Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · erotica · Mystery · suspense · Uncategorized

Bound by Steel, by Connie Lafortune (Action-Romance Review)

‘Bound by Steel enveloped me in a world of intense, raw emotional need.’
(Daccari Buchelli.)

Told in rare second person perspective, Bound by Steel tells the tale of Alpha-type secret military operative, Ryker Steel, and Lyra- a book-loving young woman whom Ryker saves when Lyra crashes her car near his top-secret cabin.

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As I read past Ryker and Lyra’s initial encounter, I saw a natural chemistry start to develop between the pair. It was as though they already knew each-other and this feeling persisted, if not increased as time went on.

Abject loneliness sparks an intense connection between the pair, leaving them at the mercy of their own emotions. I found it easy to relate to Lyra’s character with her intense interest in books, and the arts in general. However, I found it hard to share in Ryker’s profound sense of pain, considering the tragic past he has lived through.
Find it on Goodreads

What I did find refreshing was Ryker’s growing emotional sensitivity throughout the novel. Whereas most Alpha-male characters seem like the rest, locking down any emotion and only lusting after women and power (makes for rather one-dimensional male characters in my opinion), Ryker Steel has a softer side, which he buries three years prior to the start of the story’s events.

This man has witnessed some truly tragic events.

This book was a refreshing change from the novels I usually find myself reading.
Not just another Alpha story, but a complex narrative that deals in themes of
love, loss, and personal sacrifice.

My rating? 5 Stars!
Recommended reading age: 16-18 and up.

Recommended for lovers of romance, action/thrillers, and light-erotica.

 

Thank you for reading my review of Bound by Steel.
I hope you have a good week.

~ Mr D. Buchelli.

 

 

 

Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · erotica · Mystery · Romance · Uncategorized

Going All In (An Erotic Mystery Review)


Going All In, by Stephanie. C. Lyons-Keeley, and Wayne. J. Keeley:

(WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOLIERS)

‘Erotic teasing leads to obsession.’

Set in New Fairfield, Connecticut (a destination well known for its terrible crimes and paranormal experiences), Going All In by author couple Stephanie and Wayne Keeley follows three suburban couples looking to spice up their weekly poker games, not to mention their love lives.

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The first few lines of the novel instantly intrigued me- ‘Someone was dead. There was no doubt about it.’ This short, clever phrase had me hooked and intrigued me enough that I couldn’t help but to eagerly turn the pages, seeking answers to all of the questions now popping into my mind.

Three couples exist within the novel: Thomas and Scarlet, Katie and Steve, and Erin and Marty. During one of the group’s weekly poker games, a suggestion is made that the winner of each match choose any player (except for their spouse) to spend the night with.

Find the book on Goodreads.com

At first, no-one seems sure of the idea, with the exception of Marty, a man who seems eager to commit as many adulterous acts as possible. I had no love for this character and honestly hoped that he would be the one to die at the end. His crude way of thinking, in addition to how he treated his wife throughout the novel was horrendous.

On the other hand, Steve’s character appears to be the most morally conscious, for he is the last to even consider the suggestion of sleeping with another person’s spouse. Despite what appears to be a dead-end marriage, Steve has major qualms about entering into such an agreement. Of all the characters, he was the most pure, hiding emotions of great desire and pain while trying to do the right thing by everyone. He never allows himself to act upon his emotions, no matter how cloying they may become. In all honestly, I was rooting for something good to come his way throughout the novel.

I loved the way in which the authors were able to foreshadow so much with so few words, e.g. after Scarlet seductively teases Marty’s character- ‘She had a bad feeling that she’d set something in motion that night, something that couldn’t be stopped.’ Immediately, I got the sense that something bad would happen, something final and set in stone. I recall the hairs raising on my arms as I read this phrase. It truly chilled me to my core.

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The novel made for an enjoyable erotic comedy read, with sections that branched off into far darker territory.

