Tag Archives: British-setting

Review Tour: Kiss Me Again by Garrett Leigh

Kiss Me Again | Garrett Leigh

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Buy Links:

 Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow With Kindle Unlimited

Cover Design: Black Jazz Design

Length: 227 pages

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

Tree surgeon Aidan Drummond is content with his own company. He works alone, and lives alone, and it doesn’t occur to him to want anything else until a life-changing accident lands him in hospital. Then a glimpse of the beautiful boy in the opposite bed changes everything.

Ludo Giordano is trapped on the ward with a bunch of old men. His mind plays tricks on him, keeping him awake. Then late one night, a new face brings a welcome distraction. Their unlikely friendship is addictive. And, like most things in Ludo’s life, temporary.

Back in the real world, Aidan’s monochrome existence is no longer enough. He craves the colour Ludo brought him, and when a chance meeting brings them back together, before long, they’re inseparable again.

But bliss comes with complications. Aidan is on the road to recovery, but Ludo has been unwell his entire life, and that’s not going to change. Aidan can kiss him as much as he likes, but if he can’t help Ludo when he needs him most, they don’t stand a chance.

“Kiss Me Again is a deliciously tender and prickly romance about the intimacy that comes with acceptance. Ludo and Aidan accept and love each other for exactly who they are—complications, injuries, mental health issues, moods—and I loved them for it.” — Roan Parish

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About The Author

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Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award-winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Social Media

Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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Release Blitz: Kiss Me Again by Garrett Leigh

Kiss Me Again | Garrett Leigh

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Buy Links:

 Amazon US | Amazon UK

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow With Kindle Unlimited

Cover Design: Black Jazz Design

Length: 227 pages

Kiss Me Again.jpg

Blurb

Tree surgeon Aidan Drummond is content with his own company. He works alone, and lives alone, and it doesn’t occur to him to want anything else until a life-changing accident lands him in hospital. Then a glimpse of the beautiful boy in the opposite bed changes everything.

Ludo Giordano is trapped on the ward with a bunch of old men. His mind plays tricks on him, keeping him awake. Then late one night, a new face brings a welcome distraction. Their unlikely friendship is addictive. And, like most things in Ludo’s life, temporary.

Back in the real world, Aidan’s monochrome existence is no longer enough. He craves the colour Ludo brought him, and when a chance meeting brings them back together, before long, they’re inseparable again.

But bliss comes with complications. Aidan is on the road to recovery, but Ludo has been unwell his entire life, and that’s not going to change. Aidan can kiss him as much as he likes, but if he can’t help Ludo when he needs him most, they don’t stand a chance.

“Kiss Me Again is a deliciously tender and prickly romance about the intimacy that comes with acceptance. Ludo and Aidan accept and love each other for exactly who they are—complications, injuries, mental health issues, moods—and I loved them for it.” — Roan Parish

About The Author

Copy of GLLogo.jpg

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award-winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Social Media

Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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Release Blitz: Gideon by Lily Morton

Gideon | Lily Morton

Finding Home #3

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Release Date: 12.05.19

MM Romance

Universal Link: http://getbook.at/gideon

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BLURB

Gideon Ramsay is so far in the closet he should be a talking faun.

A talented, mercurial, and often selfish man, Gideon has everything he should want in life. Fame, money, acting awards – he has it all. Everything but honesty. At the advice of his agent, Gideon has concealed his sexuality for years. But it’s starting to get harder to hide, and his increasingly wild behaviour is threatening to destroy his career.

Then he’s laid low by a serious illness and into his life comes Eli Jones. Eli is everything that Gideon can’t understand. He’s sunny-tempered, friendly, and optimistic. Even worse, he’s unaffected by grumpiness and sarcasm, which forms ninety percent of Gideon’s body weight. And now Gideon is trapped with him without any recourse to the drugs and alcohol that have previously eased his way through awkward situations.

However, as Gideon gets to know the other man, he finds himself wildly attracted to his lazy smiles and warm, scruffy charm that seem to fill a hole inside Gideon that’s been empty for a long time. Will he give in to this incomprehensible attraction when it could mean the end of everything that he’s worked for?

