Category Archives: L.P. Lovell

WAR POPPY by NICOLE LYNNE

Standalone tragic and heartbreaking second chance love story

6th

SYNOPSIS

Poppy
Love and war. Two words that should have little association, but to me the two go hand in hand. Both are a tragedy. They rip you open and spit you out. The war killed my husband, Connor, shattered my will to live, and took my best friend. Brandon may not have physically died in that war, but his soul did. And now we’re left to pick up the wreckage. Expected to move on when all that is left is the ruins of a life we once had.
Brandon
War. It took everything from me, even myself. When you’re only able to exist, death seems like a blessing. Pain…a welcome distraction. I ran from everything associated with my past, and then she found me, fighting, drowning myself in whisky, trying to forget. She reminds me of Connor, of what I’ve lost—what we’ve lost. In the midst of destruction, she’s a salvation I don’t deserve.
I shouldn’t love him.
I shouldn’t love her.
Love is a war we never should have fought.

WAR POPPY is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4 Hearbreaking stars

‘It’s as though he wraps himself around my lonely soul and nurses it back to life with the splintered remnants of his own.’

If you’re looking for a sweet hearts and flowers romance, War Poppy by Nicole Lynne, is anything but. In fact, it’s a tortured, honest, brutal love story which carried a sense of foreboding throughout.  As we read, we had that nervous, gut wrenching feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was a feeling that felt inevitable rather than probable. Such was the tone of the story.

‘As much as we pretend we aren’t alone, we are never more alone than when we are tripped in our own mind. And Brandon – the place he’s trapped, it’s a place I could never begin to understand.’

The flourishing partnership of Stevie J Cole & L.P. Lovell has shown to be a formidable collaboration, delivering some dark and downright uncomfortably gritty stories, but this time, in War Poppy, they’ve written a story that is tragically heartbreaking and they did it in their own inimitable style.

Connor Blaine, Poppy Turner and Brandon O’Kieffe were the three musketeers growing up.  A trio of misfits that gelled together perfectly. They shared an adventurous childhood, leaning on one another, sharing adolescence and adulthood.  Brandon would be Poppy’s first crush, first kiss, first love, though it would be Connor who would ultimately marry their childhood sweetheart.

War Poppy begins with the loss of Connor during his time in Afghanistan with Brandon. Connor was more than a mate, he was his brother in every sense of the word. Riddled with guilt and despair, Brandon goes AWOL, turning to the bottle and underground boxing bouts in an attempt to exorcise the demons living within. Brandon is only functioning physically following Connor’s tragic death.  Poppy’s re-emergence into Brandon’s life gave us the hope that he can overcome his demons. Is love enough?

‘Two lost souls trying to save each other from unsalvageable events. She may be my hope, but I’m surely her destruction.’

The sense of hopelessness in this story is overwhelming, and we did experience that aspect through Brandon’s character who struck our hearts painfully and deeply. However, we felt we didn’t get to fully experience the level of anguish and sadness we would have expected from this story and feel this stems from being denied the bonding experience of Poppy and Connor’s relationship. This was such an important part of the story, yet we felt we knew very little about the man at the centre of all the pain and whose death was the catalyst for unfolding events. We couldn’t conceive how Poppy came to marry Connor, what their life was like…in fact, we knew nothing of this background, other than the snippets from childhood. Every reader is different and for us, this was something we desperately needed to experience to completely grasp the full extent of Poppy’s devastating grief and her profound love for Brandon.

 “Everything in life is a risk, you just have to decide which risks are worth taking, and to me, and you are a risk worth taking because without you, without what we have, I will be existing. And I want to live, Brandon.”

War Poppy is told in dual pov between Poppy and Brandon, as well as flashbacks to their childhood and Brandon’s time at war and we can tell you, being inside Brandon’s head during those times was chaotic and unbearably heartbreaking. Witnessing him trying to claw his way out of the darkness and living those devastating moments with him broke us.

‘I’m left standing in the middle of destruction, staring at the violence that must constantly be swimming inside of his head. And when I’m finally able to draw in a good breath, I collapse to the floor, head in hands wondering when love turned into war.’

