The Denounced by SJ Sherwood

Ned Hunter is to be hanged, he is Denounced and therefore cannot be allowed to live. But things go awry and he finds himself bundled up and moved to a different location where he undergoes training as a leader of 5 others. It is a harsh environment and survival is not guaranteed, as they learn on the first night when one of the other pods is punished for trying to escape.

Determined not to suffer the same fate as the other pod, Ned needs to form his own bonded pod that can win their place at the top of the leader board in order to survive. And then what? No-one knows, but those who are training them. And what is their goal?

Ned needs his wits about him and cannot afford to relax for a moment. Everyone has it in for him.

A fast paced story, full of twists and tricks. Compulsive reading due to its different approach. I enjoyed it as a book aimed at Young Adults.

“I’m wondering if being dead may have been my better option. I’ve no idea where I am and what is going to be expected of me, but if I understand this correctly, I’m now responsible for five other people.”

I received an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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The Denounced: Book 1 A Grey Sun

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Official description:
A convicted Denounced. Sentenced to Death. In a future divided into Secular and Non-Secular Quadrants, a crime punishable by death is to cross Quadrants and become a Denounced. When sixteen-year-old Ned is wrongly convicted and kidnapped to a secret location, he meets ninety Denounced, and a terrifying truth begins to unfold — one that will change the world forever. Forced to lead a Pod of five, Ned begins to realise thousands of lives could depend upon him. A survivor by nature, he now has to face his past, confront his destiny, and fight a System that has never lost.

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End State (The Stefan Mendoza Trilogy Book 3) by P R Adams

Stefan is ‘retired’, at least he likes to think so, but readers all know that that is never the case in stories!
Stefan is recruited for a job, but wants to use his own team, to do that he needs to locate and recruit them. Not an easy job, he hasn’t been in touch for a while and doesn’t know where any of them are! And he doesn’t really know what his new employers actually want him to do.
After tracking his team, Stefan needs to persuade them to come on board with him. The money stakes are enormous and this should be their final hurrah before each of them retires. Can Stefan persuade his new employers to stump up the huge pay-out for the team?
PR Adams writes a really good story. This is the final one in the three part cyberpunk series. You definitely want to read all three, starting with ‘Into Twilight (The Stefan Mendoza Trilogy Book 1)‘, then through ‘Gone Dark (The Stefan Mendoza Trilogy Book 2)‘ and then this book ‘End State (The Stefan Mendoza Trilogy Book 3)‘.

““Twelve million, and a quarter million per egghead after Marshall. And I want fifty thousand now. This mess has cost me a lot more than it should have.””

I received an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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End State (The Stefan Mendoza Trilogy Book 3)

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Official description:
In espionage, there are only two types of agents: active and dead.

Stefan Mendoza tried to walk away from the business, but the Agency wouldn’t let him. The Metacorporate Initiative has changed the world, and his bitter enemy has thrown in with one of the biggest of the new corporate powers. The race to rebuild the recently destroyed AI has put a premium on elite software architects.

If Mendoza can wrangle the most coveted architect team, he’ll make enough to disappear forever. But can he allow someone to recreate the AI that wants him dead?

Pick up End State (The Stefan Mendoza Trilogy Book 3) to see the thrilling conclusion to this cyberpunk trilogy!

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Bone Realm by D N Erikson

Ruby has inherited her father’s business and her first customer turns out to be the one person that her father said that she must not do business with. She offers her services anyway and as a consequence her life is set on a path of death, magic and immortality. What will she end up with?
This is a short novella to introduce Ruby before she appears in Lightning Blade and it isn’t required reading, but it is really good to read this if you want to know all the details of who, how and why about Ruby. I certainly recommend it, if you can lay your hands on it.
The author actually suggests the following order for reading the Ruby Callaway books, in the frontispiece:
• Bone Realm
• Lightning Blade (Book 1)
• “Silver Tempest” Shadow Flare (Book 2)
• “Kentucky Clear” Blood River (Book 3)
• Going Home

I received an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)
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Official description:
When a gravely wounded half-demon stumbles into Ruby Callaway’s print shop seeking medical assistance for a werewolf bite, Ruby quickly finds herself assuming an unfamiliar mantle: werewolf huntress. But killing a 1,300 year-old alpha werewolf as the full moon approaches might be the least of her problems… Bone Realm is a standalone prequel novella to the upcoming Ruby Callaway urban fantasy series.

