Category Archives: Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Blitz: ‘The Wallace House of Pain’ by S.M. Stevens

Title: The Wallace House of Pain

Author: S.M. Stevens

Genre: Literary Fiction

Sub-genres: Short Stories, LGBTQ+

About the Book:

The Wallace House of Pain is a portrait of troubled family relations, modern social justice issues and deeply personal choices. 

Activist Xander Wallace and his straitlaced father do not have an easy relationship. Jim’s views on race, immigration, gender, sexuality and even millennials alienate his son no matter how hard Xander tries to find common ground. Toss in Jim’s second marriage ten months after Xander’s mother died and it’s a volatile cocktail. How, against this backdrop, will Xander dare to bare his soul and reveal his greatest secret?

Social justice issues have touched the life of every American in some way over the past few years. The Wallace House of Pain explores the differences in generational attitudes toward these social justice issues, in parallel with exploring a difficult father-son relationship. The novelette delves into that age-old question: Can two people meet in the middle without sacrificing their own beliefs and convictions?

As a novelette, it is longer than a short story and shorter than a novella.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Excerpt:

“Have you ever talked to your dad about your mother’s death?” Charley asked.

Xander shifted to face Charley. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

Charley shrugged. “It seems like maybe you have to deal with the elephant in the room before you can move on to other things.”

Xander’s blue eyes studied her for so long she dropped her eyes momentarily.

“We’ve had years in which to talk about it so it’s reasonably safe to assume no one wants to. He’s never asked how I felt. Not once.”

This time, he looked away from her steady gaze.

“I don’t think you’re desperate for your father’s approval. I think you’re desperate for his love. I feel guilty because I’m not sure I loved my parents enough when they were here. And I feel sad because I’m not sure they loved me enough.”

“You have to stop concerning yourself with that. What we have has to be enough.”

“I know. But what if you don’t know how much you have? And you can still find out?”

About the Author:

Stevens began writing fiction during back-to-back health crises: a shattered pelvis and ovarian cancer. Her books include the novelette The Wallace House of Pain, full-length novel Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (both Contemporary Adult Fiction), Shannon’s Odyssey (Middle Grade), and the Bit Players series (Young Adult) for musical theatre-loving teens. Her forthcoming novel, Beautiful and Terrible Things, addresses social justice issues and will be published by TouchPoint Press in early 2023. When not writing fiction, she provides marketing and PR for solar energy companies. 

Beautiful and Terrible Things features the same cast of characters as The Wallace House of Pain. The novelette presents one of the key story lines cut from the full novel for length reasons. So if you like the characters, you can spend more time with them when the full novel is released.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.authorsmstevens.com

Blog: www.authorsmstevens.com/blog

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/AuthorSMStevens

Twitter:  @SMStevens17

Instagram: www.instagram.com/s.m.stevens

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/s-m-stevens

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Book Review: ‘Love Potions’ by Michelle M. Pillow

Title: Love Potions (Warlocks MacGregor Book 1)

Published: 23rd July 2015

Publisher: The Raven Books LLC

Author: Michelle M. Pillow 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorMichellePillow

Twitter: www.twitter.com/MichellePillow  

Instagram: www.instagram.com/michellempillow

Tiktok: www.tiktok.com/@michellempillow 

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/michelle-m-pillow

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/Michelle_Pillow 

Blurb:

A little magical mischief never hurt anyone until a love potion goes terribly wrong.

Magic, Mischief, and Kilts!

Erik MacGregor is from a line of ancient (and mischievous) Scottish warlocks. He isn’t looking for love. After centuries of bachelorhood, it’s not even a consideration… until he moves in next door to Lydia Barratt. It’s clear the beauty wants nothing to do with him, but he’s drawn to her and determined to win her over.

The last thing Lydia needs is an alpha male type meddling in her private life. Just because he’s gorgeous, wealthy, and totally rocks a kilt doesn’t mean she’s going to fall for his seductive charms.

Humans aren’t supposed to know about his family’s magic or the fact he’s a cat shifter. It’s better if mortals don’t know the paranormal exists. But when a family prank goes terribly wrong, causing Erik to succumb to a love potion, Lydia becomes the target of his sudden and embarrassingly obsessive behavior.

They’ll have to find a way to pull Erik out of the spell fast when it becomes clear that Lydia has more than a lovesick warlock to worry about.

Review:

Lydia is about to get more than she bargained for when new neighbours take over the mansion up the hill from her house. Erik, a sexy Scottish warlock, is also in for a treat when he feels a pull to get closer to her.

Love Potions might be her business with lotions, smellies and such but it seems real potions might be coming into play soon too. One chance encounter and Lydia feels she could fall at Erik’s feet. A voice to hypnosis her but it’s not just her that feels the effects, Erik is drawn to her also but as he is his powers grow weaker. Seems these two are connected and fate will have its way with keeping them that way.

