July 2019 – Page 3 of 3 – Beckie Bookworm

ARC REVIEW

Release Date-July 2nd 2019
Genre-MC Romance
Kindle Edition-329 pages

Dimitri King is a killer … and an addict. Born into one of the most ruthless motorcycle clubs that ever ran the streets of St Louis, the only life he has ever known is destroying him from the inside out. A lifetime of trauma, bad decisions, and heinous violence has left him on the brink of complete disaster, but one mission will change everything.

Annalise Hale, daughter of Senator Ronald Hale, is the prima ballerina of the St. Louis Ballet. The picture-perfect trophy from afar, her life is a delicate facade that hides unspeakable pain.

All she wanted was to escape.

She never dreamed of this.

Blameless in her father’s crimes, she is caught up like an exquisite pawn when the Sinners take her. Face-to-face with Dimitri King, like two sides of the same broken mirror, they have scars so deep, pain is the only feeling they know.

A match made in heaven but forged in hell, will they find their wounds fit together to create something beautiful or will the sins of their pasts be too great to overcome?

MY REVIEW

King’s Ransom by B.T. Urruela
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

King’s Ransom was my first experience with these authors. A collaboration that as a book did work, it flowed seamlessly and it certainly wasn’t apparent to me that this had been written by two separate individuals. It was well written and I did enjoy myself but there was just something missing slightly. So this was a story of two broken individuals that find each other in some very difficult circumstances and though are two main characters here seem poles apart in life and experience there actually more alike than they first think. Both answer solely to outside expectations and though their coping mechanisms tend to differ slightly one dance the other drink and drugs there overall core experiences have left them missing a piece of themselves. This is the story of Annalise and Dimitri, the former a prima ballerina with the St Louis Ballet and the Latter a member of a notorious MC gang The South Side Sinners. This pair’s destinies collide when Annalise gets caught in the crosshairs between The Sinners and her corrupt father Senator Hale. with her father owing the Sinners a debt they take Annalise as collateral and Dimitri makes it his mission to keep Annalise who he sees as an innocent safe from others in his MC who would do her harm. Now I love a good MC romance me but I think my main complaint with this one was that through the beginning and end were relatively fast-moving the main chunk of this in the middle seemed quite slow. Not much happened but a whole lot of talking and I did get a tad bored because of this. There was also for me, not enough romance between our two mains and while I don’t mind a slow burn there just wasn’t really any sexy times here for me to sink my teeth into. Also, the last few chapters here left me slightly sceptical as in Annalise metamorphosing into Annie Oakley despite never even picking up a gun before. I also didn’t like how the abuse she suffered was never verbally discussed with Dimitri I felt there should have been at least a few words between the two discussing these events. So despite the MC setting, this is not a dark romance, the romance side of things here is actually very sweet indeed and is quite heartfelt with a lot of verbal emotion. This is more what I would describe as Romantic suspense with some dark elements. The dark being the subject matter dealt with here and all the death and Mayhem involved and there’s a lot of that. So on reflection, this though not a full-house for me still had far more positives than negatives overall and I did find it an enjoyable experience.

I voluntary reviewed a copy of King’s Ransom.

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

BOOK REVIEW

Release Date-May 2nd 2019
Genre-Fantasy Romance
Kindle Edition-270 pages

Once the belle of her village, life took a dark turn for Adelaide upon her parent’s death. Plagued by lingering grief, there was not a soul who didn’t turn their back on her. They called her angry and spiteful… Hell, they called her a monster.

One fateful day Adelaide finds herself alone, lingering on the edge of The Perished Woods–a cursed and evil place. Without warning, an orc army attacks.

Her village ablaze, Adelaide races into the Perished Woods, seeking refuge in a place of nightmares. With orcs at her heels, she’s desperate to escape. But when the young woman crosses an ageing stone bridge in the middle of the cursed forest she’s met with an even more fearsome enemy. A troll… one who is determined to save her.

MY REVIEW

Tamed by the Troll by Tracy Lauren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this story the fantasy vibe here really caught my attention and I am a sucker for anything non-human so this was a sure winner for me. Here we have Adelaide pursued through the Perished Woods, a cursed magical place she has been warned upon entering by her deceased parents. So after her village is attacked by Orcs her only path forward is through these woods and across a bridge belonging to a Troll and we all know the fairy-Tale about crossing a Trolls bridge without paying a Toll. According to ancient laws Brom, The troll guarding the bridge now owns this non-paying human on top of that as he has also saved her from the Orcs themselves it further compounds her debt to him. This one was very much a battle of wills as both Adelaide and Brom go head to head both as stubborn as the other. So here lies my one main bug-bear with this I originally couldn’t stand Adelaide at all, I got why she was at war with the world but I thought her treatment of Brom who was somewhat of a reasonable Troll (he did keep telling us this) totally abhorrent. Her Bias and blinkered behaviour bordered on cruel and most certainly ungrateful especially as he had saved her from an awful fate. I know she was peeved about being a slave but I just felt her attitude went beyond what was right and was just downright nasty at times. Brom, I adored from the beginning he was a very reasonable Troll by his own admission and even when he was punishing Adelaide I couldn’t help but warm to him completely. At heart, he was just a big softie with a heart of gold and a protective streak a mile wide. Adored the huge grouchy lummox almost instantly. Thankfully despite my initial dislike of Adelaide, when she did wake up and smell the coffee she was so much easier on the palette. Told in dual POV which I do prefer this was just so imaginative and unique and I really did have a fab time indulging myself. Filled with such fascinating characters and also super hot and sexy this was a definite hit for me. Might need to go check me out some bridges to find me a Troll.

