Categories
Uncategorized

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+

Retro Review: A Warlock’s Best Friend by Erin Leaf

Blurb

Dakota thought moving to a new town for his new job would be easy. He gets to live with his best friend Leo, far from the machinations of his mother and the witches who want his genes. Unfortunately, his new boss keeps hitting on him. Is there nowhere a nice guy can hide from women who want his body?

Leo thinks pretending to be his best friend’s lover will be hilarious. He loves a good joke, and he’s delighted that Dakota finally lives close enough for them to hang out again like they did as kids. So what if they’re not gay? It’s all for a good cause: keep Dakota out of the clutches of a crazy woman.

Neither of them expects their charade to feel so real. How were they supposed to know that one kiss would lead to sex, or that true power comes from love?

Review

This was SO MUCH FUN! It was silly, and sexy, and magical and just…. FUN!

It’s a short story of two guys who are BFFs but who have never had an inkling they might be interested in men sexually. After some “practice” leads to them pretty much jumping head first into a sexual relationship with one another, some other pretty funky stuff starts to happen around town and now the fact that they’re warlocks really comes into play. (For the first half of the book I was like “where’s the magic and powers and stuff?!)

Well, the second half is all magic all the time and it’s ridiculous and wonderful at the same time. The boys are super cute with one another and the evil villains end in a way that is HYSTERICAL.

I enjoyed this thoroughly and recommend it highly to anyone who isn’t looking for something “serious” but likes fun and sexy and sometimes silly!

I hope there’s more to this than just one book!

(Re-Read This was just as much fun the second/third/etc time around as the first! I really enjoy these two and found their antics hysterical!)

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Audiobook: Valor on the Move by Keira Andrews Narrated by Iggy Toma

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Valor-on-the-Move-Audiobook/1977348661?qid=1564954678&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=8QZBSEQYH702E6VXTSBX&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

He’d give his life to protect the president’s son. But he never expected to risk his heart.

Growing up gay in the White House hasn’t been easy for Rafael Castillo. Codenamed “Valor” by the Secret Service, Rafa feels anything but brave as he hides in the closet and tries to stay below the radar in his last year of college. His father’s presidency is almost over, and he just needs to stick to his carefully crafted plan. Once his family’s out of the spotlight, he can be honest with his conservative parents about his sexuality and his dream of being a chef.

It’s definitely not part of Rafa’s plan to get a new Secret Service agent who’s a walking wet dream, but he’s made it this long keeping his desires to himself. Besides, it’s not like Shane Kendrick would even look at him twice if it wasn’t his job.

Shane’s worked his way up through the Secret Service ranks, and while protecting the president’s shy, boring son isn’t his dream White House assignment, it’s an easy enough task since no one pays Rafa much attention. He discovers there’s a vibrant young man beneath the timid public shell, and while he knows Rafa has a crush on him, he assures himself it’s harmless. Shane’s never had room for romance in his life, and he’d certainly never cross that line with a protectee. Keeping Rafa safe at any cost is Shane’s mission.

But as Rafa gets under his skin, will they both put their hearts on the line?

Review

You know that feeling when you finish a book and want to turn around and start it all over again? Well, this book will give you that feeling – and how!

Rafa is the last kid at home, in the last year of a two-term presidency, son of the President of the U.S. He’s 21, in his last year at UVA, and desperate for the freedom January will bring when he can finally leave the White House.

He’s painfully shy and socially awkward, knows he’s gay but has never been able to act upon this with his Republican parents and living life in the spot-light. He has a girlfriend who is a lesbian and together they protect one another’s secrets until the time is right for them to come out of the closet together. In addition to hiding the secret about his sexuality, he also struggles with the expectation to follow his father into politics when all he wants to do is become a chef and learn to surf.

Shane is a secret-service agent who is excited to be moving up the ranks to the “Big Show” of presidential protection. He’s a loner: only child, no parents, few friends, no attachments romantically. He gets his needs met with f*ck buddies and the occasional hook-up and he has no desire to change that. He tells his friend that he’ll know it’s time for something more when he actually cares to wake up to the same person everyday.

