Tag Archives: dark

Recommended Read: Break My Chains by Nicolina Martin

I know Kevin usually does a review per week, but I couldn’t help jumping in here to talk about the book I just finished last night! ♥ Nicolina Martin’s Break My Chains is so spicy, a little dark, and has enough suspense to keep you going. I just couldn’t put this one down…

I literally stumbled across this novel on Amazon. When I read the sample, it just drew me in and I had to buy it!! ❤

With elements of dark romance, some erotica, and enough suspense to keep the storyline moving, you can’t go wrong with this read. Mia and Martin are such fascinating characters, each tough in their own right. It makes them quite a match, and just adds to the steamy tension. Loved this book…and I don’t hand out five stars easily!
I simply devoured this book! 😀
Book Info:
When nothing is what it seems, who can you trust?

Martin Garrett has sworn to die rather than go back to prison. He’ll stop at nothing to reach freedom, but even he can’t win over the forces of nature. When he gets caught in a violent snowstorm, he has no choice but to seek shelter. He can’t know that the young woman opening the door will change his life forever.

Fleeing her troubled past in Arizona, leaving her loved ones behind, Mia Cassidy has found solace in an isolated cabin in the deep woods of Colorado. She’s hesitant to let the tall, hulking, and oddly attractive stranger into her home, but the storm is lethal. She has no way of knowing this chance encounter will rip her from her cocoon and make her question everything she thought she knew.

Trapped together, their unexpected meeting soon turns into a battle of wills and a fight against the irresistible pull between them. When the fragile trust they’ve built is betrayed, everything comes crashing down. Mia must unravel the secrets and find the truth before it’s too late to save either of them.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy contemporary love story is not your typical wine and chocolates romance. It has a dark edge but if you’re up for the ride there is a guaranteed HEA. It contains elements of mystery, suspense, action, adventure, danger, betrayal, and power exchange.

Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/3LGnwD

Here’s a peek at the book…

Martin Garrett, convicted five years ago almost to the day for committing a heinous series of murders between 2011 and 2013, escaped this morning from Penitentiary Florence High. The details of his escape have not been revealed. Garrett is considered extremely dangerous and caution is recommended. If anyone sees this man…

The whistling from the water kettle drowns out the rest. I’m leaning my elbows on the kitchen counter, staring out the frosted window. A thick layer of snow has covered everything during the night. It’s so white from where I’m standing; I can’t even make out the shapes of the outside world. It’s like someone wrapped a large sheet around my house. I’m not entirely taken by surprise. It’s my second winter here and it gets really cold, and really wintery in Colorado. The difference between Arizona and where I live now couldn’t be greater. Sighing, I move away from the window and take the kettle off the stove. The whistling fades and comes to a stop. They forecasted snow. I don’t think I listened well enough. Pouring the boiling water in the cup, I watch it turn black as the instant coffee dissolves. I stare vacantly at the mug, my thoughts sprawling in every different direction. I need to locate the shovel and find my truck under those masses. I have cans but not a lot of fresh food, so I really need to go into town if I still want bread, milk, eggs, cheese and… I look around me. Fruit. Grimacing, I grab the cup and head off into the living room, which also doubles as office, dining area and hallway. That’d be ‘quadruples as’, I think as I sink down on the chair and set the cup on the table.

As I flip open the lid to my old MacBook it chimes pleasantly, and I realize I forgot to shut it down last night. Again. I yawn, stretch and glance at the clock on the wall. Twenty past nine. The morning passes too quickly and I need to get some work done. I’m helping a local store with some images for marketing, a newspaper ad, some flyers and whatnot. I’ve strayed far, far away from the exhibition at the Etherton Gallery I had when I was twenty-one. When I was young and ‘promising’.

Three years ago.

What happened then was a nightmare I am still trying to wake up from. Pushing the thoughts away, I click on the folder for Farman’s Fishing Lodge. I trekked the woods day in and day out, walking along the river, catching the fine rainbow-colored mist as the water slammed against the rocks in its path downstream. The pictures turned out fantastic. Local flora and fauna, fishermen standing in their yellow pants, the color reflected in the calm surface, sun glittering in tiny ripples. For a few days I was really happy with my choice to move here. The fresh air, the smell of approaching snow, the sometimes near-silence out there.

The tranquility only lasts moments before I return to myself, but I cherish them.

I start sorting the images: by motifs, by colors, by how the sky and the ground harmonize with each other. Choosing a few I intend to show Mr. Waltman, I copy them and begin to toy around with effects.