I look forward to the continuation of this very unique fantasy series.

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

ARC REVIEW

Release Date-July 23rd 2019
Publisher-Little, Brown Book Group UK
Genre-Mystery & Thrillers
Kindle Edition-352 pages

From the bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps, the writer Stephen King calls “an absolute master…with heart and soul,” a fiendishly clever suspense novel about a dangerous young woman with a special ability to know when someone is lying—and the criminal psychologist who must outwit her to survive.

A girl is found hiding in a secret room in a house being renovated after a terrible crime. For weeks she has survived by sneaking out at night, stealing food for herself and two dogs that are kept in the garden. The nurses at the hospital where she is taken call her “Angel Face” because she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen, or somewhere in between. She doesn’t appear on any missing person’s file, or match the DNA of any murder victim.

Six years later, still unidentified, the same girl is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac, when she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult. Psychologist Cyrus Haven is sent to interview Evie and decide if she’s ready to go free, but Evie Cormac is unlike he’s anyone he’s ever met. She’s damaged, destructive, and self-hating, yet possessed of a gift, or a curse, that makes her both fascinating and dangerous to be with—the ability to tell when someone is lying. Soon he is embroiled in her unique and dangerous world, his life in utmost peril.

Cleverly constructed, swiftly paced, and emotionally explosive, Good Girl, Bad Girl is the perfect thrilling summer read from the internationally bestselling author David Baldacci called “the real deal.”

MY REVIEW 

Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My second book by this author and though well written for me I did find it a tad slow in places. I enjoyed this to a point but I just felt it dragged somewhat. I was initially expecting this to be more of a psychological thriller but this is actually a police procedural with an ongoing backstory. This was told in dual POV and switched between psychologist Cyrus Haven and Evie Cormac a girl with a mysterious past. The story focuses on Cyrus’s work with the local police as an advisor and top of the agenda is the investigation into local murdered schoolgirl and champion figure skater Jodie Sheehan. Meanwhile in the background is Cyrus’s professional relationship with Evie and his desire to help her. This does leave the door open for future works as we are left with lingering questions mostly in regard to Evie and her mysterious origins. I did take a while to get into this and I felt that the blurb here did slightly oversell this. Though mostly a solid read I was left somewhat underwhelmed.

I voluntary reviewed a copy of Good Girl, Bad Girl.

 AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

Series: The Masks of Under #5 Author: Kathryn Ann Kingsley Genre: Dark Adult Fantasy Romance Release Date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Limitless Publishing With the rise of the primordial creators of the world of Under—a place I only recently accepted was now my home—everything changed. The sun rose. Dusts and sands came to wipe everything away. Including Aon. I learned his dark secret that moment that the sun peeked over the horizon. We all used to be human, once. Even Edu and the others. But not him. He’s the only soul ever made by the Ancients…and it left his mind shattered and broken. But the Ancients have made him whole. And I’m not so certain I’m glad that they did. And who stands before me now is the King of All. Aon was a madman and a warlock.

King of None by Kathryn Ann Kingsley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After how we left the previous book, I was more than ready to jump back into all that is Under. Here Aon is a very different version of the Warlock Lydia originally fell for and Lydia had now metamorphed into what she always was meant to the mother of monsters. In a bizarre turnabout of events, Edu is now one of Lydia’s most staunchest allies and Aon seems to be a power-hungry despot with a god complex. Aon’s most earnest wish along with the ancients is that Lydia takes her place at his side as his Queen. All he remembers from his five thousand years as the mad warlock is his connection to Lydia and how much he still adores her. I raced through this and there were times I just felt so sorry for Aon. His actions were despicable and those of a tyrant but he really just lacked the ability to connect to others in this instalment he was a much more ancient and colder version of himself. I also found that the heat factor was cranked up slightly here and I for one really appreciated that. The King of None is very much a battle of wills between Lydia and Aon and they went head to head often throughout this. I am looking forward to finally reaching their end game in the final volume to come. This was so well written and engaging as expected. I am very much ready now for them to arrive at there final destination.

I voluntary reviewed a copy of King of None (The Masks of Under #5).

The sun was rising in Under for the first time in five thousand years. The chirping insects in the trees had gone silent. In fact, everything went quiet like after a snowstorm. The world itself was holding its breath and waiting to see what might happen next. Lydia turned and squinted, raising her hand to shield her eyes as she watched the horizon turn ruddy colors of crimson and amber. She had become so used to the dark. She never thought she’d see sunlight again. It was beautiful, and it was horrifying for what it represented. The Ancients were free. All bets were off. Aon turned her back around to face him. He held her to him suddenly, hugging her to his frame in desperation. “Forgive me, please, forgive me,” he begged, his voice low and frantic. “I could not let you remain at the bottom of that cursed lake. I could not let you be taken from me a second time. I could not live in this world without you. I…I burned it all down.” Lydia reached up and cradled his head in her hands and kissed him. Tears were still slipping silently down his cheeks, and his lips tasted salty with them. He leaned into her touch like a man who felt this was goodbye. She had no platitudes to give him. There was nothing she could say to make this better. She had no idea what was going to happen. Saying it was okay would be a bold-faced lie. “I love you,” she said as she broke the kiss. “No matter what happens, Aon. I love you.” She tilted his head down to rest his forehead against hers. He was still holding her to him like a vise, as if something was about to tear her away. Maybe something was. His shoulders caved in toward her, as he seemed to be pressed by some heavy emotional weight. “For those words, I would destroy all of creation again and again. I will cherish them until the day they allow me to die. I thank you for that gift, Lydia, my dragonfly. But I know it shall not last. Your heart will change.” “What?” She tilted his face back to look at her. His spilled-ink eyes were searching hers, flicking back and forth. “They are coming for me, my love. And when they do—” He cringed, his face contorting in a painful memory. He turned away from her, as if ashamed. “What? What’ll happen?” She turned him back to her. He was trying to hide from her. The light from behind them—of the rising sun—was growing bright as it peeked up over the horizon. She felt as though it was a ticking clock. The sands of an hourglass were running low. “No,” he insisted, as if she weren’t listening. He held on to her, his fingers twisting in the fabric of her wet coat. “I was never human, Lydia. They…they made me. I am their Adam. I am their golem.” “All of you—all the rest of you, even Edu and the others, were taken from Earth. They were all once human. I never was. I am their only son. They made me. They will come for me. They will never let me be free.” Like ice, a shiver ran down her spine. That was what they had called him—their only son. “I don’t care. I don’t care what you are.” He laughed cruelly. “You will. You will when you see what they made. I never wished to rule this world, Lydia. I never wished to be the King of All. I never wanted the throne. I never desired anyone to kneel at my feet.” He was becoming frantic, terrified. She had never seen him like this. Not once. “Aon, you’re scaring me.” He interrupted her, trying to say as much as he could in the little time they had left. “The royals all hated me and suspected me. They all despise my very nature and have done so long before the Great War. Their passionate hatred ran deeper than any of my misdeeds. Their mistrust was intrinsic. You noticed, surely you did.” Yes. She had. Everyone hated Aon, and she couldn’t ever figure out why everyone who came out of the lake of blood had a deep aversion to him. She could only nod. “But they could not remember why they despised me. They could not remember why they would rail against me at every turn. They could not remember the old days. I do not blame them—I chose not to remember either.” Lydia swallowed the lump in her throat. “Why, Aon?” A weary kind of acceptance came over him as he looked up at the sunlight behind her. All fear faded away from him. A man on the gallows, accepting the noose even as it slid around his neck. “I did not want the throne, for that is what I gave up so long ago.” There was an odd sound behind her. It was like a weird, quiet roar. She turned her head, and her eyes went wide. There on the horizon, creeping closer, was a cloud. Or a wave. It took her a long moment to realize what she was looking at. The shifting gray and beige mass seemed pushed forward or rolling over itself as it moved closer. It didn’t look like it was moving that fast, but it was far away. It was a sandstorm. “Aon, we have to go.” She twisted in his grasp and reached out to take his hand. He slipped away from her and backed up a step. She turned to look at him, confused and afraid. “Aon?” “They have already come for me.” His voice was a horrified whisper. He winced, as if something had stabbed him. “Of course, they have. You must run.” His face warped in pain again, and he shuddered. He put his hand to his face, as if an icepick had been driven home through his temple. “They speak to me, even now.” Lydia took a step toward him, reaching out. No, they couldn’t take him too. He growled and with both hands snatched her by the shoulders. His eyes met hers, and she watched as he changed. Nothing about him warped. His face was the same. But like an actor playing a role… The fear drained from his face, and he was smiling down at her. Faint and gentle. Like a slow cloud passing over the moon, she watched another man take his place. There was no wicked glee in his eyes. No twisted smirk. This man was looking at her, awed and amazed, as if he had never seen her before. He lifted his metal hand to touch her face, and he recoiled from the sight of his own clawed gauntlet as if it were foreign to him. His face suddenly drew up in agony, and he grabbed his head with both hands. “No! No! Leave her be. Do not touch her! She is not yours!” he howled at the voices that must be wracking him. “Aon, please—what’s happening?” “Run, my dragonfly. Run. You must go!”  Lydia took another step toward him, and this time he pushed her away with both hands. She staggered and nearly fell to the ground. He was looking at her with such twisted agony and fear, her heart shattered in her chest. “You do not know what the royals had come to hate. You have come to love a shattered, broken thing. A mirror with so many pieces missing—so many shards that I thought I had lost. I did not lose them. They were never there. They could not make me whole. They tried. But even they cannot make a soul. So instead, they hold me together. They plug the pieces. They will possess me to make me whole, Lydia. You must run to the farthest, darkest corner of this world!” “Hide from the Ancients? This is their world. There’s nowhere I can go!” Aon took another step away from her, toward the oncoming sandstorm. Even as she watched, it was as though he were struggling to keep hold of himself. That someone else was surging forward to take control. He placed his hands over his face, let out a low moan of pain, curled in on himself, and then stilled. As he straightened, he let his hands calmly fall to his sides. The look on his face was unlike any she had ever seen from him. It was dark and regal. A small, cruel smile decorated him as he watched her with a calm fascination. It was sinister, but it wasn’t devilish. This man promised a very different kind of pain. This man had a face of stone, free of the fast and vivid expressions she had known from Aon. Whoever he was…this was not the warlock she knew. He took a step toward her slowly, and she found herself rooted to the spot. She felt so small in front of this man, whoever he was, whatever had become of him. The feeling of his power filled the air around him and left her stunned. “No, you must not run from them.” His voice was cold. He closed the distance between them and lifted his flesh and blood hand to run the backs of his fingers down her cheek. She shuddered at the touch. “You must run and hide from me.” “Aon—” His lips against hers silenced her. Her stomach fell off a mountain at the embrace. She had kissed him a hundred times, but he felt like a stranger. Aon was passionate, a fiend with an insatiable hunger. What she felt now was…control. Cold and hard and demanding. Bending her to his will, even as she felt her stomach twist in an excitement and fear she knew quite well. He slowly broke the kiss, his lips still curled into a smile as his warm breath washed against her. He drifted his face slowly to her ear to whisper to her. She was shivering, trembling, and overwrought. His voice was like cold water down her spine.  “Run and let me chase you…” With that, he stepped away, pacing backward. She had been so frozen, so afraid, so caught up in what had happened to him, that she hadn’t noticed that the storm was on top of them now. She looked up at the wall of sand as it threatened to break over them like a wave. Aon—or whoever he was now—lifted his arms at his sides as if to accept it. As if calling her to him. Lydia didn’t even have the time to scream before the storm hit her. Bits and pieces of tiny rocks sliced at her skin as she did her best to hide her face. She threw her arm over her eyes and felt the wind and sand whipping at her. Lydia had never experienced anything like this. It was painful—it was disorienting. She felt tossed around in a washing machine, the sudden blast instantly removing any sense she had of left and right, up or down. It felt like a cheese grater was running against every piece of exposed skin she had.  “Q, help!” she screamed into the roar of the wind, burying her face in the collar of her coat to try to keep the sand out of her mouth. It didn’t work. The grit was instant, and she tried not to cough and inhale more. The storm knocked her off her feet, sending her tumbling to the ground. It wasn’t grass that she met; it was more sand. It was already inches deep, judging by how far her hands sank into the surface as she tried to push herself back up to standing. Lydia was forced to close her eyes. There was nothing to see in the raging sandstorm anyway. She got back up to her feet. Q, help me! she shouted silently into her mind. There was still no response. For a second time, the wind and the sand knocked her back down to her knees. The pieces of stone in the air were cutting at her. She knew she was bleeding. This had to stop. She dug her hands into the sand near her knees and did the first thing she could think of. She was the Mother of Monsters. Time to make it count for something. There was a roar and a rumble from next to her, and she felt the biting sand lessen and then stop. Something had burst up from the ground and moved around her. Rather, it moved over her. It was the size of a school bus and had been the first thing she could think of to summon from her mind. As it reared up over her, she watched as it shifted its body. It was a huge, armadillo-esque creature with large panels that covered it like a suit of armor. It dropped the plates to the ground, warping its limbs to create a shield around them both. It was now a giant…armadillo dome, igloo, thing. Armadigloo? It had made a protective cave around her, with its vulnerable body now inside the shelter of its exoskeleton. The sound of the storm was blotted out as the creature shuffled into the sand a bit further. Its head was over her, and it peered at her curiously, barely visible in the darkness. The giant creature had appeared in a blink of an eye. She had willed it into existence in a moment of need. She’d be in awe of that revelation when she wasn’t bleeding from a thousand tiny scratches along her face and anywhere that hadn’t been protected from the storm. “Thanks,” she said to it and put her hand on its leg nearest to her. It merely yawned broadly in response. It was hunkered down to ride out the storm already, and she knew it couldn’t speak anyway. These things were just beasts, like that creature with the lantern she had made. Light that was leaking in through the gaps in the panels of its armor provided her only ability to see. It was incredibly bright outside, even through the darkness of the sandstorm. Lydia stripped off her coat. It had been soaked, and now it was covered in wet sand. She tossed it to the ground and—oh.  There was writing on her arms. Turquoise marks traced down from her shoulders in square spirals. They created an almost Aztec-looking pattern out of the esoteric, occult writing. She had worn a low-cut dress to the celebration that had ended so poorly, and she could see a line of the same turquoise writing running straight down the middle of her chest. She peeked, and sure enough, it ran all the way down to her navel. There were two other lines on her torso, running down her sides. Through the slices and rips in her leggings put there by the storm, she could see more writing on her legs. Where had the ink come from? Why’re these things here now? The realization hit her like a brick. She sank down to the sand as she felt as though her heart had been ripped out of her chest. Q hadn’t answered her cry for help. In fact, she hadn’t heard from the snake at all since she had gone into the pool that third time because of Rxa. She hadn’t had any time to think about it. Everything was happening too damn fast. Lydia looked down at the marks on her arms and ran her fingers along a line of them. Q had only ever been inside her head. He was her manifestation of her power, keeping it separate from her own mind. He was an imaginary friend made to help her cope with what had happened after Edu had killed her. A traumatized mind, seeking the only shelter it could. Something about her visit with the Ancients had changed all that. Rxa had been right. She had been forced to her knees before those horrible creatures, and now… Lydia put her head in her hands and felt tears start to form. Ever since coming to Under, she had always had someone there to help her. Nick, Lyon, Evie, Aon, Q—they had all been there to support her, to offer her solace, assistance, or friendship. But they were all gone now. Aon. What she had just seen hadn’t been the warlock she knew. Hadn’t been the man she loved. He was cold. Austere. Dangerous, yes. But in a very different way. What had the Ancients done to him? What was he now? He had told her to run so that he could chase her. He wanted her to be his prey. The thought made her shudder. As terrifying as Aon had always been, it had never been like this before. Even when she had first met him, something told her he had only ever been playing games. This man, whoever he was, whether her Aon was buried somewhere deep inside or not—something told her he didn’t mess around. Now, even Q was gone. Her imaginary companion. Her voice of reason, her guiding cynical snake. Even if he was just a manifestation of herself—some part of her with the volume turned up—he had become precious to her. Tears ran down her cheeks, and she let herself cry. She let herself sit there in the sand, with this giant armadillo-gone-cave around her to protect them both from the raging sandstorm outside. The weather aptly reflected how she felt.     Kat has always been a storyteller. With ten years in script-writing for performances on both the stage and for tourism, she has always been writing in one form or another. When she isn’t penning down fiction, she works as Creative Director for a company that designs and builds large-scale interactive adventure games. There, she is the lead concept designer, handling everything from game and set design, to audio and lighting, to illustration and script writing. Also on her list of skills are artistic direction, scenic painting and props, special effects, and electronics. A graduate of Boston University with a BFA in Theatre Design, she has a passion for unique, creative, and unconventional experiences. In her spare time, she builds animatronics and takes trapeze classes.

