Book Review: Fading to Black

Fading to Black
V.H. Luis
(Uninhibited #2)
Publication date: November 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

We’re flawed. Both full of scars and tormented by the shadows of our past. But in each other’s arms we find solace, we find perfection.

Adam Black. Gorgeous, demanding, a sinful dream that once was my reality.

I was his… until I walked away.

For months I’ve managed to curb my Adam addiction. I’ve focused my energy on my painting career. I’ve found success. Still there is a dangerous urge within me I can’t resist, one that tempts me to be reckless. My life isn’t complete.

Something is missing… he’s missing.

I left him, but fate again has made us collide. And this time I won’t turn away—I won’t be the only one revealing the scars of my past.

I was his… am his… and this time he’ll be completely mine.

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My Review

Ok, I cannot start talking about the second book before only pointing out some key facts about the first one in the series (yes, this time I was smart enough to read Book 1 first, and then 2 – it surprised me too!). “Waking to Black” is definitely a trip to take. This story will give you the time of day and not only because of the plot and many things happening in there, but because all the frustration, anger, sympathy and many other feelings you may feel for these characters.

Eve and Adam are one though couple. They are both messed up in more ways than one and they are both in desperate need of a soul to lean on. None of them is willing to face it though and both think they need something different. From a psychological point of view, they are a great case study.

I loved how the romance was built in Book 1. Well, romance may not be such an accurate term, but ok. He was a jerk most of the time and I could not stand him and she was full of contradictions. I found it interesting, since it goes well with this idea that the two characters need to find a form of stability, but at some point, I was thinking “enough already! “.

So “Waking to Black” was great and it left me waiting for the follow up. It was a book I could not keep down and nothing could have kept me from starting the next one in the series!

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And here we are now discussing the actual book that is the focus of the current blog tour. “Fading to Black” uncovers new angles of the characters. If the first book was more focused on the personality of our characters, at least in my opinion, in this second part we have a little action on the side.

We have a new Adam and an Eve with a strong career. They are both tortured by their falling apart, but this time Adam feels like more willing to do what is needed. He has had a wake-up call and this is so visible. He backs her up, he’s all in. Eve is the same hot and cold as book 1, but with her lessons learned, she is more mature now.

No complains about this one. I liked it so so much and devoured it just as I did “Waking to Black”. I do admit I would have liked to hear also what he has to say, taking that the story is told from Eve’s POV. But this didn’t diminish my enjoyment. I liked the action, it was a very nice surprise and there were some elements I didn’t see coming.

All in all, “Fading to Black” was fantastic and I cannot wait to see what the next one has in stall. There is a new couple that may have something to say in the next books. V.H. Luis is an amazing writer and I am excited to have discovered her and her books J Check this out, it will become one of your favorites as well!

 

 

Author Bio:

V.H. Luis is the author of the Black Series, an erotic romance trilogy that follows the love affair of Evelyn Snowe and Adam Black. Her debut book WAKING to Black, was released May 2, 2018, and the subsequent sequels FADING to Black, and SURRENDERING to Black, will follow shortly thereafter.

I’m a born and bred Miami Girl–and proud of it! I would wear shorts and flip-flops everyday of the week if I could. Growing up in Miami, surrounded by my parent’s heritage has made me proud of my Cuban ancestry. Cafecito and a guava pastry for breakfast? Yes, please! Salsa music while I tidy the house? Of course.

If I’m not busy scribbling notes about a story, I’m painting, listening to music, or spending time with the love of my life–my son. If I decide to travel, I bring the whole family (in-laws included), or at least I try to, because life is too short not to spend it with family; one of the many lessons my father taught me.

