Friday, 3 February 2017

Series Tour incl. REVIEWS***Portland, ME Series by Freya Barker***

Series: The Portland, ME Series
Novels: From Dust, Cruel Water, Through Fire and Still Air
Author: Freya Barker 
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural, Women's Fiction
“"From Dust" by Freya Barker is one of those special books. One of those whose plotline and characters remain with you for days after you finished it.” - Jeri's Book Attic - From Dust
"This book touches on some very serious subjects and really tugged at my heartstrings, but nevertheless, it was beautifully written. Be prepared to go through a lot of tissues, because Cruel Water is a tear jerker for sure!" - Author Maureen Mayer - Cruel Water
"Through Fire was another beautiful novel by Freya Barker. One thing you can always count on is to truly feel the book, and relate with the very real characters she creates." - Author Harlow Stone - Through Fire
"In my opinion, there is nothing better than a Freya Barker book. With her final installment in her Portland, ME series, Still Air, she does not disappoint. From start to finish I was completely captivated by Pam, Dino, and the entire Portland family." ~ Author RB Hilliard - Still Air
Pain punished her.
The bottle numbed her.

Guilt kept her trapped.
In the dark alley of a pub, the words “Please don’t” take hold of her heart and break the silence she seeks. Thinking herself beyond redemption, she tentatively grabs on to the slim thread of hope that unfolds inside of her. 
Holding her secrets close, she can’t resist the comforting draw coming from The Skipper. The unconditional friendships it offers, the protective roof it provides, and the spark that its owner ignites in her—melting the frost off her heart, and slowly stripping away her resistance.
His life flows from one crisis to the next. Under the pressure of competition crowding him out of his family’s pub and the need to protect his children from the ruins of a bad marriage, he barely breathes. That is until a mane of strawberry-blonde hair and a set of big, pale blue eyes, shake him up.
He never expected the shadow of a woman he finds on the floor of his washroom to bring him the air―the balance and the light he’s been missing.
**Due to some content of a sexually explicit nature, this book is recommended for a mature audience only.**

Review by: Jennifer
(5 stars)

Sydney is homeless, she lives in a cold shed behind a pub. When Viv finds her digging through the trash one fateful morning, Syd doesn't realize her life is about to change. Gunnar's pub has been in his family for decades, and other than his kids, this pub is his life so he doesn't have time for worrying about the new girl that Viv hired; even if the look of her turns him on. But when both Gunnar and Sydney's past come back to haunt them, the two end up being a team, and Sydney ends up getting a second chance at life, if she lets herself.

As a parent this book hits hard in a couple of spots, and I found myself tearing up. Freya Barker really blew my mind with this story, from the drama, a bit of violence, the steamy sexy times, and just watching Sydney's journey into her second chance; this was a beautiful story! I give this 5 stars.

Innocence marked her…

Violation crippled her… 

Love left her raw…
The life she carefully rebuilt is challenged when she is confronted with the sins from her past. The carefully applied protection is at once ripped away, leaving her exposed and vulnerable.
Her single night of indulgence with the silver-eyed stranger is only the beginning. He sees right to the heart of her and she is unable to ward off emotions that have been deeply buried. With the sting of betrayal still fresh in her soul, she’s surprised to find herself opening up to the honest integrity of the sharp-eyed, rough-looking biker.
When he lost everyone who mattered, he was left without roots and learned to be content simply living in the moment. Completely unprepared for the feisty blonde bartender with old pain marring her clear-blue eyes, he questions his own rules of detachment, as she unwittingly finds a way under his skin.
Appearances deceive and when the masks fall away, revealing deep, dark secrets, there is nothing left but to hang onto each other and survive the storm.

Review by: Jennifer
(5 stars)

This is the second in the Portland ME series, reading the first isn't a must, but the characters from book one are also very much a part of this story and bits of their story are mentioned. That being said, Viv was the one that pulled Syd in from the cold and gave her a chance in book one. We also know that there were some issues in her past that were not so nice.

Ike is moving back to town after having been away in the Navy for some considerable time. When he stops in the pub for a beer he doesn't think it will end with him taking home a stranger for some no stings, but that's what happens. He also doesn't think that thoughts of the stranger would haunt him for days until he can see her again.

Viv wakes up the morning after a one night thing, something she never does, with a phone call saying her father had a stroke; making her leave Ike as fast as she can get out. Not thinking of seeing him again, its a pleasant surprise when he comes back in the pub a few weeks later. From there Ike is never far from Viv, and both realize just how much they are coming to mean to each other. But when Viv's past comes back to haunt her, will this new found relationship last or will it be too much trouble?

