Hello all and welcome to the official launch of Intoxicating Reads. I am very excited to announce that our first blog post will feature a review of Bound by Vengeance and an interview with the amazing author of this book Adriana Noir!
I am a shameless book hussy. I absolutely love to read and I’ve dabbled in every genre. Or at least I thought I had – until I came across Sinister Kisses (SKALS). An Erotic Thriller by up-and-coming author Adriana Noir, it was the single most shocking, mind boggling trip through the human psyche I have ever experienced. I was absolutely giddy with excitement when I learned this would be a series and the next book was on its way! Before I share my ARC (yes people! I got an ARC) review of Bound by Vengeance here is a little info about SKALS:
Synopsis for Sinister Kisses
After a chance encounter in the woods leaves her shaken and reeling, the last thing Taylor McAvay wanted to do was accept an invitation to dinner. Then again, after seeing what Sebastian Baas was capable of, she felt she had little choice. The guy did just save her life, and the feel of his partner’s assault rifle pressed against her cheek still lingered in her mind.
What she discovers surprises her. Beneath the armor and fatigues is a smart, attentive, and sophisticated man. Unable to resist, Taylor finds herself drawn in by the Special Agent’s charm. Everything about Sebastian, from his imposing presence to his hypnotic eyes, pulls her under his spell. When a drive by shooting leaves her apartment riddled with bullets, she falls under his command as well–not to mention the shadow of a lethal, underground organization known as SKALS.
Her lover has a dark and dangerous side he tries to keep hidden, but when a series of events sends their lives spiraling out of control, she realizes there is much more to him than meets the eye. Whether she wants to leave or not doesn’t matter. Taylor soon learns, when it comes to Sebastian and SKALS, there is no escape.
***Pick up your copy of Sinister Kisses HERE***
Excerpts from My Review of Sinister Kisses
I have never read a work by this author and was absolutely blown away by the incredible talent displayed. Her style and delivery was very Stephen Kingesque. I have never fully experienced the broad range of emotions from a book that I did with this one.
This may well be the darkest, edgiest book that I have ever read. To say it was a thriller would be an understatement. This is most certainly NOT your typical romance, so toss out all your preconceived notions. Don’t expect the hero to be a white knight. Don’t expect the heroine to be an un-tamable hellion. And certainly don’t expect a typical HEA. This was a fantastic read and I encourage those who are not faint of heart to give it a try. I can’t wait for the next installment!!
Synopsis for Bound by Vengeance
Revenge is a very personal thing…
After eliminating a hostile SKALS member turned rouge, Sebastian returns home to deal with the aftermath. He no longer trusts his security team, and to make matters worse, he’s got blood on his hands he can’t wash clean. Still, he is determined to try and put an end to the past and start a new life with Taylor.
Everything in him wants to be the man she needs him to be, but that decision won’t come easy. His family is in shambles, his director is breathing down his neck, and worse of all, Steven Laychee is circling, looking for a way to take down the man who killed his brother.
It’s not a matter of if Laychee will strike. It’s a question of when and who will remain standing in the end.
My Review of Bound by Vengeance
Let me just say- WOW! And WOW some more!! You absolutely MUST read Sinister Kisses before reading this and be prepared to feel it all- love, hate, anger, sorrow, joy and hope!
As much as the feminist in me wants to hate Sebastian, I just can’t. He is so beautifully flawed and so amazingly sexy that it is impossible to do anything but love him. He is in fact, my new book boyfriend.
Sebastian’s love for Taylor is a palpable thing. It leaps off the pages. You experience his passion, his fears, his joy and his anguish as much as if these were your own feelings. He is still a maniacal, sadistic ass hole, but his stock definitely went up in this book.
My first impression of Taylor in Sinister Kisses was that she was sort of a weak, pushover. I am revising that impression 110% and offering my most sincere apologies. There is a huge difference between being weak and being submissive. Taylor is absolutely NOT weak. She exhibits a strength in Bound by Vengeance that most could only hope to possess. As much as I want to scream at the top of my lungs for her to run as far and as fast in the other direction, I realize not only does she absolutely breathe Sebastian, but he’d just find her anyway.
In true Noir fashion, there are several scenes in this book that will have you biting your nails and others that will have your jaw gaping, your fists clenching and your mind racing. You may even shed a tear or two….lord knows I did and that’s no easy feat… If I had one complaint it’s that the next book isn’t out yet! Really Adriana??!! You’re gonna make me wait?!?!
I cannot recommend SKALS or this author enough. The writing is flawless and the editing is impeccable. Adriana Noir is the epitome of Indie writing and I would not be surprised if this series gets picked up by a major publisher. It is gritty, edgy and so far out of the typical romance realm that it is in a world all its own.