From the bestselling author of the Mixed Messages series comes a story about a man who needs to realise that being true to yourself is really just a form of finding home.

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EXCERPT

“Round the block?” he intones in a gloomy voice.

I nod. “Yes, please.”

The car moves off slowly. He examines my face in the mirror. “You okay, sir?”

I look up, surprised. “Of course,” I say abruptly. Then I ask, “Why?”

He shrugs, returning his attention to the road. “You don’t look so good, Mr Ramsay.”

“Oh Russ, you old charmer, you,” I drawl, slugging some more tequila. “What’s with the ‘sir’ and ‘Mr Ramsay’ business anyway?”

He ignores the question. He’s more passive-aggressive than Taylor Swift. “You haven’t eaten properly for a few days now,” he says instead in a concerned voice.

“I have eaten,” I say crossly.

“Tequila and vodka aren’t any of the major food groups.”

I shrug. “I had a Pop-Tart this morning.”

“You had that yesterday and very charmingly regurgitated it into a jasmine bush earlier on.”

“I’m fine,” I say dismissively.

“I surely hope you are,” he says wryly. “Because you’ve got your hands full tonight.”

I shake my head, thinking of the two men I’m about to get into bed with and looking down at my very disinterested cock. “Russ, you’d need a medium and a séance to bring my dick back to life tonight.”

He laughs loudly and then sobers. “Maybe you should call it a night then. Go to bed on your own for a change, sir.”

“Okay, Nanny McPhee. And maybe I’d be better with a box of tissues and a wi-fi connection.” I sigh. “Actually, that sounds a lot quieter.” I stare blearily at the back of his grey head. “I hope you also know that tagging the word sir on the end of a sentence doesn’t make it any less bossy.”

Gideon-LM-Teaser2 copy.jpgAbout the Author

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Lily writes contemporary romance novels, and specialises in hot love stories with a good dose of humour.

Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she bought her first Kindle.

She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else could she get to spend her time with hot, funny men!

She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – chocolate Baileys! Her lifetime’s ambition is to have a bath in peace without being shouted by one of her family.

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Release Blitz: Ace In The Picture by Jude Tresswell

Ace In The Picture | Jude Tresswell

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Publisher: Rowanvale Books

Cover Artist: Billie Hastie

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 63,000 words/ 251 pages (paperback format)

It can be read as a standalone but is also the third book featuring the County Durham quad

Release Date: March 31, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Rowanvale Books

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Waterstones (UK) | Barnes and Noble

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Blurb

Polyamory and asexuality meet in this third tale about a north-east England quad.

The police suspect Raith Balan of faking a painting. So do money-launderers who sink profits into art. Mike, Ross and Phil, the three men in Raith’s life, must prove his innocence. They’re hampered by their certainty that a member of the Fraud Squad is corrupt.

The senior investigating officer is Detective Sergeant Nick Seabrooke. He knows he is asexual but is he aromantic too?

As Raith’s lovers struggle to keep Raith safe and find the fraudster, the sergeant struggles to understand why the quad is often in his thoughts.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Raith stood in the kitchen in front of the calendar. His gaze shifted from the naked figure depicted on ‘October’ to the highlighted ‘Thursday 12th’ and back again. He pressed a fingertip to his lips, transferred a kiss to the mid-point of the figure’s shoulder blades and ran his finger down the spine—Mike Angells’ spine.

The real-life Mike walked into the room and filled the kettle.

“What are you admirin’?” he asked. “The model or the artist?”

Raith was the artist. “The artist,” he replied. “He’s classy. The model’s okay, I suppose.”

“Cheeky!” Mike admonished.

Changing the subject, Raith asked, “You know what day it is in two days’ time, don’t you?”

“In two days? Well, let’s see… difficult one… It must be Thursday. Aye, that’s right. It was Monday yesterday, so—”

“Stop teasing me! Do you think he’s forgotten?”

‘He’ was Phil Roberts, the man Raith had married 364 days earlier.

“Don’t be daft. Of course not. You know Phil. His middle name’s ‘No fuss’.”

“That’s two names.”

“And that’s two cups of coffee. One for you. One for me,” said Mike, handing over a mug.

“None for me?” asked a third man who, yawning, had entered the kitchen. He hugged the two men already there.

