Review: Courting Nightfall by Amanda Meuwissen

Courting Nightfall

Zen is a darkling — half human, half dark elf — in a world that hates him, protected only by having been raised by the Order of the Sun to become a priest. He continues to fail to rise above being an acolyte despite having come of age and longs for a different life, one he only glimpses in dreams when he is with a mysterious, beautiful man he wishes was real.

After encountering an adventuring party made up entirely of other half-races, Zen is drawn to accompany them on their quest to find and destroy a fabled vampire lord. However, the pull he feels toward those lands might be more fated than he realizes.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Courting Nightfall by Amanda Meuwissen


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

Being half-human and half dark-elf, Zen is shunned by most around him including the priests that took him under their protection. Never fitting in, Zen secretly longs for more than the life that he has and when he meets a band of adventurers, Zen decides to accompany them on their quest to kill a vampire lord. However, there are other forces at work, including a mysterious man haunting Zen’s dreams and soon his reality too.


I really enjoyed reading Courting Nightfall. It has action, adventure, paranormal, romance and fantasy – all of which are favourites of mine – in one novel. Zen and his friends’ adventures take them across the land, and you learn so much about the world that the author had created along the way. This is done by cleverly weaving it into the plot, so you learn a little at a time and are not overwhelmed by too much information.


I loved Zen’s character from the start. Despite never being shown much kindness himself, he is a compassionate individual who always strives to do the right thing. Given his treatment by most others, he could have easily gone down another path and even when this is offered, he stays true to himself and the goodness inside of him. The supporting cast are great. Each have their own motivations for going on the quest, but the one thing that unites them is how much they care for each other. True friendship is something that Zen has never experienced before and having this gives his character more strength. Strength that he will need when he learns the truth about vampire lord Gaian and himself.


If you enjoy any, or a combination, of the genres that I mentioned above then you will love reading Courting Nightfall!

Book Tour and Review: Whispers for Terra by Nancy Houser-Bluhm

WHISPERS TOUR

Suffering from job fatigue, Mary, a speech pathologist, finds herself at a crossroads.  Feeling a diminished sense of purpose, she finds solace in a nearby woods.  It’s in these woods she discovers she is more than she knows.  The earth spirits sense her ability to communicate and choose her to deliver a message that will influence our earth’s soil and everything that comes from it.

 

Seeking to enlighten humanity, an initially reluctant Mary is emboldened by a ninety-seven-year-old patient to embark on a journey of inner healing and outer discovery.  Mary soon encounters others who have also been marked to carry the earth’s message. As their collective efforts turn into an expansive movement, the impact of the earth’s message amplifies, and the earth begins to sense something new: relief.

 

Whispers for Terra is a story of hope, inspiration, and finding one’s path, showing us the impact individual and small group actions can make to heal our earth.

 

All we have to do is listen. Continue reading

Review: Captivated by A.C Thomas

Captivated

Dr. Theophrastus Campbell leads a comfortable life, along with his twin brother, buried in academia. His unique gift for obscure languages goes unnoticed as he teaches University students to conjugate Latin. Everything in his world is just as it should be; restrained, understated, boring. He would give anything to break away. In all his daydreams of adventure, Theo never expected it to arrive in the form of an outrageously attractive Outlier covered in intriguing tattoos. And Theo never thought the price he might pay for adventure would be his own freedom.

Captain Park Jun-Seo leads a dangerous life, running a Crew of misfits through Restricted space as he desperately searches for the key to completing his parents’ work. Work that could mean the difference between life and death for countless others. In all of his frantic searching, Jun never expected to find the key in the form of a beautiful professor with more brilliance than good sense. And he never thought the price he might pay for knowledge would be his own heart.

Stoic Jun and irrepressible Theo must work together to break the code before their time is up. Falling into bed together is effortless, but their growing connection wasn’t in the plan. Theo charms his way beneath Jun’s skin with every nonsensical move he makes. Jun must decide if he can make room in his harsh, goal-driven life for the unpredictable force of love. Theo begins their journey as a lighthearted adventure—until he cracks Jun’s tough facade to reveal the hero within. Theo must decide if he can risk his battered heart when Jun is risking everything.

In the lawless depths of space, can two captive hearts set each other free?

