Category Archives: 5 Stars

THE GRAVITY OF US (Elements #4) by BRITTAINY C CHERRY :: REVIEW

5 ‘Maktub’ Stars
Standalone in Series. Stunning and emotional story of love.

SYNOPSIS

Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.

I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.

Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.

Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.

Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.

Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

THE GRAVITY OF US is available below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

**Spoiler-Free** Review

Love. The emotion that made people both soar and crash. The feeling that lit humans up and burned their hearts. The beginning and ending of every journey.’

Beautiful. Soul searching. Evocative. Heart-breaking. Inspirational. Hopeful. A favourite read of this year, no question. There’s so many honours we can bestow this book and its Author, because The Gravity of Us was one of those books that grabbed our hearts in its fist and held it tight whilst we shed tears fearing our hearts would break yet marvelling at the poetic beauty and grace of its love and dreams.

“Just because you smile and act free doesn’t mean the cage doesn’t exist. It merely means you lowered your standards for how far you’ll allow yourself to fly.”

We fell in love; book love. Brittainy C Cherry’s writing is phenomenal and her words burrow deep. There was one particular chapter when upon finishing it our kindles were put aside and whispers of exclamations were spoken as we were astounded and overwhelmed at its sheer magnificence and exquisiteness.

‘I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to be an odd character, a freak of nature. I wanted to stumble and laugh out loud. I wanted to find her beautiful disaster and mix it with together with my own mess. I wanted the freedom she swam in, and her fearlessness of living in the moment.’

Two opposite hearts. One feels everything, takes great joy in life, yet feels utter sorrow too. The other is conditioned to feel nothing, to push joy and beauty away in order to avoid extreme emotion and disillusionment. Vivid artistry goes up against cold cynicism and sarcastic honesty. Circumstances breaks the cycle and the beat of two beautiful hearts. Light shines on reawakening, acceptance and pulses with life. The opening of a heart is the most beautiful sight to behold when it’s seasoned with laughter and dreams. Shedding the rock solid shell that surrounds it. The light powering on -through the cracks, beating the concrete structure into submission.

‘The woman who felt everything leaned in closer to the man who felt nothing at all.’

We had so many tears, so many tears from the beauty and the humanity. From the despair and hurt. Our hearts galloped in tandem with the words from the slow build to the sudden crescendo. Fear stemming from the turns and twists, willing and yearning for something which seemed just out of reach.

‘She was the one thing off-limits, and the only thing I’d ever craved.’

Compelling writing made us melancholy. Joyous moments made us euphoric.  We were on a journey that pulled absolutely everything out of us and we urge you to take it too. A breathtakingly moving story of immense proportion.

“Air above me, earth below me, fire within me, water surround me…”

 

 


THE ELEMENTS SERIES by BRITTAINY C CHERRY

The Air He Breathes Book One
                

The Fire Between High & Lo Book Two 
         
The Silent Waters Book Three
          
The Gravity Of Us Book Four 
          

TBB Recommends
LOVING MR DANIELS by BRITTAINY C CHERRY
Standalone emotional and beautiful student teacher romance.

“You don’t deserve to be someone’s secret, Ashlyn. You deserve to be the chorus to a person’s favourite song. You deserve to be the dedication in their favourite book.”

loving mr daniels cover

SYNOPSIS
To Whom it May Concern,It was easy to call us forbidden and harder to call us soulmates. Yet I believed we were both. Forbidden soulmates.
When I arrived to Edgewood, Wisconsin I didn’t plan to find him. I didn’t plan to stumble into Joe’s bar and have Daniel’s music stir up my emotions. I had no clue that his voice would make my hurts forget their own sorrow. I had no idea that my happiness would remember its own bliss.
When I started senior year at my new school, I wasn’t prepared to call him Mr. Daniels, but sometimes life happens at the wrong time for all the right reasons.
Our love story wasn’t only about the physical connection.
It was about family. It was about loss. It was about being alive. It was silly. It was painful. It was mourning. It was laughter.
It was ours.
And for those reasons alone, I would never apologize for loving Mr. Daniels.
-Ashlyn Jennings

LOVING MR DANIELS is available below

                     

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Filed under 5 Stars, Brittainy C Cherry, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE CHOSEN (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15) by J.R. WARD :: REVIEW

5 Stars!
Paranormal Series : A scorching forbidden love threatens to tear a rift through the Black Dagger Brotherhood

SYNOPSIS

Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.

Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.

As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.

THE CHOSEN is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte

**Spoiler Free Review**

‘He would not sacrifice the Chosen Layla for anyone or anything. Not even to save himself.’

I inhaled the latest instalment from the BDB; every year as soon as the next book is released I go into hiding, that’s what a year of excited anticipation and being scared of spoilers does to a reader like me. I immerse myself completely into the world of the Brotherhood yet again, their continued fighting for peace as well as their ongoing personal lives where new relationships are formed and conflict threatens the old.

‘Sometimes. Though, for destiny to work, it had to make sure you were blind going into things. Otherwise, you would turn your wheel and hit your brakes…and avoid your fate like the plague.’

Once again I laughed, cried and fell in love all over again. I felt extremely frustrated at times, excited and worried. Going through the entire wheel of emotion is a rite of passage through every book devoured in this fantastic paranormal series. All the threads of storylines were once again riveting and ongoing making me desperate once more for the next one. The sarcastic humour and quirky writing at times was once again present making it feel like I was coming home.

‘Love was like life itself, she supposed. No matter how much of it you were blessed with, when the end came, it never felt like enough.’

This story was about Xcor and Layla; yet -as always- the side stories continue and new ones emerge. This one was always going to be a hard read as it was unfathomable as to how Layla would fare. I enjoyed reading their story; it truly was one of beauty and truth. Though I do have to admit that for me there were a  few series contradictions that surprised me in this one, however they took nothing away from my enjoyment and as always there’ll be sense in the madness.

‘Sometimes kindness and love could be just as difficult as violence to witness. Sometimes, when you were on the outside looking in, watching two in-sync people was a scene from a horror film, the kind of thing you wanted to look away from, forget about, banish the memory of – especially when you were about to go to bed for the day and facing hours upon hours of being alone in the dark.’

So many new revelations came to light – one extremely surprising one which I can’t wait to see developed! Whilst I did shake my head at times in pure frustration, I still loved what I read and overall ended up loving yet another two days spent with my favourite vampires and their extended families. I cannot recommend this series highly enough; it never fails to completely overshadow anything else going on in my life during those two days of compulsive reading. The Black Dagger Brotherhood feel like family, friends and they’ve had my heart since I picked up the first book a decade ago. Now I count the days to Assail & Sola’s story; The Thief, which is coming in 2018.

“Wherever I go, you shall ne’er be far from me. Wherever I sleep, you shall be beside me. What I eat, I shall share with you, and when I dream, we shall be together once again. My love, you are not gone from me ever, and I shall not take another. Till the very night I die.”

 

 


 A TBB 5 Star Series
Every book in this series read by Gitte – See Reviews 
THE BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD SERIES by J R WARD

BDB

*DARK LOVER BOOK ONE
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

* LOVER ETERNAL – BOOK TWO
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER AWAKENED – BOOK THREE
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER REVEALED – BOOK FOUR
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER UNBOUND – BOOK FIVE
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER ENSHRINED – BOOK SIX
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER AVENGED – BOOK SEVEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER MINE – BOOK EIGHT
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER UNLEASHED – BOOK NINE
Amazon US || Amazon UK

*LOVER REBORN – BOOK TEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*LOVER AT LAST – BOOK ELEVEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

 *THE KING – BOOK TWELVE
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*THE SHADOWS – BOOK THIRTEEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

*THE BEAST – BOOK FOURTEEN
Amazon US || Amazon UK

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THE NIGHT MARK by TIFFANY REISZ :: REVIEW

TBB 5 Star Read
Standalone epic and beautiful time travel love story.

SYNOPSIS

She has nothing to live for in the present, but finds there’s something worth dying for in the past…

Faye Barlow is drowning. After the death of her beloved husband, Will, she cannot escape her grief and most days can barely get out of bed. But when she’s offered a job photographing South Carolina’s storied coast, she accepts. Photography, after all, is the only passion she has left.

In the quaint beach town, Faye falls in love again when she sees the crumbling yet beautiful Bride Island lighthouse and becomes obsessed with the legend surrounding The Lady of the Light—the keeper’s daughter who died in a mysterious drowning in 1921. Like a moth to a flame, Faye is drawn to the lighthouse for reasons she can’t explain. While visiting it one night, she is struck by a rogue wave and a force impossible to resist drags Faye into the past—and into a love story that is not her own.

Fate is changeable. Broken hearts can mend. But can she love two men separated by a lifetime?

THE NIGHT MARK is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

“I will love you and take care of you for the rest of your life.”
“Don’t you mean your life?”
“I meant what I said.”

The Night Mark was an exquisitely beautiful, magical and hypnotic story, and its one we willingly gave ourselves over to. We were intrigued by the mysterious shadow that surrounded the story, captivated by the inhabitants of Bride Island, past and present, and completely swept away by the romance of the story. Love doesn’t beat to the tick of a clock and time has no place when true love takes residence in the heart as we experienced in this a beautiful and sweeping love story that transcended life, death and time.

“Nothing in the world more foolish than dying when a girl like you is in love with him.”

We do enjoy a good bit of mystery with an otherworldly feel, when it’s combined with a heartfelt time travel romance brought to life by this incredible author, it’s bound to be a winner and The Night Mark certainly was that. As tears were shed, we were again reminded why we hold Tiffany Reisz in such high esteem and why we regard her as the consummate storyteller. They say the devil is in the detail and Tiffany Reisz instinctively and cleverly knows how to really transport the reader into her story, so we become a part of the characters journey. From her complex characters, to her wonderful use of analogies and her beautiful descriptive words, nothing is superfluous; every word she writes beguiles the reader.

“Hope is something God gives us. Hope is…….Hope is a bright light on a dark night. If your hope is guiding you into this shore, then this is where you should drop your anchor.”

The Night Mark is set in 2015 and 1921, with the first part story providing a delicious slow build, allowing for wonderful in depth character development, ensuring we became truly connected with each and every person and their increasing significance to the story that was unfolding.

Drowning in grief after the loss of the love of her life four years earlier, and in a current loveless marriage, Faye accepts an assignment to photograph and chronicle the history for the Lowcountry Preservation Society’s annual calendar, entitled “Journey through Time”. Stuck in limbo, unable to move on from her grief, this assignment provides Faye with an escape she is looking for from her current husband, and, as it turns out, she receives so much more.  What Faye encountered had us believing in fate, miracles, love and second chances.

“To think I spent my whole life believing time only went in one direction…Thought it was a river. Turns out it’s an ocean. Waves come in. Waves go out. Sometimes those waves take us with them.”

The Night Mark delivered the emotion, the passion, the suspense and that precision timed wit we so love from Tiffany Reisz, and again, we found ourselves admiring and loving another one of her heroines. Faye was bold, strong, beautiful and intelligent yet she possessed a softness and vulnerability that made her so easily relatable.

“Once someone loves you that much, loves you more than you deserve, you can’t go back to being loved the normal way.”

The Night Mark was an epic, fascinating and richly detailed love story that was as hauntingly beautiful as it was incredibly romantic. As witty as it was heartbreaking, and delivered with a seamless fluidity and dramatic effect that had us physically clutching our hearts as they raced, broke and soared. Tiffany Reisz wove her way in to our imagination, and let it fly with an entrancing, enthralling and emotionally charged love story that will no doubt be at the of our top favourite reads list for 2017.

