“A sexy, sugar-laden David vs Goliath story about a local bakery, a national chain, and what really matters.
Clover Loveday has worked hard to get her café Four-Leaf Clover up and running — her ticket out of an increasingly alarming financial situation and her dream come true. When she literally falls off her ladder into the arms of sexy-as-sin Liam Sinclair. The same Liam Sinclair who owns the new bakery being built just across the road…the new store by bakery chain Upper Crust owner! Clover decides then that no matter how nauseated she is about the idea, it is best keep your enemies close, rather than leave things to fate.
Liam has never put too much thought into the competition when he opens a new outlet, other than taking their customers and strengthening the Upper Crust brand. But here in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Clover Loveday’s cafe is a little too close for comfort, and Clover herself a little too good-looking. So Liam asks his PA to put together a ’fact sheet’ about his new competition. He has a business to run, a father to please, and hundreds of people to keep in jobs. Surely information can keep an unwanted strong sexual pull at bay…
A sweet, caffeinated, satisfying story about unexpected temptations, forgiveness, and putting love before money.”
Clover has her own bakery business – Four Leaf Clover in a small Australian town; Liam wants to open his chain store across the street. It’s baguettes at dawn! Even though they are rivals, they are still attracted to each other.
Liam and Clover develop a deep love as the book progresses. Although the romance is sweet and tender, there is also a very hot and steamy side to “Four leaf clover”.
There are many obstacles for them both to overcome considering they are in competition, but they do; and it is an adorable journey of finding love.
I really enjoyed this adorable book. It is filled with the sweet smell of fresh-baked bread and ground coffee. If you are looking for a tender romantic read for an afternoon- escape to small town Australia with this book. You will be left with a smile on your face.
“The biker gangs passing through Lobo Norte don’t scare Ofelia anymore. All those men are the same: scarred, homeless, and broken…just like Ofelia. They’ve become a blur of forgettable faces watching her strip. She takes off her clothes, takes their money, and wipes them from her memory instantly. But Trouble is different. A biker with a wolf tattoo and tortured eyes, he sees beyond Ofelia’s tough disguise to a more fragile woman within. She’s drawn to him like she’s never been drawn to a man before—at least, not since she survived hideous torture at the hands of her ex-boyfriend that left her scarred physically and emotionally. She can’t forget Trouble. And she definitely can’t push him away. There’s magic between them that neither understands. But maybe if Ofelia and Trouble can find the truth, they can release each other from the chains that bind them to Lobo Norte, to the Fang Brothers biker gang, and to the dark secrets in their pasts…”
I am a big fan of S.M. Reine’s books. Lately I am finding her books to be more tailored for adults. I did enjoy the YA years- but the new works are edgier and sexier.
I found Caged Wolf has a “From dusk till dawn” feel about it. This time with Werewolves . Ofelia is a bit of a mystery which I am sure will be resolved as the series continues. At the moment, all we have is an idea that maybe she is a witch and the Tarot cards could be a portent of sorts.
There is some connection to Ceaser Hawke from the Preternatural affairs series. It is not necessary to read that series but it helps. As in many of S.M. Reine’s previous series, there is a thread that seems to connect all of them together.
This is an adult book with adult themes of kinky sex and drug use. There is also magic, witches and shifters. Caged wolf is a 100% guilty pleasure that doesn’t disappoint.
Also, a new PROJECT NEMESIS feature:
“Kensington Gore’s dark, scary world of Hammered Horrors invites you to meet a man who doesn’t age. A man who slips through the cracks of our world. A man who always hides his true face. A man who needs other people to survive, feeding off them as he goes. He might just choose you next. All he needs is a chance to understand you and something that belongs to you. Then it begins. His hunger fulfilled for a little time, until he needs to feed again.
We wish you a warm but scary welcome to the world of the Compressionist.
This is the first novella by gifted horror writer Christopher Long to be included in Kensington Gore’s Hammered Horror series. It will have you looking over your shoulder, and looking at the people around you in a totally different light. “
Cerebral horror with a British Accent…
Richard Cove is a predator. He is empathetic to his prey almost lovingly, as he savours them. There is a very strong sense of alienation running though out the book and Christopher Long creates a kind of monstrous loneliness; that you can almost identify with Cove. That to me, is the most macabre part of the book – that Cove’s character is so well written that you could almost put yourself in his shoes. It is a very rare book where you can be sympathetic to the villain- it almost begs the question “What is the point of living forever if you have no life?”
Don’t get me wrong Richard Cove is evil. His motives are just a black as his soul- that is if he ever had one. Cove preys on the vulnerable just so he can get his fix and he enjoys every moment of the destruction he causes.
The thief is the other major character and in some ways, he is Cove’s enabler. He is a self-confessed scum-bag who would sell his granny for the cash. After meeting Cove’s quarry, he develops a conscience and that leads to very twisted ending.
Christopher Long creates a bleak world of desolation and with Cove, creates a new kind of boogey-man. We have all seen that thing in the corner of our eye in the middle of night and dismissed it; but what Christopher Long has done is given it a name. Be afraid- be very afraid you don’t get an entry into Richard Cove’s “Proxy”.
The Compressionist is British horror at its best. It is chilling and yet disturbing but doesn’t rely on gimmicky clichés or endless carrion that so many other horror stories rely on. Christopher Long carries on the great tradition of horror that creeps into your brain; a genre that started with M.R. James, H.R Wakefield and more recently with Susan Hill.
Long’s writing style is very unique; he gives you just enough so your imagination does all the work. That is a hallmark of a great author.
Along with The Compressionist, there is an Easter Egg story: The Righteous Judges- The First Judgement: A Portrait of a guilt man. Tom is man down on his luck. Begrudgingly, he does a job for a quick quid. What he gets in return from Blood Lord Baulch is probably his just desserts. This tale is particularly terrifying because it uses the medium of art, something we look at every day- to strike fear into your psyche.
I caught up with Christopher Long to give you an exclusive interview with the author himself:
PN: What is your favourite horror film?
CL: The Compressionist all came about from a typo. I was trying to type something quickly into Google and I somehow ended up with Compressionist. (The attention span strikes again!) Once I’d seen the word it started to bug me. I knew there was a story in there somewhere. It took a few scrapped attempts & a lot of scrawled notes before I saw what it was. To write an idea you begin to compress it and so many stories have a modicum of reality in them. From there I started to see a story that was home to a really interesting monster. I knew I was onto something when I was freaked out by what it did to people. That’s always a good sign.
CL: I’m juggling a few things at the moment. Without giving too much away I’m cleaning up some of my favourite stories & working on some new ones to go alongside them. I’m currently in the company of witches and some very old shadows. After that I’ve got a forger who painted over the canvas to deal with. I’m also working on my first novel (gulp). That’s all to do with a town plagued by a very strange urban myth. I think there might also be some therapy somewhere down the line after all this!
PN: If you were forced to spend a night in a haunted house and you got to choose the manner of your haunting- what or who would it be?
Kensington Gore is the infamous Hammered Horror film director, that according to myth and legend fake theatre and movie blood was named after.
One of Horror’s most shocking founding fathers Kensington has always courted controversy with some of his banned classics “The Mummy’s Ring” “Kiss of the Spider Monkey!” and The Human Caterpillar!”
That are soon to be turned into books, with unique book first “Director’s Commentaries!”
After a twenty year break, and reports of his death being somewhat exaggerated, he’s back writing and directing. His latest film might have you hitting the Road to Hel, he’s trying to get a distributor for his Werewolves Of London. Also he works in radio and TV.