My Soul To Wake
*** Warning: this novel is intended for those over 18 years of age due to its erotic nature and mature content. ***
These are the things of legend. Unexplained, some even say impossible… but nonetheless prevalent in stories and tales from all cultures and in every land from the beginning of time. What if there’s something to it? What if there is an explanation behind the mysteries and bedtime stories? Something beyond words?
SALEM, MASSACHUSETTES 1692
She was taken from him in the cruelest way… condemned, sentenced and punished out of fear of the unknown. How is he supposed to live without her? How can he go on knowing that in this life, they will never be one again? There’s only one thing to do… only one option that will bring them together again.
SALEM , MASSACHUSETTES TODAY
Leah is taken on a weekend excursion with her best girlfriends to let loose, relax and have a little fun. What harm is there in a little vacation? It’s not like the legends, the haunted history of the place can scare them away. It’s all harmless fun.
Or so she thought.
Something seems familiar about the town. The trees, the winds, the feel of everything. Her ever present nightmares have become more intense within the limits of the old historical setting. She’s prepared to write off the whole trip as nothing more than a case of her mind running away with the sensationalized magic here. When she meets a handsome stranger who’s eager to know her in a way no one else can, she begins to think there just may be something more to this place, something more to him.
Will has been waiting, biding his time, and praying that she’ll come back. He’s broken the natural order of things to possibly find her again, weaving their way through the years until they can be together again. He knows he may never find her, but he can’t risk not trying. This place calls to her, just as it did to him. It will bring her back home. It will bring her back to him.
What’s 300 years when it comes to true love? He’s prepared to wait an eternity if he has to, just to see her, hold her, make her his and to help her remember what was stolen from them so long ago. He’ll stop at nothing to make her remember who she is, the power she possesses, and the love they swore to each other.
Our Rating: 4 Stars
Past lives, past loves, magic and tragedy, all weaved together into an incredibly gripping tale. Will and Leah fight against their past in an attempt to build a future denied by the selfishness of others, but will they find success this time round?
I remember reading the blurb of this book ages ago and thinking ‘I really need to read that’, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I consider myself to be quite a spiritual individual, so the concept of past lives and reincarnation was very easy for me to get my head round, but for those who are less in the know, don’t fear. Oakes builds the readers knowledge at the same place that Leah learns, so you never need to worry too much about feeling overwhelmed by the magical aspect of this story.
I’ll get my quibble out the way early, the first half of the book was a little slow for my personal tastes. I was hooked, but I could still put the book down for breaks. That changed as the story developed, but I’d have perhaps liked a little more of a prompt arrival at the main aspects of the story, rather than a long winded intro. That said, it makes sense and I can understand why Oakes did it that way. Even so, the pace in the second half was phenomenal, throwing you headfirst to the end of the story and leaving you eagerly awaiting the next in this series.
Characterisation was completely on point for me, I loved Leah, and Will was my perfect kinda guy. Court and Nina were a bit annoying at times, but came through in the end. But Liza. Well, that nasty pasty had my skin crawling from the first mention, and I’m so intrigued to see how she will feature in future instalments of this series.
And so, to wrap it up, a fantastic start to a series which is most definitely showing a lot of promise. I loved the drama, the historical connection, the magic – I loved it all and I am quite sad to have left this little universe behind. I would most definitely recommend this to anyone who love a a romance with a twist, or a book with that something extra. It is awesome, and I am going to sit his and wait most impatiently for the second in a series that is oozing potential.
Would you risk everything you thought you knew about yourself if it meant saving everyone you love?
In this thrilling debut novel, sixteen-year-old Eden Huntleigh and her family live within the district of Empyrean. Under the rule of The Renegades, and their tyrant leader Cesar, every aspect of life is controlled. Streets are patrolled by humanoid Enforcers. Necessities are rationed. Disobedience is not tolerated.
