Review: Better Than Suicide (The Yakuza Path #2) by Amy Tasukada

Better than Suicide

A stash of drugs. A twisted cop. A mob on the verge of self-destruction…

Nao Murata is the new godfather of the Matsukawa syndicate. When Detective Yamada confronts Nao over a dead drug dealer, Nao knows his organization isn’t responsible. The Matsukawa doesn’t deal drugs… or does it?

When Nao discovers drugs in a locker owned by his syndicate, he no longer knows who to trust. With the police bearing down on the Matsukawa, Nao must make unlikely allies to find out the truth. Can he discover who is betraying him before time runs out, or will everyone suffer for a crime he didn’t commit?


Goodreads: Better Than Suicide (The Yakuza Path #2) by Amy Tasukada


Rating: 5 stars

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

Better Than Suicide picks up where the events in Blood Stained Tea left off. Nao has been chosen as the new godfather of the Matsukawa and this presents challenges like he has never faced before. When Nao discovers that someone in the family is dealing drugs, he resolves to find out who is responsible. Being new to his position, friends and trust are in short supply, but without support Nao will be hard pressed to find the culprit before time runs out.

Better Than Suicide is an excellent follow up to Blood Stained Tea. I really enjoyed seeing Nao’s rise to power and his early weeks as the Matsukawa godfather. His values on traditions and different outlook on life to his father and predecessor will take his family in new directions that are not welcomed by all. Nao is naturally suspicious of those around him and finds it difficult to place his trust in anyone. Who truly wants to support him and who just wants to replace him? Nao finds friendship in a new recruit, whom is also a potential love interest. However, Nao is resolved not to allow himself to fall in love again. I am sure I am not alone in hoping that Aki can find somewhat to change Nao’s mind!

I think I enjoyed this second book more than the first. Nao really gets into his stride, and you learn even more about his character as well as his supporting cast. The author also included a lot of Japanese culture into her story, which I absolutely loved as it created such a rich and detailed backdrop for the events of the novel. I cannot wait to read book three in this series.

Review: Order of the Void by Robert Vaughn

Order of the Void

Internet vlogger Jeffery Bailey, attends the funeral of his dead best friend. While at the funeral Jeffery is given a package from his friend’s mother. After looking through the contents of the package, Jeffery learns that it was more than just a simple home invasion that took the life of his friend.


Goodreads: Order of the Void by Robert Vaughn


Rating: 5 stars

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

When internet vlogger Jeffery Bailey starts investigating the death of his friend who was believed to have been killed in a home invasion, he soon learns that this is far from the truth. His friend was looking into a cult who worship a demonic entity called Rojachar. A visit from two mysterious operatives who claim to be working to bring down the cult adds to his intrigue and Jeffery soon finds himself drawn into a darker world than he could ever imagine.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Order of the Void. It is a thrilling and fast-paced horror/mystery with so many twists and turns that I could not guess what was going to happen next. The author has built and established an interesting and dark lore, that continued to be developed as Jefferey discovered more about the cult and its aims. The use of the first-person narrative was a great decision as it felt even more chilling somehow to read directly from Jefferey’s point of view.

I knew that the ending would be surprising, but I really didn’t see it coming. It was a more than satisfying conclusion to a darkly thrilling read. I look forward to reading further novels by this author in the future.

Release Blitz and Review: The Prince and the Ice King by Amanda Meuwissen


Book Title: The Prince and the Ice King

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date: August 3, 2021

Genre: Fantasy M/M Romance

Tropes: Fated love, enemies to lovers, cursed, slow burn

Themes: Destiny, fate, redemption, legend, overcoming prejudice

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 300 pages

It can be read alone but is the first book in a series.

This is book 1 of Tales from the Gemstone Kingdoms.


Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK


Only true love can melt a frozen heart.


Every Winter Solstice, the Emerald Kingdom sends the dreaded Ice King a sacrifice—a corrupt soul, a criminal, a deviant, or someone touched by magic. Prince Reardon has always loathed this tradition, partly because he dreams of love with another man instead of a future queen.

Then Reardon’s best friend is discovered as a witch and sent to the Frozen Kingdom as tribute.

Reardon sets out to rescue him, willing to battle and kill the Ice King if that’s what it takes. But nothing could prepare him for what he finds in the Frozen Kingdom—a cursed land filled with magic… and a camaraderie Reardon has never known. Over this strange, warm community presides the enigmatic Ice King himself, a man his subjects call Jack. A man with skin made of ice, whose very touch can stop a beating heart.

