Hello world!

This blog is all about Romance!  We review books about romance (mostly m/m – but there might be an occasional m/f, f/f, m/m/f, space-alien-babies, what have you).

In addition we are inviting fan fiction, slash fiction, fan-art – anything that moves you to create.

We hope you find something that entertains you or inspires you – Enjoy!

Feel free to email us at openskyebookreviews@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

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Wolfsong Audiobook by TJ Klune Narrated by Kirt Graves

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wolfsong-by-tj-klune-7764-b

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Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road. The little boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the little boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the little boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the little boy’s secret and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Ox lives in a small town with his mother. His father, the drunk, leaves him as a 12 year old and tells him “he’s a man now” and Ox does his best to do right by his mother.

Years later a boy named Joe shows up in town and instantly becomes Ox’s best friend.

There is a lot of drama and eventually Ox learns that the town is not what it seems.

**

I don’t want to give anything away so my summary is purposefully vague and non-committal.

I’m also going to keep my review fairly brief.

There are many 4 and 5 star reviews for this, so I’m clearly in the minority.

But… I calls em like I sees em… and I just didn’t care for this, at all.

It was full of angst, and lots and lots of words. Sometimes the words were in sentences – sometimes they were just words.

I know what effect the author was trying for but it was more confusing than anything else – to me.

I didn’t like it when Ox was with other people – I know that’s my own bias – but there it is.

I didn’t like the fact that there were repeated flash backs thrown in with the current story.

I didn’t like the angst.

I almost didn’t pick this up to review. I know that I love TJ when he’s funny and am not a fan of his more angsty stuff and this absolutely reeked of angst in the blurb alone – but I adore shifters and so I thought… let’s see what happens.

It was interesting and there was some really unique world-building going on, but I just didn’t care for the love story and that’s what I like most in the world – a good love story.

This was a story about Ox and his story more than anything and it involved the love he shared with Joe – to be sure – but they spent so much time apart that it didn’t meet my needs as far as a love story goes.

So there you have it. Not a bad story – I can’t say that at all. Just not to my taste.

I encourage you to read the other reviews and see if it matches your tastes more, it just wasn’t my thing.

Audio

I’ve had times when I read a book and thought one thing but changed my opinion after listening to it.  This is a book many, many people loved and when the audio came out, it got good reviews too. So I figured I’d give it a try.

I think I feel consistently about this book – including the audiobook. The narrator does a good job, but not a great job. There are times he’s as robotic as my computer-generated “text-to-speech” app. There are definitely folks out there who can murder a story dead and make your ears bleed or others who can make your heart sing. Kirt Graves does a fair job reading this and falls somewhere in the middle. He’s not hard to listen to and he tries to give everyone a unique voice, but he lacks the acting chops of some of his contemporaries. His female voices aren’t screechy and his accents aren’t over the top, but he doesn’t add a lot of emotion or do a lot with extra sound effects or timing.

All in all if you’ve got the time I think this is a fine way to experience this story.

If I have to give a rating to this: both audiobook and story: 3 of 5 stars

3-stars-small

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Posted in 3 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Audiobook, Book, coming of age, Contemporary, Dreamspinner, Exploration, Fated Mates, Gay, Heat Index, Hopelessly Crying, Humor, Hurt/Abuse, Hurt/comfort, m/m, Mechanic/Car/Racing, Mild, Morgan, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Paranormal, Shifter, Unrequited Love | Leave a comment

The Fortune Cookie by Matt Burlingame (Advent Calendar 2016)

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33003516Blurb

Thirty-three-year-old technical writer Laurence Hart is a modern-day Scrooge when it comes to the holiday season—and the rest of the year, too. He doesn’t like most people, they don’t like him, and he’s happy to keep it that way. Over lunch with his best friend, he receives a fortune cookie promising him true love. The next day, forced to work on a holiday charity committee or lose his job, he meets Nick, a jolly ginger giant who loves all things Christmas. Together they face numerous obstacles to put together a holiday fair to raise money for children in foster care, in only four days. While Laurence has to mend his curmudgeonly ways to make the event a success, Nick’s holiday magic might mend Laurence’s heart.

 Review

Short, sweet and no steam. Laurence “don’t call me Larry” is a man with a past and now he’s acting like a dick because he was hurt over the holidays 8 years ago. Nick – who acts and is suspiciously like Santa – doesn’t give up and keeps at him til he finds the truth and the heart beneath the grump.

