Category Archives: Barbara Elsborg

ARCHANGEL’S ASSASSIN by BARBARA ELSBORG

Standalone MM Paranormal romance

SYNOPSIS

He wants to forget

West is an archangel’s assassin delivering justice to supernatural creatures who break the law. Not a straightforward job because he also has to absorb the memories of those he kills. Even worse, West is breaking the law himself in an attempt to free his brother from hell. If he doesn’t succeed before his archangel boss finds out, West will be joining his sibling.

He wants to remember

A young guy wakes in a London park with his memories gone. He has no idea who he is, or where he comes from. A bracelet engraved with the single word Tao is the only clue to his identity. With no sign of his memory returning, he drifts into a life on the streets. Begging is his only way to survive.

Two worlds collide

ARCHANGEL’S ASSASSIN in available to purchase below

          


REVIEW

“As an archangel’s assassin, you are on the side of right. Every life you end, should be by my command. You do not get to choose who lives and who dies.”

“I know.”

“That is my burden.”

Not only do we absolutely love Barbara Elsborg; her writing and her excellent dry sense of humour, but we are also huge fans of paranormal stories, specifically Angels and Fae. Archangel’s Assassin was brilliant. It was so well written, addictive, suspenseful, sweet and very sexy. We loved it and just couldn’t put it down. We were riveted! This author is so underrated as she never fails to deliver a fabulously engaging story.

‘Tao tried not to wallow in self-pity but sometimes it was hard not to. Having a friend to talk to would make a big difference, someone to help him try to find out who he was. Loneliness was his only friend. How clichéd was that?’

In typical Barbara Elsborg fashion we found one of her male characters –Tao- to be a sweet endearing, childlike, hopeful and wonderfully emotional and passionate character. Trademark Elsborg. Yet despite this, he shows real strength and compassion. Tao wakes up in Hyde Park remembering nothing from his past nor does he have any memory of who he is. He cuts a lonely and hard done by character until faced with an intense attraction and a growing confidence in who he is. This welcome change when he meets the mysterious West.

‘West was so awash with emotions, drowning in hateful memories, that it was crushing his spirit, breaking his heart. Tao had love to give and West needed love. They could help each other. Tao just had to make him see that.’

West is an enigmatic character who Tao just cannot stop thinking about. When he’s with him magical things happen which takes them both by surprise. Their paths meet under horrible circumstances, which broke our hearts. West is on a mission and no one gets in his way.

“Having no memory has forced me to live in the moment, take what I can get and make the best of it that I can. I want to enjoy life.”

This story was full of twists and turns, swoony romance, heat, angels and demons written in a humorous yet emotional style that we come to love and expect from Barbara Elsborg. We HIGHLY recommend Archangel’s Assassin to readers who love paranormal and mm. You will fall in book love!

 


We ADORE Barbara Elsborg’s writing! Whether it’s MF, MMF, MM, Contemporary, Paranormal or suspense, this lady always delivers the emotion with a side of witty banter between her characters.
Click here for MORE fabulous TBB Recommendations from Barbara, click below


 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 4.5 Stars, Barbara Elsborg, Pick an Author

DIRTY GAMES by BARBARA ELSBORG :: REVIEW

Standalone dark MM romance

SYNOPSIS

The last thing Linton needs when he arrives home after three months in the States, is to find his beautiful flat is a squat, complete with his younger brother Dirk, who’s lying in Linton’s bed with a couple who’ve paid him for sex. Dirk isn’t even supposed to have a key. But after Linton throws Dirk out, life slams in hard and if his brother is to have any hope of a future, Linton has to play dirty. Or at least pretend to. What he hasn’t factored in is having to play the game to the bitter end.

Film star Thorne Morrisey has everything. Good looks, charm, seductive magnetism and a voice that could charm a snake from its basket. He can also be a real shit and yet people still love him – though he’d rather not have the love of his suicidal ex, dumped by Thorne in a very public and humiliating way. His ex’s wealthy brother has his own reasons for wanting revenge on Thorne, and his weapon of choice is Linton.

