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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.

Audiobook: A Few Good Fish (Fish Out of Water #3) by Amy Lane narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-few-good-fish-by-amy-lane-9829-b

Blurb

Fish Out of Water: Book Three

A tomcat, a psychopath, and a psychic walk into the desert to rescue the men they love…. Can everybody make it out with their skin intact?

PI Jackson Rivers and Defense Attorney Ellery Cramer have barely recovered from last November, when stopping a serial killer nearly destroyed Jackson in both body and spirit.

But their previous investigation poked a new danger with a stick, forcing Jackson and Ellery to leave town so they can meet the snake in its den.

Jackson Rivers grew up with the mean streets as a classroom and he learned a long time ago not to give a damn about his own life. But he gets a whole new education when the enemy takes Ellery. The man who pulled his shattered pieces from darkness and stitched them back together again is in trouble, and Jackson’s only chance to save him rests in the hands of fragile allies he barely knows.

It’s going to take a little bit of luck to get these Few Good Fish out alive!

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

You know I’m an Amy Lane fangirl – so it’s no surprise that I loved this! This is the third in the series and they must be read in order. In fact, you’ll be really confused if you haven’t read the other two and probably you should read Racing for The Sun https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17700033-racing-for-the-sun?from_search=true as well – mostly because it’s awesome – but also because Sonny and Ace are so prominent in this story.

Things that I liked:
Amy is really good at understanding what a sequel needs to keep us engaged. She’s given us Ellery and Jackson’s ILYs and commitments but we still worry about Jackson’s belief in the finality of the relationship and of his ability to be loved. This story moves us forward on that front without necessarily calling in to question the pair of them.

I LOVED that she brought in religion. (Don’t freak out – you’ll see what I mean – and it’s mostly a metaphor…sorta.) Jackson has to believe, has to trust and what greater example of that in a person is there than Faith. The stuff with Lucy Satan and Jackson at the hospital – Gold. Really lovely way to look at things and so perfect for Jackson the character.

I ADORED the link to RFTS. I love that book so much and frequently re-listen to it. Sonny is off his rocker but in a good way and I love re-visiting him and Ace and Jai and Alba. Now we get to add in Burton and Ernie – yes like Sesame Street!- and it’s even more delicious! There’s a new book coming out in October I think? – about these two and it looks AMAZING!

Things that were good:
The mystery/action etc was good. I’m sure she spent a lot of time working this out but – honestly – I skimmed it. There is a lot of blood/injury/hospitalization time – AGAIN – for these guys and I was a little over that. I was tired of seeing them hurt and wanted to see them hole for awhile. (My only real complaint.)

So – to sum up: this is awesome, can’t wait for the new RFTS sequel and you’ve got to read this if you’re a fan of either book/series/author!

Audio

What more can I say about how wonderful Greg is as a narrator?  Well – he’s awesome!  I know when I see his name that I’m going to be wowed and that he will have done his research and will have given me his best performance – every time.  He’s an amazing narrator and absolutely makes the book come to life.  Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Release Day Review: My Fair Brady By K.C. Wells

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/my-fair-brady-by-kc-wells-10232-b

Blurb

A spur of the moment invitation changes two lives.

Jordan Wolf’s company runs like a well-oiled machine. At least until his PA, Brady Donovan, comes down with the flu and takes sick leave. Then Jordan discovers what a treasure Brady is and who really keeps his business—and Jordan in particular—moving like clockwork. So when Jordan needs a plus-one, Brady seems the obvious choice to accompany him. After a major shopping trip to get Brady looking the part, however…. Wow.

Brady has a whole new wardrobe, and now his boss is whisking him away for a weekend party. Something is going on, something Brady never expected: Jordan is looking at him like he’s never seen him before, electrifying Brady’s long-hidden desires.

But can the romantic magic last when the weekend is over and it’s back to reality?

