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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.

Categories
adult - 18+

Protector Dragon (Lewiston Dragons #1) by Liv Rider

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44541034-protector-dragon?from_search=true

Blurb

Shifters ruined his life. How can he be falling in love with one?

Growing up the only human in a shifter town, Joel has been an outcast his entire life – not even his own family let him forget how weak humans are. Running away was his only chance at a normal life, and he’s been avoiding shifters ever since. But when his job working in a coffee shop puts him in a room full of shifters, he has to confront his worst fears. He’s just not sure if he should be alarmed or happy that the hottest guy he’s ever met is determined to talk to him. After all, everyone knows shifters aren’t attracted to humans.

Dragon shifter Thomas Rollins thought nothing could be more difficult than resolving arguments between the shifters in his district. But when he meets his fated mate Joel, he has no clue how to get the suspicious human to talk to him for more than five minutes, never mind go out on a date. When he learns about Joel’s past, he’s determined to prove shifters and humans can get along very well.

Just as Joel is starting to let his guard down, his family finds him and forces him to come back to a place he refuses to call home. Can the trust Joel and Thomas have started to build survive the ultimate test?

Protector Dragon is a m/m paranormal dragon shifter/human romance with a HEA and no cliffhangers

Review

So I read this book after book 2 because I’d enjoyed that one and hoped for more of the same.

Well, in a way I got that, for sure. This is a bit more angsty – although it really isn’t. This is a bit more silly than the first one, IMHO and a bit more drama for drama’s sake.

There is some world building and in general, while I appreciated that, the overall story was less than book 2.

You do not need to have read these in order or at all to enjoy the series.

3 of 5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Halloween Dragon (Lewiston Dragons #2) by Liv Rider

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50752108-halloween-dragon

Blurb

Cameron loves nothing more than Halloween

To Cameron, Halloween is the best time of the year, from the candy and decorations to dressing up and scaring visitors in a haunted maze. When an investor is about to end Halloween Fest forever by buying the farm that hosts it, Cameron will fight to the end. He’s not sure why someone who’s never seen a horror movie in his life wants to be his ally-and-a-whole-lot-more, but he’s not going to turn down a hot, dedicated guy like Parker, even if they have nothing in common.

Parker loves nothing more than his job

Dragon shifter Parker Blackburn doesn’t have time to spend his evening in a haunted maze with his friends. There’s a district of shifters depending on him to find a solution to their problems and arguments, and Parker is wholly dedicated to his job. But when he meets his fated mate — still gorgeous even dressed as a zombie and trying to scare him — Parker has to learn a new set of skills. How to talk to a massive horror movie geek who doesn’t know anything about shifters, for one.

When Parker reveals the truth about himself, what little common ground Cameron thought they had is turned upside down. With Parker flying high and Cameron feeling low, they’ll have to find their way back to each other in order to save the farm — and maybe their relationship too.

Halloween Dragon is a m/m paranormal dragon shifter/human romance with a HEA and no cliffhangers. It’s the second book about the dragon shifters in Lewiston, but can be read as a standalone.

Review

I read this book first and I think it maybe unfairly represents the series.

First, it has a Halloween theme – which made it immediately attractive. There are some funny dialog moments and some cute movie references.

The Dragon shifting is barely a thing and the big reveal is really the main hurdle about shifting. Otherwise it’s about the farm.

I thought this was cute and enjoyed it and it subsequently spurred me on to read the others in the series… more to follow.

3.5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Modern Warfare (Covert Affairs #2) by Valerie Vaughn

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54669412-modern-warfare

Blurb

Covert Affairs M/M Romance Book Two

Navigating a new relationship is never easy, but Deputy Director Syler Perrin has the uniquely hair-raising privilege of doing it with one Special Agent Arthur Dufault, premiere CIA operative and all around menace.

When Arthur nearly dies on a botched assignment in Moscow, Syler thinks he can be forgiven for going a bit off the deep end looking for ways to keep his lover safe.

Arthur, for his part, is more worried that Syler is going to decide their entire relationship isn’t worth the trouble and that’s before the next two assignments go wrong.