Linton and Thorne are on a collision course and in for the game of their lives. But who is playing whom?

This book has dark themes and violence.

DIRTY GAMES is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 Stars

‘How was it possible to hate and love someone at the same time?’

We’ve been huge admirers of Barbara Elsborg’s work for some time. Whether it’s MM, MF, Contemporary romance or paranormal, we’ve been impressed and loved everything we’ve read and wish more readers looking for a ‘new to them’ author would experience this talented lady’s work!

With Dirty Games, we found ourselves completely captivated by this emotional, angsty and passionate story of love, revenge and manipulation. Though, at the core of Thorne and Linton’s s story is one of love, loyalty, healing, forgiveness and acceptance.

‘He wasn’t going to break Thorne’s heart, but he worried that in the process, he might break his own.’

Linton Williams is an up and coming architect who returns to England after a three month working stint in New York to find his life turned upside down. Linton’s brother Dirk is a drug addict, unemployed and has moved himself into Linton’s flat without permission during his absence. Trouble follows the damaged Dirk and soon Linton sees himself an unwitting victim in Dirks seedy world. Being forced to make a deal he’s dead set against in order to save Dirk and get him the help he so desperately requires. There is nothing Linton wouldn’t do for Dirk. He’s always protected and cared for Dirk, leaving him feeling incapable of love, this aspect of Dirty Games broke our hearts!

“All my life I’ve tried to let pain flow over me without letting it touch me. A bit like standing at the back of a waterfall and watching the torrent fall in front of me but I only get a bit wet, not drenched.“

Thirty year old Thorne Morrisey is seductive, charming and ridiculously good looking actor with his star on the rise. Whilst his career might be on the up, his personal life is anything but. Thorne has been unlucky in love, has made some poor choices and trusted the wrong people. The consequences of which have made it difficult for Thorne to open up and trust completely. Thorne would rather strike out and hurt someone before being deeply hurt himself. A coping mechanism that’s been forced upon him from his past issues.

‘He dragged his teeth over his bottom lip as he smiled, and with that one simple gesture, broke into Thorne’s damaged heart.’

It is through six degrees of separation and fate that Linton and Thorne’s paths cross, with players in the story being interconnected in more ways than one. Thorne and Linton strike up a friendship which becomes more. Both Thorne and Linton are devoted to, protective of, and fiercely loyal to their brothers, River (Thorne’s autistic brother) and Dirk (Linton’s troubled drug addict brother) a quality each respects in the other.

Thorne is drawn to Linton in ways he hasn’t felt before and Linton’s connection, patience and understanding of River has Thorne wanting to pursue something on a deeper level with Linton which is a big step for the cagey Thorne who believes everyone has a motive and Linton is harbouring a secret which could tear their relationship apart.

“I don’t want to have to choose between loneliness and a broken heart.”

We were completely immersed in Dirty Games, as the emotion of Thorne and Linton were stripped raw. The sex, though sensual and steamy, never overshadowed the emotion, instead enhancing the feelings, connection and passion between Thorne and Linton. Barbara’s wit is always spot on. We adore her droll, sarcastic humour which always endears her characters to us even further. The sarky humour ensured the story, whilst dramatic, never became melodramatic. We loved it!


Click below for more TBB Recs from Barbara

Leave a Comment

Filed under 4.5 Stars, Barbara Elsborg, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

DRAWN IN by BARBARA ELSBORG :: REVIEW

Standalone Emotional suspenseful MM romance


drawn-in-17th-oct
SYNOPSIS
Undercover police officer Kell has crossed the line. He’s become trapped in an abusive relationship with his violent thug of a boss and sees no way back without wrecking months of work. The hope of ever being involved with someone who respects him seems a distant dream.
Private investigator Gethin is depressed that the bulk of his work involves following unfaithful partners. He knows just what it’s like to be cheated on. Even worse, his relationship with his ex is complicated and Gethin can see no way of breaking free of a guy who so desperately needs him.
A chance encounter brings Kell and Gethin together, entwining their lives with secrets and danger. They both have reasons to keep things casual. But there are consequences to zipless fucks. Not only do they have to survive people trying to kill them, they need to trust each other and keep their wits about them, while ensuring their hearts stay intact.

