Down The Rabbit Hole: CLOSE TO DESTINY-Review & Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary romance with paranormal elements from Adria J Cimino. CLOSE TO DESTINY is tumble through the metaphysical for a young woman rebuilding her life after surviving anorexia and multiple suicide attempts.

Catch my review below and enter to win a book from Ms. Cimino.

About the book:
Kat is struggling to get her life back together and put her anorexia and suicide attempts behind her. She must expel the mysterious inner demons that have plagued her for years, and patch up the rocky relationship with her fiancé.

But when she arrives in London for a therapeutic art project, an encounter with an enigmatic woman named Destiny upsets her views of reality and plunges her into a quest for the truth about her past—an astonishing past that reaches back well before her birth.

After midnight, Destiny leads Kat to extravagant parties at an eerie luxury hotel and introduces her to a man who seems to know her better than she knows herself. Kat tries to convince herself this is all part of a strange dream. But as evidence mounts suggesting otherwise, Kat is torn between fascination and fear.

Will Kat run away, or will she seize the fleeting opportunity to change her life and find true love?

Alternating between the reality of day and the mystery of night, Close to Destiny by best-selling author Adria J. Cimino is a magical realism story of déjà vu and righting past wrongs.

My Review:
Katherine is a young woman whose life seems way too difficult. She’s struggled with anorexia, depression and suicidal ideation (and attempts) for the last several years. She’s worked with a therapist for some time, but feels as if she’s getting nowhere close to recovery. Her art therapy, however, seems to hold promise and she’s contacted by another therapist, Gwen, who works out of London and would like to display the charcoal drawings Kat’s made.

It’s as good an excuse as any Kat needs to leave her life behind for a bit. Recharge, restart, she imagines might occur. And time away from her emotionally distant, philandering fiancé is probably not a bad idea either.

From the start of her London adventure, Kat seems pulled into a separate world of the Grand East Hotel. Awakened by a nude woman in the middle of the night is the first of her unsettling experiences. When the same woman, calling herself Destiny, appears a couple nights later and drags pajama-clad Kat to a glamorous soiree, Kat isn’t sure what’s real and what’s in her head. Is this all a dream? A psychotic break? And what of Will, the man Destiny is determined for Kat to meet.

Is Will real? His kisses certainly are, but Kat’s easily overcome and unsure. The deeper Kat falls into the maze of her enchanted hotel, the more she cannot decipher the truth. The stately ballroom where her night time adventures always lead is far from the daylight reality. She meets some of her nighttime companions in the day–outside of the hotel even–but she can’t trust what they tell her. It can’t be real, this past lives intruding upon the present, can it? And then there’s her depression. It’s ebbing, the more time she spends with Destiny and Will.

As Kat struggles to make sense of the happenings around her, she learns that she’s strong enough to return to her former life. Or, is that yet another escape? Will and Destiny are convinced that Kat suffers from a haunting guilt due to poor decisions in another life. Could Will truly be the soulmate she was once denied?

This is an interesting romp through the psyche. Starting with a woman whose worldview is skewed and unreliable, was an excellent choice because it left me constantly guessing, like Kat, what was real. That had the (unintended perhaps) effect of keeping me constantly wary, however, and hampered my bonding with Kat. That said, I was able to get into the haunting aspects–because it seems there are some “ghostly” experiences to be had in this story. Again, it’s not clear if the visions Kat experiences are all in her mind, but the physical manifestations of those encounters has me leaning toward some true interaction with the spirit realm, some of which is clearly brokered by Destiny. It’s a curious book that ends with most of the questions answered and Kat on stable emotional ground for the first time in her adult life. I enjoyed the circuitous path, for all that the language is spare and the chapters short.

Interested? You can find CLOSE TO DESTINY on Goodreads and Amazon.


Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a copy of Paris, Rue des Martyrs from Ms. Cimino.
Good luck and keep reading my friends.

About the Author:
Adria J. Cimino is the author of Amazon Best-Selling novel Paris, Rue des Martyrs and Close to Destiny, as well as The Creepshow (out in Spring 2016) and A Perfumer’s Secret (also out in Spring 2016). She also co-founded boutique publishing house Velvet Morning Press. Prior to jumping into the publishing world full time, she spent more than a decade as a journalist at news organizations including The AP and Bloomberg News. Adria is a member of Tall Poppy Writers, which unites bright authors with smart readers.

