Review: Blood on Poinsettia (Serial Investigations) by Rhiannon D’Averc

book review banner copy

blood on poinsettia sic1

Will and Ram have survived everything JM Coil could throw at them – and everything they could do to themselves.

But now, Serial Investigations London face their first Christmas apart in years. Will’s in rehab and Ram is stuck at home, wishing his favourite person in the world was by his side – and wondering how he can keep a roof over their heads with no money coming in.

Join the boys for a Christmas interlude in this novella, set between the events of Blood Sport and Blood Diamond. With no crimes or cases, get to know them – and their feelings for each other – a bit better before jumping back into the action.

Haven’t read Blood Sport yet? This book contains spoiler for books 1 – 5 in the Serial Investigations series. Make sure you catch up before you dive in!

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: Blood on Poinsettia (Serial Investigations) by Rhiannon D’Averc


Review

*I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 5 stars

After the events of Blood Sport, Will and Ram are now faced with being apart at Christmas. With both of them having acknowledged their feelings for the other, it is especially hard and despite the separation they try to find a way to let the other know that they are still thinking of them.

Blood on Poinsettia is a very sweet and touching novella set in the Serial Investigations universe. It focuses mainly on the fallout from Blood Sport. Whilst it does not include an investigation, it builds on the character development of Will and Ram as well as the relationship between them. The result is a very heart-warming and moving read. I just love these guys so much. They both have their own inner demons and struggles that they are doing their best to overcome, not just for themselves now but each other too.

I loved how the other was constantly in their thoughts and the ending was poignant and with hope for the future between them. If you enjoyed the Serial Investigations books then you will love this addition to the series!

Review: When The Gods War (A Kingdom Divided #2) by S.C. Stokes

book review banner copy

34329977._SX318_

Drought, desperation, deliverance.

Yaneera is the youngest Empress in the history of Andara. With her land in turmoil, she must use her wit and cunning just to stay alive. Severe drought has brought with it famine, starvation and death. As her people waver on the verge of open rebellion, Yaneera must deliver them or perish at their hand.

Andara’s struggles have not gone unnoticed. Neighbouring kingdoms stand ready to deliver the killing blow.

As chaos erupts across the land a stranger appears in the Empress’ court. Preaching the presence of a new God, Mythos, the newcomer promises deliverance for Yaneera and her people.

Mythos power is not without price, and Yaneera soon finds herself facing a crisis of conscience. . .

Will she sell her soul to save her people?

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: When the Gods War 


Review

*I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

Yaneera, the young Empress of Andara, faces a dilemma. With drought, starvation and death ravaging her Kingdom, she must choose between aligning herself with a stranger who brings promise of salvation or risk a rebellion of her own citizens. With neighbouring Kingdoms’ seeking to turn Andara’s crisis into their opportunity, no matter what Yaneera does war will be an inevitable outcome.

When The Gods War surprised me when I first started reading it. I expected it to pick up with the characters from book one but instead I was drawn into the struggles of Andara and its empress. The author’s world is incredibly in-depth and developed. A lot of time is taken to set each scene and explain the Kingdoms that have been created. I really felt for Yaneera and the crisis that she was facing. Her choices were impossible and all she really wanted was to do the best for her people.

As much as I enjoyed reading the second book from different perspectives, I was also happy to see more from Tristan, Syrion and Elaina. The latter two characters have their own storylines which unfold alongside the main theme of the novel. Both characters continue to develop and I look forward to reading more about them in future instalments of the series.

If you enjoy a rich, well-crafted fantasy novel with an interesting and complex array of characters then I recommend When the Gods War!

Blog Tour and Review: In Strange Woods by Claire Cray

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: In Strange Woods

Author: Claire Cray

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: August 28, 2020

Cover Artist: Sneaky T

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romantic Mystery, M/M Gothic Romance

Trope/s: Instant attraction, Hurt comfort, Tortured protagonist, Family secret,

Long lost relative, Country boy/City boy, Rural romance, Fish out of water

Themes: Healing, Found family, Redemption, Heritage, Belonging, Homecoming

Heat Rating: 3 – 4 flames

Length: 71 370 words /204 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

In the stormy coastal woods of the Pacific Northwest, roots run deep and passions run wild.

Blurb

Reeling with grief after the mysterious massacre of his wealthy family, moody New York photographer James Worthington Crane decides to take his downward spiral somewhere far away: to the rural Oregon Coast, where he’s just inherited a random piece of property hidden somewhere in the woods upriver.

But when James pulls into the decaying seaside town of Brooks, everyone thinks he’s someone else—an elusive local outlaw named Beau. Now James must fight through his grief to unravel a tangled web of family secrets and forgotten history…with help from a soft-spoken local hunk named Hunter Quaid.

Hunter’s been on his own since he left his fundamentalist family at the age of fifteen. It’s taken years of hard work to build the steady life he has now, fixing up seaside houses while living alone in a trailer by the river. Then James blows in like a winter storm, disturbing the peace and stirring up a hunger like nothing he’s ever felt.

