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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

RELEASE BLITZ & REVIEWS - Chiromancist (Seven Forbidden Arts #8) by Charmaine Pauls

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Paranormal, Romance, Erotica


Bono Black is not part of Cain Jones’s taskforce. He’s merely their pilot. The minute he walks into a sex club in Amsterdam, he is no longer an outsider to the war on their beautiful target, Sky Val. Bono wants her like he’s never wanted anyone, and he’s a determined man. The only snags are three major obstacles. One, Sky belongs to the most dangerous sex dealer in the Netherlands who’d see her dead before he lets her go. Two, she’s undeniably involved in the murders of a senator and president. Three, Cain has ordered her dead. But time is on Bono’s side. Before the team leader slits her throat, they need information on her boss. With the interest Sky has shown in Bono, Cain decides Bono is just the man for the job, and that seduction will be his choice of arms.

Life has never been good or kind. From where Sky Val is standing, life looks infinitely bad. Her existence is nothing but physical and emotional torture, but one motivation keeps her going. It is a secret she can’t give up on. Bought at the age of sixteen for her forbidden art to manipulate time, Sky’s owner constructed the perfect jail to confine her. The invisible chains he put on her are much more effective than a brick and mortar prison. She will do anything her owner or his boss demands, even make the handsome, caring Senegalese pilot, Bono Black fall in love with her. Love is, after all, a woman’s best weapon when her mission is to steal a man’s secrets.

Every wise person knows things aren’t always what they seem, but the truth becomes muddled in a war where the good guys suddenly seem bad, and the devil like a savior. In an upside-down world full of dangerous secrets and supernatural powers, many hearts will be broken, but only one team can win. Which one of them will walk away with their secrets and life intact?

* This is Book 8 of the Seven Forbidden Arts paranormal series, but also reads as a standalone. The story contains violence, explicit language, and consummated love scenes. Recommended for an audience of 18+.

