Book Review: Is Love Enough by Taryn Steele (Contemporary Romance) 3*

Taryn S

About the Book

Title: Is Love Enough

Author: Taryn Steele

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Hillary thought her marriage was bright and full of life but after a devastating miscarriage and a manipulative mother-in-law, the magic Hillary and Jameson once had is starting to crumble.

Their eight year old daughter, Maryn, begs to have a Twitter account just so she can follow her favorite pop star Justin Bieber. After much consideration and debate Hillary sets up an account, but what Hillary never counted on was finding Derek. A man who seems to understand her better than her husband.

Is Jameson’s love enough to save his marriage once Derek is revealed? Or will it be too much and too late for Hillary?

My  Review:

Thank you to Enchanted Book Promotions for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Hmmm this was an interesting story,  it highlights a lot of what couples go through in a very realistic way.  What happens when the love fades away? Do you seek and look outside the relationship? Consider  an open marriage? Therapy? Or call it a day? This is what I enjoyed as I was reading, it felt like a good dose of reality playing out. I was engaged, felt like I could connect well with Hillary due to some of her likes, and who she is as a woman. Hilary came across as a very modern woman. All be it, a little unsure of herself as she did not ooze confidence, as a reader it led me to believe this is partly why she entertains Derek.

There is a bit of a twist to this story in terms of who and what Derek is, I don’t like spoilers so I’ll keep quiet about that! It was entertaining to see this twist and also unexpected, I enjoyed the twist.

What would have been nice is to hear the point of view of Jameson (Hilary’s husband), as he plays such a big part in the couple’s reality. And to flesh out what happened with the dramatic  ending with Derek, that could have been great reading! Not to mention Derek’s wife and the contact she mades… woah! So much drama could be added.

Overall I’m giving Is Love Enough 3* as it’s a quick short read, engaging and told in first person. Therefore you get up close to Hilary. It was enjoyable mostly to read, there were some gripping parts and it touches on reality. However it could have been fleshed out with Jameson’s POV, he had a part to play in why he and Hilary ended up as a couple where they did. And Derek’s dramatic ending etc…. But it’s an enjoyable story.

 

ILE.jpg

 

Author Bio

By day, Taryn is a dedicated wife and mother who works full time. By night, she continues her wife and mother duties, while plugging away at the keyboard to bring her stories and characters to life.
Taryn is an avid reader. If a story sucks her in she will stay up all hours of the night to finish it. Her favorite part of reading is when her rescue dog Ruby curls up with her.
Taryn is a big sports fan. Being a New Englander all of her life her heart belongs to the Boston Red Sox. When it comes to hockey, she follows her husband’s family and supports the Montreal Canadiens.
If you have a love/hate relationship with coffee, wine or beer like Taryn she will instantly befriend you.

Links

www.facebook.com/AuthorTarynS

 

www.twitter.com/AuthorTarynS

 

www.instagram.com/authortarynsteele

 

www.authortarynsteele.com

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Authors, If You’d Like A Read & Review and Interview With Conscious Talk Magazine Let Us Know. #authors #spotlight #amreading #amwriting

 

In the run up to launch day (30th August), I’ve had a brainwave. I love to read, and so do a lot of us over at CTM.  We also love to support authors, by helping with publicity for them and their work. My Bookish News & Reviews columnists and I are now offering a read, review & interview service, to all authors of all genres. This is a paid service, however we are nowhere near as expensive as many our rate is just $25.00 USD  per book.

What will authors get.

  • Any book read and reviewed within one month of acceptance.
  • A review published in an issue of CTM.
  • A review posted on Amazon, Goodreads and anywhere else the author would like.
  • An author interview published in CTM also.
  • The review &  book cover tweeted and shared on Facebook to CTM followers by the CTM official page, and all columnists who write for us will share!

