Category Archives: Romantic Suspense

Book Review: ‘Dauntless’ by Anne Malcom

Title: Dauntless (The Sons of Templar MC Book 5)

Published: 24th October 2016

Author: Anne Malcom

Facebook: www.facebook.com/annemalcomauthor

 

Synopsis:

This isn’t a fairy tale. I’ll save you the trouble by telling you that now.

This is the tale of a girl who spent her life bouncing around foster homes, who had her innocence stolen in the darkness before she knew it was something that could be lost. Her demons followed her everywhere, after that night. They chased her to the medical school she dropped out of, to the strip club she sold herself in, and finally caught her in a river of sin where they tried to drown her.

My name is Bex and this is my story.

I’m paddling, barely keeping my head above water. And even though I’m submerged, I’ll never be clean. The layer of dirt that has clung to me since birth is a tattoo I’ll wear for life.
He can’t see it, though.
Even when I’m torn and tattered, and left in pieces, he wades into the filth to try to put those pieces back together.
He doesn’t seem to understand there’s nothing left to repair. To love. Just sullied fragments of a damned soul.
He’s willing to damn himself in order to exact revenge on those who sent me to the pit.
Problem is, my name is at the top of that list, since I not only damned my own soul, but his too.

*Contains dark subject matter and potential triggers
**Can be read as a standalone

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a one word title. How far down the rabbit hole do you have to fall before you can’t get back out? Bex is about to test that out and it’s going to be a gut-wrenching thing to go through so hold on for a different kind of fairytale. It might say standalone but to get the feel for all the characters mentioned you should really start from the beginning. Plus it’s a great series so why not.

So with Beyond the Horizon we know what Bex has been through and that she was taken but this time we get to see everything from inside her head. Pain has followed her from a child when her innocence was stolen from her. Through the darker side of life that’s been thrown at her you can see how easily she fell down the path she was on. With the death of Lily’s mum, the only mum she’s every really known too, its like the final trigger. It all starts with a pill, something to numb the pain so she can breathe. When that stopped working she went for something stronger. A slippery slop she starts on, one that takes her further into the darkness. It’s like because she thinks she’s damaged anyway she should just follow on down. Even to the point of only dating men that are bad for her, case in point her ex Dylan, and only work for scum like Carlos. This is why she tries to stay away from Lucky. She sees a happy go lucky guy who doesn’t need to be pulled into her world of darkness but she only sees what he shows the world. Not the real Lucky – Gabriel to exact – that has his own darkness, one that would consume him too if he lets it.

We get a recap from Bex’s POV showing her side and what happens when Lucky takes her away for a couple weeks after Asher and Lily’s wedding. She’s trying to cope with withdrawals on her own (well Lily and Rosie know but she still tries it alone) but the minute Lucky knows he takes her away to his cabin. Space to just be and regroup. Also just happens to be a place where she is kept in close confinements with a sexy brooding alpha male. One who likes to surf so walks around with water dripping off him. Seriously she only has so much strength to hold out. Creating a bubble around them with the time to escape and voice the demons that they both have held from others. The start of something perhaps, and holy hell is it hot, with him giving her what she needs but everything goes to hell when she is taken.

Three weeks in hell for everyone involved but most for Bex. Just clean it didn’t take long for them to drag her back to using. It was the only way she could escape what they were doing to her, to go into a bubble of a drug haze. Now free the need to be clean after everything that happened to her is the only thing she can think of. Clean in terms of drugs and clean in terms of washing. She doesn’t want anyone touching her, as it’s a way to stop remembering what she went through. If someone, anyone, touches her she feels dirty and gets pulled back to the room she wants to forget. She needs to take things slow and its like she can’t believe Lucky would be patient enough to wait until she was ready for more. Wrong, that man would wait till the end of time for his women, something she is starting to figure out. She wants to forget the darkness and Lucky wants revenge. He is itching for blood and him and the Sons won’t stop until they get it. Seems her being taken wasn’t random at all. Links back to old troubles they had to deal with. Lose ends need tidying up and they are all up for doing that. Dylan, Carlos and friends need to watch out as hell’s coming their way and the Son’s will be smiling when it does.

Have loved Rosie throughout the series so far and now her friendship with Bex. She is a bit wild and crazy but in a great way and I can’t wait to check out her story with Luke. Now that’s going to be interesting read and thank god it’s out soon! Gage is another alpha we need to see more of. His connection with Bex shows a bit more about his past but I need more. Who is going to be the one he wants to claim?

Word of warning boys, DO NOT use the word ‘lockdown’ with this woman, especially with what she has been through. Bex sure gives the guys a mouthful and you are just wishing you could see all their faces at once because it is a moment all the women in their lives have been waiting for. Heads up guys these women don’t always need to be saved because they’re pretty amazing at freeing and surviving themselves, so watch out you have been warned.

So with our alpha Lucky it seems calling ‘dibs’ worked. She was always going to be his and no matter the darkness that has held both back they can save each other at the same time of saving themselves. Another great read that takes you on an emotional journey not hiding away from difficult subject matters so why not check it out.

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: ‘Ashes to Ashes’ by Rebecca Norinne

Title: Ashes to Ashes

Published: 13th December 2017

Author: Rebecca Norinne

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RebeccaNorinne

Twitter: @rebecca_norinne

 

Synopsis:

I had it all, or so I thought. Until my husband betrayed me and my entire world came crashing down. I turned to alcohol and sex to numb my pain—a different city each night, a new man in my bed. But I’m sober now, and I’m working my way back up the country music charts.

But then the death threats started and I needed protection. When my new bodyguard walked in the room, I couldn’t believe my eyes: the one man from my long spiral down who I never forgot. The one who played my body like a finely tuned instrument.

Now we’re on the run from a madman and all I want is to forget about everything. To pretend this isn’t my life. To lose myself in him.

So I let him take control.

I tried telling myself it was only sex, but I’ve done the unthinkable: I’ve fallen in love with a man who can never love me back. Because Ash has demons of his own—ones he never talks about and never will. I know I should walk away before it’s too late.

But I’m an addict, and I need him.

How do you give up the best thing you think you’

 

Review:

Line a liked: ‘Two broken pieces that when pushed together formed a mended whole’

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about music or musicians. Loved every second of it so well worth checking out. Seems when you hit rock bottom you can only look up back towards the light if you really want to make a change. If things try to bring you back down you need to fight for what makes you happy and keeps you alive.

So Rae, a musician sweetheart, hit rock bottom when her ex Ford did a bit of a number on her. Seems his version of their marriage are all that anyone cares about and with a non-disclosure agreement in place she can only keep silent. Seems the things he accused her of doing and being are more to do with him but as no one would believe her she decides to become what they think. A new man in a new city, drinking the night away seems like a plan for a while but there is only so far down a black hole you can go before you need to start back towards the light. Seems one of these nights brought Ash to her bed and it seems he might be the one to start her to rethink the road she is on. Not right away but he is the only one who stays in her memories, always asking ‘what if?’ The road to recovery is a hard one but she is making it through the other side. Seems the demons from her past won’t let them stay there though when death threats start to roll in from her ex’s fans. She’s in need of a bodyguard and when she finds out who that is she’s going to get a bit of a shock.

Ash usually gets the trickier cases with the company but with him being the only person who has any music experience he has been pulled in to look after a singer. His plan is to take her to his place out in the sticks, help her with her album and keep her safe. Just a job like any other, except that changes the moment he walks into the meeting room and sees Ash, a woman he has never been able to get out of his head. He knew back when they met that she was hurting and looking for something and always hated himself for not finding out more. Seems he’s got his wish and she’s the singer he has to help. It’s not going to be just another job with this one as the moment they are in the room together you can feel the sexual tension coming off them. They try to say it won’t be a problem but seriously who are they kidding.

Frustration from both sides anytime they are together before setting off to the safe house. Seems they need to clear the air but that just makes things murky again as its not long before he can’t keep his hands off her – not that she minds. It’s a risky place for Rae to be in though as she doesn’t want to revert back to old ways. Sex and drinking were her coping mechanisms so she knows she needs to be careful but the moment it’s just them in his home things start to change.

The album she is doing is a way to get her side of things out to the public eye. Sing about all the ways her marriage made her feel, how her ex was the one who had the troubles not her – well not at first and not as bad. The thing with begin with Ash again is that she can get a sense that he wants to heal her and in a way he does. Almost like he gets drawn to the broken ones. Something we learn about his hidden past. Its not long before the tension between them gets too much, well truth be told it kind of happens on the way to the safe house as well. Seems she can’t remember much about what their first night was like and is concerned when Ash explains. Seems at the time she wanted him to take control and make her feel something. Ash has no qualms about re-educating her on what he knows she really wants and when he starts down that path she just loses herself into him.

They can’t forget the reason for being hidden away though as danger is only a hairsbreadth away. It’s not just from outside either as they could end up bringing each other down by not being completely open about who they are and what they have done.

Would have loved to find out what Rae’s best friend/PA Charlotte got up to with her own bodyguard Gage, who just so happens to be Ash’s cousin. A few phone conversations between the men showed there was tension but a wanted to see it she could make him crack. My bets on yes from the way they look at each other.

5 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Beyond the Horizon’ by Anne Malcom

Title: Beyond the Horizon (The Sons of Templar MC Book 4)

Published: 15th May 2016

Author: Anne Malcom

Facebook: www.facebook.com/annemalcomauthor

 

Synopsis:

Life is counted in tiny breaths, ones that measure the length of your existence. Life stole the ability to make those breaths easy when Lily was nine years old. Turned her quiet. Made her curl into herself, and shut out a world that threatened to bury her under its weight.

The end of her world is what brings him back—her biker. His chocolate eyes pierce her soul while his club tempts her with a life that she didn’t know she could ever have. Especially not when she was clutching the tattered remains of her existence, and with a weight bearing down on her which makes her unfit for the role of Old Lady. Asher changes that. He wants to set about repairing it, repairing her and her broken world. The problem is, even his strong shoulders can’t carry the burden of her sorrow.

Asher doesn’t take no for an answer. She may have given him her heart three years ago, but never in her wildest dreams would she imagine she had possessed his for the same amount of time.

Just when it seems like she may be able to ride off into the horizon, the world isn’t quite finished trying to rob her of breath. Of life.

Can be read as a standalone
HEA and no cheating

 

Review:

These badass bikers seem to have the biggest hearts. Some of the things they say will make you swoon while reading and Asher is no exception. The connection was off the charts from the moment he and Lily met but life it seems always gets in the way and letting go of someone to help another seems to be the way to go for Lily.

The story starts at the darkest point for Lily with the funeral of her mother – three years after she had first met Asher. She was her leading light so with her gone she feels like she is floating away with no direction and no feeling. She has her best friend Bex to lean on but it soon comes to light later on that she needs a bit more help than she is letting on too. Seems the only person she really wanted there came even when she thought she’d never see him again – by her choice at the time mind you – Asher. It’s almost like the moment she sees him she can breath again, so you know what went down between them is anything but over.

We have a few back flash moments after they reconnect to show how Asher and Lily first met. Seems to be in the middle of everyone else’s stories so it was fun to see a few other sides to the same event. Namely the party at Gwen and Amy’s where both the women were having a bit of trouble with their respective men. This party was the turning point for Lily feeling more like a woman with the chance of losing the v-card. Seriously sparks flew from the moment Asher saw her, she was always going to be his. With what the flash backs show you can see just how wild and adventurous a first time she got with Asher in charge of her passion. Seems like Lily was holding onto a fantasy though. One to escape the darkness that followed her from the moment her mother told her she had cancer. Asher was the light but one she couldn’t hold onto while her mother was sick. Its like she didn’t think she should have happiness with what her mother was going through.

Back to present day and you can see how hard she is struggling with her mothers’ death. Asher is the only one who can make her feel something again but when he’s not with her she turns into someone she’s not. Drinking and partying the night away with Bex seems to be the coping mechanism she has chosen. She’s playing a role that’s just not her. Seems she’s still good at hiding things from Asher as he has no idea just how bad things are getting. The path she has chosen could soon lead more into danger.

This story has more of a group feel to it as it follows both Lily and Bex. Bex has had a dark past and is still living in some kind of darkness. She might not want to pull Lily down into it but dangers from outside sources change the status quo. She is a fiery character so you can see why Lucky would take a liking to her, ‘dibs’ as far as he’s concerned. Loved that he made a fun appearance throughout. When the four of them come together they create a fun dynamic banter but danger is never far away. This time its not caused by the clubs association but by connections in Bex’s life. Dylan, her on/off again boyfriend, and Carlos her boss for me tie in the biggest dickhead/creep award. From the moment you meet them you are almost screaming at the women to stay as far away as possible, bad vibes galore right from the start. They both really need to get their comeuppance but don’t think that will happen until Lucky and Bex’s story – which luckily is next. It’s going to be a lot darker than the others but hopefully we get to see a lot of light too to help push the darkness away.

Emotional depths of the characters draw you in with this one. It doesn’t shy away from the feelings that come with grief, pain, anxiety and suicide attempts. Lily has had to deal with darkness in her past but it was her mother who always got her through. She became her mothers’ muse, the colour that filled the room. So when she died Lily was left in darkness and it takes a lot from Asher to bring colour back into her life, slowly but surely. He won’t let her push him away again; he’s there to stay. They might get their HEA but that doesn’t mean the story doesn’t get darker. Danger is coming and not just for her. Lets see if the MC family can get everyone out alive.

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: ‘Out of the Ashes’ by Anne Malcom

Title: Out of the Ashes (The Sons of Templar MC Book 3)

Published: 1st March 2016

Author: Anne Malcom

Facebook: www.facebook.com/annemalcomauthor

Synopsis:

Living a life in darkness causes the soul to char to ash. Battling demons by turning himself into a monster is the only way he can survive…the only way he can keep a grip on sanity. That grip is precarious at best, every day is a silent battle with demons that threaten to yank him into the truest form of darkness, the abyss he’ll never escape. Then it happens. Light shines through the cracks.

Happiness. Mia Spencer’s life is full of it. She has an amazing new job, friends, family, and the light of her life – her daughter Lexie. Running from the demons of the past, escaping a hell that she vowed Lexie would never know about, she worked through hardship and near poverty to create something she was proud of. Buried deep inside, underneath the swell of love she had for her only daughter, were the fractured pieces of her. Pieces that were smashed and battered when she was young and vulnerable.

Then she meets Bull, who seems to hate her on sight. He screams danger, from his huge physique, to his beautiful ink, to the motorcycle club he belongs to. He is silent, his glares threaten to burn her into flames, yet she finds herself falling for him. Finds this broken man slowly fixing the pieces she thought would stay shattered forever.

 

Review:

Well I knew I was going to love Bull’s story and this didn’t disappoint. Having read Echoes of Silence first I knew the gist of what was going to happen just not all the details. So glad the blanks have been filled in because wow comes to mind more than once. Might have read a couple times now already it was so good.

So we start with Mia and Lexie new in town checking out the area when someone seriously hot scenery graces their presence at the local coffee shop. Love more of the Gilmore Girl vibe back and forth between them – start as you mean to go on. Three sexy bikers walk in but one look is all it takes to zero in on our brooding man. Seems once their eyes are locked neither really wants to pull away. Eyes are the way to the soul and both seemed to have locked on to it. Chance meeting number one is good but two/three are better when they find out Mr. brooding lives across the street from them. Very handy with his hands in a time of need it seems. Meeting number four is where we see a bit more of his resolve crack. Seems he might not want to be around her but that doesn’t mean Lucky is getting a shot. Still think he’s great for a bit of comic banter when needed and can’t wait to get to his book.

Seems fate wants them in each other’s paths though – well fate and Lexie it seems – they’re like magnets with the pull towards each other too strong to deny. No matter how much Bull is trying to hide from it. One spark and they turn into the wildest couple yet – seriously you are like wow, always the quiet ones. Silent and brooding makes for one very hot biker. He’s angry with himself to begin with and doesn’t think he deserves to be happy again with someone who quiets his demons. That’s why he’s so horrible and rude to Mia to begin with. A few times you do want to give him a smack and talking to. She’s chipping at his resolve and its not long before his walls start to crack. All I’ll say is his strong arms do come in handy. He wants to keep them quite, only a night time thing which is fine to begin with until feelings get involved whether you want them to or not. But being with a biker brings its dangers. With this one you see the other side through Bulls POV and know why he – along with his brothers – would be so worried about certain things their women did.

I liked how Mia seemed to click with the other women, great to catch up with them too. Theirs is a close net family that would do whatever it takes to protect what’s theirs. Once you are in you are covered but that doesn’t mean danger isn’t lurking. With this we see what drives Mia’s protective streak and what happened in her past. You knew she would have to be running from something bad but you don’t know what. When you find out you just hope Bull can get there in time. She just has to look forward not back and hope Bull does the same. Though to her and Lexie he will always be Zane. I think he liked that his girls called him that. He just has to keep them protected with what’s coming their way.

Seriously from reading Echoes of Silence I thought Killian was the king of saying things that would make your heart melt but wow just wow Zane knocks it out of the park. He might not say much but when he does it packs a punch. Knew his would be a great story and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Can’t wait for the rest of the series – love it!

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: ‘Strays’ by Emma Kendrick

Title: Strays (Red Kings MC Book 1)

Published: 4th May 2016

Author: Emma Kendrick

Twitter: @theemmakendrick

 

Synopsis:

Best friends Jackie and Tyler set out on an adventure to find somewhere to call home, hoping to escape the violent city life and settle down in a quiet place where they can make something of themselves. What they find instead is the notorious Red Kings Motorcycle Club, outlaw bikers that rule the city’s criminal underground.

Only able to avoid them for so long, the unsuspecting pair get thrown into turf wars and drug trafficking before they can even figure out what’s happened. And as Tyler is dragged deeper into the club’s illegal activity, Jackie remains stuck in limbo as she tries to resist the pull of one Dean Rockwell, the MC’s most dangerous member.

Torn between the tight-knit family of bikers and the safety of a normal life, can Jackie navigate the treacherous new waters without losing herself and her best friend? Or will a series of unfortunate events lead her down a path that she can’t come back from?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a car chase in it. Slow build action packed start to a series that has plenty to expand with.

Jackie and her best friend Tyler have been friends for years but act more like siblings. Wherever he goes she will surely follow. They seem happy enough in Macon but lack of other friends and a good job are taking their toll on Tyler. This all changes after a loud conversation between them is overheard by the local MCs. Seems Tyler has some skills they could use and as he already has the bike its not long before he finds what he’s been looking for. He might be happy with the change that’s coming but Jackie is taking it a bit harder. Her first introduction to the MCs, specifically Dean, wasn’t the best. Fear is forefront on her mind and it seems he has no intention of changing how she sees him. He’s the member others fear, the one that gets things done without much of a conscious. Doing whatever it takes to protect the club and its family, even if that means to kill.

Jackie only saw him threaten someone but never knew exactly what he did for the club. On some level turning a blind eye while trying to become something close to friends. They start to get closer after he sees her drawings and asks her to do something for his bike, its personal and he’s the only one she does it for. She seems to have caught his eye but it’s not till hard liquor is involved that things spark to life. Jackie needs a distraction while Tyler is off on his first run and with Dean being the only one there you know how it will go. There has been chemistry bubbling below the surface for a while and now it’s coming to the surface for a one-time thing. Seems once isn’t enough and before long they can’t get enough of each other. But with getting closer the clubs President starts to worry Dean will lose focus on what he does for them. Can’t very well have his killer going soft so you know something will come along to shift the dynamics of everyone. Twist comes along with the shift and soon its Jackie keeping secrets from those around her. Won’t be long before everything comes out but with Dean showing his true colours you’re not sure how things will turn out. Secrets will cause problems but its dangers from others that put people – especially Jackie – in harms way. Can these bikers keep those they care for safe or will they cause more problems?

Found the scene with Dean on the phone to his mum while doing something with Murphy amusing. Nice calm conversation while they are digging a hole. Can you guess what might go in there? A lot of characters were introduced within this one, from those in Macon and then another charter in Lakeside. Paving the way for the rest of the series but with names flying around you may get lost. A few key ones that stood out for me were Nash, TJ, Murphy, Jagger and Bianca the Queen of Lakesides MC President who takes no shit from anyone.

Comical at times, danger at others, an interesting friendship with Jackie and Tyler and then the hot and heavy then cold chemistry thing that’s going on with Jackie and Dean. Seriously at times he can be a dick so lets hope he can counter it with being something more for Jackie.  Series has lots of potential for where it could go next, whether to focus on the MCs of Macon or Lakeside. Either way will be a fun ride with these badass bikers.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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