Rafa falls into instant lust with his new secret service agent but knows it can’t ever be anything real. But… he can’t help but dream. When Shane shows a bit of kindness to him and allows himself to be a guinea pig for some of Rafa’s recipes, he can’t but help hope for something more.

Shane knows he can’t be distracted by the young man in his charge. It wouldn’t be right on so many levels. But he sees the open heart and obvious crush and can’t help but be caught up with the lonely man he’s protecting.

A stolen kiss, a kidnap attempt, and a night in a cave change the course of their relationship forever.

There’s drama surrounding the kidnap, Rafa’s family finds out he’s gay and Shane’s friend in the service has both professional and family struggles that will both tug at your heart string and make you super mad at the same time.
In the end, everyone involved has to do some serious re-considering of their life choices and has to decide just what is most important in life.

**

Oh. My. God. I LOVED this book so hard! Rafa had me in his hands right from the start. He was so, so lonely. Such a good guy who had practically nobody to turn to. He was overshadowed by his celebrity family and left to his own devices to hide who he really was from both family and the public.

Shane was a genuinely nice guy with only a bit of angst in his past, but still a strong person who was willing to see the best thing for him in a situation that looked impossible.

I know that there are a lot of “impossible things” that happened in this story, but it was believable enough that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I cried so many times – the sick kids, Rafa’s high school career, Shane’s parents, the kidnapping and the ending… God! Such an emotional roller-coaster.

I loved the chemistry between Shane and Rafa and thought it was a brilliant move to make Rafa just a bit kinky when his other self was so reserved. The May/December aspect was handled well and made to seem as the least of their problems.

I thought the kidnapping part of the story was brilliant. I won’t give anything away, but I was totally on the fence between complete anger and total understanding. Brilliantly done!

My only wish was that we could have seen Shane and Rafa as a couple once the whole White House thing was over. I would have loved to see them together in Australia!

I can’t recommend this book enough. Keira is an amazing author who continually wows me with the width and breadth of the subjects she is able to master, from and Amish love affair to Zombies, she handles them all so effortlessly!

If I could give it more stars I would!

Audio

I enjoyed this so much! I think Iggy Toma did a great job with both the younger and older voices – and carried the emotional intensity very well.

He’s so easy to listen to and I think it made a great way to experience this amazing story.

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Upside Down Audiobook by N.R Walker, Narrated by Glen Lloyd.

audiobookreview

 

Blurb
Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider. The last thing he needs is one more. But when he realizes adding the label ‘asexual’ might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.

Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.

A little bewildered and scared, but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs. Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now—for the first time in his life—the right way up.

Review
This was my second time reading this story, in audio this time. I admit I didn’t like this narrator in another book, he was not bad, just had a sort of flat emotional range in my opinion. Yet, here I slowly grew to love him, he had a great comedic sense, and I felt like he enjoyed narrating this book. I loved hoe he interpreted the characters, he got Jordan’s wacky, quirky humor just right, and added this layer of softness to the relationship between he and Hennessy.
This book was incredibly sweet, with the humor I liked so much in Walker’s ‘The Weight of it All’ and dealing with the subject of Asexuality in a wonderful eye-opening way. Walker showed the struggle Asexuals face in our overly sexualized culture.
I think the thing that makes this story so good it how much you don’t really need sex to feel the romance, longing and passion Jordan and Hennessy feel for each other. Jordan is one of the funniest characters I’ve read in a long time, and he had me laughing more times than I can count. Angus and Merry were some of the most amazing side characters I have ever read and I wish we could get their story someday.
This book makes you feel so good, while still having emotional depth and dealing with serious themes. The ending leaves you smiling and a gooey happy pile of emotions. Just a wonderful read through and through.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
Uncategorized

The Dichotomy of Angels by N.R. Walker; narrated by Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49921241-the-dichotomy-of-angels?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=UGkNks73xm&rank=2

Blurb: Nathaniel and Chasan are no ordinary angels.