Purchase Drawn In below:

purchase link small          purchase link small


drawn-in

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“Just don’t break me…”
“I doubt I could break you. But I’d always put you back together.”

It’s been a while since we’ve picked up a Barbara Elsborg book and from the very first chapter, we were reminded of why we adore this author’s work as much as we do. Whether it’s M/F or M/M there is a sadness and despair to her stories that’s always alleviated in some ways by the injection of acerbic, sarcastic witty inner monologue or banter. She has a gift of injecting slivers of light into the darkness, sadness and vulnerability of her characters and Drawn In displayed this talent perfectly.

Kell, and Gethin were such tortured and lonely characters, giving the story an overall feeling of melancholy. Our hearts truly ached for them both. Both men carried the scars, pain and liabilities of their past. They came across as such lost souls we could feel their loneliness and imminent connection through the pages.

“You can’t keep me safe, but you can keep me strong.”

Kell is an undercover cop, trying to crack open a case that sees him being treated in the most deplorable manner by the cruel, second in command of a criminal ring.  Geez, did this guy have us on the edge of our seat and our hearts in pieces. He deserved some happiness through his bleakness.

Gethin is working as undercover Private Investigator uncovering cheating partners, a far cry from his previous life as a guitarist in a successful band, when he stumbles upon a job that has him questioning his safety yet answering his natural inquisitive nature to delve further into what lies beneath what initially appeared to be a woman wanting to catch her husband being unfaithful. All is definitely not as it seems on the surface. Gethin himself is trapped in an unorthodox relationship with his ex-boyfriend that sees him staying with Johnny due to some form of guilt and misplaced loyalty. Boy did this guy have a big, beautiful heart!

Gethin and Kell meet at a party being catered by Gethin’s friend, and instant and intense sexual attraction is felt between the two men. They scratch an itch, and both not wanting a relationship, agree to meet for sex, their ‘own form of Grindr’ to hook up when the mood strikes. Purely casual sex without any sort of commitment.

However, soon lines become blurred, paths are crossed and lives become threatened and we are taken on a scorching, emotional and suspenseful journey of two men finding tenderness and a fragment of normalcy out of the chaos and unpredictability that is their lives.

“You made me smile when I thought I’d forgotten how.”

We were holding our breaths, our stomach were in knots, our hearts pounding as Barbara Elsborg put them, and our nerves, through their paces. Our hopes and dreams for Kell and Gethin were paramount in our hearts throughout Drawn In. As stated earlier, Barbara expertly mixes dark and sexy with light and emotional and the comedic banter and witty inner monologue of Kell and Gethin in the direst of circumstances provided a reprieve from the torment these characters experienced.

“I need you to help me forget, not remember,” Kell whispered. “Can we just have that? For a few hours?”

We were held captive by Barbara Elsborg’s words, imprisoned by the riveting, thrilling and suspense of the story, whilst finding the emotion, passion and connection between the characters gripping. Oh talk about edge of the seat stuff! Drawn In was most definitely an enthralling, emotional  and addictive read.

4 Stars

✲✲✲✲

For more TBB Barbara Elsborg recommendations (MM and MF)
Click Below
purchase-click

Leave a Comment

Filed under 4.5 Stars, Barbara Elsborg, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

KISS INTERRUPTED by BARBARA ELSBORG

Standalone romance with an otherworldly feel

KISS INTERRUPTED

Purchase

AMAZON US |  AMAZON US

kiss interrupted 16th Feb

 

SYNOPSIS

Not his type, not her type, but when faced with the inescapable and inexplicable, all they have is each other.

Not his type.

It should have been simple. A temporary move from London to Leeds to manage the office while a boss is sick, but as Fyn watches the workforce enjoy a summer party, he feels more than guilt over the looming downsizing.