A man Reardon finds himself inexplicably drawn to.

Jack doesn’t trust Reardon. But when Reardon begins spending long days with him, vowing to prove himself and break the curse, Jack begins to hope. Can love and forgiveness melt the ice around Jack’s heart?

Continue reading

Review: Dark Summer by S.J. Coles

Dark Summer

Is a human lifetime long enough to learn to love a vampire?

The tumultuous events of the Blood Winter are a fading nightmare, and Alec and Terje are trying to build a life together at Alec’s newly restored ancestral home of Glenroe. There’s just one problem… Terje doesn’t appear to be committed—constantly called away on mysterious errands and seemingly unable to forsake his own kind. Alec begins to wonder if Terje is capable of loving anyone, let alone him.

When an old uni friend Jay Singh, recently out of the closet and looking rather too good to be true, returns to Alec’s life, he becomes more conflicted than ever. Things only escalate when Alec is forced into the social and political issues still surrounding the haemophiles’ tumultuous integration into human society and soon it is more than just his relationship on the line.

Can Alec figure out what kind of future is possible with a vampire—and if it can ever be enough for either of them—before it’s too late?

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, murder, alcohol abuse and blood drinking.

Publisher’s Note: This story is best read as a sequel to Blood Winter.


Goodreads: Dark Summer by S.J. Coles


Rating: 5 stars

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

When I learned that there was going to be a sequel to Blood Winter, I was so excited as it is one of my favourite vampire novels. I couldn’t wait to read Dark Summer and it did not disappoint.

After the events of Blood Winter, Alec and Terje are rebuilding their lives together and away from the political fallout and unrest from the previous novel. Alec is growing frustrated as Terje does not seem to want to commit on the same level that he does, and he is always going away, sometimes for months at a time. When an old university friend comes back into Alec’s life, he finds himself conflicted and in part yearning for a more human relationship. Then he learns that Terje’s former Magister is back and they are both unwillingly thrust into a world that they had sought to escape from.
This sequel has a darker tone than the previous novel, which suits it perfectly given events. It is told from Alec’s point of view, and you can really feel just how conflicted and troubled he is by his inability to understand Terje, and in turn Terje’s difficulty in reading him. For the two of them the relationship presents different complications but what brings them together is the willingness to try. I really love them as a couple and really wanted them to work through their issues.

Much of the novel is about their relationship, but this is interwoven perfectly with Evgeniya’s return. This time the threat that she presents is different and the confrontation forces both Alec and Terje to face their problems head on.

The writing style is raw and powerful, with a dark tone which also has its lighter moments. This and the descriptions crafted the world perfectly and I felt as though I was living the entire novel rather than reading it. The end does wrap up many of the loose ends, but I would love to see a continuation in the future!

Release Blitz & Review: Sun, Sea and Small-Town Secrets by S.J. Coles


Book Title: Sun, Sea & Small-Town Secrets

Author: S. J. Coles

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release Date: July 6, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Mystery/Holiday Romance

Tropes: Forbidden Love / Small Town / Holiday

Themes: Healing / Hurt/Comfort / Travel / Self-discovery

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 48 634 words/ 193 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Pride Publishing

Small towns are full of secrets, some harder to keep than most.


Sebastian Conway is a professional psychologist and accomplished criminal profiler, but when one of his patients is sentenced to life in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, he simply cannot let it go. His borderline obsessive behaviour has embarrassed his boss and lover, Gerrard Wilson, and the relationship has come to a bitter end.

Seb has now grudgingly taken Gerrard’s advice and come to the small coastal town of Ruéier in the South of France to get some distance and clear his head—but he cannot sit by and do nothing.

He has started writing a book he believes will address the failings in the case, but when he gets swept up in a local investigation into suspected drug trafficking, which is led by the enigmatic and strangely enticing Antoine Damboise, the book—and Seb’s intentions to avoid active criminal cases—take a back seat.

He knows it’s a bad idea to get involved, but he can’t seem to help himself. And when it seems Damboise is tempted to make their relationship more than professional, Seb finds it easier than ever to ignore his better judgment. But when a local drug dealer is murdered and Seb is implicated, everything gets a whole lot more complicated.

Can the two men set aside their personal feelings long enough to figure out what’s really going on before Seb ends up in prison? Or worse…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of murder and drug use.

