Tag Archives: standalone

ETHAN’S FALL – A CHOICES NOVEL by DEE PALMER :: REVIEW

Standalone emotional erotic Romance

SYNOPSIS

They say once bitten…

Ethan Cates is anything but shy. A little time away from his playboy playground has hardened his heart. After returning from his travels, he has every intention of keeping it locked away. This summer his plan is for the three S’s: Sun, Sea and Surf…It’s just not his entire plan. Three more S’s: Sex, Sex, and more Sex. Ethan loves women. He is just never going to love only one woman; this summer he is on a mission to prove it.

Twice shy…

Everyone has a story but not everyone wants to tell about it. Ada is hiding and has no choice but to stay that way, because she needs to find the person who means the most to her more than her next breath. If she is found and identified, she knows she will never get that chance. It’s not a life choice; this is self-preservation. She’s lost too much to give up now.

For the first time since moving to the small coastal town, Ada feels isolated in her opinion of Ethan, the town’s favourite prodigal son. He is arrogant, rude, and a complete arse to her. But, the first time in forever, Ada is distracted by a man who seems to delight in torturing, teasing, and playing a game Ada can’t afford to lose— one she can’t afford to play at all. 

ETHAN’S FALL is available to purchase below:

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘He has destroyed my life, ripped my family apart, and has left me in a million, shattered pieces, numb and desolate.’

This is our first book by Dee Palmer and we really enjoyed it, we fell in love with so many parts of this story as it surprised us along the way. What we loved was how this story showed the innate human resilience to tragedy and heart-break through an ingrained survival instinct. To say this is just an erotica read would be doing it a great injustice. Ethan’s Fall is a mix of double crossing families, wrong-doings and scandalous moments peppered with erotic passion. Whilst this book is billed as a standalone, we did feel we were missing a connection with Ethan from not having read the Choices trilogy of which this is a spin-off. However, we thoroughly enjoyed our first Dee Palmer read.

“I’m smart enough to know love like this doesn’t happen every day so there’s no fucking way anyone is taking that from me.”

Ethan is quite the complex character and we have to admit to not really connecting with him through the first half of the book. He was almost too arrogant with quite hurtful and aloof behaviour, we wanted to slap him. This is where we struggled; and we think, that had we read the trilogy we may have understood him better and related to where he’d been to correlate to where he is now. He did however grow on us as he slowly showed his heart and we couldn’t help but fall in love with him.

‘I’m not crazy; I’m angry. I’m unbelievably angry and hurt. I’ve been betrayed by the one person I loved in this world, and I’ve been deceived by the people who are supposed to love me most in the world.’

Now, Ada was the mysterious slip of a girl who was clearly in hiding. We get snippets and hints as well as a back story which completely broke our hearts. Her inner strength, her sassiness and her big heart won us over immediately and we were rooting for her throughout. Her journey is so twisted with never-ending harrowing circumstances and when it comes to her heart there’s no question it loves with all its might.

‘Was I really any different? Maybe not, but I am now. I wouldn’t recognise that silly, foolish, trusting girl from back then if I saw her standing right in front of me.’

If you enjoy your erotica and your characters being put through the wringer then this is a book for you. We will definitely be checking out more from Dee Palmer.

‘The fact that she is torn about her feelings for me is like a signed declaration that she is already mine.’

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FIRST by KIMBERLY ADAMS :: REVIEW

TBB 5 Star Read!
Standalone soulmate love story

SYNOPSIS
It was 1990, and we were tying yellow ribbons around old oak trees.

And we were waiting.

The time I’d spent with Grant Butler was stolen. Each moment between us only fueled our need for each other. He was older, and forbidden by my parents.

And then he was gone.

Grant wrote to me from Saudi Arabia, and in his very first letter, he asked me to marry him. In his last letter, he promised to hold me in his arms on my graduation day.

His last letter ended in forever.

As I tried to move on with my life, I was consumed each day with the memories of a ghost…

Of my young love. My first love.

On August 26th, 1997, he was finally found…
but I’d already lost him.

This is the story of our life…. and it’s only just begun.

FIRST is available below 

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

“I’ll come back to you, Annie. You’re my first. And my last.”

