Refracted Reflections: Twisted Tales of Duality & Deception by Kaye Lynne Booth, et al

Refracted Reflections: Twisted Tales of Duality & Deception by Kaye Lynne Booth, et al
Publisher: WordCrafter Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Historical, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Reflections and Refractions…

One reveals truths, while the other bends light into varying shapes of deception.

Does a small camp mirror reveal hope… or death?

Is the warrior in the mirror a monster… or a protector?

Does a glimpse in the mirror reveal a young woman’s true self… or what someone else has shaped her into?

Does the mysterious portal to the future reflect what could be… or what must be left behind?

Are the dancers reflected in the water’s depth things of beauty… or evil?

This unique and imaginative collection of nine mind tantalizing fantasy and science fiction stories will appeal to readers who enjoy thought provoking tales with hidden meanings resting deep below the surface. These stories will keep you pondering long into the night.

If you liked Gilded Glass or Once Upon an Ever After, you’ll love Refracted Reflections.

The truth is out there, and it’s waiting to be found.

Kenzia sought out the help of Masilda, the one person who could grant her greatest desire in “The Cost of Magic.” I enjoyed the banter between these two characters. They were both intelligent people who knew what they wanted out of life. Figuring out that about them made the plot twist that popped up later on even more exciting.

Not everyone enjoys spelunking or history, so I was patient with Irene in “The Nutcracker” as she complained about everything happening on the cave tour she was on with her parents. When she began to hear someone talking to her who seemed to be invisible, I wondered what was really going on with Irene. Once their conversation started up, I was quickly able to guess where the storyline might go from there. This was among a few different stories in this collection that I wished had been given more time to develop. They all had great premises, but there was space in them for more character development and plot twists if the authors had decided to include them.

“Parallel” began with Jo breaking into an abandoned mansion to see what might have been left behind in it. I was curious to see why Jo was so interested in this property and what she was planning to do with whatever she found there. When she discovered the shimmering mirror, I thought I’d discovered the answers to my questions. This is one of those stories that works best if readers don’t know what to expect from it, so all I can say about the rest of it was that it made me shudder and not want to look at a mirror at night again for a long time. What a deliciously scary read!

Refracted Reflections: Twisted Tales of Duality & Deception showed just how magical mirrors and similar items can be.

His Pleasure Contract by Helen Walton

His Pleasure Contract by Helen Walton
Billionaires’ Reluctant Brides Book 2
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Prue’s husband Will has ticked off most of her fantasies, all except one. When he draws up a contract to fulfill her fantasy of a threesome, she’s unsure what to do.

Billionaire William Burberry, the fourth, has everything he ever wanted in his wife Prue. She may be a mouthy ex-waitress with a terrible upbringing, but she fits him perfectly in bed and out. But he sees the way she looks at her best friend with her two boyfriends.

Will would do anything for her, even if it means sharing her with another man for a night. One night meant to fulfill Prue’s fantasy for her birthday present.

Can she ignore her worries and go for her fantasy?

Seriously hot story with plenty of heat for a chilly night.

I picked up this book because I wanted something hot. It delivered. The characters have great interplay, and the writing is tight. I felt like I’d been dropped right into the world of these characters and not at all like I’d missed something, even though this is book 2. I can’t wait to read more.

Prue and Will have a great relationship and she’s pampered but she wants something more–sort of. She’s always wanted another man in the bedroom with them. Honestly, I liked how they characters went about this and it’s truly hot. The pages singed. I liked Marco and was glad to meet his character.

If you’re looking for something hot and with a twist, then this is the one for you. I couldn’t put it down.

Caj’s Angel by Nikki Prince

Caj’s Angel by Nikki Prince
Eternal Lovers Book 1
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Erotic Romance, Paranormal
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Caj was once human and in love with an angel named Mercy. Having committed an unforgiveable sin, Caj is punished by The Maker to take on the sins of others so that those souls can be ushered into heaven by an angel. Caj is finding it hard to reconcile who he used to be with what he has become and feels he should let Mercy go.

But can he?

Mercy sees Caj as she remembered him. She knows that he beats himself up daily for his own sins, let alone having to take on others’ sins as a penance. The only way for them to be together is for him to go before The Maker and make amends or their love will be lost forever.

Will The Maker allow them their happiness or are Caj and Mercy forever doomed to have loved and lost?

Short, but packs a punch.

I picked up this book because I hadn’t read one by Nikki Prince yet. I’m glad I rectified that situation. This one is short, but as I said above, it packs a punch. The writing is good and the idea fantastic. This took me a lunch hour to read, but it was time well used.

Mercy and Caj have so much potential and should be together. I loved the almost fated romance of this story. They have history and they have problems, but it’s relatable. We all have things we wish we could change and end up taking on more strife or stress to make up for that–like Caj. I felt for them both and wanted to see them have a happy ending. That’s how much I got involved in this short story.

If you’re looking for something hot, but sweet and good for a quick read, then this is the one for you.

Land Of Enchantment by Jodi Payne and BA Tortuga

Land Of Enchantment by Jodi Payne and BA Tortuga
Publisher: Tygerseye Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

What if you had to leave everything behind to find your way home?