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Book Review: Specular

Specular
L.K Brooks-Simpson
(IXI COMICS, #1)
Publication date: August 16th 2018
Genres: Superhero, Young Adult

The first installment of the IXI COMICS series by author L.K BROOKS-SIMPSON

This novel is of the fantasy/superhero fiction genre and tackles some important implications of mental health and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

Imagine being afraid to fall asleep in fear that you will not wake up to the life you know. This is exactly what Tre Moon experienced at nine years old. He awakes to his second dissociative identity having set his house aflame. With his home ruined and his parents murdered at his own hands, he is sentenced to trial for a life sentence. Young Tre Moon is forced to walk a path that will change his life forever.

When seventeen year old Tre comes into contact with a prohibited substance called Colloidal Supersilver his life will change forever when he finds out he has the ability to change how light refracts from his body. His new powers come with new challenges to an already complicated life, having battled Dissociative Identity Disorder for the majority of his youth.

Follow the origin story of IXI COMICS first hero as he becomes Indiana’s newest vigilante, Specular! In a city full of crime, recession, drug underlords and other mysterious vigilante’s, the legend of Tre Moon will unfold, all the while, his dark past tries to catch up with him…

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My Review

Well, today looks like a day full of surprising reviews. This is another story that melted my heart on so many levels. We all have a world inside us, we all build fantasies and somewhere in our own universe, we have our Prince Charming, we are superheroes, movie stars, or just simply living the life we imagine. In part, this is what “Specular” is all about – a boy dealing with his mind.

Tre has never been alone. This voice in his head has always pushed ugly thoughts in his head! All until one day when the voice takes over and everything changes. Years later, he tries to put his life back together, trying to cope with Dissociative Identity Disorder, school and other teenage normal items – like becoming a superhero.

This was such a great combination between a story that anyone would read and one that presents something much more important like dealing with mental illness. The author did a splendid job mixing the two, but not once shadowing the important elements. We have the adult presence, the guidance of a specialist which was yet another item that marks the beauty of this story.

Overall, I liked it so so much and I enjoyed every page and every aspect of it. We all have to be aware of our mind, we all have to recognize when something is wrong. Yet we are all lost sometimes in our own thoughts and universes. So who are we really? Let’s see what the series tells us J

 

Author Bio:

L.K. Brooks-Simpson is a native of London, England. He is an English Literature graduate and Film Production student.

Aside from his creative ventures, he is a strong supporter of philanthropy. He cites his biggest influences as J.R.R. Tolkien, Sanyika Shakur, J.K. Rowling, Tsugumi Ohba, Stan Lee and Maya Angelou, among many others.

Three sentences he would use to describe himself – A book is for the mind. Travel is for the heart. Family is for the soul.

Lara has always considered himself a student of literature and story form and for this reason, his taste is eclectic. Ranging from novels to manga – poems to screenwriting and even comic book story boards. Just as genres define certain works, there are a lot of elements that define his creative process. He has aspirations to write in many different genres.

 

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Book Review: The Princess of Baker Street

The Princess of Baker Street
Mia Kerick
Published by: Harmony Ink Press
Publication date: January 22nd 2019
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

“Always wear your imaginary crown” is Joey Kinkaid’s motto. For years, Joey, assigned male at birth, led the Baker Street kids in daring and imaginative fantasy adventures, but now that they’re teenagers, being a princess is no longer quite so cool. Especially for a child who is seen by the world as a boy.

Eric Sinclair has always been Joey’s best friend and admirer—Prince Eric to Joey’s Princess Ariel—but middle school puts major distance between them. As Eric’s own life takes a dangerous turn for the worse, he stands by and watches as Joey—who persists in dressing and acting too much like a Disney princess for anybody’s comfort—gets bullied. Eric doesn’t like turning his back on Joey, but he’s learned that the secret to teenage survival, especially with and absent mother, is to fly under the radar.

But when Joey finally accepts who she is and comes to school wearing lip gloss, leggings, and a silky pink scarf, the bullies make her life such a misery that she decides to end it all. Eric, in turn, must decide who he really is and what side he wants to stand on… though no matter what he chooses, the consequences with be profound for both teens, and they’ll face them for years to come.