He’s tasked with making many happy people redundant, and that includes Libby Pasternak, who has her face painted as a tiger, wears boots on a summer’s day, has an ear full of piercings and is so distracting, she almost bowls him out at cricket. Unthinkable.

Most conflicting of all, why is he even thinking about seizing the moment, instead of his rule concerning getting involved with employees—especially with one so not in his league?

Not her type.

Libby likes blond surfer dudes with big dreams and even bigger smiles, not a guy like stick-in-the-mud Mr. Sensible, otherwise known as Fyn Marlowe. Then he gives her a lift home from the office party, and she finally has to admit to herself the depth of her Grand Canyon-sized crush. One that chokes itself to death two days later, when he erroneously accuses her of screwing up a major account. She may be a bit different, but her work is always the best.

Their blazing row resolves with her getting sacked, ending any chance of exploring where things could have led.

His type, her type—none of the preconceived ideas of a perfect partner matters when the world—literally—comes crashing down.

Kiss Interrupted

Reviewed by Gitte and Jenny

“You’re the craziest woman I’ve ever met.”

4 Stars

We absolutely love Barbara Elsborg here at TB. Her range is amazing, her writing fabulous as she makes us cry, laugh and swoon in equal measure. We’ve devoured her romances be they contemporary or paranormal or sometimes even both with an otherworldly feel.

Before we start this review we have to get our issue with the cover for this story out of the way. We dislike this cover immensely and see it as a perfect example of why readers may be turned off buying a book. It’s not only a turn off, it also completely misrepresents this story. The characters look nothing like what they look like in the book and some may even say this cover reflects a couple in the medical profession, her being a nurse and him a doctor. Wrong! This cover is wrong in every aspect possible and whoever designed it and gave it the go ahead clearly didn’t read this story or in our opinion didn’t care. Its pure laziness and disregard for the Author and potential readers. This was a beautiful and unique romance that deserved much better.  Yes, this sounds harsh but it’s a side of the book industry we feel very strongly about as do the majority of readers. This cover will not sell this book in fact it may even hinder sales. Covers are important no matter what anyone says and should at least reflect the character descriptions and or aspects of story. They should invite the reader in not turn them off. We hope readers look past this mistake or injustice and take a chance on a beautiful romance.

So, cover aside how did we feel about Kiss Interrupted? The writing was typical Barbara Elsborg, what with her attention to detail, her humour and her quirkiness. We were immediately intrigued as we got drawn into a bit of a thrilling mystery with an unlikely romance forming in the midst of it. We definitely have to say that readers will have to suspend beliefs, let go of their rational side and just believe in the romance and somewhat otherworldly nuances. The synopsis, the cover and the marketing tag does not reflect this story so some may be turned off by this fact.

“I want to remember….I want to remember every tiny thing.”

We loved Libby and Fyn, two completely contrasting characters, each with their own issues and complicated pasts shaping who they are today. Libby’s was particularly intriguing and thrillingly scary! Their story was exciting and mysterious as this Author sure did flesh out her characters and we completely felt their connection. Also, we were dying to find out just what the hell was going on. The story did taper off towards halfway and began to drag so we have to admit we were tempted to put it down and call it a day as it seemed that we weren’t really getting anywhere. However, an overwhelming need to find out how the story would unfold kept us going and we’re glad we didn’t put it down as the last forty percent or so was brilliant. It really picked up and our book hearts soared with the emotion and passion. Again, we have to say we that we were not expecting it to go where it did but we accepted it with an open mind. We just wish there’d been a more even balance and correct representation of this story in cover, synopsis and marketing.

Their last first kiss had to be perfect because he wanted to remember this moment for as long as he could, hold it in his head and his heart.’

There’s no question that Barbara Elsborg is an original which is what we love about her and her stories. She can write anything with her sense of humour, her passion and her knack of the ultimate *surprise* she often manages to weave into her books. Also, her characters always have something quirky about them making them completely lovable.

