Tag Archives: fast paced

An action-packed tension filled conclusion to this romantic suspense series

57971714._SY475_Finished by Cara Dee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, that’s how you wrap up a romantic suspense series in style!

Cara Dee can certainly prolong the agonies and I’m still not sure this needed to be a separate book given it follows immediately on from the events of book four Played.

However, having said that, it makes for a powerfully thrilling read, as Gray and the remaining members of the team rush to save them from a final traitorous act.

I have adored this series from the off, despite the heavy subjects and traumatic events it centres itself on.

Both Gray and Darius utterly own my heart, the former for what he goes through, the later for his unwavering convictions that he would find, and rescue, the younger man.

Their love is something both primal and precious, it crosses emotional divides and encompasses a multitude of feelings which all become wrapped up in the idea of not only a future, but of a family.

Jayden and Justin form the beating hearts but it’s Gray and Darius’ devotion to each other which is the blood that runs through all of their actions.

This series has also been brilliant at pulling in characters from Cara’s expanded Camassia Cove and associated connected worlds and I’d really encourage you to read those if you haven’t.

Auctioned focuses on a subject which is, sadly, an altogether more common one than we might like to think of in our modern, 21st century world – that of human trafficking. It’s sickening and difficult to read at times.

But the payoff is so worth it. The villains are given the ending they deserve and the victims are given hope for a new, if different, future.

More than anything, this book shows that life isn’t black and white, it’s built up of shades of grey that sometimes skirt along the edges of what society would think is right and sometimes actions which blow them right out of the water.

Not one thing which occurs in this book made me think no, that shouldn’t be the case. It’s a powerful demonstration of the old adage – live by the sword, die by the sword – and the vengeance wreaked here is 100% justifiable as far as I’m concerned.

A series I will read again, but maybe in a couple of years after the first couple of books’ traumatic effects have faded a bit.

News that there will be at least one more visit with Gray, Darius and their boys in 2022 makes me very happy.

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

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Another one to add to my favourites shelf from J.R. Lawrie


The Sheltering Tree by J.R. Lawrie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

J.R.’s debut collection of short stories is one of my favourite books of all time and this one has gone right next to it on the shelf.

The relationship between Alastair and Jay is perfectly developed through intense chemistry when they first meet, to a hesitant friends with benefits sexual exploration and then into a deep friendship.

They are studies in opposites, Alastair’s high flying job as Commander of the Metropolitan Police puts him in the spotlight, but it’s something he does under sufferance. Jay’s role as CEO of a company helping at risk kids is close to home, and he’s hiding a painful secret which would have devastating consequences if it comes out.

There’s a tension runs through the book because of this secret, which the reader isn’t a party to either in full, which makes the narrative pacing a perfect blend of the quieter, intimate moments with the suspense elements.

Sex is inspired between these two. Alastair hasn’t had chance to have a relationship for years, Jay is too busy hiding himself to really let go but together, they fly high.

The scenes at Cliveden are among my most favourite romantic encounters in any book, they’re so filled with all the feelings the two men are trying to suppress. The speculative added commentary from the hotel staff just pops the cherry on an already delicious cake imho. It made me smile big time.

There’s also an excellent set of secondary characters, one of my favourites being Alastair’s personal assistant (and general go-to gal) Juliet, who is encouraging and mothering of him even though she’s much younger.

I won’t go into the details of the suspense element of the plot, only to say that it works perfectly throughout as Jay’s past comes back to threaten not only him, but Alastair’s position. The build-up to the final quarter of the book will make your heart race as the danger gets closer.

Oh, and the wee little Easter Egg reference to Richard from J.R.’s Let Your Heart Be Light: A Collection of M/M Holiday Romances was brilliant. If you’ve not read that book yet, I’d definitely suggest you do!

I can’t wait to see what other people think of this book, it’s one of my absolute favourite reads in any genre.

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

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Allie delivers an epic conclusion to this fabulous paranormal history series

55475835._SY475_Wonderstruck by Allie Therin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A stunning conclusion to what has been an outstanding paranormal historical romance series.

The pacing in this book is exceptional, taking the reader as it does on a tension-edged journey not only in America, but across the Atlantic to London and Paris.

The enemies are ever more threatening, and the powers they wield put all of our band of happy adventurers at risk.

Arthur and Rory are still dealing with the disparity of their social classes as well as the laws of the day, while the Baron’s henchmen seem to be surrounding the paranormals’ search to destroy the mind control relic.

As with the previous two books, there is zero on page steam outside of a couple of kisses and fade to black inferences of what they’re doing behind closed doors.

And it still disappoints me a little, especially given the additional magical connection which is now binding the two men together.

We are again told of their passion and willingness to put their lives at risk for the other, and we get to see them do that when it comes to physical danger, but we don’t see it when it applies to their physical intimacy and, for me, it’s a shame.

This concluding narrative still pulls together all the loose ends with skill, but I think it could have been even more powerfully emotional if we’d seen what they have to lose physically expressed on page.

But I have zero qualms about the plotting, it’s a brilliant and totally satisfying build up to the final battle.

The threats feel absolutely real, I wasn’t at all sure how they were going to pull themselves out of the predicament they end up in.

And I would never have guessed at the solution, although it is sneakily hinted at in the plotting earlier when I look back with hindsight, very cleverly executed.

A bit of a bittersweet experience, as I say goodbye to these wonderful characters and the world Allie has created, but also a firm knowledge that I look forward very much to seeing what comes next!

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

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