Duchess if You Dare – Anabelle Bryant

This book contains:

  • blackmail
  • human trafficking and slavery
  • attempted murder.

Scarlett is a young woman who’s lucky enough to be independent and without need of a male to provide for her. She has a knack for investigating and has developed keen fighting skills to keep her safe while she’s a member of the Maidens of Mayhem.

Ambrose on the other hand is a Duke constantly bailing his younger brother out of various trouble to protect the family name. Only this time it seems to have landed him in deeper water than normal.

Scarlett and Ambrose are both chasing information about people they care for. While doing so they keep crossing paths until they finally give in and decide to work together since they seem to have a common goal.

Over the course of the book, they’re challenged in way they weren’t expecting, and through it all strive to come out as better people for it.

I loved how empowering this book was for women, even if it wasn’t quite historically accurate, it was still a great read. The adventure throughout, the small instances of romance, the thought provoking comments and the overall emotionally charged story.

There’s more to this series and I’m hoping I’ll be able to come back to it in the future because it was a great read in the regency times that just hits the nail of action and romance so well!

Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

USA Today Bestselling author Anabelle Bryant began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born. Happy to grab her suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel; especially imaginary jaunts into romantic Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn’t want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?

Anabelle’s books have been translated into several languages including Japanese and Russian, but writing isn’t all that keeps her busy. Building miniatures, baking and photography are other favorite pastimes. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle is just as happy in a room full of people. She enjoys meeting readers, attending conferences and book signings. She has earned her Master’s Degree and is ABD for her Doctorate Degree in education.

A firm believer in romance, Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn’t provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do.

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The Lore of Prometheus – Graham Austin-King

This book contains:

  • PTSD from serving in Afghanistan
  • descriptions of the destruction of war, including injury to women and children
  • experimentation on humans
  • torture of humans

The book is broken up into three parts of which the first and last parts are from John’s point of view, with sporadic inclusions of Mackenzie’s point of view. The middle part however is from Mackenzie’s point of view with some sporadic inclusions of John’s point of view.

John has previously served in the UK army in Afghanistan and as a result has severe PTSD. It’s something that’s ruined his life, ended his relationship and as a result driven him back there.

Mackenzie, however, is an Australian nurse volunteering in Afghanistan when she’s kidnapped by her driver on the way home from work.

The general gist of this story is an Afghan warlord is kidnapping people who have magical powers with the intent of learning how to wield them himself. Anything more than that would kinda ruin it for you! And it’s too good to ruin!

I absolutely loved this story and I’m so glad it won the Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award 2020!

Given most of the other books that made it to the finals we aimed at a younger audience and/or were of a lighter theme, I wasn’t sure how this darker story would hold up. I loved the mix of emotional development, different points of view, psychological changes, an amazing villain and the determination and fortitude of John and Mackenzie.

Every time I thought I’d hit the limit of Graham’s mastery, I discovered I was wrong!

Who would have thought such a mix of fantasy, technology and a Middle Eastern war could result in such genius?!

Author Bio

Graham Austin-King was born in the south of England and weaned on broken swords and half-forgotten spells.

A shortage of these forced him to consume fantasy novels at an ever-increasing rate, turning computers and tabletop gaming between meals.

He experimented with writing at the beginning of an education that meandered through journalism, international relations, and law. To this day he is committed to never allowing those first efforts to reach public eyes.

After spending a decade in Canada learning what ‘cold’ really means, and being horrified by poutine, he settled once again in the UK with a seemingly endless horde of children.

To date he is the author of five novels, drawing on a foundation of literary influences ranging from David Eddings to Clive Barker.

Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA)

I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition. All opinions expressed are my own. This tour has been organised by The Write Reads tours team.

BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors.  If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website or our Twitter account. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering.

If you are a book blogger or reviewer, you can apply to be part of BBNYA 2021 by filling out this form (also remember to read the terms and conditions before signing up)! 

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) And the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.

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Hollywood Hero – Madelle Morgan

This book contains:

  • mentions of alcohol and drug abuse
  • an almost drowning of a young girl

Wendy is a young PA, recently out of university working for a world-famous actor. An actor she has a massive crush on and who she’s hoping will notice her and want to be with her.

