Tag Archives: standalone

THE TUTOR by K LARSEN :: REVIEW

Standalone dark romantic suspense
TBB 5 Star read! 

SYNOPSIS

After a party gone wrong and in desperate need of money for the fall semester of college, twenty-year-old Nora Robertson needs to escape her hometown.

She accepts a summer long live-in tutoring job for a handsome man and his little sister at a secluded home deep in the mountains.

There is no running water.

No electricity.

No internet or cell service.

When her tutoring job ends she’s hit with a brutal turn of events … she’s not permitted to leave. After months in captivity, she makes a harrowing escape with her student that ends in a car accident on a desolate road. When Nora comes to, her student is missing. In a desperate attempt to find the girl, Nora will have to recount her time held captive.

The good and the bad.

Can Nora and the authorities work together to find the man who took her? Will they rescue the girl Nora tried to save?

Author’s Note: This is a dark romantic suspense.
Trigger warning: all of them. This will not elicit warm fuzzy feelings

THE TUTOR is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘He stole my magic. He decimated my innocence swiftly and succinctly. And let me tell you something, innocence is like hope – a necessary element for survival. ‘

Wow! What a gripping unputdownable read! We couldn’t move until we finished The Tutor, after becoming instantly seduced by K Larsen’s menacing, taunting and deliciously tempting opening pages. From the sinister feel of the first page, we knew this one was going to be one riveting, thrilling and unsettling read, and one in which we found ourselves easily trusting our hearts and minds to this incredibly talented author. This was our favourite K Larsen read. This story was really something!

“It was all a game. He was the only one who knew who was playing but it was still a game. “

First off, we absolutely urge you to go into this book spoiler free, and our review will be just that. So much of this read could be easily spoilt and it’s truly one where you simply have to trust in the author, because every page ensured our Kindles never left our hands as we constantly tried to second guess how this story would play out.

K Larsen has done a tremendous job of intricately weaving a number of players POV’s into the story as well as a back and forth, past/present composition which she carried out with a seamless flair. We never faltered or got lost along the way as this authors brilliant prose flowed spectacularly.

The story centres on 20 year old bookworm Nora Robertson. Sweet Nora prefers to have her nose in a book rather than out partying every night and whilst book smart, Nora isn’t especially life smart, unlike her best friend Aubry who is the fun to Nora’s seriousness.

“I think my greatest error was believing that if I cast a lovely net, I would only catch lovely things.”

At the insistence of Aubry, Nora attends a party, the fallout of which, would have life changing consequences for Nora resulting in her need to escape and accept a position as a live-in Tutor at a remote cabin in Mount Art working for the ruggedly handsome Holden Douglas, teaching his younger sister. It would turn out to deliver more than she could have ever imagined.

‘I will become his masterpiece, my scars his legacy. He will carve his way through my soul to my heart.’

We learn Nora’s terrifying story as she recounts it to various parties. Nothing is spared as we hear of the pleasure, the pain, the tender, the heartbreak, the brutal, the bravery, the fear…in fact, everything Nora felt, we felt deep within us, as Nora’s memories, conflictions and emotions are constantly laid bare on each page.

‘Fear is a funny thing. It changes the way you think. It alters your being. I’ve learned the heart is a wild beast, that’s why it’s caged inside our ribs… that monsters are real and they look like humans and that love is a fickle beast. All my life, people promised that dreams could come true…but they forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.’

Despite this being a dark romance, we experienced moments of moving tenderness which were intensified among the dark, unnerving moments, eliciting moments of hope and love in places we didn’t think possible, and in turn causing us to question our every increasing conflicted feelings.

“There are chapters in my life I’d rather not read out loud.”
“Tell me every horrible thing you did and let me love you anyway.”

K Larsen masterfully delivered a brilliantly written story that came to life as she captured the nuances of each character, leaving us teetering on a knife-edge with each twisting turn of the page. By allowing us into the mind of each player, K Larsen ensured we witnessed first-hand the judgements and thoughts of each character throughout this complex story that still keeps playing out in our minds long after finishing. 

The Tutor was an absolute 5 star read for sure. You need to bump this book up to the ‘must read’ list, now!

“Your story no longer belongs to you. It’s my story now.”