“Sorry, Ross,” Mike apologised. “I didn’t make you one. I thought you were still asleep.”

“No. Just dozy,” said Ross sleepily. “I heard Phil’s car. Is it an emergency, Raith?”

“Not exactly,” Raith replied. “He went in early to cover for a colleague.”

Phil had helped to pioneer a form of rectal surgery that used nanocarbon patches to reconstruct torn tissue. He was a respected consultant at the hospital an hour’s drive away in Warbridge, County Durham.

“I’d better get sorted and get out myself,” said Ross. He was, amongst other things, a gallery proprietor in Gateshead, and his journey to work took longer than Phil’s. He yawned again.

“Are you feelin’ okay?” asked Mike, alert to Ross’s tone of voice. “It’s not like you to sound so unenthusiastic about work.” In fact, it wasn’t like Ross to sound unenthusiastic about anything. He was always lively—he personified keenness.

“I’m dead tired cos I didn’t sleep well. I had a strange text late on. You were already asleep. I don’t think you heard the phone buzz. Strange. Unsettling.”

“Oh?”

“How do you mean?” asked Raith. “We’re not going to get involved with more criminal activities, are we? I had enough of crime fighting last time!”

Even though Mike was no longer a detective with the Tees, Tyne and Wear Constabulary, the four of them were involved in a surprising amount of crime fighting. ‘Last time’ had involved an illegal immigrant, and the tensions that had arisen had threatened the survival of the quad.

That’s what they were: a gay, polyamorous quad. They lived in Tunhead, a hamlet in Weardale in the Durham hills. Once, Tunhead had rung to the sound of workers’ hammers hitting stone. In a way it still did: Ross had turned it into an arts centre full of smiths, sculptors and potters who wanted to escape the North East’s towns.

“Well, we’re not, are we?” Raith repeated.

“No.”

“Good. Well, my creations won’t create themselves. I’d better get off, too.”

In Raith’s case, ‘getting off’ simply meant walking twenty yards to his studio, a converted storehouse.

“You sure he hasn’t forgotten?” he asked Mike again before he left.

“I’m sure.”

“Okay then.”

“What’s that about?” asked Ross after Raith was gone.

“He’s bothered that Phil’s forgotten their anniversary.”

“He hasn’t.”

“I know he hasn’t. He’s takin’ him off on a trip sumwhere—but you know Raith. He needs everythin’ crystal clear and written in capital letters. And sumtimes, so do I. What was this message about?”

Ross pulled a face and explained. When he’d done so, Mike could understand his concern.

“He wouldn’t be so stupid, Ross… Would he?”

“Not stupid, Mike, but he’s gullible. He doesn’t always think. I just don’t know.”

***

The message stayed in Ross’s mind during the forty-mile drive to the gallery and he couldn’t forget about it once he was there. Some of Raith’s paintings hung on the gallery walls. They were mainly of Weardale’s waterfalls. After heavy rain, the falls transformed from gentle trickles into rushing, gushing powerful forces of nature that the four men knew could kill. They’d seen them kill.

Raith loved to paint the waterfalls. From a distance, his torrents looked alive. The effect was linked to his use of colour. Raith was a tetrachromat; he could see a host of hues in what, to most people, was a single shade. He painted for himself, though, not for fame or money—he had plenty of both, due to his skill with clay not brushes. Several of his wares were on show at the gallery, most tagged ‘sold’ with a price that would feed and clothe all four men for a long, long time. His sensually erotic sculptures, modelled on Mike and Phil, were always in demand and beautifully, lovingly executed. But today, Ross gave Raith’s erotica a miss. He stared, instead, at the waterfalls.

What might induce Raith to produce a piece of work “with intent to deceive”, as the legal phrase was?

That was what the worrying message had suggested. That Raith’s were the hands and eyes behind a painting that the police were interested in. They thought it was a fake. For the umpteenth time, Ross asked himself why?

Raith didn’t need fame and he didn’t need fortune, but did he need the challenge of outwitting the experts? Of copying another artist’s work so accurately that no one would notice the difference?

