Category Archives: 4.5 Stars

NEW CAMELOT TRILOGY by SIERRA SIMONE :: SPOILER FREE SERIES REVIEW

MF,MM,MMF Erotic, emotional trilogy

Be sure to keep an eye on our TBB Facebook page for a fabulous NEW CAMELOT GIVEAWAY!

SYNOPSIS for AMERICAN QUEEN BOOK ONE

It starts with a stolen kiss under an English sky, and it ends with a walk down the aisle. It starts with the President sending his best friend to woo me on his behalf, and it ends with my heart split in two. It starts with buried secrets and dangerous desires…and ends with the three of us bound together with a hateful love sharper than any barbed wire.

My name is Greer Galloway, and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

This is the story of an American Queen.

AMERICAN QUEEN is available to purchase below

          


SYNOPSIS for AMERICAN PRINCE BOOK TWO

I’ve been many things.

I’ve been a son and a stepbrother. An Army captain and a Vice President.

But only with Him am I a prince. His little prince.

Only with Maxen and Greer does my world make sense, only between them can I find peace from the demons that haunt me. But men like me aren’t made to be happy. We don’t deserve it. And I should have known a love as sharp as ours could cut both ways.

My name is Embry Moore and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States…for now.

This is the story of an American Prince.

AMERICAN PRINCE is available to purchase below

          


SYNOPSIS for AMERICAN KING BOOK THREE

They say that every tragic hero has a fatal flaw, a secret sin, a tiny stitch sewn into his future since birth. And here I am. My sins are no longer secret. My flaws have never been more fatal. And I’ve never been closer to tragedy than I am now.

I am a man who loves, a man whose love demands much in return. I am a king, a king who was foolish enough to build a kingdom on the bones of the past. I am a husband and a lover and a soldier and a father and a president.
And I will survive this.

Long live the king.

AMERICAN KING is available to purchase below

             


**SPOILER FREE TRILOGY REVIEW**

‘I’m aroused. I’m angry. I’m curious. I’m betrayed. I don’t ever want this moment to stop.’

We just devoured the entire New Camelot trilogy by Sierra Simone and wow, we came over all unnecessary! We’ve tried to read this Author once before and have to say -since then- her writing has evolved into something quite fabulous. So emotionally evocative with a huge emphasis on research and storytelling. We love when we try an Author again and fall in love with her writing. This trilogy is seriously addictive, highly erotic and quite simply compelling.

“You shouldn’t love me. You shouldn’t. You shouldn’t.”

Everything we love about our erotica reads was pretty much covered…or uncovered as was the case, with the added depth of a great love story and heart breaking emotion. As usual our series review will be spoiler free and because it’s three books each will be rated with a short review as we struggled to rate is as a whole. As far as erotic trilogies goes, this was a winner in our hearts!

‘…he is part God, he is more than just a man, and if he is just a man, then he is the best man ever to have lived.’

American Queen: 4 Stars

We were grabbed from the get go and couldn’t stop turning the pages whilst sticking the fan on high! We knew immediately this was the beginning of one hell of an epic saga that would dominate our life until finished. Without question, Embry and Ash stole our hearts yet we have to reluctantly admit that we never really connected with Greer in this book nor her journey which was a common on and off theme throughout the trilogy. There was no real spark or oomph for us and we would’ve loved to see more assertiveness and sassy spark from her to counteract the other characters and stamp her personality on the story. We wanted to not just like her but love her, yet we never really got there as Ash and Embry were written with such depth and passion outshining her in the process. Women can be strong, fierce and submissive at the same time. One does not negate the other.  However, the overall writing and intrigue kept us going and the intricate relationships, present and past had us devouring book one.

‘I wanted to tell him I’d be his. I’d belong to him. His possession, for as long as he’d have me. Sacrifice. I didn’t tell him any of those things, though. Instead, I told him one word.’ “No.”

