Tag Archives: thriller

A very solid opener to this new “West Wing” style series

55270009._SY475_Press by Nora Phoenix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If I tell you that my number one TV show of all time is The West Wing, you can probably guess how excited I am for this series.

And Press is a great introduction to the crazy world that is working in the White House.

I have two minor concerns with this book though which I’m going to spoiler although they don’t reveal anything specific.

***SPOILER***

First is the choice of ‘bad guys’, which just felt to me personally a bit too “going with the stereotypical options” and reminds me of big Hollywood movies where the villain always has an English accent.

However, I am hopeful, given elements of the overall series plot which are revealed here, that it may turn out to not actually be as obviously the case. If so, then it will be a fantastically clever twist.

The second is a really tiny thing and more a me problem than the book itself and it concerns character names. When Henley calls Levar by a nickname, it instantly takes me to one of the slang words for a toilet here in the UK – not quite as sweet as the use would indicate because in my head, his name is pronounced La-va when I guess it should be sounded Lee-var  🤔

The other is Calix, Levar’s boss. His name just made me think of a kids scientific building system, which is again totally on me and I’m sure I’ll get over it.

***END***

So they were the only two things which popped me out of a narrative which is superbly paced, packed with great world building without a dumping of information and which has a realness to it which I’m really looking forward to seeing develop further.

Levar and Henley are a gorgeous pair. They’re scorching hot, the chemistry and connection between them flies off the page.

There’s also a fantastic set of secondary characters who are going to make up the rest of the series as I understand it and I’m very keen to see how Nora is going to pair them all up.

The main plot itself is intriguing, I love anything which hints of dodgy dealings in the corridors of power 😁

Very much itching to find out more as this series progresses.

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

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Cover Reveal: Exposed by H.L Day

Exposed | H.L Day

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Cover Design: Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art

Release Date: August 24th, 2020

Buy Link: Amazon US

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Blurb

Sometimes salvation comes from the most unlikely hero.

When Tate Gillespie is marked for death for a crime he didn’t commit, his life crumbles. In a world where ‘justice’ is meted out by a relentless military force, he’s going to need more than a mythical guardian angel.

His life down to seconds, he’s saved by the mysterious X, a knife-wielding man he’s never even met before. But who is X? Is he the man who threatens and kills without a second thought? Or the strangely gentle man who only seems to act that way around Tate?

X is a shadow. A wraith. A man who flits through the city virtually unseen. He’s got no time for people when knives are far more reliable. X does have one weakness though—the man he’s been keeping safe for years who doesn’t even know it. He’d burn the whole world to keep him alive. But what he won’t do is stake his claim. Tate’s not his and he needs to remember that, no matter how close they might become.

With the military in hot pursuit, they’re going to need to rely on X’s skills to keep them both alive. Tate’s feelings are growing with every hour they spend together, but X is a tough nut to crack. Can two people from very different backgrounds really find common ground? Or will one of the many perils they face throughout their long journey drive them apart?

It’s all about survival. Not love. Isn’t it?

Excerpt

I turned in a slow circle, my gaze raking across every nook and cranny in order to try and find out more about my mysterious… friend? Was he a friend? He’d saved my life. There was no disputing the fact. But what that made him, I wasn’t too sure. Did he want something from me? If so, what? I didn’t have anything to give him. I had some money in the bank, but nowhere near enough to make putting himself on the wrong side of the MPG worthwhile. I needed to start demanding answers from him.

Stepping back, my foot brushed something against the wall. I glanced down, expecting to see something innocuous like a rug, although my previous thoughts about soft furnishings should have told me that that wasn’t possible. In the circumstances, the scream that escaped from my throat was unavoidable. I’d barely started though, before a rough hand clamped over my mouth and stopped in its tracks. It held fast as I automatically struggled against the pressure. A hand fastened across my chest, pulling me flush against his body so that we were pressed together. Again. The only difference this time was that my back was to his front. Lips hovered by my ear. “Shhhh… we might be underground but there are vents. If you scream, someone might hear. Nod if you understand.”

Despite the surge of panic still turning my blood to fire, I managed a shaky nod, the hand fastened over my mouth shifting with the motion.

More words were spoken directly into my ear. “I’m going to let go now. Promise you won’t scream.”

I gave another nod, the fingers covering my mouth slowly loosening as X stepped away. My gaze immediately returned to the floor, nausea bubbling away inside me. “There’s a dead body in your house.”

X’s gaze followed mine, raking the prone figure in an unconcerned fashion. “I’m aware of that fact.”

“He doesn’t have a head.”

For a second, the corner of X’s mouth twitched as if he might have been considering a smile. If so, it was a pretty strange thing to find amusing. “That happens when you trespass on someone’s property.”

It all clicked into place. The tripwire. The shotgun. The corpse with the missing head. It still didn’t make it normal though. “And you just left him here?”

X tilted his head to the side. “He wasn’t really up for going for a walk.”

No matter how much I tried not to look at the body, my eyes kept straying back to it. Given the MPG’s brand of justice, I was used to death. But death by laser gun left nothing but a pile of ash. I wasn’t used to seeing bodies with nothing but a ragged stump of flesh where their head used to be. There was a sweet, cloying smell coming from it as well. Only faint, but it was still there.

X walked over to what passed as a sofa, sweeping a covering from it and laying it over the corpse. “Better?”

