Scrambled brains with breadcrumbs


Blood Instinct by Lindsay J. Pryor out May 5th

This series just went through the roof.  Ms. Pryor has kept her Blackthorn series dark, gritty and romantic, only now it’s also an action packed thriller.

The previous books had readers swimming in Lindsay J. Pryor’s world, this time Blackthorn completely submerges you.  Where her last book had my heart pounding and made me all sweaty, Blood Instinct is brain scrambling and gut wrenching.  A week later, I’m still looking for the factory reset button.

Ms Pryor is a seriously brave author in many ways.  There’s a scene where I knew how it would play out. When it didn’t my jaw hurt from hitting the floor.  I had to immediately re-read it to make sure. It was gasp inducing.

And then there’s the way she shows the ugly sides of her heroes.  I found one scene somewhat distasteful, but it was a necessary element for the story to move on.  As much as I love contemporaries like Nalini Singh or J.R. Ward, I can’t see them confronting an issue so graphically.

Jask fans will relish that this is his book, but this time the ensemble cast steal the show. The POVs from the wider cast were ingenious. Whilst each twist is a complete shocker, yet on reflection you see the author’s trail of breadcrumbs. It’s a trail that goes back six books, now that’s clever!

Apparently it’s bad etiquette to reveal if there’s a twist mid way through a book or even at the end.  That’s ok.  I’ll tell you that there isn’t a twist here. The damn book is full of twists, with a relentless pace.  I wanted to rush through it, I needed to know what would happen. Yet, some of it was so unexpected I had to stop to re-read.  Over a week later I’m still connecting the dots – a sign of a truly great book.

I feel I must say something about Ms. Pryor’s fantastic characterisation. All the main characters get decent airplay as the story moves to the penultimate book. But what stands out is the growth of her diverse bunch of characters, this is especially true of Phia, Jask and Eden. Phia’s struggle was so real to me that I wanted to google for solutions.  And Eden has really stepped up in a way I could only hope, my little heart sang to see him totally comfortable in his own skin.  Just wow!

Starting this sixth book in Lindsay J. Pryor’s blackthorn made me really quite nervous. The last book Blood Dark, was so good and you don’t want to be disappointed. And when you get an ARC from a fave author you don’t want to let them down. The truth is this is the hardest review I’ve ever written, I don’t think I can do justice to the nuances and brilliance of Blood Instinct.

On the 5th May go submerge yourself in Blackthorn – see you on the other side!

Thank you to the author and publisher bookouture for an ARC in return for an honest review.


A howler of a journey


When I Lost You Kelly Rimmer released April 21st

Clearly Kelly Rimmer can tell a great story. But this isn’t a great story, it’s an immense journey. And I walked every step with Molly and Leo. I was desperate to get to the end and yet, I slowly re-read bits of it, trying to make it last longer.  I was devastated when it ended.

Leo and Molly consumed me.  It’s a painful book, at times it actually hurt to read parts of it.  I felt the passion, the honesty, the love and the grit of it consuming me.

Yet, for all the incredible emotion it’s an absolute celebration of love.  Seeing Molly and Leo fall in love twice over was uplifting and touchingly romantic.  It would be nice to see this as confirmation that love conquers all. Maybe I’m a little jaded, but I saw the message as real love is a work in progress.

As for the characters, Molly had more depth than you might expect but it’s Leo who is the revelation. You simply don’t hear about Aboriginal Australian men and if you do it’s sad and depressing. I worried it might dominate the story. But Leo’s ethnicity was just one aspect of a very complex man, it enriched and challenged but never dominated the story.  I know I’ll be thinking about Leo for months to come.

This is a book for everyone who has ever been in love or aspires to be.  I howled and howled when I finished it. It’s been so long since I properly cried at a book, and I feel somehow it’s profoundly changed me.


Thankyou to netgalley and bookoutre for an ARC in return for an honest review.