Surely not. Momentarily, Ross’s dark mood lifted. The only challenge Raith was likely to rise to was the one of finding ways to spice up the quad’s evening meals. Two nights ago, he’d ‘accidentally’ stumbled near the saucepan with a teaspoon of chilli flakes in his hand.

“Oh, look! They’ve fallen in,” he’d said apologetically.

Ross smiled when he thought about it, but anxiety soon returned. Could Raith be feeling resentment? Sometimes, that was the driving force behind a fraud. Failed artists whose work had been refused once too often. Failed artists who took I’ll show them! literally.

No. All Raith’s resentments were little ones that quickly blew over—feeling nagged for not doing his turn on the house-keeping rota, being yelled at for leaving clay-covered dirty washing on top of the pile of clean laundry. Raith took umbrage easily, but he’d be smiling again within the hour. And anyway, he wasn’t a failed artist. He was a very successful one.

He was a strange mixture though. That complexity was part of his attraction. It was part of what made him Raith. His skill was undeniable, but his mental health was fragile— ‘bloody unhinged’ was how Mike would describe Raith in less charitable moments. He could be unpredictable. He could be very violent. He had another side, though, and it was what Mike and Phil and Ross adored about him. Canny, clued up, an ex-con hard as nails… but at the toss of a coin, as loving, as sweet and as trusting as anyone they had ever met. Mike was as loving, and often as sweet, but trusting? No. Mike was ex-CID. It wasn’t in his nature to be trusting.

Which was why Mike was already making phone calls.

About the Author

I’m not Nick Seabrooke, the ace in the picture, but there are some firsthand truths peeping through the fiction.

Like Nick, I’m ace and happy with it, but also, like Nick, I’m wavery on that ro/aro line–and that can cause some soul-searching. If the picture painted in the story is a very narrow one, it’s because I didn’t want to stray too far from what I know. The quad, however, is totally imaginary.

I blog at https://polyallsorts.wordpress.com . There are posts about asexuality, polyamory, beer, tattoos, book covers, and many other story-related items.

There are photos of the Durham countryside, the setting of the stories, too. I’m always happy to receive and respond to comments. Well, if they’re friendly ones!

Author Link

Blog/Website

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Complex and beautifully phrased romance

grounded-t-kostova-customdesign-jayaheer2016-smallpreviewGrounded by Teodora Kostova

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Teodora Kostova has an incredible talent for putting you into the heads of her characters and making you feel all their emotions.

She also manages to pass a subtle commentary on just how we treat our military veterans, home and abroad, and also on the futility of a war that no one can remember the justification for.

Greg’s experiences as an RAF pilot are expertly drawn out, placing the reader in the heat and destruction of the conflict in Afghanistan. We also live through the emotionally draining effects of being the one left at home.

With so many family members and friends in the various branches of the UK’s military, I could relate to this a lot. It’s an ordeal being the person serving’s rock, especially when dealing with crises of your own.

I think it was perhaps a tad overlong, Shane’s many moments of introspection could have been reduced a bit but, overall, there was so much other excellent story building, I let it ride.

I preferred this to Cookies in the end, but it was a close call. Greg and Shane just shaded it with the super cute epilogue.

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Spotlight On: Grounded by Teodora Kostova

Grounded | Teodora Kostova

Cookies Series #2

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Series: Sequel to Cookies but can be read as a stand-alone

Length: 85K

Release date: January 17, 2019

Cover photo: Varian Krylov at Strangeland Photography

Cover Design: Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art

Available on Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MQSN3WG

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grounded-Teodora-Kostova-ebook/dp/B07MQSN3WG

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Blurb

A chance encounter.

A passionate night.

An intense connection.

When medical student Shane Sanford and RAF pilot Greg Becker meet the air between them sizzles with mutual attraction. There’s nothing holding them back as they give in to their desire.

But once their paths lead them into a different direction, neither of them can forget the intense connection they’d shared.

When fate brings them together again a year later, they have a choice to make: try and make a long-distance relationship work or let this be a one-night stand again.

With war, tragedy and fear standing in their way, can Shane and Greg overcome the challenges life keeps throwing their way? Is their bond strong enough to survive?

Is love enough?