As Hunter helps James search for the truth, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways—and they begin to discover what it means to find out where you really belong.

Continue reading

Blog Tour and Review: Their Dark Reflections by Amanda Meuwissen

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Their Dark Reflections

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Genre: Dark Paranormal M/M Romance

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, vampire/victim, boss/employee,

thief with a heart of gold, hidden agenda, kind but vicious vampire

Themes: Self-discovery, finding light in the darkness,

embracing one’s darkness, love against all odds

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 70 096 words/204 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Everyone has a second face.

Blurb

Personal assistant Sam Coleman can do it all: housekeeping, groundskeeping, bookkeeping. The catch? It’s a con.

Ed Simon, his newest millionaire boss, doesn’t know Sam Goldman is a Robin Hood for hire who targets rich jerks. Sure, Sam keeps the money for himself, his crew, and his real employers, but at least they only steal from bad people.

Until sweet, fumbling Ed, who doesn’t seem to have a single vice. Too bad the people who hired Sam won’t let him back out. They want Ed’s money, and they’ll hurt Sam and his friends to get it.

For years Ed has kept people at arm’s length, but Sam’s charms wear down his defenses—just as he learns their budding relationship was an act. Sam isn’t who Ed thought he was, but Ed has a dark secret too: he’s a vampire. And someone is framing him for a series of bloody murders.

When the real villains force their hand, Sam and Ed must choose: work together, trust each other, and give in to the feelings growing between them… or let what might have been bleed out like the victims piling at their feet.

Continue reading

#BadMoonRising Never Change (Demon’s Blood) by Shari Sakurai #horror #LGBT #shortstory — Books and Such

What’s Halloween without a few vampires? I’ve been a vampire fan since I watched the original Fright Night – how bad could they be if they looked like Chris Sarandon? Today’s author is no stranger to Bad Moon Rising, and she’s featuring a vampire short story set in her Demon’s Blood series universe. I’ve also […]

#BadMoonRising Never Change (Demon’s Blood) by Shari Sakurai #horror #LGBT #shortstory — Books and Such

Review: The Vanishing by Arjay Lewis

Former NYPD detective Liliana Slavik is still recovering from a nervous breakdown, after a shooting that killed her fiancé and ended her career. Seeking refuge in her peaceful hometown, she soon discovers hundreds of people have disappeared in the Pine Barrens nearby. She becomes determined to fight through her panic attacks, team up with the man who betrayed her, and solve the sinister secret.

Liliana uncovers information about the famed Jersey Devil as well as Native American lore which tells of monsters which haunt the vast New Jersey forests. But, the anxious investigator knows there’s only one way to reveal the truth. She must enter the woods herself…

Can Liliana face and defeat the terror before she becomes the next missing person?

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: The Vanishing


Review

*I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 5 stars

When former NYPD detective Liliana Slavik returns to her hometown after losing her fiancé in the shootout that ended her career, she finds herself becoming involved in investigating a series of strange disappearances in the town. Teaming up with her ex-boyfriend who is now on the local force, Lil soon starts to suspect that there may be a more supernatural explanation for the missing people. That it could be the work of the Jersey Devil.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Vanishing. I’m not familiar with the Jersey Devil story and I went online to find out more before starting to read The Vanishing. I loved how the author weaved the tale into the novel, but with their own spin on it as well.

It has all the ingredients needed to make a truly terrifying tale; a mysterious creature, local legends, missing people, a brave lead with her own inner-demons to overcome and an epic final showdown. This was all put together flawlessly to create one of the best horror stories I have read in recent years. I knew it was going to be good – no great – from the opening scene. A classic horrifying opener in which a man is carried off by the Jersey Devil. It had me gripped from the start and I had to read more.

This is an excellent horror story based on local legends and I highly recommend you putting this on your Halloween TBR list!

Review: The Demons Beneath (D.I. Graves #1) by W.D. Jackson-Smart

When a bloody corpse is discovered in a North London park, Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is the man tasked with finding the killer. With no clues and no suspects it seems like a dead end. Then another body turns up and this time it looks like it could be his fault. Has his investigation caused the murderer to strike again? Is he dealing with a serial killer?

As case one gets ever more complicated, a report comes in of another suspicious death but this is nothing like any other Graves has dealt with. All involved are convinced that something supernatural is to blame. A demon. Daniel is no believer but could he be wrong?

With two cases on his shoulders and the truth behind each beyond his grasp, Graves must race against time before both killers, human or otherwise, strike again.

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: The Demons Beneath (D.I. Graves #1) by W.D. Jackson-Smart


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

D.I Daniel Graves is in the middle of investigating a series of murders that may or may not be the work of serial killer when he is called in on a very different kind of case. An exorcism of a demon that has gone wrong and claimed the life of a husband and father. Quickly Graves finds himself drawn into the supernatural world as he tries to keep a cool head and discover the truth. After all, demons aren’t real. Are they?