 

American Prince: 5 Stars

This was our favourite book in this trilogy and we have to applaud Sierra Simone for daring to venture where she did and nailing the emotional aspect that can be quite rare to find in many mm books. American Prince had us in tears from our hearts breaking one minute then melting with hot flushes the next. Oh wow, Embry- he stole our hearts– fast becoming one of our favourite male characters. His soul was beautiful, his loyalty, sacrifice and love unwavering. His story was one that we felt in every single part of our being. What a wonderful character. There were scenes with him and Ash that literally made us shiver from the pure emotional aspect and others that were on the opposite ends of the scale being just about some of the filthiest we’ve ever read! Oh my…….         The storyline moved along fabulously and kept us riveted; quickly diving into the third and last book.

‘I could never truly be Ash’s and he could never truly be mine. But that night, none of it mattered. What mattered was that he was my king and I was his prince, and I would always, always be by his side.’

American King: 4.5 Stars

First of all we have to say American King had one of the best epilogues! It finished off the saga perfectly and we loved the afterword by Sierra Simone, it made the trilogy so much more poignant and intriguing than we originally thought it to be. In amongst the erotica -of which there was more than we usually enjoy albeit hot as hades– is a beautiful story with real beating hearts. We had a sense Ash’s journey was going to show his vulnerability masked in dominance, and it did. Whilst we had an idea where the Author was going with this story we were still surprised at certain aspects yet we embraced them, because this is fiction. We loved the journey we made with the characters in American King; the revelations and sacrifices making us gasp and tear up. Ash and Embry stole our hearts and for us this will always be their story!

‘When we first met, he thought I was his enemy and I thought he was perfect. Then I fell in love with him, and he’s been breaking my heart ever since.’

Told through past and present the three books move the present story along nicely with important flashbacks to the poignant emotional moments that shapes this very present. We never felt there were any repetitions nor did we feel they were superfluous to the trilogy. Rather, we got to experience instead of being told which we love as readers. This trilogy cannot be read as standalones; it’s an epic erotic yet emotional saga that stands out as one of the better ones we’ve read in this genre and category. Highly recommend!

“I’m sorry for all of it,” I finish. “But I love you, and that will always be the end of our story.”

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Filed under 4 Stars, 4.5 Stars, 5 Stars, Pick an Author, Sierra Simone

RUTHLESS KING (MOUNT TRILOGY #1) by MEGHAN MARCH

A dirty, sexy alpha anti hero trilogy.

Get ready for the darker and dirtier side of New Orleans with a brand new alpha romance from USA Today bestselling author Meghan March.

New Orleans belongs to me.
You don’t know my name, but I control everything you see—and all the things you don’t.
My reach knows no bounds, and my demands are always met.
I didn’t need to loan money to a failing family distillery, but it amuses me to have them in my debt.
To have her in my debt.
She doesn’t know she caught my attention.
She should’ve been more careful.
I’m going to own her. Consume her. Maybe even keep her.
It’s time to collect what I’m owed.
Keira Kilgore, you’re now the property of Lachlan Mount.


Pre Order the Mount Trilogy now!
Ruthless King releasing 17th Oct
Amazon US | Amazon UK
Defiant Queen Releasing 14th Nov – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Sinful Empire Releasing 19th Dec  – Amazon US | Amazon UK


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5stars

“I own your orgasms. I decide when you come. Not you. Learn it. Live it. Because you’re going to fucking love it by the time I’m done with you.”

Gulp! Holy hell Lachlan Mount! Talk about suspense, surprise sin and flippin’ hot sex! WOW! Ruthless King needs to come with a warning of a possible spontaneous Kindle combustion when reading! Keira and Mount positively burn up the pages, fighting each other every step of the way with explosive chemistry and a gripping push, pull between the pair! And helloo…helloalpha, possessive, sexy, dirty anti-hero….music to our ears…we knew we had to read this story!  We were so in the mood for a walk on the dirty gritty side and Ruthless King delivered exactly that and more!