It’s a cute story if totally predictable and anyone who loves big, gingery, bears will want to take a look!

3.5 of 5 stars

3.5-stars-small

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Posted in 3.5 stars, adult - 18+, Christmas, Contemporary, Dreamspinner, Enemies to Lovers, Fade to black/No Steam, Gay, Hurt/Abuse, Little to no angst, m/m, Morgan, Part of a Series, Short Story 1-20 pages (1-5k words) | Leave a comment

Five Minutes Longer by Victoria Sue

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/five-minutes-longer-by-victoria-sue-7839-b

fiveminuteslonger_v2Blurb

 

Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.

Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.

Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI from the time he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying, homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with deadly abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.

Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives are at stake—four weeks for them to survive.

Review

Finn’s been told his whole life (or most of it) that he’s a loser who’ll never amount to anything. He doesn’t give up though, and despite many hurdles (like dyslexia) he keeps applying to the FBI. Finally, he gets his chance! But… it’s for something a little unique and kind of “off the books”.

Talon is a human who – around puberty – gained a special talent (think X Men) – that allows him to kill a person with just his mind. Now he works on a special FBI team full of men like him. He objects strenuously to the idea that a mere human can do the same job as he can and makes Finn’s life hell.

But… like all good romances these guys hide their lust for one another in some good old fashioned bickering which eventually explodes into passion and then regrets and more passion and more regrets and then someone gets hurt…

**

Things I liked/loved: The “super humans” with their bevy of unique skills was fun and the action/adventure “getting the bad guy” stuff was super exciting and very entertaining.

I liked the basic premise of the romance: enemies to lovers, each of them finding new things about the other that change their mind.

I loved that Finn is a virgin! OMG so sweet!

What I didn’t like/didn’t work for me: Talon is a dick. He never really made the turn around where he goes from jerk to understandable to likable to lovable. He was kind of understandable but never likable and he kept making the same mistake over and over. His teammates were far more lovable than him.

Finn was a total doormat. He put up with his family, then Talon and in a movie he’d have been the “weak girl” that’s been portrayed in super hero movies of the 1950s. I needed him to have something that made him “equal” to Talon. Yes, he was courageous and loyal and persevering and kind etcetera, but I had to agree with Talon that as a member of the team he was a liability as was demonstrated by the number of times he ended up in the hospital! For this to work, he needed to have strength and be tough and crafty in his own way. I think this story would have worked better as two alphas meeting together and the “weak human” showing the enhanced humans how tough he could be.

But that’s my own humble opinion 🙂

It was a fun story and I read it in one sitting because I was so compelled. But I was pretty annoyed by Talon and didn’t think he deserved Finn in the end.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Posted in 3.5 stars, Action/Adventure, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Book, Contemporary, Cop/Crime, DA, Dreamspinner, Enemies to Lovers, Gay, Heat Index, High but not hopeless, Hurt/Abuse, Hurt/comfort, m/m, Mid-grade, Morgan, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Opposites attract, Paranormal, Race/Species Difference, Speculative Fiction, Virgin | 1 Comment

The Rodeo Knight by Ashavan Doyon Book Tour

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OS:  Welcome to Ashavan Doyon author of The Rodeo Knight!  Thanks for stopping by!  Tell us something about your new book.

rodeoknightthe_fbbanner_dspAD:

When characters don’t die as planned… The Rodeo Knight

Hello, this is Ashavan Doyon and I’m so happy to be here at Open Skye Book Reviews to talk to you about The Rodeo Knight, the second edition of The King’s Mate, and the anthology collection, The Chess Master Chronicles.

That’s a lot coming out all at once isn’t it! I’ve spent a lot of time talking about The King’s Mate on some of the other blog tour stops, so for this blog entry, I’m going to focus on The Rodeo Knight.

I love this story. I’m going to talk a little about it and the characters, but I’m also going to talk a bit about what it wasn’t. See, when I went to the Dreamspinner Author workshop, I sorta knew I wanted to pitch the third story for the Sam’s Café Romances. It made sense, it was an established story, The King’s Mate had some reasonable sales, and there was a direction to the story.

In The King’s Mate we meet Russ and witness the beginning of his romance.

In A Wounded Promise we see that romance tested as the two lovers live together.

Of course, I had a plan for the sequel. I went down with a story in mind to pitch. And, in the course of sessions about what sequels should be and should not be, my idea died a painful slow death.

