Category Archives: 4 Stars

BREAKING GIANTS by L M HALLORAN :: REVIEW

Standalone Rock Star Romance

SYNOPSIS
A rockstar romance unlike any you’ve read before…

When I meet Julian Ashburn, the reclusive frontman of indie-rock legends Breaking Giants, I do what any sane woman would do. Embarrass myself, then insult him. Because you only live once, right?

Besides, keeping my distance from the enigmatic, songwriting genius is an act of self-preservation. Julian is dangerous—a pool of kerosine to my pyromaniac. I have a weakness for broken men.

But sometimes the stories we tell and the songs we sing—about family, love, and ourselves—have to be rewritten in order for us to grow. Call it Fate, or stars aligning, or cosmic accident, but I’m about to find out that of the two of us, Julian isn’t the broken one.

The greatest love songs break your heart.

If you’re lucky, they heal it, too.

BREAKING GIANTS is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“It’s like a fairytale.”
“I don’t know any fairytales that are as dark and twisted as this one.”

Music owns our souls with rock star romances being one of our favourite things. There’s just something about this theme that really catches our attention, though to be honest, it’s also one we find can be a bit of a hit and miss, mainly because,  the focus sometimes sides heavily on the romance aspect, forgetting the all-important musical experience we crave. We love to be wooed as much by the musical feeling of the story as the romantic entanglement therein.

‘My body is a song – he knows every note.’

L.M. Halloran is a new to us author and the tagline of her synopsis especially grabbed our attention. How could we not be seduced by…’A rockstar romance unlike any you’ve read before’.. Yep, we HAD to read it with that statement.

We really enjoyed Breaking Giants (great name for a band by the way) and we’re pleased to say L.M. Halloran did deliver on both the romance and the musical aspect of the story, with a good dose of angst, though we don’t feel this rock star romance delivered on the ‘unlike anything we’ve read before’ promise we had hoped, though saying that we have devoured a lot of rock star reads over the years!

‘I watch, silent and empty, as my happiness leaves, slamming the front door behind him.’

The heart and soul of the music was most definitely prevalent throughout this story which told of the on/off sizzling attraction between lead singer of the Breaking Giants, Julian Ashburn and Rose Cunningham, who runs a coffee shop in Seattle and is the daughter of a music producer father and a famed singer/songwriter mother. Both of who, have sadly passed.

Did fate have a hand in Rose and Julian’s destiny? And if so, fate was given a bitch of a job with these two fighting every step of the way! Timing, feelings, commitments, the planets not being in alignment…it seemed everything conspired to put a cog in the wheels of this union.

‘He is a craving beyond my control. A mental obsession.’

Breaking Giants is beautifully written with us experiencing the soul searching and healing needed between Rose and Julian, both of whom were weighed down by baggage from their past and their push/pull relationship certainly delivered some angst!

27 year old Rose is the living legacy of addiction. Being the daughter of a deceased drug addict mother who instilled a belief in the singer/songwriter Rose that love was responsible for the death of art. That love was the killer of all happiness. A belief Rose carried from her young impressionable 13 year old self.

‘Music is the only lover that will never leave you, Rose.’

32 year old Julian, also has issues as a reformed alcoholic, he’s been through the mill, seen the downside of life, and even though he’s part of a hugely successful band, he prefers to be more of a  recluse, leaving the spotlight to his mates, his fellow band members Matt, Jackson and Nick.

We really felt the creative souls beneath these characters and we felt their pain, though we didn’t quite experience the emotional intensity we would have hoped considering the trauma both characters had lived through.  We loved the Seattle setting which brought a life force to the story, the secondary characters were delightful, and the epilogue delivered an unexpected surprise, culminating in perfectly beautiful way to end the story.  A highly enjoyable rock star romance!

4 Stars

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Filed under 4 Stars, L M Halloran, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

LOVE ME IN THE DARK by MIA ASHER :: REVIEW

Standalone – emotional second chance at love

SYNOPSIS

Two strangers in Paris …
One passionate, earth-shattering kiss.

He was the artist upstairs
with the tantalizing smile and laughing eyes.

He was the devil inviting me to sin,
seducing me to dance in the bright moonlight.

He was desire and need.

When he touched me, my body sang.
My soul came alive.