Oh our hearts!  We certainly shed tears throughout Kimberly Adams’, First. What an incredibly beautiful, tragic, hopeful and heartfelt love story! Grant and Annie’s story was soul mate love, and when Grant spoke those words above to Annie, with such love and fierce determination… we felt every single word! With hearts breaking for Annie as she said goodbye to Grant and emotions crumbling for Grant as he had to leave his Annie behind, his words bore such weight as we had lived their love from its inception. From those heady moments of a young crush right through to the intense and soul deep love that eventually grew and flourished. Grant and Annie’s love was sweetly endearing and it was invincible.

“Nothing in this world feels like this love, Annie.”

Kimberly Adams floored us with this raw, sweet, sincere and epic love story. The writing was nothing short of exquisite with every emotion reaching into our hearts from every page. Effortless and breathtaking storytelling ensured we connected in every possible way to her story. We can’t say enough about this authors stunning writing and the way in which it brought this emotive love story to fruition.

FIRST is told in two parts, the first taking us to 1990 when Annie Lake, on the cusp of her 16th birthday fell head over heels for 18 year old Grant Butler, who was quite literally the boy next door. The attraction between them was electric yet it held such a sweet and beautiful innocence. Our hearts melted as we found an instant connection to these characters and their feelings.

‘I wanted to be his. Only his. I wanted Grant like I’d never wanted anything in my entire life.’

Sweet and beautiful Annie, was in her sophomore year at school, she’s a bit of a dreamer and an artist at heart. Handsome, self-assured Grant, is a senior, about to graduate and join the Marines and it’s a path he couldn’t veer from. His future seemed set in stone and yet he didn’t count on Annie completely stealing his heart, making his departure such a soul crashing experience.

‘He held me in the way that only he could, in that very adult way that let me believe that he was all I’d ever need.’

Grant and Annie were two old souls and when they fell, they fell hard – their love was pure, and despite their young years, it was without doubt true, achingly soul deep love and so it made their journey so believable and so highly emotional.  They were two hearts beating as one.

Part Two of First contained twists we didn’t anticipate. Yes, parts gutted us, but the way the story played out proved what a gifted and passionate storyteller Kimberly Adams is. Wow, what a storyteller indeed!

‘There were families…wives, mothers, fiancées and lovers…waiting, still waiting, for their loved ones to return from a war that had captured and kept them locked, somewhere in time…forever.’

The synopsis gives all you need to know about this story. To reveal anything further would impede on the emotional intensity you’ll feel as you’re swept up in Grant and Annie’s story. A story we inhaled in one sitting, unable to leave these characters that affected us so deeply, for a mere minute.

We loved so much of this story – the era of the setting was perfection. The characters so memorable. We lived through the uncertainty of the Iraq war and embraced the music that shaped that time, finding ourselves swept up in a wave of nostalgia whilst mourning a story of lost time, stolen moments, severed opportunities whilst, in the same breath,  losing ourselves to the beauty of a once in a lifetime love we felt deep in our hearts. We know we’ll never forget our time spent with Grant and Annie, neither will you!

‘…we were all waiting together.
For an ending, for a beginning…..
For a return.’


TBB RECOMMENDS
THE MOVIE TRILOGY Available to purchase below

 BELOW UNFORGIVEN
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK

ღ BEFORE A PERFECT WORLD
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK 

ღ ON HEARTBREAK RIDGE
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK 

ღ BEYOND HEREAFTER
AMAZON US ||  AMAZON UK


SYNOPSIS BOOK ONE – BELOW UNFORGIVEN

Vivian Hale doesn’t cope. She runs.

Spending the summer in small town Pennsylvania, working for minimum wage in the old trailer-turned-video-store, Vivian longs to move on after her world came crashing down around her. She’s given up on her acting dream and is willing to do whatever it takes to make enough money to get a place of her own and start over- anything, of course, but sacrifice her pride.

Oscar winning, LA director Keaton Thorne is back home for the first time in seven years, determined to survive one weekend with his family. As best man in his little brother’s wedding, he has one job- show up with his gorgeous wife and prove to everyone in the small town that he’s better than his father had ever been. 

When Keaton makes her a clichéd offer that she just can’t refuse, Vivian tries to protect her heart. She knows the difference between right and wrong. 

Between moral and immoral…

Between acting… and reality. 

One weekend. One man.

One yes.

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TAINTED BY LOVE by GILLIAN JONES :: REVIEW

Standalone emotional ugly cry love story

SYNOPSIS

My name is Hendrix Hills.
When I was twenty-nine, I fell in love with a girl.
We loved fast. We loved hard.
But our love was tainted.

My name is Trinity Adams.
When I was twenty-seven, I fell in love with a boy.
We loved fast. We loved hard.
It’s too bad my blood was tainted.

