Review: Aeterna by Kim Bannerman

Aeterna

Vampires have conquered the living world, eradicated human society, and rule an undead empire from their underground palace of Aeterna. No longer forced to hide in the shadows, they build a luxurious metropolis of epicurean excess, savage rituals, and royal lineages, all existing in perfect eternal harmony.

Of Aeterna’s byzantine rites, the Bloodlet is the greatest: a spectacular hunt held once a century to choose which royal house will ascend the throne. But for Marcus Atreidae, the last vampire to be created before the annihilation of mankind, the Bloodlet offers a chance to explore the ruins of a dead city and learn all he can about those creatures of myth and legend: humans.

Barred from participating as punishment for his curiosity, Marcus sneaks to the surface but, when catastrophe strikes, he finds himself trapped amid the dystopian ruins with an unlikely ally — a beautiful and fearless clone named Bo. Together, they discover a web of lies that stretches all the way to Aeterna’s putrid core. Will the truth of Marcus’ own mysterious past set him free? Or will it destroy an empire?

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Aeterna by Kim Bannerman


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

After the cleanse of humanity by their own hands, vampires retreated below the surface to Aeterna, a city paradise that is designed to last an eternity. Every one-hundred years the Bloodlet is held to decide which family will rule over Aeterna. For most it offers power, but for Marcus it is an opportunity. He is the last vampire created and has no memories of his mortal past. The Bloodlet is his chance to go to the surface and explore the world that humans left behind. When the unthinkable happens, Marcus finds himself drawn to Bo, a human clone who, unlike the others, has memories of her past life. Together they must uncover the betrayal than runs deep through Aeterna, whilst learning of their former lives in the process.

I was drawn to reading Aeterna as it offers a different kind of vampire story. Humans have been eradicated, but the undead have found a way to survive. The ingenuity and new world captured my interest, and it certainly did not disappoint. Every detail has been meticulously thought out, which crafts a fully functioning way of life and society.

Our guide through Aeterna, Marcus, is a very likeable and well-developed main character. He lacks the ambition of the majority of his family, and instead craves knowledge and to understand where he came from. His loss of memories was interesting, and I was just as curious as he was to learn more of his past. His origins were fitting of his character and gave a further understanding of what continues to drive him. I enjoyed the developing romance between Marcus and Bo. It was just enough to make it believable and did not distract from the main plot of the story.

If you are looking for a different kind of vampire story, I absolutely recommend Aeterna, and cannot wait to read more books in the series.

New Release Blitz: The Chief by J Calamy

Title: The Chief

Series: Under Red Sky, Book Two

Author: J Calamy

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 11/30/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 93200

Genre: Contemporary Thriller, LGBTQIA+, action/adventure, criminals, consulate, military, foreign service, genderfluid, gender-questioning, bisexual, pansexual, PTSD/post-traumatic stress, Cognitive Disability, TBI survivor, Over 40

Add to Goodreads

Description

Legendary counter-terrorism agent Natalie Chevalier is finally retiring. The first nonbinary Regional Security Chief in DSS history, Nat’s last post lands her on the gorgeous sapphire isle of Sri Lanka. All she wants is a few peaceful months before she retires, and an anonymous hookup with a gorgeous, bisexual surfer is the perfect start. Until Nat learns that he is her final assignment.

Alessandro Benitez travels the world buying gems, surfing, and raising his teenage brother Max. His is a charmed, luxurious life made possible by his position laundering money for Red Sky, the biggest crime syndicate in Southeast Asia. When Alex meets Nat, their scorching encounter leaves him questioning not only his precarious career choice, but also whether his life has been as charmed as he’d thought.

Tasked to spy on him and persuade him to defect by any means necessary, Nat struggles to follow orders as her relationship with Alex heats up, blurring the line between professional and personal. She can’t deny how much she wants to be with him, but helping him means treason and erasing her ceiling-shattering career.

While Red Sky destroys itself from within, Alex becomes trapped in a nightmare as everyone he knows either defects or turns up dead. His loyalty to the elusive boss of Red Sky is absolute, but he’s desperate to escape before he or his brother gets caught in the crossfire. As his world crumbles around him, Alex realizes Nat is the only person he can trust. While Nat’s feelings for Alex grow more complicated, the CIA’s desperate methods to bring down Red Sky call into question everything she once thought she stood for. Now she must expose her dirty boss and get Alex safely out of Red Sky before her reputation and her heart suffer the consequences.

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Monthly Reading List

I cannot believe we are approaching the end of the year! November seems to have just flown by!

I’m still trying to catch up with my reading list, so only two books have been added this month so far. I will add more if I have the time. I am getting more up-to-date now and hope to re-open review submissions in the New Year!

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The seed of evil has been planted …

What will happen when its roots take hold?

Ékleipsis: The Abyss is the second short story collection by the award-winning author.

Tales of depravation and insanity are woven together with unrelenting style and depth, scrutinizing human nature’s degeneration when compromised by tragic, vicious circumstances.

These complex, wretched individuals and the irremediable conditions they are desperate to claw out of—or into—invoke the unfathomable question: What devastation are we truly capable of when left with no way out but down . . . into the obscurity of the abyss?

 

The Shivering Ground

The Shivering Ground blends future and past, earth and otherworldliness, in a magnetic collection that shimmers with art, philosophy, dance, film, and music at its heart.

A haunting medieval song in the mouth of a guard, an 1800s greatcoat on the shoulders of a playwright experiencing a quantum love affair, alien worlds both elsewhere and in the ruined water at our feet: these stories startle us with the richness and emptiness of what we absolutely know and simultaneously cannot pin into place.

In the tender emotions, hidden ecological or relational choices, and the sheer weight of a compelling voice, readers “hear” each story, endlessly together and apart.

Shari Reviews Stuff: Olivia Burton Celestial Galaxy Midi Dial Rose Gold Mesh Watch

image0Purchase Link: https://www.oliviaburton.com/uk/shop-watches/celestial-galaxy-midi-dial-rose-gold-mesh-watch-OB16GD98.html

For me this watch was love at first sight! I was taking part in a watch survey, and this was one of the ones I was asked my opinion on.

The starry image and combination of jewels and shapes are just so perfect together. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it! It is so beautiful and reminds me of Sailor Moon, so I now refer to it as my Sailor Moon watch!

It is light on the wrist, and you can adjust the strap to size. I found this a little difficult to do as you really need a tool to do it (I used a cake fork!). It would have been good if that was included really, but I am sure I can get one from somewhere.

I haven’t had a watch in years so not only do I need to remember to put it on, but actually check it rather than my phone when I am out!

If you are looking for a new watch, I really recommend Olivia Burton watches. They have different ones in the celestial range as well as plenty other beautiful designs to choose from!

Release Blitz and Review: Mongrel by Lee Colgin

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Mongrel

Author: Lee Colgin

Publisher: Colgin Enterprise

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: November 18, 2021

Genre: MM Paranormal Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 76 000 words

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

A misfit wolf

A guilt-ridden vampire

A chilling mystery

Blurb

Mongrel, a creature more wolf than man, leads a lonely life on the fringes of pack society—until the night a handsome vampire shows up with a mysterious request.

Bowie—a vampire cursed to a life of endless nights—maintains close ties with his human family. When young girls in their village go missing, he must act quickly. But to find them, he’ll need to convince the local werewolf pack to loan him their best tracker—a wolf known as the Mongrel.

Though he hates the slur, Andras is used to being called Mongrel. When Bowie refuses to refer to him by anything but his given name, Andras can’t help a flicker of unexpected trust toward the stranger. He volunteers to help Bowie, risking banishment.

Can two tender-hearted men overcome their traumatic pasts and work together to rescue the girls before it’s too late? Or will the world’s most prolific killer snuff the flames of their passion along with the lives of her captives?

