Category Archives: Pick an Author

GOODBYE PARADISE (Hello Goodbye #1) by SARINA BOWEN :: REVIEW

Sweet MM Romance

SYNOPSIS
Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

GOODBYE PARADISE is available to purchase below

         


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4 sweet as sugar stars

‘My whole life I’d wanted this impossible thing. And I didn’t know why it was happening now. But it was everything I’d ever wanted.’

What a gorgeous, sweet and lovely story! Whilst it begins with an air of melancholy and emotional upheaval it soon becomes a story of two lads finding themselves and their place in the world after leaving the cult they grew up in. There were moments of sadness as well as joy throughout and when we closed the book after the last page our hearts felt full and we had a smile on our faces.

“A real man does what needs doing. He takes care of the people he loves. You know this instinctively, even though every man in your own life treated you like shit.”

Josh and Caleb are two very different personalities and their place in the cult hierarchy, poles apart hence the treatment they received. Each yearning to escape their own hell in a sanctimonious farce of living. The day comes when this becomes a reality for Josh, as he’s unceremoniously dumped on the side of a road, expelled from a cult where men are aplenty but women are not. Josh has such vulnerability and is certain of only one thing –that- being his overwhelming yet hidden love for Caleb, his friend. A love which in the cult’s eyes is the highest of sins and its members indoctrinated in such manner.

“But it was you who said we were a sin.”

Caleb’s intention to escape the clutches of the cult is fast forwarded when the man who means everything to him is exiled from the compound. The journey of life truly begins when Caleb and Josh find their way ‘home’ to a safe house miles away, where open arms are waiting in the form of another ex-cult member, Maggie.

“When I get to touch you, every awful day we’ve survived seems worth it.”

Josh and Caleb’s story is low angst, adorable and at times so emotional it made us feel all teary but warm and fuzzy inside, melting our hearts, despite the obstacles and tribulations which came their way. We loved every minute of it and have taken these lads to our heart. This is a story of hope and inspiration, love and friendship as well as being and becoming who you truly are.

“You amaze me, that’s all.”

 

 

 


TBB Recommendation

There is a bit of a tie in to this series regarding the cult if you want to check out more, we recommend this series.
Set in Vermont, True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged). This is an MF Series (not MM)

THE TRUE NORTH SERIES by SARINA BOWEN

True North Series (1)

Bittersweet Book One :

                    

Steadfast Book Two

                   

Keepsake Book Three

                    


TBB Recommendation
MM Hockey themed romance

THE HIM SERIES by SARINA BOWEN and ELLE KENNEDY

HIM US

Purchase HIM and US below
Him Book One ::our review |amazon us | amazon uk
US Book Two:: our review |amazon us | amazon uk

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THE BRAVE LINE by KATE STEWART :: REVIEW

Standalone steamy and emotional friends to lovers.

SYNOPSIS

She is a five foot seven long list of things he can’t have.

He is a determined cop, desperate to keep his heart sealed behind his badge.

Michelle is a survivor. With a fresh perspective on life, she trades her tragic past in California for the coastal waters of Charleston. Fueled by a new career as a dispatcher, she’s determined not to let her scars weigh her down. She apologizes for nothing, especially her insatiable need for a certain police officer.

Rowdy is a newly minted sergeant dedicated to his job, but the life of a Charleston police officer has never been more dangerous. With his need to take order of a city spiraling out of control, the last thing he wants is an entanglement with a mouthy dispatcher. But, there’s just one problem. He can’t get enough of her.

As the heat rises between the unlikely pair, so does the tension.

Three months of summer was all it took to shake their foundations, rattle their walls, and bring them crashing down.

It was lust.

It was love.

It was real.

And it would have been perfect . . . if it wasn’t already over.

Note to reader:
This book has several elements and explores topics that some may consider triggers. For mature audiences only. Explicit sex, violence and language.

THE BRAVE LINE is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 Sargent Sexy Stars!

‘It was the man. The man I’d had feelings for almost two years before he’d touched me. The man who made me weak with one look. The man who could control my body with just a breathy whisper. A good man with a good heart who was brave and spent his days protecting others while the world made it hard as hell. He was beautiful and flawed…..’

The Brave Line delivered so many elements we love in a story! Sexy dirty talking protective and possessive alpha hero, sassy heroine who gave him a run for his money, chemistry that was off the charts, steamy scenes that melted our Kindles, a smidgeon of suspense and a decent helping of emotion which had us tearing up, fabulous writing and a story that kept us glued to the spot!

Kate Stewart is a versatile author, we’ve sampled her rom-com and erotica, itching to read something more from her. The Brave Line synopsis hooked us immediately, suiting our current reading mood to a T, and it didn’t disappoint!

