Book Review: Cursed by Jackie Keswick

Cursed

Two friends. Two worlds. A selfish desire that threatens them both.

Raijin killed a witch and found himself cursed.

Sandro went to Raijin’s aid and became an assassin’s target.

Neither expected that they would trigger the biggest upheaval their world had seen in a thousand years.

And that it needed the love between them to lift the curse.

Cursed, the second book in the Balance of Magic series, is a slow-burn m/m fantasy romance featuring friends-to-lovers who become soulmates, irate death gods, curses, inept, narcissistic politicians, curious, compassionate witches, and a found family.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Cursed by Jackie Keswick


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

Cursed is the second book in the A Balance of Magic series. Picking up where the first book left off, we find Raijin trying to make sense of the events and their aftermath, as well as being appointed the new hunter for the Yamakage Clan.

Sandro is an orphan born into the Lugano Clan, but ostracised for reasons unknown to him after his parents’ death. Instead, he is raised in the Custodia, always wondering the truth of his past. When Raijin arrives at the Custodia, he is partnered with Sandro and the two quickly form a close friendship, which eventually turns into something more. Together they face demons and witches, whilst both trying to unravel secrets from their pasts.

I really enjoyed reading the second instalment to the series. It expanded greatly on the world created in the first novel. I loved how the author wove different mythologies and cultures together to create something truly unique. The characters of Raijin and Sandro were very different from each other. Raijin’s self-assurance contrasts against Sandro’s inverted nature, but the two just work perfectly together despite being opposites. I was also glad to see the inclusion of Rakurai and Tenzen from book one in the series, and I cannot wait to see what will happen next!

Book Review: The Shivering Ground & Other Stories by Sara Barkat

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.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: The Shivering Ground & Other Stories by Sara Barkat


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

I enjoy reading short stories and Sara Barkat’s collection offered something different, and it did not disappoint.

The collection is a combination of different genres with unique and interesting characters weaving together tales that captivate the reader. The stories are written in a way that leave you with a feeling not unlike melancholy. Each tale is wonderfully descriptive and written in different styles to suit the genre.

The stories provide enough answers not to leave you feeling frustrated but there is an emphasis on letting the reader decide and come to their own conclusions, which I really liked.

If you enjoy short stories that leave you contemplating the outcomes, I highly recommend this collection.

Monthly Reading List

I’m a bit late in posting the read list this month due to being ill again and my brain not wanting to cooperate in helping me remember these things! I have added just two books again this month as I am still trying to clear my TBR queue! I am looking forward to reading them and finishing the ones that I have started already!

33113495

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

59718391

A vast grey zone on the maps, the forest has always been seen as a place of grisly tales, outlaws, and disappearances. The men had travelled around through more civilised paths, leaving the woods alone. Until the country came in need of a new float.

For the first team of lumberjacks, it’s a routine job. Select trees and build a camp to hold winter until the spring flood. But in the depths of the forest, under ancient oaks, lie ruins. When the loggers pitch their tents in the overgrown garden, they are unaware of the crime they just committed.

For the native hidden in the nearby village, desolation has come. For the loggers, the nightmare has begun. And what’s hiding in the ruins won’t let them go.

Book Blast and Review: His Wild Flower by L. Grey S

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: His Wild Flower

Author: L. Grey S.

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Tjota Art

Release Date: December 28, 2021

Genres: Dystopian Sci-Fi/cyberpunk, Boys Love

Tropes: Enemies to lovers, slow-burn

Themes: Good vs Evil, courage & perseverance, redemption

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 80 600 words/ 324 kindle pages

This is a standalone book for now. It concludes, but there’s an open-ended silver lining in the epilogue.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

There’s ugliness in beauty, but there’s also beauty in ugliness…

We may be monsters, but we are each other’s monsters…

Blurb

What is destiny? Do we have the power to change the course of our lives, or are we forever bound by fates formulated by the algorithm of being?

And coincidences – are they merely fluke occurrences or are they the results of a planned chain reaction?

That is the story of a man who has run away from his past, and another who is running from himself. Pursued by their own demons, the unlikely pair collide fiercely with judgements and misunderstandings. From enemies to lovers, the pair journey on a path to discover truths that they have been denied. But are they ready to face them?

Who is the hero and who is the villain in their story?

And what is their destiny…?

YouTube Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Igi6mU1OBBs

Continue reading “Book Blast and Review: His Wild Flower by L. Grey S”

Book Review: Ékleipsis: the Abyss by Tamel Wino

58774345._SY475_

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?

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Ékleipsis: the Abyss by Tamel Wino 


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

Ékleipsis: the Abyss is a collection of short horror novels with a focus on the darker side of human nature. I was drawn to reading this collection as the premise and ideas behind it sounded really gripping and promised an intense and dark read. It did not disappoint.

Each tale is a standalone story with well-developed characters. Some are good people to which bad things happen, some are morally grey, and others are definitely darker in nature. The stories are paced perfectly and there are many twists and turns to keep you guessing until the last minute. Some play off more modern threats (internet stalkers!) and others on more traditional fears (hitchhiking and ending up in a car with a possible serial killer), and each one delves into the human mind and the natures of the protagonists and antagonists alike.

If you enjoy psychological horror and short stories, then I recommend you reading Ékleipsis: the Abyss!