Crazy spells gone awry, shadows wanting to take what’s not theirs, ghosts popping in to cause a stir and a psycho stalker on the prowl. Things are about to get a lot crazier in this little town now the MacGregor’s have moved in, so hold on to your hats.

Erik and Lydia had a lot of chemistry but needed to learn what was a true reaction and what was a created one when inhibitions are free. Can these two lust filled lovebirds find a way through the chaos to see what they really want?

Lydia’s friend Charlotte is great, crazy things seem to keep happening around her that they want to help her forget. Time will tell whether she will learn all there is to know about the MacGregor clan. Talking of the clan, Erik’s family were great. His brother’s and cousin are pranksters galore but it seems Malina might have topped it when one spell goes a little too far. Love potion taken quite literally with Erik.

Interesting read that has you laughing one moment, fanning yourself the next and keeping you intrigued to see what chaos can surely follow next. Dangers at different turns from different people/things but good magic has a way of bringing everything back to the light.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Saving Silver’ by Xavier Neal

Title: Saving Silver (The Draak Legacy #1)

Published: 22nd September 2021

Author: Xavier Neal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/XavierNealAuthorPage

Twitter: @xavierneal87

Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorxavierneal

Blurb:

From best-selling author Xavier Neal comes a brand-new, laugh-out-loud, paranormal romance you don’t want to miss…

I swear, one minute I’m dozing off during the night shift — don’t judge me — and the next I’m being told I’m Fate Mated to an ancient dragon.

An ancient dragon I couldn’t help but save when he woke me up out of the aforementioned slumber — again, don’t judge me.

Now this same ancient dragon — that I’m apparently destined to be with — is doing everything he can to win me over, because it’s up to me whether or not he’ll live the rest of his life in absolute agony or absolute bliss.

Oh, and let’s not forget the fact we’re being chased by elves, working with a grumpy Griffin, and have to rescue some poor kidnapped dragon before an evil corporation kills it.

Ugh.

Any chance this is all some crazy dream that I can’t wake up from?

No?

Well, can’t blame this human for asking.

Review:

I love dragon shifter romance reads. I think they might be my favourite shifters, with wolves coming in close behind. This one holds up very well to others I have read. In this shifter world you have Sleepers, those who don’t know about the mythical creatures that exist, and Awakers are those that do. Something Dae is about to become.

Dae is about to get a lot more than she bargained for while on a night shift at work. A vet who isn’t used to handling exotic pets is about to get a shock when her patient Z turns into a very big version of one. After being shot Z needs help getting the bullet out so that he can shift to heal and get away from the elves that are after him. This is where Dae comes in.

So after getting the bullet out of Z, seeing him change into a dragon and kill some elves you can see why Dae might faint. Coming too on a dragons back and falling is another way to swiftly pass out. Waking up in a pillow fort for her comfort is a little better but finding an ancient dragon tattoo on her wrist isn’t the best way to get her to calm down and listen to what is really happening. Have to say that the pillow bed Z makes is hilarious. Any surface she may want to lean on needs a pillow for comfort just in case. Later his explanation of what is happening and what they are together while making her an egg mess was funny and really sweet.

After the attack Z wants nothing but to keep Dae safe and close to him at all times, especially when it seems the elves have put a target on both of them. Looks like you are staying in a plush mansion my girl. Not that she is really complaining. Being close to your fated mate — even if you aren’t sure what that really means yet — still feels better than being apart. Fate brought them together for a reason. A few days together and she already feels like she’s home, with him, his place, his dragon Silver and the crazy Awaker world.

Silver is great at putting Z in his place. Always trust your dragon, he knows the best way to get what you both are pinning for most — your mate after just one sniff. Dragons aren’t happy unless their mates are happy, so it seems Z will always be looking for ways to make sure Dae is happy, in every sense of the word. “Mother of Dragons, you look like something that belongs on my tongue.” I think he will live up to those words.

Seems the kidnapping attempt on him wasn’t a fluke. They aren’t the only ones being targeted with other Awakers going missing. It looks like Z and his family are being put in the middle of it. There are darker deeds at play and the true reason people are being taken are only just coming to the surface. Can they help those in need or will doing so end up putting them, and especially Dae, in more danger?

Great read that had me hooked from the start. Dragon shifters, romance with fated mates and danger from kidnappers coming at multiple direction. Loved the chemistry between Z and Dae. Z’s brothers were great, can’t wait to get inside their heads to see what makes them tick and how their lives will turn upside-down when their mates are found. A.D. is so funny, love his weird snack habit. Why have an apple when an onion or radish will do? On to the next I say.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Blitz: ‘After the Bees’ by Allison Paige

Title: After the Bees

Series: Revelation One

Author: Allison Paige

Genre: Dark Fantasy

About the Book:

It starts when the bees die and a plague sweeps across the Earth. The immune survive only to face a greater horror: a demon-ruled world where mankind is either marked or possessed. 