But I belonged to another man,
and he didn’t want to let me go.

LOVE ME IN THE DARK is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4 Stars

“Maybe in another life we’ll meet again and get it right. But whatever happens, you will always remain my one perfect memory, my one perfect dream. I love you, my beautiful man.”

Well didn’t Mia Asher just wow us with her words, so flawless, enticing, fluid and vivid. We were swept away in this heart-breaking yet hope filled love story. It was compulsive reading. Whilst for us, Mia Asher is known for her high angst and kindle throwing; this was neither. The balance was perfect and the mood went from highly emotional, to swoony to frustratingly heart-breaking to…..well let’s just say it was a highly passionate and exciting ride.

‘My arms outstretched, I’d danced to the vibrant music of life. I prayed for romance, adventure, the unknown. I wanted to fall in love and love to the point of no return. I wanted the turmoil, the stress, the upheaval, and chaos…’

Valentina is a wild fire, loving life and everything it has to offer- a girl with a grandiose life perspective.  Life is an adventure and she’s wanting to grab it by the scruff of the neck, wringing every drop of enjoyment out of it. Then she meets William and is swept away by this enigmatic man’s attention and love. Where Valentina’s joy was life, it’s a far cry from where she finds herself 12 years later, suddenly alone in an apartment in Paris, married and lonely, questioning every aspect of her life and marriage to William.

‘If Valentina were mine, I would have moved heaven and earth to get to her. Because when you finally find something worth living for, you fight until there isn’t one more drop of blood left in you.’

When Valentina finds herself at a crossroad the unexpected presence of the mysterious Sebastian throws a naked spotlight on her deepest fears and where her place is in life. A man who throws everything up in the air and awakens her to who she really is, who she was and who she lost.

‘She reminds me of the sea; untamed, unpredictable, but beautiful, so damn beautiful.’

Sebastian was divine and his story heart-breaking. Two lost souls meeting when the timing is everything but right. Or is it? Is it the much needed catalyst for healing and reawakening? Is this accidental meeting what sparks the ultimate unveiling of lies, deceptions and tragedy?

‘He kisses me like he’s dying and my lips are kiss last breath. It’s a kiss that rearranges the stars in my own little galaxy, setting my life in a new course, changing my destiny. And if I crash and burn like a falling star, what does it matter when for this brief instant I’m in his arms? For the first time in a very long time, there isn’t ice inside of me. Instead, there’s a bright, hot, blazing fire.’

We have to say the first half of this book had us enthralled and we were feeling every moment- every word. Whilst we absolutely loved it, there came a point where it went in a direction that felt like an abrupt story change that ended up feeling quite rushed belying the beauty and romance of what came before. It almost felt like the addition derailed it somewhat which is such a shame as we were absolutely loving this story. That being said, Mia Asher is an incredible story-teller and there’s a real accomplished beauty and flawless control to her writing.

‘This. This is life. This is love. Feel it all. Feel him and believe. Believe. Believe.’

✲✲✲


arsen

TBB Also recommends
ARSEN – A Broken Love Story
The angsty standalone by Mia Asher

SYNOPSIS

One glance was all it took…

I’m a cheater.
I’m a liar.
My whole life is a mess.

I love a man.
No, I love two men…
I think.

One makes love to me. The other sets me on fire.
One is my rock. The other is my kryptonite.

I’m broken, lost, and disgusted with myself.

But I can’t stop. This is my story.
My broken love story.

ARSEN – A BROKEN LOVE STORY is available to purchase below

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Filed under 4 Stars, Mia Asher, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE ONE by JOHN MARRS :: REVIEW

5 Gripping stars!
**SPOILER FREE REVIEW**

Standalone gripping physiological thriller with a difference.

SYNOPSIS

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat

THE ONE is available to purchase below

                           


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

5 stars!

“…it sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? That there’s only one person in the world who’s like really, completely linked to you through your DNA and who you’re supposed to fall head over heels in love with…”

Every so often you read a book that completely throws you off your usual reading experience and has you literally unable to part with it for even one second. You want to pause life. You want to stop the world from spinning because your mind is doing enough of that. John Marrs is a new to us Author and he has singlehandedly blown all other psychological thrillers we’ve read out the water with The One. There are no words to adequately describe how tense, how riveted, how shocked and how involved we were in this thought provoking, thrilling story. The writing was sublime and John Marrs achieved in mere short chapters what sometimes takes an entire book to do- we connected instantaneously with all the characters, with their stories and with the concept as a whole. It was a magnificent, intriguing and a somewhat very relevant story.