Opposites definitely attract, but can an east coast kid on the run and a southwest rodeo cowboy learn to speak the same language, let alone learn to trust each other?

When Mason Wild has to get out of Jersey fast, he heads west without a plan or a penny to his name. Luckily he finds a job with a roofing company run by a rodeo cowboy who’s kind, easy to work for, and even with his jaw wired shut, hotter than July in the high desert.

Bull rider Levi Yost knows what it’s like to be down on his luck. He’s not much older than Mason, but he’s been around the block a few times–or at least around the rodeo arena. He takes a chance on Mason, giving him a job and a place to live on his ranch. The two of them discover a surprising amount of common ground, but trouble has a way of finding each of them. Mason has to decide whether to trust Levi with his past, and Levi has to come to terms with the fact that he’s not just riding out for himself anymore.

On the run and having been on the road for a while, Mason is hungry and pretty desperate for some steady work when he finally gets some luck while hitchhiking out in the desert. Levi takes a step of faith and hires Mason onto his regular crew doing some roofing work and quickly both men realize they can truly trust each other in all the important ways.

I really enjoyed this full length cowboy story and loved the slow, emotional pace. From the start it’s clear that Mason has more than a few secrets and is in dire need of people he can trust and who will do right by him. Levi, also, is recovering from a bad fall while rodeoing and I loved how the longer length of the story let the two men ease into a true and deep relationship. While sexy and hot, I loved how the co-authors took their time to let the two men learn and trust each other first. This really helped me as a reader get a good feel for them both and get excited as they trusted each other inch by inch.

With a few really strong secondary characters I loved how Mason in particular flourished after he found his feet. The pace around the reader learning his backstory was lovely, snippets here and there that added up into an interesting and intense sub-plot around where and what Mason had left behind him. Levi also was a delight, and once we finally get back onto the rodeo circuit with him I loved how the reader could see it all fresh and learn through Mason’s eyes. Personally I have zero knowledge about real cowboying and rodeos (short of what you’d see on tv) so I loved how much detail and authentic description the co-authors added into the story without it feeling like a massive info-dump. I loved these scenes and felt they really added hugely to the story as a whole.

While it took a while for the plot (both Mason’s past to return and Levi to realize maybe his time for being on the rodeo circuit was a limited thing) to really blossom and come to fruition but I didn’t mind this at all as the growing relationship between Levi and Mason was given ample time to really come around and not be rushed. This book is really like a lovely long, slow drop and I adored this pace.

Readers eager for a character-centric story with vibrant and different characters, plenty of hard work, desert settings and authentic cowboys along with some complicated personal plot-lines and a loving and emotional, deep M/M romance should find this story really fits the bill. I loved this story and can’t wait to reread it again soon. Recommended.

The Wolf by Jade Marshall

The Wolf by Jade Marshall
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Moonflower

Being hurt and alone is nothing new to Hadley. She’s survived on her own for as long as she can remember, and no one will dictate the way she lives her life. With loss and pain dominating her memories, how can she put her faith in someone again?

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Hadley and Brandon need a reason to let their walls down and let love in. Can two broken souls find a way to save each other?

Hadley has had her share of MC’s and is determined to keep her distance. Unfortunately for her, she attracts the attention of one of two local clubs and it’s not in a good way, nor are they a good club. In fact, they are more like the club she is currently hiding from. With the help of a friend, she is introduced to the Gypsy Bastards who have their ethics and morals that do not include hurting women or children. Wolf finds himself fascinated by her and doesn’t therefore always think with his big brain.

Hadley is not only a survivor but she is a fighter too. She is not prepared to take anything lying down and certainly stands up to Wolf when she needs to. He is a man who has already suffered loss and wants nothing more than to protect Hadley at all costs.

There is a LOT of miscommunication in this novella! I can’t see it any other way though, so it works. There are numerous characters in this novella, all with stories I would love to see. With great situations and characters, this was a brilliant way to start a series and one I hope to see more from. Definitely recommended by me.

The Reading Group: December by Della Parker

The Reading Group: December by Della Parker
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Holiday, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (18 pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender
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Grace knows that the holiday season is going to be different this year. No turkey, no tinsel, no gorgeously wrapped gifts under the tree . . . how on earth is she going to break it to her little boys that Christmas is effectively cancelled? And can she bear to tell anyone her embarrassing secret? Enter the Reading Group: Grace’s life might have turned upside down but there’s no problem they can’t solve.

Grace is a woman facing a difficult Christmas this year. She and her family will be doing without. To make matters worse, they are about to be evicted, but even worse than that, Grace’s child is seriously ill. Right away the challenges are set up, and suspense is created because readers will wonder what the prospects for a happy ending are.

Grace is a character readers will sympathize with immediately. When she decides to go to a Christmas party with friends, we meet the secondary characters and watch as Grace attempts to be strong so as not to ruin the fun for her friends. However, they are perceptive and see that something is wrong. What should Grace do?

She takes a chance, and an interesting series of events happen. This short story has the themes of family, friendship, inner strength, and trust. The length of the tale does not stop it from being complete, and readers will appreciate how down-to-earth it is. It is a worthwhile, quick little read filled with emotions and hope.