“I’m not a hero, period. For anyone.”
“Every time you put on that uniform and do the right thing, you are, no matter what happens.”

Randall Owen Day (Rowdy) is a 32 year old Police Sargent, lured into the Police Force in his youth after a painful and tragic event saw him and his three friends, April, Tyler and Kurt joining the Police to make a difference to the world. Years down the track, that youthful enthusiasm has given way to bitterness and cynicism as life on the streets, the loss of fellow police officers and friends together with an often thankless public have all left Rowdy rather jaded.

Michelle Long is a 29 year old dispatcher with the Charleston Police Department. She’s in the frontline taking calls, worrying about the officers and assisting the public head on. Michelle too is plagued by events of her past that haunt her to this day, though she’s come out tougher and more confident in herself and is a true survivor. Both Michelle and Rowdy deserve a second chance.

‘I would let love rule in my heart and take a piece of my soul, but I would never let its loss destroy all of me.’

Michelle and Rowdy hid a simmering lust fest for nearly two years and it’s only now Rowdy is returning her flirty advances but he wants filthy sex with her -end of- and makes her an offer we *cough cough* she couldn’t refuse…“As soon as I get you alone, I’m going to spread those legs and wrap them around my head and then I’m going to lick everything between them. And then I’m going to come down your throat. I warn you now, though, I’m fucking filthy.” And bloody hell, he sure was, but Michelle is no shrinking violet, she’s a sexual creature and Rowdy’s declaration sends her in a tailspin of want…as it did us!

This story really was a mixed bag. We expected steam, but bloody hell Rowdy and Michelle BURNED UP the pages; we nearly combusted! Then the emotion of the story hit and as it all unfolded with hearts being laid bare, we found ourselves experiencing a torrent of feelings for both these characters who carried painful reminders from their pasts, struggling to break down their walls.

‘She wanted to know me. I loved it. I hated it. I had nothing to offer. I didn’t need commitment, but I wanted her.’

Kate Stewart had our hearts in our mouths when she took us to the frontline with Sargent Day, capturing the heart palpitating minutes when these guys encounter life and death situations each day. She then held our hearts in her hands as Rowdy and Michelle came to grips with their feelings.

“I swear to God, the only thing I want to protect now is you. I’d go to war for you. I’d fight every goddamn battle for you even though you don’t need me to.”

We loved the dialogue between the characters which played such a pivotal role in our connection to them. We were right there with Rowdy and Michelle, learning their past tragedies, their fears, their pain and their flaws, and facing their demons and feelings head on, in real time. It was witnessing these pivotal moments in real time that ensured this story really hit the spot. What a FANTASTIC READ!

“Are you going to worry about me tonight?”

 


Meet some of the characters from The Brave Line in the BALLS IN PLAY Rom-Com Series


ANYTHING BUT MINOR – Book One
Standalone Sports romance/comedy

SYNOPSIS
She’s a nerd.”
“Heyyyy!”
“Okay, she’s a flight instructor.”
“Better.”
“He’s a ballplayer.”
“The best that ever was.”
“Technically, you aren’t according to MLB stats.”
“See? Total nerd. She also has no filter.”
“He’s no southern gentlemen.”
“I had one last season to prove my worth.”
“I’d never seen a game.”
“He told me he was a player.”
“She told me she was a lesbian.”
“But you fell in love with me anyway.”
“Yeah, baby, I totally did.”

Available to purchase below

purchase link small           purchase link small          


MAJOR LOVE – Book Two
Sports romance standalone

Synopsis
“I met her at an all-time low . . . the worst night of my life—a time I never wanted to remember.”
“It was a night I could never forget.”
“When it came to women, I swore I was done with wishful thinking. Ball and my coaching career were all that mattered.”
“I reminded him it wasn’t.”
“She was everything I was afraid of.”
“He was everything I’d ever wanted.”
“She was fire—an irresistible piece of southern heaven that I couldn’t stay away from.
“He was smoke that clouded me in every imaginable way.”
“And the sex . . .”
“Dear God, the sex . . .”
“I fell hard, and she gave me hell at every turn.”
“I made a promise I was hell bent on keeping.”
“And you kept it.”
“Hell yes I did.”
“Fuckin’ A.”

Available to purchase below

        

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MISSING GRACE by S.L. SCOTT :: REVIEW

A Standalone story of everlasting love and hope

SYNOPSIS

Move on with your life, they said.

Forget her, they said.

But how could Ben Edwards forget the woman who was supposed to be his forever? When Grace Stevens disappeared—without a word, without a trace—she took half his soul with her.

