Tag Archives: standalone

FLUTTER by OLIVIA EVANS :: REVIEW

Standalone second chance romantic suspense

SYNOPSIS
Dylan Walker has spent six years trying to move on from the loss of his girlfriend, Presley Cooper. Motivated by grief and the desire to do for others what he couldn’t do for her, he burns the candle at both ends to make it through medical school. After graduation he moves west, putting as much distance as possible between his past and his present.

Or so he thought.

Unknowingly, Dylan has been set on a path that will destroy everything he thought he knew. All the pain, all the grief, was all for nothing. With the help of an unexpected ally, Dylan must find the answers and save the girl he loves before it’s too late.

Deceit.

Betrayal.

Revenge.

A second chance at love.

But first, he must find a way to make her remember her past. Remember him. Remember everything.

FLUTTER is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.’ – Dalai Lama

And wasn’t this the story that encompassed the human strength! We were glued….completely consumed by Flutter from the moment we started reading, and it was a feeling that didn’t subside one little bit until we finished. What a unique, well delivered, gripping, suspenseful and emotional read, told in a very clever, astute, yet almost simplistic manner. We were utterly hooked!

“Remember me. Remember us.”

This is our second read by Olivia Evans, after reading her debut some years back and wow! Has this author grown! This story could have taken so many convoluted twists, it could have easily lost the reader, but that wasn’t the case at all. No, just the opposite. We were completely engrossed in this authors words, the growth of her characters from teens to adulthood, with past/present switches carried out in a seamless flow. In short, we absolutely devoured every word of Flutter!

“I don’t want to feel helpless,” Dylan answered. “I know what helpless feels like I don’t ever want to feel like that again.”

This is one of those books that’s quite difficult to review. The synopsis carries enough information about the story and adding to it could provide potential spoilers. It’s a case of needing to go in blind; discover the twists, the deception, the suspense and the final outcome all by yourselves. Just allow the story guide you in real time, with the characters and you will be rewarded.  Trust us on this.

There are so many layers to Dylan and Presley’s story which is told in present day, and past flashbacks to their eighteen year old selves, where we learn these two had been childhood friends. Their past was all hope, love and happiness….until….. it wasn’t. As we switch to present day, six years later we found ourselves desperately wanting to know how their lives had turned so horribly to end up at this juncture. Our need to champion Dylan as he uncovers the past, and frantically hoping he can rectify the present held us captive! It was heartbreaking, sad, beautiful and hopeful.

‘I don’t want to be sad anymore,’ she whispered.’

As much as Dylan and Presley were the catalyst for the story, and it was their beautiful broken story that held our hearts, it was the introduction of a fascinating, broken and heartbreaking character which added another depth to Flutter. This character felt as sinister as he did hopeless, sweet and vulnerable. What exactly was his story and who….was telling the truth? Are we being intentionally vague here? You bet we are because you need to dive in read this book and you’ll soon find yourself snared into the web of its thrilling and emotional prose.

‘This was the peace she desired. The love she desperately craved.’

This book encompasses quite a few themes, in fact it delivered so much of what we love in one story, yet it never lost its way. Yes, it’s a love story – at its core is a story of absolute love and commitment – a heart that never gave up hope, a heart that never wavered in its love, but it’s also a suspenseful, thrilling and addictive story showing two sides of human nature. For every heart that is strong and pure, there is a heart that’s selfish, cold and calculating and we meet both in this story.

“I need you to need me. I need to feel like I can give you something other than sadness.”

We were so invested in these characters, and we couldn’t rest until we saw their story reach its conclusion. We had shared so much with them, we’d lived their journey and for us, we felt we needed an epilogue. You know, just a little more…………or maybe we were enjoying it so much, we’re just being greedy.