Destiny chose them to be twin flames, fated mates. But Nathaniel has avoided Chasan for nearly a thousand years.
When sent to Earth on a mission to live and work together, Nathaniel comes face-to-face with his destiny. Short-tempered, petulant, and grumpy, he hates the idea of being fated to anyone and has chosen an existence of isolation rather than spending time with the calm, kind, and serene Chasan. But now he has no choice.
One is fire, the other is air; a true dichotomy of angels. Together they will be ignited, or they will be extinguished. This assignment will seal their fate either way.

Review:
Story: This is such a fun story! Two angels – one grumpy (Nathan) and the other one, a ray of sunshine (Chasan) have been assigned to work together on a mission to save a child.
Both angels have to assume human identities – including being married to each other – and teach nursery school children. Oh, and they’re fated mates! Nathan has been avoiding his fate (heh!) for centuries, so he’s not pleased with this development – at all.
I really enjoyed seeing how they navigated through our world, especially Nathan. I especially enjoyed how both MCs navigate their emotions and the relationship that develops. There is a lot to love about the story, I recommend that you discover what you love about it too 

Narration: Nick J. Russo made this an excellent experience! He gave a great performance with the varying voices/accents for all characters. He also captured and conveyed the various emotions of the characters so well that I abandoned reading and just listened. Excellent way to enjoy the book!

Story: 4.5 stars
Narration: 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Elements of Retrofit by N.R. Walker, narrated by Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45187628-elements-of-retrofit

Blurb

Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture and love. Can they prove that the old and new can be the perfect design?

A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his 40th birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thinks he knows everything about architecture, about life.

Cooper Jones, 22 years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.

Starting an internship working with Thomas, Cooper is about to knock Tom’s world off its axis. Tom can teach Cooper about the architecture industry, but Cooper is about to teach Tom what it means to live.

Review

A captivating May/December romance with well-rounded MC’s. I loved the funny back-and-forth between Thomas and Cooper. Cooper is not intimidated by ‘Tom’ at all, even though he greatly admires his talent. I liked the mutual respect between the MC’s and how they are equals in their relationship, even though Thomas is Cooper’s boss (at least for some of the story) and is quite a bit older. There is some relationship drama, with Tom being a little presumptuous and not as communicative as he should be and Cooper showing his youth when they hit a certain bump in the road, but it serves the purpose of the story and heightens the emotional stakes in a good way.

Narration: Nick J. Russo was the perfect choice for this story. I loved his take on Thomas and Cooper, the way he captured both Tom’s more reserved nature and Cooper’s teasing banter. Loved it!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Portals and Puppy Dogs (Hedge Witches Lonely Hearts Club #2) by Amy Lane

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56225534-portals-and-puppy-dogs?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=iVbWk3TSOD&rank=1

Blurb

Hedge Witches Lonely Hearts Club: Book Two

Sometimes love is flashier than magic.

On the surface, Alex Kennedy is unremarkable: average looks, boring accounting job, predictable crush on his handsome playboy boss, Simon Reddick.

But he’s also a witch.

Business powerhouse Simon goes for flash and glamour… most of the time. But something about Alex makes Simon wonder what’s underneath that sweet, gentle exterior.

Alex could probably dance around their attraction forever… if not for the spell gone wrong tearing apart his haunted cul-de-sac. When a portal through time and space swallows the dog he’s petsitting, only for the pampered pooch to appear in the next instant on Simon’s doorstep, Alex and Simon must confront not only the rogue magic trying to take over Alex’s coven, but the long-buried passion they’ve been harboring for each other.

Review

Super cute as expected! I love seeing the tale unfold for the whole cul de sac!
There was a fair amount of UST and some really sweet HEA and I am dying to see what happens to our friends to lovers!

Highly Recommended but I’d definitely read book 1 first.

5 of 5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Next to Me by: Veronica Cochrane

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/next-to-me-by-veronica-cochrane-11803-b

Blurb
Can an awkward student and a closeted rock star make beautiful music together?