You see, book 3 was supposed to be about Sam’s death and how that affected the characters at the height of their happiness. It was meant to be a heart attack on the eve of the wedding. Hard working Sam, of course, with Justin otherwise occupied, would be working too many hours. Justin would blame himself, as would Russ. Their difficulties in grief would throw doubt on their romance, on their commitment, on their ability to comfort. They would need to rediscover their paths, and Justin, in particular, would need to decide whether to work to keep the café open or go to art school, with the separation that would mean for the couple.

It was a heart-wrenching painful story concept, with a lot of angst and beautiful sad moments. It’s the kind of story I write very well. It’s not, of course, what I wrote.

So now that you know what the story isn’t….

I still throw a wrench in the works for Russ, but book 3 is not the story of Russ or Justin. They had their happy ending. But book 3 is the final piece of The Chess Master Chronicles, and it tells the story of the two chess masters: Russ and his husband Brian, a grandmaster. We’ve seen Russ’s story. Book 3 is Brian’s story.

Wait. Isn’t Brian supposed to be dead?

Yeah, yeah. You’ve been following this blog tour right? If so, you know that Brian had total retrograde amnesia. It’s thanks to his brother Brandon that he finally gets some confirmation that he’s been lied to, that he had another life, and goes in search of it.

Of course, it’s too late. He arrives in town and finds Sam’s Café only to get the news that Russ is on his honeymoon. It’s in the aftermath of getting that news that he first meets Sylvester. We get a hint of that in the blurb, but here’s a chunk of the actual meeting from the story in an exclusive excerpt:

kingsmatethe_fbbanner_dspExclusive Excerpt:

 

Spring in New England didn’t mean warmth. The chill felt bitter despite the improvement over the snow blanket of pure winter. Sylvester breathed in and then out, focusing on the warm misty trail of his breath. It was almost like smoking, but not. No matter how bad it might be for him, he ached for that burning intake of heat, to exhale a bit of real smoke. It calmed him. It always had.

He settled against the wall to the far side, a place he could lean in case his leg acted up. He could feel the eyes on him. That wasn’t new. He tipped the brim of his hat down, putting his eyes in shadow, and wrapped his arms around his chest. The bells at the door of the café chimed. Sylvester looked away. The deep, ragged breaths spoke of upset and someone who did not want attention. He could appreciate that feeling.

The breathing was almost a sob. Then there was the rolling grind of someone striking a lighter. A calm as someone sucked in breath and then exhaled slow. The familiar smell just set Sylvester’s craving higher.

He might have resisted for a minute, perhaps two, before he broke down. “Don’t suppose you have a smoke?” Sylvester asked, his eyes pointedly down.

There was a hesitation and Sylvester almost backed away. But then the familiar shape of a pack was offered. He smiled and looked up. The man’s eyes were bloodshot and tears welled in the corners. But they were also beautiful, a stunning brown full of warmth and intensity. Sylvester tapped the edge of the pack and pulled out the cigarette, then held it to his lips and fished in his pockets for a lighter, but the man was faster, holding up a flame as Sylvester sucked to get the flame started. The familiar burn settled, and he breathed out slowly.

The man was still staring at him.

“Thanks.” Sylvester held the pack out, and the man’s hand brushed his. It was cold, but warm at the same time, the touch soft, as though the man had never worked a day in his life. Sylvester looked up and their eyes met again. Tears welled slowly before they escaped and trailed down the man’s cheeks, the speckled darkness of five-o’clock shadow a fierce contrast to pale skin. The hand was still against his. A flush filled Sylvester’s cheeks as he let the pack go. Tears hadn’t kept the man’s eyes from opening wider, his lips from spreading, just slightly. Dear God, stop looking at those lips or he’ll know what you’re thinking!

 

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the story. The Rodeo Knight releases on November 30, along with the second edition of book 1 The King’s Mate, and a print only anthology edition of the first three books of the Sam’s Café Romances — The Chess Master Chronicles. See you at the next stop (December 2, My Fiction Nook).

 

Author Bio:

For fifteen years, Ashavan Doyon worked with students in the student affairs office of a liberal arts college. He recently decided to shake things up a little, and is now working in the publications and communications office at the college. During lunch, evenings, and when he can escape the grasp of his husband on weekends, he writes, pounding out words day after day in hopes that his ancient typewriter-trained fingers won’t break the glass on his tablet computer. Ashavan is an avid science fiction and fantasy fan and prefers to write while listening to music that fits the mood of his current story. He has no children, but lavishes attention on his sole remaining fur child, a very elderly pug. A Texan by birth, he currently lives in New England, and frequently complains of the weather.

