Tag Archives: epicromance

AXIOS – A SPARTAN TALE by JACLYN OSBORN :: REVIEW

5++ Stars – A TBB Top 2017 Read
An epic standalone MM historical romance set in Ancient Sparta

SYNOPSIS

I am Axios of Sparta, and I was born to kill. At age seven, I left home to train with other boys where we were taught obedience, solidarity, military strategy, and how to withstand pain. My harsh upbringing stripped me of my weaknesses and forced me to become strong. Ruthless.

But, I craved something greater—a life I could never have.

Against all odds, and the toughest training a warrior could endure, I found an unexpected love in the arms of a fellow Spartan. He was the very air I breathed and the water that sustained me. Fighting side by side with him, we were invincible. Where he went, I followed.

However, there was no place for love in Sparta. Feelings were for the weak. The only life for a Spartan was one of battle and brutality with no guarantee of tomorrow. In times of war, all men were put to the test, but the greatest challenge for us was not one of swords and spears, but of the heart.

AXIOS : A SPARTAN TALE is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“Not even death could keep me from you. My soul will forever find yours. In this life and the next.”

We had a feeling this story was going to be something quite amazing when we read the synopsis, however we were not prepared for the epic journey we were about to embark on. Axios is quite simply one of the most magnificent books we’ve ever read. It is unparalleled in its historical grandeur without ever feeling as if we were spectators to a lesson in Greek history. It is steeped in beauty, vivid sounds and smells as well as the conflicting picturesque yet war torn scenery of ancient Sparta.

“Sparta can have my life, but she cannot take my heart.”

Every single character plays a paramount role in this superbly written story; a story of tragedy, love, hope, brotherhood, tradition, violence, humanity and passion. We often say, that when a book fully impacts our soul, we know the Author has bleed words straight from the heart onto the pages, and never has that been more apropos than in this story.

“What makes up the stars?” I had once asked him in a time that seemed like a different life. A happier one.
“The stars are heroes, men who died and are now commemorated for their bravery in battle,” he had answered, smiling.

Whilst this story follows Axios and Eryx from children -being indoctrinated into becoming Spartan warriors- their fates are deeply entwined with many other wonderful characters thus becoming integral to the very essence of the intense emotional aspect of this reading journey. A journey spanning decades. A journey of a green eyed boy who was destined to become a great warrior and a brown eyed boy who would always question whilst dreaming of the stars, the sea and the spirit of love. Night and day; one cannot be without the other.

“..one day the light you carry will be snuffed out by darkness. I dread the moment when the gentleness in your brown eyes becomes cold as you see, at last, that the world is unforgiving and cruel. And I fear that I will lose you, either to the god of death or to your inner demons.”

We were compelled, enthralled, captivated, entranced; we were utterly mesmerized. There are not enough words to accurately convey how deeply we feel about this book and how incredibly intense it was. We have never highlighted so many passages and quotes as we did in this story. The sheer magnificence and brilliance was astounding.

“There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you,” he whispered, pressing his forehead to mine. “I would kill any man, go any distance, and burn the whole world down if it meant keeping you safe.”

We want to give Jaclyn Osborn a standing ovation, not only for her immense historical research but also her stunning writing which captured a story so wonderfully epic it made our hearts beat frantically whilst we rejoiced with love yet cried uncountable tears in despair. Axios will stay with us forever, of that there is no question. It’s a story that deserves every accolade and to be on every list of fictional honour. There are quite simply not enough stars to be given to the love story of Axios and Eryx.

‘I’ll see you in the stars my warrior.’

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Filed under 5 Stars, Jaclyn Osborn, Pick an Author

MISTS OF THE SERENGETI by LEYLAH ATTAR :: REVIEW & EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

See why we declared this incredible story “one of the best books we’ve ever read.”


TBB Top ‘All Time Fave’ Read
5++ STAR SPOILER FREE REVIEW :: MISTS OF THE SERENGETI

Standalone epic, breathtakingly beautiful romance. 

mists on the serengeti

SYNOPSIS

Once in Africa, I kissed a king…

“And just like that, in an old red barn at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, I discovered the elusive magic I had only ever glimpsed between the pages of great love stories. It fluttered around me like a newly born butterfly and settled in a corner of my heart. I held my breath, afraid to exhale for fear it would slip out, never to be found again.”

When a bomb explodes in a mall in East Africa, its aftershocks send two strangers on a collision course that neither one sees coming.

Jack Warden, a divorced coffee farmer in Tanzania, loses his only daughter. An ocean away, in the English countryside, Rodel Emerson loses her only sibling.

Two ordinary people, bound by a tragic afternoon, set out to achieve the extraordinary, as they make three stops to rescue three children across the vast plains of the Serengeti—children who are worth more dead than alive.

But even if they beat the odds, another challenge looms at the end of the line. Can they survive yet another loss—this time of a love that’s bound to slip through their fingers, like the mists that dissipate in the light of the sun?

“Sometimes you come across a rainbow story—one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.”

A blend of romance and women’s fiction, Mists of The Serengeti is inspired by true events and contains emotional triggers, including the death of a child. Not recommended for sensitive readers. Standalone, contemporary fiction.

MISTS OF THE SERENGETI is available to purchase below

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Mists of the Serengeti

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“Will I miss you? Like a dream that starves and curls up beneath my bones.”