4.5 Stars


Also by Olivia Evans
HOLLYWOOD & VINE – A standalone Hollywood themed romance we adored
BROOKLYN & BEALE – An Indie rocker themed romance
(Click on cover for more info and to purchase)

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MATED IN TREASON (Kan Asma Vampires Book #1) by CHRISTA PAIGE :: REVIEW

Standalone Vampire Paranormal romance

 

SYNOPSIS
When the kraliyet bodyguard ended up in her hospital bed after an explosion left him in critical condition, Nadia tried to warn herself not to fall in love with him. After all, she’s no vampire Cinderella, and happily-ever-afters didn’t happen to low-born females of the Kan Asma. But her heart wouldn’t listen, and soon she wanted to claim Gunnar as her forever mate, even if it meant taking him the only way possible, as a husband in a disgraceful human ceremony.

Gunnar fell in love with his nurse the moment he saw her smile. He yearned to claim her as his, but the Council would never allow him to mingle his powerful blood with a female from a poor family. The penalty for an unsanctioned mating is a death sentence. He doesn’t care about the threats and possible consequences of making her his. Though, due to the high probability of genetic incompatibility, he can’t complete their blood-bond without knowing if it might take her life. Losing her would be worse than torture.

Their only hope lies with the treasonous Faction hell-bent on destroying the very people Gunnar calls family. Determined to find a way to be mated, Gunnar seeks out the leader of this hidden uprising. Together, Nadia and Gunnar must break every law and rite of their vampire culture to become bonded for life. Gunnar will play a deadly game of subversion or pay a blood price that would sever him from their people and put a bounty on his head. They must survive a dangerous infiltration of the Faction, because they’ll do anything to be together, even if it means being mated in treason. 

MATED IN TREASON is available to purchase below

           


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

 ‘Slavery came in many different walks of life. Love played no part in the way his people became bound. It was simply biological.’

We were in the mood for a paranormal, a vampire romance with bite and passionate heat, and that’s exactly what we got. Christa Paige is a new to us Author and she definitely wowed us with her world building and the Kan Asma Vampires, with their archaic and class divided traditions, this despite them living in modern day America.  Mated in Treason is a romance tale as old as time with a modern and sexy paranormal twist. This Authors attention to detail was brilliant, ensuring that the reader fully understood this ‘new world’ of vampires and their very strict customs and rules. Whilst there’s no question that this book can be read as a standalone, we do wish we’d known to read the Blood Vine series first, off which this can be considered a spin off. We are definitely rectifying that!

“Imagine loving someone you can’t ever have and living an eternity watching the one you love irrevocably tied to someone else.”

Nadia is of low social standing in the Kan Asma and her family is pushing her to be mated to a male. The ritual to find a mate is horrific and in no way does it follow what the heart wants. Sadly, what Nadia’s heart is calling out for is a certain unattainable warrior whom she helped to heal as a nurse.

“I promise to be here for you, as long as you need me.” He couldn’t hear her passionate whisper, which somehow made things easier. In his vulnerability, he’d managed to capture a piece of her heart. And, that part of her she’d never get back.’

Nadia was such a lovely heroine. Whilst timid and vulnerable due to tradition, she was also strong and willing to risk everything for love. The way this Author wrote her characters was fabulous. We genuinely felt Nadia’s torment and extreme attraction to the alpha Viking vampire, Gunnar.

‘She didn’t have to imagine it. She felt it in her boned, her marrow, in every single molecule of her being. It ached. Stung. And left her feeling a deep, yawning emptiness.’

Gunnar was a fierce Vampire warrior, loyal yet questioning, intense as well as incredibly passionate. We meet him severely injured in hospital with the beautiful Nurse Nadia tending to him. There’s no question that there’s a scorching attraction brewing between them and whilst it’s very insta it feels totally believable under the circumstances. There’s a quietening of the outside world and the ritualistic outrages of the Kan Asma, when they are together. The monumental journey they embark upon takes great cunning and strength as they face obstacles beyond their control. We fell in love with this intriguing world that Christa Paige created and cannot wait to read more in this series from this hugely talented Author who vividly painted us a wonderful vampire romance with action aplenty and that sexy twist.

Nadia will be mine, he promised himself. He just had to find the way.’


