Book Review: Blood Pressure (Serial Investigations #7) by Rhiannon D’Averc

Blood Pressure

Ram has spotted his dream locked room mystery case on the news – and he’ll stop at nothing to get himself involved with it. The problem is, newly-minted DCI Alex Heath isn’t too happy about it – and neither is his successor as DI…

An invitation to go home and visit family should be a happy occasion, but for Will, it’s quite the opposite. Spiralling into doubt and fear about Ram outing him to his parents, Will risks pushing him away entirely. And when he does go home, things aren’t going to be plain sailing. Will’s father is an ex-Ambassador, and he’s got many years of finding out secrets behind him.

As both are rocked by revelations about Will’s past and his present, Ram and Will have to contend with doubting policemen, ugly habits rearing their heads, and the struggle to trust one another. And there’s the question of how Harry got that black eye…

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Goodreads:  Blood Pressure (Serial Investigations #7) by Rhiannon D’Averc


Review

Rating: 5 stars

When Will and Ram learn that Alex has a locked room case, Ram is determined to get involved. After all what PI could resist a challenge like this? However, both Alex and the new DI aren’t too keen on having their input, not that this will stop Ram from trying! But first they need to survive a visit to Will’s parents who have no idea that their son is gay, and that Ram is anything more than a friend. Events threaten to push them apart as does Will’s father when he finally learns the truth. Throwing themselves into the case might be what they both need, especially when it seems that the police may need their help after all.

I couldn’t wait to read book 7 in the series. I have loved Will and Ram since book 1 and the series just keeps getting better and better. Now that they are in a relationship, they have further difficulties to overcome. Despite some old issues threatening to come between them, what I love about this couple is that they are there for each other when it counts despite everything that is thrown at them.

The mystery is just as intriguing as ever and I enjoyed following the case and trying to work it out for myself too! Again it was full of suspense and twists that I never saw coming!

I thoroughly enjoyed Blood Pressure and cannot wait to read book 8 in the series!

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.

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.

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!

Continue reading

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.”

Continue reading

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.

Release Blitz and Review: The Yakuza Path: Wrapped in Screams by Amy Tasukada

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Yakuza Path: Wrapped in Screams

Author: Amy Tasukada

Publisher: Marcarons & Tea

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: November 4, 2021

Genre: Gay thriller, Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Bad boys, hurt/comfort, boss/secretary, slow burn romance

Themes: Friends to lovers

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 37 500 words/ 184 pages

Though the story is self-contained, it is best enjoyed if read as part of the series.

It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

A gunshot. A bloody note. And a relationship that might not survive…

Blurb

Now that the war with the Korean syndicate is behind him, all Nao Murata wants is a vacation and a chance to nurture his new relationship with Aki Hisona. They can punish those who abandoned the family later.

After six weeks trapped in a hospital bed, a quiet vacation is the last thing Aki wants. Ready to prove himself to Nao and the rest of the family, Aki’s desperate for some action. And not just the yakuza kind…

When Aki hears a gunshot, he knows the dust has far from settled. Nao says it can wait, but Aki’s unable to understand why they can’t tie up those loose ends.

Between Aki’s constant pushing and Nao’s uncompromising focus on what he thinks is best for them both, are they too stubborn for their fragile relationship to last?

Find out in The Yakuza Path: Wrapped in Screams, the sixth installment of The Yakuza Path thriller series. If you like gritty Japanese crime, complex characters, and a high dose of gay romance, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s latest novel.

Buy Wrapped in Screams to get your taste of romantic revenge today!

The Yakuza Path Series

BOOK 1 – Blood Stained Tea

BOOK 2 – Better Than Suicide

BOOK 3 – One Thousand Cranes

BOOK 4 – The Deafening Silence

BOOK 5 – Flowers of Flesh and Blood

BOOK 6 – Wrapped in Screams

Continue reading

Monthly Reading List

Happy November everyone! My plans to catch up on my review queue and also working on Perfect World 3 haven’t really happened in October due to me catching a really nasty cold/flu bug. I did multiple Covid tests and they were all negative so it wasn’t that thank goodness, but it still knocked me for six. So huge apologies if you are waiting for a review and that the timescale has slipped. I have some time off this week so I am hoping to catch up some more on my reading then, as well as getting back on track with Perfect World 3!


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.

 

Wrapped in Screams

A gunshot. A bloody note. And a relationship that might not survive…

Now that the war with the Korean syndicate is behind him, all Nao Murata wants is a vacation and a chance to nurture his new relationship with Aki Hisona. They can punish those who abandoned the family later.