There’s no such thing as a coincidence in espionage. Everything points to a leak, but no one can pinpoint where despite their best efforts.

Frankly, Syler would rather deal with all that then Arthur’s mother showing up for a surprise visit.

Or – getting together was one thing. Building a future is something else.

One happily ever after with a side of gun fights coming right up

Review

Superb! This was an excellent sequel and over exceeded my expectations! I loved meeting Arthur’s mom and I loved the continued friendships that Syler developed with his team as well as how he managed to wrangle Arthur in and through his latest missions and career developments.

Highly entertaining and so full of details! I loved it!

6 of 5

Categories
adult - 18+

Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33976926-heels-over-head

Blurb

Jeremy Reeve is one of the best divers in the world, and he’s worked hard to get where he is. He intends to keep pushing himself with one very clear goal in mind: winning gold at the summer Olympics in two years. That medal might be the only way to earn his father’s respect as an athlete.

Brandon Evans is everything Jeremy isn’t: carefree, outgoing, and openly gay. With his bright-blue eyes and dramatic tattoos, he’s a temptation that Jeremy refuses to acknowledge. But Jeremy can’t ignore how talented Brandon is—or that Brandon has no interest in using his diving skills to compete.

They’re opposites who are forced to work together as teammates, but Jeremy’s fear of his own sexuality and Brandon’s disinterest in anything “not fun” may end their partnership before it begins. Until a single moment changes everything, and they help each other discover that “team” can also mean family and love.

Review

This was so good – up until the end. 🙁

I enjoyed the glimpses of diving and the buried gay feelings and the joyful exhuberance of Brandon juxtaposed with the steadfastness of Jeremy.

However, the dangling threads of Jeremy’s family coupled with the way the author chose to end the story left me entirely unsatisfied.

I am hoping for more? In any case, 3 of 5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Demons Do It Better (Hidden Species #1) by Louisa Masters

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54245921-demons-do-it-better

Blurb

I work for Lucifer. Only, it’s not as cool and satanic as it sounds.

The truth is, I’m an admin assistant who applied for a job that sounded kind of interesting and ended up working for the Community of Species Government. I’m the only human in the office, and basically I ride herd on a team of rambunctious shifters and demons.

I also spend a lot of time avoiding Gideon Bailey, the demon I had a one-night stand with right before I took this job. He hates me, and I really want to avoid being murdered. But I’ve been offered a promotion that will mean working with him, so we’re both going to have to get over it.

Plus, people are going missing. Pregnant people. And the word is that someone is dabbling in genetic experimentation. Putting a stop to that is more important than the sexual tension Gideon and I have been ignoring… isn’t it?

Review

This was another mixed bag for me.

I really enjoyed the character development and the slow burn romance but it was too slow to be perfect. Literally years went by and I kinda didn’t buy in when it did develop for no good reason.

The main thrust of this story is really about Sam and his involvement in the newly discovered Paranormal world he’s thrust into. He does an amazing job and soon everyone loves him which then re opens the door to Gideon.

The final set of hurdles – with the missing pregnant people – is rather rushed and I think this was almost two books jammed together. The second half is just the romance whereas the first half is the world building and it feels like the first half got more attention.

All in all it’s an interesting paranormal book with a touch of romance if I’m being honest.

3.5 stars


Categories
adult - 18+

Saving the Senator’s Son (Hart Security #1) by Jacki James

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54897768-saving-the-senator-s-son

Blurb

When the son of a right-wing politician falls for the man hired to protect him, he’ll have to choose between being true to his family or true to himself…

Blond hair, blue eyes, and a winning smile. Trey Coben is the perfect, All-American boy. He’s been raised to follow the rules and present the perfect public image. Too bad everything about him is a lie.

Secrets will only stay buried for so long, and Trey’s are about to surface.

When ominous letters start to arrive, the Senator hires Roman Barnes to keep Trey safe. Nothing is going to derail his bid for re-election, not even threats to his son’s life.

As the chemistry between Trey and his sexy bodyguard begins to ignite, Trey is faced with a choice: He can pretend to be the son his father wants, or he can take a chance at love.

With their hearts and their lives on the line, will their love survive, or will it all go up in flames?