It’s clear to see these authors poured their soul into this story and it must have been an agonising love story to bring to fruition, because as a reader it was difficult reading. We applaud their courage in telling this story their way as in doing so they made Brandon and Poppy’s story feel authentic and believable. War Poppy is a gut-wrenching story of friendship, loss, courage, grief and love with the hearts of these two authors clearly visible on every page.  And whilst it most certainly moved us, we just fell short of experiencing the complete decimation of our hearts we had anticipated.


For more STEVIE J COLE  and L.P. LOVELL TBB Recommendations, click below

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Filed under L.P. Lovell, Nicole Lynne, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Stevie J Cole

ABSOLUTION by L.P. LOVELL & STEVIE J COLE :: REVIEWED by THE MALEBOX

 Standalone read.
Very dark, violent and gritty  ‘romance’ not for the fainthearted

He’s baaaaaack  
The Malebox, our male reviewer is back with his own unique brand of reviewing and we have to say, this review had us in fits of giggles!
We were crying with laughter. Oh how we’ve missed you MB!
Welcome back!

malebox

buy the book

 ABSOLUTION::  amazon us :: amazon uk

absolution

SYNOPSIS

Evie

All sins are equal in the eyes of God, but I’m not God. One sinner made me his sin, and I can’t let men like him live. I want to kill them. Every. Last. One.
Ezra James is no different. I was going to kill him, but then I found myself obsessed and possessed in the most reverent of ways. I became his sinner, and he became my sin, but the wages of sin is death, so I must kill him.

Ezra

The son of a whore, raised by criminals, molded to fit into a world without morals. I’ve never given a shit about anything until the night I watched a man drop dead at the feet of my little killer. She called to my depravity, and everything in me demanded that I take her, possess her, own her. Some monsters hide behind the faces of angels.

Damned. Broken. Irredeemable.

Through blood, absolution shall be found. 

Absolution (1)

Reviewed by The Malebox

‘There are no rules, no safe words. I do not want her willing submission. I want to drag it from her, screaming and crying. I want ultimate power over her, and while she’s here in this room with me, I want to own her, body and soul.’

After a bit of a hiatus, I’m back. The book world just hasn’t been the same without me, I know. After such a long break I needed a wow book to get me back into it.

I’ve done rock stars and groupies, broken men and women who love each other, then they don’t and then they kiss and make up at the end…it’s all become a bit a tiresome. I want more than girl meets boy, they have a few misunderstandings because he can’t tell her how he feels because his mother never loved him and daddy wasn’t there. I have enough problems of my own without hearing about other people’s.  I’m broken too but I sort my shit out. Then Totallybooked hit me with Absolution.

As always, I knew nothing about it and only hoped for something a bit different, and thankfully I got it and more. It’s the story of Ezra and Evie and the violent and seedy world they live in. It’s a Tarantino movie waiting to happen readers. It’s a mix between True Romance, Basic Instinct with a hint of Reservoir Dogs. Remember the Michael Madsen ear scene….clowns to the left of me – jokers to the right….well let’s just say body parts get chopped up. It’s Fifty Shades on crack with an eight ball injected straight into your brain whilst having electric shock therapy.

I don’t want to give too much of the story away, so I’ll keep it simple. Evie is “little killer” who’s on a one woman vendetta to rid the world of dirty men who’ve wronged and abused her in the past. She has specific dislike of men who force themselves upon her and other women which is quite understandable.

However, rather than report them to the local authorities and take them through the criminal justice system, she likes to kill them and watch them die instead. It isn’t all bad though, she’s having sex with them at the time, so I can think of far worse ways to go. Take my fears for instance, collapsing and shitting my pants whilst out food shopping….’clean up on aisle 6!’ Or surviving a plane crash, only to be attacked by sharks, but somehow surviving with only an arm and a leg so I can’t swim for shore…but I digress…

Back to Absolution…..Imagine a serial killer with a conscience if you will. Ezra is a pimp and gangster who likes to “break” and “own” women through his own special brand of coercion. He’s quite unpleasant and takes a shine to our little Evie who’s a religious girl as well and likes to be atoned for her dirty little sins. Does atoned mean fucked and whipped? But you know what they say about those catholic girls!!!