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Lightning Blade by D N Erikson

Ruby Callaway is in prison, in a time loop. She keeps re-living the same day, where an FBI agent releases her from prison in order for her to assist with the removal of a Necromancer. But Ruby and the Necromancer are the only ones that know about the time loop and every time she relives the day she has to convince the FBI agent that she is the one who can do this, but that they need to work together.

Despite being in a time loop, Ruby is in a race against time. The longer the time loop exists, the harder it is to break out. So she must find a way before she is stuck forever. She needs to break out of the time loop, in order to break out of her prison.

A really enjoyable story, it grabbed my attention from the opening lines. There were no blocks to the reading and I did find myself reading late into the night because I didn’t want to put it down. On finishing this book I went straight on to reading the short Novella which gave the prequel information on Ruby’s life prior to ending up in prison. I look forward to reading the next story in the series very soon.

“Words from two hundred years past echoed in my mind as the completed form streamed into the data cube. You’re a hunter, Rebecca Callaway. A killer.”

I received an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Lightning Blade (The Ruby Callaway Trilogy Book 1)

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Official description:
When the FBI releases supernatural bounty hunter Ruby Callaway after 20 years, the terms are simple: kill the necromancer killing public officials in return for amnesty. But then the necromancer plunges a blade through her heart, and Ruby reawakens at midnight, back in jail. Alive.

Which means one thing: the necromancer has thrust the world into an endless time loop that only he and Ruby can see. And Ruby is the only one capable of stopping him before the world burns. But as she unravels the necromancer’s sinister plan, two questions repeat in Ruby’s mind: Just how dangerous is a vengeful serial killer with nothing but time?

And what if the necromancer isn’t the worst thing lurking in the shadows of this brave new world?

Lightning Blade is the first book in the Ruby Callaway Trilogy, mixing dark, gritty urban fantasy with a sprinkling of futuristic sci-fi & cyberpunk. Not your typical bounty hunter. Not your typical urban fantasy.

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Endohuman Love vs Duty by Nick Dream

I was asked to read and review this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I read the book fairly quickly and found it to be an interesting plot. I am not interested in werewolves and the like, so in places where it was moving towards that style of book I lost a bit of interest. Mind you, if I had seen the cover before I had read the book, I wouldn’t have even started reading it.
Adam is being brought up by his grandfather in a very strict and restrictive manner. His explanation is that Adam needs to be trained for something very important and that Adam must not break any of the ancient rules or he will lose his powers.
One of the rules is that he must not fall in love, so his grandfather tries to instil in Adam the need to avoid girls.
Of course Adam rebels and rails against this rule, while at the same time trying to honour his grandfather’s wishes.
Overall as a story I liked this book. In parts I really got fed up with it due to the afore-mentioned werewolves and vampires affliction. I think the story could go further in future books, and if the affliction is omitted I may well be a reader.

“I put my hands in my pockets to conceal my fingernails. They have involuntarily begun expanding into mini claws.”

I received an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully) I was going to give 2.5, but I’ve rounded up rather than down, so it’s ended up with a 3.

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ENDOHUMAN: Love Vs Duty: Book 1 (A Paranormal Superhero Romance Series)

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Official description:
A page-turning debut, ENDOHUMAN is perhaps what Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight would look like in “Stranger Thing’s” upside down world with its X-Files mystery, Da-Vinci-Code-like style quest, Hitchcock suspense and countless plot twists and cliff-hangers that will keep you guessing. And you’ll still be wrong!
*Currently being adapted into Movie Screenplay

One of Wattpad’s top read books in 2016, making it to Top 10 Charts in “Paranormal” and “Romance” Categories with over 300k reads!

Book Synopsis:
Endohumans are not destined for love. It is against the Ancient Rules. Eighteen- year – old Adam Vanolf is about to be one of the last known Endohumans left on Earth as his dying grandfather rushes to complete his training. These superhuman hybrids descended from the ancient Greeks and Romans live concealed among us, sworn to protect mankind and safeguard an almost forgotten secret that is rooted back to the creation of man and the universe. Alas, the life and path an Endohuman must follow is lonely and dangerous , especially for a teenager trying to unravel the mystery that his ancestry hides. Gods? Vampires? Werewolves? Fallen Angels? Or just the creation of an unstable mind? An ancient evil is awakening and even though he doesn’t know it, the world needs Adam now more than ever. Yet Adam also needs love, so when he meets Evie, the girl of his dreams, a difficult choice must be made…

About the Author
Nick was born in London but now lives in Nicosia, Cyprus. He graduated from Lancaster University in the UK with a BA in Accounting and Finance with a focus on banking and financial services.