This is the first book in my Hart Security series. You will still get all the feels and the happy ever after you are used to from one of my books, but with an element of danger and a little more angst

Review

This had me feeling mixed emotions. The first half absolutely grabbed me. I was feeling so many feels for both Trey and for Roman and his awesome family.

I absolutely didn’t care for Trey’s family, as was the author’s intent.

However, the behind the scene Trey seemed to move to the public eye with a little too much ease. I think he and Roman were way to cavalier with their affections and the danger with the stalker didn’t translate well into believable protection, etc.

So, I enjoyed most of this – set up, characters, plot – but the execution time line was not as believable or as trust worthy as I would have wanted it to be.

I will be looking into the next book in the series, however, because I enjoyed this enough for that.

3.5 of 5 stars


Categories
adult - 18+

Audio: Reading the Signs by Keira Andrews Narrated by Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Reading-the-Signs-Audiobook/1494547554?qid=1597850896&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=RF7ZPYRKPGF7W1E441N9

Blurb

This hot-headed rookie needs discipline—on and off the field.

Pitcher Nico Agresta is desperate to live up to his family’s baseball legacy. Since he was a teenager crushing on his big brother’s teammate, he’s known he can’t act on his desires. His father made it clear there should be no queers on the field, but if Nico can win Rookie of the Year like his dad and brother did, maybe he can prove he’s worthy after all.

At 34, veteran catcher Jake Fitzgerald just wants to finish out his contract and retire. His team doesn’t have a prayer of making the playoffs, but who needs the stress? Jake lost his passion for the game—and life—after driving away the man he loved, and he swore he’d never risk his heart again.

Then he’s traded to a team that wants a vet behind the plate to tame their new star pitcher. Jake is shocked to find the gangly kid he once knew has grown into a gorgeous young man. But tightly wound Nico is having trouble controlling his temper in his quest for perfection, and Jake needs to teach him patience and restraint on the mound.

When their push and pull explodes into the bedroom, Nico and Jake will both learn how much they’ll risk for love.

This gay sports romance features men who have been repressing their feelings far too long, light BDSM, an age difference, sweaty locker rooms, and a happy ending.

Review

So when I read the blurb for this my first thought was “Huh. A gay version of “Bull Durham”!” Well… it’s not exactly the same as the 80s movie – not really. But there were some comparisons. I liked how Jake takes care of Nico and steps in both personally and professionally to help him with his “baggage”.

The BDSM was VERY light, so if you’re worried about that, I wouldn’t be too concerned. I’m very uncomfortable with most BDSM and this wasn’t bad at all.

I thought the progression from “bi-curious” to “I’m gay” to “I’m out” was a little far-fetched. I know – it’s fiction. But poor Nico has been carrying around some awfully heavy luggage for a long time. His family hates him. He killed his mom. He’s bad. He’s wrong. There’s no “gay” in baseball. Etc. So he uncovers a TON of new “truths” and seems to move really quickly through a LOT of emotional stuff. I think that maybe having him either take longer to address some of these things or giving him a few less “issues” would have felt more appropriate.

I also felt like Jake was a little too “zen” and could have used some more emotion to help balance him out.

I’m not a baseball fan so I kinda skimmed all that stuff, but I found this story, for the most part, to be pretty good. It was relatively low angst, sweet, and sexy. In the end the family and the MCs do all the “right” things and except for poor Jake, everyone gets a perfect HEA.

(With the listening as a “re read” – I skipped the sexy times all together. They are really just not my thing and I don’t enjoy that aspect. However, the story is still uber sweet and engaging even without that aspect.)

4 of 5 stars

Audio

Greg does a great job, as always. He made listening to this very enjoyable and I absolutely recommend his narrations. He has so many accents at his finger tips and they are subtle in some cases, which is the perfect light touch!

Recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Partnership (Covert Affairs #1) by Valerie Vaughn

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54316374-partnership?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=9OIbTFOFpl&rank=1

Blurb

Syler Perrin’s the best in the world at what he does, but beyond that he’s sort of a mess. Case in point: the engineer and cyber security specialist landed his job as Deputy Director of the covert affairs division by hacking into it while drunk off his ass on cheap tequila after getting dumped.

