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review 2019-01-10 20:27
Excellent paranormal thriller; historic Gothic mansion haunted by a past killing brings out demons, both literal and personal. This one had me gripped!
The Meadows - London Clarke

Scarlett DeHaven is a country-song songwriter who let success in Nashville lead her to fall into the trap of drugs and alcohol. After a stint in rehab, she moves to Virginia after having purchased a huge gothic historic mansion, and plans to turn it in to a bed and breakfast, despite the enormity of the task or even all the signs she seems to be getting from around her that it’s the wrong thing to do.

She gradually finds out that Asphodel House and Meadows was the site of a brutal mass killing, and ever since then, it’s been said to be used for some sort of cult, maybe even vampires or druids. Scarlett doesn’t want to believe any of it, and she soon breaks her sobriety when her friend Stella comes to stay  and starts to feel things will be okay with this new start.

That’s where the downward spiral, inside and out, seems to begin.

 

This is a not only an excellent paranormal thriller and ghost story, with elements of a cult and vampiric rituals, but also a novel about someone trying to go through recovery and deal with addiction and the trappings of what fame and fortune can do. It’s a lot more involved than initially meets the eye.

When asked to review this novel, I said yes based on it purely being a paranormal haunting-type story set in old house, and that didn’t even remotely set me up for what an amazing ride I had with this book.

Every time I sat down to read it, I was deeply entrenched in Scarlett’s plight: she had taken on this multi-million dollar money-pit with good intentions (even though her original  search for the house was made when she was high), and she starts drinking more as the stress  of it starts to take hold. When she breaks sobriety it broke my heart, but I found myself empathizing with the inner battle she constantly has with herself throughout the novel, and recognize the shame and isolation she feels. The addiction story may be hard for some people to read if they have had some experience dealing with addicts or recovery themselves. Still, it’s not done with kid gloves and Clarke does it with kindness and realistically.

 

Author London Clarke paints a vivid picture of both this looming mansion as well as this addiction in Scarlett’s life as they take over congruently; they work simultaneously like the demons that take hold. Asphodel House itself becomes its own character in the novel and is a force to be reckoned with, and it made me think of other famous literary haunted houses such as Hill House, and Amityville.

 

Scarlett’s past comes back to haunt her in many forms, and the other characters in the novel serve to remind her that she can’t step away from it. There are several humbling moments that serve as pivotal points for her too, and her story arc is heart-wrenching.   There are many bright spots though, as she pushes forward, and I appreciated the levity brought by some of the positivity she has (her denial serves her well too), and it broke up the moments where I truly had chills reading this book. It takes a lot for me, having read countless horror and thriller novels, and having worked on horror movies too. I also found the twists and turns to really take me by surprise.

 

I liken this indie-published ebook to one of the many independent movies I worked on when I worked in film; not enough people will get to read it (like they didn’t see those brilliant movies) because it’s not attached to a big publishing house (studio) or has a big name attached to it, and that’s a shame. This book is EXCELLENT. I was gripped all the way through. I want to make sure everyone I know who loves a good, chilling read, hears about ‘The Meadows’.

 

 

 

*I received a free copy of this book to review and this did not affect my opinion of the book.

 

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review 2019-01-08 14:08
ARC REVIEW Forever Broken by Carrie Anne Ryan
Forever Broken (Talon Pack, #9)Talon Pack #9, The final book of the series! This makes me sad even though I know she's not done with this world and she plans to come back at some future point this was the genre I fell in love with her writing way back in the beginning with The Redwood Pack. So it is sad for me to see the characters go I'm happy they all have HEAs at least for the time being.

Cheyenne Liles is the last of her friends to get something more than Friend of the Pack status. She was ready to move on with her life move away and start again somewhere new until the bastard Alpha Leader of the Aspen Pack kidnaps her and starts torturing her. After he leaves her for dead something happens that leads up to a chain of events that changes everything.

Max was broken, not the same shifter he once was, no longer the happy one always ready with a joke not letting the packs horrible past get to him. No one comes away from an epic battle without some damage and due to the events in the last story arc Max was forever changed. He never thought he could find his mate and be a good mate and it never even registered that his attraction to Cheyenne might be something more until her life was on the line and then suddenly the bond was there. With Cheyenne surviving they had some clue as to what their enemy was up to but nothing prepared them for him actually doing it.
 