 

Review

Jordan leads an extremely well-organized life thanks to his very efficient personal assistant Brady. Jordan never realized how much Brady did for him until one day Brady fell ill and started missing work. After spending time nursing Brady back to health Jordan started feeling the beginning of attraction. Brady has been in love with Jordan almost since the beginning of working for him. When Jordan asks him to come with him to a party as a “fake boyfriend” he jumps at the chance. The sparks fly between these two men. My Fair Brady was a sweet angst free read that I highly recommend.

4.5 out of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Release Day Review: Diplomatic Relations (Sci-Regency #4) by J.L. Langley

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/diplomatic-relations-by-jl-langley-10234-b

Blurb

Opposites don’t just attract… they sizzle.

A lusty special forces soldier who lives by his own set of rules, Dalton Fairfax decided long ago to stop wishing for his father’s love, and he found his calling. Now that he’s back home and between assignments, he finds himself at loose ends. When the opportunity arises to play bodyguard and help out his country, Dalton jumps at the chance. Not only does it keep him busy, but it just so happens that his charge is the man he saw on leave last month and hasn’t been able to get out of his head.

Heir to a dukedom and a conservative politician, Blaise Thompson strives to prove himself worthy of carrying on the family legacy as the next IN Councilman. However, his closest competitor keeps getting in the way and taking credit for Blaise’s ideas. Maintaining his stellar reputation isn’t easy to do while keeping his outrageous younger brother in line and foiling his rival’s personal attacks. He has no time for a guard and even less time for romance.

When a priceless antique goes missing, Blaise and Dalton discover that Regelence has larger problems than just IN plots. Now the only way to stop a scandal that threatens both of them is to compromise, and they are forced to confront the risk of losing everything… even each other.

Review

This was a light and fun read. I really like how this series brings such an original sci-fi take to the regency genre. It was a bit surprising, though in a good way, to see a man worry about his “reputation” in society for once, quite the role-reversal.

Blaise is very sheltered, almost too innocent even, which is why I found it a bit incongruous to see him shed his principles and risk his precious reputation so easily afterwards. Although I suppose he was overcome by the power of his love for Dalton. Blaise’s parents are supposedly very loving, but strangely aren’t in the picture much and not overly warm when they are.
I liked the storyline on Dalton and his parents far better, troubled though their relationship was. That brought some intense emotional moments in the story, on top of the developing romance, and gave Dalton’s character extra depth and a nice chance to grow. Dalton’s definitely my favorite.

The banter between Blaise and Dalton was very entertaining and sweet depending on the moment and really enjoyed the “galactic” swear words and expressions. Most of their relationship plays out behind closed doors and with a lot of sneaking around. That did annoy me at times, especially near the end. I feel that Blaise could have been a bit more assertive and forthcoming by then, standing up for his man and all that. Though all’s well that ends well and things wrap up great with an only slightly predictable grand gesture.
The stage is also teasingly set for the next stories in the series and I’m definitely intrigued enough to want to see how they’ll play out.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Recent Release: Escape to Paradise By Cailtin Ricci

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/escape-to-paradise-by-caitlin-ricci-10136-b

Blurb

His attraction to men means Kalean is the black sheep of his wealthy and powerful family—but it won’t get him out of attending his brother’s pretentious wedding ceremony. Kalean doesn’t want to go, but if his parents insist, he has a stipulation: he’ll be there with a man on his arm.
On the pleasure planet, Wish, Kalean goes to a brothel to meet some potential escorts. But the man who captures his attention isn’t one of those on offer….
Descani is as surprised as anyone at Kalean’s attraction to him—and at his own interest in the young man. He’s even more perplexed as a bond begins forming between them.
But a murder rips apart Kalean’s family and redefines his role. He’ll be isolated on his cold and barren home world, far from the warm and colorful planet of Wish—and the arms of the man who’s coming to mean so much to him—unless he can find a way to escape the forces separating them.

Review

This book is the newest in this series. It has shy and inexperienced Kalean. His family owns the mining rights to the icy planet they live on. If there was royalty, they would be the monarch. His cold and distant family grated on my nerves. Hard to be out, but not accepted. Pretty well swept under the rug. Then as stipulation to go to his brother’s wedding, he meets Descani. A character that by description is almost feline like…but no mention of tail. They are very hot together. Kalean started shy, but as the book progresses he became comfortable in his new freedom. Descani’s character is amusingly brash and very forward. Great contrast to Kaleaan who is shy and just accepts thing as is while brooding in silence. A few sad parts, but not bad. I enjoyed the added character of Lethe, his sister in law. She has spunk. The descriptions of the locations are great and you feel transported to the planets in this story. Great book., it was hard to put down.

Number of stars out of 5

5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever By: Andrew Grey Narrated by: John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-best-worst-honeymoon-ever-by-andrew-grey-9640-b

Blurb

How can heartbreak turn into happily ever after?

Tommy Gordon is all set for happily ever after – until heartbreak strikes when his husband-to-be leaves him at the altar. In a bid for distraction, his best friend, Grayson Phillips, suggests he takes advantage of the luxury honeymoon anyway! But the last thing Tommy wants is to go alone, so he invites Grayson and his son, Petey, along.

Beautiful Bonaire lends itself to romance, and along with close quarters, relaxing on the water, and a matchmaking kid, Tommy and Grayson soon find themselves closer than ever…and considering more, much to Grayson’s delight. But before they can plan the best best honeymoon ever, dark clouds descend in the form of Tommy’s ex and a sting from paradise that could ruin everything.

Review

One of the main reasons I love Andrew Grey’s books so much is that he can tell a good story without having it drawn out forever. The two main characters Grayson and Tommy are good friends who have been attracted to each other, but timing never worked out for them. Then after Tommy gets jilted at the altar, Grayson and his young son Petey end up all going on Tommy’s honeymoon. There, Tommy and Grayson work through their feelings for each other while also making sure their budding relationship doesn’t have a negative effect on Petey. There is a little drama when Tommy’s conniving Ex shows back up with a blackmail scheme. There description of the scenery and the underwater ocean scenes is breathtaking.

John Solo is a great narrator. He keeps the narration flowing at a good pace and I absolutely adore his voice for Petey!!

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Recent Review: The Enchanter’s Flame (The Ellwood Chronicles #1) by Michele Notaro narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Enchanters-Flame-Audiobook/B07LC44TC4?ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_11_B07LC44TC4&pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=0ZAHTHRQJHPC89EKEXYP&

Blurb

Strange things are happening all around Brinnswick. Things that remind me of a piece of my past I’d rather forget. Girls are being killed, drained of blood, and left with strange markings on their bodies. When I finally connect the cases together, a specialist is called in—though, what he’s a specialist of is beyond me.

When the chief assigns him as my new partner for the case, I can’t help but groan on the inside. Why of all people would I be assigned to Ailin Ellwood? The man is a disaster waiting to happen and a jerk to boot. A sexy jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.

What will Sebastian think when he discovers Ailin’s specialty? Will he make a run for it or will he stick around and discover a world of magic hidden beneath the city’s surface?

***The Enchanter’s Flame is the first book in the Ellwood Chronicles. It’s a paranormal romance that contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 and over.***

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

First, let me say I LOVE this cover – it’s so nice not to see the typical half -naked torso!
Second, I wanted to say that I really want to recommend this book. ( I can’t say the series because the first/prequel isn’t my type of book – but that’s maybe just me). Ailin is a great character and this book is full of magic and humor and some UST! I really enjoyed it! The entourage of animals really cracked me up!
I’m looking forward to the next book and hopefullly more laughs and spells!
4 of 5 stars

 

Audio

Kenneth Obi is not my favorite.  He does a fine enough job but I don’t enjoy his narrations as I do others.  He’s a nice way to listen to this story if you can’t read it or want a hands free method – but he didn’t necessarily add to my overall enjoyment.  There is something about his character voices that I just don’t love.

In any case it’s still a great book and a nice audio.

 

3 of 5 stars

 

Overall 3.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Inside Out (Road to Blissville #6) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43580798-inside-out?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Romeo Bradly and Julius Shepherd moved to Blissville for the same reason: a fresh start. Romeo was looking for a school district where he could make a real impact in the lives of students and faculty, and Julius was eager to teach one of his passions to the best and brightest at a school with a nationally ranked science program. But the sleepy little town offered them much more than they’d bargained for—quirky people, unlikely friendships, and an all-consuming attraction that turns them inside out.

When unexpected circumstances threaten to cancel the school play, Romeo’s theater background and Julius’s musical expertise make them the perfect pair to save the day. Working together so closely makes it harder for the men to ignore their growing feelings. After all, the heart knows what it wants and doesn’t care about age gaps, race, or professional conflict of interest. Romeo and Julius will learn that they have far more in common than they realize, and their differences will make them stronger if they give love a chance.

Their commitment to each other and the play will be tested when outside forces target them as a couple and exert pressure to cancel the production. Romeo and Julius vow to prove their love can conquer any challenge and will burn strong well beyond the curtain call.

Inside Out is a whimsical, May/December romance featuring a man learning to love again and a man falling in love for the first time. It is the sixth book in the Road to Blissville series and can be read as a standalone book or part of the series. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for adults 18 and older.

Review
Inside Out is the 6th book of the Blissville series. This one can easily be read as a standalone. This book is very light hearted, funny. Romeo and Julius are both well developed characters. The two men come together after fighting their attraction, to help a trio of kids bring their school musical to life. As a huge musical nerd, I thoroughly loved this plot line. Julius ends up composing the music and the scene when Romeo hears it for the first time is absolute magic. When word gets out about this musical, a homophobic faction arises to try and shut the production down. Even with the threat of a homophobic group on the rampage, this story has very little angst and still comes off as a very sweet and swoon worthy read.

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Like Smoke (Vikings #1) by Catherine Lievens

Blurb
Trygve is used to being on his own. His wife rejected him when he became a draugr around the year 800, and he hasn’t trusted anyone but his best friend, Thorvald, since then. He lives and works alone, and he has no intentions on changing that.

Then he meets Isaac.

Isaac’s life has been rotten—he was kicked out by his parents when he was sixteen, he was kidnapped from the streets at twenty, and he spent the last eight years chained to a wall and being abused. So when a tall blond man, appears out of thin air and kills the man who’s been torturing Isaac for so long, he begs for death—or to be taken away.

Trygve knows he should dump Isaac in a hospital and go back to his solitary life, but Isaac needs help, and for some reason, he seems to trust Trygve, so Trygve lets him stay with him. Neither of them expects their unlikely friendship will become more, and they take things slowly, for both their sakes.

But someone is after Isaac, and Trygve knows he will do anything to protect the first person he’s loved in more than a thousand years.

Even if that means killing people he’s not being paid to kill.

Review

This had some really interesting world building.  The Berzerker/Viking as a Vampire type is new to me but- of course – the Alpha male falling for the small guy is not new and one of Catherine’s hallmarks.

If you are a fan of the author’s other works you’ll probably like this as well and if you haven’t read her but you like the big guy dominating the small guy and rescuing him all the time – this will be up your alley.

I enjoyed it for the humor, the unique world building and the predictable HEA.  I also LOVE the cover!


Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Relase: Moonlight Kiss (Vampires of Silver Creek #1) by Kensie King

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43514703-moonlight-kiss?from_search=true

Blurb

We only have one rule: don’t tell humans who we really are. Vampires. But what if the one you’re destined to be with is human?

Jonathan Monroe has been part of his clan of vampires since they settled in Silver Creek. He honors his leaders’ wishes about keeping their secret from humans, though he doesn’t see humans as a threat. They intrigue him. Flesh and blood with real lives, real worries—real heartbeats. But he keeps his distance even though he feels like he’s missing something. When he sees a car slide off the road one night and rescues the man inside, he’s sure he’s found the person he’s meant to be with—even though it goes against everything their kind stands for.