Warning: Not your traditional HEA. May contain emotional triggers for some. There will be things that you won’t like and some you will, but I hope you have fun finding out!

TAINTED by LOVE is available below 

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

“She’s my home, you know…my happy….”

We have so many mixed emotions about this book. Even now, a day after finishing Tainted by Love, talking about, and getting our thoughts and feelings in check, we have no idea how we felt about this book. Was it compelling? Absolutely. Was it emotional? Yes, some parts brutally so. We sobbed hiccupy, headache sobs at one point. Did we enjoy it? We’re not sure enjoy is the right word, but one one thing we DO know, is that we couldn’t put this book down and we can’t remember discussing a book so deeply whilst we read.

The opening pages of Tainted by Love led us to believe it was going to something quite different to how the story played out, and that’s perfectly okay, because as readers, we love to be tested, have our boundaries pushed and revel in having the element of surprise bestowed upon us. And Gillian Jones most certainly managed all three.

The story starts with Trinity, then 20, in love with her college boyfriend and losing her virginity. The gut punching relevance of these steamy opening moments soon came into play as we turned to the next chapter;  thrown for a loop. Nothing could have prepared us for how the cruel and heartbreaking consequences that relationship would deliver. It hit us like a sledgehammer.

‘It turns out it’s easier to judge me than it is to love me.’

We’ll hold our hands up and admit we found it confronting, and unbeknownst to each other, we both had put the book aside at one point. A few text message later saw us discussing our feelings at length…and Trinity’s story had only just begun at that point. One thing’s for sure though, even as we questioned how we felt, there is no doubt we were compelled we were to continue this story. Without question we would forever wonder ‘what if’  about Trinity and Hendrix’s story if we didn’t finish it. And so we braced ourselves for what we thought was to come.

27 year old Trinity Adam’s received crushing news that would forever change her life. In every sense of the word. It would only be through the understanding and love from Hendrix Hills that her life would take on some semblance of balance and true happiness, however they would forever live with a dark cloud hanging over them and so we read this book with a mixture of determination and dread.

‘Hendrix sees me. He sees all of me: the person I am today, the girl I’ve always been, and the woman I might become. I just hope he also sees the Trinity that is looking right back at him, the one who already loves him so much.’

When reading a story we always put ourselves in the heroines shoes, however in Tainted by Love, we found ourselves in both Trinity and Hendrix’s shoes, asking ourselves; ‘what would we do, how would we react?‘ if we were in both their situations. Would fear and ignorance rule our hearts, or would we open pummel through the boundaries and open our hearts to the possibility of love and happiness? We found Gillian Jones schooled us in so many ways, as she made us confront our feelings, question our reasoning’s and ensured we talked into the wee hours about this book…..between gut wrenching sobs that is! We just couldn’t stop thinking about it!

‘Knowing my biggest truth, Hendrix Hills still wants me.’

We absolutely applaud this author for taking on such a difficult subject, it couldn’t have been easy to write because it certainly wasn’t easy to read. Whilst the subject matter was extremely honest, this author dealt with Trinity and Hendrix’s story in an inspirational, loving and sensitive manner.

We found our issues with Tainted by Love came by way of the book having an overabundance of sex scenes which, for us, had a adverse impact on the emotion of the story at times. When reading a story so brutal and emotionally poignant, our thoughts were that the sex scenes would have benefited by being more fade to black as to not almost undervalue this important storyline. We found the constant descriptive sex distracted us from the emotional element of the story and for that, we were a little gutted. However, in saying that, the latter part of this story hit us and hit us hard. There is no way we had expected, nor were prepared for the way in which Gillian Jones would move Hendrix and Trinity’s story. We ugly cried, closing the book and attempting to decipher our thoughts and feelings long after finishing this thought provoking story about acceptance, self preservation, survival and soul deep love. A love that refused to be restrained by boundaries.

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THE MUSE by L M HALLORAN :: REVIEW

Standalone Professor/Student romance

SYNOPSIS

What happens when the future brings the past?

Iris Eliot has survived a lot in her twenty-seven years. Despite the emotional and physical scars she carries, she refuses to be labelled a victim. Now in her final year of graduate school, her dream is within reach. She’s ready to put the past behind her and embrace whatever the future brings.

Until the future brings him.

Professor James Beckett, internationally bestselling author and award-winning poet, is the new head of the Creative Writing Department at her university. Brilliantly talented and obnoxiously sexy, he’s more dangerous than Iris knows.