However, there’s method in her madness when she befriends Ezra and the plot really does thicken. It’s filled with murder, mayhem and sex. To say that both Evie and Ezra are somewhat obsessive is putting it mildly. I love an edgy woman as much as the next guy, but I don’t want to wake up chained to a bed with my own cock stuffed in my mouth.  Sure I like a bit of rough play, but when it comes to my testicles they’re fine just where they are. There’s a fine line and Evie certainly likes to cross is. I won’t spoil any more of the storyline so you’ll just have to read it.

It’s a dark read which I enjoyed, but I must warn you that it isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s quite graphic in parts and the sex scenes between our two characters won’t be for everyone. Luckily I’m not everyone and found it fascinating. There’s one standout scene with Evie and a redhead which was just brilliant.  It was sexy, evil and funny all wrapped together with a fucked up cherry on top.

I do have a few questions though. Firstly I’m a man of the world…but I have never come across a woman (I have but not in the context that I mean here) who punishes a man for looking at another woman by giving him a blowjob. If this actually happens, I am owed 15 just for my journey home from work today. Furthermore, she goes on to pride herself at being the best at it….and this is his punishment!!!!!Is this true? Have I been missing out here? I have bought gifts, flowers, dinners and not even a nibble. When I look at another woman, there’s more chance of giving myself a blowjob than receiving one from the woman I’m with. I always thought it was a bit of chore for you ladies, but clearly I’ve been going wrong all these years and it’s seen as a competition and matter of pride for you.  From now on, when the opportunity arises, I’ll be saying ” you wouldn’t believe how shit the last blowjob I got was, and by the way, did you see the hot girl with the big tits behind the bar earlier, I’d love to rail that, anyway carry on sweetheart.” I think we should all rally together Totallybooked to get this type of healthy competition into the Olympic Games and hand out some fucking medals just to raise the stakes a bit. I’d give that one a 6.5 as the hand to mouth technique was all wrong and I felt tooth…… Come back in four years after some practice….next, oh good the Brazilian synchronised swimming team…

Secondly, why didn’t Dave the dog have a back story? I wanted to know more about him and understand just what made him tick. Was he raised by his lone wolf father who abandoned him when he was young leaving him to fend for himself on the streets? Only to later finding out that his mother was actually a Persian cat who was addicted to cat nip and used to ply her trade in the alleyway behind the fish market just to feel loved? Did this result in Dave being sexually confused, hiding his dirty sexual attraction to felines and his lifelong dislike of squirrels and bath time, and never really understanding why?  I understand that he wasn’t a main character but give me something. Regardless of his absence of a backstory, he could of at least hooked up with a slutty little poodle or something whilst Ezra was busy punishing Evie!

I must admit that I really did like Evie, even though she is as nutty as squirrel shit. What concerned me slightly was that the more I read her story, I found myself agreeing with her warped view of society and was willing her on in her quest. She was my Frodo…only her quest was to stick a poker up someone’s ring as opposed to finding one. My inner monologue was saying “stab him in the neck Evie, make him pay, do it again, cut his balls off and feed them to Dave.” What does that say about me? Either I’m about to go Michael Douglas on the world or it was exceptionally good writing.

Ezra I found more difficult to like because of the way he punished Evie. How strange is that? The serial killer I can accept, but a man who hits a woman because she wants him to, I take issue with. Maybe it is me that has problems?

Absolution really is my favourite read to date. It had everything I like in a book, a hot woman, a dog, sex and violence, gangsters and most importantly of all….a great story. I wanted to know how it would turn out from the very start and read it in 3 days which is a record for The Malebox.