Despite being an accountant, in his free time he loves reading, watching science fiction movies and spending quality time with his family as well as writing poetry, short science fiction stories and children’s books.

In March 2014 he was admitted as a Member of Torr, one of the world’s most selective high IQ societies. Torr is a modern micro social network intended to stimulate original ideas, awaken and develop talent throughout the world, provide fellowship, and ensure a better appreciation of the arts and sciences.

Endohuman began life on Wattpad, where it climbed to the Global Top 10 Paranormal Romance Stories for its original, multifaceted and highly entertaining plot. Critics comment that even though the style of the book is Young Adult Fiction, the love story spans a multitude of genres including paranormal, suspense, romance, mystery, werewolf, vampire, sci fi, action and adventure. Nick likes to play with multiple twists in the story clearly influenced by his favourite author, Ray Bradbury, and creates a memorable protagonist in Adam, with a storyline that could go, frankly, anywhere!

Nick is currently working on the second and third instalments of the Endohuman trilogy.

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Enigma Key by Barnes and Wearmouth

This is a really great book if you grew up with the birth of computing and computer gaming (as I did), it really brings back the memories.

Eddie York is the main character of the book, his grandfather Brigham York also plays a lead role, but he is dead. Brigham has left Eddie a trail of clues which he must solve and follow in order to find the Enigma Key and save the world.

The clues need knowledge of the world of Flux, which was a computer game and also a comic that Brigham wrote for Eddie when he was a child.

Eddie’s adventure starts at the point of receiving a letter advising him to visit his grandfather’s grave prior to visiting the solicitors for the reading of his grandfather’s final will. Even getting to the solicitors requires Eddie to have his wits about him. The true race for the prize starts from then on.

Eddie meets up with various individuals during the quest set by his grandfather, some are friendly allies, some are yet to show their true colours and some are outright evil ‘so and so’s’. Some of the allies join up with Eddie to help him move forward with his time critical quest to save the world. Of those, Sol and Gert are two who are with him from the start, while others join him as he goes along (don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t say who).

The only thing that mildly irritated me was the ‘love interest’ at the very end. It wasn’t really needed, it was so formulaic really, as if pandering to the masses. It is one of the things that really irritates me in stories – people don’t have to ‘fall in love’!

“A wave hit them. Eddie’s head sank below the freezing water. He kicked his legs, bursting back to the surface as fast as he could.”

I received an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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The Enigma Key : A Gripping Adventure Thriller

 

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Official description:
THE FATE OF THE WORLD HANGS IN THE BALANCE.

ONE MAN IS THRUST INTO AN INTERNATIONAL RACE AGAINST TIME TO SECURE THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS WEAPON: THE ENIGMA KEY

Eddie York—manhunter, codebreaker—is set on a dangerous mission by the last wishes of his deceased grandfather, a prominent member of the Guardian Group, a secret agency designed to protect the world from dangerous new technologies falling into the wrong hands.

Eddie is tasked to recover the Enigma Key, an object that holds the balance of worldly power. Using information from an old computer game that his grandfather had created to hide the key’s location, and working with unlikely allies, he must fight his way through a sequence of challenges for an answer that reaches into history.

If Eddie and his team don’t recover the Enigma Key before their enemies, then nobody or nothing will be safe again.

Enigma Key is the first book in an exciting new series from Colin F. Barnes and Darren Wearmouth. Written for fans of thriller and action fiction who love fast-paced twists and turns. Mixing history and cutting-edge technology, Barnes and Wearmouth invite you into a new world of fast-paced, exciting adventures.

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Murders of Misfortune by Ian D Wright

A mother wants her missing daughter found and contacts an old acquaintance to seek assistance in finding her.

When Steve and Emily are tasked with that same duty they discover that said daughter went missing about 5 years ago and mother is trying to find her in time for a visit to England by her divorced husband.

The mother has very little information about her daughter (she hadn’t even noticed that she was missing straight away), so Emily and Steve interview the housekeeper for more information.

As each piece of information leads to another they build a picture of what has happened. Along the way they end up investigating an old high profile murder case and risk their own lives as they start to get close to the truth about both that and what happened to Felicity.