“So you don’t think that true love can exist between couples who aren’t pre-destined?’
“No, no, of course it can…..But those who have been matched often feel something deeper and more complete. The other person is literally their other half.”

With all the dating websites currently out there, what would you do if there was a scientifically based company that could match your DNA with another person, ultimately finding your soul mate, the one person who is your perfect match? No matter the age, gender, race, religion or nationality. Would you do it? What if you were married? Would you be tempted to submit a swab to know your true match? Would it make you question your life and love for your current partner if you weren’t a match? We were inundated with situations, thought processes and actions of character lives which made us really sit back and think on; what would we do? Not only is this a highly entertaining compulsive read, it also raises quite a few questions and throws a few warnings out there on the dangers of accepting what you’re told without questioning. Of meddling with what shouldn’t be touched. The concept is so fascinating and has been a fabulous topic of debate whilst we’ve been reading. The stories of Christopher, Ellie, Jade, Mandy and Nick had us riveted. Hearing and experiencing their thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, love and ultimately lives as each was ultimately marked from the day they sent away a swab to find their match was an – edge of your seat experience.

‘And in that moment , as they felt each other’s hearts racing, yet beating at exactly the same speed, they felt as if they were two halves of a whole.’

The amount of twists, eerie surprises and bang on situational double-crossings was phenomenal, it’s not often we are left open mouthed and applauding whilst reading. When you read as much as we do, we often find a case of knowing where a story is probably going to go. Well this was not the case with The One. We were shocked along the way in a continuously moving story that delved into the lives of five characters each with a common thread, each had a personal story where we felt as if we were voyeurs living their lives alongside them.

If ever there was a case for a book made into a film/TV serial then The One by John Marrs should be first in line. Without question this is one of our favourite reads and we highly urge you to go pick it up and go on a menacing thrilling journey which deals with what could essentially be real life, real people and a theme that in many ways reads to be quite topical of today’s evolving dating websites and experiences. You will not be able to look away, we promise! When we reached the last page we wanted to give John Marrs a standing ovation- what an incredible writer he is and what a unique and fascinatingly chilling story this was.

“You my love, are fucked.”

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Filed under 4 Stars, John Marrs, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE VEIN CHRONICLES by ANNE MALCOM :: SERIES REVIEW

Paranormal Series with a snarky heroine and a book boyfriend who will slay you!

SYNOPSIS – FATAL HARMONY BOOK ONE

I may be the villain of the story, but at least I get a leading role.
Evil is a term thrown around history and literature as if it’s something so easily definable. A concept to fight against.
Evil doesn’t exist.
Neither does ‘good.’
Vampires do, though.
I just happen to be one.
I’ve cruised through the centuries managing to avoid all the wars, supernatural and human, but still going to all the best parties.
I would say I avoided bloodshed, but it’s kind of part of the whole ‘vampire’ thing.
I’ve lived on the fringes of a society that considered cruelty and sadism favorable character traits for almost five hundred years. Now I’m in the middle of a war that might just put my nonbeating heart in a lot of danger.
Battles, I can handle.
The impossible attraction between me and the vampire slayer, not to mention the penetrating gaze of the king of our race, on the other hand?
I might not get out undead.

✲✲✲✲

SYNOPSIS – DEATHLESS BOOK TWO

My life was never black and white.
Heck, it wasn’t even black, white and gray.
Lines were not drawn between good and evil, and if they were, I would have jumped those suckers for fun.
But now it was simpler. It wasn’t black and white. Or gray. It was only one thing.
Blood.
A crimson-tinted world. That was all I needed.
All I wanted.
Him.
Despite the war raging around us, or the secrets between us, there was nothing simpler than blood.
It didn’t matter that it would be fatal.
After all, it’s the things we’re not undead without that will kill us in the end.

Purchase The Vein Chronicles Series below

Fatal Harmony Book One

          

Deathless Book Two

          

 


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
(complete spoiler free series review)

 

Fatal Harmony – 4.5 Stars
Deathless – 3 Stars

“What do you know about a rebel faction of vampires, witches, demons, werewolves and a variety of the supernatural vying for world domination?”

