Tag Archives: Carina Press

I am so in love with Sebastian and Wesley

Proper Scoundrels CoverProper Scoundrels by Allie Therin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely adored Allie’s Magic in Manhattan Collection: Spellbound / Starcrossed / Wonderstruck with its 20s setting and a unique system of paranormal abilities and its Film Noir evoking mystery.

But this spin-off? OMG this spin-off is EVERYTHING. I am so in love with Sebastian and Wesley Collins aka Lord Fine.

Both men have been through some serious traumas and are dealing with the fall out. Sebastian was kept for three years as a prisoner through the use of blood magic and forced to use his abilities to harm others, he’s suffering with serious PTSD (accurately referred to as Shell Shock here in this world) that he can’t even acknowledge.

Wes was an officer during the War and a sharpshooter, he’s done things, and ordered his men to do them, that he cannot forget.

On top of that, Wes was dumped by his lover Arthur (see Spellbound) for an antiquarian half his age (Rory you are utterly delightful) and he’s only the Viscount Fine because his older brother was killed in the conflict.

He’s prickly, rude, entitled, snobbish and oh so very much in need of someone to love.

Thrown together almost by accident, these two former “villains” of the previous series both feel like they can never atone – in Wes’ case he really doesn’t want to atone for kissing Arthur in front of Rory either 😁 ) but both will find that fate has other ideas in store.

Allie takes the reader to my part of the world – beautiful Yorkshire, York and its imposing Gothic Minster firmly on the horizon – and then leads them into a high-paced, tension-filled ride of an adventure which also brings some old faces along with it.

It was lovely to see Jade and Zhang too, both as committed to each other as they were in the previous books, and we get to catch up with Seb’s cousin Isabel and her lover Molly, now both ensconced in Paris for the World’s Fair.

The villain is truly villainous, his sidekick is mad as a box of frogs, and I loved how Allie took a mythology which has a very strong Yorkshire connection – that of Dracula – and made it into the basis for a twisted paranormal’s very deadly power.

I won’t spoiler anything about the actual plot itself, only to say that it had everything I want to read in a romantic suspense, and the relationship element of this book is even stronger than Arthur and Rory’s.

It’s also more steamy and I was so grateful for that. My one criticism of the previous series had been how the intimacy between Arthur and Rory was never seen on page, other than odd kisses and the beginnings of their amorous encounters, before fading to black.

Here we not only get some of the best UST I’ve read in a long time, but Wes is also a bit of a secret Dominant (not in a true kink way though, but he has a very powerful personality and a need to “take care” of someone) and Sebastian is all for giving himself over to someone else to make decisions for him.

Wes is an arse, he’ll tell you that quite proudly, but his growth and change once he meets Sebastian is a wonderful thing to read. He doesn’t change FOR him but BECAUSE of him.

Sebastian is the biggest (and most dangerous) cinnamon bun with a marshmallow soul, he’s so desperate to atone for things which were beyond his control that you want to wrap him up in a fluffy blanket and never let the world hurt him any more.

The first time they finally kiss is stunningly effective in the narrative. It’s an understandable slow burn but oh my lord, is it worth the wait! There aren’t loads of sex scenes, the story doesn’t really need it, but when they happen, they’re beautifully written.

As you can tell, I absolutely adored this book. Allie has such a grasp on her plots that before you can blink, you’ve read half the book and it’s gone midnight 🤣 I did not want to put this one down from the minute I started reading it and that’s the mark of a wonderful writer.

I hope this isn’t the end of this wonderful world Allie has created. I would happily while away more hours with this bunch of disparate people time and time again.

#ARC kindly received from the author via Carina Press on NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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An absolutely gorgeous romance and perfect for Harlequin’s Special Edition line

57623809._SY475_The Lights on Knockbridge Lane by Roan Parrish

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such a gorgeous romance and it makes my heart so happy that it will be the first ever gay romance in Harlequin’s Special Edition line.

It’s the perfect story for a Christmas romance, it’s full of warmth, it’s heavy on the meaning of family and supporting those you love, even if they don’t fit in with what society thinks is normal.

There’s also a gentle heat to it, and a strong message that it’s okay to be different, as is often the case with Roan’s books.

It has characters who don’t follow the crowd, Wes is unashamedly out there will his passion for biodiversity, for bugs and insects, lizards and reptiles.

Gus is a delight, an eight-year-old package of inquisitiveness and confidence, but a child hiding the hurt of already being rejected by two parental figures, her own mother and the man she called Papa.

Adam was a delight, unashamedly emotional, willing to see the best in everyone and courageous enough to return to the town he left when he was 18 because he wanted his niece/daughter to be brought up close to the one family member who did care about them all.

I loved this book, it was a one shot read for me, I didn’t want to put it down until I got to the happy ending, and it’s a glorious one.

However, I will say if you’re not one for children or Christmas, the emphasis on the importance of family (whether blood or not), then this might be too much for you as it’s very much central to everything that happens.