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ARK BOOK REVIEW

Release Date-July 2nd 2019
Genre-Romantic Psychological Thriller
Kindle Edition-280 pages

To most people, suburbia is synonymous with good school districts, manicured lawns, and friendly neighbors. But you can never really tell what’s hiding behind those white picket fences and smiling faces.

I mean, we all have secrets. The kid down the street steals lawn gnomes. The woman on the corner is having an affair. And me? I’m a murderer. At least…that’s what everyone thinks.

Because that’s the other thing about the suburbs. Rumors spread like wildfire. Handsome detectives start poking around. Houses explode. You know…the usual.

Yes, I have secrets. But so does everyone else. Welcome to suburbia. I’m one of the smiling faces waving from my front porch. Don’t you trust me?

MY REVIEW

Sweet Like a Psycho by Ivy Smoak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great read, twisted and unique just like I like them and though this for me didn’t have quite the impact of its predecessor in this loosely connected series it was still a really enjoyable experience. So first loved the title it really caught my attention and I would have wanted to read it for that reason alone. I also thought the cover on this one was especially eye-catching. This was a standalone read that is very loosely connected to “The Truth in our lies”. I say connected but basically, all that means is this starts at the end of that book and it is set in the same town and neighbourhood. I myself would have prefered if this was more connected to the other but that’s just my own personal preference. This was about totally different characters and if I had to describe where this fits in terms of genres I would say this was a romantic suspense / psychological thriller. More slanted towards the psychological as this was all about the intrigue and the romantic scenes were more PG 13. Told in dual POV this story featured Violet who lives out in the woods with her son Zeke and cop Tucker. The whole town whispers about Violet finding her strange and unusual. She definitely has secrets and when a local detective Tucker starts to dig into her past believing her connected to a case and then later starts to fall for her refusing to let her push him away well let’s just hope for his sake the rumours concerning Violets tendencies are just that fiction. This also dealt with OCD and compulsions which was also really fascinating. This really was such an easy read that kept me entertained throughout. An observation from my camp I really didn’t like the friend Damien he was such a judgemental idiot and thought Tucker should have told him to shut his trap. Lastly, I adored that finale.

I voluntary reviewed a copy of Sweet Like a Psycho.

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

Series: South Side Sinners MC #1 Authors: BT Urruela and CD Bradley  Release Date: July 2, 2019
Cover Design: FuriousFotog Dimitri King is a killer … and an addict. Born into one of the most ruthless motorcycle clubs that ever ran the streets of St Louis, the only life he has ever known is destroying him from the inside out. A lifetime of trauma, bad decisions, and heinous violence has left him on the brink of complete disaster, but one mission will change everything.
Annalise Hale, daughter of Senator Ronald Hale, is the prima ballerina of the St. Louis Ballet. The picture-perfect trophy from afar, her life is a delicate facade that hides unspeakable pain.

All she wanted was to escape. She never dreamed of this. Blameless in her father’s crimes, she is caught up like an exquisite pawn when the Sinners take her. Face-to-face with Dimitri King, like two sides of the same broken mirror, they have scars so deep, pain is the only feeling they know. A match made in heaven but forged in hell, will they find their wounds fit together to create something beautiful or will the sins of their pasts be too great to overcome?