Outside the haunted house, Sky leaned on the fence, bending her knee to rest a foot on the wood. She broke off a piece of cotton candy and held it to him. He didn’t react immediately. He took a second to appreciate the sight in front of him.
Dusk had fallen. The air had a dusty-pink color. A comfortable breeze stirred the warmth of the day. A mixture of generator fumes and burned sugar wrapped around them. Laughter and ecstatic shrieks rose above the carousel tune. The atmosphere was thick was excitement and the unspoken anticipation of lovers for how the night might end. With the lights shining at her back, her body was a dark silhouette to him, every curve and dip begging to be copied by the hollow of his hand.
“What?” she asked, her arm still poised in the air.
Upon his silence, her half-smile started slipping. How could he tell her the things in his heart when he was supposed to protect his team?
The spun sugar had melted to a clump between her fingers. She slowly lowered her hand, but he grabbed her wrist and brought her fingers to his mouth, wrapping his tongue around each delicate digit covered in sticky, pink sweetness. The coolness of her eyes grew one shade of blue warmer as she watched him taste her. Her casual comportment didn’t change, but the sexual energy that drew her body and nipples tight was as palpable as the stiffness of his cock.
Coming to her senses with an inaudible gasp, she pulled her fingers free. He allowed her to deny him her taste, but he didn’t release his grip on her wrist. Gently, he dried her fingers on the hem of his shirt. A group of girl turned their heads as they passed, making wolf whistles at him and giggling behind their hands.
Sky gave them a hard stare, one that clearly said hands off. He liked that she showed her little claws on his behalf. It meant she was jealous, and if she was jealous, she had staked her claim, maybe not of him, but at least of this time they were spending together. Circling his arm around her waist, he pulled her delicate body up against his. She was warm and soft. Her breasts molded under his breastbone and her hips locked with his as if she was made for him. She didn’t fight him, but she didn’t embrace him either. The pliantness of her body was enough permission for him to lean forward, putting their faces so close he could feel the ghost of a vapor escape from her lips and smell her cotton candy breath.
There were so many things to consider, Doumar and his team for starters, not to mention that he was seducing her to steal information for Cain. Not even the knowledge of what a lowlife he was could drag him away from those lips. The lure was too strong. The only thing that could stop him, and save them both the heartache the truth would bring, was if she said no.
“I’m going to kiss you, Sky. If you don’t want this, now is the time to say so.”
Say no, beautiful. Save yourself. Tell me to fuck off, and I will.
Her answer was to hold his gaze and slip a hand around the back of his neck. Her skin was cool and her touch light. Everything about her was fresh and untouchably fragile, like a cloud in the sky. She was like a phantom energy, a mist in the night–too delicate, too intense, and way too fleeting.
Too late.
They were both screwed. He was breaking every rule in his book, starting with rule number one–never hit on another man’s woman.
“Don’t say I didn’t give you a chance to run,” he whispered, blowing air over her lips as her tongue peeked out to wet them.
She kept her eyes open as his mouth came closer, like he knew she would. There was nothing scared in her breakable, vulnerable body. The kiss was sweet, and like her touch, light. He didn’t push for more. Something inside him warned him to take baby steps with her. He folded his arms around her and cradled her body against his, nipping at her lips while giving her what he sensed she needed most–warmth and comfort.
He only took what she offered until she broke the kiss. Her lips were red and plump, deliciously bruised from his stubble and teeth. It stirred a possessiveness in him that was scary, because she didn’t belong to him and while she was with Doumar she never would. They were on opposite sides of the fence, each playing for the enemy team. It was a cruel tragedy, a Romeo and Juliet kind of fucked-up situation.
Resting his forehead against hers, he pulled her against him for a quick hug. “Fuck, Sky.” The desolation he felt sounded in his voice.
She pushed back with her hands on his chest, regarding him as if she couldn’t figure him out.
“What is it, beautiful?”
“You’re not like other men.”
“Do you want me to be?”
He gripped her chin in a soft caress, searching her eyes. “Then we’re okay.”
A tremble ran over her body. “I’m going home.”
Confused at her sudden change, he grabbed her arm when she turned from him. “I’ll take you.”
“I can walk.”
“I’ll walk you.”
She pulled free and started making for the exit, dumping the cotton candy in a trashcan on the way.
He caught up with her and moved around to block her way. “Did I do something wrong?”
She shivered and hugged herself, even if the night wasn’t cold. He pulled off his jacket and draped it around her shoulders, expecting her to protest, but she didn’t. The reason for bringing her here was to make her happy. He wasn’t going to let her go like this. Besides, he still had to get some answers, or Cain might decide to pull him out and kill her sooner. That wasn’t an option.
“Sky.” He took her shoulders. “Tell me.”
She rested her chin on her shoulder, staring blindly into the crowd. “Why didn’t you take advantage? You could’ve. I would’ve let you.”
“I want you, but not like that.”
She sniffed and looked back at him, the flicker of hope in her terrified eyes almost his undoing.
“It’s all right.” He pulled her against him and stroked her back. “We’ll figure it out. Will you let me see you home? I don’t like the idea of you wandering around alone this late at night.”
“You’re concerned about me?”
“Yes.” More than she could know. If she knew what were in the cards for her, she’d run from him. The pain of his betrayal was something he’d expected, but not the intensity.
“We’ll find a way,” he said, more to himself than to her.
He had to find a way to keep her safe. How to do that while saving not only himself, but also everyone else on the team, was a problem he didn’t yet have answers to.

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5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Bono isn't part of Cain Jones' team, not in the sense that he has none of the Seven Arts but he does fly them around the world, wherever they need to go. When their target, a woman who can read the future, a Chiromancist, takes a shine to Bono, he is thrown into the fray. But Sky pushes his buttons, buttons he never knew needed pushing. And it becomes a question of who will die first: Sky at the hands of Josselin and his team, or Bono at the hands of Sky's jailers.