Continue reading

Review: Beyond the Ruby River (Immortal Jewels #3) by Lee Colgin

Beyond the Ruby River

In Ancient Egypt when the pharaohs ruled the banks of the Nile, Mahu led a simple, if somewhat melancholy, life. Making papyrus filled his days. His needs were provided for, but deep in his soul, Mahu longed for companionship.

Dakarai, born of a demon mother and a human father, craved independence. A young incubus constantly in the shadows of his full-blooded siblings, Daka set out for a new city and a life of his own.

While a starving Daka roams the streets hunting for a meal, the sight of a beautiful man walking alone stops him in his tracks. Just what he needs to quench his spiraling thirst.

But Mahu turns out to be more than Daka bargained for, and his heart falls for the lonely man.

What happens when one lover is immortal and the other seeks contentment in the afterlife? Betrayal shatters their foundation. Can Daka and Mahu find their way back to each other, or is each soul destined to long for the other for all eternity?



Goodreads: Beyond the Ruby River (Immortal Jewels #3) by Lee Colgin


Rating: 5 stars

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

When half-human, half-incubus Dakarai leaves home determined to make his way independently he meets and falls for a human called Mahu. Consumed by grief and burying himself in his work, Mahu is surprised to capture Daka’s attention, but quickly their blossoming friendship turns into much more. However, when Mahu’s mortality threatens to part them, Daka makes a choice that costs them both everything.

Beyond the Ruby River is the third novel in the Immortal Jewels series but can be read as a standalone. I adored the setting of ancient Egypt. This time period is one that I love, and the author clearly did their research in making such an amazing world come to life through the pages.

I loved Daka’s character. His personality and innocence set him apart from most of his kind, and his desire to find the one is adorable. His feelings and actions are so raw and honest, despite not always having the outcomes that he intended. Mahu is a perfect complement to him. He is calmer and sees more realism in the world than Daka does. You can see why each falls for the other and the relationship develops very naturally as the story progresses.

I also enjoyed the inclusion of other supernatural beings, especially vampires and the author’s take on them. It was a refreshing and different take on the vampire lore, and one that I would love to learn more about through the other books in the series.

If you love supernatural loves stories set in beautiful ancient Egypt, then I highly recommend that you read Beyond the Ruby River!

Review: Flowers Under My Pillow by Nell Iris

Flowers under my pillow

Smiling brown eyes. A dark beard. Dandelions. Sunny, happy dandelions.

For thirty years, Frode’s had the same dream. Every Midsummer’s Eve since he was a kid accompanying his sister to pick flowers to put under his pillow, he’s dreamed of the same man. A dream he never shares with anyone, that makes him wish for impossible things…like true love.

“It’s you.”

Then one Midsummer’s Eve, the man of Frode’s dreams stands before him in the flesh. Both men recognize each other despite never having met in real life. Both men are instantly drawn to each other and want to know more.

“Who are you, Viljar? Are you even real?”

Their questions are many but do the whys and the hows matter? Or should they allow the Midsummer magic that brought them together to lead the way into each other’s arms? Into each other’s hearts?

Traditional Swedish folklore tells you that if you pick seven kinds of flowers in silence and put them under your pillow on Midsummer’s Eve, you’ll dream of the man you’ll marry.


Goodreads: Flowers Under My Pillow by Nell Iris


Rating: 5 stars

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

According to Swedish folklore, if you pick seven kinds of flower in silence on Midsummer’s Eve and place them under your pillow, you will dream of the man that you will marry.

One summer, a young Frode joins his sister and her friends in picking flowers. That night after he has put them under his pillow, he has what will become a reoccurring dream of a man. Is this coincidence or is there some truth in the tale after all?

Flowers Under My Pillow is a retelling of the traditional Swedish tale. I am not familiar with the original version myself, but I did not need to be to enjoy this short story.

It is told in a very descriptive and almost melodic way so you really get the sense of the magic within the tale. Frode’s dreams and his reality entwine so cleverly that at first I was not sure what was real. When he finds Viljar, their connection is instant and beautiful. I was afraid for a moment that it was another one of Frode’s dreams as I wanted him to find happiness.

If you like short stories and folklore retellings you will enjoy this beautiful tale!

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.


Goodreads: Courting Nightfall by Amanda Meuwissen


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


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


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?


Goodreads: Captivated by A.C.Thomas


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!