 

Ashavan went to school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, getting his degree in Russian and East European Studies, with a focus in language and literature. He has two incomplete manuscripts from college that he goes back compulsively to fiddle with every so often, but is still not happy with either of them. He still loves fantasy and science fiction and reads constantly in the moments between writing stories.

 

You can find me online at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashavandoyon.writer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashavandoyon

Web: www.ashavandoyon.com

 

kingsmatemedcoverBlurb

2nd Edition

Sam’s Café Romances: Book One

Russell Pine comes to Sam’s Café every morning to enjoy the best coffee in town and to chat with Sam Tesh, the owner, a loyal friend for the past twenty years. When Sam offers him a challenge, Russ reluctantly takes it on, acting as the master opponent in a chess tournament. As the days pass and the hopefuls fall to the chess mastermind one by one, Russ discovers that the contest isn’t the only game being played.

 

Russ finds himself the focus of a secret courtship through words and pictures left for him to discover each morning. Will a hint of cologne on the paper lead him to his admirer? In a café full of young and beautiful minds, who is looking at the graying chess master?

First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2013.

 

Buy link:

The King’s Mate (Dreamspinner): https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-kings-mate-by-ashavan-doyon-7831-b

The King’s Mate (Amazon):

https://www.amazon.com/Kings-Mate-Sams-Café-Romances-ebook/dp/B01N8XXY02/

The Chess Master Chronicles (Dreamspinner)

Sam’s Cafe Romances books 1-3, print only:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-chess-master-chronicles-by-ashavan-doyon-7830-b

 

rodeoknightcovermedThe Rodeo Knight

Sam’s Café Romances: Book Three

Struck by amnesia after a car crash, Brian Stouten has been living a life laid out by his family, a heterosexual life that just doesn’t fit. When he learns it was all a lie, he returns to the small college town that’s his only clue to his past. But the town is still unfamiliar, and the man he’d hoped would make all his memories return is on a honeymoon with another man. To add insult to injury, everyone thinks Brian died in the crash. It’s only when an out-of-place cowboy asks to bum a smoke that Brian realizes this trip was meant to be.

 

Sylvester Thomas has always fought a secret desire, and done it successfully. But when geeky Brian offers him a smoke and a light, a simple brush of hands has Sylvester’s hidden passions burning deep. Did he make a mistake letting Brian walk away?

 

Buy link:

The Rodeo Knight (Dreamspinner): https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-rodeo-knight-by-ashavan-doyon-7832-b

The Rodeo Knight (Amazon):

https://www.amazon.com/Rodeo-Knight-Sams-Café-Romances-ebook/dp/B01N8PT65D/

The Chess Master Chronicles (Dreamspinner)

Sam’s Cafe Romances books 1-3, print only:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-chess-master-chronicles-by-ashavan-doyon-7830-b

 

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What’s in a Name Audiobook by Pat Henshaw Narrated by David Ross

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/whats-in-a-name-by-pat-henshaw-7827-b

o-whats-in-a-nameBlurb

Barista Jimmy Patterson thinks it’s a good idea to get rip-roaring drunk on his birthday after he’s dumped by his boyfriend. When the burly owner of Stonewall’s Saloon rescues Jimmy, the night starts to look up.

Now Jimmy just wants to know the bartender’s first name since he’s worn a different name tag every time Jimmy’s seen him. “Guy” Stone gives Jimmy seven guesses, one for each night he takes Jimmy out on a date.

While Jimmy’s trying to come up with his name, he’s distracted by the destruction of his coffee shop and what looks more and more like a hate crime.

Review

(Reviewed here previously http://kimichanexperience.com/whats-name-pat-henshaw/)

(Abridged)

Jimmy ends up getting screwed over on his birthday but rescued by a mystery man “A2” who owns the bar down the street from his coffee shop.  A2 won’t tell him his name, but the two begin their own friendship/relationship as A2 helps him get free of Jimmy’s ex.

Jimmy and Stone’s relationship is pretty easy, right from the start.  When he realizes he and Stone had really begun their relationship months ago (as bartender/client), it’s easier to accept their new roles.

