Category Archives: Romantic Suspense

Book Review: ‘Once Upon a Tablecloth’ by Leslie Hachtel

Title: Once Upon a Tablecloth

Published: 15th January 2017

Author: Leslie Hachtel

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lesliehachtelwriter

Twitter: @LeslieHachtel

 

Synopsis:

Nick Jordan acquires failing restaurants, then makes them prosperous. But when Lily Mercer calls him for help, he didn’t count on falling in love. Or that someone wants to kill her. And with so many obstacles and threats, can she survive? Can their love?

 

Review:

Lily’s restaurant Daisy’s is failing and she needs help before it goes under. If the dismal excuse for edible food and failing sales weren’t bad enough the dead guy on the doorstep would be sure to put people off. Step in Nick the knight to save the day. Well he may not be a knight at the start with his tactics (hello 51% share!) but he does get there in the end. She inherited the restaurant after her brother Dennis and father died in a car accident. It was meant to be an accident but murder it seems was the real cause. Seems someone is out to get Lily’s family and Daisy’s is a target too. Through it all you have a great close nit family atmosphere with her staff and friends at the restaurant. Her best friend Cece was a great sounding board for Lily and clearly knows what’s best. Right from the start you can see there is great chemistry between Lily and Nick, even if at the start she doesn’t want to like him. It might be the start of something great but they need to watch their backs as danger is just around the corner.

Nick seems to think at the start that if he just has a taste of Lily it will get her out of his system. With everything that happened in his childhood he shut down emotionally. It means he doesn’t really know how to handle them now they have come alive after meeting her. Its like she is bringing him back to life just like he is helping bring Daisy’s back to life. With his emotions coming back he realizes that he doesn’t really like being rejected. When it’s by Lily he can’t help himself from coming back for more to get her to see him in a different light. She makes him see a future when he thought he had none to share. She wants something stable not a one, or two, nightstand. I think when she shows him what he can’t have it just makes him realize how much he wants it. Love is definitely on the cards, or should that be the menu, but with danger and sabotage at every turn will they get a HEA or will it all go up in flames.

With Nick not having a good life growing up and only getting a break into the food business because of Rex he feels like he owes him. Seems the prodigy has overcome the master and he’s not happy about it. Never liked Rex or his vial spoiled brat of a daughter Pamela. Right from the start something was off about them. They are clearly people who are used to getting their own way and not ones to be rejected. I’d say a bit delusional as well in regards to Pamela. A monster of her father’s creation, one he makes no apology for.

First book I’ve read by this author and I would definitely check out others. Good story telling with the romance and intrigue with trying to connect all the dots. This old boyfriend of Pamela’s keeps getting mentioned and it’s clear it’s the key to everything. When it falls into place you are like ‘oh god yeah, now I see it’. A recommended read that has it all – mystery, suspense and a good romantic romance vibe throughout.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from Penny Sansevieri Marketing for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Firestorm’ by Anne Malcom

Published: 19th October 2015
Author: Anne Malcom

Facebook: www.facebook.com/annemalcomauthor

Synopsis:

Amy Abrams doesn’t do love. Nor does she do emotional attachments; unless you count the connection she has with designer handbags. She grew up in an Upper East Side penthouse, which had about as much affection within its tastefully decorated walls as Castle Dracula. Her family is the precise reason why she points her red-soled heels firmly in the opposite direction of that dreaded four-letter word.

Then it happens. Love. It comes right out of the blue and knocks her off her six-inch heels. She learns that love comes with pesky side effects such as heartbreak, which seriously messes with the complexion. Amy promises herself that she’ll never open herself to that horrible feeling again. She doesn’t count on an infuriating, albeit drool-worthy biker to roar into her life and ruin the plans she had of locking up her heart. She keeps her distance, wary of the sinfully sexy biker whose tattoos should read Warning – dangerous alpha male, will screw up your life.