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Captivated by A.C.Thomas


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

Latin teacher Dr Theo Campbell leads a rather mundane life. He secretly longs for something exciting to happen. Needless to say being kidnaped wasn’t quite what he had in mind, but Theo takes it in his stride as he is suddenly thrust into the adventure of a lifetime. His captor, Captain Park Jun-Seo isn’t what he imagined either, but as Jun’s motivations for Theo abduction become clear, he quickly realises that Jun isn’t as bad as he likes to make himself out to be. Quickly the two of them find themselves working together and becoming closer. Jun makes it clear that he is not interested in a more meaningful relationship, but Theo rapidly falls for his captor and realises that despite what he says, Jun has come to care for him too. However, Jun’s feelings for Theo may well lead him into more danger.

This is the second novel in The Verge series but can be read as a standalone which is what I did. I absolutely loved Theo. His way of saying things and the language he uses is beautiful and even though some of the characters find it extremely frustrating at times, I loved every second of dialogue. On numerous occasions I found myself smiling even though the situations that he was in were quite serious. Jun is a complete contrast. He is often serious and expresses his frustration, but he has a kinder side that Theo’s opposite personality slowly manages to draw out. The two of them balance the other well and it is easy to see how they fall in love.

The world building in Captivated has been well-crafted and thought out. The technology created is very believable and I like how the author’s simplistic explanations of how it works does not leave you bogged down or lost. The plot moves at a steady pace and Theo’s unique way of viewing the world make the actions scenes even more compelling.
I cannot recommend Captivated enough and will certainly be checking out the first novel in the series!

Review: Bloodlaced (Youkai Bloodlines #1) by Courtney Maguire

Bloodlaced

Kanjin hardly view their servants as human. Even less so when they are different.

Asagi is different. Both a man and a woman.

In the wake of his failure to protect a boy he saw as a son from their abusive master, Asagi is sold into the house of a young nobleman, Mahiro, who is the opposite of everything Asagi has ever known—gentle, kind, and generous.

Mahiro bonds with Asagi and their friendship blooms into a deep and profound love. But when Asagi is poisoned out of jealousy, Mahiro reveals himself to be youkai, a demon who feeds on blood, and he has no choice but to turn Asagi to save their life.

Asagi awakes reborn, strong, and eternally youthful. But the price for Asagi’s new life is high.

The blood of the innocent. Just as Asagi’s trust in Mahiro falters, the boy he failed to protect, now a man, reappears.​

New master, same threat.

With both a literal and proverbial monster at the door, Asagi must decide what it means to be human to protect what they love most.

Content Warnings: physical abuse, sexual abuse (off-page), self-harm, blood, graphic violence

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Bloodlaced (Youkai Bloodlines #1) by Courtney Maguire


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

Asagi is born into a life of slavery. He is abused not only for his low position, but also for being different. When he and a young boy, Tsukito, are sold to a new master, Asgai resolves to protect the child that he quickly begins to view as his son. However, events rapidly spin out of his control and Asagi is devastated when he sold again, leaving Tsukito behind. Asagi’s new master is unlike any that he has ever known before. Mahiro is gentle, kind and treats him as an equal. Quickly feelings develop between them, but Mahiro is hiding a dark secret. One that ultimately costs Asagi everything.

 

First of all, I have to say how much I loved this novel. It is a dark, beautifully written Japanese vampire novel with an array of different characters to love or loathe! The first half of the novel is setting the scenes and you learn a lot about Asagi as a character and his struggles. To begin with he lacks belief in himself and that there can ever be something better for him. It was beautiful to read how he came into his own as the novel progressed.

The second half focuses on Asagi learning the truth about Mahiro and the fall out from this. It is here when things become a lot darker. I very much enjoyed how the vampire lore was incorporated but also interweaving Japanese legends into this. The author has a very sound knowledge of Japan, the mythology and the culture, which shines through in their work.

I loved this novel so much and cannot wait to read further books in the series.

Release Blitz and Review: This is Not a Horror Movie by Sara Dobie Bauer

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: This is Not a Horror Movie

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow Designs

Release Date: May 13, 2021

Genres: m/m new adult, gay paranormal romance, LGBTQ, romantic comedy

Trope: Friends to lovers

Themes: non-explicit, humorous, teens, Florida, summer vacation, hauntings, evil spirits

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Warnings: Scenes of graphic violence, death of minor characters, mentions of bullying, alcohol use

Length: 78 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Emory Jones loves two things: horror movies and Connor Nichols.