***

This steamy love story spans the country of Hungary as Andras and Bowie journey through cities and wilderness on their quest to right a killer’s wicked wrongs. Mongrel features a sweetly possessive werewolf, a cinnamon roll of a vampire, and the worst serial killer in history. A surprisingly fluffy MM Paranormal/Historical Romance considering the subject matter.

HEA guaranteed with loads of laughs along the way and no cliffhanger ending!

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Book Blast: Finding Sarah by Aprille Canniff

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Finding Sarah

Author: Aprille Canniff

Publisher: Fulton Books

Release Date: August 26, 2021

Genre: Romance, F/F Romance

Tropes: Trauma, New Girl in Town

Themes: Internal Struggle, Relationship, Love

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 60 000 words/ 187 pages

The book ends on a cliffhanger. There is a follow-on book coming.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

The past has left her scarred and broken, but does she have the strength to risk her heart on the future?

Blurb

When Sarah steps off the plane in Provincetown, she has only one goal—to leave the past behind her. As she begins her journey of rediscovering herself, she meets one of the town’s deputies under less-than-ideal circumstances but soon finds herself drawn to her in ways she knows she can’t allow.

Deputy Catrina Diaz loves her job, her family, and her friends, which is why she became a deputy to begin with, to keep her town and those she loves safe. When she crosses paths with Sarah, a newcomer to town, she finds herself wanting more than Sarah is wanting to give.

Sarah fights hard to find herself as the past keeps finding new ways to haunt her. As their relationship grows, will the secrets Sarah is hiding, secrets that Cat realizes everyone knows but her, finally pull them apart? Can Sarah trust Cat enough to overcome her past and the insecurities it has caused and take a chance on the one thing she thought she could never have again-love?

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Release Blitz: Townies by W.S Long

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Townies

Author: W.S. Long

Publisher: JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Release Date: November 6, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness, first time

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 45 000 words/ 151 pages

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Can a secret crush who rejected Johnny be someone he can trust? And why would the richest teenager in town be interested?

Blurb

Johnny Cunningham had a secret crush on the high school quarterback, Zach Carpenter. Because of fear and anxiety, he didn’t do anything about it. A chance meeting after high school brings their paths together again, and sparks fly.

Zach Carpenter was born into the richest family in town, but since 10th grade he has been attracted to Johnny Cunningham and wasn’t sure if Johnny liked him too. When they meet again after high school, Zach cannot deny his strong attraction to Johnny and pursues him, even though Johnny is a Townie and dirt poor and Zach’s parents have already determined Zach’s path in life.

When Johnny discovers that Zach suffers from bipolar disorder, and that Zach’s parents have other plans for Zach that don’t include Johnny, can they overcome these obstacles and make their love last forever?

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Release Blitz and Review: Safe Harbour (Jagged Shores Book 2) by Thom Collins

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Safe Harbour (Jagged Shores Book 2)

Author: Thom Collins

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release Date: November 9, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance, Thriller and suspense

Tropes. Small town, holiday/coastal romance

Themes: Divorce, fresh starts, jealousy

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 58 382 words/ 229 pages

It is the second book in a linked series (Jagged Shores) but can be read alone.

It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Universal Sales Link | Publisher | First For Romance

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS

Kobo | Barnes and Noble

Two lovers seek shelter in a storm of jealousy and passion

Blurb

Matt arrives in the seaside town of Nyemouth for a much-needed vacation. As a successful lawyer, Matt has a hectic career, and with an ex-husband still pestering him for money, he is long overdue a break. A holiday home perched above the town and its breath-taking harbour seems like the perfect place to unwind. Matt can’t wait to explore the beautiful, jagged shorelines and lose himself for a couple of weeks.

Jake has made a home in Nyemouth. After growing up in the city, living on the coast is everything to him. Running a business with his sister and volunteering on the crew of the local lifeboat, he is exactly where he wants to be. But Jake’s life is far from peaceful. Though he left his domineering husband Vince a year ago, Vince refuses to consent to a divorce or loosen his controlling hold on Jake.