This is a fast paced story so you won’t get bored reading it. There are one or two bits that can be anticipated, but that doesn’t detract from it. And it doesn’t mean that you can work out what comes next. I did enjoy the book and would definitely read Ian D Wright’s work again.

“When rich perverts, like Threston, overstep the mark, they call her in to put things right. She cleans up the crime scene and gets rid of the evidence, and when all else fails, she will fix it by buying their way out of trouble.”

I received an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Murders of Misfortune: A gripping story of a missing daughter and a trail of lies, blackmail and murder. (Murders of Consequence, Necessity & Misfortune)

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Official description:
Murders of Misfortune tells the story of a troubled girl, from a wealthy family, who becomes estranged from her parents and goes to live in 1960’s London. She is soon caught up with a wild set of celebrity party-goers in the drug-driven, anything goes atmosphere that was the swinging sixties.
Up and coming young stars of music, film, theatre and fashion, together with the off-springs of millionaires, politicians and royalty, create a high-octane, free-wheeling setting for this story of misadventure and murder.
Two up and coming young investigative journalists, Emily and Steve Moon, set out to discover what has happened to the lost girl and find themselves caught up in a conspiracy of lies, blackmail and deception. They are also under the spell of the atmosphere in London at that time but are determined to find out what has happened to the missing girl.
They follow a trail from London to Paris and then on to St Tropez. They discover a ring of wealthy, depraved men, who are using the new social freedoms of the time to pray on and exploit young girls in both England and France. Emily and Steve are determined to get to the heart of the ring and those who are organising these orgies of depravity. The tenacious pair stir up a hornet’s nest as they move closer to the powerful people behind the scenes. This leads to kidnapping and confirms that there are people involved at the highest levels of law enforcement and government.
Murders of Misfortune is an intriguing, complex and rapidly moving story, in which Emily and Steve receive support from unexpected sources.
This is the third book in a series of three featuring the investigative journalists Emily and Steve Moon. The other two, Murders of Consequence and Murders of Necessity and also available on Amazon Kindle.

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Curse Breaker: Falls by Melinda Kucsera

I get the feeling that I just had a sampler of this book, as it was very short and didn’t take long to read at all, which makes it awfully difficult to review.

So, all I can do is say that it was intense from the start of the ‘book’ and engaged very quickly with action in the tale. It is book 4 in a series (of which I have only read book 1) and something that I would normally enjoy reading.

I have seen that it has a stronger christian influence than previous books, which didn’t occur in the sampler that I read, so I am unable to comment on that! Also giving a score for the stars system is difficult for a ‘book’ which isn’t the complete article, but I will do my best.

In this instance I am not going to summarise my view of the story, as I don’t think I have read it all. I also won’t be giving a ‘go for it’ or ‘avoid it’ guide, as I don’t think that would be fair on the author, under the circumstances.

I received an e-ARC of this ‘book’ in exchange for a fair and honest review.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Curse Breaker: Falls: Volume 4

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Official description:
Can an untrained mage and his son stop an ancient evil or will they be lost in its darkness?
Something evil is loose in Mount Eredren, and it’s determined to keep Sarn away from the enchanted forest and the menace destroying it.

This time, Ghost Bear can’t save him. Neither can the Queen of All Trees because she’s locked in a deadly duel with a foe that’s beyond her power to stop.

With his son by his side, Sarn must face down a legendary evil with only a ragtag bunch of reluctant magical constructs at his side. If he fails, Shayari will fall, and the Adversary will add an unstoppable monster to his ranks.

Find out what happens when the lights go out in Curse Breaker: Falls.

Curse Breaker: Falls is the action-packed sequel to Curse Breaker: Faceted. Christian Fantasy meets epic fantasy in this fast-paced narrative pitting Sarn and his son against monsters both mundane and magical.

Fans of Nicholas Eames, Julliet Marillier, Michael J. Sullivan, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman will enjoy Sarn’s struggle against dark forces to save his son and himself. Get Curse Breaker: Falls today!

From Curse Breaker: Falls: Volume 4

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Wyntertide Rotherweird Book II by Andrew Caldecott

To my thinking this book is best read by those who have already read the first book “Rotherweird“, as there are many characters. And those characters have many aliases. It can become confusing, however, there is a list of people at the front of the book to help those who become lost in Rotherweird.