Despite the heartbreak, Ben tried. He tried to take their advice by pursuing his career. He tried to find fulfillment in his work. He tried to find peace. Grace had been the love of his life. Her fingerprints were on every surface of his existence. He had success and wealth. He had everything, except her.

Then fate stepped in one serendipitous night. The hope he’d held on to for three long, agonizing years appeared before him in the form of a picturesque beauty.

Was she real, or an apparition returning to haunt him? He wasn’t sure, but he wouldn’t stop until he found his missing love. Every minute mattered, and he wouldn’t waste a second chance.

MISSING GRACE is available to purchase below for ONLY 99c/99p

          


Reviewed by Gitte and Jenny
**SPOILER-FREE REVIEW**

4 everlasting stars

‘…the search for Grace became an addiction, as he couldn’t believe she would be gone forever.’

We are incredibly aware that it’s easy to spoil this story for other readers so we won’t say anything about the story at all. We hope every reader gets to experience this beautiful story of love, grief, hope and heart-break as the S.L Scott intended. We don’t think we would have enjoyed this book as much as we did if we’d known what would transpire. So please go into this story bind.

‘Every spare minute that wasn’t dedicated to work, eating or sleeping he spent searching for his love.’

We don’t think soul mate romances come much more powerful than Missing Grace. It was overwhelmingly emotional, passionate, frustrating and heart-breaking. It was a reading race against time as we wanted to know what happened and why. We wanted Ben to find his peace, his calm, his happiness and his resolution. We wanted Ben to truly live again and for his heart to once more be whole. As for missing Grace; we teared up at the thought of what happened, fearing the worst. We hoped Ben’s relentless perseverance would pay off, in order to find an answer. We wanted this beautiful couple safe, somehow.

“You were taken from me.”

We pretty much read Missing Grace in one sitting, our emotions took a pounding and we were on tenterhooks worried were this story was going. We had so many questions and never felt truly safe. Once thing we never questioned though was Ben’s incredible love for Grace. Our hearts bled for this man who clearly loved with his entire being, never letting go of a love that would live till the end of time. Ben stole our hearts, completely. He was the heart and soul of this story. A beautiful man who never lost hope.

“Destiny is shaped by choice, not chance.”

 


SEE MORE TBB S.L. SCOTT RECOMMENDED READS

THE RESISTANCE :
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU

THE RECKONING
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU 

THE REDEMPTION :
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU 

 

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Filed under Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, S L Scott

GARDEN OF GOODBYES by FAITH ANDREWS :: REVIEW

Standalone – gritty story of love, loss, betrayal and addiction

SYNOPSIS

Loss, betrayal, addiction . . . on their own, each of these heartaches can break you, but mix them all together and the concoction will ruin you.

When I closed the door on my past I didn’t expect it to come back and haunt me. But when you’re the sole person who can save the only man you’ve ever loved, you rush through that door, face your fears, and pray for the best.

Only, anything good has been long forgotten. In its place is destruction, devastation and enough regret to last a lifetime. I was appalled when she called for my help. I went willingly in hopes to make things right. But I never expected this. A broken man, a hopeless future, the beginning of the end.

She’s to blame for the mess of a man in front of me and I’m to blame for walking away.

Can things ever go back to the normal the three of us once knew? Or am I too late to fix the damage we’ve caused together?

GARDEN OF GOODBYES is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘When you survive the death of your heart, any other pain feels as insignificant as a pin prick.’

We love nothing more than to experience an author stepping out of their comfort zone, producing work you wouldn’t expect from them and in Garden of Goodbyes we witnessed quite departure from the Faith Andrews books we’ve previously read. This book was the gloom to the sweet, the raw to the passionate of her previous reads and we absolutely applaud her for telling the story that was in her heart. For telling it her way and for not romanticising addiction, but instead showing it in all its ugliness and destruction. She could have so easily taken this story down a certain path, yet she refrained and for that she has our admiration.

Those looking for a light read best be putting this one aside until you’re in the mood because Garden of Goodbyes is gloomy and depressing, yet it’s so honest, raw and at times emotionally brutal.

“Let this kind of love be enough because it’s all you can handle right now.”

There were moments during Garden of Goodbyes when our hearts were ripped open and raw, experiencing the emotions of these characters, yet there were times we struggled to connect to the ‘love and soulmate’ aspect of the story as emotional blow after emotional blow was delivered in this story of love versus hate, betrayal versus loyalty.

“I’d do anything for you, Edie. I’ve always loved you and I’ll never stop. Everything I do is for you. This, too. I’ll do it for you.”

This story starts out in the present where three lives are decimated through a series events we’re not initially privy to but are revealed through the POV’s of sisters Violet and Eden in past and present switches. Personally we would have loved a little more past explored and maybe a pov or two from Lennox to really feel the connection between Lennox and Eden before it all went so wrong. Had we been shown rather than told of their feelings, we would have experienced their connection on a more intense level.