This was such an amazing read! My heart broke for Viv, while at the same time I was excited for her and the progress with Ike. This was such a deep story, that by the end I questioned if I could be so quick to forgive the way Viv did. Having all the musts of a good story; drama, violence, sexy times that leave you a bit flushed, I give this 5 stars.

Violence corroded her… Obedience defiled her… Fear kept her chained… Freedom is hard to embrace when she’s never learned to trust. Yet in the span of a second, she grabs a single opportunity and runs toward it. Straight into the sanctuary of a pub at the end of a wharf. She doesn’t understand the concept of friendship. She’s never felt the connection of a relationship. She’s as innocent as the driven snow and yet tainted with corruption. Still, she finds herself surrounded by people who accept her, without even knowing the first thing about her. But one of them is determined to dig deeper. He treasures his friends, yet he’s steered clear of committed relationships. He likes his life comfortably predictable and entirely controlled. Until it isn’t. For months he’s avoided interacting with The Skipper’s newest addition. Perhaps realizing that once he looked deeply into those liquid brown eyes, he wouldn’t be able to turn away. When his present and her past puts them both on the brink of change, they are forged through fire as one.

Review by: Jennifer
(5 stars)

So just to point out that this is book 3 in a series, and you really should start at the beginning with book 1 to start this... journey. We got a passing glance at Ruby in book 2, when she was the new bartender that Gunnar hired. For a couple of months Tim hasn't really "seen" Ruby, just orders and continues on with whatever conversation he happens to be in. When one day he really "sees" Ruby, he realizes that he should have stopped and paid attention before, now its taking a chance in getting Ruby to open up to him and give him a chance.

Ruby is running, she lays low, and is trying to stay off the grid as much as possible. When Tim offers to help out one night, a misunderstanding brings more to light about what Ruby is running from. Can Tim help Ruby with what she is facing? Will Ruby choose to stay and face this or run?

I am seriously trying hard not to leave any spoilers, which is super hard! I loved this, this dig into the dark side of life. Once again Freya Barker takes a.... situation, that seems to be all too common in this day and age and spins us this tale that, breaks your heart, but at the same time gives you hope. I was almost sobbing by the end of this, I feel like I need a Pam to talk to now, LOL. So with a bit of violence, mentions of happenings that may cause a trigger, some sexy times (really hot ones), this is a 5 star read!.


Deprival haunted her…
Regret troubled her… 
Silence left her detached... 
A life in the service of others is both penance and a blessing. She soothes her personal hell by pulling victims from theirs, helping them on their path to survival; never finding her own.
When a crippling blow finally evaporates her last hope, the temptation to give up is strong. Still, she can’t find it in her to turn her back on those who need her: the innocent, whose rescue is her perpetual goal. 
He was blind, but now he sees how his family has sifted through his fingers. The reality hits hard when his son becomes a stranger, slipping deeper into transgression. Concern has him call on the one person he fears will see his own failures all too clearly. A woman he’s kept his distance from for his own protection.
What appeared to be an incompatible pairing, turns out the unyielding bond needed to heal them all.

Review by: Jennifer
(5 stars)

So this is of course number four of the series, the stories are.... intertwined so to speak, reading them in order is highly recommended as all of the characters come into play, somehow some way in this ending.

Pam has been a huge part of this series. She helped all three women; with counseling them, and even giving them a place to stay and get on their feet. Pam is always helping pick up the pieces, and it was bound to happen for Pam's own issues to come out.

Dino's life is changing, he had it all, the loving wife and happy children. But that all seems to implode with his wife's addiction, and when her choices start affecting the children, Dino decides to give her an ultimatum... so now Dino is a single father, trying to find the right balance between work and his family. Dino has noticed Pam all along but what they felt was dislike was instead attraction. But will Pam trust enough to let Dino in, and when Pam's world turns upside down, will she realize she hasn't been alone? Will the two be able to help each other get through the troubles that come with ex's and children? Will the drama be too much for either to deal with?

Wow, there really are no words, my heart broke reading this story. Even now, hours later I feel like tearing up. The other stories dealt with very hard subjects and situations and this story continues that theme. With some very serious situations, this story has a little bit of everything: seriously awesome sexy times, ex's causing trouble, children causing trouble, and friends proving that above all else they will always have their back. I give this book and this whole series like 5 ++ stars.

Freya Barker inspires with her stories about 'real’ people, perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy. She is the author of the Cedar Tree Series and the Portland, ME, novels.
Freya is the recipient of the RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for best first book, “Slim To None,” and is a finalist for the 2016 Kindle Book Awards for “From Dust”. She currently has two complete series and three anthologies published, and is working on two new series; La Plata County FBI—ROCK POINT, and Northern Lights. She continues to spin story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention!


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