 

**
This is a fast story with very little angst and no on page sex. Some people are going to find fault with it for those reasons. But… it’s a tremendously sweet story with a lot of heart and lots of ooey gooey feels that just made me smile. Sure, the ex boyfriend was a bit too psycho. Sure, I’d have liked to see the relationship take more than a week but as is pointed out in the story – they’ve known each other for months already. Sure, I wish there was some sex in the story, but the chemistry is there and the two clearly love each other.

Overall, I really enjoyed this short story and recommend it to anyone willing to suspend their disbelief and smile at a sweet tale of love.

Audio

David Ross is a relatively new-to-me narrator, I enjoyed his narration of Tartan Candy well enough.  While he does a nice job, he didn’t do much to really make any character stand out.  I was hoping to hear a really deep, dark, growly voice for “Stone” but his voice is pretty close to Jimmy’s.  He doesn’t fall for making the female voices screechy as some narrators do, but again he doesn’t do a lot to differentiate any of the voices.  I like the tone of his voice and I enjoy the emotion and pacing he puts in his storytelling.   While he didn’t “wow” me, he didn’t bother me either.  

For both the book and the narration 4 of 5 stars

4-stars-small

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Posted in 4 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Audiobook, Book, Contemporary, Dreamspinner, Fade to black/No Steam, Friends to lovers, Gay, Heat Index, Homophobia, Insta Love, m/m, Mild, Morgan, Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words), Part of a Series | Leave a comment

Bite Night by Clare London (Advent Calendar 2016)

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2016-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-bah-humbug-7705-b

33001858Blurb

Creatures of the Night and Santa’s Christmas duties don’t mix. Every myth and bedtime story tells you so.

But on Christmas Eve, when the Elves walked off the job over pension rights, it was time for me—Irwin, the only vampire on Santa’s payroll, despite recent diversity initiatives—and my trusty team to help out. Just deliver a few parcels, Santa asked me. Just help out on your local patch. Just for one night.

Armed with my reluctance to face all that human sentimentality, and accompanied by a wise-cracking werewolf and an unruly fairy with a taste for vodka, I did my best. Honest.
But we were heading for disaster until I came face-to-face with cute babysitter Benny. It’s Santa’s Number One Rule—no interaction with the clients. But Benny somehow managed to upset my appetite, inflame my libido, and restore my faith in the Christmas spirit, with one cheeky smile and a tasty body piercing.

It’s Christmas, and the show must go on!

Review

Reading this is like a little bite of delicious, rich, chocolate cake. It’s so good, but too little to be filling!

Clare London gives us a ragtag group of paranormals who work for Santa delivering presents. They are HYSTERICAL! The pixie gets drunk, the werewolf is a grumpy bastard and the Vampire a sweet and sentimental soul who falls for a pair of big eyes.

The “elves” have strict rules to follow while delivering their packages on Christmas Eve and I think they manage to break them all! The most important: don’t be seen leads them to: don’t interact with the “client”, followed by the unwritten one: don’t kiss the client!

This is super cute, sweet and funny. Way too short in my opinion, but delightful.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Posted in 4.5, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Book, Christmas, Contemporary, Dreamspinner, Fade to black/No Steam, Gay, Heat Index, Holiday, Insta Love, Little to no angst, m/m, Morgan, Paranormal, Part of a Series, Shifter, Short Story 1-20 pages (1-5k words), vampire | Leave a comment

Catching Heir by Julia Talbot

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/catching-heir-by-julia-talbot-7737-b

 

32631798Blurb

Is he in love with an old hotel—or its new owner?

Professional snowboarder Cullen Patrick is successful and kinda famous. So when he inherits an old Colorado hotel from an unknown relative, he really should leave well enough alone.

Matt Nathanson has been managing the Treeline Estates since college. He loved the elderly former owner, and he stands to inherit the place if no one claims it in the next week. Of course, Cullen shows up, and Matt thinks it’s time to move on. He doesn’t want to like Cullen, no matter how engaging the guy is, or how hunky.

Cullen has grand ideas for the Treeline, but he doesn’t want to implement them without Matt, and he’s not sure he’s ready to give up snowboarding. Can Matt convince Cullen that putting down roots is worth it… and maybe catch his heir at the same time? 

Review

There are a few things you have to like to enjoy this book:

  • The author’s writing style. If you’re not familiar – take a peek – because it’s more stream of consciousness than other writers. Lots of one word sentences. Impressions rather than full blown ideas. Emotions rather than complex narratives. I really like it and think it works well in her shifter novels because those are based on an animal mind set that doesn’t “think” in the same way humans do.
  • Learning about how to run a hotel.
  • Learning snow boarding lingo.
  • No sex (fade to black)

I liked the opposites attract but found a lot of the dialog didn’t work for me. It was a bit too disjointed and “young” and I have no idea if it was accurate or not but it still felt a bit much on a 30 year old.