Keira Kilgore is drowning in debt, trying to keep her family business, the Seven Sinners Whiskey Distillery afloat. It’s a business that’s been passed from generation to generation and there’s no way she is going to have it fold, not on her watch. However, things have just taken a turn for the worse. Keira recently lost her husband in an accident and as his wrong doings come to light, Keira realises not only was he a cheating bastard, but he had borrowed money against her business, making her financial situation even more dire than she realised. Keira needs help, and it appears in the form of the mysterious, enigmatic Lachlan Mount. The ruthless, unforgiving King of New Orleans. Nothing happens in New Orleans without Mount’s say so. He’s feared, respected and isn’t afraid of anything or anyone and has owned the streets of New Orleans for over twenty year.  He rules New Orleans with a heavy hand and a fuck you attitude and the myth surrounding this man is legendary.

‘Everyone comes into your life for a reason…or that’s what I always thought. I can’t come up with a reason for Mount. I’m sure no one can.’

Lachlan Mount makes Keira an offer she can’t refuse. After all, no one, but no one says no to Mount! He wants her to submit to his desires, he wants complete sexual control over her. Mount knows Keira is a red headed spitfire with a temper and stubbornness that amuses him. He’s bored and Keira could provide a perfect distraction and he won’t accept no for an answer.  Knowing he has her cornered, Keira relents, though she certainly doesn’t make it easy on him. This lady doesn’t bow to no man! Her fighting spirit both tests him and excites him. A lethal combination for a dangerous man!

‘Most men won’t look me in the eye, but this woman isn’t afraid to declare all-out war.’

Now, we love our anti-hero’s – they’re our kryptonite and whilst we found Lachlan Mount to be a possessive, commanding, demanding and a sex on legs alpha male, we didn’t really experience the full anti-hero aspect, the sheer weight of his menacing persona as it were.  Think Christian Grey or Jesse Ward; Mount came across as the bossy  and demanding brooding powerful alpha rather than the dangerous, deadly anti-hero. We were told and it was inferred the depths of Mounts deviousness and callousness, but we didn’t really experience first-hand the depths of his dark and deadly ways. However, this is only the first book in the trilogy so we’re looking forward to this being explored more as the series progresses! And how! Don’t get us wrong…there is a sinister feel to Mount that made us weak at the knees, just not the all-out anti-hero we had expected. Or… perhaps it’s because we fell under his spell? Hmmmmmm….

“You push me to the edge like no woman ever has, and now I’m going to fuck you like I’ve planned from day one. The way you’ve been dying to be fucked…”

This story was fabulous! Fast paced, entertaining, mysterious and totally addictive! Meghan March sure does write one filthy, sexy…and dare we say…swoony alpha! She introduced us to a cast of characters throughout the book whose role in Keira’s story left us guessing and dying to find out more! We are desperate to get our hands on Defiant Queen, because if it’s anything like this book…we know won’t be able to put it down! And don’t get us started on that ending! OMG! We bloody loved this book and can’t wait for more, more, more of everything!


TBB also recommends THE REAL DIRTY DUET

“I’m gonna spoil you, Ripley Fisher. It’s about time someone did, and I’m privileged to have the opportunity.” Boone takes advantage of my momentary speechlessness to wrap a hand around the back of my neck and slide his lips along mine. “Kiss me, sugar. I’ve missed the taste of you.”

The Real Dirty Duet delivered exactly what it promised, and just what we were in the mood for. A steamy, entertaining and effortless story that provided a pleasing balance of heat, emotion, drama, fun and even a little suspense and whodunit to keep us guessing. Not to mention a swoony warm-hearted alpha hero and a sassy yet sweet heroine. What more could we ask for?

THE REAL DIRTY DUET is available to purchase below

                    

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Meghan March, Pick an Author

SURE THING by JANA ASTON

Standalone swoony romantic comedy with a sexy Brit boyfriend!

SYNOPSIS

Have you ever set out to have a one night stand with a sexy stranger?
No? I’m the only one?
Just kidding, I would never.
Ever.
Not usually.

But then I figured, why not? My entire life I’ve been good and it’s gotten me nowhere.
No job.
No apartment.
No boyfriend.

I’m owed a little fun, aren’t I? A reward for being good.
Sure, a new pair of shoes would be more appropriate, but Mr. Sexy Stranger is more appealing. And when he speaks—in that British accent—it’s a done deal. Every American woman has a hot British guy fantasy. Well, most do. I haven’t taken a poll or anything, but I’m pretty sure it’s a fact.