MY REVIEW

King’s Ransom by B.T. Urruela
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

King’s Ransom was my first experience with these authors. A collaboration that as a book did work, it flowed seamlessly and it certainly wasn’t apparent to me that this had been written by two separate individuals. It was well written and I did enjoy myself but there was just something missing slightly. So this was a story of two broken individuals that find each other in some very difficult circumstances and though are two main characters here seem poles apart in life and experience there actually more alike than they first think. Both answer solely to outside expectations and though their coping mechanisms tend to differ slightly one dance the other drink and drugs there overall core experiences have left them missing a piece of themselves. This is the story of Annalise and Dimitri, the former a prima ballerina with the St Louis Ballet and the Latter a member of a notorious MC gang The South Side Sinners. This pair’s destinies collide when Annalise gets caught in the crosshairs between The Sinners and her corrupt father Senator Hale. with her father owing the Sinners a debt they take Annalise as collateral and Dimitri makes it his mission to keep Annalise who he sees as an innocent safe from others in his MC who would do her harm. Now I love a good MC romance me but I think my main complaint with this one was that through the beginning and end were relatively fast-moving the main chunk of this in the middle seemed quite slow. Not much happened but a whole lot of talking and I did get a tad bored because of this. There was also for me, not enough romance between our two mains and while I don’t mind a slow burn there just wasn’t really any sexy times here for me to sink my teeth into. Also, the last few chapters here left me slightly sceptical as in Annalise metamorphosing into Annie Oakley despite never even picking up a gun before. I also didn’t like how the abuse she suffered was never verbally discussed with Dimitri I felt there should have been at least a few words between the two discussing these events. So despite the MC setting, this is not a dark romance, the romance side of things here is actually very sweet indeed and is quite heartfelt with a lot of verbal emotion. This is more what I would describe as Romantic suspense with some dark elements. The dark being the subject matter dealt with here and all the death and Mayhem involved and there’s a lot of that. So on reflection, this though not a full-house for me still had far more positives than negatives overall and I did find it an enjoyable experience.

I voluntary reviewed a copy of King’s Ransom.

BT Urruela is a combat wounded amputee, purple heart recipient, contemporary author who has written both independent and traditionally published books. He is a RARE under 40 award recipient, Co-founder and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, People Magazine Tribute for Heroes winner, Cover Model, Motivational Speaker and Philanthropist. He lives in Florida with his two dogs, Kiko and Scout.

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I’m just a girl who likes to daydream and sometimes I write them down to share. Growing up, the literary world was my safe haven. A wonderful place of fantasy beyond the bounds of reality. As an adult, I put that behind me to practice medicine. My husband and I owned our own practice, had two children, and lived a somewhat normal life. Fate had other plans. In the span of a year, we sold our practice, bought a 96 acre farm in the hills of West Virginia, and adopted 3 of our patients (ages 1,3, and4). It has been an adventure of ups and downs and learning to laugh at ourselves. Yet, somewhere in the midst of kids, chickens, and toothpaste covered dogs, I began to write again. My late night / early morning escape lets me dream beyond all limits. I hope that you will enjoy the journey of the stories as much as I have writing them.

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ARC REVIEW

Release Date-January 27th 2017
Genre-Paranormal Romance
Kindle Edition-260 pages

HE WANTS TO OWN HER. King doesn’t recall dying and he definitely doesn’t recall this feisty woman Mia who claims to be his wife. But he’s happy to make her his if she’ll be obedient and loyal. After all, a king needs a queen, and now that he’s back from the dead, this evil billionaire has big plans.

SHE WANTS HIM DEAD. Mia Turner made painful sacrifices to save the love of her life from his cursed hell. So when he promised to love and protect her always, she believed him. But after he trades his life to save his brother, she’s left all alone with a baby and a broken heart. Until he returns. Evil, more powerful, and with absolutely no memory of her.
Can she find a way to bring back the man he once was, or will she have to send him back to hell?

MY REVIEW

The Ten Club by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So this was the final part of this series, the overall conclusion if you will and if I am being honest here I really think King and Mia’s personal story should have concluded at the end of book three. I was happy with how we had originally left things there and with what happened in the fourth book and then this I just felt a deep well of sadness for them both. This was full of action and intrigue but I just felt there was something missing. I also felt that Mack and teddys HEA was taken at the expense of Mia and kings and then later that Mia’s was then taken at the expanse of King and him not being able to be totally who he is with her. That she wanted the fairytale rather than the man with so many shades. The ending here didn’t give me the closure I was after and it was a really bittersweet pill to take especially with King still keeping secrets from Mia. A starcrossed soul-mate story to me has something missing if one mate doesn’t except the other completely flaws and all. Despite the above, I did finish this and though not my favourite of the series this was well written and engaging just not completely to my taste.

I still rank this series overall very highly and It is one I do recommend giving a bash.

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

ARC REVIEW

Release Date-February 15th 2016
Genre-Paranormal Romance
Kindle Edition-262 pages

“THEY THINK KING IS EVIL, BUT HE’S GOT NOTHING ON ME.” -Mack

MY NAME IS MACK. And if I play my cards right, I will soon be dead. Permanently. Not even my powerful twin brother will be able to resurrect me. A good thing. Because a man like me has no business living. Not when I have killed. Not when I have betrayed everyone I have ever cared for. Not when I know I’m destined to do it again.