Haldon on the other hand is hiding a massive secret, a secret that could potentially ruin his career, not to mention his own crush on Wendy. Given how his first marriage ended and why, he’s understandably worried about opening up to Wendy, especially because he’s her boss.

Halden whisks Wendy away on a two-week getaway to Muskoka to fish and look for his own private fishing get away. During their getaway, we learn some surprising truths about them both, including some that almost ruin their chances.

As a simple contemporary romance, I think this is a great story. Although at times I also wondered why Wendy would like someone like Haldon in the first place. Although he put in a lot of effort to grow up, I’m not sure how much going back to him helps women’s rights and sexism?

I had a great time reading it, enjoyed the simple pleasure of Wendy standing up for herself and the right to have true love. But I also had this weird sense of not feeling entirely happy with how this all played out.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Growing up, Madelle enjoyed nineteen summers at her grandparents’ cottage on Georgian Bay in the beautiful District of Muskoka, Ontario, Canada, named by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of their top 20 Best of the World Must-see Places.

Muskoka is Canada’s summer playground for many wealthy families and Hollywood celebrities. The Hollywood in Muskoka series updates the upstairs/downstairs trope: successful people in the film industry on vacation fall for service providers.

Madelle lives in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, with her husband and their labradoodle Raven. She dreams of owning a waterfront cottage. Or at least a pool.

Giveaway – Win an eBook boxset of Hollywood in Muskoka Books 1-3 (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Uncork My Love – Rich Amooi

This book contains:

  • emotional betrayal from previous marriages
  • description of being hit by a car and left injured by an ex-wife

Ivy and Ted are both wine makers, one based in Napa Valley and struggling financially after the betrayal of an ex-husband, the other based in Petaluma with an incessant desire to help others. With the help of some meddling grandmothers, they find themselves in some precarious situations that end up challenging their previous conceptions of each other.

Ted’s grandmother comes to him with a proposal that set’s his worrying off the charts which in turn sets off a chain of events that leads him to Ivy’s vineyard, and Ivy. With several ill-advised adventures along the way, Ivy and Ted get to know each other and over time end up “working together” in a way that almost ruins their chances.

This is another great example of Rich’s talents as a writer and his ability to capture a woman’s heart and opinions. I found myself laughing the whole way through, especially once we figured out what the grandmothers were up to.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Rich Amooi is a Taleflick Discovery Winner, Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Recipient, Holt Medallion Finalist, and the Amazon Bestselling author of 16 romantic comedies, including It’s Not PMS, It’s You, Dying to Meet You, There’s Something About a Cowboy, and Madam Love, Actually.

A former radio personality and wedding DJ, Rich now writes romantic comedies full-time in San Diego, California, and is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

Giveaway – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Fid’s Crusade – David H. Reiss

Dr Fid is an evil genius set to show the world how fake and unworthy of the title “hero” the superheros were. He’s also the alias of one genius scientist out to save the world through medicine and other philanthropy work.

It’s a simple storyline of Dr Fid and his crusade against the hero’s who killed his brother. He’s out to destroy their reputations and show the world how unworthy they are of the title hero. In this, the first book, Dr Fid begins to execute his plan to destroy the hero’s, and in the meantime gets involved in a war to save the world.

I was actually quite disappointed in this story. The writing was amazing, it draws you in and you’ll find yourself almost through the book in no time after practically inhaling the story.

My problem was that ever time I did stop, I realised I was basically reading Avengers End Game. But where Iron Man is a supervillain.

Everything from the tech Iron Man uses, his assistant Jarvis, his fight to not have to join with others, his wit and humor, the way the aliens come to Earth and the ultimate showdown is so eerily similar to this story that it really ruined it for me. I would’ve loved to have experienced this quality of writing in a story that was unique.

Or at least, did a better job of taking an existing well-loved story and making it new and exciting.

If you love Iron Man, The Avengers etc and don’t mind reading a story that’s almost the same as one you already love. Then you’ll love this!

I enjoyed the experience of reading the story, I’m just not one to enjoy reading something I’ve already watched while it’s pretending to be new.

Author Bio

While growing up, David was that weird kid with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He was the table-top role-playing game geek, the comic-book nerd, the story-teller and dreamer. 

Fortunately, he hasn’t changed much.