Except…
You know that saying about best-laid plans?
Good, because I don’t either, but I assume they go awry.
Like my one night stand… 

SURE THING is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

 

“Is this real?” I whisper it, meant more for myself than him, but his eyes answer my question; his gaze moves across my face with tenderness before a, “Yes” is pressed onto my lips.

We were a bit late to the Jana Aston party, only sampling her work in the short story, Times Square which we both thoroughly enjoyed. And whilst it may have been a little taste, it was enough to have us swooning big time over her male hero and ensuring we were desperate to read more of her titillating, sweet, swoony, feel-good and very sexy stories.

Jumping on the chance to review, Sure Thing, we once again fell head over heels for her hero. Seriously, Jana Aston writes a gorgeous book boyfriend that’s for sure and this time around it was the sexy, swoony delectable Brit boyfriend, Jennings Anderson who made us weak at the knees. Can we take a minute to appreciate all that is Jennings…right down to his talented tongue and sexy dirty mouth…..oh good grief, that mouth of his! We died!

‘Such a gentleman. Such a filthy, dirty gentleman.’

There are times when you need to escape everything around you, and immerse yourself in something that makes your heart happy, filling it with warmth and Sure Thing was exactly that. This book came at the right time and satiated our mood perfectly.

The Brit humour was spot on, the banter between Jennings and Violet was giggle inducing – we loved the dry wit that came so easily to both characters. Nothing felt forced. And the chemistry…wooahh!!! That…and the sex was off the charts! What started as a one night stand soon turned into a lust and need for repeat performances and what performances they were! Talk about a standing ovation…Jennings hit all the spots…and more! Forget about the G Spot…he found the woooweee spot! Time and time again! So posh yet so delectably dirrrty when he wants to be.

‘I love women. I love taking them to dinner. Walking them to their door. Caressing their cheeks as I cup their jaws and kiss them before they invite me inside. Most of all, I love fucking them. I love discovering what gets the wet. What causes their breath to hitch and their toes to curl.’

Twenty six year old Violet needs an adventure! She needs spontaneity. Violet is the thinker, her sister Daisy is the doer. Violet decides she needs to follow Daisy’s lead and decides on a one night stand, and the hot thirty six year guy at the bar looked like the perfect candidate…and when he opened his mouth with that Brit accent…Violet was a goner! The outcome of their meeting is hilarious, sweet and sexy all rolled into one.

‘Do not let me down. You are my first one night stand, don’t be my last. Don’t be the reason I give up entirely and take up knitting and invest in a vibrator collection. Don’t be….Never mind.’

Sure Thing gave us a bit of drama, a couple of twists and a great day of reading. We honestly didn’t want to put this down as we wanted to immerse ourselves in everything Jennings and Violet, two wonderful characters who were perfect for each other, but due to a few little secrets they’re both hiding, their path to a happily might get a little rocky. We’d recommend this book in a heartbeat! Fabulously funny, sizzlingly sexy, wonderfully warm and enjoyably entertaining!

“Daisy.” I say softly and wait for her eyes to return to mine. “You’re the most fun I’ve ever had.”

Oh and pssst…Jana Aston, we’d LOVE Daisy’s story..juss saying’.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Jana Aston, Pick an Author

THE BROTHER by K LARSEN

Standalone companion to The Tutor – romantic suspense

SYNOPSIS
Nora Robertson is struggling to find her place in society after being held captive for half a year. Her sense of normal is skewed at best, in love and life but, she is trying to recover with the help of her support system. She pines for a home and a love she can no longer have. A love she knows was wrong but still clings to and desires secretly.

Liam Lockwood stumbled across a photo in a magazine of his ​long forgotten brother causing buried secrets, heartache and obsession​ ​to bubble to the surface.​ ​When Liam sees something he wants, he takes it. He always has and this time will be no different despite his father’s warning. Payback for a dark and broken childhood now has a name, Nora Robertson.

When Liam and Nora’s paths collide everyone in their wake will be left stumbling when the truth reveals itself.

Attraction is not random.