When Eden receives an omen, and joins a group of Rebels led by the alluring Leo Dillon, her life begins to unravel.
Just as the Rebels are beginning to understand what they are capable of Cesar has kidnapped their families forcing them to strike before they are ready. Once inside the Empyrean palace they discover the horror of what they are truly facing. Does Eden have what it takes to be the legend she was destined to be? Ready or not she’s about to find out..
Our rating – 4 Stars
A fresh look at a dystopian classic scenario, Echo Among Stars follows Eden as she learns the meaning behind a strange necklace and a mysterious connection to the past. Upon invitation to a secret society, she battles for changes in her world, but will she succeed?
This book was incredibly entertaining and very gripping. Within pages I was hooked into the story, enjoying the piecemeal way I learned of the Renegades and their mission alongside Eden, Jude and Millie. Morris has a new twist on the traditional dystopian concept of oppressive society, throwing a magical element into the mix. This is a clever move and really makes for engaging story telling.
Eden as a lead character is very entertaining. She is a tad dramatic and prone to exaggeration at times, but she is also a very insightful character at the same time. In contrast to Leo, she works brilliantly, and their connection was most enjoyable to see developing. Phoenix was a rogue, but a loveable one, and Teresa got my back up from the start, clearly I have the same insightful nature as Eden! On the whole though, Morris has created a very diverse and believable selection of characters who all have their own little part to play in plot development.
The story is also very well placed, flowing quite smoothly at a steady pace that leaves you enough time to soak up the events, but doesn’t dawdle. That said, there were occasions where I felt some points were over developed and others where time skipped a little too much, however they were not overly noticeable. The only other quibble I’d raise is the need for another quick check for consistency as some characters names were spelt differently and there were some minor typos and tense issues. Though visible, they didn’t detract from the story being told.
In conclusion I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It’s a super little start to what promises to be a very engaging and exciting series. I am sure it will be one I will continue to enjoy as I add it to my watch list. And just one more thing, I hope you like a good cliff hanger! I sat with my mouth open for a good few minutes thinking what on earth is it ending there for!
A Pound of Flesh
by Sophie Jackson
Their love is forbidden. But won’t be denied… Can true love heal the deepest scars?
For Kat Lane, teaching inmates at a New York prison is her way of upholding the legacy of her beloved father, murdered fifteen years ago. But when new student Wes Carter walks into her classroom, she’s shaken by the strength of her attraction to him. Carter is as handsome as he is dangerous, as mysterious as he is quick-witted – and he ensures people keep their distance. Yet vibrant Kat bypasses his defences and challenges him to reveal the real man behind the intimidating reputation. As their emotional barriers crumble, their inescapable but forbidden feelings cannot be ignored. But will Kat’s discovery of Carter’s role on the night her father died force them apart…or bind their hearts for ever?
A Pound of Flesh is a tale of loyalty, redemption and all-consuming love against the odds, introducing an irresistible bad boy hero…
Our Rating – 5 Stars
A story of love, that all consuming kind that never runs smooth, Pound of Flesh is a book that everyone needs on their bookshelf. Carter and Kat seem to be polar opposites, him a convicted felon, her a woman from the posh part of town, but when fate intervenes there’s no stopping the force of their love.
Let me just start by saying this: WOW. I could just leave this review there, because that is just what I feel about this book. I’ve sat for a long time trying to figure out how to put into words just how amazing this reading experience was. That’s not even me gushing, this is me, honest to goodness, being totally speechless at how amazing this tale was.
I’ll start with the characters – Carter and Kat, and of course, the extended family and friends of theirs. Kat is a teacher, a woman with a sad past, but it’s made her such a strong individual. She’s captivating to read, you just want to find out what makes her tick, heal her pain and help her find her purpose. Carter, well, let’s just say him and I have had a few snuggles together! He’s a diamond in the rough as my Grandad would say, a gentleman who has just been dealt some very rough cards to play and did the best he could. He’s an absolute pleasure to try and unravel, capturing your whole attention when he’s in the scene and just so darned awesome. He has firmly secured his place in my top Book Boyfriends list. Joking aside, the characters are all brilliant. They weave together into a cohesive little bunch that are all developed, well thought out and interesting to read.