***Pick up your copy of Bound by Vengeance HERE***
And Now…DRUM ROLL PLEASE…My Interview with the Lovely Ms. Adriana Noir!
1. How on earth did you get the inspiration for SKALS?
Let’s see. The inspiration for SKALS. *laughs* I guess I’m just sick. No really. You hear stories all the time in the news about agencies doing this, and agencies doing that. I think in a lot of ways, I tend to see both sides of the coin. Nothing in life is really black or white. There’s all these crazy shades in between, and a bunch of aspects or facts we might not know.
I just started thinking, what if there were secret assassin groups? What would these men be like? What sort of things would they have to do, and what toll would that take on them? That’s where Sebastian comes in. He’s endured some pretty horrific stuff. He’s been trained to shut certain aspects of himself down, but on the other hand, it’s something he grapples with doing. Those struggles cause conflict. Both between him and Taylor, and the SKALS organization itself.
Basically, I just wanted something dark, completely bad ass, but plausible to drive my plot and propel this journey.
2. If SKALS was made into a movie, who would play Sebastian and Taylor?
I can’t really answer that! Sebastian would be a tough one to play. The actor would have to be capable of portraying a wide range of profound emotion. Someone who could pull off those slightly psychotic moments but also be able to show a deep vulnerability. Uhm….hm. As for Taylor, I’ve always seen her as sort of the girl next door kind of beauty. Someone like Katie Parker. I loved her in Absentia.
3. Did you struggle with writing Sebastian’s character?
Yes and no. The first book was very hard that way. I know where he’s coming from, why he does certain things, and where he’s heading, but that’s not always an easy thing to convey. He can be terrifying at times. He can be cruel, but he can also be incredibly sweet and generous when it comes to the people he loves. Those layers made it a bit easier for me, and I think for *some* readers as well.
That said, there’s been plenty of times where I’d shake my head and wonder what the hell I’d gotten myself into, but I didn’t want to shy away or sugarcoat things just to make him more like-able That would detract from the character and his struggles. I pretty much knew Sebastian was going to be a character people either loved or hated. Or hated to love. I’m okay with that.
4. Can Sebastian be “saved” or is he just too damaged for even Taylor to truly help?
I like to think so. In some ways, Taylor has already been a bit of a saving grace. She’s made him start to assess some things and brought out a side in him I don’t think even Sebastian fully knew existed. He’s trying, but I think in order to truly find redemption, he’s going to have to seek it himself—and with Marx and SKALS standing in his way, that won’t come easy.
5. Next book? Title? Release Date? *Bouncing Up and Down*
Edge of Obsession (SKALS #3), but the title ‘may’ change. Aiming for a late summer release. There is a brief excerpt at the end of Bound by Vengeance.
1. Who do you count among your literally icons?
There’s just so many amazing authors out there. I love Dean Koontz. (I’m so stoked the last book in the Odd Thomas series is coming out on my birthday this year!) I’ve also read a lot of Anne Rice, John Saul…Kathleen Woodiwiss wrote one of my favorite books of all time, The Wolf and the Dove. My reading tastes are pretty much all over the chart. There are some absolutely amazing indie authors too. Ones that perhaps aren’t icons yet, but they should be. My Kindle can’t keep up!
2. If you could have dinner with one author (living or not) who would it be and why?
Just one? Gosh! This is killing me! It’s like Sophie’s Choice. *ponders* Yeah…I literally spent an hour thinking on that one and still couldn’t decide. I’m horrible.
3. Where does your inspiration strike?
For some reason, I hit the bed and my brain goes into hyperactive overdrive. I don’t sleep much because of it. Music is also a huge trigger for me, so whenever I’m cleaning or driving. I guess it pretty much strikes in the places I want it to the least!
4. Are you a word-counter or a story-flows-till-its-done writer?
Definitely a story flows until it’s done type. There’s enough to worry about without stressing over the number of words. I try to just focus on what’s best for the story. On the other hand, I try to be mindful of people’s time and money as well. I don’t want to bog people down with something that’s so long it’s overwhelming or so short they feel ripped off.
Tell me five random facts about you.
I’m beyond petrified of spiders—like to the point where they give me anxiety attacks.
My favorite place is the ocean. Can’t get enough.
I hate beer.
I used to have fangs. *laughs* My parents actually had my incisors filed when I was a kid.
I’m a huge animal lover, but possums scare the crap out of me. They remind me of giant rats. Not cute, people! Not cute!
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee! I think I’d die without it.
The Wolf and the Dove.
Adriana’s Website HERE