Nonetheless, although I found myself becoming engrossed in the world of Rotherweird, I did find myself thrown back to the present day and place when a character was inexplicable to me, not the author’s fault I anticipate, as I have NOT read “Rotherweird“.

Despite this it is an engaging story and it does even include line drawings from time to time to illustrate the clever writing. And check out the fantastic cover, it is so detailed! I liked the uniqueness of the story and its telling. Set in the past yet modern in style, with crafty machinations and clever intrigue. The only thing that set me back on my reading was, as I said, when I couldn’t grasp who was who in the tale.

I feel mean giving this book a 3, but I did find that the confusion over who was who in the characters was very off-putting and I kept being ‘thrown out of the story’ when that happened. As I was reading on a Kindle it was not so simple to flick to the front of the book to see who was who.

“Isolated by enveloping hills, Rotherweird will be kept from the rest of England but at a price. Here the study of history will be forbidden.”

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Wyntertide: Rotherweird Book II

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Official description:
Welcome back to Rotherweird.

The town of Rotherweird has been independent from the rest of England for four hundred years, to protect a deadly secret.

Sir Veronal Slickstone is dead, his bid to exploit that secret consigned to dust, leaving Rotherweird to resume its abnormal normality after the travails of the summer . . . but someone is playing a very long game.

Disturbing omens multiply: a funeral delivers a cryptic warning; an ancient portrait speaks; the Herald disappears – and democracy threatens the uneasy covenant between town and countryside.

Geryon Wynter’s intricate plot, centuries in the making, is on the move.

Everything points to one objective: the resurrection of Rotherweird’s dark Elizabethan past – and to one date: the Winter Solstice.

Wynter is coming . . .

Get Wyntertide: Rotherweird Book II for yourself.

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Eve of Man: Eve of Man Trilogy, Book 1 by Giovanna & Tom Fletcher

I think this book would be a really good read for all those romantics out there who need to see a damsel rescued. But it isn’t quite a romance, it is science fiction! And it is good futuristic post-apocalyptic science fiction. And I don’t think there were any out and out swear words in there either (well maybe one)!

Eve was the first female child born in fifty years and those that helped her mum and dad ensure that she was born into the world, created a tower for her to grow up in. She gets to see the sun rise above the clouds every morning and beautiful sunsets before she sleeps. She is being educated and trained in ballet and other physical forms. They have thought of everything, there is even a female companion of her own age to keep her company as she grows. She shares her feelings and thoughts with her companion and feels like she is her best friend.

Eve reaches 16 years and then she is scheduled to meet her potential future mate. Three potentials have been selected and meetings have been arranged so that she can chose one for herself. Eve starts to have doubts about the whole process when things don’t quite go as planned. That’s when she meets Bram, one of the team that looks after her. She can’t get him out of her mind, but he isn’t one of the potentials, could he become one?

Bram’s experience is a lot different than Eve’s. He has his own issues to resolve and they take him far away from Eve for a time. He experiences the world created by man, it isn’t that nice a place, not at all.

I did read this rather quickly for me, I had a couple of late night sessions, hence reading it in two days. I enjoyed it, there was variety in the environment and some clever ideas in there. I really like the way a memorial was held for one of the characters and how it gave everyone peace afterwards, it is a good way to remember someone with joy.

It is a good book, give it a go.

“Against all odds, she survived. She was the first girl born in fifty years. They called her Eve. She represented the rebirth of the human race. She was the answer to their prayers. She was all they cared about, their final hope. Eve was the saviour of humanity.”

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Eve of Man: Eve of Man Trilogy, Book 1

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Official description:
***PRE-ORDER EVE OF MAN: Eve of Man Trilogy, Book 1, THE FIRST BOOK IN A BRAND-NEW TRILOGY, JOINTLY WRITTEN BY BESTSELLING AUTHORS GIOVANNA & TOM FLETCHER***
AGAINST ALL ODDS, SHE SURVIVED. THE FIRST GIRL BORN IN FIFTY YEARS. THEY CALLED HER EVE.
All her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past. But at sixteen it’s time for Eve to face her destiny. Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of humanity is in her hands. She’s always accepted her fate. Until she meets Bram. Eve wants control over her life. She wants freedom. But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?
Eve of Man: Eve of Man Trilogy, Book 1 is the first in an explosive new trilogy by bestselling authors Giovanna & Tom Fletcher.

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