“Yes.” It was better. At least I could stop looking at it now. I forced myself to walk away from it until I was in the middle of the room. But when my eyes strayed over to the bed in the corner, I almost wished I still had the corpse to stare at. It suddenly struck me that I was trapped. I didn’t know how to deactivate the trip-wire myself so I’d just walked willingly into a place where I couldn’t leave. What if X’s intentions were simple? Abduct someone who wouldn’t be missed. He could keep me as some sort of sex slave. Chain me to the bed and do whatever he wanted to me. The real question though was why that thought wasn’t as repugnant as it should have been.

About the Author

H.L Day juggles teaching and writing. As an avid reader, she decided to give writing a go one day and the rest is History. Her superpower is most definitely procrastination. Every now and again, she musters enough self-discipline to actually get some words onto paper—sometimes they even make sense and are in the right order.

She enjoys writing far too many different sub genres to stick to one thing so writes everything from rom-coms to post-apocalyptic sci-fi.

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Release Blitz: North Point by Thom Collins

North Point | Thom Collins

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Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release Date: July 7, 2020

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 61,000 words

Buy Links:

Pride Publishing  |  Kobo  |   Barnes and Noble 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Add to Goodreads 

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Blurb

Will an idyllic summer holiday lead Arnie to the love of his life, or the end of it?

It should be the start of a perfect vacation. After a period of stress, Arnie Walker takes his nine-year-old son AJ home for the holidays. Arnie grew up in Nyemouth, a picturesque fishing town on the North-East coast of England, and he wants AJ to experience the kind of carefree, endless summer he enjoyed as a boy. It’s a short-lived dream. While taking an evening walk along the North Point cliff, Arnie and AJ witness a murder attempt.

For the volunteer crew of Nyemouth Lifeboat Station, it’s a rescue mission like none before, Helmsman Dominic Melton is part of the team who rescue the victim from the deadly North Sea. When Arnie and Dominic come together in the aftermath of the attack, the attraction is instant.

Arnie isn’t looking for a relationship. He’s committed to his son’s well-being and has no time for a distraction like Dominic, even though the handsome ex-naval officer is hard to dismiss. Is it possible for Arnie to fulfill his promises to AJ while falling for Dominic?

Despite the distraction, a fledgling killer remains at large. As feelings between Arnie and Dominic develop, so does the danger they are in. North Point may be a beautiful place to fall in love, but it could also be the most dangerous.

BLURB

Excerpt

“The police are outside,” Dominic said. “They want statements from all of us.” He had large and very expressive brown eyes. Within them, Arnie saw flecks of amber and gold. With his dark hair and muscular build, Dominic looked every inch a hero.

No, Arnie corrected himself. This guy doesn’t look like a hero. He is a hero. The entire crew are. It was more than the way he looked. There was an aura about Dominic, an undefined energy that made him incredibly attractive. Arnie had worked with some exceptionally good-looking men in his career, bona fide Hollywood heartthrobs, and none of them had Dominic’s naturally sexy quality. Everything about him—his face, his hair, his build—appealed. He was a knockout.

Come on, Arnie thought, pulling himself up. You’ve just witnessed a horrendous crime. A woman is fighting for her life this very minute and you’ve taken a fancy to the local hot guy. Get a grip.

He dunked a biscuit into the tea and ate it. His father was right—the sugar seemed to have an instant effect and his senses became clearer.

“How rough were things out there?” Martin asked.

“The sea’s getting up,” Dominic answered. “The wind too. Another half hour and we might not have got in there. It wouldn’t have mattered if we did. The tide would have taken her by then. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”

“You’re amazing,” Arnie said, and meant it. Dominic and the crew of volunteers had risked their lives for the safety of a complete stranger. They might all have died trying to rescue her.

“I just drove the boat,” he said. “My colleagues— Joanne and Minty—they did the hard work. They transferred the woman from the rock to the boat and kept her stable the whole way back. That’s no easy job in those swells.”

“Does anyone know who she is?” Martin asked.

“Minty thought he recognized her from around town but couldn’t be sure. It’s for the police to find out now.”

“It’s hard to believe something like this could happen here in Nyemouth,” Martin said. “Something so cruel. Who do you think did it? An ex-boyfriend?” Martin and Dominic looked at Arnie expectantly.

“I’ve no idea,” he said at last, avoiding the intense scrutiny of Dominic’s eyes. “Whoever it was, they kept their face hidden. It could be anyone. And they came from behind. So, even if it was someone she knows, I doubt she’d have recognized them.”

“Bastard,” Dominic said. He had a slight accent Arnie couldn’t place. Northern. Maybe Yorkshire. Nothing definite. The accent of someone who moved around a lot, losing all but a trace of their regional twang. A bit like his own. It was hard not to look at him. He was stunning. That hair, the glossy sheen of his beard, the moody furrow between his eyebrows. Wow. Despite everything that had happened, Dominic aroused something in Arnie. It should have been the last thing on his mind, but Arnie couldn’t stop the desire he felt for him. He imagined holding him and kissing that mouth, thinking about the body beneath those clothes.

Stop it.

Arnie finished his tea. “I should speak to the police. The sooner they know who they’re looking for, the sooner they’ll find him.”

“Are you feeling better?” Martin asked.

“Much,” he assured his father. “Thanks to you.”

“Take care of yourself,” Dominic said. “I wish we’d met under better circumstances. Hopefully I’ll see you around some time.”

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About the Author

Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, Gods of VengeanceSilent Voices and the Anthem Trilogy. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.

He is currently working on a new series.

Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves.

When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but in 2013 he realized cruising is the best way to see the world.

Check out his website for news updates and a free ebook The Night.

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