After six weeks trapped in a hospital bed, a quiet vacation is the last thing Aki wants. Ready to prove himself to Nao and the rest of the family, Aki’s desperate for some action. And not just the Yakuza kind…

When Aki hears a gunshot, he knows the dust has far from settled. Nao says it can wait, but Aki’s unable to understand why they can’t tie up those loose ends.

Between Aki’s constant pushing and Nao’s uncompromising focus on what he thinks is best for them both, are they too stubborn for their fragile relationship to last?

 

Safe Harbour

Two lovers seek shelter in a storm of jealousy and passion.

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.”

Book Blast: The Yakuza Path 5: Flowers of Flesh and Blood by Amy Tasukada

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: The Yakuza Path 5: Flowers of Flesh and Blood

Author: Amy Tasukada

Publisher: ‎ Macarons & Tea Publishing

Release Date: May 28, 2020

Genre: gay thriller, NOT ROMANCE

Tropes: Bad boys, tragic hero, unrequited love

Themes: Mafia, betrayal

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 299 pages

It can be read as a standalone but you get more if it is read as part of the series.

It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo

Apple Books | B&N | Google Play | Books2Read

A killer. A traitor. A deadly war that could take their love and their lives…

Blurb

Ruling the Kyoto yakuza makes Nao Murata a perpetual target, especially with the Koreans encroaching into their territory. An attempt on his life at his mafia headquarters crosses a line. Setting up his beloved ally Aki as the would-be assassin crosses another. Nao knows the only way to save his friend’s life is to sever their growing bond and force Aki to fake his own death…

But Aki Hisona refuses to stay dead. Determined to expose Nao’s would-be killer and save the man he loves, Aki goes deep undercover in the Korean underworld. But when he’s asked to prove his loyalty, he risks becoming caught in a web of his own lies…

With Aki gone and the Kyoto mafia in grave danger, Nao fears his trust in others could be fatal.

Will Nao and Aki find the traitor in time, or will Nao’s rule end in bloody chaos?

The Yakuza Path: Flowers of Flesh and Blood is the powerful fifth installment of The Yakuza Path thriller series. If you like gritty Japanese crime, richly-nuanced characters, and slow-burning gay romance, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s high-octane novel.

Buy Flowers of Flesh and Blood to slice into the Japanese underworld today!

The Yakuza Path Series

BOOK 1 – Blood Stained Tea

BOOK 2 – Better Than Suicide

BOOK 3 – One Thousand Cranes

BOOK 4 – The Deafening Silence

BOOK 5 – Flowers of Flesh and Blood

BOOK 6 – Wrapped in Screams

Releasing in November

Pre-Order here

Continue reading

Review: Flowers of Flesh and Blood (The Yakuza Path #5) by Amy Tasukada

Flowers of Flesh and Blood

A killer. A traitor. A deadly war that could take their love and their lives…

Ruling the Kyoto yakuza makes Nao Murata a perpetual target, especially with the Koreans encroaching into their territory. An attempt on his life at his mafia headquarters crosses a line. Setting up his beloved ally Aki as the would-be assassin crosses another. Nao knows the only way to save his friend’s life is to sever their growing bond and force Aki to fake his own death…

But Aki Hisona refuses to stay dead. Determined to expose Nao’s would-be killer and save the man he loves, Aki goes deep undercover in the Korean underworld. But when he’s asked to prove his loyalty, he risks becoming caught in a web of his own lies…

With Aki gone and the Kyoto mafia in grave danger, Nao fears his trust in others could be fatal.

Will Nao and Aki find the assassin in time, or will Nao’s rule end in bloody chaos?

 

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Flowers of Flesh and Blood (The Yakuza Path #5) by Amy Tasukada 


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

When Aki is framed for an attempt on Nao’s life, he suddenly finds himself exiled from his home and the man he loves. Determined to find a way back, he reluctantly joins the Blood Magnolias in the hopes of discovering the real traitor in Nao’s midst. Yet to do this will take Aki to some darker places, perhaps a lot darker than he was prepared for.

Flowers of Flesh and Blood is the fifth instalment of The Yakuza Path series. It starts off fast-paced and is a thrill-ride of action and emotion from the beginning. Aki’s sudden departure from the family and Nao’s life is swift and gut-wrenching. Left alone Nao struggles even more with his inner demons and responsibilities as Godfather. For Aki, the loss is just as profound. He has nowhere to go, and it is his love for Nao that keeps him focused throughout the novel. His character just keeps going from strength to strength whilst retaining the qualities that make him who is he is.


The action and violence is as unflinchingly written as it is throughout the series. The gritty realism contrasts against the more tender moments between characters, and this serves to create a deeper connection between them somehow.


The series keeps getting better and better, and I am excited to see where the next book takes Nao, Aki and their love.