As I lose myself in work, I don’t register how many hours pass until I notice the corners of the room are darker and that my stomach aches. I study the processed images on the screen. Several of them are everything he asked for, and I hope my client will see it as well. I need the money. Desperately. I stand, straighten my back, and stretch my arms until my hands almost touch the low ceiling, then I close my laptop and head for the kitchen to see if I can find anything that appeals to me.

Armed with canned soup I heated in the microwave, and a bottle of beer, I sink down on the couch and turn the TV back on. I doubt anything interesting has happened in my little corner of the world.

Terrorist attacks in Europe. A gas line leaking in Russia. Price of oil increasing. Some prisoner on the run.

I eat and keep flipping through the channels until I give up and resort to watching a cop show that doesn’t crave my attention. Everything is very dramatic, with shaky camera movements, flashing blue and red lights, men screaming when they’re pushed to the ground, women screaming when their men are pushed to the ground. I study the handiwork of the cameraman. It looks sloppy and haphazard, but he’s really clever in how he switches between objects and with the angles he chooses. I like being surprised by a random TV show.

Dropping the spoon on the table next to the bowl, I lean against the backrest, and stare at the ceiling. It’s made of pine boards, yellowed with age, giving the cabin a dark and moody feel. Then and there I decide to paint it when I get the money from this gig. A soft white should go well with the dark hardwood floor and the cute floral patterns on my couch and armchair. I rub my face and glance out the window. It’s not dark yet and I need to get some of the snow off my porch and make a path to my truck. There’s at least thirty feet to plow to get to the truck, then I have to keep shoveling until I get to where my yard meets the road. I doubt they’ll plow it today, though. Shit. Probably not tomorrow either.

I down the rest of the soup but leave the beer, then I rise. Jack, who’s been sleeping on his rug in the corner, immediately starts panting. He lifts a thick, furry eyebrow and watches me carefully under a heavy, barely open eyelid. Am I going where he thinks I’m going? When I lift a foot to put it in my boot he realizes that yes, I am indeed. Giving off a robust bark, he jumps up with ease, despite his huge body, and trots toward me, his tail wagging eagerly. He puts his snout against the back of my knee and pushes, looking at me pleadingly. I rub him behind an ear as I push my foot into the other boot and tie it.

“Did you think I’d forget you, silly dog?” Grabbing my jacket, I pat my thigh. “Come on!”

Jack doesn’t need to be told twice and lays his paws on the door, reaching up level with my face. He was such a cute little puppy when I took him in, having been abandoned when his former owner died, but Bernese Mountain dogs don’t stay small. He’s my company, my only friend, and my protection. Our long walks every day have healed me somewhat over the year I’ve had him.

As I pull down the handle, he pushes at the door, but is met by resistance. I frown and help him, slowly opening the slit until it is wide enough for us to squeeze through.

With a loud groan I take in the massive cover of snow. It’s gotta be a foot deep. Or more. It’s beautiful. Pure and untouched. But it needs to go.

“Get out there, boy,” I tell Jack and he jumps straight out, giving out a squeal of surprise when the cold white layer hits his belly. I laugh, push the door closed and go in search of the shovel.

After forty minutes there’s a narrow path to the truck, and a visible front window and driver’s door. I’ve had to shove Jack off me over and over, him thinking it’s a game. Panting, and drenched in sweat, I lean on the shovel and study my handiwork, then I lift my gaze to the prematurely darkening sky. The clouds are a heavy dark blue. Menacing. More snow is on the way. Much more. Fuck. I clutch at my burning chest. I’m exhausted, in need of a shower, a good book in front of the fireplace, and then sleep. I pray my hard work won’t be undone come morning.

I call for Jack who is happily jumping around at the edge of the forest and go inside. Pulling the door shut throws us into semi-darkness. Before I head for the bathroom I start a fire. Crumpling pages of old newspapers into little balls, I push them between perfectly dry logs and light them up. Soon orange flames lick the wood, charring it, creating beautiful gleaming serpentines around the edges. I put the cast iron mesh in front of the fireplace, and head for my well-deserved shower.

When I get back out Jack is restless and whining. He paces the room, and starts circling me as soon as he spots me. I have a towel wrapped around my body and dab my hair with another.

“What is it, sweetie?” I crouch in front of him, rub the thick fur on his neck and look around, but nothing seems out of the ordinary. The room has that good, dry warmth that only comes from a lit fireplace. Despite that, a shiver runs through me, and I quickly put on a pair of sweatpants and a flannel shirt. I postpone my own pleasure a little longer and go to give Jack some fresh food. It seems to calm him and soon he guzzles down the canned meat with his usual sloppiness, tail wagging. I give him a pat and, finally, I can sit down again with the intent to do absolutely nothing for the rest of the night. I turn the TV back on and flip through the channels, but then I just mute it and look at the fire instead, drinking my lukewarm beer.

I nearly fly through the roof when Jack suddenly howls, barks, then howls again. He runs to the front door, then back, then in circles. I stand, the hair rising on the back of my neck.

“Jack, boy, what is it?”

He looks at me and whines, crouching, his tail between his legs. Then he jumps up again and runs toward the door, barking.

“Enough!” I go to him and grab the loose skin at his neck, crouching before him as I glance at the silent door. “Shh!”

He’s quiet, but on high alert. I’m quiet too, also on high alert. Holding my breath, I listen intently but hear nothing. I rise and that’s when a loud rap on the door pierces the silence, quickly followed by two more.

Three heavy, ominous knocks.

My heart instantly jumps up in my throat and nearly suffocates me with its wild pounding. No one comes here. Not normally, and most certainly not when the snow is so thick you can’t come unless you are in a tracked vehicle, and they only do that if there’s a medical emergency. If you’re snowed in, you’re snowed in.

Who is out there? I swallow nervously and take a step toward the door when three new loud knocks make me jump. I shake my head at my own suspiciousness. Whoever it is, it must be someone who needs help. Covering the remaining distance, I then press down on the handle and try to push the door open, but it’s jammed again. I manage a couple of inches, then a hand grips the edge and suddenly the door flies wide open.

I stare at the vision before me. It’s a man: tall, wide, covered in snow from top to toe, and with clothes that are way too thin. Even in the faint light I see how blue his lips are. I open my mouth to ask, I don’t know, maybe what he wants, but then I change my mind. Whoever he is, he is clearly in some kind of emergency. Looking out at the wintery night, then back at the yeti before me, I shake my head in disbelief.

“Good God. Come inside!”

He doesn’t need to be told twice and takes a step forward, past the threshold. Towering over me, his hulking appearance dominates the room. I swallow hard and reach past him to close the door. The wind fights me and snowflakes whip in my face. I hadn’t realized it had started snowing again, and blowing. Behind me Jack is letting out a high-pitched noise.

The door slams closed and I turn back to the man. The top of my head reaches to his shoulder. He is gigantic. He has a big, dirty-blond beard, covered in snow. The snow in his eyelashes has started to melt. I have to crane my neck to meet his eyes. He’s frowning, looking down at me with an unreadable expression as he rakes a hand through his hair and shudders.

“Thanks.”

His voice is hoarse, a deep baritone that challenges the sudden silence in the house. I still don’t move, cornered in the narrow space between him and the door. A girl alone letting in a stranger is not a clever move, but what choice did I have? Let him freeze to death?

AUTHOR: Nicolina Martin

TITLE: Break My Chains

GENRE: New Adult Romantic Suspense, Some Erotica, Dark Romance

RELEASE DATE: February 6, 2019

PUBLISHER: Blushing Books Publications

ISBN/ASIN: B07NGQT8LB

OUR RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥

REVIEWED BY: Marie Lavender

Anyway, just wanted to give you my thoughts on this fantastic read! Grab a copy of this new release! 😉

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February Romance/Erotica Author Interview Answer #1 “What is your favorite trope in romance?”

Question #1 in a group author interview! ♥

via February Romance/Erotica Author Interview Answer #1 “What is your favorite trope in romance?”

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March 4, 2019 · 2:57 pm

You Complete Me?: a guest post by romance author Bry Ann

You Complete Me?

by Bry Ann

 

From as long as I can remember I have been the most independent person I know. I always believed I never needed anyone. While most girls dreamed of finding Prince Charming, I dreamed of starting my own company. While most girls were straightening their hair, I was diving into my text books so I could learn all I could to be successful. It was never about riches or success in the way most people are thinking. For me it was about building the life I wanted. Working for myself.

Then I don’t know what happened. I started writing. I became fascinated with relationships and how life struggles affected them. I softened up. I read more and more romance novels. One thing that has always stood out to me is the ‘you complete me’ concept in a lot of books. I get it. I really do, but it’s never been my cup of tea. Everything I’ve written and felt has been more along the lines of ‘you make me better and I love you, but I could live without you’. I would one day be okay if we didn’t work out. I wanted to talk a little about that. How to write two independent characters who fall in love and make each other better versus constantly needing each other.

I think a key thing in writing is the difference between leaning on somewhat for support when you are trying to make yourself better or overcome something, versus letting someone do something for you. Letting them fight your battles. For example, Sam and Logan’s story in Saving Her.

Sam leans on Logan a lot throughout her struggles, but never once does she use his celebrity to fight her battles for her. She does it on her own and uses him to help her when she’s down. Emotional support. Love, and sometimes having her back when she needs it. That’s important, and it’s the reason their relationship works. He respects her.

I think another key thing is the character having their own life. For example, in Axel’s story, Aly’s family always pushes her to marry and be a housewife. She is never even allowed to consider another possibility. When Axel helps her get free and makes that an option, she immediately starts working. Even though at the end Axel can easily provide for her and she could spend her days doing whatever, there is no kid, nothing to do. She goes to college, gets an education and starts to figure out what her dreams could be outside of their relationship. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with Aly.

All in all I wanted to throw out another version of relationships. I wanted to bring into a light that codependency can be a very negative thing if your whole identity lies with one person. Respect, dignity, love, healthy competition, attraction all can go hand in hand. In fact I think that when there is a good dose of respect for what the other person is doing, it can strengthen the bond your characters have and make your readers fall in love with both people versus just the relationship itself.

Anyway, thank you guys so much for reading! I hope you will check out Sam and Logan’s story in Saving Her now on Amazon. The story depicts this perfectly and I just know you will love them.

Have a great week!

Wow! Thank you, Bry Ann, for giving us a peek into your writing world and showing us a different spin on relationships.

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at this gritty romantic suspense? Sounds like a plan!:)

Great cover! 😀

This is the blurb for Saving Her:

SAM:

What is love?
Is it patient?
Is it kind?
Who the hell knows.
I don’t.
I just know I must save the one person I’ve ever opened my cold heart up to.
I don’t care what it takes to save her.
I sell drugs. I sell my soul. I don’t care. She just has to live.
Then enters Logan Prescott.
He makes sure to screw everything up. He makes me care.
He makes me feel…
And that is just not okay.

LOGAN:

Hollywood.
Lies. Sex. Fans. Attention.
Lonely.
I’ve been alone for far too long, caught up in a world I love but is slowly killing me.
The real me. The one behind the lights.
Then there’s her. The smart ass waitress who hates me with a fiery passion.

Trigger Warning: This is not a typical love story. Sam and Logan’s story contains disturbing scenes, drugs, sex and strong language.

Here is an excerpt.

After two hours of being alone in the dark with no one coming in or out, I was completely lost in the memories. It was like I was in a fog and nothing else existed. The memories wouldn’t stop coming. I closed my eyes and screamed bloody murder. Someone had to save me. I was lost. It seemed so real. I couldn’t go through that again. Even if it was all in my head. A nurse came running in. I just kept screaming and crying. She didn’t exist to me. Nothing did but the pain. She tried to talk me down, but I wouldn’t come down. I couldn’t. I was shaking so badly. I saw her put in the sedative before I could stop her.

“No please! I don’t want to sleep,” I said as my body fell limp. “No.”

“It’s okay, sweetie.”

“Logan, please,” was the last thing I remember saying.

I woke up hours later. It was still dark outside. I shook violently but stopped when I felt a strong hand on my shoulder.

“I’m here, Sam.”

“Logan.” I let all the air out of my lungs. The relief filled me.

“Yeah, it’s me. Sam, what’s going on?”

I somehow managed to get myself up to seated and tuck myself into a ball. I curled myself up as tight as I possibly could and cried. I couldn’t stop. Logan crawled into the bed next to me and pulled me into him.

Safe.

Purchase Links:

 

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B078LN3WZ4

♥♥♥ Gripping! This looks like quite a romantic tale! 

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Bry Ann! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Author Bio

Bry Ann is a psychology student at Arizona State University. She currently lives up in the Rocky Mountains in Granby, Colorado. She spends most of her free time reading dark romance books, writing anytime she can get her hands on a computer and doing homework anytime she can squeeze it in. Bry Ann has been writing for as long as she can remember. Even from the youngest of ages she was writing about characters with dark pasts and shady stories. As she got older, she decided everyone should get a love story so soon her dark stories got happy endings. She loves to hear from her readers and talk all things books, so feel free to contact her on any of her social media pages!

Author Links

Website:  http://www.authorbryann.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/authorbryann

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/authorbryann

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2DRO10Y

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17095210.Bry_Ann

Tumblr:  www.authorbryann.tumblr.com

Instagram:  www.instagram.com/authorbryann

Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/authorbryann

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/109937895438594736337

 

Thanks again, Bry Ann! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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