New Release, 5 STAR Review & Giveaway: Juniper Unraveling by @KeriLake

JUNIPER UNRAVELING
Genre:
Dark Dystopian Romance
Author:
Keri Lake
Release Date:
October 31, 2017

 

Papa says everyone has a story that deserves to be told.

Most begin years ago, after the second bomb hit, unearthing a deadly contagion that divided the population into the pure, the infected, and the Ragers.

Many recount the moment we rose up from the ashes and started anew.

Others tell of the day we built a wall to keep them out.
For some, they’re nothing more than the vestiges left behind—a simple name carved into the knotty bark of a Juniper tree.

My story begins with a boy. A mute, from the other side of the wall, known only as Six, who touched my heart in ways that words never could, and gave me the courage to face my darkest truth.

ONLY 99 CENTS FOR A LIMITED TIME

AMAZON

This is our fragile dance of understanding and confusion. Pain and lust. Roughness and reverence. This is who we are—two damaged souls trying to figure each other out. 

A dystopian romance with Keri’s signature grit and dark undercurrents? Sign me up!
I didn’t even need a blurb to know that I’m going to love this book. And you know what? I was NOT wrong. This is what would happen if you took Resident Evil, added a dash of Walking Dead, and then mixed it all up with incredible romance. It was, in a word, unforgettable.

Keri just wrote her most tortured anti-hero to date and if you don’t fall for him head over ovaries, I’ll eat my shoe. Seriously.

Six stares into my eyes, and I drown in that sea of blue, consuming me in his sadness. He’s baring his soul to me. Peeling back his skin to the blackness within.

I feel as if I’ve given away my darkest secrets while taking in Six’s at the same time. There are shades of darkness though, and his is pitch black.

Told in two parts, don’t expect an easy read here. Juniper Unraveling is full of grit, violence, and heartache. It’s full of depth and emotion. But most of all, it’s full of pain.

What happens when the world you grow up in is filled with evil the likes of which you’ve never known. An evil so dark, that it taints everything it touches. An evil that comes from the heart and mind of human beings. An evil that manifested into something they can no longer contain. What if you had the choice to make a difference for one life? Would you risk yours to save his?

He wears his words across his skin like braille. A story of pain that I wish I could rewrite for him, and take away the chapters that mark his suffering.

I want to tell you more of the plot, but I simply can’t. What I will tell you, is put those big girl panties on because this is no walk in the park.

While the first half is slower paced, it builds the backstory that paints the entire picture. It connects you with a character that has so much presence in mere silence, that it was simply magnetic. It paints the story of young love, unbearable choices and heart ache.

I want to lose control with him, to feel the sweat and the power of him, the electricity moving inside of me the way it does when he merely touches me.

Then the second half comes in and pulls you away in a riptide of violence, angst, and grit.

Juniper Unraveling was a dark and suspenseful page turner. Set in a time where survival is everything, the author spares no detail throwing her readers straight into her dark and dangerous vortex of violence, survival, and a love beyond all odds. I was enraptured, captivated, and completely hooked. If you’re looking for a read that’s just the right amount of different from the norm and will keep you up all night, this is a book that needs to be on your TBRs.

Keri Lake is a dark romance writer who specializes in demon wrangling, vengeance dealing and wicked twists. Her stories are gritty, with antiheroes that walk the line of good and bad, and feisty heroines who bring them to their knees. When not penning books, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughters, and their rebellious Labrador (who doesn’t retrieve a damn thing). She runs on strong coffee and alternative music, loves a good red wine, and has a slight addiction to dark chocolate.

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Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & #Giveaway: ☆Run☆ by Eve Vaughn

The Hunter…

Dare O’Shaughnessy had the world in the palm of his hand. A man known and feared for his ruthlessness, his word was law. The last word he ever expected to hear was no. Until he met her.

The Prey…

Aya Smith despised the ruling class who looked down on hardworking people like her. Sick of being treated unfairly by laws that protect the wealthy and punish the poor, she takes a stand but soon realizes, she might have crossed the wrong man.

The Game…


Created as a government program to assist in the repopulation of the country when an untested drug wipes out millions of women, The Run eventually evolves into something much more sinister. Now played for the amusement of the super rich, women down on their luck find themselves the prizes of sadistic masters.

Aya is forced to volunteer for The Run, and Dare, the most sadistic of all, places her in his crosshairs.She will belong to him, body and soul. But when he catches her will she succumb to his mastery, or will he find more trouble than he bargained for?

Aya took a deep breath as she made her way to the bar being careful not to look directly in the direction of the jerk supreme. As she poured his drink, she was tempted to spit in it. With each move she made, Aya could feel his heated gaze on her. She wasn’t naive about men like him. They acted like they owned everything they saw. He was toying with them and threatening their livelihood because he could.

She used as much time as she dared to fix his drink before walking toward him, still refusing to make eye contact. Aya forced herself not to slam the glass down in front of him. “Will that be all, sir?” she asked through gritted teeth while she kept her gaze planted on her feet.

“Look at me.”

Aya didn’t want to stare into eyes so deep a green they were almost hypnotizing. They were her favorite shade and she resented the hell out of him for that. Thoughts of her uncle forced her to comply. Slowly, she raised her head until she met his gaze full on. That cruel smirk curved his lips.

“If there’s nothing else, I need to see to the needs of the other customers.”

“I was under the impression from the proprietor that you don’t deal with customers. Which one of you is lying?”

She bit the inside of her lip to hold back an angry retort.