This is book 8 in the Seven Forbidden Arts series. It can be read as a stand alone, but I re-iterate the point that I would strongly recommend you read all the other books before this one. It would give you a better picture of Cain and his team, and of Godfrey and what he's been up.

I am so very very glad Bono got a story! I've been waiting for his story, (not even knowing if it would come, because I somehow forgot to ask THAT question of Ms Pauls) since he dropped Josselin of in front of Clelia all the way back in book one. 

And it does NOT disappoint!

Bono, the brooding Senegalese pilot, first meets Sky, the Chiromancist, when they visit for a reading. They know just what she is and what her Art is.  They also know who has her on a tight leash. She doesn't like what she sees and she has no idea how to stop it. But Bono makes Sky want in a way she never did before. However, her ties to Doumar, and to Godfrey run fast, and they run deep. She knows the only way she'll really be free is to die, and to take Doumar and Godfrey with her. 

Finally!! We finally get just WHAT Godfrey is doing and not even Cain Jones saw THAT one coming, I tell ya! Not saying what, cos that's spoilers, and you'll not get it, nope, certainly won't!! But I swear, Godfrey has more lives than a bloody cat, and so far, he has used 8 of them. So book 9, Cain's story (soooooooooooo bloody excited for that!!) and Godfrey *should* run out!

I love the layers that Pauls weaves into her stories. I did not see what Sky was gonna do coming at me. I did NOT see why those ties ran so deep coming at me! I did not see what Cain and Bono and the team did coming at me! I love being surprised on every level here! 

There is far less emphasis on Sky's Art. It not about her Art. It's about her and Bono and their love for each other, and how to get themselves out of the mess they find they are in. And you know what?? I LOVED that. In one of the other book reviews for this series, I noted that I didn't like that in that book, there wasn't so much of the Art. But HERE?? LOVED that there wasn't so much of it. I've no idea why it worked so well here!

Something didn't quite click for me in book 7. Not so here. Whatever it was, doesn't happen here and I would have read this book in one sitting, well into time when I should have been at work, but really, I had to be present that day! But had real life not got in the way, one, single sitting. And its a long book!! 

OH!!! that little birthday party!! So great to catch up with everyone and their other halves, and the little ones! So many little people!! 

Ok so, summing up?? 

BEST ONE YET!! By far, after book one, my favourite of them all!! 

5 full and shiny stars, because, lets face it, it can't have anything else, not at all!!

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Chiromancist is the eighth book in the Seven Forbidden Arts series, and we get to spend time with Bono - the wise-cracking pilot who has been there from the very beginning. Bono doesn't have an art, but he is still very much a member of the team. When they go to Amsterdam to investigate the possibility of a Chiromancist working for Godfrey, he will do what he can to help. Then he meets Sky, and he will still do what he can, but now his priorities include keeping Sky alive.

WOW!!! This book is... harsh. It is an emotional power pack that will hit you on so many levels. And I loved every moment! 

We learn more about Bono, we learn about Sky, and we learn about Sky's quiet strength and determination, the things she puts up with to keep her son safe. Godfrey's big plan becomes clear, whilst Cain's ultimate motives are still as shadowed as ever. I love his character. He is working for the ultimate good, but you are never quite sure... and neither are the rest of the characters. Love it.

I could rave on and on about this book. I devoured it, loved every word, and hated every paragraph with certain characters in it with a passion. This book is exceptionally written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow. You will suffer the lows whilst appreciating the highs that Charmaine Pauls gives you. Whilst you could read this as a standalone, I really can't see why you would want to - when you have seven brilliant books preceding it. Highly recommended by me.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions. 

After relocating to Chile with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published nine novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles. Two of her shorts have been selected by the International Literary Society for an anthology from across the African continent.

When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in France with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the reviews of Chiromancist on your blog! Your time to read and review this story is much appreciated.