight for custody, Sawyer could lose everything. To have any chance at happiness, he must trust Darlene, the woman who has somehow found her way past his brittle barbs, and Darlene must decide how much of her own bruised heart she is willing to give to Sawyer and Olivia, especially when the ghosts of her troubled past refuse to stay buried.

For readers 18 and up

FOREVER RIGHT NOW is availble below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“I kind of like how no one knows me here. It’s like the proverbial blank slate and I can write whatever I want on it.”

There is never a question of an almost complete emotional annihilation when you pick up a book from Emma Scott. She writes characters that you take firmly into your heart as you develop an innate need to protect them and stand by their side as they search and fight for their place in life- their needs, desires and wants. Her characters always have this huge heart and such strength as they batten down the hatches. Emma Scott writes beautifully, passionately and vividly. We cannot help but be drawn in from the start every time we pick up one of her books, becoming a part of her story ourselves.

“Life has no guide map. Things happen and people react, and no two people will do the same thing.”

Forever Right Now was a slow burn character driven story that ensured we felt every moment of loneliness, desperation, exhaustion, desire, love and heartbreak. A myriad of human emotions and we felt every single one of them. We all just want to be; be who we were meant to, be who we want to, be who we are to the best of our ability. Be good people, caring people, people who when seeing others struggle lend a caring ear and hand. We all strive for contentment and belonging. We desire to feel accepted and loved.

She tilted her head up to look up at me, her blue eyes brimming and her cheeks stained with the trails of dark makeup. “I can’t hold on to anything…”
“Not this time.” I said, gruffly. “Hold on to me.”

We first met Darlene in The Butterfly Project, a beautiful lost girl who’s a recovering addict. This is her story. We meet her as she arrives in San Francisco tired and weary yet full of hope for her new beginning, her own personal journey to find herself and her path in life. Emma Scott has a wonderful talent for writing heroines we fall in love with. They have such strength yet retain vulnerability, facing life head on with bravery and compassion. Sure, they are marked by life’s circumstances and actions with consequences, but they feel authentic and inspire such admiration and empathy.

“You know that emotional rock bottom you keep talking about?”
“Yeah.”
“I’m standing at the edge of it, staring right down into it. Teetering,” I said, my voice hardly a whisper. “It’ll just take one push and…”
“And?”
“I’m going to fall in.”

The best intentions sometimes become second in line of importance when met with new discoveries. Such as a handsome albeit moody neighbour with a young daughter. Sawyer completely throws Darlene’s good intentions to the wayside as her inherent need to help and make others feel better becomes her focus. However, sometimes by helping others is how we find ourselves.

“I keep saying I need to work on me, but I’m doing everything right and I still feel like something’s missing.” Her eyes were impossibly blue as they gazed up at mine. “Is it you?”
“I don’t know,” I said. But maybe it could be.

Sawyer is a young man whose life was changed forever in a single second. Studying to become a lawyer, with a very black and white mind-set, he’s suddenly faced with a life that’s not just his own any longer. The way in which he deals with this was inspiring and tugged at our heartstrings as he faced one obstacle after another. In amidst the heartbreak and struggles a young man truly finds himself and opens himself up to a greater appreciation and understanding which in turn opens his heart to that beautiful love that comes without conditions.

We say it every time and will undoubtedly sound like a broken record, but Emma Scott never fails to grab our hearts with her words, her characters and her demand that we feel and care so passionately. If you haven’t read this Author yet you quite simply must!

“Do you ever wish you could take a moment and keep it forever? Like right now…how you taste on my mouth, and your hands on me, and your eyes…God, Sawyer, the way you’re looking at me…If I could have just one moment, one feeling, and live in it forever, I would choose this one.”


