Saturday, 6 June 2020

Hearts Ablaze by A.D. Ellis - Feature and Competition


I'm delighted to feature Hearts Ablaze by A D Ellis. I'm reading the book at the moment and it's a lovely, light romance (so far!) My review will come in the next post. In the meantime, scroll down for a chance to win a $20 Amazon voucher, and scroll right to the end to read an exclusive extract from this enchanting book!

A.D. Ellis has a new contemporary MM romance out: "Hearts Ablaze."

Chase Steele and Xander Copperfield are down on their luck, as similar as they are different, and ready for a love they didn’t even realize they’d been waiting on their whole lives.

With two gorgeous “tough guys” discovering and exploring their true selves, Hearts Ablaze is a steamy, slow-burn, friends-to-lovers, opposites attract, bisexual awakening romance.

*This is the first book in the Forged in the City series.*

Book Review - Hearts Ablaze by A.D. Ellis

I seem to be OD'ing on romance novels over the past few weeks, and it was a pleasure to join in with A D Ellis's blog tour and have the chance to read her new novel, Hearts Ablaze, the first book of the Forged In the City series.

The book was an easy read, with engaging characters and a standard romance plot. Chase and Xander are carved straight out of a Hallmark movie (if Hallmark did bisexual/MM romances) and are sweet and endearing. There is a lovely secondary character called Ginny, who has terminal cancer, and a rough diamond biker/mechanic who gives Xan a lucky break. 

Monday, 1 June 2020

Book Review - Ruthless Sinner (The Zeta Cartel Series: Book 6) by A J Adams

Genre: M/F bad boy thriller/romance with sex, violence and drug references

I've thoroughly enjoyed the Zeta Cartel series, and was looking forward to this latest novel from A J Adams. Each book is completely different and can be read as a standalone story, but my advice is to immerse yourself in the dirty goings-on right from the start. The characters in each story are woven into the stories of other characters, so there is a theme running right through the series.
Each book focusses on a tough but ultimately good-hearted woman and the career-criminal she meets at a low point in her life. The men are not pussycats. They are killers who make their money from crime and drugs, but the series is up-front about that from the start. If it isn't your thing, avoid. If you love a bad boy who will kill to keep his lady from harm, fill your boots. 

Book Review - A Little Chatter by Terry Connell

This is the review I wrote for WROTE Podcast. A fascinating book. Not one of my favourites, but no denying the skill of the writer and their powers of observation. A great collection of vignettes.


A Little ChatterA Little Chatter by Terry Connell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was gifted a copy of this ARC in return for an honest and fair review.

I was a little hesitant about reading this book at first. The cover doesn’t invite one in, with a barrage of repeated words that made my eyes go funny. It had a bit of a “try hard” feel about it, and the title seemed to suggest something frivolous, a trifling matter to pass the time if one had nothing else to do. It was an inauspicious start, and a shame because the stories themselves are startling, poignant, sometimes desperately sad, but always entertaining and well-written.

A frivolous read, this certainly is not. It is a truly diverse collection of vignettes than actual stories; snapshots of people’s lives and experiences, each one very different from the last. The author uses dialogue, prose, sections as if taken from official reports, and weaves all those things in to a highly readable package with some intriguing characters.

These stories feel more personal than ones written with fictional characters. These tales read like people who have really existed, people from the author’s past, or echoes of people he has encountered, however briefly. There are exquisite observations of everyday life, perfectly preserved. I can imagine the author sitting in a diner with his notepad, quietly taking in all the tiny dramas around him, then weaving them with words drawn from his imagination. It is a true piece of literary work, crafted with skill and a keen eye.

Standouts for me are the first story, Goodbye, Willow Grove, where two people have very different memories of the same, sun-drenched day. The Tire Swing, where an elderly man reminisces over his life. It is written from a second person aspect, which isn’t for everyone, but there was a poetic rhythm about it that I loved. Finally, Thursday Night at Niko’s Italian Restaurant, which sounds like a Billy Joel song and is a slice of life from the underbelly of old-school Americana.

There’s a theme of savagery running through a lot of the stories, a cynicism as well as rose-tinted sentimentality. Just like any good conversation, there is something for everyone. The book isn’t always a comfortable read. I didn’t warm to some of the stories, but that’s like any collection, as well as being human. And everyone in this book is achingly human; flawed, honourable, selfish, angry, loving. This is definitely a short story collection to check out if you want human stories to make you think

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