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Theodora’s comments on the book

Grounded is a sequel to Cookies, but it’s Shane and Greg’s story and can be read on its own. I’ve had this book in the works for what seems like ages now. It was a difficult book to write, not only because of the subject matter but also because it doesn’t follow the typical romance novel arc.

I had a lot of decisions to make while writing this book, but in the end I just left the characters tell their story as they wanted. I feel that’s the most organic way to do it, especially because I’m a linear writer and have to follow the story as it happens.

What I can say for sure is that Shane and Greg are one of the most intense couples I’ve ever written. Their bond is so strong that as I was writing I felt nothing could hurt them or break them apart. As it often happens, I turned out to be wrong.

But don’t worry, HEA/HFN are guaranteed in all my books, so they eventually get there, but at what cost?

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About the Author

Teodora is a bestselling, award-winning author writing across genres, but has a soft spot for contemporary romance. As a passionate and vocal supporter of equal rights, LGBTQ+ themes are explored in most of her novels.

A Creative Writing and English graduate, Teodora began writing full-length novels in college, but only got the courage to show some of them to the world long after she graduated. She’s now been published by several publishers in five languages, and has attended book signings around the world.

She loves travelling, and her wanderlust has inspired several of her novels. Her other passion is musical theatre and she can often be found in London’s West End trying to score a last-minute ticket for a musical.

When she’s not writing, Teodora loves watching anime, rearranging her enormous bookshelves or walking around London, always looking for a cosy, quirky coffee shop to settle in with her Kindle and a cup of tea.

 Social Media

Website: www.teodorakostova.com

Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/teodorakostova

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Teodora_Kostova

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teodorakostovaauthor

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/245720345600711/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/teodorika1

Newsletter: https://goo.gl/gwytxF

Email: teodora@teodorakostova.com

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Complex narrative deeply surrounds this romance from Garrett Leigh

43188699Cash by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From ‘The Beautiful Game’ in Lucky to Blood Sports in Cash, Garrett Leigh’s new release takes readers through a tumultuous narrative which may be confusing to those not aware of all the ins and outs of Fox Hunting and the saboteurs that come along hand in hand.

This isn’t typical romance genre fare, there’s a deeper understanding to this story of how far under a saboteur can get involved in trying to disrupt a hunt and the unusual lengths some hunts go to try and get round the present ban on hunting foxes with packs of more than two hounds.

The romance in this is also a more complex one as it is so intricately entwined with that of the book’s message about blood sports.

It fluctuates between intense passion and understanding to dislocation and mistrust and all points in between and I honestly don’t think this will be for everyone.

My own opinion is that is exceptionally detailed, an incredibly strong narrative with great pacing and the characters are compelling but I’m not actually sure if I can say it’s a ‘sit back and chill’ read.

I have mixed feelings about the behaviour of hunt saboteurs in the same way as I have similar feelings about the hunts themselves. I’m not sure that two wrongs ever make a right and illegal activity shouldn’t be condoned on either side.

I think in this instance there is clearly a right and a wrong side to be on however, as it befits the storyline being told and it is told well.

Both Cash and Rae are engaging and equally frustrating men, with their own foibles and unique stubbornness and they play well against the other when they’re on the same page but also when they’re on the outs.

There’s wonderful extended cameos from Dom and Lucky, who are on hand throughout to offer up their own brand of unasked for help and advice but also unwavering loyalty and friendship.

There’s a fully fleshed out set of secondary characters and a clever plot which unveils itself steadily throughout.

So, while I haven’t 5*-ed this one, that’s more down to my own experiences growing up in a Yorkshire market town surrounded by active farming communities and my journalism history of being an agricultural correspondent and rural affairs specialist.

I perhaps have a slightly different view than most of the fox as a creature capable of devastating destruction as well as the beautiful subject of much wildlife photography. Not that I think chasing them to exhaustion with a pack of hounds is the solution either mind.

This is a brilliantly drawn narrative but focused on a subject I’m not truly at ease with and it’s certainly coloured my own enjoyment.

Ultimately I think the message about illegal hunting practices outweighed the romance just a little bit for me to thoroughly enjoy the book as a whole fully.

However, we do also get a sneak peek into book three of the series which is beyond tempting and I can’t wait to find out more about how that will play out.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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