THE TUTOR is available to purchase below

                    

THE BROTHER is available to purchase below

         


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘It’s thrilling knowing she doesn’t realize we’re spending time together. The anticipation of what it will be like when we finally meet, makes me buzz with energy. I simply watch her. For now.’

Another brilliant winner from K Larsen who just commands every single page with her stellar writing which grabs us by the scruffs of our necks and doesn’t let go till we’ve read the last word. We were quite worried where this story would go as we loved The Tutor where we first met Nora and learned of her horrendous story. However, we were immediately captivated by Liam and his initial obsession with the girl whom his brother held hostage. Now, we won’t go into too much detail so as not to spoil The Tutor which should be read prior to The Brother. As far as duets go this one was perfection. Each held a story that felt original, was all consuming in its darkness yet hopeful in its recovery.

‘I understand the entirety of what I lived through as his captive, but my heart…my heart is a different beast. Mythical and magical and it still yearns for a man I cannot have.’

We find Nora trying to come to terms with what she’s been through as well as her trying to understand and come to terms with her emotional feelings as well as others’ perceptions of her. It’s quite the journey for this confused girl who found a love many cannot understand under horrific circumstances. She is under no illusion that she was wronged in the most brutal way yet she holds an affinity with the hand who hurt her. Therefore, recovery is stunted by the scars she bears both inside as well as on the outside. It seems only one man can penetrate the layers of abuse to her body, heart and mind, yet he holds a secret.

‘Every monster has a voice unique to them. Mine needs to be heard. Dark corners come alive and I’m going to lure her into the dark with me. My cold desire is to hear the thump thump thump of her heart. I crave it. I crave her. My need claws at me from inside, dying to get out.’

Liam is a man obsessed from the day he learns of Nora and the key she holds to a life rediscovered. He studies, stalks and preys upon the woman who has brought his past into his present and he is mesmerized by a life escaped. What started as an obsession became so much more, more than he ever imagined. Liam is as broken as Nora is with a common thread of violent behaviour. It was really quite heart=breaking and whilst Liam possessed somewhat scary and at times eerie qualities we understood the heart of them and rooted for the man to escape his oppressor and heal alongside Nora.

“I was broken from a young age. Music helped me cope. It’s therapy for me. A song can come on and take me right back to a single moment in time. It freezes memories; makes them forever tangible. Don’t you have a song? One that rips open your wounds and drops the entrails at your feet?”

We loved so much about The Brother especially Liam and Nora finding their way in life, healing themselves and seeking comfort and solace whilst accepting that they may not be who they used to be but accepting who they are now and knowing it’s okay.

‘She’s a dark temptation. My temptation.’

 


TBB Recommendations by K Larsen
Click the COVERS for more info and purchase links.


THE TUTOR – A Standalone romantic suspense

‘He stole my magic. He decimated my innocence swiftly and succinctly. And let me tell you something, innocence is like hope – a necessary element for survival. ‘

TBB says: K Larsen masterfully delivered a brilliantly written story that came to life as she captured the nuances of each character, leaving us teetering on a knife-edge with each twisting turn of the page. By allowing us into the mind of each player, K Larsen ensured we witnessed first-hand the judgements and thoughts of each character throughout this complex story that still keeps playing out in our minds long after finishing.


 

JEZEBEL and LYING IN WAIT  – psychological thriller 

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

TBB says: OUR MINDS WERE BLOWN!!  SERIOUSLY…..HOLY HELL!We’re not going to say much about the story because you need to experience this word for word for yourselves – spoiler free! This is the first time EVER we have felt the urge to skip to the ending (of course we didn’t! you know our loathing of spoilers) to see the outcome because this book kept us on tenterhooks ALL THE WAY THROUGH as conspiracy theories went in to overdrive!

 


MISSED CONNECTION – The ultimate second chance love story – Standalone

 “Where have you been my whole life?”
“Right here, waiting for you to turn up again.”

TBB Says: We urge you to pick up Ty and Jes’ story – it’s quite the journey and you will feel every emotion that is possible as you follow their journey both apart and together. Learning with them as well as exploring the mystery and romanticism of a one chance encounter that shaped lives and held such a stronghold on two souls forever.