Weaving excellent characters isn’t the only thing Jackson is good at doing. The plot and pace of this novel was extraordinary. There were so many twists and turns, ups and downs that you really did feel like you had been on an emotional rollercoaster. I laughed, cried, winced at stupid choices, gasped at revelations and a whole host of other emotions as well. I got hot under the collar during the brilliantly written sex scenes (Carter is a man who knows what he’s doing!) and still I felt the tenderness of the moment. Everything in this book was balanced just the way I like it, it was, quite simply, perfect for me.
And that said, I shall cease waxing lyrical about this brilliant book. Jackson has made a stunning addition to the Indie community and I am sure she will continue to flourish in her craft. This book could not come with any higher recommendation from me, in fact, I was telling friends to buy it when I hadn’t even reached the half way mark, I just knew it was that good. Just one word of warning readers, make sure your schedule is clear and you have tissues ready, because once you start you really cannot put this book down. A stellar novel, and one I am certain I will read again before too long, all that is left to say is congratulations Sophie Jackson, you wrote a bloody good book and should be very proud of yourself! Thank you for sharing Kat and Carter, and I am waiting on tenterhooks for more from this fabulous lady!
PRESENTS. . .
Duty and Desire
Book 2 of The Hearts of Honour Series
by Elise de Sallier
Release Date: June 18 , 2015
Genre: FICTION / Romance / Historical / Regency / Erotica
ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-383-6
Where do you find your inspiration for writing period dramas such as these? Have you ever considered the possibility of turning your books (which are tremendous) into a tv series?
Thank you Lily! Your suggestion my books are worth turning into TV dramas made my day, though I’m afraid I can’t see it every happening. I was would need way more readers than I currently have to garner that sort of attention.
My inspiration comes mostly from having read thousands of historical romances over the years, as well as watching multiple repeats of every version of Jane Austen’s books that have been made into TV series or movies! I love the language and the restrained passions of the times, though the more I research what life was like for women in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, regardless of their place in society, the more grateful I am to have been born in the second half of the twentieth century.
Grace Daniels, the village of Hartley’s resident midwife and herbalist, would like nothing more than to ease the suffering of Jonathan Loring’s young son, Peter. But the widowed Blackthorn estate manager is as prejudiced against her illegitimacy as he is her “witchy” profession. When Peter’s physicians say they can do no more for the boy, Jonathan finds himself in the unenviable position of having to turn to the woman whose skills he has scorned.
Drawn together out of duty, Jonathan and Grace’s relationship soon becomes characterised by a not-so-hidden desire. Having found a degree of independence unheard of for a lady, Grace has no intention of submitting to the bonds of matrimony. Not that Jonathan, who has lost his inheritance and has to work for a living, is in any position to propose.
With marriage out of the question, their only option is both shocking and dangerous . . . to become lovers.
Our Rating – 5 Stars
A story showing just how closely love and hate are entwined, we follow Grace and Jonathon as they move from adversaries to something much more amicable. Following on almost directly from the prequel, Duty and Desire is a schooling in how things were done in a bygone era.
If you read my review of the first book in this series, you’ll know just how much I adore Elise de Sallier’s writing and how much I fell in love with the residents of Hartley on my first visit there. I’m delighted to say, my feelings were much stronger when I revisited this time. Like stepping into a favourite pair of jeans, the setting, characters and style felt completely familiar, and it was so easy to drop back into life at Hartley. So much so, I devoured this little gem in just 2 sittings.