Release Blitz and Review: Freezing Aversion by BL Maxwell

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Freezing Aversion

Author: BL Maxwell

Publisher and Cover Artist: BL Maxwell

Release Date: December 29, 2021

Genre: Paranormal M/M Romance

Tropes: Fated Mates, Forced Proximity, Paranormal Romance, Vampire Thriller, Vampire Hunter

Themes: Found mate, Vampire Romance, Newborn Vampire, Trapped by snow

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 50 000 words

It’s the second book in the Consortium Series but it is a standalone story.

It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads


Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

A Tracker who can find anyone except the mate he’s always craved.

Blurb

Benjamin Coulton is a tracker employed by the Consortium, the ruling counsel of vampires. When he’s sent to investigate a rogue vampire killing indiscriminately in a remote region of Alaska. Bad weather hampers his effort and he loses the vampire he’s been tasked to find.

Leon Davis and his friend Brian agreed to be winter caretakers for several cabins and a fishing lodge, thinking it would be easy money. They settle into their daily routine of checking the cabins for animal break-ins, or broken water pipes, and prepare for a long winter.

Until a run in with a vampire changes everything. Ben finds a newly turned vampire left for dead by the rogue vampire, and suddenly Ben’s mission changes course. In the freezing wilderness of Alaska, he uncovers more truths and the mate he’d always longed for… and now the killer vampire is tracking them.

MM Paranormal Romance.

Continue reading “Release Blitz and Review: Freezing Aversion by BL Maxwell”

New Release Blitz and Review: All the Wrong Reasons by Sebastian Hansen

Title: All the Wrong Reasons

Author: Sebastian Hansen

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 12/28/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 111700

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Romance, urban fantasy, action, family-drama, superheroes, gay, nonbinary, trans, BDSM, secret identity, billionaire, Dom/sub relationship

Add to Goodreads

Description

The day after telekinetic supervillain (and billionaire philanthropist), Stetson Nadenheimer dies, he wakes up on the autopsy table and falls in lust with the man hired to cut his cold, dead corpse open. The problem is that the forensic pathologist is Doctor Julian Dandridge, the part-time superhero, Scatter. It’s probably a bad idea for a supervillain to get into bed with a superhero. Probably.

Not that it stops him, but trying to start a relationship with a reluctant hero without getting caught turns out to be easier said than done. Between midnight meetings over games of checkers and kinky secrets, Stetson and Julian begin a tremulous romance. Unfortunately for them, there’s an actual villain watching from the shadows, waiting for Stetson to stumble.

Continue reading “New Release Blitz and Review: All the Wrong Reasons by Sebastian Hansen”

Favourite Reads of 2021

By the time this post goes live I am hoping that I have achieved my goal of reading 40 books again this year! I’m currently on 38 as I am writing this but hopefully I will have now finished! I read so many amazing books again this year. As is my tradition, I have listed the standout ones for me below. Do check these and all the others I have read this year out!


Bloodlaced

Bloodlaced (Youkai Bloodlines #1) by Courtney Maguire

 

Captivated

Captivated by A.C Thomas

 

 

Dark Summer

Dark Summer by S.J. Coles

 

Blood Stained Tea

The Yakuza Path: Blood Stained Tea by Amy Tasukada

 

Aeterna

Aeterna by Kim Bannerman

Book Review: Blood Sacrifice (Serial Investigations #8) by Rhiannon D’Averc

Blood Sacrifice

A romantic trip to Paris…
… A dead body at a famous landmark.A trip to Paris for Ram’s birthday was never going to go smoothly. From the second he spots a police presence while exploring a monument and learns there’s been a murder, he’s chomping at the bit to get involved – and when he’s recognised by a fan, he gets his chance.

With Will sucked into the investigation as well, this should a chance for them to enjoy an international reputation and solve a case for the Paris police. But as more bodies appear and the case gets more complicated, their unfamiliar surroundings could turn around and bite them.
Locked out of their hotel, with their cash stolen and an unfriendly police force shutting them out, Ram and Will might just come up against their biggest opponent yet. Are they embroiled in a conspiracy that could overtake them entirely – or are the shadows in the corners of Notre-Dame really just shadows?

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Blood Sacrifice (Serial Investigations #8) by Rhiannon D’Averc


Review

Rating: 5 stars

When Will and Ram take a romantic trip to Paris for Ram’s birthday, work couldn’t be further from their minds and least of all that they might get caught up in a murder investigation. However, when a captain of the Parisian polices asks them to consult on a case, neither of them feel that they can turn down a chance to raise their profile with their first international case. The ritualistic murder scene was never going to be a straightforward case to solve and as the death count begins to rise, Will and Ram find themselves getting drawn in deeper. The killings are just the start and what they discover could once again put their lives in danger.

I was excited to read this eighth book in the series, and especially so because it takes our heroes away from London and their familiar surroundings. Paris is a great setting for a murder mystery, especially one with so many twists and turns. I enjoyed seeing how their investigations went down in unfamiliar territory and their interactions with the French police. I liked Captain Varon’s character, even if Will and Ram weren’t so fond of him! And I would like to see a reappearance from him in future novels.

This time the mystery takes on much darker tones and, on the surface, appears to be a ritual or satanic killing. However, it would seem that more sinister forces are at play and that this is setting the scene for something much bigger.

This is another excellent instalment to the series, and I cannot wait to find out what happens next!