***

THE MARRIAGE PACT – A standalone love story about letting go – Standalone

‘The years of letters felt romantic, even if they never saw each other again. Maybe it was the old fashioned quality or the waiting game between sending and receiving that made it feel more special.’

TBB Says: You can’t force tears out of a reader, the connection and emotional bond has to be there in order to feel the force of those powerful moments. We got all the emotion from Ryan and his family, his chapters were laden with his inner turmoil and his passionate feelings and beliefs. In some respect they were the profound and had the depth that inspired that important connection for us as opposed to those of Jackie, in our opinion.  However, we never once doubted the strength and power of Ryan’s love for Jackie, hence why we wanted to climb inside our kindle and bear hug this wonderful man. The Authors made us care so much, we perhaps cared too much, an admirable feat.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, K Larsen, Pick an Author

NIGHT SHIFTS BLACK (NSB#1) & TRACING HOLLAND (NSB#2) by ALYSON SANTOS :: DUAL REVIEW

Emotional Rock star friendship and rock star friends to lovers

SYNOPSIS – NIGHT SHIFTS BLACK

His name is Luke. But nobody knows that. He was an iconic musician before he gave up music. But nobody knows that either. They also don’t know he’s twenty-seven, that he used to have an infectious laugh, and that he’s way too young to be widowed. They certainly don’t know the rest of his tragic story. All they know is that he comes into their café at the same time every morning and stares at the same chair at the same table. They know he’s strange. They know he interrupts their breakfast with a cold blast of air as he hovers in the doorway, mustering the courage to confront a piece of furniture.

No one asks why. No one cares. He’s fine with that. He’s done with life. This isn’t even his story anymore. It’s actually Callie’s, the young writer who sat in his chair one day.

THE NIGHT SHIFTS BLACK SERIES is available below

Night Shifts Black Book One 

          

Tracing Holland Book Two

          

Viper Book Three

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

Night Shifts Black 4 Stars

‘He’s Luke Craven. A force. A god. He’s not real. Just a fantasy outside the grasp of our own realities. A face. A body. A cover. A story. A goad for aspiring models.’

First off, be sure to have Tracing Holland (NSB #2) on hand because, believe us, when you finish Night Shifts Black, you’re going to want to dive straight into book two to see how the story eventually concludes! We know we couldn’t have functioned until we devoured both!

We crave good rock star romances, in particular the ones that give us that ‘rock star feel’ , the ones that make us believe we’ve been allowed a backstage pass to peak behind the scenes of the rock star lifestyle. On that note, as far as the rock star feel of this story went, Alyson Santos absolutely delivered. This author’s clear knowledge and passion for the industry shone through making us feel as though we were part of the musical process of the band, Night Shifts Black.

We have to say, Night Shifts Black was different to what we had expected. We anticipated a gritty rock star romance but that wasn’t the case. What we read was a sad yet hopeful story of depression, self-loathing, guilt, about believing in yourself and demonstrates beautifully how one person, through a kind word, a show of compassion, a mere listening ear, can make such a difference. How one moment can impact our lives so dramatically….maybe even save a life.

“It all starts with believing in yourself. No, that’s a lie. It starts with accepting yourself.”

In retrospect, we found the ‘rock star romance‘ element in Night Shifts Black to be non-existent. Don’t get us wrong, there was a love aspect, however it didn’t come via Luke and Callie, instead their relationship was based on a beautiful, lasting and honest friendship.

“…don’t fall for him. Please.”
“Are you worried about me or him?”
“Both. He can’t be worshipped right now. He needs an anchor not a dreamer.”

We had initially expected love to eventuate between these two, however on reflection and at the time of reading we realised that Alyson Santos never lead us to believe there were romantic feelings between Callie and Luke so we weren’t blindsided in that regard as we always knew their relationship was born from compassion and a mutual respect. With Callie’s heart being stolen elsewhere…but it’s all good! We won’t spill anymore…but it’s okay…you’ll see!

“Promise me one thing though, Callie. No matter what happens with the two of us, we will always be there for him. I can’t lose him, too. I can’t.”
I squeeze his hand. “Neither can I.”