Overall, this was one hell of a conclusion and one I didn't expect. I kept distracting myself at the end of the book because I was delaying the inevitable, I really did not want this to end. It was an emotional and freaking HOT romance Max and Cheyenne finding out how they fit together and how together they fit with the pack. I love how CAR writes a battle scene how it's total chaos but her writing isn't it just portrays the chaos and the violence, it's edge of your seat, holding your breath, and reading as fast as you can action.       
 
 


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review 2019-01-04 13:50
BLOG TOUR Plain Jane and the Hitman by Tmonique Stephens

Trained by the best in the business, Emmet Streeter is nobody’s babysitter, until his mentor’s secret daughter needs a bodyguard. She’s everything he doesn’t want: mouthy, obstinate, temperamental, and untouchable. So why can’t he keep his hands off her?
The unwanted daughter of a hitman, Bailey Monroe has kept a low profile until Emmet barges into her life. He’s a killer sent to protect her from a killer. She’s intrigued instead of terrified by his cold eyes, hard face, and his deadly aim.
A carbon copy of the father she hates, she has every reason to fear Emmet, but desire grows in the strangest places under the strangest circumstances.
She shouldn’t trust him, shouldn’t sleep with him and definitely shouldn’t follow him into the jaws of hell to save a father who never loved her.


About the Book

Plain Jane and the Hitman
by Tmonique Stephens
Series
The Plain Jane Series
Genre
Adult
Contemporary Romance
Romantic Suspense
Publisher
Independent
Publication Date
January 1, 2019
Purchase Your Copy for Just $0.99!
Amazon
Also Available On


This was such a fun read. There was plenty of action and romance, it reminded me of those action movies designed to be a date movie so it has a fun romance to go with it; ie. Knight and Day and Mr. and Mrs. Smith at least those were the two movies that I kept thinking about when reading this book. Tmonique Stephens is fantastic when it comes to keeping her readers in suspense with the happenings of the bad guys trying to get the good guys but she also is fantastic when it comes to the romance. Both characters were easy for me to connect with and empathize with; told in a third person POV with alternating focus between Emmet and Bailey you see both sides of their story; which I always prefer. The story is a great one, Bailey was raised without her father, the few times she did see him he scared the crap out of her and then showed nothing but disappointment. Bailey was taught how to take care of herself trained in martial arts and weapons but when her father makes enemies with someone who use to be a friend Bailey's life is at risk and her father only trusts one person to do the job of protecting her, Emmet Streeter. The story was full of excitement and the romance was hawt. The end some might call a cliffhanger but it's more of a teaser of what's to come because we are nowhere finished with Bailey and Emmet.  
 
 
No one fucked with him. Including most of the women. Oh, some brave souls sauntered up to him in their bikinis and clear heels. Their breasts high, their pelvises forward, strutting like they were on a runway. With a flick of his fingers, he sent them on their way. 
Now, he stared at her with the icy blue eyes. Did that color have a name? “I didn’t need your help.”
He cocked his head to the side and she noticed he had a touch of salt mixed in with his coal black hair at his temple. His brow lowered to two angry slashes over those eyes, he stated matter-of-factly, “You did. Accept it and move on.” His lips formed a grim slash that she suspected were full if he ever smiled. She couldn’t tell if his jaw was squared or sharp due to a full beard and mustache, but she wanted to know. 
Hand to the small of her back, he guided her through the throng. She had no idea where he led her and didn’t fight it. Out of the crowd was good enough for now. People cleared out of their way when they saw him coming. She didn’t like his familiarity, his hand on her body, heating her skin through the thin barrier of her shirt, or her body’s reaction to that heat. She certainly didn’t approve of the way he took over. For the moment, she kept that opinion to herself. 
He guided her out of the bazaar to a small compact car parked on a side road and opened the passenger door. “Get in,” he ordered, assuming she’d obey as he rounded the front of the car. Such a gentleman. Not that she cared. 
“I was taught to never take a ride from a stranger.” 
He leaned on the hood, arms splayed, knuckles pressed onto the metal, those cold eyes of his latched onto her. “Good lesson. Doesn’t apply today. Get in the car.” 
“Why?” 
An eyebrow shop up and his head cocked to the side. 
She got the sense no one questioned him. That this was a first for him. “You want to stay and deal with that guy when he wakes up, since you didn’t need my help?” 
“Don’t threaten me.” 
His brow arched. “You consider that a threat? Babe, when I threaten you, you’ll know it.” 
Babe? Hackles rose on the back of her neck. The last thing she needed was to be alone in a car with this man. The hotel shuttle coasted by them and stopped at the end of the street, a block away. 
“Thanks for the offer of the ride and getting my stuff back.” She slammed his car door closed and headed for the shuttle. Don’t know why, but she expected footsteps coming up behind her. There weren’t any. She made it to the open-air shuttle and parked her ass on the bench, along with the other hotel guests who visited the bazaar. 
Five minutes later, the shuttle pulled away and she bounced along with the rest of the people, aware of the car trailing them. 
Don’t turn around. Don’t turn around.