Music composition student Chase Collins has always worn his heart on his sleeve. That’s why it was so quick to break in high school when Chase lost Carter West, his best friend and first love, to an ill-fated kiss.

Imagine Chase’s surprise five years later when Carter, now a rising rock star, admits to the world that Chase inspired his band’s award-winning song—and that Carter was in love with him all along.

Frontman Carter West has been closeted his whole life. Now that he’s out in the most public way possible, he can finally indulge in the romantic impulses he’s always had to keep stifled. Reconnecting with Chase gives him the opportunity to explore a whole new side of himself.

But the next tour draws inevitably closer, and Chase is wary. Carter left Chase once before. Can two gifted musicians write themselves a love song that will last a lifetime?

Review
I found this to be a sweet second chance, friends to lovers romance. What I liked most was there wasn’t a lot of miscommunication and drama in this story. The time gap was only five years but in that time both Chase and Carter have had to do a lot of growing up. The fame angle was handled well without anyone becoming starstruck. I enjoyed the story. It was nice and light with a little friction to keep life interesting. When the story switched POV between the characters it took me a little while to settle into which character was speaking, nothing to detract from the story.

Number of stars 3 out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Sixty Five Hours by N.R. Walker, narrated by Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54870010-sixty-five-hours

Blurb

Cameron Fletcher and Lucas Hensley are advertising executives who have Sixty Five Hours to pull together the campaign of their careers.

Sixty Five Hours to get along. Sixty Five Hours to not kill each other. Sixty Five Hours to fall in love.

Review

Sixty Five Hours was one of the first m/m books I ever read, and returning to it with this audio version was utterly wonderful. The story effortlessly withstands the test of time in my eyes, and forced proximity has never been quite this sexy or this much fun! Cameron and Lucas’s romance is on a tight schedule, the same way they are for working out their new marketing proposal. As a reader, I was completely sold by how their relationship developed, the same way the Lurex CEO was. Things moved so quickly, but both MC’s are amazingly three-dimensional, and their connection progresses in a genuine, heartfelt way. Nothing feels rushed or cliché, a testament to N.R. Walker’s writing talent.

Narration: Nick J. Russo did a brilliant job with this engaging enemies-to-lovers romance, enhancing the story in a way I hadn’t expected. I was ridiculously charmed by his sexy drawl for Lucas and the more proper voice he gave Cameron, fitting their personalities to a T, and I was utterly captivated by the emotions and intensity he brought to his performance. Definitely worth another listen!

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Wish (Scales ‘n’ Spells #2.5) by A.J. Sherwood , Jocelynn Drake

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56223222-wish?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=XUuBtm66LS&rank=1

Blurb

North has a map of Europe, a dragon scale, and a little bit of magic.

He’s currently short a dragon, but all in good time, right? Right.

Because he can totally dodge dangerous men and frustrated calls from his family, all while searching for a dragon during the Christmas season. He’s got this.

Christmas wishes do come true with a little magic, after all.

Review

This is such a super fun series! I love the magic and the finding the new mages and the dragons.

So wonderful!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Winter’s Knight (L’Ange #3.5) by Mary Calmes

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56505365-winter-s-knight

blurb

There is something in the forest around L’Ange that is making the animals nervous. In fact, they are running by Tucker Flynn’s windows at all hours of the night and day and no matter what anyone says, it isn’t normal. Of course, neither is Tucker being stuck on the sprawling grounds of the shifter sanctuary in Maine, in the dead of winter. He just wants to go back to Phoenix . . . if only his alpha would let him.

Tired of his concerns being dismissed, or worse, told that he’s flat-out wrong, Tucker sets out on his own, despite a broken ankle, to find proof of his suspicion—that there’s an apex predator, something far more menacing than any shifter at L’Ange, skulking in the woods behind his cabin.

Review

I do love this series! This is very typical of the series – insta love and some small hurdles between the two fated mates and a brief glimpse of MCs past.

Enjoyable!

3.5 of 5 stars