MORE TBB RECOMMENDATIONS by K LARSEN
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TBB RECOMMENDATIONS by K LARSEN and MARA WHITE
(Click the book cover for more info)

 

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LOVE MY WAY by KATE STERRITT :: REVIEW

Standalone moving story about second chances

SYNOPSIS

Emerson Hart is the love of my life.

Unfortunately, I’m not the only love of hers.

And therein lies the problem.

LOVE MY WAY is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny – Spoiler-Free Review 

 “For a minute or a lifetime, some people try to clip your wings, while others help you learn to fly.”

Wow didn’t this -new to us Author-, Kate Sterritt just steal our book loving hearts with this incredibly well written, emotionally intense and heart-breaking story. Where there’s love, there’s hope, even in the bleakest moments of grief and suffering and we felt every single moment. We fell in love with this Author and her characters, not wanting to put this book down for anything.

“Ki,” I said, waiting until he faced me.

“What?” He met my gaze.

“I’m really glad you found me.”

The corner of his mouth curled into a smile. “I didn’t know you were lost.”

“Neither did I.”

There was a sombre yet stunning melancholy threaded through the pages which led us through Emerson’s journey, as we learnt of her childhood and her incredible friendship and love affair with a wonderful boy, Mereki, spanning difficult years. Two youngsters being the light in the others’ world. The power behind their relationship was the kind that burrows under your skin and rushes through aiming straight for the heart. Poignancy and life changing moments painted the pages as the light faded.

“Say it with your whole heart and mean it. Say it because it’s your greatest gift to me, to our memory, and most importantly, to you.”

We learn how the impact of tragedy marred Emerson’s present. Whilst we knew the sadness was there and we knew what was most probably going to transpire, we did not know where the hope and healing was coming from. Until we did. And we found it to be through love, compassion and inspiration from a man who lives and breathes the powerful quality of art and expression. Beautiful characters, each with an important message to convey.

“Every day for months, I’d draw…It was something tangible and completely personal. I allowed my grief to bleed out of me onto the paper, and it helped.”

A heart incinerated by circumstance can heal even whilst being consumed by an all-encompassing love that will never lose its grip. It’s the love and light which is let in that can live side by side and bring the heart its survival. This is a story of the innocence of love and the after effects of grief. It’s a story of survival, acceptance and willingness to see love in more than one place. To open your heart to others and let hope and life blossom. It was quite simply beautiful.

‘You’re my shining light whenever the world is dark. Never let your light die because it’s going to brighten more than just my world.’


PROLOGUE TEASER for LOVE MY WAY

Even without seeing her face, I know that the woman standing at the water’s edge is desperately sad. Her back is to me and her shoulders are slumped, perhaps heavy with regret. It kills me to know I am partly to blame, and for that reason alone, it’s impossible to look at her. Leaning against the rough trunk of the tree, I close my eyes. My life will forever begin and end with her, and I’m unable to witness her heart breaking.

Standing still is no longer an option, so I begin to pace. Is she still waiting for him or has he already left? Fear pools in my veins at the uncertainty. Above all else, I want her to be happy. If this is too hard, I’ll have to walk away again. I let out a long breath, frustrated by the whole situation.

Emerson Hart is the love of my life. Unfortunately, I’m not the only love of hers. And therein lies the problem.


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LOVE IN TRANSIT by VARIOUS AUTHORS

Find out what happens when you give six authors the SAME blurb and they write their OWN story.

SYNOPSIS

You know those people that have a house full of motivational slogans? Embrace Every Moment, stamped on their coffee mugs. Always Kiss Me Goodnight painted above their perfectly made beds.

I’m not one of those people.

This morning I overslept, then slipped on a stray sock and banged my toe into the nightstand. The elevator in my building broke and I had to run down six flights of stairs. And then my local coffee shop was closed. For health code violations.

What’s that? Not the end of the world? You want me to suck it up?

Did I mention I’m wearing a wedding dress… on the subway?

It’s a Good Day for a Hot Mess.

Someone embroider that on a pillow.