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of PLAIN JANE AND THE HITMAN by Tmonique Stephens, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Tmonique Stephens.  Giveaway ends 1/7/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!


About Tmonique Stephens

TMONIQUE STEPHENS writes passionate novels about Fallen Angels seeking redemption, Egyptian demi-gods finding their powers and average girls landing the hot guys. In her world, Passion Changes Everything!
Newsletter  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon


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review 2018-12-18 14:18
BLOG TOUR Miss Compton's Christmas Romance by Sophie Barnes

 





Sometimes playing pretend can lead to the perfect romance…

When Miss Leonora Compton decides to go to Sheffield and spend Christmas with her sister, she finds herself travelling with a man she cannot afford to like. But as their journey progresses she enters an unexpected partnership with him and realizes that things aren't what they seem. Because Mr. Dalton is not only tempting. He may in fact be precisely what she needs.

When Philip believes his travel companion requires protection, he immediately steps in to help by pretending to be her husband. For although the last thing he wants is to form an attachment, Philip is irrevocably drawn to the stunning red-head. And as they become better acquainted and their paths increasingly intertwined, he must decide if risking heartache again is worth the chance of finding true love.



Buy Links:
 
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This is a delightful novella from Sophie Barnes. It's a quick and easy romance with enjoyable characters and fun plot. As shocking as it was for Miss Leonora Compton to go into trade she managed to convince her parents to let her so she wouldn't be a burden on them or her younger sister and her brother-in-law in the future. As a result her parents were able to travel the world without having to worry about her. Leonora is given a shock, her landlord lost the property gambling and her new one wants an exorbitant amount of money by the New Year. With nothing she can do she leaves the shop in her best friend's capable hands and goes to visit her sister for Christmas. Her parents would be shocked that she is taking public transport but it was a frugal thing to do. Mr. Phillip Dalton was immediately captivated by the stunning and stubborn Miss Compton and in order to protect her from the unwanted advances of another gentleman in the coach he claims she's his wife. It seems they are headed to the same destination Phillip is best friends with Leonora's brother-in-law and he was also invited to spend Christmas with them. All they needed was a little push for them to meet and fall in love but will they?

Overall this was a really nice read. I really enjoy Sophie Barnes writing and this was a nice little bite to satisfy me until her next book comes out. 
 

     The Bull and Mouth coaching house was bustling with travelers buying tickets and preparing for departure while others climbed out of newly arrived coaches. Horses neighed and people shouted, pushing and shoving their way past each other, the loud noise occasionally drowned out by the sound of a horn.