For the past four years, Emory, Connor, and their families have vacationed side by side on Longboat Key, Florida. Eighteen-year-old Emory has pined for his neighbor from behind the covers of Stephen King books, but college boy Connor has never noticed him. Probably because Emory looks like Jack Skellington with good hair.

Emory anticipates another predictable summer of sunburn and disappointment. Instead, he ends up with a mystery on his hands when a beloved beach bum goes missing, and Connor volunteers to help with the search. Turns out it’s not just scary movie cops who are worthless, so the boys start an investigation of their own—leading them straight to an abandoned beach resort.

Despite the danger, Emory and Connor grow closer, but as Emory’s gay dreams start coming true, so do the horror movie tropes he so loves. Even though he knows that sex equals death in slasher flicks, Emory can’t keep his hands off the guy of his teenage dreams.

Continue reading

Review: Dances of Deception (The Dragon Songs Saga #3) by J.C. Kang

Dances of Deception

The world knows Kaiya as the Dragon Charmer.

After vanquishing the Last Dragon with the power of her voice, all she wants is to return to a quiet life of anonymity. Instead, the Emperor tasks her with an onerous task: negotiating with the aggressive Teleri Empire for the extradition of her cousin, who tried to murder the imperial family and usurp the Dragon Throne.

The mission reunites her with her childhood friend Tian, now an assassin-spy who loathes killing. He is no longer the adorable, gullible boy from her memories, any more than she is the adventurous, sweet girl from his. Instead of rekindling nostalgia for a youthful innocence they both yearn for, their reunion ignites a mutual hatred.

When the Teleri Empire breaks off negotiations, Tian must help Kaiya escape. Orcs, Ogres, and enemy soldiers stand between them and home, and their volatile relationship could get them captured… or killed. 

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: Dances of Deception (The Dragon Songs Saga #3) by J.C. Kang


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

When Princess Kaiya is tasked with negotiating her treacherous cousin’s extradition, she finds her own life and freedom in danger at the hands of the Teleri Empire. Her reunion with her childhood friend Tian is cast into shadow by this new threat and that they are both not the same as they recall from their youth. Will Kaiya and Tian be able to mend their relationship and will Tian be able to keep the Princess safe from their enemies.

I really enjoyed the third instalment of The Dragon Songs saga. Plunged into a completely different world, Kaiya is out of her comfort zone and as a result you see her grow very much as a person. As strong willed as she is, she is also vulnerable, and this novel shows all sides of her. You also get to explore Tian’s character in further detail. Torn between duty and love, he also comes into his own as he protects Kaiya and also the village that has given them sanctuary.

The world building in Dances of Deception is incredible. Everything is so richly detailed but without being confusing for the reader. A great novel should transport you into the world that you are reading about, and this saga definitely does that. As a result, I was reluctant to put it down and cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

Review: Blood Diamond (Serial Investigations #6) by Rhiannon D’Averc

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Blood Diamond

When a private client asks Ram and Will to track down a stolen yellow diamond, they quickly realise the suspects may be closer to home than he expects. Two adult children with serious issues, a jilted wife, and a young lover – and that’s just the beginning.

As what should be a straightforward case turns into a murder investigation, Serial Investigations London have to team up with their old friend Alex Heath – and an old enemy…

With Will in recovery and Ram staying on the wagon, everything seems to be looking up in their personal lives. They’ve even finally managed to admit their feelings for each other, but that doesn’t mean the road ahead is without rocks.

After an uncomfortable confrontation for Will, and with calls from their families becoming harder to ignore, the boys are going to need to work harder than ever to ignore their own issues if they want to get to the bottom of this crime – in which nothing is as straightforward as it seems.

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: Blood Diamond (Serial Investigations #6) by Rhiannon D’Averc


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

After months apart, Will and Ram are back together and are ready to take on their first case together since the events of Blood Sport. The case appears straightforward. A diamond belonging to a wealthy family has gone missing and Will and Ram have been hired to find it. From the beginning they suspect an inside job but when theft turns to murder, Will and Ram find themselves in the middle of a much bigger investigation than they intended.

I really enjoyed reading the next book of this series. The mystery this time is different from previous ones and I enjoyed the change as well as trying to figure out who was responsible! Will and Ram are an adorable couple! They still have some issues to work through, but they have a very sweet and tender relationship, and I am glad that they finally got together! I have a feeling that their relationships with their parents might be explored further in later books and I am looking forward to this (although Will and Ram may not be so much!). The diamond theft turn murder plot was very intriguing and kept me guessing right until the end. Also, if Will and Ram think that they have seen the last of JM Coil then they are mistaken! It looks like he’s still running things from the inside and the boys will be seeing more of him in the future too.

A great next instalment of the series and I cannot wait to read further books in the Serial Investigations series!

Favourite Reads of 2020

I’ve had a lot more time for reading this year and have been able to read 40 books and clear the majority of my review queue which is great! I have read so many great novels in 2020 and have listed below the standout ones for me. I recommend you checking them out!

The Life Siphon series by Kathryn Sommerlot

The Life Siphon (The Life Siphon #1)

The Mage Heir (The Life Siphon #2)

The Loyal Whispers (The Life Siphon #3)


Serial Investigations series by Rhiannon D’Averc

Bloodless (Serial Investigations #1)

Blood Evidence (Serial Investigations #2)

Blood Alcohol (Serial Investigations #3)

Blood Sucker (Serial Investigations #4)

Blood Sport (Serial Investigations #5)

Blood on Poinsettia (Serial Investigations)


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The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen


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Born to Liberty (Light from Aphelion #3) by Martine Carlsson


Blood Winter

Blood Winter by S.J. Coles

Review: Blood Winter by S.J. Coles

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Blood Winter

Vampires are attempting to integrate into human society. When Alec MacCarthy first meets a ‘haemophile’ in the flesh, it’s not the obvious dangers that frighten him.

Alec MacCarthy, Lord of Aviemore and largely-forgotten descendent of a once-proud family line, keeps the wolf from the door of the crumbling family mansion by restoring classic cars.

He leaves the real world alone and wishes nothing more than for it to return the favor. But in a reality where haemophiles—still colloquially known as vampires, despite the publicity campaigns—have come out of hiding and are attempting to integrate into human society, the real world is rapidly becoming a disrupted and conflicted mess that threatens to trouble even Alec in his remote Scottish hideaway.

When he unwittingly attends a Blood Party to please a friend, he has his first meeting with one of these mysterious and dangerous beings. Terje is like nothing he has ever encountered before…literally. His reactions are as troublesome as they are undeniable.

Alec’s snap decision to help the haemophile rather than sample his sense-heightening and addictive blood sets them both on a path that will lead them into a tangled web of intrigue with consequences that will change their lives—and the world—forever.

Purchase: Amazon

Goodreads: Blood Winter by S.J. Coles


Review

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

Rating: 5 stars

Reclusive Alec MacCarthy, the Lord of Aviemore and last of his family line has no interest in the world outside his father’s mansion home. He passes the time by restoring classic cars in a distant kind of existence rather than actually living a life, and Alec likes it that way. Outside his Scottish highland home haemophiles – vampires – are now known to the world and are doing their best to co-exist in human society. However resistance on both sides inevitably leads to bloodshed. When Alec is tricked into attending a blood party, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to captive haemophile Terje. In a moment Alec’s well-intended actions set in motion a sequence of events that no one could have predicted and will have consequences that will effect and change the entire world.

Blood Winter is one of the best vampire novels that I have read in a long time. It is everything that a novel in its genre should be. Dark. Gritty. Bloody.

Alec’s character is brooding and lonely and he has all but given up on living a real life. Then he meets Terje and slowly you see him come alive through the pages as his initial fear both of what Terje is and their connection morphs into true feelings and a romance that is both dark and touching at the same time. On the surface, Terje is mysterious and dangerous, but underneath there is a tenderness to him and an ability to feel just as deeply as any human. Together the two characters complement their individual personalities and the connection between them is undeniable.

The world-building has been carefully crafted and planned, adding in a balance between detail and mystery that leaves me hoping for the possibility of a sequel. Both sides, human and haemophile, clash constantly and are both to some degree at fault, but the conclusion leaves hope for a positive future outcome.

If you like dark, realistic vampire-human romances then I cannot recommend Blood Winter enough!

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

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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!