‘I heard someone say once that you’re only as sick as your secrets. If that was the case, I was basically on my death bed.’

In saying that we were desperate to know how a love, so full of future dreams and aspirations between a star Rookie Quarterback, Lennox Dean and Eden Haywood, the ‘small town nobody who lucked out by occupying the heart of Lennox Dean for the last two years’ went so wrong?  And it was the cruellest of most humiliating of actions that would bring three people to the brink.

‘It was her name he whispered when he was so drunk he couldn’t stand. It was her face he saw in his drug-induced dreams. I knew this because it was her name that slipped from his lips when he cried out in agony for someone to save him. It was never me.’

Faith Andrews story carried a shadowy feel of foreboding throughout, there wasn’t a lot of light in this story and by the end we had a heaviness in our hearts and found our feelings moving all over the show, experiencing sympathy for characters one minute, hatred the next and swinging our emotions and feelings time and again.

“We’re written in the stars, Edie, destined to be together forever.”

Faith Andrews dug very deep to tell Eden, Violet and Lennox’s tragic story of addiction, family dynamics, love and betrayal. Knowing from the very beginning where this story was heading, resulted in us reading with a heaviness forever present in our hearts.

 

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MYSTERY AT MAPLEMEAD CASTLE (The Chaplewick Mysteries #2) by KITTY FRENCH :: REVIEW

Rom-Com mystery supernatural elements series

SYNOPSIS

Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate pecan cookies come with a helping of sabotage.

Maplemead Castle is crawling with ghosts, and the new owners need them gone. When Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency arrive on scene, they quickly identify the troublemakers swinging from the chandeliers… literally.

A century ago, stunning trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death, and has done every night since. But did she really just fall, or was there something more to her demise?

Forced to work with Leo Dark, her scoundrel ex, and infuriating, irresistible reporter Fletcher Gunn, Melody’s investigative powers are under strain (i.e. lost in a pink mist of lust and confusion). She needs her team on top form, but best friend Marina’s cake pipeline goes AWOL, assistant Artie’s distracted by a giant sausage roll, and the pug is scared witless by a lion.

Somewhere, hidden in the castle, is a heart-breaking secret, but what will it take to find it? And is there a chance it could set Britannia free, or is she doomed to repeat her last fateful act forever?

Purchase MYSTERY AT MAPLEMEAD CASTLE below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 stars

“I genuinely cannot fathom what goes on inside your head, ghostbuster,” he says. “You’re the most unusual person I’ve ever met.”

This series just gets better and better! Bravo Kitty French, this second instalment was just brilliant. What a fabulous time we spent back with characters that now feel like best friends, seeing their journey continue, revelling in how everyone is getting on and what’s happening with them, personally as well as their new ghost hunting shenanigans. Melody, Marina and Artie, we want to join your crew! Melody, we want to come drink champers round the kitchen table with your mum and gran.

“Gran, are you offering to lend me your gimp mask?”

“Don’t judge me, darling, I’ve been married for over sixty years, how else am I to keep the spice in our marriage?”

What we loved is how book two builds on the development of characters and their relationships. Book one felt like an introduction and the slow build has encouraged and solidified this deep connection we now feel. Kitty French has made us care deeply for all her characters whilst laughing our arses off and feeling the subtle vulnerability and emotional angst threaded through the story. We definitely saw a different side to the arrogant heart-breaker, Leo as well as journalist and sceptic, Fletch…

‘Needless to say, my mum and gran can’t abide him; he never misses a chance to take pot-shots at us and our industry in the press.’

This is pure British comedy with an ongoing romantic possibility that we yearn for, but for once the anticipation is just as delicious and addictive as a loving end, when and if that comes.

‘He’s offering to be my summer fling, but not my winter coat. My fair-weather lover. Can I do that? I worry that my heart cannot withstand him, but then I also worry that he will for ever be my missed regret.’

The supernatural elements are marvellous and we loved the mystery in this one, it was circus-fantastic, yet so sad and quite distressing too. A perfect blend. It’s fanciful, silly, sweet, funny, emotional and exciting. It’s eccentric and quintessentially British. We bloody love this series! This RomCom is without question a feel-good read that’ll have you smiling and laughing out loud, it’s so different to what’s out there at the moment and we’re loving that!

‘Fletch and I have an inexplicable connection and it’s bloody inconvenient for both of us.’

 


THE CHAPLEWICK MYSTERIES SERIES by KITTY FRENCH

The Skeletons of Scarborough House Book One

                    

Mystery at Maplemead Castle Book Two 

                    

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