Is there a chance the two teens can be friends again, and maybe even more?

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My Review

I am not usually venturing into books that involve LGBT characters, mostly because I found out I have difficulties in relating with the characters and their emotions. However, „The Princess of Baker Street” was a beautiful surprise. I didn’t even realize how time flew by and how much my time spent with Eric and Joey captivated me.

It was interesting for me to discover that the book is not told by Joey, but Eric – Joey’s best friend. It was refreshing to see how Eric deals with the changes in his own mind and heart and his reactions to Joey’s. So even if you may not be a reader of books involving LGBT, it’s easy to relate and I think having Eric narrate the events is one major plus.

Two best friends, a strong friendship being altered by time and passage to teenage – that’s one way of expressing what the story is about. There is so much more to it. We have Eric dealing with his personal struggles, dealing with losing his fantasies from childhood (his escape world) but also we have Joey – in search of identity, facing changes and facing bullies. There is so much depth to all the scenes in the book and so much to learn.

All in all, this is a story that changed me, it left a mark on my soul and I would gladly reread it. It’s revealing, but not in a hurtful or shameful way. It reveals how much a friendship can change, how strong one has to be to face the world, how freeing the truth can be. I loved it! 5 stars!

 

 

Author Bio:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son, heading off to college. (Yes, the nest is finally empty.) She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing scholarship essays. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it’s a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled people in complex relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to her wonderful publishers for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award for Young Adult e-book Fiction, among other awards.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit at http://www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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Book Review: Wrong Bed, Right Roommate

Wrong Bed, Right Roommate
Rebecca Brooks
Published by: Entangled: Brazen
Publication date: January 14th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

It’s not every day you wake up to a stranger getting into your bed.

Only, he isn’t a stranger at all, he’s my best friend’s hot older brother…and apparently my new roommate.

Having him in my space, driving me crazy, isn’t a problem at all. Nope.

All I need to do is keep control of the situation…

But that’s easier said than done. Shawn Lassiter is the kind of distraction I don’t need. First he accidentally gets into my bed, half-naked, the night before my first day at my new job. Hello, muscles and tattoos! Then he’s there, in nothing but a towel, making me coffee in the morning. It’s more than any girl can resist. Right?

But Shawn is off-limits, even if his eyes are saying differently.

Years ago, back when I still had my crush, he destroyed friendships with his reckless playboy antics.  There’s no way I’m touching those perfectly formed abs now. I don’t care how nice and responsible he’s acting. I don’t want a boyfriend anyway. That’s what my trusty vibrator is for.

I’m the smart girl—the glasses-wearing, book-reading workaholic. I can totally do this. After all, it’s only for two and a half months. I’ll be on my best behavior…even if Shawn isn’t.

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My Review

Falling for the best friend’s brother may not be one of the most complicated tropes, but it may cause some issues and we will find out about some of them from Jessie and Shawn’s story. I liked them as a couple and I liked how each has to break some rules to be together. Somehow, they both get out of their comfort zone and find out it’s really great to do it.

Jessie has always been focused on anything she was doing, be that school, books or work. So having the opportunity to prove herself as an editor is a major thing. She must focus on her job, even though her roommate is… hard to ignore. Almost the same for Shawn – he realized he was good at something, he likes his bear and likes making it, he savors the process of creating that special aroma. And he also needs to prove his worth to his boss. Lust after his sister’s best friend has no place, especially since she is off limits (like: „been there, done that, but with another best friend of the sister. And then another…” ).

Sometimes, as much as you say „No”, it’s kind of visible you want to say „Yes” and when one (feel good) mistake happens, for sure the next will too. I liked how Shawn slowly started to break Jessie’s walls and how he managed to tempt her. There is another side of her, behind the glasses and the books.

There were some parts of the book where I had the impression that he did a lot for her, while in return she was not willing to do the same. I would have preferred to see them come together differently in the end. These are my only two negative comments.

All in all, this was one of those books that make you feel good and experience that first crush emotions. I read it in one sitting and I had a very fun time reading it. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well 🙂 4 stars! Happy reading!

 

 

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind to try something new–and find the passion, excitement and purpose they didn’t know they’d been missing. Learn more at http://rebeccabrooksromance.com. To sign-up for her newsletter, sign-up at http://rebeccabrooksromance.com/newsletter.

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Book Review: The Sheikh’s Christmas Fling

The Sheikh’s Christmas Fling
Leslie North
(Christmas With the Yared Sheikhs, #1)
Publication date: December 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

It’s the Christmas season in the tiny Kingdom of Maatkare, and the royal family needs a chef. Desperate to prove herself after her first restaurant failed, Ana Rizzo jumps at this chance for redemption and nabs the high-paying, short-term job. The opportunity couldn’t be more perfect. Ana will be able to stretch her culinary skills, earn enough money to open another restaurant, and still be able to give her adopted daughter the attention she needs. Her biggest challenge will be winning over the family’s elderly cook and getting Noel Yared, the middle son, to give her food his stamp of approval. She only cares about Noel’s palate, not his soulful brown eyes, his gorgeous runner’s body, and his amazing kisses. An avid runner herself, Ana pushes herself to keep up with Noel during their daily runs. But she’s finding the biggest challenge is resisting Noel’s charm.

Noel finds Ana endlessly fascinating and incredibly sexy. With a bit of charming persuasion from him, the two begin what they both know is a short-term affair. No rules, no heartache, just great sex and a bit of fun. So when he believes Ana has betrayed his family’s trust, he’s glad his heart wasn’t involved. Glad she’s gone. Glad he’ll never see her again. Until he realizes a couple terrible truths too late: Ana was actually the one who was betrayed, and somehow he’s fallen hard for her. Now he needs a bit of Christmas magic to prove he’s worthy of her love.

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My Review

I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I love Leslie North’s books and I love her stories with sheikhs and all this interesting land. However, for “The Sheikh’s Christmas Fling” it’s the short length that bothers me so much.

We have characters with potential and an interesting plot, but there is not much room for development. Ana is one of the most determined heroines I’ve encountered. She has faced a failed marriage, a ruined business and career. Now she starts over in a small country, where tradition is key and food customs are to be respected. Little did she expect to feel this attraction for her employer’s son – Sheikh Noel Yared. He shows her his country, with all its beauty, the spices that are at the heart of their culinary tradition and all she has to do is work her magic. However, not everybody is happy with the arrival of the new chef and she has to deal with a disgruntled employer, willing to do whatever it takes to see her out of the kitchen.

He knew he should stay away from Ana. The mother. The employee. The future complicated situation.

As I was mentioning, there is so much potential here. I wanted to see Ana explore more of the food, I wanted to see more traditions, just more of Maatkare. Noel knows he should stay away from a single mother, but this angle is not explored enough. As for Ana, she has adopted her daughter from a foreign country – cheers for that! But I wanted to know why. Charlie, Ana’s best friend is more like a shadow and for now I don’t see where he fits in the bigger picture.

With all my complains, we do have this intense attraction between the two and I loved to see Noel’s respect and pride for his country. They are a match for one another in terms of ambition and success.

“I’m a chef,” she went on. “I am a professional organizer of flavors. It’s more than just math. It’s not just carbs and proteins. It’s a beautiful dance that brings in emotion and memories. It’s a journey, and it’s one of the fine arts of life.”

All in all, I would never pass a Leslie North book. Even if this is not the great start I was expecting, I cannot wait to discover the other stories in the series. I saw that they are a little longer so I  have high hopes.

Let me know in the comments below if you have read any of Leslie’s books and if not, try them! She is a prolific writer and you have plenty of stories to choose from 🙂

 

 

Author Bio:

Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don’t hesitate to contact her via e-mail: leslie@leslienorthbooks.com.

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Cover Reveal: Stolen Goods

Stolen Goods
Kay Marie
(To Catch a Thief #2)
Publication date: January 7th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Catch Me If You Can meets Tangled in this funny and feel-good romantic comedy, new from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis, writing as Kay Marie.

Addison Abbot is a dreamer—she dreams of owning her own cake shop, of traveling the world, of finding Prince Charming. But when it comes to actually following any of those dreams, she’s a little, well, stuck. So when a devilishly handsome stranger saves her from two robbers with guns and pulls her into the adventure of a lifetime, she’s determined to find her fairytale ending—until she realizes he’s the most wanted criminal in America, that is.

Thaddeus Ryder was just another run-of-the-mill international art thief until his latest heist went south. Now, his face is on every news station, his name is making headlines, and his partner is working for the feds. Talk about a bad week on the job. His only option is to flee the country. But when hitmen for the Russian mafia interrupt his getaway, Thad gains an accidental companion—a baking beauty who might be too tempting to resist.

When a girl good meets a bad boy, sparks are bound to fly. But this conman is about to discover the only thing he can’t steal is her heart…

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Sequel to:

 

Author Bio:

Kaitlyn Davis, a bestselling author with over a quarter of a million books sold, writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publishers Weekly has said, “Davis writes with confidence and poise,” while USA Today has recommended her work as “must-read romance.”

Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found playing fetch with her puppy, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com

Sign up for Kaitlyn’s newsletter to stay up-to-date with all of her new releases, to receive exclusive subscriber bonus content, and more! bit.ly/KaitlynDavisNewsletter

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Book Review: Secrets In Our Scars

Secrets In Our Scars
Rebecca Trogner
Publication date: February 7th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

A sexy romance. A twisted mystery. One mistake can change everything.

On a sweltering summer day, Daisy Aldridge knocks on the wrong door. Yanked inside. Trapped and pressed against her only means of escape she spirals into a panic. Years ago she suffered an assault. Alone and afraid, she kept it hidden and dealt with the emotional aftermath in her own way.

But this time she’s not alone. She’s helped by a man who seems vaguely familiar. Roy Blackwood is massive, muscled, powerful, and controlled. She tells herself she wants nothing to do with him.

Roy sees through her resistance. He wants her. Needs her. He promises to find the identity of her birth parents and unveil the person who leaves her anonymous gifts. And most important of all, earn the love and trust of Daisy Aldridge..

A standalone, full-length romance.

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My Review

This is one emotional story, if not because of the romance then because of the characters’ backstories. They both have issues, one is more affected by them than the other, and they both want to move forward. However, only one is willing to put the past behind completely.

Ok, just a little bit of what we have here: Roy meets Daisy “thanks” to an unfortunate event. He is the one that saves her and with that, they have a spark. From here on his intentions are clear and strong. However, her fears are stronger. Daisy’s trauma is deeper than they both could have imagined and Roy has to fight not only his demons, but also hers. Is a fight against the past one that can be won?

Roy and Daisy have such powerful backstories. I was captivated by how well the author has captured their emotions and their fears. It is a story that touches you from the first pages. At first, we see the couple grow closer and closer and then the story focuses more on Daisy and her intentions to reconnect with her parents. I loved it so so much!

While our characters have their own flaws, I loved how they balanced each other throughout the chapters. Where she is insecure, he is her strong arm. I must admit that here and there I felt the actions or the dialogue a little bit forced, it does little to affect my judgment .

Again, I feel the need to state the obvious: this is a book that will affect you on many levels. There are many triggers here for abuse, but there is also a good support system in Roy. Loved it, recommend it! 4 out of 5 stars 🙂

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Trogner started writing her first novel after watching True Blood. Of course it was about vampires and thus The Last Keepers Daughter was born. The next, The Last Guardian Rises, continued the series. Her latest book, Secrets In Our Scars, is a contemporary romance and a lot spicier. She’s working on her fourth book with the help of her rescued animal pets.

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