As we delved into Luke’s past, and as we slowly, very slowly, peeled away the layers and learnt Luke’s story, we realised Callie had demons of her own. Luke cut such a sad and lonely figure throughout Night Shifts Black and it was with heavy hearts we read, desperately wanting him to find the ability to forgive and believe in himself. In return we needed for Callie to learn her worth as a person which she discovered through her tenacious yet tentative quest, to see beneath the man, the rock star, never standing in judgement no matter what he divulged, and giving him the will to carry on with her selfless kind heart. Luke and Callie’s was a love story all of its own kind, in that we felt a genuine love, borne of deep friendship, and it was a relationship that was exquisitely written.

“What do you say to a monster you love who’s finally figured out what he is?”

This is our first read from Alyson Santos and she floored us with her enormous talent. Her writing was enriching, intelligent and unique as she unequivocally captured all the emotions associated with her subject matter. As soon as we finished Night Shifts Black, we had to devour Tracing Holland.


SYNOPSIS – TRACING HOLLAND

Second chances are hard enough when you deserve them. Then there are the ones you don’t.

Callie asked if I was ready. And that’s the question, isn’t it? Ready for what? The spotlight? The music? Or ready for life. Ready to face the reality that what I was is going to attack the very fabric of who I am now. No one knows I’m a different person. Well, no one except the two most important people in my life, which is why there’s a remote chance I might actually pull off the comeback I never saw coming.

Then again, that was before Holland Drake crashed into my life. I didn’t ask for her. Heaven knows she didn’t ask for me. But sometimes it’s not about what makes sense; it’s about accepting that not everything will. It’s learning you have a choice when it feels like you don’t. It’s believing even the worst past can still have a future.

And sometimes it’s none of that. Sometimes it’s survival. A blind fight through the pain as you cling to any shred of hope you can find. And it’s those moments, those desperate pleas into the darkness for a flicker of light, when you have no choice but to confront the blessing that often feels like a curse:

You’re still alive. You’re still significant.

You’re once again Luke Craven, frontman for Night Shifts Black.

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

Tracing Holland – 4.5 Stars

******Warning: Possible Spoilers below for Night Shifts Black *******

“I’m going to be in love with you, Luke Craven,” she breathes into the peace. I smile. “I’m going to be in love with you, too, Holland Drake.”

Tracing Holland picks up a couple of months after the ending of Night Shifts Black as we’re left wondering what was to become of Luke, Callie, Casey and Night Shifts Black’s future as a band. Could Luke make a comeback? Could he be healed? Well, it was all answered…and more in the second book.

Tracing Holland sees Luke’s recovery, we witness him facing his demons head on and it’s heart wrenching at times what he has to endure on his road to healing.

Never far from his side are his best friends Callie and Casey, for whom Luke acknowledges he wouldn’t be where he is if it had not been for their intervention. These two kindred souls singlehandedly saved Luke’s life, but it’s a long road back and it’s fraught with triggers, demons and mixed emotions.

“You’re not broken, Luke. Just lost.”

We discover a more mature Luke in this second book. He still cuts a lonely troubled figure but he begins to open himself up to Holland Drake, the front woman for the band, Tracing Holland who are supporting Night Shifts Black on their return.

Holland was such a beautiful character. Honest, loving and a perfect sounding board for the unsettled Luke. Their shared love and passion for music initially sparked their friendship, their understanding and belief in each other ignited deeper feelings to progress.

“It’s ok, Luke. It’s ok to feel something good, it’s ok to let go.”

It wasn’t an easy road for Luke. His story was emotional, difficult yet at the same time inspirational and beautiful.

We absolutely recommend grabbing these books – and to ensure you experience the whole journey, make sure you read Night Shifts Black then Tracing Holland as you need to feel Luke’s journey from its troubled beginnings to its beautiful end.

“I don’t need a man to complete me, to give me value. I want one, but I don’t need one. Sure, maybe one day I’ll find someone who will fit into the box I created for my life, but it’s a measured choice, nothing more, nothing less….and then you come along.”

What NSB may have lacked in romance, Tracing Holland more than makes up for, by delivering a heartfelt, slow burning love story that touched our hearts.

 

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