     Her mother would likely have a fit if she ever found out that her daughter had chosen to travel alone on public transportation. In the past, Leonora had always taken a hired carriage, but that was before she’d become aware of the need to save every penny – back when her parents had paid the expense. In hindsight, she should perhaps have asked one of her parents’ maids to accompany her as chaperone. Except she’d been leading an independent life for the past eight months and had little desire to suffer the constant presence of someone insistent on making her follow a long list of rules. 
     So Leonora clasped her belongings and wove her way through the crowd on her own. She’d purchased her ticket a week earlier just to be sure she would get one. “Where’s the coach for Sheffield?” she asked a team of hostlers who were in the process of switching out horses. 
     One of the men pointed toward a coach on the opposite side of the courtyard, and Leonora thanked him before hurrying toward it. Her breath misted in the chill morning air as she stepped around the vehicle and prepared to show the coachman her ticket. But then she spotted him, and her entire body froze in place. Mr. Becker was here, and he was standing next to her coach, which only made Leonora’s heart beat harder. Because if there was one person she did not wish to spend one more second with, it was him. Least of all if they were to be confined to a place from which there could be no escape. 
     Her chest tightened and she realized then that she was holding her breath. She inhaled sharply, the frigid air rushed down her throat and into her lungs where it started to burn. She hesitated briefly, torn between choosing to face him and walking away. He was speaking with a younger and much taller gentleman with dark brown hair. Mr. Becker smiled, his countenance far more pleasant than when he’d come to call on her earlier. The younger gentleman nodded politely and offered his hand which Mr. Becker promptly shook before tipping his hat, adding a comment, and walking away. The younger man watched him go before turning toward the coachman. The two exchanged a few words, and the younger man pulled out his pocket watch to check on the time. 
     Leonora stepped forward. Thankfully, it did not seem as though she would have to endure Mr. Becker’s company. Just that of his friend. Determined to ignore him, she walked straight past the spot where he stood, her entire focus on the coachman. Reaching him, she set down her valise and retrieved her ticket from her reticule. 
     “Thank you, miss,” the coachman said when she handed it to him. He glanced at her luggage. “That will have to go on top of the carriage or in the boot. Which do you prefer?” 
     “I’ll put it in the boot,” Leonora told him. She picked up her valise and turned, only to find her path blocked by what had to be over six feet of solid masculinity. Leonora looked up and immediately bristled upon realizing not only that the man was Mr. Becker’s friend, but that he, upon further inspection, had eyes that weakened her knees and lips that quickened her pulse. He was, as it were, impossibly handsome, and that was almost more annoying than anything else that had happened that morning. 
     “May I help you with that?” he inquired. 
     Oh Lord, his voice was lovely too – like plush velvet sliding over her skin. 
     Leonora squared her shoulders. “No thank you. I can manage perfectly well on my own.” She stepped around him quickly, before his angular jaw and broad shoulders could cause her to change her mind, and went to the boot. It already contained a trunk and a couple of other valises, which meant she would have to heft her own up and over in order to secure it. She glanced around. Surely there must be some Bull and Mouth employee available to help? 
     If they were, none came to offer assistance. Leonora blew out a breath and proceeded to lift her valise, bringing her other hand underneath it while her reticule dangled back and forth from her wrist. Feeling the weight in her arms, she steadied herself against the carriage, bracing her body while struggling to push the darn thing toward the top of the boot. 
     “Are you sure you don’t need help?” the handsomest man in the world inquired. 
     “Absolutely,” Leonora panted. She was now holding her valise at shoulder level, supporting it against another valise that was in her way. Just a few more inches… 
     “Have you always been this stubborn?” 
     “I am not stubborn…just…” Ugh! She managed to wedge her shoulder underneath the valise, but its size and shape made it unstable, and before she could manage to steady herself properly, she felt the entire thing lean to one side. Oh no. She reached up attempting to grab it, but that only quickened the inevitable outcome.

     Her valise slipped from her shoulder and started to fall, until it was caught by a pair of large hands.

     Like Thor wielding his mighty hammer with seemingly little effort, Mr. Becker’s friend lifted the piece of luggage with infuriating ease and placed it securely in the boot. He stepped back and turned to face her, his toffee-colored eyes catching a ray of rare winter sunshine in the process. The effect was dazzling. More so when the edge of his mouth lifted to form a crooked smile with a perfect dimple placed right at the corner. 
     Leonora swallowed. For heaven’s sake, her hands were trembling, though she quickly decided that this was from her recent exertion and not at all because of this handsome man’s attentions. She had no interest in him, she reminded herself. Not when he kept company with the sort of man who would happily force a woman from her home and place of business during Christmas.