I am off now for some self-flagellation for having some very dirty thoughts about Evie. Until next time…

 ❈ ❈ ❈

ABSOLUTION by L.P. LOVELL & STEVIE J COLE
amazon us :: amazon uk

absolution

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ABSOLUTION by LP LOVELL & STEVIE J COLE

Standalone – very dark and gritty story – a ‘romance’ not for the fainthearted

ABSOLUTION by LP LOVELL & STEVIE J COLE

Available to purchase below:
amazon us :: amazon uk

absolution

SYNOPSIS

Evie

All sins are equal in the eyes of God, but I’m not God. One sinner made me his sin, and I can’t let men like him live. I want to kill them. Every. Last. One.
Ezra James is no different. I was going to kill him, but then I found myself obsessed and possessed in the most reverent of ways. I became his sinner, and he became my sin, but the wages of sin is death, so I must kill him.

Ezra

The son of a whore, raised by criminals, molded to fit into a world without morals. I’ve never given a shit about anything until the night I watched a man drop dead at the feet of my little killer. She called to my depravity, and everything in me demanded that I take her, possess her, own her. Some monsters hide behind the faces of angels.

Damned. Broken. Irredeemable.

Through blood, absolution shall be found. 

Absolution (1)

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

✯✯✯✯✯ Stars

 ‘I was raised to believe pain equates to forgiveness.’

Holy shit what the hell did we just read? Well, before we try to answer that question we really have to applaud these authors for an incredibly addictive and well written story. The writing was fabulous and flawless which made for a craze arsed ride that had us feeling depraved and mortified at our enjoyment – but then again we do kind of love reading past our comfort zones.

‘There are no rules, no safe words. I do not want her willing submission. I want to drag it from her, screaming and crying. I want ultimate power over her, and while she’s here in this room with me, I want to own her, body and soul.’

This is not a book for the fainthearted and the Authors themselves have warned readers of this, so pick it up at your own risk. It was ugly, sadistic, horrific and violent. Yet it was terrifyingly sad, twistedly romantic and an extremely unusual love story. Because yes – at the crux of it – it was ultimately about love when stripped of conditioned fucked-up-ness. All we needed was a Tarrantino movie soundtrack to play in the background whilst reading Absolution.

‘I can practically hear her thrumming heartbeat. That sound is like music to my ears, but I don’t want brave faces. I want tears. I want screams.’

So let’s look at the definition of Absolution to start off with. Absolution is the formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment. For one of our characters this was the soul destroying reality whilst fighting an indoctrination through a punishment of such extreme severity it ultimately impacted and altered the psyche and ‘normal’ body and mind responses. In the name of misguided religion whilst instead at the hands of self-serving narcissistic personalities who needed someone to blame for their own immorality.

‘Ezra is like a storm, violent and turbulent, and as long as you aren’t the one swept up in his winds, it’s tragically beautiful.’

In fiction we’re allowed to say we were mesmerised by Ezra to the point of falling for him. In real life we’d run for the hills never looking back.

‘He is the devil in all his brutal, raw beauty that leads the innocent into temptation.’

His perfect match? Well that would be the one trying to kill him. The one seeking absolution. The one who’s dedicated what’s left of herself to rid the world of the sins that live within her underneath her skin. The ‘stains’ she’s incapable of washing off.

‘Evie. The little killer. The monster hiding behind the face of an angel. She’s so fucked up she makes me look dull.’

We understood and hurt for Evie as we learnt of why she’s on the road that she is, we wanted to comfort this crazed haunted animal – yet again because this is fiction. In real life we’d run for the hills once more and never accept a drink thrust at us or even dare to send a look at Ezra.

“I’m the only God you need, little killer. I’m the one who will protect you, and I’m the one who will rain down hell on anyone who hurts you.”

Sin – obsession – death – passion – redemption – love…..

……………………..Ezra & Evie……it doesn’t get more bloodier than that….Bloody Brilliant!

“Do you like it when I hurt you, little killer? Don’t be ashamed, sweetheart. It’s fucking beautiful.”

 ❈ ❈ ❈

ABSOLUTION by L.P. LOVELL & STEVIE J COLE
amazon us :: amazon uk

absolution

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Filed under L.P. Lovell, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Stevie J Cole