The bastard had the nerve to chuckle. “No need to answer. I can see he was just protecting what’s his. I can’t say I blame him. What are you to him?”

“I don’t think that’s any of your business.”

“Fair enough.” He picked up his drink and took a sip all while his gaze roamed the bar. After placing the glass down, the smirk returned. “How much do you think a place like this would cost if someone wanted to invest for the purposes of tearing it down and rebuilding?”

The blood pounded in her head and she dug her nails into her palms. “He’s my uncle.”

He nodded in seeming approval. “Have a seat, Aya.”

She didn’t like how he used her name as if he had the right but she complied. “Look Mr. O’Shaughnessy, I don’t know what you’re trying to do here, but we don’t want any trouble. We’re sorry if you haven’t found the service to your satisfaction but we just want to be left alone. Please.”

“You seem like an intelligent woman. I would have thought it was fairly obvious what I wanted.”

She folded her hands in her lap and clinched them tightly together to keep herself from trembling. This couldn’t be happening. There had to be a way she could get herself out of this. She opted to play dumb. “I have no clue what you’re talking about.”

He narrowed his eyes. “I think you do. In fact, I know you do. So, let’s not play games. You can make this really easy on yourself. You and your uncle will be taken care of for as long as I want you. And when I no longer do, you’ll be well compensated. You’ll be under my protection.”

She fought back the urge to attack him. The arrogant son of a bitch. “And what if I don’t make things easy on myself?”

“I don’t think you want to know. But the end result will be the same. I will have you.”

3.5 Stars


It didn’t matter how attractive he was. Dare O’SHaughnessy was the devil and he was looking for his due. Her.

This was very different from anything I’ve read in the past, but in a good way. Highly entertaining and very erotic, I pretty much finished this in one sitting. While I can’t say that everything about this book worked for me, I certainly liked it enough that I’m looking forward to the next book, The Auction. I had a tough time rating this since there were a few quibbles I had that kept it from being a solid 4 star read, but ultimately I did enjoy it quite a bit. Let me break it down for you the best I can.

The set up
Run is set in a futuristic world where the only thing that rules is money. When a Derugulaition act was put into place years ago, it allowed any and all government to be obsolete and for the rich and powerful corporations to become a law onto themselves with free reign to run their business as they see fit. The fallout was incredible, as was the death poll. When a large pharmaceutical company released a vaccine for breast cancer that wasn’t properly tested, the end result was a drug that ultimately wiped out half the female population and causing the women to become almost as valuable as currency. The poor, or the Dregs of the society are struggling to survive where the rich and powerful are corrupt and money is the only thing that holds power. The gap between the rich and the poor is extreme and there’s no rules to govern anything. Thus also formed The Run; an event that started out as a government program for men to find wives, but really it’s just a legalized hunt where the men that can afford to buy in will hunt for their potential “mates”. Women participate in this due to having no other choice and trying to keep their families affloat. Men participate to basically add to their harem. These women are often brutalized, tortured, and at times don’t survive their new masters. The owner of the run is the enigmatic Dare.

When Dare notices Aya (a Dreg for all intents and purposes) and she rebuffs his advances, his brutal and punishing nature insists that she pay. So he puts to work a chain of events that eventually leave Aya no other choice but to participate in the Run where Dare has every intention of catching her.

What worked
The set up. I liked the world building and the premise of the story, it was very unique and unlike anything I’ve read in the past.
Dare was a hero you will love to hate and Aya is a heroine that you will root for.

The sex. It was damn hot.

The secondary characters. I’m hoping that Macy and Foster will be making an appearance in The Auction. Their story is one I was very intrigued with, especially poor Macy and what she went through.

What didn’t work for me
I felt a lot of the times that I was being told the story as opposed to shown. There were things that were almost redundantly described. I like to be led to my own conclusion about characters and situations most times, especially when there’s a certain dark element to the book, and that just wasn’t the case here. I felt like I was told what to think, what to see, and everything the characters feel.

The initial attraction
I didn’t quite get it. Dare sees a glimpse of Aya being arrested, barely enough to catch her features, and he’s compelled to track her down after that at the bar she works and proceeds to systematically tear her life apart because he NEEDS to have her.

Aya’s strong will
While a lot of the time that was the one thing I really loved about her character, it also really worked against her in other parts. If you know that the rich always win, and Dare is as rich and powerful as they come, why would you proceed to not only turn him down but do it in a way that’s guaranteed to piss him off. Would you really throw a drink in the face of someone that just threatened your business and livelihood and actually has the means to carry through with it?

Dare’s personality change
It just wasn’t believable to me. For someone that grew up like he did, and has pretty much been a cold and ruthless bastard for the better part of his life, it was almost like a switch was flipped and then he does a complete 180. It was just too sudden for my tastes, and I just couldn’t really connect to it.

Overall thoughts
Minus those few things, I really did enjoy this one. If you like futuristic romances with a darker edge, definitely give this one a try. It’s quick paced, erotic, and the set up is very unique. The set up for The Auction has certainly peeked my interest, and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store with the next book.


USA Today Bestselling Author Eve Vaughn has always enjoyed creating characters and stories from an early age. As a child she was always getting into mischief, so when she lost her television privileges (which was often), writing was her outlet. Her stories have gotten quite a bit spicier since then! When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, Eve is reading, baking, traveling or kicking butt in 80’s trivia. She loves hearing from her readers. She can be contacted through her website at: www.evevaughn.com.
Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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