THE BLOOD VINE SERIES

Bound by Deception :  Amazon us / Amazon uk
Bound by Rebellion :   Amazon us / Amazon uk
Bound by Obsession :  Amazon us / Amazon uk

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FOR FORESTER (For You #2) by J NATHAN :: REVIEW

A beautiful and swoony sports romance with younger man & single mum 

SYNOPSIS

Trace
I’m Alabama’s star wide receiver. I’ve got mad skills on and off the field, and it’s no secret I’m heading into the draft after the upcoming season. But I’m home for the summer to make some cash before my senior year. Being back under my parents’ roof isn’t the ideal situation, but the moment I see Marin, the star of my adolescent fantasies, I know it’s about to get interesting. She may not have noticed me back then, but I’ve got a feeling it’s just a matter of time before she lets me turn those fantasies into reality.

Marin
The last time I saw Trace Forester he was just a kid tearing up the neighborhood on his skateboard. That was when I was foolish enough to think I had the perfect husband and the perfect life. But now my life is in shambles and Trace is back, all grown up, hot as hell, and exuding major confidence. It would be so easy to fall for his good looks and undeniable charm. So easy to let him into my life. Too bad I learned the hard way that nothing worth having ever comes easy.

FOR FORESTER is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

“I like when you look at me,” he said, his voice vulnerable
“Oh, yeah?”
He nodded. “It makes me feel like you see me.”

We absolutely LOVED this book! It was exactly what we needed and everything we love! Talk about swooooon! This book hit all the right spots and not one, but two sweet guys stole our hearts. One a sexy, sweet, confident wide receiver footy player, the other an adorably cute little 5 year old. Oh dear, the relationship between the big burly footballer and the funny, loving little CJ was the cherry on top of an already heart stealing, romantic read!

This was our second read by J Nathan and again, she completely won us over with her wonderful engaging characters and beautifully sweet, funny, emotional and sexy story! For Forester, was a story about love, self-discovery, and most importantly about listening to your heart!

‘I was nineteen. I was in my prime. I could have any girl I wanted. But the one I wanted was three houses away with a kid and a soon-to-be-ex-husband. Strange how things happened. ‘

This book had so many elements we love in a story : single Mum, older woman/younger man, a heart melting child, a book boyfriend to die for, a genuine believable romance, a sports element where you really feel the sporting atmosphere, fun banter, searing chemistry and just enough drama to kick start your heart! Yep, For Forester was a winner on all counts; we can’t wipe this happy smile off our faces!

We briefly met Trace Forester in For Finlay (For You #1 – a standalone) as he was Caden’s roommate and immediately after finishing that book we wanted Trace’s story! The cocky number #82 ‘Bama boy receiver really left his mark on us, so we’ve been counting the months to read this book!

“I need you, Marin.”
“I don’t want to need you.”

Twenty nine year old Marin’s marriage has just fallen apart after finding out her dick of a husband has been cheating on her. Marin now has to face the prospect of starting again, being a single Mum to sweet little CJ, having given up her career to be the stay at home wife her husband wanted.

Marin bumps into her neighbour Trace, who is home from college for the summer and who is no longer the teen she remembers causing havoc on his skateboard. Oh no, 19 year old Trace is very much a man…all rippling abs and biceps, but not only that, Trace has a sweet nature, together with a maturity that surpasses his age and the two fall into an easy friendship.

“I’ve always seen you, Marin. All those years. And it’s just crazy to finally have you looking back and seeing me.”

Wanting CJ to have a male influence in his life, and with Trace being a soon to be pro footballer, Marin asks Trace to spend time with CJ and impart his knowledge and be a male support for CJ. A job he’s more than happy to oblige with, because no one can resist that little 5 year old cherub, CJ.

“I want to be the one who laughs when he tells a silly story about what happened at school. I want to be on the receiving end of his hugs because he gives the best hugs.”

Well, as you can imagine, things progress between Marin and Trace. The banter between them was funny and sexy, the chemistry crackled!  Little did Marin know that she had starred in many of Trace’s  Trace’s teenage fantasies which were about to come true!