When Beckett sets his sights on Iris, it’s not just her heart on the line, or her academic and professional careers. Surrendering to the way he makes her feel will rewrite her past.

THE MUSE is available to purchase below for ONLY 99c/99p

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 fabulous stars!

“This feeling, right here and now, has brought gods from their heavenly thrones, started and ended wars, and shifted the borders of nations. Nothing in my life has prepared me for how you make me feel, Iris.”

We sampled her writing in the rockstar romance, Breaking Giants, and now, with The Muse, LM Halloran has cemented herself as a TBB 1Click author. We were completely sold on her talent, the story and her characters in this standalone student/teacher forbidden romance that eclipsed anything we had anticipated, taking us in directions we didn’t expect and forever keeping us on our toes, finding ourselves totally enraptured by James and Iris’s complicated and emotional love story.

“Do you want me or not?” he takes a step toward me, fingers sliding under my jaw to lift to my face. “More than anything in memory, yes.”

We’ll admit that, initially James and Iris’s fascination and desire for one another moved at breakneck speed, which gave us pause for thought, however, what developed was anything but an insta love story. What began as a sizzling sexual chemistry, soon receded and was replaced by an attraction that went beyond the physical. This was a meeting of intellect, mutual respect, emotional intensity and understanding, oh and yes, desire!  But as James and Iris begin to explore their feelings, we learn more about the fate and destiny of these two characters with explosive consequences. This is a love story that spans time, growth, healing and self-discovery and it was intense.

“You were born with eyes that hold worlds. Lifetimes of love and loss and pain. I’m only sorry I added to your pain. I truly never mean to hurt you.”

They say timing is everything and that couldn’t be more true for James (Beck) and Iris. Hired as a TA for the brilliant, handsome, cantankerous 33 year old British Professor James S Beckett, the newly appointed Director of Creative Writing, Iris would meet a man who is a contradiction to say the least. An academic, a NYT BS fiction author with a brilliant mind, he could render us breathless with his exquisite eloquence one minute, whilst sending us into giggles over his snarky dry, caustic mirth, then have us fanning ourselves when he unleashed his very sexy dirty talk! Oh James could be a right cock at times, but bloody hell did we love him! We loved every complicated thing about him!

“…There’s a chance your talents are being wasted on crime fiction.”
He hums in humor, hands skating under my shirt to find skin. Then he says, “The only erotica I’ll write will be for you. Tomes and tomes of it, my little muse.”

Twenty seven year old Iris Eliot didn’t stand a chance against his charms….albeit it, she had to dig deep to find them beneath the Beck’s obnoxious exterior! But this resilient young lady, has a sad and painful past, consisting of a loss that haunts her and a guilt she carries from the repercussions. However, as the full impact of Iris’s past is explored throughout the story, she broke our hearts.

“Iris,” he whispers. “So aptly named. Complex and radiant, deceptively delicate.”

As the story progresses, we open up to Iris’s past and we learn why Beckett became so enamoured with the 27 year old Iris, and why his attraction was so ‘sudden‘ – and it was tormenting,  heartbreaking and beautiful, and so cleverly devised and written by LM Halloran. What a way to throw a spanner in the works, LM! There’s a burning lust between the two that crackles yet this never once overruled the development of their relationship or the emotional impact of the story as LM Halloran delivered an intense, sexy, painful, thought provoking, stunningly written story of a love that refused to yield, a story that captivated us from start to finish from an author who has amazed us and seized our hearts once again.


We also recommend, BREAKING GIANTS
The Standalone Rock Star Romance by L M HALLORAN

SYNOPSIS

A rockstar romance unlike any you’ve read before…

When I meet Julian Ashburn, the reclusive frontman of indie-rock legends Breaking Giants, I do what any sane woman would do. Embarrass myself, then insult him. Because you only live once, right?

Besides, keeping my distance from the enigmatic, songwriting genius is an act of self-preservation. Julian is dangerous—a pool of kerosine to my pyromaniac. I have a weakness for broken men.

But sometimes the stories we tell and the songs we sing—about family, love, and ourselves—have to be rewritten in order for us to grow. Call it Fate, or stars aligning, or cosmic accident, but I’m about to find out that of the two of us, Julian isn’t the broken one.

The greatest love songs break your heart.

If you’re lucky, they heal it, too.

BREAKING GIANTS is available to purchase below

               


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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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