Much darker themes such as childhood abuse and murder are afoot, but they aren’t the only negative themes displayed in this book. We also see the three female protagonists treated frequently as though their self-worth comes only from their physical appearance.

While this is a realistic viewpoint within our modern society, it seemed off that so many married men (friends no less) would feel so cold toward their wives, seeing them only as pieces of meat at times. Even the caring and morally conscious Steve seems more interested in a woman’s looks than in her brains. I feel that the stereotypical portrayal of men may have been a little too so, showing men of varying ages as all being the same. It made their characters appear not only shallow, but hollow too, as if there were no personality there besides wanton lust, except perhaps for Steve (on occasion.)

The main focal point of the men’s lust is Scarlet, a twenty-something year old blonde with luscious fake breasts that men can’t help but to gawk at. But, Scarlet is so much more than a nice body. We see her display a vast range of emotions, from lust to terror. She attempts to reach out to Steve at one point in the novel, seeking meaning and true companionship in her dismal life. Although Steve clearly has affections for Scarlet, he rebuffs her.

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However, one man who never rebuffs Scarlet is Marty, though he is the last person Scarlet wants to become close with.

It is ultimately her beauty that drives Marty’s character to become obsessed with her as he is increasingly unable to separate their erotic poker games from his own reality.
Overall, Going All In made for a gripping novel with many complex themes. There wasn’t a wasted word and it is certainly a story which can be analysed from many angles. These two authors have an amazing gift for storytelling, particularly when it comes to creating vivid images within the mind, e.g. ‘…that hissed of death in the air; visceral, yet at the same time palpable, like the sight of the Grim Reaper’s scythe.’ This phrase paints an intricate picture of the author’s subject and stayed with me throughout the book.

Despite a rather abrupt ending, where little is said about the death of one of the main characters, this was by far one of my favourite reads of 2017.

 

Rated 5 stars, and recommended to lovers of erotica, romantic comedies, and mystery novels.
 

 

Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · science ficiton · Uncategorized · young adult

Utopia: Book #1: Secrets of Aurora (Sci-Fi Review)

Utopia is an action-packed tale of secrets, and preservation of the
human population when life surrounding Earth enters a new age.

Utopia, a Young Adult Science Fiction novel, by L. J. Higgins follows sixteen-year-old Aurora as she and a team of rebel outcasts seek to expose the truth regarding Earth’s destruction, prior to the creation of four floating cities in which Utopia is included.

The idea of having four floating cities had me in awe. Not since Laputa, Castle in the Sky (an animated film produced by Studio Ghibli) have I experienced such a wondrous world-building phenomena such as this. I have always dreamt of flying and getting to live within such a city, however, Utopia would not be my ideal home.

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Why?

Three words- The Elite Guard.

Many secrets are kept from Aurora on her perilous journey to uncover the truth. The Elite Guard (essentially the military forces around the four cities) seek to stop her from revealing the truth at every turn, even resorting to murder to fulfil their goals.

With her best friend Fletcher at her side, Aurora is eventually able to learn the truth, not just about the condition of Earth and what befell it, but about why she was hunted by The Elite Guard to begin with.

Find Out More at Goodreads.com

Aurora’s courage, bravery and resilience had me egging on the rebels from the very start. She bonds quickly with the rebel group and soon becomes like a member of their joint family. With that being said, Aurora’s relationship with Fletcher is a sweet and caring one with plenty of banter thrown into the mix. Fletcher is always there to protect Aurora throughout the novel, even if protecting her means defying his own family and risking his life. I loved everything about their friendship and eagerly await the sequel.

 

My rating? 5 stars.

Recommended for lovers of fantasy and dystopian novels.

 

 

 

 

Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · Mystery

Ripper, by Hannah Howe (Mystery Review)


Ripper,
Book Four in The Sam Smith Mystery Series (Hannah Howe) sees our young female detective (Sam Smith) on the hunt for a brutal killer. Prostitutes are being picked off of the streets, only to meet their doom at the hands of someone the Cardiff authorities call The Cardiff Jack.

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As usual, I found nothing to fault with Hannah Howe’s work. Each Sam Smith novel hooks me from the start, drawing me deeper into Sam’s world. I now feel like I’ve known Sam all my life: her successes and failures are now my own. Her sense of spirit always works to lift my mood, as does Howe’s beautifully detailed work, in general.

Howe also has a particular gift for imagery and makes excellent use of the five main human senses, to give the reader the sensation that they are actually present in the events of her stories.

Check out Ripper on Goodreads.com
BUY a copy of Ripper from Amazon.com
Howe had me guessing the whole way through. I had no idea who our mysterious killer was and found myself shocked upon the discovery of the killer’s identity.

If you enjoy tales of love, loss, and deadly revenge, then I’d definitely recommend Ripper.

 

My rating? 5 stars.
Recommended For: Lovers of Thrillers, crime, and mystery novels.

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Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · Romance · Uncategorized

Words We Never Speak (Metaphysical Romance Review)

 

Set in Windham Springs, Words We Never Speak , by Scarlet Darkwood is a mysterious tale that follows Kit, conservation manager of her local Historical Society. A somewhat tortured soul, Kit is forced to make a stand when the building she loves and works in is threatened to be torn down.

Every page of this book made me feel something. At times I found myself in awe of just how realistic and complex and main characters felt. At others, I could feel Kit’s terror as the mysteries of this novel deepened.

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I enjoyed the supernatural elements involved. I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for anything related to supernatural phenomenon, although my moral compass didn’t know where to stand on the matter of Kit’s multiple love interests.

The fast pace of the book kept me intrigued, as did the clues that popped up gradually throughout. Each time something  new was found, terrifying Kit, the tension spiked, drawing me deeper into this fictional world.

Find It On Amazon, HERE:

The more intimate scenes were beautifully written and embraced the sensuality of mankind, rather than being overly graphic like most modern love scenes. Words We Never Speak is a thrilling tale of loss, love, and determination to save something dear to your heart, even in the face of near certain defeat.
Rated 5 stars.

Recommended for lovers of mystery, the
paranormal/supernatural, and metaphysical romance.

 

 

 

Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · Uncategorized

An Unexpected Afterlife, by Dan Sofer:

Set in East Jerusalem, An Unexpected Afterlife follows the journey of Moshe Karlin, a forty year old husband and father, who awakens from the grave two years after unknowingly leaving the world of the living, to find that he has been replaced by supposed best friend, Avi.

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As we learn more about Moshe’s predicament, others in his situation begin to appear, none any the wiser to the cause of their resurrection. I found Moshe’s character to be kind and humble, a true gentleman seeking to do what is right by his fellow man.

Lots of differing viewpoints were shown in regards to the subject of resurrection: some individuals branded it as science fiction and shunned our main characters, while a few accepted their tales of woe and were willing to help them back onto their feet.

Loss, love, and betrayal are key themes that I was able to identify.

Find it on Goodreads, HERE:

The author’s style was poetic and gave the impression that every word was carefully chosen for maximum emotional impact. His words formed beautiful images within my mind, as well as some not so beautiful.

A tale of life, death, and true rebirth.

Rated 5 stars.
Recommended for lovers of the paranormal.

 

 

 

Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · Uncategorized

Harkworth Hall (YA Mystery Review)


Harkworth Hall, by L. S. Johnson:

Harkworth Hall, set in England of 1752, is a young adult mystery novel that follows Caroline Daniels, the daughter of a long-standing widow. While her father expects her to marry, as is expected of all fine ladies, Caroline’s brash attitude and boyish curiosity lead her down a different path.

35510328This was a book I just could not put down. The writer had me hooked from start to finish, with quirky characters I came to love. My favourites were Caroline and the mysterious Mr Chase. While I adored Caroline’s refusal to obey society’s protocols for women and her level of determination and bravery, Mr Chase took this concept to a whole new level. They had a natural chemistry with Miss Daniel’s and appeared devoted to her from their first meeting. As a dark plot develops and blood is spilled, Mr Chase stops at nothing to warn Caroline of the dangers that lurk around Harkworth Hall.

Find it on Goodreads HERE:

The novel was written beautifully. It possessed an effortless grace when it came to the flow of the words, with non-stop action that keeps the blood pumping. The words themselves sing, the word choice perfect for evoking emotion within each and every scene.

I would recommend this book to both mystery and young adult book lovers. It was a true gem to read and I am thankful that the book was brought to my attention.

Easily rated 5 stars.

Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · Fantasy

The Warlock’s Nemesis (A Fantasy Review)

The Warlock’s Nemesis, by Alena Des:

Betrayal, Magic, Undying Love.

The Warlock’s Nemesis is a rare jewel of a book.’

 

In The Warlock’s Nemesis, a fantasy novel, we follow young Alice through a series of unexpected and truly remarkable events. The novel begins with a mysterious conversation, followed by a virus which spreads through the human population like wildfire. It’s a good thing there are witches and warlocks to heal them…for now.

As a healer herself, Alice is an invaluable asset when it comes to tackling the virus head on. I found her progressing relationship with 1,100 year old warlock Tannon to be sweet, yet sensual- a true love affair. Their story moves swiftly, promising demons, magic, and much more.

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There is a beautiful contrast between light and darkness as a war wages between the leaders of each driving force. I was shocked to learn of Alice’s true nature (no spoilers, don’t fret) and found her to be a most admirable heroine. The goodness that lies within her heart knows no bounds.

Besides Alice, I had two other favourite characters, Riley and Tannon. Riley’s dark sense of humour and mischievous personality always brought a smile to my face. I found him to be an intense character that charmed his way through all situations.

Find it on Goodreads HERE

As for Tannon, his magical ability intrigued me from the start, but so too did his natural habits, e.g. his talking extensively to himself. This happens to be a natural habit of both myself and my partner so I find it easy to relate to his character. Talking to oneself often helps to get unwanted thoughts out of your head, allowing you to seek your own counsel, as it were.

I loved every moment of this book and could not put it down. I would recommend it to fantasy and supernatural lovers alike as it was a genuine delight to read.

My rating for this novel is 5 stars.

Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · Cover Reveal

Sleep Savannah Sleep, by Alistair Cross (Pre-Release Review)

When Jason and his two children move to Shadow Springs for a fresh start, their world begins to change for the worse. With strange, seductive neighbours and missing persons, the town seems less than welcoming.

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I found the foreshadowing of coming events to be well constructed and adored Jason as a character. He appears to be a kind and loyal man that will stop at nothing until justice is served.

I got a spooky vibe from the story to begin with, which isn’t all that surprising once you get into the novel. It’s steady pace and high level of tension make for an eerie, yet gripping read that I would recommend to lovers of mystery and the supernatural.

Rated 4/5 stars.

Pre-Order the book HERE

Books Reviews

Awakening Alexa, by Racheal Lachman:

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This short but compelling tale sees devoted wife Alexa questioning her marriage. From the very start, the reader must ask themselves why her marriage is at risk. I myself was intrigued by the potential answer.

Although this story was no more than 70-80 pages, it really did pack a hefty emotional punch. The narration was intelligent, with the perfect choice of wording to hook the reader into the story.

A strange series of dreams plague Alexa and lead to an ending I did not expect. I’m hoping that the author is planning a sequel as I would like to learn more about Alexa and her world.

 

Find it on Amazon HERE

I would happily rate this book as 4/5 stars.

I read it in one sitting and loved every moment. There were some examples of incorrect word usage, making the odd sentence hard to understand, but this is a minor nuisance and didn’t distract from the story as a whole.