Kiss Interrupted by Barbara Elsborg
amazon us | amazon uk

kiss interrupted 16th Feb

Leave a Comment

Filed under 4 Stars, Barbara Elsborg, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

SUMMER GIRL, WINTER BOY by BARBARA ELSBORG

 

summer girl

SYNOPSIS

Jai Winter is trying to do the right thing, even though he knows it’s wrong. Forced to participate in kinky sex games, the renowned model spends his spare moments creating an impressive list of suicide options. Until a snowy day provides a bit of Summer…a pink-haired burst of sunshine with a ready smile. What begins as the hottest sex of his life turns into a ray of hope.

Summer Dey has baggage of her own—literally. Having spent eighteen months in South America trying to escape a shocking accident, Summer finds an illegal nightmare hidden in her suitcase. She doesn’t want to put Jai in danger, but his gorgeous face and killer bod prove hard to resist.
Boy meets girl, girl falls for boy, and everything would be perfect if it wasn’t for blackmail, drug dealers and tragic events in both their pasts. Staying together could be their salvation—or their ultimate undoing.

summer collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

J&G: 5 Stars 

Jenny: Well, how much did we devour this one G?  I fell completely in love with the tortured, enigmatic and sexy Jai and the damaged, beautiful and engaging Summer. What an absolutely magic couple they were. Despite their torrid pasts and tragic presents, they were an absolute delight to read. That sounds a bit like a contradiction, but Barbara Elsborg does have that unique knack of introducing witty banter in her writing, yet she manages to never detract the reader from the emotional, the dramatic or the grittiness of the scene. At times I’m sure I read this with a big dopey grin on my face from giggling or swooning and the rest of the time wiping tears from my eyes from the pain and torment Jai and Summer experienced.

“Do you think you could love me?” – Summer
“Yes.”…..”Yes, I could love you.” -Jai

Summer Girl, Winter Boy was an absolute winner for me and had me burning the midnight (or should I say wee small hours of the morning) candle. I couldn’t stop reading no matter what.  I loved with them, I cried with them, I swooned with them, I felt every ounce of their pain and suffering and I laughed with them …in fact, I felt so much a part of “them” – as if I was participating in their story, not merely reading it.

‘She was thinking of him and not herself. When had any other woman done that? Summer was a risk. Was he strong enough to take it?’ – Jai

Barbara Elsborg had me eagerly turning the pages from the first chapter, I was hooked and there was no turning back. The opening scenes brought me to my knees, I was horrified at Jai’s situation and could feel Jai’s despondency right off the pages. Just when I thought I could relax, something else would be thrown at me and I had to keep reading!

Gitte: I really think this story is Barbara Elsborg at her very best and I LOVED every word of it. Summer Girl, Winter Boy is superb and Barbara has this flawless addictive writing that exudes confidence in her ability to inject just the right amount of drama, humour and passion.

Her characters have such depth and come across so very real. There’s no question when you’re reading that they’re people you could meet down the pub on a Friday night. They are affable, down to earth, easy to connect to and extremely lovable. I fell in love, I fell in lust, I cried, I laughed and I melted into a puddle. How is that not perfection?!

‘One press of her lips and he fell. It was as though whatever had been damaged inside him for so long was coming back to life. For years, he hadn’t allowed himself to feel, because that way he kept himself safe, but Summer was making him feel. And as much as he loved it, it scared him because she couldn’t be part of his fucked-up life. He didn’t want to hurt her.’ – Jai

The story of Summer and Jai is all encompassing; it’s romantic, emotional and thrilling. It’s everything a passionate reader would look for in a story. Barbara captures you from page one and doesn’t let go of you until you’ve turned that last page. It was a journey of sublime excellence and I really think Barbara’s style of writing is faultless and extremely.

Jenny: I think I fell in love with Summer from the first page. I was drawn to her and intrigued by her. What made her live a more or less secluded life in South America for 18 months? What made her gun shy of men and relationships and why was she dreading her move back to the UK? What happened in her past that made her so unhappy and unresponsive to opening her heart until Jai came along?

