Review: “Driven” by MB Mulhall

TITLE: Driven
AUTHOR: MB Mulhall
PUBLISHER: Harmony Ink Press
COVER ARTIST: Anna Sikorska
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; New Adult
LENGTH: 210 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 7, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback


Eighteen-year-old Oliver’s troubles don’t end when he’s released from prison. He has nowhere to go, and he can’t even think about moving past his crimes while trying to survive homelessness.

Helping an elderly woman after a fall guides Oliver into at least a temporary home. In exchange for odd jobs and some assistance, he’s welcomed into a life with the old twin spinsters, and it seems too good to be true. The neighbor, Simon, certainly thinks it is. He doesn’t trust Oliver or his motives. Oliver is used to that kind of judgment, but it isn’t helping him overcome his guilt. Maybe Simon is right and Oliver doesn’t deserve happiness—or any of the other feelings stirring in a heart Oliver thought he’d closed off for good.

Oliver has two options: let the pain of his past swallow him and destroy all hope for the future, or move on to the new possibilities in front of him. Choosing to live won’t be easy, and Oliver might not be able to do it alone.

I don’t really know where to start with this review that would even come close to doing this book, and what I can only describe as a phenomenal piece of writing proper justice. I also don’t want to give anything about the story away because the way the story builds, progresses and flows is something you need to experience yourself. From the very first paragraph, I was completely and utterly hooked and read it straight through in one sitting.

The story centres around the main character, Oliver Sutton, who for the last 2 years has spent his time in prison and then on the streets. One day whilst on the street, he meets Tude Westling, an elderly lady who has taken a fall. After some not so subtle prompting, Oliver agrees to help Tude home, here he meets her twin sister Vera. As a thank you for his help, the ladies ask him to stay for dinner and then the night. The next day, Oliver literally bumps into Simon Green, who’s the young and handsome neighbor of Tude and Vera. From this point, everything in Oliver’s life changes. With the help of the twins, Simon and his Parole Officer, John Richards, Oliver discovers what family, love, acceptance and forgiveness really means.

The plot of the story was simply brilliant and had me on the edge of my seat desperate to find out what the next pages and chapters were going to bring. There’s nothing at all about this book that I can fault. The author took us on a journey of Oliver’s life. We got to see the background story that led us to this point, but there was mystery and intrigue and secrets that remained hidden until exactly the right moment for their reveal which added to the excitement. There were quite a few times I had to force back the tears that were threatening because my heart was shattering for Oliver and the way he treated himself because he thought it’s what he deserved. Every character and moment in the book felt real, nothing seemed like it was far-fetched and couldn’t happen in daily life and I think that’s why I connected with the story as much as I did.

Apart from some kissing and lustful excitement, there isn’t anything sexual about this book. So if you’re looking for hot and steamy sex then this is not for you, but if you want a story that will grip you, pull at your heart strings and then leave you feeling warm and fuzzy at the end, then this book couldn’t be more perfect.

This is my first time reading anything by this author, but she is one I will definitely be keeping a look out for from now on. With this one book she has gained a reader/fan for life. A very easy 5 star read, I only wish I could give it more.

***The ARC was provided by Harmony Ink Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***


Review: “Darkest Desires” by Noah Harris

TITLE: Darkest Desires
AUTHOR: Noah Harris
SERIES: City of Sinners
PUBLISHER: Books Unite People
COVER ARTIST: Stefan Morgan
GENRE: Paranormal; New Adult; Come to Age
LENGTH: 508 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 1, 2017
PRICE: $2.99 -e-book / $17.99 –paperback


New York City, 1977

Disco. Gay liberation. The Son of Sam. Urban blight. It was a wild time in a wild city, and no one wanted to get wilder than a young man from a hick town in Missouri. Fresh out of high school, Richard Miller has come to the Big Apple to take a big bite of forbidden fruit.

But among the dark corners of the city’s cruising scene stalks an ancient evil. It is hungry for virgin male flesh, and it knows just how to tempt a young man eager for thrills and new experiences.
As Richard learns, this temptation threatens his new community, and even the city itself.

Darkest Desires is a dark romance with steamy scenes and bad language. It’s only recommended for readers 18+.

jologooptimummThis book is not just maturely and cleverly written, it’s a unique vision of dark desire, twisted with snippets of, well researched, historical fact and erotic imagination. I warn you this book is not for the faint hearted! However, if you’re open minded and strong hearted enough it carries you, slowly at first, into another world. It’s like climbing the first incline of a roller coaster and then, when you reach the top, hold onto your hats as you’re plunged over the edge into a descent the likes of which you rarely get to experience in a book.
It’s 1977, Richard has just left high school and moved to New York City to get away from the small-mindedness of his hometown. He’s finally able to openly shout ‘I’m gay!’ Noah takes us on Richard’s tortured journey as he finds lodgings, is mugged and tentatively takes his first steps in a seemingly open, gay environment. He eventually makes good friends within the gay community and quickly finds out about the reality of life as a gay man in a big city. In the process, he also loses his virginity and learns so much more about his own desires and needs!

The 1977 Everard Bathhouse fire is part of his journey, and Noah offers his own fictional explanation as to the origins of the tragedy. Noah also gives the reader an eye opening, incredible sense of life as part of a minority often persecuted in the 70’s.
Although it actually starts out as a typical gay ‘coming of age’ tale it quickly becomes a much more mature, darker and more erotic, paranormal offering than even Noah’s usual stories. The plot includes, among other things, drug use, demons, the occult and rape, which some may find disturbing. However, they’re not gratuitous and add, deliciously, to the edgy feel of the book. There are so many incredible layers to this story it’s hard to put into words what I felt when reading it, which I did in one session as I couldn’t put it down. Time meant nothing as I was carried away on a tide of emotion, erotica and yes, horror!

The ending is well finished off, and the final chapters are a real high as Richard fights his demons, literally, realises his potential and comes into his own as a powerful, gay man. Noah also very cleverly leaves enough open for a second book! This is Noah’s mature, creative talent, clever intellect and twisted imagination working at it’s very best to create something much bigger than the sum of its parts. I believe I’m going to enjoy this series immensely and can’t wait for book two. Miss out on this book and you miss out on an awesome reading experience! But…as I said before, this is not for the faint hearted!

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC.  My review is an honest opinion of the book***