Here is a bit about CTM:

Details: Conscious Talk Magazine will launch its first online edition in August 2017, (we aim to become a print version magazine also). Conscious Talk Magazine is a proud online multi-cultural and diverse global magazine, covering a range of topics. There is something for everyone. Readers will find interesting thought provoking articles, from health and wellbeing , fashion and beauty, bookish news and reviews, sex and relationships, men’s issues, finance,  travel, international news, music, LGBT, film and entertainment to name  just a few. We have a team of talented and diverse writers from all corners of the globe, and walks of life, here to entertain, support and empower our reader’s mind, body and soul.  Conscious Talk Magazine is neutral and does not lean to one side politically, religiously or socially.  Conscious Talk Magazine is published twice a month on the 15th and 30th of each month.

Readership Target: 25-50 years old, male and female, globally situated. Conscious intelligent readers not after Hollywood gossip!

Note: The editor will turn down any books promoting racism, or any form of discrimination, child harm, rape, or underage sex. In fact, she’ll say NO to anything not suitable. Reviews will be honest, fair and balanced. 

Any author interested should contact me at editor@conscioustalkmag.com

Meet The Author: Jack Binding- Dark Humour, Horror Author #amreading #horror #british

Jack

It’s the 25th of the month and boy am I glad to spotlight this British author. He is super talented and I loved his book of short stories Pills. You can read my review here. Jack’s style sits well with me personally as a reader, I get him and his work. It’s dark, it’s raw, and not for the faint hearted.  Inspired by the main man Stephen King himself. I could not keep a straight face during this interview it was an absolute pleasure to  meet him. Let’s get to know Mr. Binding’s style… let’s get into it!

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hello. My name is Jack and technically, I’m from Slough (where The Office is set). But I moved to Southampton when I was three years old. Okay if I say Southampton? Does that count? I live in Sydney now, though. Maybe I should say I’m from Sydney. I move around a lot. Restless.

Other than writing I enjoy creating music and watching on repeat that scene in Spring Breakers where a gold-toothed James Franco sings Britney.

Kim: Britney? You don’t look like the “type” *eyes Jack closely.*

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I’ve always written in one form or another. Lyrics, diaries, death threats. This is just a natural progression. There is no single inspiration to create, it’s just something I have to do. Whether it be music, writing or whatever. I go crazy if I can’t create.

Kim: Hmm know the feeling.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

Although it’s hard to pin down one author, as I’m answering this question, it’s JG Ballard.

Other than his excellent short stories, I’m a particular fan of the urban dystopia in his later works such as Super Cannes and Cocaine Nights.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Anything, as long as it’s good. Horror, obviously. And dark fiction like Bret Easton Ellis. Just finished reading his wonderful Lunar Park.

I love science fiction, too. I grew up reading Asimov and have a real fondness for the genre.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

Although I market myself as a horror writer (pigeonholing is a necessary evil in order to find the right audience), I actually don’t set out to write horror. I always come at writing new stories from the psychological point of view. I write a lot in the first person – I like to be in the character’s head. Sometimes, however, that process isn’t too good for my own sanity.

I have thought about writing erotic romance under a pseudonym as I’m not shy about writing a sex scene, but at the moment it’s nothing more than an idea. (Or is it? Perhaps I have an entire series of erotic novels out there..?)

Kim: *wide eyes* reeeeeeeeeeally? You’re the second male author I’ve interviewed who has entertained writing romance. Go for it, I imagine your style of romance would be … err… hmmm dark maybe?  *Narrows her eyes* wait, wait.. what’s this about erotica and pseudonyms?? If you’ve got an anthology of erotica out there Jack, you better spill the beans! We wanna know… details please.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Maybe whilst editing the short story Breeders. There was a great, creepy tale in there, but I had a hellish time trying to pull it out. It was a very painful experience. It’s one of the longest stories in Pills. Did I succeed it making it good? Let me know.

Kim: Ya did good kiddo, I loved all of Pills… until the bitter end.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I used to meticulously plot, but I find that for me it leads to contrived situations and I often force my characters to do something that doesn’t fit with their personas. So now I have a vague plot, but I let my characters dictate how I get from A to B. It’s more natural that way. If that alters the plot, so be it.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I don’t, know what you mean.

