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.

Review: One Thousand Cranes (The Yakuza Path #3) by Amy Tasukada

One Thousand Cranes

When a body goes missing, a young Yakuza’s life hangs in the balance…

Aki Hisona’s latest promotion is a cause for celebration. But because his new job is working as the personal secretary for the Yakuza’s Kyoto-based godfather, it’s also a cause for dangerous envy. He takes an invitation from a friend for congratulatory drinks, but Aki never thought the night would end with a deadly knife fight…

Aki is tasked with disposing of his friend’s corpse, but there’s one problem: the body is missing. As body parts surface around town, it’s only a matter of time before the police piece together the clues. But keeping one step ahead of the cops may not matter if Aki can’t solve the mystery before his cold, unforgiving godfather boss does…

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Goodreads: One Thousand Cranes (The Yakuza Path #3) by Amy Tasukada


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

One Thousand Cranes is the third book in The Yakuza Path series. When Aki Hisona becomes Nao’s personal secretary, he is unprepared for the jealously that it will bring even amongst those whom he thought were his friends. A night out turns deadly, and Aki finds himself having to dispose of his attacker and friend’s body. However, when the corpse disappears Aki find himself in a race against time to find out what happened before both the police and his new Boss do.

One Thousand Cranes is written from Aki’s point of view rather than Nao’s. I found this a welcome change as we get to learn a lot more about the man whom Nao’s has placed so much trust in. Aki is more capable than himself or Nao think and he proves again and again why he was the best choice for the position. However, he does experience his share of inner turmoil as he finds himself doubting the faith that Nao has in him. Despite all that he is going through, Aki still remains loyal to his Boss and everything that he does is with Nao’s best interests in mind. Through Aki, you get to feel the love that he has for Nao more intensely. Aki is unsure if Nao is even aware of it, however from reading the other novels in the series and with more of an insight into Nao’s mind than Aki, I knew Nao’s reasons for not letting Aki close. I am hoping that with events in this novel, it may help bring the two of them together.

As with the last two books in the series, the detail that has gone into the Japanese culture and way of life is excellent and you really find yourself living Aki’s world.

Another great instalment in this series, which I highly recommend!

Book Blast and Review: The Yakuza Path: Blood Stained Tea by Amy Tasukada

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: The Yakuza Path: Blood Stained Tea

Author: Amy Tasukada

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: November 28, 2016

Genre: Gay thriller (NOT ROMANCE)

Tropes: Forbidden love, bad boys, tragic hero

Themes: Mafia

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Length: 350 pages

It is the first book in the series and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links – FREE to read on all platforms

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Kobo | Google Play | Apple Books

Barnes and Noble | Books 2 Read

A bloody past haunts him. A devastating present lures him back…

Blurb

Nao hides from his violent past in the Japanese mob by opening a teahouse in Japan’s cultural center, Kyoto. His past comes flooding back when he discovers a gravely injured man with a tattooed chest, a bloody knife, and a Korean business card.

Saehyun would’ve died if not for Nao’s help. He knows nothing of his savior’s connection with the local mafia, but Saehyun has his own secrets. He commands the Korean mafia, the mortal enemy of Nao’s former syndicate.

As Nao and Saehyun grow closer, so does the strength of the Korean mob. A shocking murder pulls Nao back into a past he’d all but abandoned. War is looming, and Nao must choose between protecting Saehyun or avenging the honor of his old mafia family.

Blood Stained Tea is the first book in the The Yakuza Path series. If you like complex characters, blood-soaked violence, and twists you won’t see coming, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s gritty crime masterpiece.

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 – Releasing in November

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Shari Reviews Stuff: McFarleyMakes – Splat Rat Bookmark

Another new thing I am trying for my blog is to review some of the cute things that I purchase. This will be done as and when I buy things and when I buy something that I think is super cute or interesting to review! I’m going to be trying to vary my content a bit to cover some of my interests (shopping being one of them!). Please let me know what you think of the varied content. I’d love to hear your opinions!

The first item I’m going to review is a new bookmark that I purchased on Etsy last week. I either use random bits of paper or fold the page corner (I know, that’s terrible!) so I decided to look for a cute bookmark. I am so happy with my choice. It’s so cute and really well made!


McFarleyMakes – Splat Rat Bookmark – grey

Splat Rat 1

Purchase Link: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/854641070/splat-rat-bookmark-grey

Seller Page: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/McFarleyMakes

This bookmark is absolutely adorable! It is super cute and so well made! It is just perfect for keeping my place! My cat adores it too and several times I have found her pulling it out of my book to play with!

It was sent really quickly and packaged in a small box and tissue paper to protect it. The seller also left a really nice handwritten note hoping that I enjoy it!

Splat Rat 2

Disclaimer: These are my own thoughts on the above product and I have not been asked or paid by the seller to provide a review.

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

New Release Blitz and Review: Sorcery of the Blood by Alice G. Holmes

Title: Sorcery of the Blood

Author: Alice G. Holmes

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: May 4, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 58100

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Romance, paranormal, gay, interracial, vampires, vampire hunters, dystopia, dark, magic, spells, witchcraft

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Kingston St. Louis and Martin Von Brandt are vampire hunters of the highest caliber. That is until Kingston is made a vampire and they discover too late that the city is being taken over by vampires in a bloody coup.

Branded as outlaws, they’re forced into hiding with an unexpected ally. For their plan to stop the coup to work, Kingston will have to overcome his prejudices and train the very vampires he used to hunt, and Martin must learn magic.

All the while, they struggle with their feelings for each other. Love can be a weakness, and they can’t afford weakness when hiding from a powerful enemy.

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Release Blitz and Review: Handsome Death by Sara Dobie Bauer

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Handsome Death

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Carnation Books

Release Date: April 10, 2020

Genre/s: Paranormal M/M romance, contemporary M/M romance

Trope/s: Vampires, bondage, hurt/comfort, age gap

Themes: explicit sex, past abuse, dark, immortal, graphic violence, stalking

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 72 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

I’m not hunting him; I’m protecting him.

At least, that’s what I tell myself.

In New York City, a beautiful creature like Tristan Clement should not be walking the streets alone, and I’m the perfect vampire to watch his back.

But what if keeping him safe isn’t enough anymore? What if I want to touch? And taste?

I need him. But I’ve never needed anyone.

In a world where paranormal creatures live amongst us and must follow certain laws, living life as a dangerous loner works for vampire Ethan. Inhabiting his gleaming apartment, wearing his designer suits, jetting around the world as a fanged killer-for-hire, Ethan does it all alone.

That is, until he literally runs into Tristan. Tristan, who is clearly trouble wrapped in skinny jeans and an oversized sweater. Tristan, with his shock of angelic blond curls. Tristan, who plays piano more beautifully than the old masters– and Ethan would know; he saw Beethoven.

Tristan is gorgeous, a little sassy, and irresistible. Also, Ethan is horrified to note, Tristan has no idea how incredibly tempting he is to things that go bump in the night.

Overcome by the urge to keep Tristan safe, Ethan begins to… well, stalk is such a strong word. What starts as an obsession quickly becomes something more, something that Ethan needs. And to his surprise, Tristan seems to need him, too…

*This darkly romantic tale delivers steamy passion and a happily ever after. Be advised that Handsome Death includes explicit m/m content, stalking, mentions of past abuse, and graphic violence.*

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Release Blitz: Repeat Offence by Jackie Keswick

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Repeat Offence

Author: Jackie Keswick

Publisher: Jackie Keswick

Cover Artist: Pavelle Art

Release Date: August 14, 2019

Genre/s: Fantasy/metaphysical, fantasy/paranormal

Trope/s: abiding love, defeating death,

Themes: actions have consequences, paying the price for compassion, perseverance, triumph over adversity

Heat Rating: 0 flames. No sexual content. (It’s a love story, but not a romance)

Repeat Offence is a fantasy story, told in first person POV. It’s NOT a romance, and there’s no sex, but I consider it a love story. Apart from the first and last scene, the two MCs are apart. Readers can infer that it’s m/m, but Taz’s (the narrator’s) gender is never mentioned in any way. It fits into general fantasy as much as into LGBT+.

Length: 20 000 words/66 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon It

Blurb

It should have ended with their deaths.

But dying in a wash of blood was just the beginning.

Sentenced to eternal life for sacrificing themselves in battle, warriors Taz and Hiro must take turns living as human and Guardian on opposing sides of the veil with only a chance to catch a glance of each other in the moment of death.

Until an attack forces Taz and Hiro to make a choice. Should they cling to what little solace they’ve carved out for themselves? Or should they sacrifice their lives to save countless others and risk the wrath of the Judges for a second time?

Continue reading

Review: A Mighty Rolling Thunder by Kerry Alan Denney

book review banner copy

A Mighty Rolling Thunder by Kerry Alan Denney

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The end of the world is just the beginning of the terror…

Spring, 2024: Two spirit hordes break through from another dimension, and make half the world’s population vanish. The spirits possess the survivors, dividing them into two groups: those who fight to retain their humanity, and marauders who destroy everything in their paths.

Artist Livi DeSilva is fleeing from possessed killers when she meets Conor McLain, a man suffering from amnesia. Outnumbered and outgunned, Livi and Conor team up and fight off homicidal lunatics and ruthless gangs, only to end up cornered by their deadliest foe: billionaire Victor van Danz, a psychopath who commands the new world’s dark forces. Victor craves immortality, and kidnaps Livi. He believes that when he kills Livi in front of her collection of canvases and absorbs her life energy, he will transform into a god.

With only Conor, two amazing dogs, and a band of plucky children to aid her, Livi must harness the power of the spirits inside her and use it to defeat Victor — or die in the clutches of a madman.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Goodreads: A Mighty Rolling Thunder by Kerry Alan Denney


Review

Rating: 4 stars

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

When a mysterious event causes half of the world’s population to vanish and others to become violent due to delusions, artist Livi DeSilva goes on the run with her dog Beauty. Suddenly gifted with the ability to communicate with each other, Livi and Beauty meet Connor and his dog T-Rex as well as a group of orphaned children. Then Livi finds herself the target of power-crazed billionaire Victor van Danz who believes that Livi is the key him achieving immortality.

I really enjoyed reading A Mighty Rolling Thunder. It’s a very well-written novel with immensely likeable main characters and supporting cast. I loved how Livi and Connor could communicate with their dogs. I would love to be able to have that ability with my cat! And that they could deepened the already close bond between them. The villain Victor van Danz was chilling to read. The conclusions that he had come to that were feeding his own power trip and ego were clearly the thoughts of a mad man, but he found them completely logical and acted on them without a thought or care for the consequences.

The mystery behind the disappearances of the population was never fully explained but that added to the read as you were left to make up your own minds. I really like reads like that, which allow you to draw your own conclusions.
I definitely recommend this novel as once you pick up A Mighty Rolling Thunder you won’t want to put it down.