We are avid readers of paranormal stories – we crave them much like vampires need the sustenance of blood. Well, almost. So biting into this series was like a hit of fresh blood. A new to us Author and the promise of a paranormal satisfaction to quell that incessant need. We were immediately hit with a sensation of pure bloody bliss. The story was incredibly well written, it was action packed, the humour sarcastic and dry – just how we love it – the paranormal world-building was slow but intriguing. There really was something for everyone, what with Vampires, Slayers, Demons, Witches and Wolves.

‘The grave did not cater to such pious emotions as love, nor listen to promises whispered on the eve of the battle. The grave came for everyone. Even immortals if they happened to be star-crossed lovers.’

Who doesn’t love a kick-arse heroine who oozes self-confidence and rocks a wickedly sarcastic sense of humour? Well, we were immediately loving on Isla, the sassiest Vampire we’d met in a long while. Isla is a feisty, sexy, and scandalous Vampire of stately descent and fights to rival and outdo any other breed but has a penchant for humans no, matter her denial.

‘A Slayer. First used as villains in our bedtimes stories, slayers were what went bump in the night for us. The only thing that could kill us. Designed to kill us.’

Isla becomes entangled in a coup to end the supernatural world as she knows it, being the target of not only a nameless and faceless enemy but also her own family whom she’s been trying to survive for centuries. Added to the mystery, the violence, the double crossings and the drama is one enigmatic King of Vampires and a dark and broody Slayer who’s an enemy to all vampires.

‘He was hot when he got all murder. Granted, I’d only seen him murder, but that’s how I liked my men: broody with a side of homicidal.’

We have to say we were rather partial to the enigmatic Slayer….and Isla was….well you’ll have to read it yourselves to see who is the smooth-talking love of Isla’s bloodthirsty existence. A funny sidekick, a Scottish rogue and a sexy and savvy witch. We were in paranormal heaven.

“You want to tell me why it felt like you fuckin’ died in my arms the second after you made me feel more alive than a thousand battles could have?”

“That’s what you are, Isla – the ultimate battle. My ultimate battle.”

So many battles, so many twists. We were enthralled and bloody loved Fatal Harmony so we very quickly moved onto Deathless to continue our journey, excitedly. Where the first book excelled and built the story up with great injections of humour and romantic tension, the second one sadly went in the opposite direction for us. Yes, we were still invested and the writing was first class and flawless. However, the humour and jokey aspect overtook the story  and not necessarily in a good way, we began to feel uncomfortable at the insensitive jabs Isla took at various people in society. We started to lose our connection with her as she became a mean girl and not in a good entertaining nor attractive way. No one was safe; from ageism and body shaming to sexuality jokes and vanity. It made us cringe quite a few times. Where book one was slow, understandably so, book two had an even slower pace and became quite repetitive. This left us gutted as we were enjoying everything about this series and were loving the writing. Overall, we enjoyed many aspects of this series but book two just fell short for us, sadly. Saying that though, this series felt different and fresh from a paranormal aspect.

“As it was and always has been.
In Blood.
The blood will run The Deathless night. |
The curse.
The blood will run.”

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Filed under 4 Stars, Anne Malcom, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

ROAD TO NOWHERE DUET by M ROBINSON :: DUET REVIEW

Gritty, angsty MC biker romance duet

SYNOPSIS
I once read that every warrior hoped an honorable death would find him. I always went looking for mine, but not even the Reaper wanted me.
I was trained to kill. I was trained to not ask why. To take orders and just march in line. Hooah motherfucker.
Life or death.
Ride or die.
And I’m not only talking about the military. I’m talking about the life that led me on the road to nowhere.
My life.
I fought for my brothers.
I fought for my family.
I fought for my country.
And I fought for her…

Never realizing I might die for them too.

Purchase The ROAD TO NOWHERE DUET below

Road To Nowhere Book One : amazon us | amazon uk
Ends Here Book Two : amazon us | amazon uk


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

5 Stars Book One /4 Stars Book Two

‘If there was anyone I would go to hell and back for it was Mia Ryder. Even if it meant going to war.’