     Deciding she would not allow him to divest her of her manners, she raised her chin and met his gaze boldly. “Thank you, sir.” 
     His smile broadened. “Mr. Dalton.” He glanced aside for a second before returning his attention to her. “Mr. Philip Dalton. How do you do?”
 
 
 
 
Link to giveway: https://promosimple.com/ps/d9d5/miss-compton-s-christmas-romance


 
Author Bio:

Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor's degree from Parson's School of design, but most impressive of all - she's been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion - writing. She currently lives on the East Coast.

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review 2018-11-23 15:30
BLOG TOUR Desperate by A.K. Evans

Today we have the blog tour for A.K. Evans upcoming romance, Desperate. Check it out and get your copy today!

Title: Desperate

Author: A.K. Evans

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

 

About Desperate:

Ekko Rose is no stranger to struggle. Even though she’s experienced more than her fair share of hardship, she has dreams she wants to fulfill. But when another stroke of bad luck leaves her homeless, Ekko's only option is to focus on survival.

 

Dominick ‘Dom’ Moore has had his eyes on Ekko ever since he saved her life several months ago. He kept his distance then because she was attached to another man. Now, seeing her living out of her car, Dom resolves to help her get back on her feet.

 

When Dom approaches Ekko, she wrestles with knowing her rightful place in the world and desperately wanting to latch onto something better. Just as the pair fall hard for one another, Ekko’s streak of misfortune delivers one more blow. With their relationship thrown into a pit of despair and hopeless desire, Dom must crack the case he’s been trying to solve for weeks. Because if he can’t, Ekko might be lost to him forever.  

Get Your Copy Today:

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Paperback | Goodreads

 

 


 

 This book exceeded all my expectations. One of the few books I don't mind that it is written in first person switching POVs between Dom and Ekko. Dom is perfect book boyfriend material, it's almost annoying how perfect he is but that doesn't turn me off in any way I still want him to be my book boyfriend. Ekko hasn't had an easy life, she thinks the only luck she has is bad luck, until Dom walk into her life again. Ekko is days away from earning enough money to getting her own place when she finds out her ex-boyfriend/roommate is selling drugs she decides living in her car is a better choice. Dom has been  keeping an eye on Ekko ever since he saved her from being kidnapped and sold into white slavery. He's known since the moment he saw her that she was going to be his, but he bided his time until he was sure she wasn't in a relationship. When he finds her sleeping in his car he makes his move.

Good things start to happen and Ekko is waiting for the other shoe to drop because for her nothing good lasts forever. Dom is determined to show and give Ekko the life she deserves and not the life she's been dealt. But Ekko was right and life deals her one last blow that devastated her enough to break up with Dom. That's not all Dom has a case that has him completely dumbfounded he doesn't realize until almost to late there's a threat to Ekko as well.

 

Overall, I loved this book. The characters are well written you really empathize with Ekko and Dom is just yummy I want one of him. The story is well thought out and well paced it did have has much excitement and suspense as the last book Overcome but it was still very good the main focus was the relationship between Ekko and Dom and dealing with Ekko's emotional hesitation when it comes to her relationship with Dom.  It was emotional and exciting the end was just, wow. I can't wait for more. 

 


 

 

 

Check out the Trailer:

 

About the Author:

A.K. Evans is a married mother of two boys residing in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. After graduating from Lafayette College in 2004 with two degrees (one in English and one in Economics & Business), she pursued a career in the insurance and financial services industry. Not long after, Evans realized the career was not for her. She went on to manage her husband’s performance automotive business and drive the shop race cars for the next thirteen years. While the business afforded her freedoms she wouldn’t necessarily have had in a typical 9-5 job, after eleven years she was no longer receiving personal fulfillment from her chosen career path. Following many discussions, lots of thought, and tons of encouragement, Andrea decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Between her day job, writing, and homeschooling her two boys, Evans is left with very little free time. When she finds scraps of spare time, she enjoys reading, doing yoga, watching NY Rangers hockey, dancing, and vacationing with her family. Andrea, her husband, and her children are currently working on taking road trips to visit all 50 states (though, Alaska and Hawaii might require flights).  

 

Connect with A.K.:

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

Enter A.K.’s Giveaway:





 



 

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