For two people who were so passionate about one another having it be fade to black was disconcerting as well. I know Dreamspun desires doesn’t require that so I’m not sure I agree with the author’s choice to go that way.

I like the author’s work with shifter novels but this wasn’t my favorite. It was fun, but not great. Really sweet ending though.

2.75 (rounded to 3) of 5 stars

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Posted in 3 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Book, Boss/employee, Contemporary, Dreamspinner, Enemies to Lovers, Fade to black/No Steam, Gay, Heat Index, m/m, Mid, Morgan, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Opposites attract, Part of a Series, Skiing/Snow Boarding, Sports | Leave a comment

Winner of the Best Audio Released in October 2016

winner is

61vcnmclzzl-_sl300_Joe Cosentino and Joel Leslie!
The Naked Prince and Other Fairytalesfirst place

51hksc0kn9l-_sl300_Endings and Beginnings by KC Wells narr Joel Lesliesecond_place

611uvyhrtol-_sl300_Mad Lizard Mambo by Rhys Ford narr Greg Tremblaythird_place

 fireworks

And Congrats to our commenter:

Paige Blair

Posted in Poll | 2 Comments

Only Forever by Scotty Cade Blog Post and Tour!

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OS: Welcome to Scotty Cade author of Only Forever!  Thanks for stopping by!  What can you tell us about your book?

onlyforever_fbbanner_dsp

SC:

Hi Kids,

Scotty Cade here. First off I’d like to thank Morgan and everyone over at Open Skye Book Reviews for allowing me to spend a little time with you. Your support is very much appreciated. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Today I’m here to tout my latest book, “Only Forever.” Before I tell you a little about the book, I would like to talk a little about déjà vu. I know most of you have heard of Déjà vu, which by definition literally means “already seen.” Déjà vu is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past.
But have any of you ever heard of déjà vécu? Déjà vécu is a feeling of familiarity. Of recollection. The simple feeling of having “already lived through” something.
In “Only Forever,” Theo and Heath meet for the first time and have such awe struck feelings of déjà vu and déjà vécu they are both taken aback by it. Each has the strongest feelings that they have met before, but not just met before but knew each other very well. Certain their paths have never crossed, Theo and Heath dismiss the odd feelings until they can no longer do so.
While I was researching this book it became funny to me how scientific approaches reject the explanation of déjà vu as “precognition” or “prophecy”, but rather explain it as an anomaly of memory, which creates a distinct impression that an experience is “being recalled.” This explanation is supported by the fact that the sense of “recollection” at the time is strong in most cases, but that the circumstances of the “previous” experience (when, where, and how the earlier experience occurred) are uncertain or believed to be impossible.
In fact, many studies confirm that déjà vu is a common experience in healthy individuals and no matter how you cut it, either approach supports this book. Whether it’s a precognition or a memory recall, Theo and Heath come to believe that they have indeed been together in another place or time and you will see how love can be stronger than time.
If you’ve ever experienced déjà vu or déjà vécu like I’ve mentioned above, tell me about it in the form of a comment. If you do, you will be entered into a drawing to win any book from my backlist.

Enjoy!
Scottyscotty-cade-tuxedo

OS:  Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck on the rest of your tour!

onlyforever400x600Blurb

Master Captain Theodore Gourdin has always loved the ocean. But his devotion to maritime life left little possibility for a long-term relationship. After two failed marriages and numerous unsuccessful relationships, Theo gave up on finding the person who completed him and decided the sea was his soul mate. When offered the opportunity to captain the newly launched megayacht Eternity, Theo jumped at the chance. With Eternity’s maiden voyage looming, Theo focused all his energies on hiring his crew and readying his ship. The last thing he expected was to finally lose his heart in the process.

After twelve years at sea, First Officer Heath Rawlins was restless and in need of a change. A gay seaman’s life could be a lonely one, but to Heath the positives far outweighed the negatives. With excellent recommendations and an impressive résumé, he was quickly offered a position on the private megayacht Eternity. Heath’s heart skipped several beats when he finally met the ship’s captain. He was handsome and charming. And… familiar? Had they met somewhere before? Highly unlikely. But as smitten as Heath was with the gorgeous captain, everything inside him screamed, Abandon ship! Rough seas ahead!