This is why I have come looking for her–the only one capable of ending me once and for all. But will she think I’m just another insane patient? Or will she believe the truth? I am thousands of years old, my heart too dark to be salvaged. And my name isn’t really Mack. ~~~

MY NAME IS TEDDI, short for Theodora. My entire life has been a canvas of grays, whites, and black. I can’t feel, I can’t understand joy, I’ve never truly lived. Until now. His name is Mack, and though he believes he’s cursed, my degree in psychology tells me otherwise. Besides, someone who’s capable of bringing so much light into my life can’t be anything but good.

But I can save him. If he’ll let me.

Mack by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So this is book four and the continuation of this enthralling series. This time we are focused on Mack and we learn the truth behind his journey of pain and misery. Just like King Mack is also cursed. Cursed with a compulsion to kill the one he loves most and then suffer the horrendous guilt and regret that follows. In book three we discovered just where Mack slots into the puzzle in regards to King and just how much he cares for him and also the whys behind this affection. Here through a series of flashbacks, we get to experience the reasons for Macks brokenness. We are also introduced to Theodora a girl living with a condition that prevents her emotions from functioning like others. That is until her she looks into Macks striking Blue eyes and BAM!!! she suddenly feels. But with these new emotions come a whole new set of problems and as this counted down to that shocking final end-game my heart was in my mouth. I ran the gauntlet of every conceivable emotion here and got to say this really was a page-turner. A couple of things here did stop this being a full sweep for me, well mainly the Talia thing and also King’s totally illogical behaviour and actions towards Theodora both past and present. But despite them niggles the rest was as usual jaw-dropping and that finale pure magic. I also prefered the fact that this was dual POV, unlike previous books where we mostly got single. So four down one to go and as much as I am so looking forward to concluding this journey I will also be equally sad leaving all these complex characters behind at the finish.

Highly recommend this series it certainly is unpredictable and one that is really hard to put down.

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

Title: Sweet Like a Psycho

Author: Ivy Smoak

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: July 2, 2019

Blurb

To most people, suburbia is synonymous with good school districts, manicured lawns, and friendly neighbours. But you can never really tell what’s hiding behind those white picket fences and smiling faces.

I mean, we all have secrets. The kid down the street steals lawn gnomes. The woman on the corner is having an affair. And me? I’m a murderer. At least…that’s what everyone thinks.

Because that’s the other thing about the suburbs. Rumors spread like wildfire. Handsome detectives start poking around. Houses explode. You know…the usual. 

Yes, I have secrets. But so does everyone else. Welcome to suburbia. I’m one of the smiling faces waving from my front porch. Don’t you trust me? 

MY REVIEW

Sweet Like a Psycho by Ivy Smoak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great read, twisted and unique just like I like them and though this for me didn’t have quite the impact of its predecessor in this loosely connected series it was still a really enjoyable experience. So first loved the title it really caught my attention and I would have wanted to read it for that reason alone. I also thought the cover on this one was especially eye-catching. This was a standalone read that is very loosely connected to “The Truth in our lies”. I say connected but basically, all that means is this starts at the end of that book and it is set in the same town and neighbourhood. I myself would have prefered if this was more connected to the other but that’s just my own personal preference. This was about totally different characters and if I had to describe where this fits in terms of genres I would say this was a romantic suspense / Psychological thriller. More slanted towards the psychological as this was all about the intrigue and the romantic scenes were more PG 13. Told in dual POV this story featured Violet who lives out in the woods with her son Zeke and cop Tucker. The whole town whispers about Violet finding her strange and unusual. She definitely has secrets and when a local detective Tucker starts to dig into her past believing her connected to a case and then later starts to fall for her refusing to let her push him away well let’s just hope for his sake the rumours concerning Violets tendencies are just that fiction. This also dealt with OCD and compulsions which was also really fascinating. This really was such an easy read that kept me entertained throughout. An observation from my camp I really didn’t like the friend Damien he was such a judgemental idiot and thought Tucker should have told him to shut his trap. Lastly, I adored that finale.

I voluntary reviewed a copy of Sweet Like a Psycho.

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Excerpt

I locked the door and then just stared at it. God, I just lied to a detective. Why the hell did I just lie to a detective? It had felt right in the moment. But as soon as the words left my mouth I regretted them. I could have told him about the woman running through the woods. I could have pointed him in the direction that she had fled. I could have given him every detail he wanted and gotten him out of my hair.

But instead I lied. I shook my head. He hadn’t left me with much of a choice. I couldn’t have the cops poking around in the woods. I couldn’t have them running all around my property with police dogs and metal detectors and whatever else cops used in the search for a criminal. What if they found something? I couldn’t risk it.

I bit the inside of my cheek. Had the detective known I was lying? It looked like he did. Like he could easily see right through me. Shit shit shit.

“It wasn’t a big lie,” I said into the empty room. “It was a little white lie. A nothing lie. There are no consequences for a nothing lie.” Right?

I should have run back upstairs to finish what I had started just in case he came back, but instead I found myself pushing my ear against the door. There was no squeak of floorboards or crunch of leaves. I closed my eyes and tried to listen. The silence was incredibly loud as I pressed the side of my face harder against the wooden door.