“You can’t fight time. And you shouldn’t even if you could. That is a losing battle.”


We also recommend this 5 Star Standalone
THE BOURBON THIEF by TIFFANY REISZ
A sweeping and addictive story of betrayal, revenge and greed


‘Perfection was for heaven, and when you tried to bring perfection to earth, you paid a heavy price. A perfect face withered with age. A perfect love died from neglect. Bourbon was a perfect spirit, which was why the angels took so much of it while it aged.’

the bourbon thiefSYNOPSIS

When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris. 

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

THE BOURBON THIEF is available to purchase below:

                    


TIFFANY REISZ is a TOTALLYBOOKEDBLOG “TOP READ” AUTHOR. 
We’ve read and loved everything this author has written.
To discover more of this phenomenal authors work, click below.
 

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Filed under 5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Tiffany Reisz

WOLFSONG by TJ KLUNE :: REVIEW

5 Epic Stars!
Standalone MM Paranormal

SYNOPSIS

Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

WOLFSONG is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“I’m not a wolf.”
“No,” he said. “But you’re something.”

Be still our book loving hearts because we just read a story that catapulted itself to a place in our heart where our all-time favourite books live. T.J Klune captured every single one of our breaths, every heart beat and every nerve ending of our emotional being as our body mind and soul became completely tethered to a story of love, loss, grief, family and friendship. Of responsibility, honour and integrity. Of war, redemption and personal sacrifice. Stunningly written as if we were reading a journal, its unique and almost poetic prose astounded us. This is unlike any paranormal we’ve read in a long while and we took all the characters into our hearts.

‘But hearts are a funny thing; they beat strongly in our chests, even though they can shatter at the slightest pressure.’

No word from us can ever do Wolfsong any justice. This is the story that is everything, a story that was everything. A story that every reader needs to experience. Even if you’re not a reader of paranormal nor m/m we highly encourage you to give this story the chance to open your heart to a brilliance that will light you up with exquisite book love.

‘Sometimes, when your heart gets so full, it takes away your voice and all you can do is hold on for dear life.’

Wolfsong was an epic compelling read of grand proportion. We never wanted it to end and whilst this was a long book it felt like time barely passed from the turn of the first page to the last. Vivid imagery, powerful scents and an exceptional emotional grasp, it captivated us, thrilled us and left us awestruck.

“You confuse me. You aggravate me. You’re amazing and beautiful, and sometimes, I want to put my teeth in you just to watch you bleed. I want to know what you taste like. I want to leave my marks on your skin. I want to cover you until all you smell like is me.”

Wolfsong is primarily about Ox, a beautiful young man who has grown up being told he’s nothing by a Father who acts like anything but. Ox is different but not in any way other than the fact that he has a huge heart, a sweet vulnerability and an immeasurable emotional strength despite his home life.

‘Here was where I felt most at home. Here was where I wouldn’t be judged.’

Unbeknownst to him things are not what they seem around him and more exists than that of which he’s aware. His Mum is the only person he has in his life, their bond sweet and loving. Their life a hardship a lot of the time.

‘Joe was overwhelming. Everything was him. He was all I could hear and see and taste and smell.’

Everything changes when a family descends and moves in close by. A world is opened to Ox and he becomes part of something bigger he never dared dream existed. Ox meets a young Joe Bennett and he’s immediately pulled into a life where his eyes are opened to what exists in between of what is known. Ox and Joe’s story is one of laughter, tears and suspense. We fell in love, we laughed and we cried uncountable tears. It was thrilling, epic and awesome. It smelled of pine cones and candy canes. It grabbed our heart and soul.

‘It should have been obvious. It should have been obvious what they were, but then I wasn’t looking for the incredible buried in the ordinary.’