Kim: *shakes head*  me neither I, don’t, have, no, problems with commas :).

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

No, my spelling is perfect and their is nothing wrong with my grammar.

Kim: *Pouts shrugs shoulders* sure, same hear my speling and grammar, is excellant.  🙂 Who needs an editor?

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

If you’re pissed off, channel it to drive your plot or your characters.

Don’t write for your audience, write for yourself. If you don’t like what you’ve written, chances are nobody else will.

Take chances. That murder scene too violent? Fuck it. Leave it in there. Don’t be afraid to offend people.

Kim: * heart pounds, OMG. Did he just say what I’m thinking*…. Ahem, okay, thanks Jack great advice there. 🙂

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m working on a very dark thriller right now which has the nastiest villain I have ever created. It also has a clear protagonist, which is unusual for me, because I tend to steer away from writing good guys. Can’t relate to them. It’s on draft two, although I suspect there will be many more drafts before it’s fit for public consumption.

So… where can we get your books?

Amazon! Everything’s available on Kindle. Here’s the link to my US author page:

https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Binding/e/B01M1YNRMB/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1496988813&sr=8-5

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I’m not gonna lie, I have a huge ego. To be able to write something – something that will most likely be very personal – and put it out there for strangers to read (and the inevitably judge) takes guts. There’s a fine line between delusion and confidence, however, so being self-critical is also very important. Luckily for me, everything I’ve written is fucking brilliant and it’s only a matter of time before the awards deals start rolling in and I can dine out on movie rights with my new celebrity mates.

Kim: Erm, I guess the short answer is .. no?

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

My writing tends to stem from personal experience, so I don’t need to research much. I only tend to research medical things like how to best dismember the body of a dog with rigarmortis.

Kim: *Avoids eye contact.* Thanks Jack, I think. 

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Thankfully most reviews tend to be positive. But bad reviews don’t bother me. I actually like that something I’ve written has elicited an emotion in someone so strong they feel compelled to document it on Amazon or Goodreads or whatever. Bring it on. Haters gonna hate, to quote modern poet, Taylor Swift.

Kim: Haha that’s a sure thing just like tax and death, it will happen. Them haters gonna hate. 

What was your hardest scene to write?

There’s a short story in Pills called Sleeping Pills, and there’s something awful that happens to the narrator near the end. I don’t want to spoil it here, but that was the hardest scene I’ve had to write. It was very personal and upsetting. Had to get drunk in order to finish it.

Kim: Sleeping Pills is a deep story and one of my favourites. 

Do you Google yourself?

I have a Google Alert set up for “Jack Binding”.

Kim: *shakes her head* you’re too much Jack, seriously?

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I am a solitary beast.

Kim: Ha more like Billy No Mates. 🙂

What would you like readers to know?

Deep down I’m actually an okay guy. Honestly.

Kim: Raises an eyebrow to readers… have you read Pills yet? You  be the judge of that one. Just kidding.

What’s your favourite movie?

It changes every week. Sometimes it’s Candyman – the most underrated horror movie of all time. Sublime story and wonderful gothic Philip Glass score. Sometimes it’s Withnail and I, because that was basically my life for about three years. And sometimes it’s White Chicks, because … well, why not?

What’s your favourite book and why?

England Made Me by Graham Greene. I first finished it on a train between Reading and Basingstoke and burst into tears in the carriage. It has had the same effect on me every time I’ve read it since. Heart breaking. Underrated classic.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

I’m fortunate enough to have travelled extensively, but the one place that sticks in my mind is Lake Garda in Italy. Exquisite scenery, food and people. I will buy an apartment there when I sell the rights for Dot Matrix to Hollywood.

Kim: Dot Matrix is an excellent story!! I could see that in a movie. Great characters.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

My characters develop themselves. I let them run with it.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

There’s a strange old lady called Mags, who pops in and out of the short stories in Pills. She’s my favourite. Sad old woman who has lived for years and has seen so much she has to resort to some very dark things to get her kicks.

If you could do it all again would you change anything?

I’d have grown a moustache in my early twenties.