David is a software engineer by trade and a long-time sci-fi and fantasy devotee by passion, and he lives in Silicon Valley with his partner of twenty-eight years. Until recently, he also shared his life with a disturbingly spoiled cat named Freya.

(Farewell, little huntress. You were loved. You are missed.)

Fear not…Two new kittens have since crept into the household and are working tirelessly to repair the hole left in the author’s heart.

David’s first trilogy, the Chronicles of Fid, has just recently been completed; these were his first novel-length projects, but they certainly won’t be his last—he’s having far too much fun!

I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest (or insert your own standard version of the same). 

BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. 

If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website (https://www.bbnya.com/) or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering. 

If you are a book blogger or reviewer, you can apply to be part of BBNYA 2021 by filling out this form (also remember to read the terms and conditions before signing up)! 

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) And the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.

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Corfu Capers – Joy Skye

We follow Scott, Linda, Kate, Charlotte and Marc as they spend a week together on Corfu. Scott is Kate’s son and is dating Linda while Charlotte and Marc are friends of Scott and Linda and just along for the ride.

I can’t really say much else about them without completely ruining the story for you. Who they are is intrinsically a part of the entire story.

Scott has asked for his mum’s help to organise his proposal to Linda, which we learn about right at the very start of the book when Kate emails Peter (the concierge of the villa they’ll be staying at) to begin the preparations.

From there we follow each of the characters in the few days leading up to their trip, and their weeklong trip. We follow along as Linda makes some life changing decisions, Scott stands up to his mother and father to get what he really wants, Kate discovers love again while Charlotte and Marc come to terms with who they are.

Throughout the book I found myself wondering why Linda would stay with Scott given how badly Kate treats her (as someone with allergies, I can’t stand the thought of someone “forgetting” you’re allergic to a whole food group), or why Kate, Marc and Charlotte can’t let go and just be themselves. But I guess that’s the point of this book.

To highlight that we’re each going through our own issues and that we each need to work through them in our own time. Also, to not judge others just because their life looks great, doesn’t mean that they’re seriously happy.

Overall, I think the pace, drama and overall life changing moments and challenging the way we think of things really helped bring this story to life. Without that, I wouldn’t have rated it as highly. If the same drama had have taken place in their home city over the period of a week or month, I doubt it would’ve been as engaging as it was in one week on Corfu.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Joy lives on the seductive island of Corfu with her four dogs and an embarrassing number of cats.

Her many years working in the tourist industry on this sunny isle and her love of all things literary inspired her first novel Corfu Capers which recently hit the #1 spot in Parenting and Family humour much to her delight.

She loves to cook, dance and drink wine, usually at the same time, and is currently working on book number two, due to be released later this year.

She also loves to travel, absolutely anywhere, and is looking forward to jumping on a plane!

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Stay Mad, Sweetheart – Heleen Kist

This book contains:

  • suicide
  • bullying and harassment (both online and in real life),
  • revenge.

Throughout the book we follow Laura, Suki and Claire as they deal with the aftermath of Emily’s suicide. Emily is Laura’s best friend and she worked with Claire. Her suicide affected each of them deeply and we see that play out in their actions throughout the book.

Laura is a socially awkward computer programmer. She’s already managing Emily’s social media use to make sure her mental health stays as strong as possible when the story begins. Since before the book begins, her male business partner has been managing the sale of their business so she can focus on the code and out of the politics of selling a business.

Claire is given Emily’s event planning portfolio after her suicide, and now has to work with Laura who she briefly spoke to just before Emily’s body was discovered. It’s a portfolio she doesn’t want, while her boss has given the one she wanted to a male colleague with less experience, and one he knew she wanted.

Suki isn’t introduced to us until after Emily’s death, yet she’s also been impacted by a male-controlled field. Her job is to understand Laura’s work to ensure the value is appropriately evaluated for the sale of the business.

All three women are impacted by Emily’s suicide in different ways. Laura is emotionally distraught; Emily is overworked and underappreciated while Suki is left trying to get Laura to focus. During this process they realise they have a common ground of wanting justice for wrongs that men have enforced on them.

Over the course of the book, they work together to process their grief and move forwards professionally, regardless of what barriers the men in their industries have put in their way. The challenges they go through to achieve this is something they do together, as a new friendship group bonded out of their shared experiences.