Low-key portrait of smiling handsome man in dark shirt with hand at chin looking aside, isolated on black background.

Theodore Gourdin

 

Portrait of a young businessman on black background

Heath Rawlins

Excerpt:

Theo toed off his loafers, hopped onto the bed, and lay back against the headboard, linking his fingers over his stomach. He had to admit he’d thoroughly enjoyed his dinner with Heath—and their interview, if you could call it that. Technically the guy was more than qualified to be Eternity’s captain, so the fact that he was happy being Theo’s first officer was even more of a testament to his character.
On the personal side, Heath was witty and a little sarcastic, which Theo liked a lot, and from what he could tell, an all-around nice guy. Thinking back, Theo smiled when he remembered the way the hostess had so obviously flirted with Heath when she’d shown him to their table. He must really be a lady’s man. And why shouldn’t she be flirting with him? He was a very handsome guy. He obviously works out on a regular basis. And he had that military air about him Theo loved so much. You can take a man out of his uniform, but you can never take the uniform out of the man.
The way Heath carried himself. The way he walked—confident and erect. The flattop haircut. The firm handshake. It all reeked of discipline and self-respect. From the moment they’d started chatting, Heath had made eye contact and held it, hanging on Theo’s every word, making him feel like he was the only person in the room. And those fucking eyes. They were amazing. They seemed to change from bronze to a golden-amber color when he became excited and spoke of his love for the sea.
Their love for the sea. That was something they had in common. Not to mention being loners for the most part and accumulating not many more possessions than they could actually carry with them. But Theo cautioned himself. This was a professional relationship, and although he was extremely attracted to Heath, he couldn’t go crushing on his obviously straight first officer.
Theo closed his eyes and thought back to his first year-long contract aboard a merchant ship. He was a young third mate, right out of the academy with career aspirations of making master captain in his sights. The first mate at the time had taken Theo under his wing, and Theo had admired him immensely. Looking back now, he realized that had been his first real man crush, although he didn’t know it at the time.
It was a lonely life at sea, and he had heard talk belowdecks of a few guys who fooled around a bit here and there. The theory was since women weren’t around, the men should lend each other a helping hand, so to speak. Theo personally hadn’t ventured down that road, not that he wasn’t horny as hell or was above that sort of thing, but no one had propositioned him, and he was too much of a newbie and too scared to do any propositioning himself.
Then everything had changed late one evening when his first officer had summoned Theo to his cabin. When Theo arrived, the man second in command of the ship was fresh out of the shower and mostly naked, with only a towel hanging loosely around his hips. And to say he was as impressive naked as he had been in his uniform was simply an understatement. His damp hair hung messily over his forehead, nearly hiding the deep blue eyes beneath, and he’d smiled boyishly. His chest was chiseled—defined and robust—and his abs formed a V-shape that tapered down to narrow hips, accentuating the bulge under his towel.
Theo had stood motionless, taking it all in as the first officer poured two drinks and handed one to Theo. He sat on his bunk, his towel falling open just enough for Theo to see what resided beneath it, and gestured for Theo to sit in the chair opposite him. He then told Theo how great a job he was doing and asked about Theo’s career aspirations. After Theo explained his goals, the officer offered to help in any way he could. The next part was where it got interesting. Theo’s first officer stood, walked over to Theo, bent down, and kissed him on the lips.
Theo remembered his heart beating wildly and his dick steadily filling to capacity. When the kiss ended, the first officer stood, released his towel, and let it fall to the floor.
“We’re all men at sea, Third Mate Gourdin,” he said. “No women on board, and sometime desperate times call for desperate measures. As seamen, we should help out our fellow man. Do you understand what I’m getting at, Theo?”
Theo had known exactly what he’d meant. And damned if he hadn’t wanted the same thing. That affair had gone on for just under three years, until Theo’s first promotion to second officer, which required a transfer to another ship. To this day, Theo has no idea if the first officer had anything to do with the promotion, but either way he owed the man. That experience had introduced Theo to a side of himself he might have never explored if it weren’t for a certain handsome first officer. Theo had loved his wives, but he sure as hell loved men as well.
But he wasn’t kidding himself. He now knew what his first male lover had done back then was nothing short of sexual harassment, if only due to Theo’s subordinate position. But at the time, he hadn’t seen it that way. He often wondered if what they had done back then was truly sexual harassment, since Theo had been a consenting adult who kept coming back for more.
Theo opened his eyes and came back to reality, and the reality was he would be a complete and total professional. Heath was his subordinate and trusted him or he wouldn’t have taken the job. Theo would not betray that trust. Additionally, he ran a tight ship. He liked to do it a little less formally than some other captains he’d served under, but either way, he hadn’t made it to where he was in his career by making bad choices or by being stupid and acting unethically. Theo would keep his libido locked down tight, and he and Heath were going to get along just fine.