Pick one a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?

Either, as long as something I write strikes a chord with people.

And that’s a wrap people, I strongly suggest you grab a copy of Pills, it’s a great introduction to what this author is about, really entertaining. But brace yourself it is over eighteen reading for sure. I’m a fan! Can’t wait for the next anthology to land on Amazon.

Pills-Kindle (1)

Jack Binding’s Pills splices gritty realism with surreal imagery and otherworldly dread.

From the vicious high fashion horror of FMM (The Devils Wears Prada via Bret Easton Ellis-esque debauchery) to the stark, unsettling heartbreak of Sleeping Pills, Binding takes the reader on a journey through the secret parts of London that few people ever visit.

Influenced by writers such as Stephen King, Martin Amis and JG Ballard, there’s Cronenberg-inspired body horror, creepy kids (and their creepier parents), death, love (often unrequited), seedy massage parlours and late nights fuelled with lust and narcotics.

With overarching themes and characters, the 18 short stories in Pills can be read either as a whole enjoyed as stand-alone tales.

 

Read my review of Pills  here

Connect with Jack here

Author site: https://jackjbinding.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jjbinding

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/jack_binding/

If  you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me here:

Lovely 4* review! Thank You Reader!! #romance #amreading

This was my first ever novel I wrote. Thank you reader for your compliments, glad you enjoyed it.

on August 12, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Kate needs a time-out from her unhappy marriage, so she visits her friend in Marseille; not only does she enjoy the atmosphere of Southern France, but she also meets the archetypal Tall, Dark and Handsome man – and he’s rich, too! They start a whirlwind romance, but then Kate has to go home and face the music: it’s not easy to get a divorce from her alcohol addict husband; and on top of it all, she finds out that she’s pregnant. How is she supposed to tell all that to her lover 600 miles away who is waiting for her?
A lovely modern-day fairy tale, told in an interesting style with different narrators; torn between gloom and doom and a deep and pure love, the heroine makes us feel with her and wish for a happy ending with her Prince Charming. Kim Knight definitely is a new talent on the rise in romantic fiction!

Book Review: Valentines Vision by Tammy Tate 5* #amreading #romance #bookreview @authortammytate

I’ve read a lot of this author’s work and I always really really enjoy her writing style, and plot lines. In my view she excels at paranormal romance. I read her last novel The Homecoming which is part one of a series. You can read my review here. When it comes to contemporary romance what I love in her work is the drama jeeezz… and steamy sex scenes! Let’s get into the review.

Plot:

You guys know me by now, I hate to giveaway all the spoilers. As a brief outline this is a novella length book. Reader’s follow Tori’s story she was once a super model, before she had an accident that left her unable to work. She has scarring on her face. Her path crosses with Mr. Burns (Mark), enter Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome. He’s rich, witty, demanding, and I kinda liked him a lot for all of this, his personality really shines. So like I was saying… Tori applies for alternative work, as she can’t be a traditional model. She lands a job as his assistant. Mark is now blind, he too had an accent that left his sight reduced.

After some serious push and pull, drama that takes them from the countryside, to another state in the USA, to a Valentine’s Day ball and an old admirer  puts in an appearance, these two likeable characters find a very heart-warming happy ever after. Both professionally and emotionally as a couple.Oh… yeah the hot sex is there too that’s not missing! *grins.*

My Review

I’m giving Valentines Vision  five well deserved stars as firstly I have to tell you, this is a NOVELLA length book. Taking an educated (writer’s) guess looking at page count, I  would say maybe about no more than 20,000-25,000 words.  Within this small word count the author’s writing packs a punch! What I love about Tammy Tate’s style generally is she’s fast paced and engaging with it. The character development is good, you get a sense of who they are as people. I’ve not read a book where I’ve not experienced this. In this short novella she delivers again for me personally as a reader. The story line has some very realistic issues that could crop up for two people in this situation, a blind man and a scarred ex- model with their own insecurities. This is another thing I like about this author’s work, as a romance writer she crafts stories about love that are realistic.