Overall, I didn’t like this book. The writing was great. The engagement was great. It was captivating. All the key areas you score a book in, it did really well.

It was those intangible things like the message it sends that really got to me. It sent the message that just because men have rigged the workplace system so much, it’s ok for women to commit crimes and ruin their lives to get ahead.

Up until the revenge plan was hatched, I was loving the book AND its message. Once that plan was hatched?

I literally only finished it because it was a BBNYA book, not because I was enjoying where it was going.

As a woman who looks younger than her years, is more mature than my years and is often in a position where I’m telling men twice my age how things should be done. I understand where they’re coming from. And I don’t agree with their decisions. I don’t believe that’s the best way to handle those issues and I wish Heleen had taken a better route than this.

Revenge really wasn’t necessary.

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Flirting with Forever – Lasairiona E. McMaster

We continue to focus on Jeremy Lewis as he’s working his way through college and figuring out his relationship with Chelsea. He continues to be faced with challenges that he needs to work through emotionally and even finish after the Lisa Millar and AJ Williams trilogy’s, meaning he’s faced with even more challenges than we were expecting.

Jeremy is faced with challenges both on and off the ice that threaten to destroy his mental health. From Johnny joining his team, being faced with the reality of never making the pro league, watching AJ crumple on the ice, Chelsea see-sawing between wanting to be with him and not, Lisa’s general drama and mental health issues and pulling his life together in time to graduate and become a “real adult”; we see Jeremy working through challenges we didn’t even realise was happening based on Lisa’s and AJ’s books.

In the end we have to continue past Lisa and AJ’s trilogy’s to see how he finally get’s Chelsea back given she wanted absolutely nothing to do with him after they returned from Mexico.

I’m starting to wonder if I’m getting over this world and its characters. Maybe because so much of each trilogy is set concurrently, I’m like “yea I know this event is going to happen which means this character ends up here doing this” so I get bored. I definitely felt bored until we got to the bit where they got back from their Mexican holiday because after that, all I knew was that Jeremy graduates and helps Lisa and AJ get back together.

For me, the most interesting bits of this book were the new things we learn about Chelsea and seeing what Jeremy gets up to after graduation. Those new bits were things I didn’t even have hinted at in previous books which made these bits way more interesting. And in a way highlighted how repetitive the other bits are.

I’m not saying that the story and the writing weren’t good, because they were. I think I’d just prefer for us to move beyond the three college years AJ and Jeremy go through in all the books.

Something I really loved was how much mental health, needing to put yourself first and having a support network were spoken about throughout this book. These are aspects so many of us forget about in our day to day lives so it was great to see this talked about in a constructive way that hopefully we can all take away something to help us.

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A Touch of Death – Rebecca Crunden

This book contains:

  • attempted rape
  • murder
  • mentions of genocide and terrorism,
  • dictator style government.

Kitty and Nate are our central characters throughout the story; however, the story is focused on being told from Kitty’s view. We also have Evander, Zoe and Tove join us about halfway through in a way that I wasn’t expecting and somehow end up feeling like an integral part of the story.

Kitty is a strong, survivor, who fights tooth and nail throughout the book against everything she believes, and learns, to be wrong about her world. Even her own beliefs.

Kitty, who is Complemented to Thom, starts our story wandering the Nitoib mountains with Nate. A place they aren’t allowed to be. When they finally make it out of the mountains and Thom meets up with them, we discover where this story is going.

In the direction of a dictator government out to get them, while they fight for their lives across the whole breadth of the kingdom in the search for the one thing they need. The one thing that might not even exist. The one thing that might just get them killed or imprisoned.

I’m not a fan of the six parts rather than chapters, but those breaks also make total sense so I can’t hate them. Maybe chapters rather than section breaks would’ve made things a little better?

That combined with a slow start made it quite difficult for me to get into it. But that one little thing got my interest and held it the entire way through the entire book. When I got to the end of the first book, I was actually a little upset that it was ending!

This is the first book in a Pentalogy and I’m really hoping I get to keep reading more coz I have my own ideas of what I think will happen. But that doesn’t mean they’ll happen, so I want to know how Rebecca has it all planned out, well written out since the whole series is done!

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