“I spent so many nights alone in my room thinking of you,” he murmured against my skin. “What you’d feel like. What you’d taste like. What you’d sound like when I made you come.”

J Nathan did a splendid job in making us believe, to feel the emotional, physical and mental compatibility between Trace and Marin with every beat of our hearts, and if you’re wanting a book to knock you off your feet with heat, sweetness, emotion, a book boyfriend to add to the shelf, and if you’re looking for some serious swooninglook no further, because this book is it! We can’t get enough of this standalone sports series! A definite TBB recommendation!


TBB also RECOMMENDS – FOR FINLAY – STANDALONE SPORTS ROMANCE
Click on pic below for details and links

 


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THE UNREQUITED by SAFFRON A KENT :: REVIEW

Standalone student/teacher forbidden love story

SYNOPSIS
Layla Robinson is not crazy. She is suffering from unrequited love. But it’s time to move on. No more stalking, no more obsessive calling. 

What she needs is a distraction. The blue-eyed guy she keeps seeing around campus could be a great one—only he is the new poetry professor—the married poetry professor.

Thomas Abrams is a stereotypical artist—rude, arrogant, and broody—but his glares and taunts don’t scare Layla. She might be bad at poetry, but she is good at reading between the lines. Beneath his prickly façade, Thomas is lonely, and Layla wants to know why. Obsessively.

Sometimes you do get what you want. Sometimes you end up in the storage room of a bar with your professor and you kiss him. Sometimes he kisses you back like the world is ending and he will never get to kiss you again. He kisses you until you forget the years of unrequited love; you forget all the rules, and you dare to reach for something that is not yours.

NOTE: Please be aware that this book deals with sensitive topics like cheating. 18+ Only.

THE UNREQUITED is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

‘I know he’s married. I know he’s an asshole, rude and mean and some kind of genius poet – but maybe that’s the appeal. I don’t want him to love me back. ‘

What a deliciously f***ed up, deeply emotional and utterly addictive read this was! The Unrequited was that unputdownable train wreck type of love story we devour. We couldn’t look away from for a minute,  at times holding our breath through this rapid and thoroughly absorbing and compulsive story.

‘No matter how much you convince yourself otherwise, reciprocation is important. It’s what keeps the love going. Without it, love just dies out, and then it’s up to you. Do you bury it, or do you carry the dead body for a while. I want to see reciprocation. What does requited love look like? I want to see it.’

Now, there are forbidden love stories and then there are forbidden love stories. You know what we mean? Some make the claim but don’t deliver on the tense, gut churning emotions we love to experience in this theme. In this case, The Unrequited certainly lived up to its claim. Our hearts were in our mouths as Thomas and Layla took risk after risk in their need for one another. Their story was nerve wracking, exhilarating, emotional, tender, volatile and gripping! We read the entire book with baited breath wondering if their elicit desire was going to be uncovered and if/how it could ever prosper.

‘Thomas Abrams is magic. He’s a wordsmith, a baby whisperer, a blue eyed asshole, but most of all, he’s like me…..brokenhearted.’

To label this as simply forbidden or a cheating book wouldn’t do justice to the layered and complicated characters and story created by Saffron A Kent. On the surface this is a coupling that felt somewhat toxic. Two emotionally exhausted characters trying to ease their pain and evolve through lustful, dirty, forbidden sex. And boy the sex was hot, erotic and intense and plentiful, but the story was more than that.  More than appeared on the surface. The characters more complex than first thought and our hearts ached for them.

“…I’m selfish, Layla. I’ll ruin you, set you on fire, and won’t even look back. I’ll take and take until you’re empty and hollow.”

Layla was a character whose actions and internal monologue came across at times a little disturbing. With Layla we found we were always waiting for that other shoe to drop and could never truly settle into getting to bond with her, to feel comfortable around her chaotic and impulsive behaviour, yet her air of vulnerability did draw us to her.