On Matt’s first night in town, he encounters the couple having a blazing row. When Vince turns violent, Matt intervenes and takes Jake inside to escape his angry ex. Despite what happened, Matt feels a powerful attraction to the younger man. Jake is bright, endearing and unbelievably attractive, but the young man’s life is complicated. Matt already has enough problems of his own. He came away looking for an escape, not a starry-eyed distraction. As Matt and Jake get to know each other better, the gamble on a holiday romance becomes hard for either of them to resist. They have both been unlucky in love before. Maybe this time will be different.

Vince will not be shaken off so easily. He has no intention of letting Jake go…ever. As Matt’s and Jake’s emotions deepen, they do not understand how far Vince will take things to keep his husband. As far as Vince is concerned, they made a vow to each other… “till death do us part.”

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Progress Report

Progress Report 2

 

It has been a little while since my last update, so I thought I would let you all know how my progress has been going since my last post. 

Perfect World 3 is still out for beta reading and I hope to receive all the feedback by the end of the year. In the meantime, I have finished the cover design and drafted the summary. I am really having to restrain myself when it comes to putting that out as I want to wait until everything is ready before the cover reveal. I hope to be able to do this in January, which is not too far off now! I am also drafting book 4 in the series so hopefully there will not be such a massive gap between releases this time!

I am also writing the second draft of Demon’s Past which is the next novel in my Demon’s Blood universe. I am really enjoying writing about Taku and Thane’s time together before the events in Demon’s Blood and I cannot wait to share their story with you all. 

In the New Year I would also like to pick up my fantasy novel again. I started this way back for my first NaNoWriMo and I really want to give Fayte and Marnai the story that they deserve. I have it all planned out now, I just need the time to write it! 

I also haven’t forgotten about my new segment on my blog ‘Shari Reviews Stuff’. I have a new review drafted and this should hopefully go up this week. 

So things are busy ‘behind the scenes’ as we reach the end of the year! I hope everyone is keeping well and I will share further updates with you all soon! 

Review: Never Fade Away by E.L. Esch

 

Never Fade Away

Until death does us part, but it’s knocking on our door…

I’d had enough. That’s how I found myself in a dingy alleyway with my revolver in my hand. I was sick and dying anyway, and there was nothing I could do about it. Nothing except maybe taking back some shred of control by going out on my own terms.

One deep breath. Two… Three… Four…

Surrounded by the darkness of my own mind, this was the only solution I could see, but before I could do something I’d regret, rock star Anno Goodkind crashed into my life and flipped it upside down.

It was supposed to be one casual hookup. No complications and definitely no feelings. No, the most logical thing to do would be to stuff my emotions down so nobody got hurt. Especially not him. But nobody told me that love didn’t give a damn about logic.

CONTENT WARNING: This story has a HEA but deals with heavy themes of illness, suicide, anxiety, and depression. Reader discretion is advised.

Goodreads: Never Fade Away by E.L. Esch

Purchase: Amazon.com 


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

Vincent is dying. His doctors say that he has at the most five years before cancer takes his life. Weary of the fight and the lack of control of his own destiny, he makes a decision that finds him in an alley after a gig, gun in hand and set to take back control by ending his own life. What he doesn’t expect is for rockstar Anno Goodkind to literally crash into his life and save it that night. Before long, Vincent finds himself falling for the man who saved him. Much to Vincent’s dismay, Anno has feelings for him too. But how can Vincent allow them to embark on a relationship when he has so little time left?

Never Fade Away is not an easy read. There are trigger warnings and some readers may find it upsetting. For me, the realism and sometimes stark way that the issues were dealt with invoked a rawness that whilst at times was heart-breaking, made this a truly emotional read.

The story is told from Vincent’s perspective and the insight you gain into his different emotions whilst trying to come to terms with his diagnosis is at times painful but creates a deeper connection with the character. Anno has his own struggles as Vincent’s attempted suicide brings back the pain of his friend’s death. It is beautiful reading how the relationship grows in such circumstances and despite the dark subjects, there is a ray of hope for a better outcome.

This is a highly emotional read and one that I very much recommend.