The characters were superb. Hannah and William provided a good background cast, but Grace and Jonathon were the star attraction. If I’m honest, I didn’t like them all that much at the end of the last book, finding them over prickly and rude at times, but I adored them both in this book. Grace showed a much more approachable and human side to her, whereas Jonathon redeemed himself spectacularly. Peter was a superb character who captures my heart, much like he did Grace’s, and left me rooting for his happiness.
Pacing and plot were spot on, the slow burn of their relationship was pitched with great skill and was a pleasure to read. As I said, I got thoroughly hooked into this story and found it incredibly difficult to put it down. That, to me at least, is the sign of an excellent piece of story telling, so hats off to our author for capturing my attention so completely. Although at times it is predictable, or at least you think you know where it is going, our author throws in the little twists and turns which keep you on your toes.
To conclude, I adored this book and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Although able to be read as a stand alone, I’d strongly recommend you read the first in this series. Full of romance, charm and like stepping into the past, this book is a must read for any fans of historical romance, or those who are looking to start reading this genre. I am sincerely hoping there will be more instalments about the Hartley residents soon!
Grace Daniels pulled her cloak tightly around her shoulders. The blustery wind tugged strands of her long, black hair free from her bun, intent on using them to whip her face. To add insult to injury, the misty rain—which she could have borne quite easily—was now falling in heavy splats. Several icy drips had worked their way through her worn, woollen wrap, sending shivers down her spine.
As the midwife and herbalist for the village of Hartley, Grace traipsed around the countryside in all sorts of weather, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a trial. She really should have taken up William, the viscount Blackthorn, on his offer to supply her with a horse-drawn chaise. How she would find time to care for a horse was beyond her. There were so few hours left in her day already, certainly not enough for a decent night’s sleep on the rare occasion she wasn’t called out to assist with a birth or an emergency. If the viscount knew the reason for her reluctance, he would probably offer to pay for a stable boy to assist her. But Grace didn’t like to feel beholden—not even to her best friend’s husband—although it was somewhat unavoidable, considering he now funded her work.
Startled by a horse’s whinny, she looked over her shoulder to see—as if conjured from her imagination—just the sort of hooded chaise William had suggested would be suitable for her needs. Unfortunately, the driver was more likely to appear in her nightmares than her daydreams.
“Get in. You can ride with me the rest of the way up to the manor.”
Grace bristled at her unwelcome rescuer’s tone even as the wind tugged at the ribbons of her bonnet. Personable in appearance, with golden hair and a close-trimmed beard, Mr Loring was already well-respected by the local populace, though he had a knack for rubbing Grace the wrong way. If she were a cat, she would have hissed.
“Don’t dawdle, Miss Daniels,” he added in his typically autocratic manner. “There’s no point getting any wetter than you already are, unless you enjoy impersonating a drowned rat?”
Grace narrowed her eyes. She would have given a great deal to be able to turn her back on the obnoxious man and keep walking, but a not-so-distant clap of thunder heralded a strengthening in the storm. If only she hadn’t misread the weather.
“Oh, very well,” she muttered, clambering aboard with little of the attribute for which she was named evident in either movement or demeanour. To make matters worse, the bench seat was barely wide enough to accommodate them both. Leaving a respectable distance between them simply wasn’t possible, as she was forced to squeeze into the narrow space between the sidewall and Mr Loring’s immovable thigh. Thankfully, he made no comment about her damp skirt pressing against him, merely jerked his chin towards the prancing bay gelding.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t climb down to assist you, but Ned’s hard to handle in this weather.”
After placing her bag next to her feet, Grace gave him a withering glance. “That would have been unnecessary, as I am quite capable of getting into a vehicle unaided. It also would have been unwise, as it’s plain to see you need to keep both hands on the reins lest your horse bolt. I’ve no desire to be bowled over and left facedown in the mud.”
“Neither do I, which is why I wasn’t fool enough to attempt the manoeuvre.” Mr Loring huffed a breath while urging his horse to trot up the steep, muddy road that led to Blackthorn Manor. “I was merely trying to explain my less-than-gentlemanly behaviour.”