Thomas’ actions gave us whiplash as he danced between kindness and cruelty, and just at the time we questioned if we could relate to the man and his coldness, the author gave us his POV providing a whole new perspective and layer to him and his story, changing our thinking about this man completely. Thomas, was a man with a wounded heart – responsible for such beautiful, painful and heartbreaking poetry, and yet could sprout such panty melting dirty talk….wow! What a contradiction.

“You’re…the poem I can never write. Yeah, you’re the piece of poetry I can never hope to finish, no matter how hard I try.”

Saffron A Kent delivered an emotionally charged story about two messed up lonely, vulnerable people. Sure, they weren’t the easiest characters to love at times, but they certainly made for interesting reading! Each a casualty of unrequited love who share an inherent need to be loved in return, and in doing so find  some sort of solace in the physical form with one another.  An exquisitely written erotic, thought provoking, moving and exciting story, delivered with potent storytelling and multifaceted characters showing us love in all its ugly, painful, sad and yet somewhat beautiful form.

‘My heart has many faces. Restless heart. Desperate heart. Selfish heart. Lonely heart.’

Saffron A Kent showed them all! Be prepared to be engrossed by this one!


TBB ALSO RECOMMENDS BY THIS AUTHOR
Click on book cover for links and review

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THE RED by TIFFANY REISZ : REVIEW

Standalone erotic fantasy

SYNOPSIS
Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother’s art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it’s in the red. She soon realizes she has no choice but to sell it.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting…but surely her mother didn’t mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red…

THE RED is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“Art should be dangerous, you know. It should say something to society that society doesn’t want to hear. Do you know what the opposite of art is? Propaganda. There’s too much of that in the world. Not enough art.”

Anyone who knows us knows how much we love Tiffany Reisz. She’s one of our all-time favourite Authors; her writing is stunning, so intelligent and mature with moments of sarcasm and humour interspersed with erotic heat and high emotion.

‘There was nothing of the savage about him, but nothing of the gentleman either. He was simply a man behaving like a man. She liked this man.’

Once again she wowed us with a fabulous concept that blew our minds by the time we’d finished reading. So intensely vivid and sensually charged at times it had our jaws dropping in time with the erotic crescendos. We felt high on the characters and their moments of what can only be described as conceptually extravagant in their unlicensed erotic fantasy. Did we love those moments? Some more than others, whilst we were in awe of the moments’ artistic accuracy and splendour, we did feel ourselves distancing ourselves and our boundaries surfacing. A feeling we are certainly not used to and which surprised us.

‘She felt debauched but not debased. She wasn’t sure what the difference was, but there was one, she knew it.’

Tiffany Reisz writes heroines we cannot help admire and connect to. We’re yet to read a heroine by her who doesn’t exude confidence nor one who doesn’t place value on herself whilst feeling comfortable in her own skin and sexuality. Mona was strong, fierce and defiant. She was vulnerable and loyal. She had the trademark humour and sensuality. Her journey in The Red was fantastical and beastly, full of discoveries about herself and those who came into her life whilst she was trying to save The Red, her mother’s dying wish for her.

“Am I your captive?”

“You are tonight.”

“Can you keep me forever?”

“I wish I could.”

The Red was a story of sceptical cynicism turning into acceptance and erotic self-realisations. It was unique and beyond the realm of the comprehensible, yet it was addictive and provocative.


TBB 5 Star Standalone Recommendations by Tiffany
Click on Covers for our review and purchase links

 


TBB 5 Star Series Recommendation by Tiffany
BDSM Themes M/F, M/M
Click on covers for reviews and purchase links


About the Author

Tiffany Reisz is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Original Sinners series for Mira Books (Harlequin/Mills & Boon). Tiffany’s books inhabit a sexy shadowy world where romance, erotica and literature meet and do immoral and possibly illegal things to each other. She describes her genre as “literary friction,” a term she stole from her main character, who gets in trouble almost as often as the author herself. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, author Andrew Shaffer, and two cats. If she couldn’t write, she would die.

Connect with Tiffany
FacebookTwitter •  InstagramGoodreads

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Filed under 4 Stars, Pick an Author, Tiffany Reisz