Adria writes about her real-life adventures on her website, and on Twitter. She lives in Paris with her husband Didier and daughter Phèdre. When she isn’t writing, you can find Adria at her neighborhood café watching the world go by or on Facebook.

She Had A GHOST OF AN AFFAIR–Review and Giveaway

A Ghost of an Affair BANNER.jpg

Hi there! Today I’m reviewing an erotic supernatural romance from Ellen March. A GHOST OF AN AFFAIR is a sexy tale of a browbeaten, sexually-frustrated receptionist who finds love, not with her “Prince Charming” Doctor Boyfriend, but with the sexually voracious ghost she summons by mistake.


About the book:
Grace McGillis is over the moon to have won the love, or at least the favor, of Dr. Sage Gerret, the resident heartthrob at the hospital where she is a receptionist. Sage hopes to “improve” her: to inspire her to eat and drink less and educate herself about fine art and music. Everyone sees Sage as a great catch. Why else would Grace put up with his barbs about her appearance and his uninspired lovemaking?

Enter Breece, an adoring alpha male who is out-of-this-world in bed. That is not surprising, for he is, after all, a ghost. Though Sage may not be anyone’s dream date, he is alive. Grace is falling in love with Breece, but is love enough? Even if fate allows her ghost lover to continue his delightful haunting, how will this couple find love everlasting?

My Review:
Well! I wasn’t sure what to think about this one from the blurb. I mean, how does a ghost woo a woman? I was delightedly surprised!

Okay, from the start we learn how worthless Sage is as a boyfriend. He has all the looks and all the money, and he’s a manipulative SOB intent on “moulding” (“molding” for the US readers) Grace into the woman he could imagine marrying. See, she’s curvy, with long auburn hair, and has little education. Sage likes how biddable Grace is however, so he’s eager to re-make her into a waifish gal with a pixie haircut and a knowlegde of culture. Yeah. Class a Jerk-off, IMHO.

Still, Grace stays with him, because, well, she doesn’t have anyone else. Her family’s all gone and Sage is a beautiful, successful doctor. He’s a great catch, and he doesn’t stray–even if he is WHOLLY awful in bed. Grace has had eight months of once-weekly, planned and scheduled, unsatisfying smexytimes.

A bit down on herself and her life, Grace opens a few bottles of wine and invites her BFF Amy over for a gal’s night. Amy brings along a Ouija board and they play a game–summoning the spirit named Breece. Drunk and silly, Grace challenges “Breece” to show himself. And, he does.

Breece had been killed by a hit-and-run accident while jogging. He has no idea how, or why, he’s been summoned into Grace’s life, but he’s not sad that she’s a voluptuous woman. At first he’s only a tactile spirit, meaning he can touch and be felt, so he takes a bit of advantage of the drunken Grace. She thinks she’s having a fantastic sex dream of imagined Roman warrior Breece, meanwhile ghostly Breece is shagging her six ways from Sunday.

She learns this the second time–when he takes her in the shower, with a most unSagelike passion. Sage, for his part, thinks Grace is bonkers, and a sex fiend, and arranges her to have a psychiatric evaluation.

Breece is insatiable, and Grace is sex-starved, so they make a great pair, excepting Breece’s undead state. Grace wants to keep up the front with Sage, if only to not be “alone” but Breece’s attachment is growing steadily stronger–and turning Grace’s heart into a pretzel. It doesn’t help how caustic Sage is.

I spent a lot of time loving Breece, liking Grace and hating Sage, which was, I’m sure, by design. This triad isn’t meant to be a triangle, however, and Grace FINALLY makes the right choice, only to have more heartache. The end was expected, but not less satisfying. I think readers will cheer on the reunited lovers, and the fun twist at the end really made me smile.

Lots and lots of fun smexytimes, some barely adequate sexual relations, and one horse’s pa-toot of a boyfriend made this one memorable.

Interested? You can fine A GHOST OF AN AFFAIR on Amazon, and B&N.


Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win
one of 6 e-Copies of A GHOST OF AN AFFAIR
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Hello and welcome to my corner of the world 🙂

I live on top of a mountain in Wales ideal in the summer not so in the winter months or when it rains, which is a lot in Wales!

My three children have left home, however my life is still manic. I live with my husband he sadly won’t leave home but I live in hope (joke). I have one suicidal cat that really does have nine lives. I have five Alaskan Malamutes. They own me literally as I never go anywhere without taking their hair with me, they insist! My hobbies are showing and working them.

My first love though is writing, it’s a total escape for me my selfish time 🙂 Writing my books takes me from the mundane chores of work into another universe. Since a child I devoured any written word and enjoy acting out my fantasies in print.

My ambition is to pack in my nine to five job and become a full time writer. Another one of my many dreams. I have stockpiled work of various genres, including my first love erotic romance, followed by psychological thrillers and supernatural so be prepared I am making my mark on the world of literature.

Catch up with Ellen on her Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Fanny Press.

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Cephalopod Coffeehouse October 2013–UNBREAKABLE by Kami Garcia

Hi there!  I’m back with another pre-Halloween SPOOKTACULAR read–this time, sharing a fave from the month with the Armchair Squid and a gang of book bloggers. This month I’ve read probably twenty-five books…some I liked, others, meh…

This month’s feature is a new release. I got the ARC at the ALA 2013 annual meeting, and it’s been on the store shelves for a few weeks. It’s a perfect October read. Why?

GHOSTS. Oh, and demons.

Oh! And murder most fowl! Er, I meant murder most foul. Ahem. Blasted homophones.

Unbreakable (The Legion, #1)UNBREAKABLE is the first book in The Legion series by Kami Garcia–best-selling co-author of Beautiful Creatures.

Here’s what happens:

Kennedy Waters is 16, an artist with eidetic memory and a perfect GPA, and destined for fabulous things. She and her mom share a lovely home in the Georgetown area of DC. Her dad left years ago, but Kennedy’s survived that sorrow. Until her mom ends up dead.

Heart failure? In a healthy 30-something, non-smoking woman?

Hey, doc. Cracker Jack called. They want your diploma back. *V throws hands in the air and walks off*

Well, as you may imagine, I didn’t buy the whole ‘heart failure’ diagnosis. And neither did Lukas and Jared Lockhart. Good thing, because that life-sucking ghost that did Mrs. Waters what for? It came back to finish the job on Kennedy.  This time they were there to save her.

See, the Lockhart twins are part of a secret society, The Legion, who are heaven-bent to rid the world of Andras, a demon unleashed by their ancestors right about the time the ink dried on the Declaration of Independence. Along with Priest–a 15 y/o weapons whiz and Alara a 17 y/o voodoo priestess, these teens make up a modern-day Ghostbusters-cum-Exorcist crew. And Kennedy is their missing piece.

Except, she has no idea what she’s doing. The others had been trained for Andras-hunting since before they could ride bikes, but Kennedy’s mom didn’t want her mixed up in this supernatural quest. Before she knows it, Kennedy’s bungling calls Andras to their Batcave and they have to flee the weapons and medicinals in a tire-burning escape. And don’t even get me started on her mishap at the mansion!

See, Andras controls ghosts. He can’t take his own form until he’s regained enough power–and he gets that power from evil deeds done on his behalf. So he’s got ghosts practically killing Kennedy and the Legion–all to protect the one weapon that might destroy him–the Opthalmic Shift.

In the meantime of hunting all the pieces to this ocular deathpiece, Kennedy wants desperately to belong to something–anything–as rootless as she is in the world. It doesn’t hurt that broody Jared Lockhart is delicious and unattainable. Well, sort of unattainable. He’s in deep like for Kennedy, but he’s got a Big Secret that only Kennedy doesn’t know…and it’s a doozy.

Still, the Legion toils onward, putting bad ghosts down and releasing beneficent spirits to their eternal peace. It’s a thrill ride that ends in a prison with a posse of murderous ghosts on their tail. At the last Kennedy is FINALLY a heroine–assembling the Shift just in time for the cliffhanger ending and a catastrophic miscalculation on the Legion’s part. Because the Shift isn’t a weapon after all.

And the whole goddamned world is screwed.

Bring on Book 2!

Hope you enjoyed this look at a great new paranormal YA adventure, quasi-romance. It was a fun read and is cool for upper-middle grade readers and onward.

Feel free to check out the rest of the Coffeehouse readers on their literary journeys by clicking the linky-links below: (fingers crossed that this works…)

Let me know if you check out UNBREAKABLE and what you think of it.

And, as always:  keep reading, my friends.