The steamy scenes are always good too. I’d be lying to no one but myself, if I tried to deny, that I breakout in a girly giggle when I read her well crafted scenes. In this novella she delivers again.

Overall this novella is well worth the read,  has a great male lead, packs a punch with the story line and has a lovely HEA every romance lover and reader seeks. Great job five stars.

 

Valentines Vision- Tammy Tate.jpg

 

Blurb:

Valentine’s Day is approaching and Tori signs a five-year modeling contract with a high-end perfume manufacturer. The ink isn’t even dry when she’s thrown through the windshield in a horrific car accident. Despite a deep laceration to her face, the doctors say it’s a miracle she’s alive.
Tell that to a Dallas girl who was on her way to becoming America’s next top model.
With her funds dwindling, Tori scans the classifieds for a job. Preferably, one that doesn’t require a pretty face to sustain a decent wage. One ad stands out among the others. A Personal Assistant to the blind son of an oil tycoon. What more could she ask for?
Tori didn’t expect her new boss to be witty, buff and extremely handsome. Mark didn’t expect to be captivated by his new assistant’s gutsy mindset. When his eyesight is restored, will Tori still be the desirable woman he envisioned? Or, will tragedy strike twice for the ex-model?

Book Review: Seaside Passion by Tammy Tate. Damn Good 5+ stars @authortammytate

I was thrilled to receive two author review copies of this author’s work this weekend. I read them both in one sitting! First I must say this book is part of an anthology with other authors, I’ve not read the other stories and can’t comment. This review is only based on Seaside Passion. I loved it a great one for romantic suspense lovers out there. Let’s get into the review.

Plot

No spoilers from me! But from what I understand this anthology of four stories follows the story of four brothers, the Mac brothers. Each story is tied in some way. In Seaside Passion the focus is on Blake, the youngest brother. He is a very successful man he owns his own dental practice, but he’s single and has been for four years. He and his brothers learn that their estranged father passed away. He left them his lodge. The brothers work hard and convert it to a holiday resort, once complete Blake’s path crosses with Callie. She is on holiday at the resort for some head space, she would have been with her partner if he had not cheated on her with his secretary. Anyway, after some drama, push and pull the two bond.  During this Callie learns about Blake’s fear of love due to his mother running off with another man, then his dad becoming estranged. The oldest of the brothers raised them all. In between all this there is one massive turn of events that takes this story into the romantic suspense genre… I’m keeping quiet about that! It was a shock to me but a good one.

My Review

I’ve not read all the stories but I’m giving this story (Seaside Passion) of the anthology five plus wonderful stars, Tammy Tate delivers again. This is  a short story you could say less than novella length BUT, the plot line and writing packs a punch in such little word count! Plus the little extra drama she added in (that I’m keeping quiet about) I loved. The characters are well developed, you see Blake’s issues via good writing that shows us in his actions rather than telling us as readers. The author has a way of making her leading men sound really yummy visually. I’d be lying if I said I did not smile at his visual descriptions. *Grins.*

The story itself is a good romance story, filled with a good dose of drama and suspense when things kick off.  There is the HEA that we want as romance readers too. The heat level is a little steamy. I’ve read a lot of this author’s work, my guess is if she had more word count there may have been more steam and description with the character’s closeness *grins.*  She writes steam really well, tastefully always.

Overall, I recommend this particular story to romantic suspense lovers, thrill seekers and all  romance readers who love stories that focus on realistic concepts, issues we face as humans. And also like a fast paced snappy writing style. Great job 5+ stars, I loved it.

 

Seaside Passion Tammy Tate

Blurb

 

Book 4 in the sexy new series, The Mac Brothers.