“I have a feeling you didn’t find what you came here for.” – Jai
“I found peace.”….”But not happiness.” – Summer

Her story was indeed sad and as the story of this selfless woman, who had endured years of suffering a guilt that wasn’t hers to bear, came to light, my heart broke.  A set of unfortunate incidences had seen her hold so much pain inside. An outcast from her family, made to feel like nothing more than an inconvenience, this beautiful, warm and caring woman stole my heart right along with Jai’s.

“Are you feeling okay?” – Summer
“I haven’t for a long time, but now I am.”- Jai

Her chance meeting with Jai ignited a fire in Summer, he kick started her heart and she in turn made this self loathing man feel whole, feel needed and feel loved, Summer made him feel as if his life was worth living. She was the summer to his winter. And Jai…oh Gitte…Jai…what a guy..selfless to a fault!

Gitte:  Yeah Jai was an amazing hero. A true, tragic and real hero. A man who’s suffered and carries a burden no one should have to carry. You can appear confident, suave and in control, however, behind the façade and the image who knows what horrors lurk!?!

‘He’d forgotten who he was. He had a face to fit all occasions but it was never his own.’

Jai is a sought after male model who seems to have it all yet behind closed doors he carries a dark and sordid secret. A secret forced upon him of which he has no control or choice. Jai personifies hopelessness and self-loathing; the consequences of actions which are necessary to protect the people he loves. Wow, I cried so many times and my heart broke for this brave, funny and beautiful man. The situations Jai gets placed in made me shiver, feel angry and wanting to climb into my kindle with a giant weapon of mass bad people destruction. Self-worth when beaten out of you is very hard to retrieve so thank God for Summer, who I loved, not only because of who this awesome girl is but also for how she saved Jai! He didn’t think he deserved her, but he truly did just as she deserved a man like Jai. Not only did Summer save Jai but Jai did the same for her. Seriously LOVE this man!

‘I like her and I want to keep her and I can’t. Fuck it.’

Jai had me crying one minute and laughing and swooning the next. He is perfect!!!! He just didn’t see this himself though and it took the beautiful Summer for him to realise!

“Everything you do winds me tighter. Everything you do makes me burn hotter, faster, brighter. I ought to be pushing you away from me as hard as I can because I can only bring you trouble, but I can’t let you go. I need you. You make me strong.” – Jai 

J&G: Barbara Elsborg gripped us from the outset with a very disturbing first chapter that created a feeling of unease in the pit of our stomachs dreading what was to come with some nervous anticipation.

We wondered where this story was going to go and although the first chapter was a little reminiscent of another book we had read, by the second chapter it was clearly evident this was indeed its own book and it stood out for being quite different to a lot of what we’ve read lately….another reason it was a winner for us.

Jai and Summer’s painful story is so beautifully told and we were captivated us from start to finish with the right blend of everything we love in an adult romance story.

“I’m desperate to kiss you.” – Jai
“How desperate?” – Summer
“Deeply, madly, desperately desperate.” – Jai

Summer Girl, Winter Boy had it all. It was chock full of warm and relatable characters, some evil characters we’d love to strangle; it was at times a gritty and raw read, and it brought drama and angst in the right doses and let’s not forget the steam factor…wow!!!  It was as witty as it was sad, as sexy as it was sweet and packed with emotion and passion.  There were times we were on the edge of our seats, times we felt anger over Jai and Summers predicaments, and other times we were swooning and grinning like fools over the sexy and humorous banter between Summer and Jai.

“……but oh my god, that is one beautiful….thing…penis…cock…dick…tinkle, you have there. Shut me up now before I say something stupid.” Summer

Yep….a definite winner!   Oh…and not to mention we got to catch up with Charlie and Kate from Strangers….we may have got a tad overly excited when that scene came about.  We definitely recommend adding this standalone to your TBR’s. We LOVED it!

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

 
SUMMER GIRL, WINTER BOY by BARBARA ELSBORG
Amazon us || Amazon uk
Summer Girl

Be sure to check out STRANGERS as well to revisit some favourite characters
Our review for Strangers

1 Comment

Filed under 5 Stars, Barbara Elsborg, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny