Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Fireman by Joe Hill

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The FiremanThe Fireman by Joe Hill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A new plague has begun in the world and the scientists are baffled as to how to stop it. Millions are infected with no antidote in sight. The scientists have named it the Draco Incendia Trychophyton but the rest of the population is just calling it Dragonscale. It’s highly dangerous and highly contagious marking those infected with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies before causing them to burst into flames.

Harper Grayson was a school nurse before the plague broke out but when the call went out for help in the local hospital she couldn’t sit back and do nothing. Taking every precaution Harper works with those with the virus everyday but never really expected that one day she would end up sick herself. She and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact to end it if they were to become sick, there’s only one problem now that the day has come, Harper is now carrying a new life inside her.

After reading a wonderful review from Kim @ By Hook or By Book of The Fireman I couldn’t help but want to pick this one up and check it out myself. I’m one that loves a good dystopian type of novel which Joe Hill has managed here with this book along with a mix of horror, science fiction and even a touch of romance in the midst of all the chaos.

Harper was a wonderful character from start to finish. She’s dedicated her life to helping others even at the point it turned to her life in danger. She’s always had a thing for Mary Poppins and prides herself on staying calm to deal with anything tossed at her and a bit of a nurturing side that comes with being there for others.

Our Fireman in the story is a new character to get to enjoy in this read. A regular man that has now made it his mission to help those infected he has also studied the effects of this disease and learned to use some of the side effects to his advantage.

Harper’s one wish came down to wanting to live long enough to try to give birth to a healthy baby but along the way she has many obstacles to overcome. A husband that is determined to end her life now that she’s sick. A world full of those that are trying to wipe out the plague by killing those infected. And stumbling into a cult like environment trying to escape.

A definite page turner from start to finish that I’d definitely recommend checking out.

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Cover Reveal: Shattered Pack by Aileen Erin with giveaway

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Shattered Pack
Aileen Erin
(Alpha Girl, #6)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: November 29th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Meredith Molloney never thought she’d find a mate, let alone someone like Donovan Murry—one of the most powerful Alphas alive. Now that she’s no longer cursed and the evil Luciana Alvarez has been taken care of, she thinks life will finally settle down. Boy, has she never been so wrong

In the middle of the night, Donovan gets a call telling him that his pack has gone to pieces. The news that his second in command has been found brutally murdered has Donovan packing his bags for Ireland, but the last thing Meredith wants to do is leave Texas. She’s heard about how the Celtic Pack are with outsiders. And Donovan has more than a few exes in the pack that will be less than friendly.

Meredith’s never let a few angry wolves stop her, and she’s not about to start now. She’s faced down much worse the past few months. But when she gets there, she finds that it’s not just a few exes who stand in the way between her and her Full Moon Ceremony with Donovan

Meredith is thrust in to a deadly game of pack politics, one the fey have happily joined in on. When the dust settles, she knows she’ll either have everything that she wants or lose it all.

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Author Bio:

Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

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Hold You Against Me by Skye Warren book blitz with giveaway

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Hold You Against Me
Skye Warren
(Stripped #4)
Publication date: May 31st 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

From New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren comes a sexy new novel in the Stripped series…

Once upon a time the daughter of a mafia king fell in love with a foot soldier.

This fairy tale didn’t have a happy ending.

My sister and I barely managed to escape alive, and we’ve lived in relative hiding ever since. I’m safe now, but I can never forget the boy who gave his life to save mine.

Except there are whispers that he’s still alive. And he’s fighting a war.

Even knowing the risks, I have to find him. I have to find some way to protect him, the way he protected me. But he isn’t the boy I left behind. He’s a violent man. A criminal. And he’s been waiting for me—the final pawn in a dark game of survival and love.

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EXCERPT:

Something moves me gently, constant and rhythmic like waves. I’m warm. There’s something soft curling around my arms, wrapped inside my fists. Padding beneath my cheek that smells like home.

An unnatural darkness weighs down on me, keeping me from waking up—a demon’s whisper in my ear. You’re warm, you’re safe. Sleep.

But something is wrong.

I remember falling asleep, so suddenly, remember drinking water that I hadn’t filled. And I remember the phone call from Amy telling me that Giovanni’s alive. Impossible.

Awareness pricks my skin like a cold breeze. Wherever I am, I’m not alone.

I blink rapidly, forcing my eyes open. They adjust to the darkness quickly, taking in the tinted windows on either side and the wide leather bench curving beneath me. I’m in a car. A limo, to be exact. And it’s moving.

On the opposite side of the long space, a large body reclines. I can see the wide stance of his legs, the pale white of his shirt. A suit jacket tossed beside his hip. His face is hidden in the shadows of the vehicle.

I was raised by the head of the Las Vegas mafia, the capo. I grew up around guns and violence, so I know when a man is armed. It’s the way he holds himself, the warning shimmering around him like a dark halo.

This man is armed and extremely dangerous.

Every muscle in my body tenses. My mind still swims in thick water, because I must have been drugged. He drugged me, this faceless man. Why did he take me? It won’t be anything good, that’s for sure.

Even worse, I suspect this has something to do with my past, with my family. It’s messed up that I’d rather be taken by some random psycho. But at least then I’d have a chance of getting away.

“Who are you?” I demand, my voice hoarse from whatever drugs they gave me.

There’s a long pause, the weight of his regard as heavy as a finger trailing down my neck.

“Have I really changed that much, bella, that you don’t recognize me?”

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Author Bio:

Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of dark romance. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely tender.

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Cover Reveal: Stolas by Randi Cooley Wilson

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Stolas
Randi Cooley Wilson
(Dark Soul Series, #1)
Publication date: Fall 2016
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

An ancient legend draws them together. His dark soul will tear them apart.

Sometimes, the only fairy tales that exist…are the dark ones.

For the past two years, Hope Annandale has fought to hold onto her sanity. Plagued by voices and visions, she struggles to understand what’s real, and what’s an illusion. As the lines between reality and hallucination blur, Hope discovers things that shouldn’t be real, exist.

When Hope’s world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death. And the only one who can save her is the dangerously attractive demon prince, who is bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

The fate Stone has fought to escape is here. With destiny on one side, and desire on the other, Stone must protect Hope from the one thing he can’t hide from…his birthright.

What if the one person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

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Author Bio:

Randi Cooley Wilson is an author of paranormal, urban fantasy and contemporary romance books. Randi makes stuff up, devours romance books, drinks lots of coffee, prefers champagne, and has a slight addiction to bracelets. She currently resides in Massachusetts with her daughter and husband. For more information visit: http://randicooleywilson.com

Photo Credit: Gretje Ferguson Photography

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Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey

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Spells of Blood and KinSpells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Lissa Nevsky’s grandmother passes away rather suddenly from a heart attack Lissa is left on her own trying to learn the family trade, magic. The community is now relying on Lissa to give them their remedies and be their koldun’ia.

Maksim Volkov comes looking for Lissa grandmother, she had helped him deal with being a Kin and controlling his urges. After her passing Maksim finds that the protective spell that she had put on him has failed so now he needs Lissa to help him before his violent nature returns full force.

Spells of Blood and Kin is one of those books that when I was finished reading I wasn’t quite sure on how I wanted to rate this one. I really didn’t mind reading it at all and was somewhat into the story all throughout but it really lacked in some things. The story changes the point of view with the two major characters being Maksim and Lissa. Lissa is a witch and learning her trade while Maksim is what is known as Kin.

Lissa being left to figure out what her grandmother would have been teaching her had she not passed suddenly is an intriguing idea. The magic involved was fun to read about and follow along. Pretty sure the idea of passing out spells in eggs is a completely new one so that part takes on an angle of it’s own.

However, with Maksim being this new thing called a Kin I was left the entire book wishing that there was a better explanation of what exactly that was. In the beginning it sounded a bit like a vampire but the bits and pieces given throughout gives the impression it’s different but it’s never really fully explained. I think I would have enjoyed this more if only I could understand a major character in the book better along with a few secondary characters.

In the end the story wasn’t too bad overall. The pace could get a bit slow for me here and there but I questioned whether if that was due to the lack of explanation of a huge part of the story, the Kin. I felt it would probably grab readers more if they had a better understanding about what they were reading about.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cover Reveal: Under A Million Stars by Rita Branches with giveaway

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Under A Million Stars
Rita Branches
Publication date: August 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?

Her heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.

Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.

Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. As he watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realizes that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.

Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.

Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?

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Author Bio:

Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she´s not reading) writing emotional stories. Visit: http://ritabranches.wordpress.com/

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Leaving Me Behind by Sigal Ehrlich book blitz with giveaway

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Leaving Me Behind
Sigal Ehrlich
Publication date: May 24th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

He was supposed to be a personal challenge. A Spanish lover – younger and sinfully attractive. A daring, wild experience for one night.

My liberation from my self-oppressed lifestyle was planned out carefully down to the last detail.

Everything except . . .

HIM.

I didn’t see it coming, not by a long shot. My plan was safe. I was going to quit my job, say goodbye to the restraints of the life I had known, and follow my dreams.

I rented a house halfway across the globe in an exotic Spanish town on the coast. I made some new friends. I reveled in luscious food and a stunning landscape. Most of all I savored my new found freedom.

That is until I met HIM.

It was supposed to be a night of lost inhibitions, soon to become a sweet memory. That was my plan.

He had something different in mind.

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EXCERPT:

“So how did you like our wine?” Sebastian gestures with a hint of a knowing glee to the half-empty evidence on my coffee table.

“Vivian suggested I try it,” I blabber. “Umm, it was good.”

He cocks an eyebrow.

“Frankly, I’m not much of a wine person; I’m more of a sweet cocktail kind of gal. It was very good though, but I couldn’t elaborate on the taste or anything else as you experts would.”

“I see,” he says somewhat pensive. He motions for me to take a seat at the low coffee table and settles himself on the sofa in front of me. His slightly parted legs almost touch mine. He takes the bottle and deftly removes the cork.

“Let’s try to do it together, shall we,” he says, his voice a degree huskier. “You need to use your senses to evaluate wine, scent, taste . . .sight.” He gives me a soft, yet bluntly suggestive look. “Sight,” he says as he brings the bottle to his mouth, wraps his lips around the narrow opening, and takes a slow sip. I swallow hard, following the motion of his Adam’s apple under bristled, tanned skin. He then inclines his head toward me and cups the nape of my neck. He slightly tilts my head back and touches his mouth to mine. With the parting of my lips, his tongue reaches in, filling my mouth with warmness, wine, and an intoxicating breath. His tongue commences to stroke mine through the rich moistness; a combined sensual flesh on flesh electrifying sensation hovered by the tingling of the aromatic liquid. It skims around my tongue, letting the luscious liquid reach every part of my greedy mouth. I suck hard on his tongue, tasting the wine and him; my desire grows, and grows with every erotic stroke of his.

“Taste,” he says low as he pulls back, lightly biting my bottom lip causing a sting that crawls all the way between my legs. “Keep your eyes closed, Liv. I’m going to do that again. I want you to suck on it, swirl it in your mouth, and try to think what flavors come to your mind.” And he does, with one hand at the nape of my neck and the other sliding to curl around my knee. Everything inside me tightens, everything around me melts, and everything about me arouses. It’s a sensory overload.

“Open them . . . now, tell me if it’s balanced.” He kisses my lips gently. “Complex.” Another kiss. “Evolved.” A more profound one.

Tastes like an orgasm? I close my eyes and lick my slightly pulsing lips. His hand trails slowly under the hem of my dress, holding my thigh with mild force. I lick my lips again, distracted by the touch of his hand.

“It tastes warm and rich.”

“Mmmhmm.” His hand sprawls, making my skin burn at the spot.

“Fruity and sexy,” I add quietly, my eyes still closed, the edge of my lips slightly curved.

“Keep going.” His other hand cups my cheek, and his thumb grazes my lips.

“It tastes like something I want in my mouth again.” My eyelids slowly lift and my eyes meld into his with everything that rages inside of me.

“Sold,” he says gruffly, with a hint of a heated smile. “Oh, and there’s the scent,” he adds next, nuzzling the area just below my ear. His hand on my thigh under my dress advances till the tips of his fingers whisper over the delicate fabric of my panties. I strangle a moan while his lips sear the skin of my neck. He murmurs, “Divine.”

My eyes remain closed as I savor the taste of his mouth, his tongue, and his sweet, musky scent wafting around me. God, he smells like warm, rich, spicy chocolate. He smells like molten chocolate with a sprinkle of chili.

“Take your dress off for me, Liv.” His voice reaches me, and we slowly flicker our eyes into a scorching, locked stare. He speaks to my mouth next, though it feels like he speaks to the spot between my legs as it insentiently starts pulsing in heat. “Undress for me. Stand up and slowly take your dress off.”

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Author Bio:

By teen age, Sigal already lived in three different continents where she was lucky enough to experience and visit varied places, meet unique people, which only helped fuel her overly developed imagination. Currently, Sigal calls Estonia home where she lives with her husband and three kids.

Not exactly sure where they will end up next…

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Mirror Image by Michele Pariza Wacek book blitz with giveaway

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Mirror Image
Michele Pariza Wacek
Publication date: May 27th 2016
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Which would be worse, knowing that your dead sister has come back to life and is now a serial killer or that someone else is the killer….and that person is you?

Six months after Linda’s sister Elizabeth killed herself, Linda has finally gotten her life back to some semblance of normalcy. Until a killer appears who is stalking men … a killer who resembles Elizabeth … a killer who seems somehow familiar to Linda.

And, to make matters worse, Steve, her old high school crush and now a detective, is assigned to this case. He’s asking Linda all sorts of questions, questions Linda couldn’t possibly have an answer to.

There’s no reason for him to be investigating Linda. She couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this.

Could she?

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EXCERPT:

hen Elizabeth was born, her mother knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the hospital had made a mistake.

It had been a difficult pregnancy. Marie spent most of it in bed, nauseated, uncomfortable, exhausted. She barely kept anything down, subsisting mostly on tea and saltine crackers. When the time came to deliver, the doctors performed an emergency Caesarean section, so she wasn’t able to actually watch the birth.

She couldn’t explain it, but the first time the nurses presented her with Elizabeth, she refused to even hold the baby. “There must be some mistake,” she insisted.

“There’s no mistake,” the nurses said, their approach firm and no-nonsense.

Blond and pale, Elizabeth looked nothing like the other dark haired members of the family. But it was more than that. Elizabeth felt wrong. Marie sensed it every single time

she looked at Elizabeth, touched Elizabeth, smelled Elizabeth. The baby was alien to her. Elizabeth was not her baby.

But she could do nothing about it. Her husband hadn’t seen the birth. He had refused to attend any of his children’s births. The nurses kept assuring her that no one had made, could possibly have made, a mistake. So Marie had little choice but to bring her home.

Elizabeth was different, always — strange. Marie hated to use that word about any of her children, especially her youngest, but she could find no other word to describe her. Elizabeth was strange. Period.

From birth, the baby kept quiet. Rarely fussed. Hardly cried. She started talking at six months, much earlier than the rest of her children, and started forming full sentences at just over a year old.

She spent most of her time alone or, once she learned how, reading. In fact, Elizabeth remained such a quiet child, Marie could easily forget about her. It made her nervous. Elizabeth was too quiet.

Even her scent was all wrong. Babies smelled warm and sweet, of milk and talcum powder. Elizabeth’s scent reminded her of meat just beginning to

spoil: thick and rotten.

But there was something else wrong with Elizabeth, something more serious than her near silence, her behavior, her scent. Even more serious than that alien feeling, which Marie had tried to dismiss as simple post-partum depression, although it never did go away entirely.

When Marie was really being honest with herself, which didn’t happen often, she could admit what really disturbed her most about her daughter.

Her eyes. Elizabeth had silver eyes.

Not always. Most of the time they looked gray. But sometimes, they changed to silver. Occasionally, Marie even thought she could see them glowing, like a cat’s. Especially at night. There Elizabeth would be, lying on her back, perfectly quiet in her crib, her eyes strangely open, shining faintly in the darkness. Marie would tell herself that Elizabeth’s eyes merely reflected the nightlight in a bizarre fashion. After all, none of her other children’s eyes ever glowed. But it still didn’t make her any easier to face, late at night, as silver eyes stared at her from the darkness. They seemed so old, so ancient. Eyes that had seen thousands of years and hundreds of lifetimes. Those eyes peered out from her newborn’s face, watching her every move, strangely calculating, full of adult understanding and knowledge. She felt afraid, if she were being honest … all alone in the room with those peculiar silver eyes watching, watching, always watching.

Nonsense, she reassured herself. Surely, she could not be afraid of her own infant daughter! What would her husband say? Plenty probably, and most of it with his fists.

Still, she found herself checking on Elizabeth less and less. She argued with herself: Elizabeth didn’t fuss much anyway. Marie didn’t need to check on her so often — not like she did with her other, noisy, “normal” babies.

Her other children. Such a joy they were, her four boys and other girl — Peter, Mark, Mike, Chad and Linda. All healthy, regular children, with coarse dark hair, brown eyes and a little bit of baby fat on their bones. They looked the way children should look,

the way her children should look, like their parents. But more importantly, they acted the way children should act — loud, boisterous, rough, needy. Marie loved them for it, loved how she couldn’t get a moment’s peace when they played together. Even when their play turned to fighting, she still preferred it to Elizabeth’s silent, eerie presence.

But Marie loved Elizabeth, too. Loved her fiercely, with the same passion she felt for her other children. Marie knew she did. She told herself she did, time and time again. The fact that she felt relief when Elizabeth wasn’t around meant nothing. She just needed time away from her children, after all. Almost all mothers welcomed the time they had away from their constant, children-related responsibilities. It didn’t mean she loved them any less. It didn’t mean anything at all.


Author Bio:

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly.

As you can imagine, writing has been a driving passion throughout her life. She became a professional copywriter (which is writing promotional materials for businesses), which led to her founding a copywriting and marketing company that serves clients all over the world.

Along with being a copywriter, she also writes novels (in fact, she just published her first novel, a psychological thriller/suspense/mystery called “The Stolen Twin” and her second novel “Mirror Image'” is set to be published in May 2016) plus, she is also the author of the “Love-Based Copy” books, which are a part of the “Love-Based Business” series and cover both business and personal development.

She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her border collie Nick and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

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Je suis à toi by Pepper Winters book blitz with giveaway

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Je suis à toi
Pepper Winters
(Monsters in the Dark #3.5)
Publication date: May 29th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

“Life taught me an eternal love will demand the worst sacrifices. A transcendent love will split your soul, cleaving you into pieces. A love this strong doesn’t grant you sweetness—it grants you pain. And in that pain is the greatest pleasure of all.”

Q made me the happiest esclave in the world. He gave me his heart, his empire, his ruthless unforgiving love. And life finally left us in peace.

A man like my maître has special needs though, growing stronger as our lives intertwine. The only way to survive his monster is to agree to all his desires.

Including his latest wish.

I’m his.

And I won’t refuse.

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EXCERPT:

Tess and I remained quiet, letting the others do the entertaining.

The staff cleared the table, appearing and disappearing effortlessly. It felt as if we were alone and in a private sanctuary rather than a cavernous castle.

Finishing his wine, Frederick stood up, helping Angelique to her feet with a doting smile. They made a handsome couple with their svelte frames and similar features. I didn’t have many close friends, but those I did, I cherished.

“Let’s play a few parlour games. What do you say?” Frederick clapped his hands, encouraging us to stand.

Tess rolled her eyes as Franco plucked Suzette from her chair.

“I don’t think monopoly or scrabble are what most of us have in mind tonight.” Tess murmured too low for anyone but me to hear as she came toward my side.

Wrapping an arm around her waist, it came off as kind and loving, but the fierce way I glued her to my side spoke of domination and desire. “Shall we retire and find our own entertainment?” I whispered in her ear.

She smiled coyly. “I think that’s a—”

“Come on. No excuses. A few games together and then we’ll head to bed.” Frederick in his bossiness didn’t let us say no.

With a mixture of grumbles and half-hearted hesitation, he ferried us into the room attached to the great hall and motioned us to sit in the mismatch velour love-seats and wingbacks grouped together around a low coffee table. Nestled by the chairs were a whiteboard, markers, and other paraphernalia.

“What the hell are you planning, mon ami?” I asked, reluctantly letting Tess pull me onto a love-seat with her.

Angelique answered for him, tugging her long dark hair over her shoulder. “Well, we’re in a castle. We thought it would be fun to play some of the parlour games that would’ve been their entertainment back in the day.”

I groaned dramatically. “I’d much rather drink.” I pinched Tess beside me, hissing in her ear. “And then play with you.”


Author Bio:

Pepper Winters is a NYT and USA Today International Bestseller. She wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. She’s also honoured to wear the IndieReader Badge for being a Top 10 Indie Bestsellers, best BDSM series voted by the SmutClub, and recently signed a two book deal with Grand Central. Her books are currently being translated into numerous languages and will be in bookstores in the near future.

To be the first to know of upcoming releases, please join Pepper’s Newsletter (she promises never to spam or annoy you.)

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Chasing Rabbits by Erin R. Bedford

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Chasing RabbitsChasing Rabbits by Erin R. Bedford
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kat never expected to move back to her hometown and find herself job hunting but what she really didn’t expect was to find herself chasing a strange rabbit and falling right down into the rabbit hole. Knowing that she’s left her world behind Kat finds herself with a whole new set of problems in this crazy mixed up Wonderland.

Chasing Rabbits is an adult retelling of Alice in Wonderland only the main character of this story is Kat or Lady as her new friends begin to refer to her. There are some of the old characters from the original story but really this one took on a whole new life as this world that Kat falls into is ran by the Fae.

What I found with this story is there were plenty of times I was completely loving the originality of this story, crazy and kooky and all together different than Alice’s story. But as much as there were times that I loved the story there were also times that the weirdness scale tipped a bit to far the other way and I was just finding it all a bit strange.

This is definitely one for the adults though as there are sexual situations all throughout the read with the Fae being involved. There was one particular instance which dealt a bit with rape that was part of the weirdness level going a bit too far for me.

Overall though if you want a completely original and kooky new story based on an old tale this one may be for you.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.