After a traumatic childhood, Blake MacDonald has trust issues with women and leaves Highland Bay vowing never to return.
With the help of grants, student loans, and odd jobs, Blake puts himself through college. He becomes a well-respected dentist in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Five years go by and his brother calls with news that their father passed away. They learn that they have inherited an abandoned lodge in Nova Scotia. When he partners with his brothers, renovations begin. Seaside Escape becomes a luxurious oceanfront resort with jagged cliffs, breathtaking views and amazing sunsets. When Blake’s not helping his brother’s run the hotel he’s a part-time dentist in the small seaside town of Highland Bay.
Thirty-two and single, Blake has had his share of women, but he’s never allowed himself to fall in love. He’s not even sure what love means, much less what it feels like. Rejection and abandonment are his worst enemies. It’s a highly-guarded secret he keeps buried.

Book Review: Pills By Jack Binding 5+ stars Wow!!! @jack_binding

Jesus. Just read it end of review!! This book right here is an experience to read. My only advice is, those who are offended easily, not partial to the odd swear word, a bit of sex, drugs and the like don’t disappoint yourself by picking up this book. Those who are open minded, get British humour and fans of yes STEPHEN KING this book is for you. I’m wasting no time, let’s get into this review.

Plot:

Well, this is an anthology of eighteen short stories. Some characters crop up more than once, and in that way some stories link. The first story is linked to the last story, and in the middle there are some links and random stories too.

My Review

Pills is a very clever anthology, with very clever writing. The way it links and at the same time has some disconnections within the stories is outstanding. Don’t let this put you off, as there is no way you will get lost or think huh?

The author has a certain writing style, one that personally I love as a writer myself, and a reader. He uses first person POV quite a bit, so in that way you are in the shoes of the main characters. The stories are quite raw, gritty, shows how some Londoners think and feel, which I could relate to and very well written. The characters… humpf! Badass  🙂 that’s all I’m saying. There is not a character I did not dig in this book, but the characters are just like the stories gritty, raw but likeable or damn right scary!!

Here are my favourites of the eighteen stories

Property: A great start to the collection, the end will shock you. Loved it. To me this story kind of highlighted the downfall of the rat race of London.

Dot Matrix: This story just needs to be a full blown book I can see it, or even short novella on its own. A gripping story. I hung onto every word. It has a  good thriller feel.

Happy Endings: Ah… not so much a happy ending, but a great story very entertaining from a woman’s perspective. I won’t say why read it.

Bit: I had no idea where this was going to go, it’s a gorgy/ horror one, I really enjoyed the shock ending. This is one that could also be continued.

Twenty Seven: When I read this story I wondered if the author had read a lot of conspiracy theories? It reminded me of some I had read and got engrossed in. A great story. What happens when you make a deal with the Devil himself?

Sleeping Pills: A rather emotionally shocking story. A good one to read, sad ending.

Perfect Anastasia: You know deep down I saw this as a love story with some unfortunate things thrown in. We also meet Mags for the first time, Mags is badass!

Sexting: Clue is in the name… great story! Shock ending.

Dog In A Suitcase: Wowzers, no further comment.

Cremation:  good serial killer story with a very creative twist. I wanted to know more about the lady at the end.

FMM: Wowzers the characters entertained and made me laugh a lot. I could relate the the setting of this story, the fashion world. Really liked it.

Rocking Chair: Super creepy, it made me think next time I hear a floor board creek I’ll wonder if it’s one of these characters. Freaked me out.

Standing Ovation: Mags crops up. The ending of the anthology has the same bang the start did what a way to finish up!

I’m giving Pills 5 + stars for a number of reasons, it’s well written and the flow works with these short stories. Each one has some kind of twist or shock ending, I didn’t read one that didn’t leave an impression on me. Be it scary, creepy, laughing, shock or a mixture of all these emotions.  Believe it or not, some of these stories feature an element of love … gone wrong for whatever creepy reason. As a romance lover and reader it resonated with me. That said these are NOT romance stories, God no far from it. But some feature relationships as the base of the story.

Overall, Pills was a damn good reading experience, I would recommended it to lovers or fans of Stephen King. And no the author has not tried to imitate at all,  you can tell he is himself and very British.  It’s the vibe of his stories that would sit well with King’s fans as well as horror and dark humour fans. I will be reading more of Jack Binding.

This book needs more readers grab a copy! From Amazon

Pills-Kindle (1)