Release Blitz and Review: Captured (Cold Love 1) by Scarlet Blackwell

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Captured (Cold Love, Book 1)

Author: Scarlet Blackwell

Publisher: Scarlet Books

Cover Artist: B4Jay

Release Date: August 8, 2022

Genre: Contemporary small-town m/m romance, crime/thriller

Tropes: Enemies to lovers

Themes: Forced proximity, hurt/comfort, angst

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 46 000 words

It is book 1 in the Cold Love series, but does not end on a cliffhanger. (HEA)

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

“I’m not going anywhere until I’ve slept in your nice warm bed. If you haven’t got an electric blanket, I’ll expect you to warm me up personally.”

Blurb

Who is the man with the gun? Friend or foe? Enemy or lover?

Ethan

I saw my way out and took it. I never dreamed it would be complicated by someone as distracting as Gabriel.

Gabriel

I thought my cabin was safe in a snowstorm until he arrived. Shivering, blue with cold and armed with a gun. The hottest thing to ever happen to me.

Horror writer Gabriel’s worst nightmare is about to come true…

Alaska is home to Gabriel Black two months of the year when he retreats to his isolated cabin to write. But with his relationship on the rocks, life is treating him badly. He doesn’t think things can get any worse when a storm strikes, keeping him snowed in, but he’s wrong.

His solitude is invaded by armed intruder Ethan, his origin a mystery. Ethan is an enigma, a man surely on the run, maybe a dangerous criminal, but Gabriel is drawn to Ethan’s broken spirit and damaged soul. Ethan is so much more than he first appears and Gabriel wants to know what he hides.

Heat ignites between Gabriel and Ethan and the lines between captive and captor soon start to blur. What secrets is Ethan keeping and will Gabriel be prepared to risk all for him?

Trigger warnings: Scenes of violence and murder. Mentions of rape. Homophobic language. Strong language and sexual scenes.

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Book Blast and Review: Light Falls Away by Teegan Loy

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Light Falls Away

Author: Teegan Loy

Publisher: Rotten Girl Press

Cover Artist: Me (Rotten Girl)

Release Date: May 2, 2022

Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, Coming of Age

Themes: Finding your place in the world

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 84 534 words/ 304 pages

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

When the Fallen is the One to Rise

Blurb

Growing up in Evermore, Echo always knew he didn’t belong with the angels. He’d come here as an infant and grown up as the only child in a city that never aged. Now as an adult, his wings are turning black, so he is being sent down to the human world to experience life to try and stop his decline.

Before Echo can prepare to leave, things go horribly wrong. In a frantic effort to save his life, his memory is replaced with another’s and he is left on his own to navigate in a world where, once again, he feels he doesn’t belong.

Slowly Echo makes friends and falls in love in this new place, but he still has a nagging feeling that he doesn’t quite fit. Memories of people he doesn’t know invade his thoughts until he feels he’s going crazy. Things deteriorate until Echo is sure he’ll never find his happily ever after.

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Book Review: The Insurgent (The Colony #2) by Teri Polen

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If a megalomaniac threatened your family, would you give up your freedom for them? Would you give up your soul?

Asher Solomon is faced with that choice. And makes the ultimate sacrifice.

Exactly as Director Silas Reeves expected him to.

Unable to live as the Colony’s premier assassin, Ash retreats to a corner of his mind, ceding control of his body to the alter-ego he was engineered to be—Subject A36. As he’s unleashed to battle the Insurgents, the only family he ever knew, the tide of war shifts in Silas’s favor.

Combined with his expansion into new territories, the director is poised to take over the world.

But the Insurgents don’t give up easily. Not on their cause, and not on their people. With the help of a few double agents deep in the Colony, they stand a fighting chance at ending Silas’s reign.

In order to shut down the program, they face almost insurmountable odds. And their most dangerous foe—their former champion turned killing machine, A36.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads:  The Insurgent (The Colony #2) by Teri Polen 


Review

Rating: 5 stars

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

After being forced to choose between his family and his soul, insurgent Asher Soloman has now become subject A36, the Colony’s ruthless assassin. Retreating into his own mind to preserve what little sanity he has left, Asher is helpless as A36 kills indiscriminately on the orders of Director Silas Reeves. However, the Insurgents refuse to give up on both their cause and their friend. Whilst finding allies in the most unlikely of places, they plot to save Asher and to take down the Colony once and for all.

I’ve just finished book one in the duology and couldn’t wait to get started on book 2! It certainly didn’t disappoint. There was plenty of action from the word go, that immediately drew me back into the world. The characters have grown a lot since the first book and are united in their cause to save Asher and put an end to the Colony once and for all. The first book ended on a cliff-hanger and so I was eager to see how this played out. The twists and turns were unexpected and kept me turning the page for more.

There were a mix of chapters written from each character’s POV this time, which kept the pacing and continuity flowing well, and also giving them more depth than just seeing them from other viewpoints.

The Insurgent was a great end to the duology, it keeps you guessing throughout and rooting for all the characters. There is also a redemption for one character in particular which I liked. I am sorry to say goodbye to this series, but it was a fitting ending that ties up all the loose ends and gives the characters the send off that they deserve.

 

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.

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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

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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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