Detective Reed’s gaze had been so intense. It felt like he had locked me in place when he was staring at me. Like I could barely even breathe. Does he feel as frozen as me right now?

I moved away from the door. Of course he didn’t. There was no way that he was as affected by our meeting as I was. It was his job to make me feel frozen. For his eyes to bore into my soul, see my darkest sins, and to travel down my body…I shook my head. No. That was most certainly not his job. But he had done that, right? I hadn’t imagined it?

I swallowed down the lump in my throat. All my nerves were on hyperdrive. The only man I had interacted with recently was mailman Joe. And he was like seventy. This was a normal response to a man my own age. Especially one who looked like Detective Reed. I glanced down at the business card in my hand. Detective Tucker Reed.

I tiptoed to the window in the living room and peered through a gap in the curtains. I expected to see him retreating through the woods, but he was just standing there. Staring at the door. Frozen. I could feel my pulse beating in my head. I hadn’t imagined it. He had been looking at me. Really looking. And it didn’t seem like it was purely for detective reasons.

I let myself stare unabashedly at him from behind the safety of the curtain. He didn’t look how I expected a detective to look. Beer bellies and mustaches were the dominant features of the detectives in my mind. But he was most certainly not like the detectives I pictured in my head. He was wearing a formfitting wool jacket that was undoubtedly not hiding a huge stomach. If anything it was probably covering perfect six pack abs. I glanced down at his left hand. There was no ring on his finger. Hot and single. I was good at smelling trouble a mile away. And Detective Reed was most certainly trouble. After all, he was clearly the reason I had lied. I couldn’t think straight when a man with a chiseled jaw, five-o’clock shadow, piercing brown eyes, and a deep sexy voice was staring right at me.

Yes, he was the reason I had lied. He had made me act poorly. It was all his fault. Jerk.

He turned his head and I threw myself down onto the floor. Ow. I cradled my elbow that had just whacked the hardwood floors.

When I peered back out the window, the detective was gone. And a part of me wondered if I had imagined him. 

Author Bio

Ivy Smoak is the Amazon bestselling author of The Hunted series. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge-watching too many TV shows, taking long walks, playing outside, and generally refusing to act like an adult. She lives with her husband in Delaware. 

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ARC REVIEW

Release Date-June 18th 2019
Genre- Dark Romance
Kindle Edition

They are the Fallen. A brotherhood of murderers whose nature compels them to kill. But guided by their leader, Gabriel, the Fallen have learned to use their urges to rid the world of those it is better off without.

For Raphael, sex and death are intertwined. Where there is one, there must be the other. He is a lust killer, luring his victims with the face of an angel and a body built for sin.

And Raphael lives to sin.

His newest mission takes him into the sadistic underworld of Boston’s secret sex clubs, and puts him face to face with his greatest fantasy made flesh.

Maria is everything he’s ever dreamed of, the kill he’s always longed for. She’s not his target. And he knows he must resist. But the temptation is too strong…

Yet Raphael is not the only one with a mission. Maria is not quite what she seems. And as her secrets and Raphael’s unravel, Maria begins to question everything she thought she knew—about evil, about the place she calls home, and about the beautiful sinner she was sent to destroy.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains sexual situations, violence, sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and topics some may find triggering. Recommended for age 18 years and up.

The Fallen: Genesis a prequel novella in The Deadly Virtues Series and MUST be read before RAPHAEL (DV: book one). 

MY REVIEW

Raphael by Tillie Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow just wow, I absolutely inhaled this book, I mean I was expecting great things here but this surpassed all my exceptions with its addictive and unique storyline and I can’t wait for the next one in this series to release so I can continue my onward journey alongside the Fallen and The Brethren. We are originally introduced to “The Fallen” in the prequel to this, so you really do need to read that before this just to get a heads up into the way this world has been set up. This one concentrates on Raphael and Maria it’s dark, depraved and twisted from the onset. Just how I like them The reality that we face here is so far from the normally accepted view of what is morally right but Gabriel The Fallens kind of self-appointed priest has put in place a set of tenent’s to protect not only the innocent but to also shield his brothers while also sating their inner monsters by setting them free on those that he feels deserve there particular type of justice. So Maria manages to get herself caught in the crosshairs of both The Fallen and The Brethren, sort of collateral damage if you will. The dance then between her and Raphael was just so intense from the minute he lays eyes on her he knows shes it and the commandments hes lived by up until now take second place to his new obsession, his Rose. This was a battle between light and dark and Raphael to me was all about contrasts. Take Raph’s Roses the similarities there were in the way he nurtures and coax’s them to full bloom before plucking the flower and the way he views his Rose. The same hands that seem to deliver both life and death. Raphael’s own internal image of love has been completely warped by his past affecting all his interactions beyond what’s considered normal and Maria’s own dark past has also damaged her leaving her very susceptive to Raphael’s unique brand of care. This was everything I adore in a new series and I was gripped and invested instantly. The ongoing battle with the Brethren was nicely continued and set-up for future story growth and I can’t wait to see what this author has in store for us. Highly recommend this one especially if you like them dark and unusual on that front this one delivers in spades, bring on the next.

I voluntary reviewed a copy of Raphael (Deadly Virtues, #1).

 AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

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