This duet provided one crazy angst ridden, chaotic and heart stopping ride. M Robinson, you are one cruel, cruel woman to mess with our emotions the way you did, and we’re so relieved we had the next book to dive into because that cliffy at the end of book one would have tipped us over the edge!

The Road to Nowhere Duet provided a story packed with havoc and emotional mayhem. That’s the best way we can describe it. There was much going on in this story – there was love, deep intense crazy love, suspense, brotherhood bond, family dynamics, violence, and some mystery. We likened it to watching SOA …..never knowing where the craziness would lead us!

‘I would learn through the years that Mia Ryder…Mia. Fuckin’. Ryder. I would live and die…For her.’

Creed Jameson is the VP of the Southport North Carolina Chapter of the Devil’s Rejects MC Club and initially it’s a patch he wears with pride, teetering on the wrong side of the law, living for the brotherhood of the club.  Creed is brash, brutal, and totally unapologetic about who he is but beneath that ruthless exterior is a man who lives and breathes love for his blood brothers Luke 14 and Noah 11.

Mia Ryder is just 9 years old as sassy and feisty as they come when Creed Jameson first meets her and this little miss amuses the 18 year old Creed with her smart attitude. She’s the sister he never had.

Over the years their paths would cross once or twice until the time Mia is nearly 16 and Creed has noticed how Mia is now a beautiful young woman, though still full of sass! For Creed she is the unattainable, the innocence and sweet to his impure soul. She’s out of bounds.

‘She was a breath of fresh air in this death-infested land.’

Mia doesn’t get to experience many teenage antics thanks to her over protective Dad and Uncles. She’s not allowed to get away with much, taking matters into her own hands to attend a party that would set off a chain events that would have far reaching consequences for years to come.

“Jesus Christ, you’re my everything’. You’ll always be my everythin’.”

That’s simplifying the storyline as there was so much going on in front of and behind the scenes, however we don’t want to divulge much as it would contain spoilers for the second book.

M Robinson is a such  fabulous writer, delivering those bad boys we love so much and we did love Creed though he honestly tested our limits at times. This lady sure can tell a heart pounding, angsty story!

We both loved the pace and the development of the first book, it was outstanding. This duet had the grit with the emotion, with the simmering love story through the years. The soul mate connection between Creed and Mia was believable and heartfelt and we couldn’t wait to devour the second book.

Ends Here picks up straight after the heart stopping events of the first book. Pandemonium continues as did the love story between Creed and Mia, albeit it with some dramatic angst thrown in that had us wanting to hurl our Kindles.

We were enjoying and loving Ends Here immensely until around 2/3 of the way in when the story took a sudden direction that lost us a little bit out of frustration. The most saddening being that we lost some of our connection to Creed and Mia, in particular the believability in them as soulmates which suffered somewhat as a consequence of this dramatic story-line change and whilst we really enjoyed it, we didn’t feel quite the same impact as we did from the first book, sadly.

‘We weren’t the same people we had been before, and I think that was what scared him more than anything.’

The epilogue was absolutely beautiful. A tremendously heartfelt way to end the story. M Robinson drove a story that took us on a crazy endless spiral that put our hearts through the wringer, moving at breakneck speed and toying with our emotions constantly. Oh yes, and she brought us to tears over a character we love so much…oh you are evil M Robinson!!! The next book for a character featured in this duet has been set up perfectly and bloody hell, we can’t wait for that one! We know it’s going to be fabulous!


TBB Recommends this
5 STAR READ :: EL DIABLO by M. ROBINSON

Gritty, raw, suspenseful and powerful standalone novel.

el diablo 1

“I can’t go back. I can’t change the things I’ve done. I am who I am. It’s too late, the darkness settled in. I own it now. It owns me. Please forgive me.”

SYNOPSIS

I was ruthless.
I was feared.
I had sacrificed. Myself. Her. Everything…

Living in a world where I was worth more dead than alive was a choice. I was a bad man, never claimed to be anything else. I’ve done things I’m not proud of. Seen things that can’t be unseen. I’ve caused pain that I can’t undo.
It was all my choice.
Every decision.
Every order.
Right and wrong never mattered.
Until her.
She was under my protection, until she became my obsession.
But who was going to save her…

From. Me. The devil himself.

Fate brought us together. Destiny destroyed us.

Available to purchase below:

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