Amy may be an Upper East Side princess but she wasn’t looking for Prince Charming. She wouldn’t mind the name of his hair stylist, though. Brock certainly isn’t a knight in shining armor, but he consumes her, body and soul. Drama pulls them apart; danger will bring them back together. When Amy is threatened Brock is there ready to save her life. Her heart is another story.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with weather in the title. Had to double-check it but there is a weather system called a firestorm. Name is quite apt with the intensity of emotions, chemistry and passion that explode whenever Amy and Brock are within a few feet of each other.

So we start with Amy drowning her sorrows in Mexico because she just can’t deal with pretending anymore. Alone with her thoughts she goes back to how she first met Ian and how everything started. She could be seen as hitting bottom with not being able to handle everything around her. Guilt and heartbreak running through her mind with who she had chosen. That changes shortly after when she abruptly gets kidnapped. Seems being kidnapped is not going to change how she acts for anyone. She just says whatever she is thinking and doesn’t quite let herself really see the danger she is in. Even after being presented to the man in charge Clark Devon and having to deal with the psycho that is Rafe. How he made the whole kidnapping seem like an unfortunate event in regards to a business deal is beyond me. She doesn’t think she will have anyone to come and save her, not a certain someone from Amber who she fears now hates her, so she will have to save herself. Really girl you thought your man wasn’t coming to get you the moment he knew you were taken. Do you know nothing about these bikers? While in her gilded cage even with trying to think of an escape she has time to think and it gives us a glimpse back at how everything started with not only Ian before she moved to Amber but also how intense everything was with Brock. With Ian it was like closure, a goodbye so she could be with the man she was always meant to be with. It does overlap some of what happened in Making the Cut but in a good way as it was like filling in the blanks.

When you get to the flash backs and then present day firestorm is right when Amy and Brock get together. Its like they ignite each other and just burn. Fight like cat and dog but boy do they know how to make up. She knows what buttons to push with him and he takes none of her shit. He doesn’t treat her like she’s perfect up on a pedestal. Its raw and real and once he decides enough is enough with her pushing him away he goes all in with getting her to be his and only his with nothing (no ghosts) hanging over them. He saw straight through all her bullshit to what she was really afraid of. Keep breaking those walls down Brock you’ve almost got to her core where you’ll find it’s always been you from the moment you met. She was his firestorm and one look made her his forever. Just took her a little longer to accept it was real. He was just as much hers from that first meeting.

Love Amy’s Uncle Garrett and that he was the one that stepped up to get the help she needed from her Amber family. Her parents are just cold fish that need to stay out of her life for good. Love that her friend Ry gets a cameo again if just from a phone call. He seriously doesn’t like all the danger his girls have been in since moving. Well at least she called him the second time. Seems Gwen and Amy can start a kidnapping awareness group with both being members of that club a couple times over. Here’s hoping they won’t have to deal with it again. But even if they, or any other of the clubs women, do get kidnapped they know their men will be there to save the day and eliminate the threat from happening again.

All our favourite brooding bikers are back. Lucky is still Lucky, great to break any and all tension. Bull is slowly starting to show a few emotions, getting there but not quite healed yet (can’t wait for his book!). Cade and Gwen are as hot and heavy and loved up as ever. He may be a doting husband and father but put a member of his family in danger and you get a scary motherfucker on your tail.

5 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Skeletons of Us’ by Anne Malcom

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Title: Skeletons of Us (Unquiet Mind Book 2)

Published: 2nd September 2016

Author: Anne Malcom

Facebook: www.facebook.com/annemalcomauthor

Synopsis:

Love can be a beautiful thing.

It can fill up your life with the warmth of its embrace and spread to every corner of your mind.

It can quiet your soul.

But when that love turns wrong, it twists and warps into something bitter and unrecognizable.

The pain of it promises unyielding noise in place of that half-remembered silence.

Lexie has lived with this pain for four years, pouring it into music that transformed Unquiet Mind into the most famous rock band in the world.

But fame can also turn ugly, curl into that bitter version of love and endanger everything Lexie holds dear.

The moment Lexie’s life is threatened, he comes back to ensure she stays alive.
Killian.

He’s not just back to save her life, he’s back to save her soul and to claim what’s his.