For me, it hit all the things I want in a festive narrative and then some. Plus it was nice to catch up with some of the other guys from the Garnet Run series too.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press and the author via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Blog Tour: Knit, Purl, a Baby and a Girl by Hattie Bell

Knit, Purl, a Baby and a Girl | Hettie Bell


Release Date: March 30th, 2021

Publisher: Carina Adores

Buy Links:

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335688002_knit-purl-a-baby-and-a-girl.html

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335688002

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Knit-Purl-Baby-Carina-Adores/dp/1335688005

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/knit-purl-a-baby-and-a-girl-hettie-bell/1138272514

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/knit-purl-a-baby-and-a-girl/id1530373719

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Hettie_Bell_Knit_Purl_a_Baby_and_a_Girl?id=jv76DwAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/knit-purl-a-baby-and-a-girl

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56317404-knit-purl-a-baby-and-a-girl



Some people can’t wait to have babies. They’re ready for it—with their perfect lives and their pregnancy glow…

Poppy Adams doesn’t have a perfect life, and she wasn’t ready for the positive test. An unexpected baby—Poppy’s unexpected baby—won’t exactly have her family doing cartwheels. But she’s making the right choice.


Poppy’s totally got this. She just needs a little encouragement, and a knitting group is the perfect place to start. Baby blankets, booties, tiny little hats—small steps toward her new life. But she feels like she’s already dropped a stitch when she discovers the knitting group is led by the charismatic Rhiannon.

It’s not exactly a great time to meet the woman who might just be the love of her life. While the group easily shuffles around to make room for Poppy, it’s not so easy fitting her life and Rhiannon’s together. With the weeks counting down until her baby arrives, Poppy’s going to have to decide for herself what truly makes a family.


It doesn’t take long for everybody in the group to set aside their own projects to focus on me and mine.

Grace has my ball of yarn in her hands, twisting the strand between her fingers critically. “If you’re knitting for a baby, you should really consider a nice bamboo…”

Louise is scrutinizing my choice of project. “You know, I started with dishcloths, then graduated to scarves. It’s not as glamorous, but it does let you get the fundamentals down.”

“Oh, my, no.” Mary flips the free pattern card I picked up in the craft store and scans the back with critical eyes. “You don’t want to do this, this is for a completely different weight of yarn than what you’ve got here. Where did you pick this up? They should be putting these patterns next to the suggested yarn. This one calls for fingering. What you need to do is get an account on Ravelry and find a pattern that’s been user-rated so you know it’s accurate and suitable for your skill level, and do that. You can search by yarn weight on there, too. This yarn is a DK…” She pulls out her phone, trailing off as she opens her web browser.

Damian, who has been sitting silently so far, takes this chance to finally speak up. “Do you have needles?” he asks plainly, no judgment in his tone. Nobody else has bothered with that crucial detail to this point.

Now those, at least, I do have. I reach into my purse and pull out the needles I scavenged from my last failed scarf project. I hold them up for the group’s inspection proudly.

“Poppy, no!” they say in unison, and even Damian joins in their exclamation of dismay. “These will never work!”

My shoulders slump. “What? Why?”

Louise clucks at me. “Much too big! Too long for a tiny baby pattern and too thick for this yarn. You’re going to end up with stretched out knitting full of gaps and holes.”

The familiar urge to just give up and quit hits me hard and fast, like a gut punch. I gust out a breath, slumping in my seat.

A hand closes around my shoulder. Rhiannon. “Hey, don’t feel bad. First time I tried to knit, I got my needles secondhand from the thrift store and accidentally bought two different sizes.” She laughs and shakes her head. “Here. If you don’t mind that they’re not high-tech Addi Turbos, you can borrow some needles from me.”

“She needs a pattern first,” Mary puts in. “And personally I think she should start by knitting mittens before she graduates to booties.”

“I guess that sounds all right.” I know they’re just trying to help, but I feel overwhelmed and outnumbered. But what would the alternative be? For them to sit there focused on their own projects, socializing with each other and ignoring me as I struggle?

It’s Rhiannon, once again, who calms the chaos, both the stuff going on around us and the stuff in my head. “Okay, okay, give the girl some space, now. Mary, can you search Ravelry for a pattern for a set of mittens and booties? And Grace and Louise, can you wind Poppy’s skein real quick so she doesn’t get stuck untangling yarn barf on her very first project?” My fellow stitch n’ bitch members nod, immediately turning to their tasks. She turns to me. “I left my straight needles with the rest of my stuff back at my place. It’s just a short walk from here. You wanna come and keep me company?”

“You’ll need a size five needle by the looks,” Mary calls, eyes glued to her phone.

Rhiannon looks at me expectantly, awaiting my answer. I get the sense that if I said no to her invitation, she’d be totally cool about it. But I don’t want to say no.

“Sure, yeah. Can I leave my stuff here?”

“We’re not leaving any time soon,” Damian flaps a hand. “Go, go. Sooner you go the sooner you get back, sooner you get back the sooner you can get started, and the sooner you get started, the more time you have knitting with people who can pick up your dropped stitches.”

“Gotcha.” I nod. “Thanks.”

“Ready?” Rhiannon asks. She grabs a cookie for the road, stuffing it halfway into her mouth and holding it there comically.

I fight down the sudden image of myself biting that half a cookie right out from under her nose.

Wow, do I need some air. And some semblance of hormonal balance.

Instead, I’m getting alone time with Rhiannon.

Crash and burn time, here I come.


Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.

A new Carina Adores title is available each month in trade paperback, ebook and audiobook formats.

  • The Hideaway Inn by Philip William Stover (available now!)
  • The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron (available now!)
  • Just Like That by Cole McCade (available now!)
  • Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters (available now!)
  • The Love Study by Kris Ripper (available now!)
  • The Secret Ingredient by KD Fisher (available now!)
  • Just Like This by Cole McCade (available now!)
  • Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love by Kim Fielding (available now!)
  • Best Laid Plans by Roan Parrish (available now!)
  • The Hate Project by Kris Ripper (coming April 27)
  • Hard Sell by Hudson Lin (coming May 25)


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