 

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Filed under 5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, T J Klune

PRETTY FACE (London Celebrities #2) by LUCY PARKER :: REVIEW

TBB 5 Star Review
Standalone in series : British Romcom set in London’s West End

SYNOPSIS

Highly acclaimed, award-winning author of Act Like It Lucy Parker returns readers to the London stage with laugh-out-loud wit and plenty of drama

The play’s the fling

It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.

Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He’d be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily’s suddenly rising career, it’s threatening Luc’s professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they’re not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…

Purchase PRETTY FACE below

            


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

5 glorious Stars

“It’s second nature to pull apart a performance, isolate and slice out the dead weight, piece it back together. I also know what it feels like when there’s that very rare click and it’s just – right. It works. From the first line of the first scene.”  A nerve ticked in his jaw. “It doesn’t often happen onstage, and I didn’t expect to ever experience it offstage.”

Well, didn’t we just love absolutely everything about Pretty Face. Everything. Here’s an Author who completely knows her chosen subject, detail upon detail, in order to set the most real and in-depth atmosphere making us live and breathe all things theatre whilst reading. The West End came alive for us and we were swept away. We loved Act Like It by this Author and if possible we loved this one even more. So romantic, such fabulous British dry humour, such theatrical and vivid imagery. Pretty Face is book two in a series of standalones and we HIGHLY recommend both books. The way Lucy Parker writes captivates us word by word.

‘He’d known, right from the beginning, that she would be a completely disruptive pain in the arse. He worried about her. All the fucking time. And he missed her like hell. All the fucking time.’

Luc Savage, a theatre director, is stuck for a female lead in his upcoming theatre production. The stress levels are high as he’s a very obstinate, honest to a fault and a tad of an aloof man. Don’t let that deter you though because we’d bet you’ll fall in love with Luc just as much as we did. Luc has his rules and one of them is no shenanigans with his leading ladies. This man is lush; absolutely divine. He’s got a hard exterior and a sarcastic wit, yet when he opens his heart and shows vulnerability and his love, well you could’ve scooped us off of the floor with a spoon because we fell hard and melted. He doesn’t mince his words and had us chuckling so many times throughout. He had quite the battle on his hands when Lily Lamprey enters his audition room and his life.

“You could try being pleasant and malleable, I’d probably find it a complete turn-off. I didn’t realise I had this penchant for militant men. It’s giving me whole new insights into my personality.”

Lily is a bombshell with a pitchy breathy voice and a bubbly star in a TV soap opera. She’s the last person Luc would want in his show yet Lily is in dire need of a change in life and her desire is to tread the boards of the West End.  We loved the dynamics between her and Luc, often having us in stitches of laughter. We fell in love with Lily who was as stereotyped as they come, her talent overlooked. Even Mr Savage committed a faux pas but he very soon realised the error of his ways.

 ‘He looked about as approachable as Darth Maul, but then, unexpectedly he laughed. A proper, eye-crinkling laugh. And her pathetic, perverse, masochistic little heart went oh-it’s you.’

Scandals are a plenty in the world of theatre and its players, and we loved this humour filled slow burn romance. It had such high emotion and attention to detail. We fell in love with the characters and Lucy Parker once again mesmerized us with her prose. It’s not often you go through the colour wheel of emotion. so when we do, we treasure every minute of it.

“You drive me up the wall, and I can’t remember what life was like before you strode into it, opened your mouth and fucking horrified me, and turned everything upside down.”

 

 


THE LONDON CELEBRITY SERIES by LUCY PARKER

Act Like It –  Book One

                    

Pretty Face – Book Two

                      

 


ACT LIKE IT BOOK ONE

“…my relationship with him? A pretty mediocre dress rehearsal before I fucking killed it on opening night.”

act like it

SYNOPSIS
This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre’s Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard’s antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.

Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?

Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.

Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?

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Filed under 5 Stars, Lucy Parker, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny