Featured

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.

Recent Release: Surrender the Chase (Grizzly Rim #2) by Mia West

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47169173-surrender-the-chase?from_search=true

Blurb

Coming Oct 7, 2019: Expanded Novel Edition!

For wolf shifter Dmitri Sernov, life bites.

His late-night hunts leave him winded, the twelfth rewrite of his novel is crap, and his last good lay was five drafts ago. He’s staring down forty with a creative well as empty as his bed.

The last thing he needs is a beautiful, intimidating, obnoxious pup bent on exposing Dmitri’s underbelly…

…and everything else that’s gone soft.

Thierry Marrou has burned every bridge from Montréal to Juneau.

Once a prospect for Canada’s Olympic hockey team, he’s just been kicked off a piddling local squad in Nowhere, Alaska.

But one whiff of the silver wolf on the opposing bench was enough to confirm that the dreams drawing Thierry across a continent have a very real source.

Now all he has to do is convince Dmitri Sernov to be his alpha. Très simple, non?

SURRENDER THE CHASE is the 2nd standalone novel in the GRIZZLY RIM m/m shifter series. Lace up for pheromone-charged hockey, dirty French lessons, a grumpy hero who thinks he’s past his prime, and a pushy young hothead determined to prove him wrong.

 

Originally published in 2015 & 2016 as novellas, the GRIZZLY RIM novel editions have been extensively revised and expanded for republication in 2019.

Review
(Previous novella)

In book one we met this amazing little town in Alaska where some unique shifters and a few humans live. Dmitri is a wolf shifter with a reputation as a slut, but conversely he’s a bit of a lone-wolf, too. He’s older, a bit gruff, and if you get to know him, a lot insecure.

Thierry is a flighty, flirty, fast-playing hockey player who finds himself “compelled” by dreams to find a man, Dmitri. He trusts his gut above all else and his gut tells him he needs to meet Dmitri, but it doesn’t tell him what to do next.
At first, beyond the initial attraction, there is doubt on both sides. Dmitri can’t trust that this beautiful, young, stranger has been having dreams about him. Thierry is also not sure what to make of these dreams and though he finds Dmitri fascinating and sexy he doesn’t know if he can make himself stay put when clearly Dmitri is a stay-put kind of guy.

**

Mia is an amazing author! I absolutely adore this series! I reviewed the first book, Launch the Hunt here: http://kimichanexperience.com/launch-the-hunt-grizzly-rim-1-by-mia-west/

I couldn’t wait for book two and it was worth the wait!

Mia’s writing is so fluid and effortless (though I’m sure she’d say it takes work, if Dmitri is any example!) that the reading of this story is so easy. I was expecting a story similar to book one and got none of that, but it was not a disappointment at all. Dmitri and Thierry have a very different story to tell. They still have that element of magic that connects them, but at their core they have this very human relationship story first.

Dmitri is getting older and doubting his attractiveness and purpose in the world. Thierry is still young, but also has questions about his purpose and future. I LOVED that both Dmitri and Thierry called Thierry’s mom for advice! So. Funny! Her little side story is interesting in it’s own right and I’m wondering/hoping she becomes a continual secondary character.

The use of French and Thierry’s adamant, “I’m not French I’m Quebecois!” was wonderful. So beautiful and touching then funny and heart-warming at the same time.

My heart absolutely ached for both of these guys and I’m always impressed with shifter stories who use the animal part as much as the human part to create their characters and their motivations. It was hysterical that Thierry’s mom asked him about his fur and skin and was he hunting enough! So cute!

The smexy times are very sensuous but also REAL feeling and authentic. Dmitri is older and nervous and that shows!

I can’t wait for book 3, I loved this as much as book 1 and can’t recommend it enough.

(re-read and 2nd edition)

I can see that there were some additional scenes – more hockey, more parental involvement- maybe some more romance building?

All in all I think both the longer story and the novella are good and I couldn’t really say I appreciated a lot of difference.

I still enjoyed these two characters a lot and I guess I felt a little bit more of their HEA with the novel than the novella.

Recommended!

(I liked the original cover better 🙂   )

4.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard (Paranormal Princes #1) by Charlie Cochet

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48122504-the-prince-and-his-bedeviled-bodyguard?from_search=true

Blurb

Prince Owin

Being a fierce predator—not at all adorable, despite my graceful stature—the last thing I needed was a bodyguard. Especially a wolf shifter, whose presence alone was an insult to my princely principles. As Prince of the Ocelot Shifters, I prided myself on my infallible feline instincts, uncompromisable dignity, and flawless fashion sense. If having a canine follow me around at all times wasn’t bad enough, I now faced the most important moment of my entire life. The time had come to prove I was worthy of my crown. If only I could find a way to get rid of the pesky bodyguard.

Grimmwolf

When the King of All Shifters asked me to guard Prince Owin, I admit I had no idea what to expect. Cat shifters tend to be a little intense, not to mention kinda cranky. Owin was no exception, though he seemed crankier than most. Being his bodyguard was proving to be one of the greatest challenges of my life—but not nearly as great as convincing him there was something special between us. When Owin is faced with a perilous quest to prove his worth, I was determined to keep him safe, even if the same couldn’t be said of my heart.

Review

OMG I loved this so much! This reminded me so much of Charlie’s Soldati Prince (which I adored!)
It had that same humor, otherworldly flavor, adorkable characters, mild adventure and loads of magic!

The smexy times were hot and the romance developed at a lovely, sweet, pace.

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Suckerpunch (Hockey Gods and Monsters #1) by Elyse Springer

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/suckerpunch-by-elyse-springer-10800-b

Blurb

A rookie goalie with a secret and a handsome yet hotheaded defenseman clash in the locker room and on the ice—but their shared desire to make the playoffs might help them move from enemies to lovers.

When the goalie for the Seattle Cascades hockey team is injured while drunk driving and Alex Fanning is recruited to take his place, Alex thinks his dream has come true. But to hold on to his hopes, he must keep his vampire heritage secret as the sport moves to ban Paranormals. The sexy but infuriating defenseman Sasha Petrov won’t make that easy. The injured goalie was his best friend, and he resents Alex’s presence—maybe even enough to use his bloodline against him.

Tensions mount, but the realization that there’s more to their feelings than animosity hits both men like a punch to the gut. Alex and Sasha’s newfound friendship promises passion, but a shocking betrayal could cost them all the ground they’ve gained

Review

This was so much fun! It was great hockey with lots of authentic information that illustrated the author’s knowledge of the sport. It had a compelling alt universe that demonstrated a layer of bigotry that can be used to illustrate any number of biases that are surely occurring in the sport (and in our nation).

The romance was so sweet – slow burn, full of miscommunication and sexual tension.

I loved the HEA and I really hope this is the beginning of a long series because I can’t wait to see more from this world!

Recommended!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Bite (Anthology) by Clare London, Ruby Moone, Sue Brown, Joanna Chambers

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48272713-bite?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Vampires old and new, strong and sensual, with desires both predatory and protective. Their attraction is fierce and fascinating, and their love is eternal. We believe they deserve a very special kind of man—and their own happily ever after.
Four best-selling authors bring you their own take on the vampire lover’s story.

In Out of Time by Clare London, the ancient vampire Ambrus tries to protect Edward, a newly-turned young man, hoping to bring him comfort, acceptance of his fate, and eventually love.

In Christmas for a Vampire by Ruby Moone, grief-stricken vampire, Ellis Davenport, faces a miserable, lonely life when it seems the love of his life prefers death to eternity with him.

In A Tale Told in Darkness by Sue Brown, Lee comforts his lover with the tale of Brook, a vampire who falls for his neighbour Michael. When the young man is pursued by someone far more dangerous, only Brook can save him.

In Lamb to the Slaughter by Joanna Chambers, there is very little Lucien St. Villiers enjoys more than hunting for beautiful young men who are eager to learn all that Lucien has to teach them.

Review: Four well written, vampire-themed novellas in one collection.
Here are my thoughts about each story (in no particular order).

A Tale Told in Darkness (Sue Brown)
This is a story in a story. The main story, (with Lord Brook and Michael), has a bit of suspense, but a satisfying end. Brook, the vampire, meets his neighbour, Michael (human and is his fated mate). However, someone seems to be stalking Michael, and when he disappears, Brook has to find out who and why.
Nice little mystery here.

Lamb to the Slaughter (Joanna Chambers)
This was definitely a tale of the hunter being the hunted ☺
Lucien, our undead person, is a love/feed them and leave them creature. Until he meets Marcus, who gives him a run for his money. I enjoyed the twists in this story.

Christmas for a Vampire (Ruby Moone)
This story was a bit sad. Set during the winter holidays, Ellis is heartbroken that his lover, Quinn doesn’t want the same things he does. The holidays remind Ellis of his lost love. Liked the story overall.

Out of Time (Clare London)
Younger Edward as not had an easy life (or afterlife after being turned). Ambrus, an older vampire offers to help Edward. Ambrus travels through time, not forming any connections with anyone … until Edward. The story of how Ambrus helps Edward overcomes his resentment against his situation, (as a reluctant vamp), spans several decades. Sweet story with a touch of angst.

All 4 stories were enjoyable, there were a couple I wished had been a bit longer, but all were entertaining.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Something Wild By Anna Martin

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/something-wild-by-anna-martin-10842-b

Blurb
The South Pacific Archipelago is home to a tiny island community of around three hundred scientists… and twenty thousand dinosaurs. As a paleogeneticist, Kit Sterling leads a team studying the dinosaurs to unlock the unanswered questions of evolution.

But there is something more dangerous than dinosaurs on the islands.

Head ranger Logan Beck discovers evidence of poachers, while rumors of a black market for dinosaur leather swirl around the community. Kit and Logan haven’t always gotten along professionally, though that has nothing to do with their attraction to each other. So when they’re thrown together to save an injured infant dinosaur, their professional disdain turns into a clandestine romance.

With not just the injured dinosaur at risk, but all of the precious dinosaurs on the islands too, Kit and Logan have to figure out how to balance their budding romance without letting their careers go extinct.

Review
There was a lot I liked about this story. The world building was fantastic. I also really liked the two main characters, Kit and Logan. Even though they have known each other for years, they are pretty awkward around each other due to secret crushes. They end up rescuing and rehabbing a baby dino that they name Dizzy. She is a wonderful secondary character, even though she is a dinosaur. She plays an important part in the story. Where the story fell flat, was the whole issue with poachers. The resolution to that problem was a bit lackluster. The ending also felt a bit rushed. This was a fun read for dinosaur and romance lovers!

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Hard Hart by: E. Davies Narration: Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Hard-Hart-Audiobook/B07YN8N2CS?qid=1571593358&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=HW41X56SQN82VGNBW430&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb
Jesse Stone is rebuilding his life. He’s ditched his no-good ex, sworn off men, moved to a new town with his four best friends, and started the pottery business of his dreams. And then he slept with his hunky new neighbor. Oops. Jesse needs to focus on work, but all he can think about is getting Finn between his hands like a perfectly-shaped work of clay.

Trouble just blew into town, and his name is Jesse. Finn Hart knows that pursuing Jesse will ignite old family tensions, but he can’t stay away. The construction foreman has never built a lasting relationship. He’s too busy keeping the peace in a town that was founded by one Hart, but is slowly being strangled by another—Finn’s grandfather.

Finn and Jesse are on the same page: they want to save Hart’s Bay, and it starts by bringing tourists in with Jesse’s new art gallery. But their hearts are bruised, and taking a chance comes with a price. Not everyone in Hart’s Bay wants change. For a few narrow minds, nothing good should come to Finn’s branch of the Harts, and that includes love.

Can love wash away twenty years of bad blood and bring a new dawn for Jesse, Finn, and all of Hart’s Bay

Review
So many possibilities in this series. New town and a new start for Jesse and his friends. Add in a family feud they unwittingly get caught in and explosions are bound to happen. I felt sorry for the residents of Hart’s bay. They have given up and are just existing. Jesse has plans to bring some life back to the Town. Along the way he meets Finn. Finn is a Hart. And he is caught up in a family feud which is harming the town as much as it has split the family.
Fin and Jesse’s story is wonderfully positive and it’s great to feel that the whole town is embracing a new start just like the main characters are. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.
Greg Boudreaux’s dulcet tones are perfect. He gave Finn a lovely sexy voice and Jesse had a touch of hesitancy and vulnerability which made him so endearing.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Wolf Lost (The Wolves of Kismet #1) by Sam Burns

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47637443-wolf-lost

Blurb
An omega on the run.

An alpha fractured.

Sawyer Holt can’t go home. The Alpha who has replaced his father wants to use him as a tool to cement his political power, and Sawyer isn’t interested in marrying his father’s murderer.

Dez Sullivan’s leg may never heal from his last mission in Afghanistan, but he’s getting used to that. What he can’t adapt to are the nightmares and the tremor in his hand that the doctors insist is all in his head. Next to that, being a brand new werewolf seems easy, until Sawyer Holt blows into his life. The omega activates his burgeoning wolf instincts in a new way, and they threaten to overwhelm his common sense.

Both men are in Colorado searching for a new start, a new pack, and the safety they’ve lost. Their meeting is pure Kismet.

Review

I found this to be delightful! I loved the unique take on shifters and the fact that none of these men is typical but yet are all alpha in their own right.

I am excited to read more from this series, the author did a great job of hooking me into their stories as well as those of the MCs.

Recommended!

4.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

 

Recent Release: Defender (The Lost Pack #1) by Claire Cullen

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48364816-defender?from_search=true

Blurb

A mission gone wrong forces Brax’s alpha team to become something more—a pack.

In a world that no longer welcomes packs, it’s all Brax can do to hold his team together. Four alphas without omegas is a recipe for disaster. And now that they’re civilians, with the military watching their every move, it’s not going to be easy to keep the truth about their pack hidden.

Brax’s most pressing problem is his buddy Duke’s stolen son. Everywhere he turns for help is a dead end, until chance introduces him to Oliver, the capable, captivating omega—and legal advocate. Brax’s luck might finally be turning around. But can he trust Oliver with more than just their legal troubles—can he trust him with his secrets?

Oliver has everything he could want in life—a successful career, the respect of his peers, an apartment in the city. But not an alpha. Been there, done that. No shifter he’s dated could handle the fact that, some days, Oliver’s job comes first. When the death of his estranged parents takes him back to his childhood home, he meets Brax—the handsome, troubled doctor who just might be the exception to the rule…

Defender is a novel-length shifter romance, featuring mpreg, cake, stubborn alphas, and some scenes not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.

Review

I loved this so much! This is like an alternate world where people have tried to subjugate their shifter side to 15 minutes a day and ignore the draw of being in packs for the “benefit” of human law.

 

In this case the men “accidentally” became a pack and are now dealing with those ramifications.

 

I like that the omega nature is challenged and the alpha nature is modified, too. Though it follows somewhat predictable lines it’s not so stereotypical as to be mundane.

 

The romance is slow moving and sweet with a moderate amount of heat. The bad guys are reasonably bad and not “super villains”. All in all a win!

 

Highly recommended to fans of the subgenre.

 

5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: The Captain’s Flirty Fireworks By Eleanor Harkstead & Catherine Curzon

Pride Publisher

https://www.pride-publishing.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=70762

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48269895-the-captain-s-flirty-fireworks?from_search=true

Blurb

When a hunky fireman and a gorgeous gold medalist meet on Guy Fawkes Night, sparks are sure to fly!

For fireman Rob Monteagle, this Guy Fawkes Night seems like it’s going to be anything but fun. After all, who wants to spend the noisiest night of the year saving careless cats from trees or rattling a fundraising bucket at Longley Magna’s annual bonfire, the pride of the village’s bad-tempered old retainer?

For Ollie Tresham, the night isn’t looking any better. He might have won gold in the Olympic showjumping ring yet he’s still expected to meet the public at his dad’s charity fireworks extravaganza. But when a rogue rocket heads straight for the showjumper, it takes a quick-thinking fireman like Rob to save the day.

As the flames of the bonfire smolder, Rob and Ollie’s night is just getting started. And it’s sure to go with a bang!

Publisher’s Note: This book is related to the Captivating Captains series.

Review
I have read a few other books in the Captivating Captains series and have enjoyed them all…. this one…not so much. This story is written well. I loved how descriptive the authors are. My biggest issue with this novella, is nothing really happens. The two main characters meet up, have a drink and make plans to meet up again later that night. They end up running into each other later and one MC thinks the other is mad at him and ends up skipping the date. He’s pouting at home when the other shows up, they “make up”, spout off a lot of bad fireman puns then its two years later and they are married. I don’t mind instalove stories or novella’s, but I want a little more story line. I just could not get into this story.

3 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Troubled Water by: HJ Welch narrated by Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Troubled-Waters-Audiobook/B07YY7VRL2?qid=1571592234&sr=1-3&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=ECNKBEQF2EWH204J6ZFM&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_3

Blurb
Scout Duffy doesn’t know what’s worse. The fact that his scorching one-night stand is his bratty new client, or the fact that he doesn’t even remember Scout. But beneath all the bravado, Scout can see Emery is terrified, and he’ll do anything to protect him from his attacker. If only he would lower his walls and let Scout into his heart as easily as he lets him dominate in the bedroom…

Being out and proud his whole life means Emery Klein has never been safe. But now, his charity work and social media fame have put a target on his back from bigots, and his friends force him to hire a private bodyguard. Emery doesn’t need to be judged by some straight former boxer, but his attraction to the gorgeous hunk is insatiable. When Emery finally recognizes Scout, they can’t keep their damn hands off one another, if only for as long as Scout’s in town.

There’s a reason Emery never looks too closely at the men he sleeps with, just like there’s a reason Scout lives out of a suitcase in motel rooms. Will two men hiding from hurt realize the love that could heal them both is right in front of them? Or will Emery’s attacker take everything before they have the chance?

Review
There is wealth and depth of stories weaving together in this book. insert have an enemy to lover, employer to employee not to mention the mystery of who was out to get Emery. In the beginning I found Emery so annoying and frivolous. He felt like a character that didn’t care about anything that didn’t affect him. I was firmly on Scout’s side, he’s such a sweetheart. Except it started to become tangled. Neither would give ground and I could see that fault lay on both sides. I found it to be a very good twist between the two very different characters. Scout has ethical work decisions to make and Emery has his own reasons for being an absolute princess. In amongst this intriguing will they won’t they romance there is the mystery of who is after Emery. This aspect was in the background but it was never forgotten. I never had a clue who the perpetrator could be.
As always Nick J. Russo gave the characters life and spirit. He brings their personalities to the forefront giving us another dimension.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review