Good solid start to this new paranormal series

Circle of Darkness (Genesis Circle, #1)Circle of Darkness by Aimee Nicole Walker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5*

This was a surprise of the pleasant kind. When it started, I wasn’t quite sure where it was going to go as D’Angelo was a bit of an arse and Angel seemed way too meek to tame him.

Also the paranormal element of the story took a while to get going but, when it did, I actually really enjoyed the authors’ take on their supernatural world.

I’m a big fan of both of these two writing separately and I quite enjoyed their previous collaboration so I did have high hopes for this which were mostly met.

Surprisingly for this pair, while there’s a lot of sexy talk and chat about what they’re going to be getting up to, there is only one full on sex scene. While I appreciated the paranormal element was a driving force, I think I would have liked a tiny bit more of their relationship too.
Not sure what I think about the soul mates thing, and I think the ending also was a bit out of left field with the sudden appearance of a new player on the scene.

Still, I liked the setting, there was some good world building without too much exposition, the secondary characters helped to flesh things out and I like the subtle hints of where book two is likely to be going.

Fabulous cover and a pleasant change from hot half naked men, not that I don’t like those either 😉 but it’s a gorgeous illustration of a major element of the narrative.

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

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Release Blitz: Texas Gift by R.J. Scott

Length: 50,000 words approx
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Texas Series
 
Book #1 – The Heart of Texas – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Texas Winter – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Texas Heat – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Texas Family – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Texas Christmas – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Texas Fall – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #7 – Texas Wedding – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 

Blurb

 

A gift for every single reader needed to know what happened next for to Jack and Riley…

When Hayley arrived on the steps of the D, Riley and Jack knew life would never be the same.

Told through Riley and Jack’s eyes, this is ten years in the life of their family and watching Hayley grow up, fall in love, and start her own life. Hurricanes, illness, babies, happiness, sadness, work, play, the barn, the office, horses, friends, enemies, and above all love.

Excerpt

Chapter One

Riley needed to apologize. Right now.


He’d fucked up big time, and he should have seen it coming, because everything he did went in cycles. He and Jack hadn’t argued in so long and maybe the tension that had been building inside Riley had needed an outlet; he’d provoked the argument. He’d pushed and prodded and sulked and shoved at Jack until Jack had snapped.

Not in loud, shouting temper, or anything like what Riley deserved. No, Jack had gone deathly quiet.


Absolutely. Utterly. Quiet.

Riley shouted at him, got everything out of his system, felt the weight of it all lessen by throwing it at Jack and what had happened? He’d stood there at first, confused, and then steadily calmer. Weirdly calmer.

They argued; no normal marriage went without arguments over things as important as the kids and as trivial as picking up wet towels. But they resolved things, Jack/Riley was a unit that worked. They sometimes bickered and teased, they shouted rarely, and on the odd occasion there would be sulking. Mostly from Riley. He considered it as thinking time but Jack just called him on his sulking like a child.


Their arguments always ended in love; talking, kissing, complete forgiveness that could only come when two people understood and loved each other.

This morning though, he’d made Connor cry, Lexie scowl, and Max hide under the table with Toby. Jack hadn’t even stayed for that. The crying, scowling and hiding had happened after he’d left.


“Why are you shouting at Pappa!” Connor shouted back at Riley. “Stop shouting.” Then he’d started to cry, and Riley’s heart had broken into a million pieces. He’d sat between a crying Connor, and a sullen, angry Lexie and tried to explain that he had a bad headache and he didn’t mean to shout. For headache, read migraine, tight painful migraine that blurred his vision and made him feel sick. He’d taken meds and the sharp edges of the glass in his head were easing, but he couldn’t think straight. Connor stopped crying.


“You were so mean,” Lexie summarized, but she did give Riley a hug and kiss him on the forehead to make it all better.

Max on the other hand, while not angry with Riley and the shouting, was still under the kitchen table with Toby. The black lab, Riley’s black lab, was between Max and Riley in a protective furry wall.

“It’s okay Tobes, I got this,” Riley tried to fold all six-four of himself under the wood. He got caught on a bench, his neck burned, his stomach was in knots, but nothing was going to stop him from getting to Max. Toby did eventually move to one side but not too far. Toby may well have been Riley’s dog at the start, but he and Max were inseparable now.

“Max, buddy?” he began, and Max at least looked up at him for a split second. “You okay?”

“M’okay,” Max said. “You’re noisy.”

At least he wasn’t rocking, or stimming. He was just sitting with his dog in his favorite place under the kitchen table.

“Is everything okay?” Carol said from behind him. He scrambled back and brushed himself off. “Riley?”