LOVE IN TRANSIT is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

Love In Transit is a fabulous unique idea which grabbed our attention the moment we saw how six Authors each wrote a novella with the same synopsis, the cover is gorgeous too! We managed to inhale a few of the stories which were deliciously different and well written. Without question we highly recommend picking this book up if you’re a romantic at heart and you’re looking for short sharp romantic, emotional and sexy hits that without question will each satisfy a lunch hour read or commute.  So, jump on board- wedding dress optional!

Times Square

‘Is there anything sexier than a man absorbed in a book? Not to this self-confessed book nerd there isn’t.’

Well, Jana Aston just satisfied our book loving hearts. Firstly, we have to admit it was our first time with Jana but what a fabulous first time it was. We laughed and swooned in equal measure. It was quick witted, very book-ish (if you read it you’ll know what we mean) and sexy. Loved it!

Wall Street Station

‘To save an angel, I prepare to make a deal with the devil.’

Liv Morris gave us her own version of a sweet fairy-tale mixed with poignant moments of ‘Pretty Woman’. So much packed into this one, which was a more emotional read; we swooooooned and fell in love!

The Hammersmith & City Line

“What’s so funny?”

“You’re wearing a really shit wedding dress on The Tube.”

Kitty French gave us….well Kitty French; and as we love her we inhaled her dirty and quirky reality TV romp with laugh out loud moments! LOVED this one.

Capitol South

‘My heart requires more time to heal before I try to open it up to another person.’

Raine Miller brought us pomp and grace with a real personal romantic touch. A swoony romance ultimately borne out of an upper class family commitment. Loved it.

 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Ainsley Booth, B J Harvey, Jana Aston, Kitty French, Pick an Author, Raine Miller

BREAKING GIANTS by L M HALLORAN :: REVIEW

Standalone Rock Star Romance

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

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“It’s like a fairytale.”
“I don’t know any fairytales that are as dark and twisted as this one.”

Music owns our souls with rock star romances being one of our favourite things. There’s just something about this theme that really catches our attention, though to be honest, it’s also one we find can be a bit of a hit and miss, mainly because,  the focus sometimes sides heavily on the romance aspect, forgetting the all-important musical experience we crave. We love to be wooed as much by the musical feeling of the story as the romantic entanglement therein.

‘My body is a song – he knows every note.’

L.M. Halloran is a new to us author and the tagline of her synopsis especially grabbed our attention. How could we not be seduced by…’A rockstar romance unlike any you’ve read before’.. Yep, we HAD to read it with that statement.

We really enjoyed Breaking Giants (great name for a band by the way) and we’re pleased to say L.M. Halloran did deliver on both the romance and the musical aspect of the story, with a good dose of angst, though we don’t feel this rock star romance delivered on the ‘unlike anything we’ve read before’ promise we had hoped, though saying that we have devoured a lot of rock star reads over the years!

‘I watch, silent and empty, as my happiness leaves, slamming the front door behind him.’

The heart and soul of the music was most definitely prevalent throughout this story which told of the on/off sizzling attraction between lead singer of the Breaking Giants, Julian Ashburn and Rose Cunningham, who runs a coffee shop in Seattle and is the daughter of a music producer father and a famed singer/songwriter mother. Both of who, have sadly passed.

Did fate have a hand in Rose and Julian’s destiny? And if so, fate was given a bitch of a job with these two fighting every step of the way! Timing, feelings, commitments, the planets not being in alignment…it seemed everything conspired to put a cog in the wheels of this union.

‘He is a craving beyond my control. A mental obsession.’

Breaking Giants is beautifully written with us experiencing the soul searching and healing needed between Rose and Julian, both of whom were weighed down by baggage from their past and their push/pull relationship certainly delivered some angst!

27 year old Rose is the living legacy of addiction. Being the daughter of a deceased drug addict mother who instilled a belief in the singer/songwriter Rose that love was responsible for the death of art. That love was the killer of all happiness. A belief Rose carried from her young impressionable 13 year old self.

‘Music is the only lover that will never leave you, Rose.’

32 year old Julian, also has issues as a reformed alcoholic, he’s been through the mill, seen the downside of life, and even though he’s part of a hugely successful band, he prefers to be more of a  recluse, leaving the spotlight to his mates, his fellow band members Matt, Jackson and Nick.