Turns out the CIA was in desperate need of his particular brand of help.

Special Agent Arthur Dufault is also the best in the world at what he does, which as far as Syler can tell is destroying every piece of equipment he makes and flirting with everything that moves.

It wouldn’t be so bad, really, if the giant blond menace hadn’t taken a shine to him, demanding Syler act as his handler for every mission.

Oh, and also if there wasn’t a hacker-turned-cyber-terrorist who kept eluding them.

Being forced to partner up with Dufault to put a stop to it was bad enough. Discovering that Arthur wanted him was a whole other headache.

Or: how the most notorious field operative in the CIA wooed his reluctant handler – a tale of patience, persistence, and sass, with a dash of international espionage for variety.

Delightfully domestic happy ending guaranteed, some explosions may apply.

Review

This was awesome! I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was so involved and detailed. Usually I don’t like the non-romance part of a book as much as the romance, but I loved all the gadgets and shenanigans. The slow build was epic and not tedious (which I usually find).

The smexy times are good, and just right for the characters and the story.

Very highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars


Categories
adult - 18+

The Captain and the Baker (The Captivating Captains #7) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54451031-the-captain-and-the-baker?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=3fYNEGJETN&rank=1

Blurb
When a hot-tempered TV chef and a mild-mannered baker meet on the rugged Cornish coast, they’ve got the perfect ingredients for a red-hot snack.

Sweary and stressed celebrity chef Jake Brantham is the captain of several floating restaurants. When he’s sent to the idyllic village of Porthavel to turn a pirate ship into the next gastronomic sensation, it’s the last place on earth he wants to be.

Locryn Trevorrow is the bakery king of Cornwall. From the humble pasty to a wedding cake fit for a mermaid queen, there’s nothing he doesn’t know about the art of baking. He lives in a cosy world of gingham and ganache, but at night he goes home to his smugglers’ cottage alone.

When he’s adopted by a lost kitten, Jake soon discovers that there’s more to Portavel than cream teas, lobster pots, and the annoyingly fastidious Locryn. As the village prepares for the wedding of its favourite young couple, Jake and Locryn find themselves as unlikely matchmakers for two locals who’d given up on love.

Torn between the call of Hollywood and the kisses of Locryn, will Jake choose a mansion in Beverly Hills or a cottage on the Cornish coast?

Review
The Captain and the Baker was another delightful read in the Captivating Captains series. I am obsessed with cooking shows and competitions, add in British humour and this book had everything I like.
The main characters, Loc and Jake are complete opposites. I loved all the banter between these two. My only negative about this book was that it was told from only one point of view, I really would have loved to get some scenes from Loc’s view. Otherwise this is a fun, quick read.
I highly recommend this book!!
4 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Paint by Number by Andrew Grey

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/paint-by-number-by-andrew-grey-11718-b

Blurb

When New York painter Devon Starr gives up his vices, his muses depart along with them. Devon needs a change, but when his father’s stroke brings him home to Alaska, the small town where he grew up isn’t what he remembers. Enrique Salazar remembers Devon well, and he makes it his personal mission to open Devon’s eyes to the rugged beauty and possibilities all around them. The two men grow closer, and just as Devon begins to see what’s always been there for him, they’re called to stand against a mining company that threatens the very pristine nature that’s helping them fall in love. The fight only strengthens their bond, but as the desire to pick up a paintbrush returns, Devon also feels the pull of the city. A man trapped between two worlds, Devon can only follow where his heart leads him.

Review
Paint by Number was another great story by Andrew Grey. This story, like most of Andrew’s books is sweet and full of feelings. I really enjoyed the two main characters, Devon and Enrique. I like that these two have a long history between them. Friends to Lovers is one of my comfort tropes. I thought that I might have a hard time with this book since Devon is a recovering alcoholic and that subject tends to be a touchy one for me, but Andrew handled the subject well. I also like the fact this this story took places in Alaska. Unlike the last few books I read from Andrew, this one really sucked me in. It’s written very well (not surprising), has compelling characters and beautifully described settings.
If you’ve never read a book from Andrew Grey and even if you have, I highly recommend this one.

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review