Problem is, someone else already considers Lexie his, and he’ll kill to make sure she stays that way.

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about music or musicians. Broken hearts and souls on both sides with Lexie and Killian so lets hope second time around is the last. Have to agree with one thing Killian said about how easily she believed five minutes of lies after two years of truth with him constantly telling her how much she meant to him. As soon as she really accepts this she can finally see why he did it. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t a complete plank for doing it in the first place. He’s older now and has one thing on his mind, getting his girl back. More so than ever before when he finds out a crazy stalker is after her.

Killian went to a darker place as a way to cope – or in this case not cope – with his feelings after they split. Lexie on the other hand just shut down emotionally. Living but not really existing for four years. Something big needed to happen to get them back in the same room let alone State. That happens to be when a crazy ass stalker breaks into her place and attacks her and her friend/bodyguard. Guess they thought they were safe behind locked doors but this guy is crafty and seems to get close without any effort. Not that she knew at first she was in a bit if danger. It seems her bandmates thought it wise to keep the creepy letters away from her but this guy has stepped up his game. After phoning the police there’s really only one person Lexie would call and that’s Zane. When you get to see his side of the conversation on Killian’s POV you see just how much he loves her as a daughter. Well him and Killian too. Should take four hours to get from Amber to Lexie but Killian does it in two. He’s going to protect his girl and no one and nothing is going to stop him. She’s always been his; he just has to make her see it again.

The first time Lexie spots Killian at the hospital time almost stops. You can tell she just wants to run to him as she’s scared but another type of fear and shock stop her. Well that and her boys make it very clear he’s not welcome – not that that’s going to make him leave. Seems as soon as Zane and him know the whole story their only thought is to protect her. Zane would stay but with her mum being pregnant again he knows she’d then stay and would fine out the truth about the attacker. After almost loosing her the first time you can see he wants to wrap her up in cotton wool. This means Killian is staying and he makes it clear that he has every intension of putting a bullet in the stalkers head. Tensions are running high between them and you can see how much she is fighting and hurting by being near him again. They need each other to heal but it seems they both need to break to start the process. She’s good at ignoring him to begin with but its not long before she is tempted. Love the club scene when she’s like “Fuck it, I’m going to have the cupcake” you’ll know what I mean when you get to it. But it’s when she sings the song Skeletons of Us (a song they never sing live) at a show that makes them both snap. Hello heated fun in her dressing room! Passion overloads but after the haze falls fear of the past and being hurt again makes her run. She should learn by now that no matter how far she runs he will always follow and bring her back. When the past is faced they can start building something new but the little issue of the stalker is still there no matter how much they want to stay in their bubble. Seriously hot off the charts chemistry between these two. That clearly isn’t an issue when trying to find a way to make it work. He brings her back to life again just like she does for him.

Love her bandmates. Sam and Wyatt clearly love all the groupie attention they get now they are famous. Noah is a bit more reserved, mainly due to not coming out yet. Four years changes a lot but that group is still as strong as ever. Love the catch up with Zane and Mia and others from the club. It might be the world Killian wanted to keep her from so she could reach her dreams but it’s the world she belongs in with him. She’s back where she belongs with whom she belongs. Lets just hope it stays that way. Loved these characters right from the start. Such a gripping story that will keep you hooked right until the end. There is nothing they wouldn’t do for each other and I do mean nothing.

Oh side note the tattoos he has done are brilliant and I love her reaction when she sees them. She’s soon starting to realise that no matter where she was physically she was always with him in his heart and soul. Their love was so intense when they were younger and I’m glad Killian admits to being a stupid kid for letting her go. But he’s a man now, one that has no intention of ever letting her go again. The two of them against the world, just as it’s meant to be. He definitely redeems himself here and goes back to being awesome boyfriend again.

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5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘The Ties That Bind’ by Rebecca Norinne

the-ties-that-bind

Title: The Ties That Bind: A Forbidden Romance

Published: 15th February 2017

Author: Rebecca Norinne

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RebeccaNorinne

Twitter: @rebecca_norinne

Synopsis:

An eye for an eye. A heart for a heart.