Sometimes a book comes along that grabs your imagination by the very scruff and demands you to vividly experience, feel, see, scent and taste every single word conveyed by its Author. A story that burrows so deep into your heart that it finds a home. A story that makes you feel as if you are an integral part of events unfolding, whilst it takes you on an unforgettable journey, forever seared into your very being. A story that sings hymns of truth in an exquisite, powerful, harrowing and passionate manner.

‘It was the kind of magic that comes after a lifetime of searching, when you stumble upon something so perfect, you stop looking, and you say: Yes. This. I know this. I feel this. I’ve heard its footsteps echo down the hallways of my soul.’

A reader lives a thousand lives and the life we led in the Mists of the Serengeti was quite simply spectacular. A masterpiece. A rich and fragrant life filled with beauty, heartbreak, tragedy, hope, suspense and ultimately a love story of grand proportion. A love story that convinced and compelled us to the point where we saw nothing else but two souls merging through fate and ultimate consequence. Love in picturesque multicolour where darkness seeps in to scar and destroy. A love that rose out of rubble and dust. Despair and injustice walking hand in hand with hope, spirit and inspiration.

‘This is what it looks like when you wander somewhere between the sand and stardust, and meet a piece of yourself in someone else.’

Sometimes a book comes along where you feel a heart beating amidst the pages. A story where the very life, breath and soul of its Author lives – where words are penned by the heart – the hand a mere conveyor of the magic that resides within. A fluid transfer of an epic love story set amongst passionate, sumptuous and colourful beauty. We felt the magic deep in our bones, our tears flowing in time to the beat of the rhythm of this story’s magnificent heart.

‘My greatest loss had led to my greatest love. Hearts were broken, and hearts were healed. Lives were lost, and lives were saved.’

We know without a doubt that what we just experienced will never leave us. Its impact and poignancy so grand and its searing splendour so vibrant it left a lasting imprint which whispers and echoes; out of the most heart-breaking tragedy an inspirational love can rise and emerge stronger than that which tries to tear it down. Leylah Attar has left us speechless and awestruck; she has left a piece of herself in our hearts forever.

‘Sometimes you come across a rainbow story – one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.’


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Laylah Attar

I woke up early the next morning. For a few long, languid moments, I lay in bed enjoying the warmth of the woman sleeping beside me. My eyes roved over her brow, the small hairs that blended into her hairline, the pink, soft cushion of her lips. I placed the tip of my little finger in the groove between her nose and upper lip. The philtrum. I had looked it up. It was mine. It fit me perfectly. Just like the rest of her. Every part of me was made to fit every part of her.

My desire stirred, hot and heavy, under the covers. I wanted her with a craving that knew no depth. She was beautiful and devastating. Just like love should be. I could spend forever in the corners of her mind and never get bored. I could kiss her lips every morning and still not learn all the flavors of her soul. I was gone for this girl—so far gone that it terrified me.

I pulled the comforter over her and slipped out of bed, smiling as she snuggled deeper. We had woken up and gone at it again. And then again. I had exhausted her. In the best possible way.

Take that, I said to the naughty paperback lying on the floor. Then I paused and flipped through it. Hmm. Maybe we can do this tonight. No. This. This is even hotter. Holy fuck.

When Rodel came downstairs, I was on the couch, feet propped up, eyeballs deep in a romance novel.

“Really?” She crawled on top of me and kissed me. “I don’t know which I find sexier. You reading this book or the morning stubble on your face.” Her fingers traced my jawline. “I’m still not used to seeing you without the beard.”

“Does it feel different when I do this?” I pulled her in and reclaimed her lips.

“Wait!” She rescued the book getting crushed between us. “Oh. My. God. Did you bend the corners of my book?” She sat back on her heels and flipped through it.

“Just the parts I think we should re-enact.”

“Jack.” She shook her head in woe. “You never, ever fold a corner over in a book.”

“You’re so hot when you go all book-nerd on me.” Her nightshirt was riding high on her thighs, her lips were pouty, and she was cradling the book as if it were a hurt child. “Do you know—” I flipped her over so she was on all fours, her nose lodged in the folds of the novel “—I have sex with you a lot. In my head. Just like this.” I squeezed her sweet, round ass and rubbed my throbbing shaft over her panties. “Read to me, Rodel. Read to me while I ride you.” I pushed the fabric of her panties aside and slipped my finger inside of her. She let out a muffled groan.

“Are you burying your face in that book? Rodel.” I tsked. “You never, ever manhandle a book like that. This sexy ass, yes.” I slapped her full, round cheek. “But the book…” I grabbed her hair and tugged so she was looking down at the pages before her. “Read it, Rodel. Unless you want me to stop?” I slid another finger inside her and nipped the back of her neck.

Her voice quivered as she started reading the passages aloud. She kept losing track. I kept reminding her. A little yank, a little spank, to keep her head in the game. Her body squirmed against mine, engulfing my senses, engorging my passion, until the air was thick with hot, heated need.

She opened her mouth to say something, but as I thrust into her, the book fell away and the only word that escaped her was: “Unghhh.” It was a throaty, unintelligible whisper that was mind-blowingly hotter than all the erotic words I’d made her read.


TBB Also recommends this wonderful Standalone by Leylah

THE PAPER SWAN can be purchased below

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the paper swan cover

SYNOPSIS

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.
They lie.
For 21 days she held on.
But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death.
Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.

A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense.

Please note: This is NOT a love triangle.

A full-length, standalone novel, intended for mature audiences due to violence, sex and language. Subject matter may be disturbing for some readers. 

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Filed under 5 Stars, Excerpt, Leylah Attar, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny