Category Archives: Romantic Suspense

Book Review: ‘Skeletons of Us’ by Anne Malcom

skeletons-of-us

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

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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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Book Review: ‘The Stranger’ by Anna del Mar

the-stranger

Title: The Stranger (A Wounded Warrior Novel)

Published: 22nd August 2016

Publisher: Carina Press

Author: Anna del Mar

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnadelMar

Twitter: @anna_del_mar

Synopsis:

When a mysterious stranger is your only hope…

The scars of the past have left their mark, both physical and emotional, on former military pilot Seth Erickson. Off-grid in the far reaches of the bitter Alaskan wilderness, he wants only to be left alone with his ghosts. But he can’t ignore a woman in need—beautiful, stranded and nearly frozen with fear.

Summer Silva never imagined that the search for her missing sister would leave her abandoned on a wintry back road, barely escaping with her life from a cold-blooded killer for hire. Now, hiding out in the isolated cabin of the secretive wounded warrior who saved her, Summer knows she must do what she fears most. Putting her trust in a stranger is all she has left.

All defenses are down

After a fiery first night together, Seth and Summer are bound by a need as powerful as a Bering Sea superstorm—and vulnerable to enemies just as fierce. For Seth, reawakened by desire, there is no sacrifice too great, no memory too dark, to keep Summer safe. But murder and treason lurk everywhere and Summer may not survive Alaska’s ruthless winter.

Book two of the Wounded Warrior series

This book is approximately 110,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at CarinaPress.com/RomancePromise

Review:

Sometimes meeting a total stranger can change your life for the better – case in point with Summer. Well maybe not right away when she first meets Seth, more like a few days later. Summer is on a mission to find her stepsister Tammy who has run off with some guy off the Internet. Her step-mom Louise is going out of mind with worry and as it’s just the three of them now Summer feels like she always has to watch out for them. But with her always looking after others she never has anyone looking out for her. Which is probably why she ends up alone in Alaska on bad roads leading to her skidding off them – though it might not be just the ice! Being a girl on a mission she isn’t going to let a crash stop her so off she goes hiking back up the hill and road she came down in very unfriendly clothes for winter. Seeing headlights she thinks she’s saved, right up until the jerk starts harassing her the moment he stops thinking she is some kind of plant to cause him trouble. Obviously not a plant but a total klutz with the amount of times she falls over.

Seth is not having a good day. The news of losing a friend has hit him hard so when he sees a woman stranded on the road his first thoughts aren’t good. With trouble brewing within the family business he has to be careful who he trusts and this woman looks so out of place that he is convinced she is a plant. Putting his jerk tendencies aside he does agree to help her by taking her back to his place. Its on route after she passes out that he realises she got hurt more than she let on from her crash. Once settled at his place the interesting fun starts. After stripping off her wet clothes so she won’t get sick – trying really hard and failing not to look – he puts her to bed. The stress of the day is catching up with him and its not long before his old aches start to cause him trouble. After being in a helicopter crash he has burn scars over his body and at times still feels like it is on fire. Only way to sooth them is to get them cold, this is where the snow outside comes in handy. A woman’s touch also works and that’s what he gets when he goes back inside and finds a very naked Summer trying to leave to find her sister. She seems so relaxed about herself and him, even in just his shorts. She sees him and not the scares; she’s slowly bringing him back to life one touch at a time. It’s clear she wants him and with only mild questioning from Seth to see if she’s sure does he go full steam ahead. They certainly make use of the kitchen table and then the rest of the night in his bed. The morning after however doesn’t quite go how Seth thought it would.

Summer wakes naked in a strange bed next to a very naked Seth and completely freaks out, scaring both of them in the process. Seems there is something she should have mentioned a bit sooner before passing out, after stressful events she sometimes sleepwalks and can seem very awake in the process. It seems the reawakening night he had was but a dream for her, one she can’t remember. Even though this should scare her she feels that she can trust him. Which is good as she’s going to need him in the weeks to come. Seems danger followed her to Alaska, cut breaks in all, and it has nothing to do with her sister. If she wants to find her sister and keep safe at the same time she needs to stay close to Seth. Not that he minds one bit. After the incredible night they spent together he is more than a little hurt she can’t remember. They had such a connection that he is convinced if he can get her to stay long enough then she will come back to him again, only this time with eyes wide open.

The connection between them is alive but there is craziness coming from both sides that could cause trouble before something even starts. Summers sister going missing is one thing, her boss Hector jumping up and down for her taking time off to find her is another (always knew there was something off with him) but to top it off there have been the attacks on her life. Seth’s might not be as crazy but he does have his cousin trying to sabotage the family business and him anyway he can so he can take over. The centre focus for the story does come away from Summer looking for her sister but that was just the reason she went to Alaska, she’s staying for a very different one.

The chemistry between them grows right from the start. Summer may not have been awake the first time but her subconscious clearly wanted him as much as he wanted her. Summer may be late to Alaska but if Seth has his way she’s is going to stay for good. The story is complex and grows in different directions along with the relationship. So many twists and turns to keep you hooked. You get to see a different side to Summer when she is sleepwalking. It’s when her subconscious wakes up and slowly opens her eyes to what’s been too hard to accept for so long that she sees most clearly. She was forever chasing a dream and only when she was ready would she get the answer she sought. Loved the connection with spirit animals but that’s just me. With hers being a bear and how one came to her rescue later on and with Seth’s being a golden eagle linking to his love of flying. A daredevil who would, and does, go to any lengths to save people. When it comes to Summer there is nothing he wouldn’t do.

When you hear of Summer’s fears with her sleepwalking you can see why she has created a bubble for herself to live in. Her mother died by drowning, seemingly from sleepwalking into the ocean but as we soon discover nothing is ever quite as it seems. Loved her bonkers step-mom Louise, what a firecracker and Seth’s grandmother was an interesting quirky one. When they play bridge after some craziness Summers only thought is that she has slipped into an alternate universe. Lots of characters but it doesn’t feel too overloaded, you can tell everyone is there for a reason not just filling space. It is the second in the series but without reading the first I can’t see a reason why this one can’t be read as a standalone. Just makes me want to check out the authors other books.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from an Author Assistant for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Trust Me’ by Margaret Watson

Trust Me

Title: Trust Me (The Donovan Family Book 4)

Published: 12th November 2014

Author: Margaret Watson

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Margaret-Watson-Author

Twitter: @mwatsonauthor

Synopsis:

Raine Taylor has one goal – justice for her murdered sister. She knows Genie’s husband strangled her and left her in an alley – Peter had been threatening to kill his wife for years. The police said there was no proof Peter Northrup killed Genie. So it was up to Raine to make him pay.

When Detective Connor Donovan answers a call about a trespasser outside Northrup’s house, he finds a woman running down the street. When he tries to stop her, he’s left holding her hoodie as she strikes out like a ninja then vanishes like smoke.

Connor quickly realizes Raine is his mysterious trespasser. Now he has to figure out why she was outside Northrup’s house at three A.M. Raine isn’t his usual criminal – she’s a schoolteacher who coaches a tae-kwon-do team of under-privileged girls. And he’s wildly attracted to her.

Raine needs to stay away from Connor. She has a plan to deal with Northrup, and she can’t get involved with a cop. But like two magnets drawing together, she can’t resist him. Can Connor help her find justice for Genie? Or will her sister’s killer claim another victim before they can stop him?

Review:

Trust is a funny thing that doesn’t come easily for some people. Especially Raine and Connor. After her sister Genie was murdered Raine shut down all her emotions and set herself only one task – to make the murderer pay. That murderer being her sisters husband Peter. She knows it was him but has no proof so ends up thinking up another plan to get justice, she just never thought it would lead her down the path it does. Connor on the other hand has had to deal with trust being broken by someone who should have been the most trust worthy – his Captain. Each will have to overcome their issues and learn to trust again in those worth trusting.

Connor is off shift and about to head out when he hears over the intercom about a nuisance call. Not a case he would go for being a homicide detective but when he hears his sisters’ tired voice over the intercom saying she will take it he tells her to go on home and he will handle it. On route to the house he spots a figure in the dark, after getting out and identifying himself he seems surprised that they would run. He is then even more surprised when, after he grabs their hoodie, they turn and drop kick him to the ground. Being taken down off guard would have been bad enough but when he thinks about how nice the ass is that’s running away he wonders whether he hit his head. Something about them caught his attention and once something is stuck in there he will do whatever it takes to figure it out. He just didn’t think that he would figure it out the day after when he is pulled along to a tae kwon do team event that his precinct sponsor. Something about the trainer triggers a memory, her scent entices him, but its not until he comes back to his car and is confronted by the same scent on the hoodie that it clicks into place. He knows she was outside the house that night he just doesn’t know why – yet!

Raine has been wary of cops ever since they did a piss poor job of solving her sisters’ murder. She wants nothing to do with them, especially the mouth-watering man in front of her. Her body doesn’t seem to want to pay attention to her mind though. The same can be said for Connor. He knows she is up to something so shouldn’t want her but now can’t seem to stay away.

After an uneasy stand off Raines wall she has created to keep everyone else out seems to have cracks start to appear. Even more so after he turns up to a match of hers and stays all day. Though if she thought that was a crack its like a boulder smashed through it when he takes her back to her car. Neither was expecting the reaction they gave after it started with one kiss but I don’t think they minded much. Locked doors are a pain hey Raine?

The moment Raine starts to confide and trust Connor you can see she has turned a massive corner. With Connor at her side they can both try to get justice for her sister. With Peter around though she will never be safe and the more they push him to get answers the more danger she puts herself in.

Raine was an interesting, strong willed character that you can see would do anything for the people she cares about, even if it puts herself in danger in the process, something Connor is not so pleased about. Connor has never really been in, or wanted to be in, a relationship before so never knew what he was missing. From the moment he meets her though he almost has an alpha man feel to him where he would do whatever it took to keep her safe. Together they are electric and have some great back and forth banter. Passionate and caring, a match made for each other.

One of many great lines from Raine to Connor:

I wouldn’t kick you in the family jewels.” Her gaze touched him then bounced away. “I might want to play with them sometime.

Even though this is the forth of the series I don’t think it really matters whether you have read them or not. The story carries itself so well regardless so can be read as a standalone. Only makes you want to check out the rest more though.

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4 out of 5 stars

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

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