When Xander St. John’s brother Jayce orders a hit on Arabella Wilson, the daughter of their greatest rival, Xander has no choice but to obey … except Xander and Arabella have a long history filled with passion and regret. Arabella might have broken his heart, but he can’t bring himself to kill the woman he once asked to marry him. When Xander hesitates to do Jayce’s bidding, his brother issues a deadly ultimatum: get the job done or be next on his hit lit. Now Xander has a choice to make, one that has the potential to destroy him. Someone has to die; it’s just a question of who. Will it be his brother or his lover, his darkness or his light?

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book you didn’t want to put down. Once I had started this I was hooked and it soon became a one sitting read. So we finally get to see the story unfold that Cameron Scott was filming in the authors other book Lucky Star. Very much a gritty Romeo and Juliet style love story to get your teeth stuck into – much like it was described in Lucky Star. The book is solely told from Xander’s POV which I loved as it gave it more of a darker grittier tone, which worked really well with the story itself.

So you have the St. John and Wilson families pretty much at war with each other. I think it goes back so far that they themselves have forgotten what they were originally fighting for or why it started. Xander St. John and Arabella Wilson never should have met and wouldn’t of under normal circumstances but when the death of a higher matriarch meant all families held a ceasefire on her funeral the children could play freely. Seems Xander must have made quite an impression as a child because years later at a mall when he (along with his twin brother Jayce and their friends) bump into her and some of her friends you can see the spark ignite. She may know who he is but he has no idea. Seems even with the cat being out the bag though it doesn’t make him back away. A connection was formed within minutes and it seems they are addicted to each other from then on. Well until unforeseen circumstances force them apart that is, almost destroying them both in the process.

A few years later with his father gone and brother Jayce now in charge his role within the family has become the enforcer. With what he has done over the years it has made his emotions grow harder against others. He is the one called in to sort out tricky problems, to make them go away. So when Jayce asks him to sort out the issue of a fire at one of their warehouses he knows its not going to be simple. Jayce seems to be balancing on a knife-edge with how unstable he is. He is so far gone into the world of drugs, booze and paranoia that it’s a matter of when his downfall will happen not if, and by whom. Especially when he says that they need to hit back harder at the Wilson’s who he thinks are responsible for the fire even without proof. Somewhere the man in charge will feel true pain – like say by killing his only daughter Arabella. So Xander has a choice to make and one that when he truly thinks on doesn’t take long at all. Does he keep his twin brother safe by killing the enemy or does he keep the women who stole his heart safe by killing his brother? Like the blurb says – his darkness or his light?

Love the interactions between Xander and Arabella right from the start. It’s like a Mexican stand off to begin with, love that even though he thinks he knows her she still manages to shock him. The years slowly start to fall away and they can no longer deny the chemistry that’s between them, chemistry that never truly went away. Very passionate characters that would clearly do whatever it takes to be together again. No one is pulling them apart this time. They just have to out smart the ones in charge by staying one step ahead – can’t be too hard can it? Good job they have some people they can trust on both sides with Xander’s best friend Ben and Arabella’s cousin Ceecee. Ceecee’s boyfriend on the other hand you want to make sure is on your side because to be on the other I fear would mean the end of you. Good job Ceecee has him wrapped around her finger then isn’t it? Romeo and Juliet eat your heart out because these two are about to take your place. Though saying that you really don’t want it matching too much like the original because where would the fun be in that. If these two families were to ever stand as one I’d say they would be a force to be reckoned with. One that no other would mess with, no matter the price.

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5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Emma’s Surrender’ by Amelia Smarts

emmas-surrender

Title: Emma’s Surrender

Published: 30th December 2016

Publisher: Stormy Night Publications

Author: Amelia Smarts

Facebook: www.facebook.com/smarts.amelia

Twitter: @AmeliaSmarts

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/14705453.Amelia_Smarts

Synopsis:

When twenty-year-old Emma Brookstone arrives in the town of Bannack, Montana, she seeks out the local marshal, intending to enlist his help in uncovering the truth regarding her father’s murder two years earlier. Upon meeting the marshal, however, she is shocked and dismayed to discover that he is none other than the man who gunned her father down that fateful night.