CHECK OUT MORE TBB RECOMMENDED READS by EMMA
OR CLICK HERE FOR ALL THINGS EMMA at TBB 


THE FULL TILT – DUET

“We may not have months or years, but we have moments. Thousands upon thousands of them. Let’s take each moment, seize it and wring it dry. Okay?”
“Click on Covers for more information”


SUGAR & GOLD – TBB 5 STAR STANDALONE

‘I held her the way you hold something you know isn’t yours to keep.’
“Click on Covers for more information”


THE BUTTERFLY PROJECT – 5 STAR STANDALONE

‘I realized you could get used to anything – even alone for years – right until the moment you touched something better than what you had.’
“Click on Cover for more information”


“Click on Covers for more information”

 


Leave a Comment

Filed under 5 Stars, Emma Scott, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author

GRIGORI (Brothers of Ash and Fire #1) by LAUREN SMITH

Standalone in a paranormal shifter series.

SYNOPSIS

He’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline …
Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia.

She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world…
Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.

GRIGORI is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

“All that matters is that I found you. After nearly two thousand years of being alone, I found you.”

After coming off an intense and angsty read, we were in the mood for a story to lose ourselves in, a chance to suspend reality for a moment in time and Grigori, the first book in the Brothers of Ash and Fire by Lauren Smith, a new to us author, provided exactly that! We were captivated by this book! We love our PNR and easily devoured this read. We’ve read all kinds of PNR books but have to say, a Dragon Shifter is a first for us, and well, after witnessing those spectacular dragons on Game of Thrones, we were pretty excited to see what this was all about!

“Here there be dragons,” he echoed in a husky whisper.”

The series explores the Russian Barinov Brothers; Mikhail, Rurik and Grigori, the last three in a line of centuries old, Barinov dragon shifters. Grigori Barinov is the first brother we meet and his story sets up the series (which we’re dying for more of) perfectly. We were immediately drawn into Grigori and Madelyn’s fierce and fast romance. Yes, things do move very quickly for these two but the author does a splendid job of creating her world and providing reasoning for the intense and rapid feelings experienced between Grigori and Madelyn.  There’s a familiarity between them that is later explored and explained.

‘The little human was bringing out old instincts in him, ones he thought he’d mastered long ago.’

Madelyn Haynes, a professor of medieval mythology, has been reading and researching dragons for years. Her studies take her to Russia on a fact finding mission to uncover the mythology of the dragons that have consumed her thoughts. Convinced they’re real, she uncovers a manuscript detailing the brothers Barinov and soon she meets two of the Barinov brothers first hand, confirming her beliefs.

‘He may have worn an expensive suit and looked like an Armani model, but he acted like an ancient warrior – one who took what he wanted. God help her, she liked it.’

Grigori has gone to great lengths to ensure his family secrets do not become public knowledge so when word hits him that a woman from America is seeking information, he acts quickly to find out more about this nosy American woman and veer her off their trail.  What he didn’t count on was the fact that he may have just found his mate, the woman he has been searching for his whole life. But, Madelyn is human, he’s a dragon shifter – he’s immortal and couldn’t bear the thought of outliving Madelyn. After all, dragons are so connected to their mates, they grieve so deeply and don’t live much past the passing of their one true love, so Grigori must tread carefully.

‘Holding her like this felt right, natural, just like it felt to fly. In that moment he wanted to share himself with her, open his heart to her.

Of course, the heart rules the head in this case with Grigori providing so much of what we love about paranormal escapism. The one true mate, the intense attraction and chemistry, the alpha possessive male, the woman who his heart beats for; and let’s not forget the epic battles, the threats and problems that plague them. It all went into making this a fabulously entertaining read.

“It doesn’t matter what you are. You are mine and I am yours. The fates brought us together for a purpose and I will not forsake you.”

For us, this gave off a Twilight meets Game of Thrones vibe – oh don’t worry, it’s very tame (not murder GOT), but the dragons were very reminiscent of the series and their history the author provided was fascinating! If this first book is anything to go by, we’ve just found ourselves a new PNR series to fawn over and you can bet we’ll diving straight into Mikhail’s books when it releases in January. Oh, won’t his be a tale to tell! There was so much mystery surrounding this man who had lived a lot of his life in exile.  If, like us, you love the mystery, history and romance of these types of stories, you can bet you’re gonna love Grigori!

“What I promise you is a vow of love and loyalty. A vow to never leave you. Mates become one beating heart, one infinite soul.”

Leave a Comment

Filed under 4 Stars, Lauren Smith, Pick an Author