David Reynolds has always taken care of himself. A job, a home, a new start. But coming to Silver Creek left him with a hole he can’t seem to fill. Until he meets Jonathan Monroe. Since Jonathan saved him from near death, he feels a special connection to him he’s never felt with another person in his life. Nothing can deter it—not even Jonathan’s secret. But when he finds out the truth about his savior, his entire existence is put in jeopardy.

Jonathan is willing to do whatever it takes to keep David safe, but it might mean risking everything to stay with the man he’s fallen for.

This steamy M/M romance is set in a contemporary world with vampires. Each book in the series is a standalone story, with a sexy romance and a HEA.

Review

This was good, not great.  I enjoyed the human finding out about vampires thing.  I didn’t enjoy the “keep it a secret or make him a vampire” thing.

The smexy times were good, the drama predictable but not distracting from the romance.  I thought it was funny that the one rule was immediately broken! 

My biggest complaint was that it was not full of typical vampire “fun powers” and biting etcetera and it made it seem like being a vamp is super boring and not fun.  I’ll investigate the second book in the series but I’m not very hopeful.

2.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: Familiar Demon By Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/familiar-demon-by-amy-lane-10187-b

Blurb
Familiar Love: Book Two
For over a century, Edward Youngblood has been the logical one in a family of temperamental magical beings. But reason has not made him immune to passion, and Edward’s passion for Mullins, the family’s demon instructor, has only grown.
Mullins was lured into hell through desperation—and a fatal mistake. He’s done his best to hang onto his soul in the twisted realm of the underworld, and serving the Youngblood family when summoned has been his only joy. Edward concocts a plan to spring Mullins by collecting a series of items to perform an ancient ritual—an idea that terrifies Mullins. He can’t bear the thought of losing Edward and his brothers to a dangerous quest.
But every item in their collection is an adventure in brotherhood and magic, and as Mullins watches from the sidelines, he becomes more and more hopeful that they will succeed. When the time comes for Mullins to join the mission, can he find enough faith and hope to redeem himself and allow himself happiness in the arms of a man who would literally go to hell and back—and beyond—to have Mullins by his side?

Review by Mary

When I started Familiar Demon I wondered if I should have read (or listened) to Familiar Angel first but its not necessary. It became clear as I continued that everything was to be explained. Although I think I will listen to it because I liked the characters.

This is the story of Mullins a demon and Edward a familiar. Their friendship and love has spanned more than a century. There are a lot of twists and turns involving gods and elves and all manner of other mystical creatures. Which gives the story a good pace. During the search for ingredients needed in the spell to free him Mullins tells his story. Explaining to Edward how he ended up in Hell and it only endears him further.

With the help of his family Edward manages to gather almost everything he needs to release Mullins from Hell. Into this story comes characters from some earlier books set on Greens Hill, the Little Goddess Series, and they form a key part of the story. I am tempted to look into them.

There are some aspects that didn’t seem clear but maybe they are destined to be explained in the next book. I wouldn’t say this is one of my favourite books by Amy Lane but is different and if you like fantasy it might be right up your street.

 

3 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

I bet I’m going to be in the minority again. Sigh.

This was just too complex for me. I had such a hard time understanding what was going on with all the Green’s Hill people and the “sphincters of hell” kept bringing me out of the story. I also did not understand the Other at all and the end result was this hodge podge of fantasy that just didn’t make me feel like I was as “in” the story as I wanted to be.

I adore those 3 boys. I loved the Angel story from book 1 and by comparison I was underwhelmed with the connection between Edward and Mullins.

There was just too much going on and I’m sad to say this just didn’t work for me as well as many of Amy’s other books did.

Now, that being said, it was still an Amy story – so parts of it were still really good – but parts of it felt discombobulated and rushed – but that could just be me. I have read the Green’s Hill stuff – once – awhile ago – and maybe if it was fresher in my mind – but I didn’t care for it – one of the MCs dies! – and it wasn’t one of Amy’s best – IMHO.

So – for fans of Amy, for fans of her Green Hill, and for fans of Familiar Angel this will definitely be a must read – but if you aren’t in one of those categories you might be terribly confused.

3 of 5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review