I really enjoyed reading the first novel in the D.I Graves series. Both investigations were very different from each other, running concurrently and contrasting nicely. There were plenty of twists to both cases and I couldn’t see the endings coming for either of them. I did prefer the supernatural investigation and I liked how Graves kept a level head throughout his investigations. His approach was calm and logical despite the evidence that he was presented with. As his investigations continued you also got some insight into his background, why he became a policeman and some information his personal life. He is a likeable main character with some insecurities and flaws which make him all the more interesting and I look forward to learning more about him throughout the series.

The novel itself was well-paced. Everything flowed well and there wasn’t any moment of lag. There was a good balance between routine investigation and action. This is a solid first instalment and I look forward to reading further books in the series.

New Release Blitz: The Door and Other Uncanny Tales by Dmetri Kakmi

Title: The Door and Other Uncanny Tales

Author: Dmetri Kakmi

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: September 28, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 46800

Genre: Horror, LGBTQIA+, sci-fi/fantasy, paranormal, horror, family-drama, crime gay, lesbian, demisexual, asexual, art/visual, ghost, body horror, prostitution, murder, abortionist, ancient evil

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Living paintings, spectral children, cannibal serial killers, lost souls, haunted houses, and ancient evil proliferate The Door and Other Uncanny Tales. Everywhere reality and fantasy collapse to create a new unstable world, even the body is not what it seems. Combined with Dmetri Kakmi’s gothic imagination and mordant humor, the result is fiction that is as memorable as it is unsettling.

This collection contains three new and three previously published stories, including the acclaimed Haunting Matilda, The Long Lonely Road and The Boy by the Gate.

Continue reading

What Day is it Anyway? Sunday, 20th September 2020

I cannot remember the last time I did one of these posts. In any case nothing much has got better in the UK, if anything it has got a lot worse. Honestly no one knows what the rules are anymore. Everyone was told to go back out in August to save the economy and given incentives like 50% off food in restaurants. Now all those people who did as they were advised are getting the blame for the rise in virus cases. It’s completely insane. Anyways, I’m just sticking to what I have been doing since it all began. Avoiding shops and any indoor public places. Getting a train only when absolutely necessary. I only see my immediate family now and I doubt that will change as things get worse again. Apparently there is going to be another announcement this week, which will result in more chaos and confusion I am sure!

My sister and nephew came over yesterday and we had a KFC for the first time since January thanks to Deliveroo! It was my nephew’s first time having one and he wasn’t impressed. He ate a few chips and then threw the rest of it to my cat! She was very excited that it had suddenly started raining mini fillet and chips!

I finally bought my air fryer that I have been wanting for a year on Tuesday! It arrived on Thursday but I haven’t been able to rest it yet as I have nothing to fry until my Asda order next Thursday oops! It looks really good though and seems very easy to use which is good!

I’m on Instagram now! A fellow author advised me to check it out and I did, and I love it! Here’s the link to my profile, yet me know yours in the comments so I can follow you back! https://www.instagram.com/shari_sakurai 

Today is going to be a rest day I think. I have a few bits to do on the dreaded ‘to do’ list which gets longer every time I tick something off somehow! Then I’m going to finish building my post office on Animal Crossing!

 

 

New Release Blitz and Review: The Sorcerer’s Guardian (Chronicles of Tournai #4) by Antonia Aquilante

Title: The Sorcerer’s Guardian

Series: Chronicles of Tournai, Book Four

Author: Antonia Aquilante

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: September 14, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 111400

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Fantasy, romance, family-drama, gay, cisgender, magic, cat shifters, magician, captain of the guards, storm, antagonists to lovers, court intrigue

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Savarin honed his Talent through years of study, and to achieve his goal of becoming the most powerful and accomplished sorcerer in Tournai, he made magic his life. Among the wealthy and noble circles he moves in, no one would suspect the handsome, refined, arrogant sorcerer’s humble beginnings—which is how Savarin prefers it. He wants to be seen only as the man he’s made himself. When Tournai’s princes task Savarin with studying and strengthening the spells that protect the principality from magical attack, he is more than happy to do so. The spells are complex, centuries old, and exactly the type of puzzle Savarin is eager to solve. But to his annoyance, the princes insist Loriot accompany him on his journey.

Second son of a minor noble family, Loriot worked his way up the ranks of the royal guard to captain with single-minded determination and takes pride in his service to the crown. He must obey the prince’s orders to protect Savarin, despite believing his skills would be best used elsewhere and his wariness of magic. UnTalented himself, Loriot has learned not only the benefits of magic but also its potential for harm—and how to counter it. He still believes it’s best to avoid most magic entirely, which is difficult when he’s tasked with playing guard to a powerful sorcerer.

Loriot and Savarin clash repeatedly during their journey, but the simmering tension between them doesn’t only stem from their work, and passion develops into feelings neither expected. But Savarin must still secure Tournai’s magical barrier, and his only solution will endanger both him and the royal family.

Continue reading