“I shouted,” Riley explained simply.

“At the kids?” Carol asked, aghast, as if that was the ultimate sin in her eyes. Which, to be fair, it was in Riley’s as well. He and Jack didn’t shout, they cajoled, and bargained, and ran a happy house. Most of the time, anyway. Just not this morning.

“No, at Jack.”

“Is Max okay?” she peered under the table and smiled at Max. He adored her, the kids all loved their nanny, probably quite a bit more than they loved their dad today.

“He seems fine.” Riley peered out of the window at where Jack had gone. The damage had been done, but Connie and Lexie were chatting to each other, Max was with Carol and he needed to go and make things right with Jack.

“I think we’re okay in here,” Carol said, “Go find Jack.”

Riley shot her a grateful glance, and as he left the kitchen he heard Lexie telling Carol that her Pappa had a headache and that she’d kissed it better. When he closed the door it was just him and the ranch and finding Jack. It didn’t take him long; he was outside their barn, looking up at the siding, with his feet apart and his arms crossed over his chest.

Riley inhaled the fresh morning air and pulled back his shoulders. He could do this; he could ignore the pain in his head now it had lessened a little, he could push back the nausea, and he could go and apologize to Jack for being a fucking idiot.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured, coming to a stop next to Jack, only a few inches separating their arms. Jack didn’t move.

“It’s okay.” Although it didn’t sound okay at all. Okay was one of those words that meant nothing in the context of an argument, it was a word that plastered over cracks in a relationship. Okay was quiet and tight-lipped silences and Riley recalled okay from when he was a kid.

He hated okay.

“It’s not okay, I have a headache and I didn’t mean any of what I said.”


“You didn’t mean to say that life would be easier if you didn’t have to listen to me?” Jack’s voice was low and serious, and Riley winced.

“You were saying too much, and I couldn’t think.”

Their discussion had started in the bedroom.

“I asked if you’d made an appointment to see someone about the headaches.”

“I know—”

“And why you were limping again—”

“Jack—”

“And why you weren’t sleeping, and why you spent so much time at the office, and why the fuck have we not used the barn in over a month?”

The barn wasn’t just the barn, it was a euphemism for sex. They hadn’t been together in a month, over a month now. How did Riley explain that he’d been at the office, sometimes with the blinds shut, closing out the light, sleeping? How did he explain he didn’t want to see a doctor because the headaches scared him? And how the hell did he tell Jack he was limping because every single one of his muscles hurt, because he was tired, because it was all too much?

“Jack, I’m sorry.”

“You’re not, Riley, because you won’t listen to me.” Jack pointed at the barn. “I’m thinking we turn this into a games room for the kids.”

Riley gripped Jack’s arm. “No, what the hell?” His tension fled and in its place was panic. This was their space. Sometimes they came out here to talk, to hide away from the world, but it was also the one place they had the hottest sex he’d ever experienced. He wanted that again, but he was so tired, every time he turned over in bed his neck hurt, and his head pounded, and his leg ached, and he was fucking tired of it all. “Jack, I’m sorry, don’t…”

Jack turned to face him, and his expression wasn’t angry. “Either you go to the doctor, right here, right now, or I start clearing the place for a pool table.” He looked deadly serious, and Riley couldn’t tell if this was an empty threat. Then Jack softened, cradled his face and pressed a kiss to his forehead. “Riley, please.”

Just those two words pierced the fear in Riley, he couldn’t stop the pain, or the threat of being sick, or not sleeping, but whatever was wrong, Jack would be there for him.

“I’m scared,” Riley murmured.

Jack gathered him close. “You think I’m not?”

“Please don’t,” Riley said against Jack’s neck. His words sounded slurred and fear made him sway. What the hell? “Please don’t let me chase you away.”

“I won’t.”

And that was the last thing he heard as his world went to black.


Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk

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A gift to all fans of RJ Scott’s Texas series

Texas Gift (Texas #8)Texas Gift by R.J. Scott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was very lucky to not only have the pleasure of proofing this one but also to receive an #ARC from RJ and it’s a real pleasure to review this one.

As anyone following my news feed a month or so ago will be aware, I had never read the Texas series until then and I binge devoured this Dallasty saga in all its soap like glory over a period of a few days.

When we left Riley and Jack, they were happily settled on their ranch with 10 years of marriage behind them and their four kids, surrounded by associated family, friends and the young people they were helping make better lives for themselves.

In this one, we pick up with Hayley heading off for college and it was so lovely to catch up with this bunch. The story covers a long period, it offers up a few shocks and surprises and a few inevitable outcomes which are happily welcome.

Throughout it all though, the love which anchors Jack and Riley together is only strengthened by the trials they have to pass through and the result is a book which takes the story of the Double D Ranch and lays down a solid foundation for this whole saga to go into the future together. This is another wonderful Happy Ever After to add to the Texas series.

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The Half Wolf from Jay Northcote: Out September 26th

Mate, family, pack, home… can Quinn and Kellan have it all?

eTheHalfWolf_FINAL

Title: The Half Wolf

Author: Jay Northcote

Publisher: Jaybird Press

Length: 65,000 words approx

Genre: Paranormal, contemporary/AU, m/m romance, wolf shifters.

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Quinn grew up feeling out of place in the small town he calls home. Yearning for something he can’t name, he’s always felt different but never known why.

Kellan is part of a nomadic shifter pack. When they set up camp in the woods near Quinn’s town, the humans are unwelcoming and suspicious of the newcomers. The moment Kellan catches sight—and scent—of Quinn, he knows Quinn is special. But for the first time in his life, Kellan can’t trust his instincts. Quinn is human, and Kellan is a wolf shifter, so how can they ever be mates?

Their bond is instant and exhilarating. It breaks Quinn’s heart to know their relationship can only be temporary. Love isn’t enough when pack law forbids shifters to mate with humans. Tension explodes between pack and humans, and when Quinn discovers a shocking truth about himself that changes everything, he fears he’ll have to choose between the only life he’s ever known and the man he loves.

Buy Links to follow on release
https://jaynorthcote.com/my-books/the-half-wolf/

Add to Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36227588-the-half-wolf

Extremely polished sports romance

The Rainbow ClauseThe Rainbow Clause by Beth Bolden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve a feeling I was supposed to read something before this one but I rarely read M/F these days so I haven’t but I don’t think it really had a negative effect on my enjoyment of this one.

There’s nothing new here, it’s a typical ‘coming out’ sports romance between a bisexual football quarterback and a reporter but it’s done really well.

There’s a lot of polish to this one, which I note is a re-release, so I’m guessing it was cleaned up then.

I loved both Colin and Nick and I loved watching them fall in love, especially as Colin was a gay sex virgin and not hugely experience with any other sex either. He was sweet and eager to learn and incredibly passionate about everything Nick could teach him.

And cynical Nick, finding out his crush was bisexual and attracted to him was a delight as he fumbled his way through feelings and dilemmas about ethics and integrity while he fell in love with his interview subject.

The support characters helped to nicely round out this enjoyable read.

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Loved this light and fluffy heartfelt romance

Splinter (Significant Brothers, #1)Splinter by E. Davies

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When an author sneaks a Pink Floyd reference into the first chapter of a book then I know it’s going to be my kind of story.

This delightful romance from Ed was just what I needed to get myself out of the book slump I’d been in since finishing the epic Spartan romance Axios: A Spartan Tale by Jaclyn Osborn

Nico and Deen were an awesome pairing, I loved how they connected and how little drama there was in both their relationship and in the book itself as the bad boy rock star found his lodestone in the arms of a former astronaut turned park ranger.

The setting of the book, in and around the Smokey Mountains, also brought a lovely light touch, all fresh air and bright sunlight to shine on their growing romance. And the sneaky Toni Basil Hey Mickey quote just made me smile more.

Can’t wait to find out more about Nico’s bunch of friends either on the rest of this series. The gorgeous cover only adds to the pleasure.

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Really conflicted with this one

Anything But RealAnything But Real by Alex West

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There were elements of this debut romance from Alex West which I absolutely adored there were also times that reading it felt exhausting.

The intriguing way in which it’s written I think perhaps sounded better as an idea than it did in practice as having three different narrative styles in one chapter made it feel jumbled at times.

Still, the romance itself was a sweet one, both friends to lovers and second chance all in one and I liked both Ben and Reid as characters.

Ben was occasionally hard work to read though, we only get his first person thoughts and at times the incessant worrying became too much. Reid we only see through Ben’s eyes and through a third person narration so we only get his motivations in passing, not a constant stream of doubts.

The setting and fake fiance trope, however, worked really well and Ben’s family brought a fair bit of light relief to help ease away the tensions.

There is no smexy times at all in this book, other than a couple of kisses, everything happens off page or in fade to black, which is a little disappointing but not out of keeping with the higher focus on romantic love.

The epilogue is super sweet though and includes a nice time jump showing the two MCs still living their HEA.

Oh, there’s no need for an apostrophe in lots though and there were a couple of other odd grammatical errors which most people probably won’t care about but my journalist/sub-editor head doesn’t skip over.

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