“Since we both know I’m not a lady, the gesture would have been wasted. Unless you’re trying to convince me you would show the same courtesy to your average, run-of-the-mill servant?”
“If a woman needed my help, then I would render assistance regardless of her station,” he replied, biting off each word as if displaying the early signs of lockjaw.
While the man was as irritating as a prickle in one’s shoe, Grace couldn’t deny she received an inordinate amount of pleasure from goading him.
~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~
A great believer in living happily ever after, Elise began her lifelong obsession with the romance and paranormal genres when she was far too young to be reading either. After more than thirty years of marriage to her very own romantic hero, she now knows great relationships don’t just happen, they take work . . . which doesn’t mean writing about them can’t be a whole lot of fun!
While raising a family, Elise established a career as a counsellor and family therapist. Seeking an escape from the stresses of her work, she discovered the world of fan fiction, and her timid writer’s muse made its voice heard. After 2.3 million hits, 20,000 reviews, and an e-mail from an acquisitions editor at The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House, her life found a new and fascinating direction.
Elise likes to see her characters grow, experience passion and adventure, tackle some difficult issues, and find lasting love . . . eventually.
~~CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR~~
Praise for Passion and Propriety, Hearts of Honour, Book 1
“I cannot recommend this author, or her book, highly enough to anyone who is a fan of Regency romance or who would like to dabble in the genre to see if it’s for them, because believe me, after reading this you would definitely be a convert!” Lily Loves Indie
“This is probably one of my favorite historical romances I have read this year.” Jen, Red Hot Books
“I’ll definitely be picking up more books by this author and can’t wait for the next instalment of this series which stars Hannah’s friend, Grace.”Amy Alvis, Historical Romance Lover
“I loved it. That could be my entire review, right there. But I need to gush a bit more. A wounded hero. A woman with a backbone and caring heart. A bit of angst as I wonder if they will overcome the obstacles that stand in their way of true love…. The flow of the story was natural, not rushed, and I enjoyed every page. I’m very happy to hear that there will be more in Ms. de Sallier’s Hearts of Honour series. I want the next one now!” Kathie, First Page to the Last Book Reviews
“This is the third book I’ve read by this author and I couldn’t help falling in love with de Sallier’s characters once again. I was completely taken into the story not just by Hannah and William, but by the secondary characters at the same time… If you enjoy Regency Romance, you will love Passion & Propriety.” Lindsey Gray, Author on Author Book Reviews
PRESENTS. . .
Éire’s Devil King
Book 3 of Eire’s Viking Trilogy
by Sandi Layne
Release Date: April 2 , 2015
Genre: FICTION / Historical Fiction Time Periods/ Medieval / Viking
ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-376-8
A man of ability and ambition, Tuirgeis Erlingrson has nurtured the desire to carve a place of leadership for himself on the Green Island, Eire, that he has raided multiple times. After the death of his wife in Nordweg, he takes his surviving son to Eire. Having connections with his adopted brother, Cowan, and Agnarr, his former countryman, Tuirgeis feels he has the support he needs to make his claims strong.
Agnarr is torn. His promise to Aislinn to remain with her on Eire is still in force, and he resists Tuirgeis’s requests to join the conquering forces from Nordweg. He desires above all things to maintain a safe home for his wife and children in Dal Fíatach. Charis encourages Cowan to do the same, though this makes for tense moments between them.
After initial disastrous attempts to achieve his ambition, Tuirgeis comes to learn that there is more to claiming a kingship than merely overpowering the locals. Tuirgeis finds himself at odds with the very people he had hoped would reinforce him. In addition, he wants to establish his father-line. He has one son; he wants another to be born of Éire. Will the woman of his choice accept and support him?
At length, Agnarr and Aislinn—though she is heavy with child—sail with Cowan and Charis to join Tuirgeis as he battles over one final summer to attain the High Kingship of the island.