Though Clive Brookstone was an evil man who needed killing, the knowledge that he left a young woman orphaned tore at Nathan Haskin’s conscience from the moment he pulled the trigger, and he has secretly provided for Emma’s needs since that day. Certain that hearing about her father’s legacy of lawless violence would break her heart, he concealed it from her, but now that she has returned to Bannack her persistence eventually prompts him to tell her the full story.

To make matters more complicated, Nathan finds his desire to protect Emma quickly growing into a powerful need to tame and possess her, and when her foolish behavior puts her safety at risk he doesn’t hesitate to take her in hand and spank her soundly. His stern chastisement leaves her furious yet helplessly aroused, and it isn’t long before he claims her hard and thoroughly.

In her heart, Emma knows what Nathan tells her is true–that her father’s death was just–but writhing in ecstasy as she is utterly dominated by the man who killed him fills her with shame nonetheless, and she does her best to deny her lust for the handsome marshal. Will the day ever come when she can put aside the past and surrender herself fully to the man she once hated?

Publisher’s Note: Emma’s Surrender includes sexual scenes and spankings. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a persons name in the title. Well spank me silly how hot was this? I didn’t want it to end. Such a wickedly saucy read, one you should definitely check out.

Emma first meets Nathan at eighteen but at the time he called himself Mr Harper. She knows him only as the man who killed her father in front of her, proceeded to kidnap her and then left her with a friend of his who would give her shelter to keep her safe. Confusing her to no end that he would care so much about her safety after murdering her father. But it seems that he had a very good reason to be rid of Clive Brookstone and now a bigger one to keep her safe from others who may seek to harm her. Had he known about her before the plan was in action he may have acted differently. The way he acts at the time is to make her hate him so she will still think kindly of her father and keep her memories in the past. Two years later though she wants answers more than anything and is determined to get them no matter the cost. She just gets a bit more than she bargain for when she comes face to face with him again. It’s a bit hard to ask help from the marshal of your hometown about your fathers murder if he’s the one that did it. Nathan intends to give her the answers she seeks, whether she likes them or not is something else entirely. When you find out more of what Clive Brookstone was really like though you see how rightly it was deserved in the name of justice for those who had been affected by his greed for gold.

Sinfully wicked fun when Nathan gets his hands on Emma second time around. He can see what she wants and needs from him even if she’s not ready to accept it yet. Submission is the key to this relationship and she must learn that everything he does is for her safety. To get her to see this he has rules, ones that shouldn’t be broken. You may say some rules are meant to be broken but with the punishment she gets she won’t be thinking to break them again in a hurry. With every punishment comes a reward though, something she is learning to love and hate at the same time. She shouldn’t want him for what he did but she can’t seem to stay away. Well at first its her choice to not want to stay away and then its his to keep her close whether she likes it or not. You can clearly see her struggle with her emotions and how he makes her feel. He is pushing her boundaries to the limit but how far is too far? He sent her away from her hometown after her fathers’ death to keep her safe but with her back he knows the threat is ever present. Many people hated her father and will feel the same by association with Emma being his daughter. Gold and greed go hand in hand and it’s not long before the danger he feared rears its ugly head. Will these two lovers find a future or will their troubled pasts hold them back?

Loved this book right from the start. You can tell straight off that there is a deeper reason for what happens at the start and with how Nathan (aka Mr Harper) acts around Emma. He wanted to protect her from the moment he saw her, one look and she was his. It just took her a little longer to see and accept this. Because as far as he’s concerned she’s his to protect, boss about and love no matter what. The sooner she realises this the better. He is the master of spanking I feel, his go to punishment. He controls her body and knows what she needs even when she protests, with how breathy she gets at times you know she loves it. Great characters and pace throughout. Sexy sassy characters that help create a very spicy Weston to get your teeth into.

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5 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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