But Leah survives. For three years, she lives on her own after fleeing the fall of her city until she meets Raum, a demon who keeps her alive and unmarked. Uncertain of his motives, she follows him to Babel, even though she knows his intentions are anything but good. 

When Leah is stolen from Raum, she discovers the outside world is not what it once was, and perhaps hope for mankind is not lost. But with new hope comes consequences, and she’ll have to face a nightmare far greater than anything she’s ever faced before.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Excerpt:

It wasn’t long before they came. Or, others said “they woke”. It’s hard to say what actually happened. It wasn’t the apocalypse promised tous. It was so much worse.These beings who overtook us,who still devour our minds and flesh, are not aliens. They are not zombies or vampires. They’re demons. Worse than the ones they speak of in the Bible. They plague us more than any horror movie or novel could have prepared us for.

About the Author:

Allison Paige’s novels are inspired by nightmares that sheds light on villains and the darker side of what it takes to make a hero.

Allison Paige loves traveling with her camera, particularly in the Irish countryside, and has several ongoing projects that she writes out of her home in Charleston, South Carolina with her corgi. She fills her spare time working with animals of all types and is a fervent advocate of bee, ocean, and wildlife conservation.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.authorallisonpaige.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorallisonpaige

Instagram: www.instagram.com/shewriteswithknives

TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@shewriteswithknives

Twitter: @MizAllisonPaige

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Book Review: ‘Maverick Mogul’ by Lila Monroe

Title: Maverick Mogul (Billionaire Bachelors Book 7)

Published: 24th January 2022

Publisher: Lila Monroe Books

Author: Lila Monroe

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lilamonroebooks

Twitter: @lilawrites

Blurb:

The Billionaire Bachelors are BACK! Fall for a new trope-tactic, fake dating rom-com series from USA Today bestselling author, Lila Monroe!

Playboy bachelor Charlie Fox is handsome, charming — and looking for a date to the TWELVE weddings he’s attending this month. He’s topping the city’s ‘Most Eligible’ lists, but he needs a woman who won’t swoon at his feet — or go diving to catch that bouquet. A fake girlfriend is the perfect solution, he’s just not expecting a very familiar face to show up as his plus-one…

Me.

The last time I saw Charlie, he was playing Mr Popular at our high-school… while I was stuck being Miss Invisible. Now — thanks to a rogue Chihuahua, my frat-bro boss, and a gallon of gluten-free frosting — he’s making me an offer I really should refuse. Play his fake girlfriend for a summer of wild weddings?

It’ll be worth it, as long as we can keep our hands to ourselves.
And our mouths.
And… other parts, too.

As the wedding marathon gets underway, the sparks between us are anything but fake – and breaking the rules has never been so fun. Can ‘just for now’ turn into ‘forever’? Find out in the sizzling, hilarious new romance from “the reigning queen of romantic comedy” Lila Monroe!

BILLIONAIRE BACHELORS SERIES:

1 Very Irresistible Playboy

2 Hot Stuff

3 Wild Card

4 Man Candy

5 Mr. Casanova

6 Best Man

7 Maverick Mogul (2022)

8 Renegade Roomie (2022)

9 Baller Boss (2022)

Review:

Loved it from start to finish. Olivia really needs to change the premise of her fake dating agency as most couples end up together, even her! She has a gift it seems for matching the perfect pair and Charlie and Grace are no exception.

Needing a fake date for a plus one for twelve weddings over the summer. Olivia has just the person in mind to help Charlie out. Liked the way they all meet / meet again in Grace and Charlie’s case. Grace’s former bosses son Bret was a spoilt man child who needed to be put in his place. Cake in the lap works wonders. Top marks for that one Grace. Slight problem with then having no job. That’s where Olivia steps in.

Seems Grace and Charlie are the perfect fake couple for these weddings. No feelings there to start with but it doesn’t take long for that to change. Few weddings down and the chemistry is starting to heat up. All comes to boiling point at the Ren Faire. Grace being hosed down to get spilt beer off her making her dress stick in all the right places will do the trick. Him stripping wet shirt off doesn’t hurt either. One look and you just see both thinking screw this and go for it.

Romance in the air but Charlie is adamant that he doesn’t want long term – one failed marriage put him off for life. Seems he can’t see how he acts with Grace and that the longer they spend together the closer they come. Running scared from his own feelings and airing his stupid thoughts allowed for her to hear not the best move. Especially when it costs him something great. Can he get out of his own head and own way to get what he really wants before it’s too late?

Great characters that draw you in. Loved Grace’s Aunts and Charlie’s friends. Those guys are in for a shock when love comes calling. Dash you are up next if Olivia has anything to do with it. She is always there at just the right moment.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Romantic Comedy / Humour