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/only-forever-by-scotty-cade-7829-b

 

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Only-Forever-Scotty-Cade-ebook/dp/B01N07C3HF/ref=sr_1_9/166-7638814-4710648?ie=UTF8&qid=1478969485&sr=8-9&keywords=scotty+cade

 

All Romance eBooks

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-onlyforever-2169689-149.html

 

Goodreads

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32898426-only-forever?from_search=true

 

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/only-forever-8

 

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/only-forever/id1170859490?mt=11

 

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125111089?ean=2940156819027

scottyAuthor

Scotty Cade left Corporate America and twenty-five years of Marketing and Public Relations behind to buy an Inn & Restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with his partner of over twenty years. He started writing stories as soon as he could read, but just five years ago for publication. When not at the Inn, you can find him on the bow of his boat writing gay romance novels with his Shetland sheepdog Mavis at his side. Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, all of his characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there. He believes that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.

Here’s where you can find me:

www.scottycade.com

www.facebook.com/scotty.cade

www.twitter.com/ScottyCade

scottycade@gmail.com

scotty@scottycade.com

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Commitment Ranch Audiobook by BA Tortuga Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/commitment-ranch-by-ba-tortuga-7735-b

610ryjdyutl-_sl300_Blurb

A fist fight, a snowstorm, a stolen kiss in the barn… and a second chance at love.

Ford Nixel has two law offices, two fancy condominiums, and all the right connections. In short, he has everything he wants.

The last thing he needs is his Uncle Ty’s stake in the Leaning N, a ranch that’s been in the family for generations. Ford hasn’t even been to the ranch in over a decade, not since he left his boyfriend Stoney behind and headed back to college alone.

Ford arrives at the Leaning N to find Stoney, now a single father, right where he left him. A fist fight, a snowstorm, and a stolen kiss in the barn later—Ford knows none of the heat between them has dissipated.

Review

I think this book has just a few too many people and a few too many story threads to work really well.

BA Tortuga excels at giving us “real” people with strong “country” backgrounds in rural setting. In this case, Colorado, on a ranch.

Geoff, the chef (ha-ha) absolutely steals the show as the most interesting character in this story, but he’s not one of the MCs, unfortunately.

While I thought Ford got the shaft from his uncle and Stoney, he didn’t much move me as a character. I also think Stoney needed to have done more to earn Ford’s forgiveness than what we saw.

I’m a fan of the author’s unique, more stream-of-consciousness writing style, but this one seemed a bit all over the place. There were a few too many characters and side stories and the main romance sort of got lost in the shuffle.

I’m not a big fan of “second chance romances” but I like single-father stories and Quartz is a good kid. The cowboy part will definitely be attractive to some readers and, obviously, fans of the author will want to check this out.

I like BA’s The Release series better (https://www.goodreads.com/series/160427) but this wasn’t a bad read, and it has a lovely epilogue – which I adore.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

UGH! First crack out of the bag: it’s pronounced like the metal – lead – Leadville, not like the verb – to guide (leedville). Sorry, but that bugs me. John Solo’s accent on the Spanish words aren’t great either. But, I like his female voices, though. In general, I like his “Western” accent. He’s got a lovely slow drawl for Stoney. Quartz’s voice is… okay. It’s hard to do children and he makes a respectable attempt. Ford and the many other “cowboys” are all voiced well. I think Geoff is hysterical and I like the voice he chose for him.

I think that this is a great way to experience this story, and to me, made it more fun. The author’s dialog is her best feature and John’s narration showcases this. There are so many characters and John does a really nice job of differentiating them all. His voice is easy to listen to and he has a great sense of timing and emotion.

4.5 of 5 stars

Overall 3.5 of 5 stars

3.5-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

Posted in 3.5 stars, adult - 18+, Contemporary, Cowboys, Dreamspinner, Enemies to Lovers, Friends to lovers, Gay, lawyer, m/m, Mid, Mid-grade, Misunderstanding, Morgan, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), second chance at love, Single Parent | Leave a comment