Tuirgeis knows he doesn’t have long to make his claims; the Danes are coming in greater numbers than before. As he wins men of Eire to his cause, he has to maintain the relationships he has already fostered with Agnarr and Cowan. Charis finds that her Otherworldly gifts are needed by a man she considers her enemy.
Our Rating – 4 Stars
The familiar figures of Charis, Cowan, Agnarr, Aislinn and Tuirgeis are back for the final installment of the Eire’s Viking Trilogy. Looking to emulate Agnarr’s success in settling in Ireland, Tuirgeis wants to go one step further and fully conquer the Emerald Isle for his own. Of course, things never go smoothly, and with the Danes and other problems to deal with, is a happy ending in store for our friends, or will they fall foul of forces greater even than Charis’ skills?
As always, there is a superb continuation from the first two books in the series. As already mentioned in my previous review, I’d recommend any newcomers to the series read the first two books in this series before this one. The first half of the story is a little slower in pace than the previous books, but the pace definitely picked up greatly towards the end.
Layne wrapped up the story very well, tidying up the loose ends and leaving the reader feeling satisfied with the way things ended. The different perspective of Tuirgeis was a very interesting read, and the changes of perspective between all the key characters was well written, adding extra dimension to the tale.
This installment was full of poignant moments which really tugged at the heartstrings and left me feeling quite emotional at times. I won’t spoil them, but it might be prudent to have a tissue or two to hand occasionally.
As I’ve said throughout this series, the history is superb. I adore this time period and I must really give credit to Layne for the wonderful way she has told this story, using the history to constantly enhance it. it has been a thoroughly enjoyable series, and one I will be recommending to anyone who enjoys a well told, developed piece of historical fiction. Congratulations on the completion of a fabulous series.
It was dark in the langhús, save for the glowing of the coals banked in the fire ring. Agnarr enjoyed his wife’s responsiveness to him, and when they made love, he never forgot to thank his new God for letting her live through the births of the children their bodies made together. Before the sun crept under the door and through the shutters over the new windows, they were smiling and silent and relishing the moments—he knew there would only be moments—before the children stirred in the bench-bed they shared.
Later, as their son and daughter began shifting restlessly prior to awakening, Agnarr sat up and blew out a breath. “Wife.”
“Yes, husband?” She joined him, finding his hand with hers in the shadowy enclosure of their private area.
“We need to be ready. You need to be ready. You and the children.”
She sighed and shifted on the blankets so that she was looking directly at him. As was her habit, she continued to touch him with her fingers as she spoke. “I can fight. And you gave Dow a real knife at the Christ Mass.”
Discomfort tightened his stomach as he shook his head. “You need to be able to escape, just in case.” He knew far too well what would happen if someone found his attractive wife. Someone whom he didn’t know. Someone who would find her dark hair appealing and the tatú on her cheek mysterious and alluring. Someone who would want to take her as their leman, as he had once taken Charis.
Someone who might take his son as a slave.
Jaw tightening in anger, he shook his head again. Hard. “You know what can happen to you.” Her eyes were on his face, and he met their steady gaze. “And the children. You need to be able to get away. We should find a way to make you safe.”
~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~
Award winning author of short Celtic fiction, Sandi Layne is the creator of the Éire’s Viking Trilogy, as well as works of contemporary Christian romance.
She began by self-publishing her novels in 2000, garnering a loyal group of readers whom she continues to appreciate to this day.
Married for more than twenty years to a fantastic man, she has two sons, no pets, and a plethora of imaginary friends. Her interests range from ancient civilizations to science fiction. With degrees in English and Ministry, she also claims Theology’s crimson Masters collar which she has been known to don on rare occasions.
If you drive by her window before dawn, it is likely she’ll have a light on for you. Or at the very least, she’ll be alert on twitter. She invites you to visit her online space at http://sandyquill.com.
~~CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR~~