We really felt the creative souls beneath these characters and we felt their pain, though we didn’t quite experience the emotional intensity we would have hoped considering the trauma both characters had lived through.  We loved the Seattle setting which brought a life force to the story, the secondary characters were delightful, and the epilogue delivered an unexpected surprise, culminating in perfectly beautiful way to end the story.  A highly enjoyable rock star romance!

4 Stars

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LOVE ME IN THE DARK by MIA ASHER :: REVIEW

Standalone – emotional second chance at love

SYNOPSIS

Two strangers in Paris …
One passionate, earth-shattering kiss.

He was the artist upstairs
with the tantalizing smile and laughing eyes.

He was the devil inviting me to sin,
seducing me to dance in the bright moonlight.

He was desire and need.

When he touched me, my body sang.
My soul came alive.

But I belonged to another man,
and he didn’t want to let me go.

LOVE ME IN THE DARK is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4 Stars

“Maybe in another life we’ll meet again and get it right. But whatever happens, you will always remain my one perfect memory, my one perfect dream. I love you, my beautiful man.”

Well didn’t Mia Asher just wow us with her words, so flawless, enticing, fluid and vivid. We were swept away in this heart-breaking yet hope filled love story. It was compulsive reading. Whilst for us, Mia Asher is known for her high angst and kindle throwing; this was neither. The balance was perfect and the mood went from highly emotional, to swoony to frustratingly heart-breaking to…..well let’s just say it was a highly passionate and exciting ride.

‘My arms outstretched, I’d danced to the vibrant music of life. I prayed for romance, adventure, the unknown. I wanted to fall in love and love to the point of no return. I wanted the turmoil, the stress, the upheaval, and chaos…’

Valentina is a wild fire, loving life and everything it has to offer- a girl with a grandiose life perspective.  Life is an adventure and she’s wanting to grab it by the scruff of the neck, wringing every drop of enjoyment out of it. Then she meets William and is swept away by this enigmatic man’s attention and love. Where Valentina’s joy was life, it’s a far cry from where she finds herself 12 years later, suddenly alone in an apartment in Paris, married and lonely, questioning every aspect of her life and marriage to William.

‘If Valentina were mine, I would have moved heaven and earth to get to her. Because when you finally find something worth living for, you fight until there isn’t one more drop of blood left in you.’

When Valentina finds herself at a crossroad the unexpected presence of the mysterious Sebastian throws a naked spotlight on her deepest fears and where her place is in life. A man who throws everything up in the air and awakens her to who she really is, who she was and who she lost.

‘She reminds me of the sea; untamed, unpredictable, but beautiful, so damn beautiful.’

Sebastian was divine and his story heart-breaking. Two lost souls meeting when the timing is everything but right. Or is it? Is it the much needed catalyst for healing and reawakening? Is this accidental meeting what sparks the ultimate unveiling of lies, deceptions and tragedy?

‘He kisses me like he’s dying and my lips are kiss last breath. It’s a kiss that rearranges the stars in my own little galaxy, setting my life in a new course, changing my destiny. And if I crash and burn like a falling star, what does it matter when for this brief instant I’m in his arms? For the first time in a very long time, there isn’t ice inside of me. Instead, there’s a bright, hot, blazing fire.’

We have to say the first half of this book had us enthralled and we were feeling every moment- every word. Whilst we absolutely loved it, there came a point where it went in a direction that felt like an abrupt story change that ended up feeling quite rushed belying the beauty and romance of what came before. It almost felt like the addition derailed it somewhat which is such a shame as we were absolutely loving this story. That being said, Mia Asher is an incredible story-teller and there’s a real accomplished beauty and flawless control to her writing.

‘This. This is life. This is love. Feel it all. Feel him and believe. Believe. Believe.’

✲✲✲


arsen

TBB Also recommends
ARSEN – A Broken Love Story
The angsty standalone by Mia Asher

SYNOPSIS

One glance was all it took…

I’m a cheater.
I’m a liar.
My whole life is a mess.

I love a man.
No, I love two men…
I think.

One makes love to me. The other sets me on fire.
One is my rock. The other is my kryptonite.

I’m broken, lost, and disgusted with myself.

But I can’t stop. This is my story.
My broken love story.

ARSEN – A BROKEN LOVE STORY is available to purchase below

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