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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: How We Survive (Reclaiming Hope #1) by Michele Notaro Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/How-We-Survive-Audiobook/B07P76C5FW?qid=1559330962&sr=1-5&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_5&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=E1ACQEPAPPQ4QGNFK2KH

Blurb
Nate~
With the world in chaos around us, the only thing I could do was try to keep Felix safe as we searched for our older brother. We’d been traveling for over two years, searching Ministry camp after Ministry camp and trying to steer clear of the Rebels. I didn’t know what to do when we ran into a whole group of shifters with guns. But then, the huge, gorgeous guy that found us did the unthinkable…

Tre~
At first I thought the two young shifters were trying to sneak up on me, but I soon realized they were only passing through. I was going to send them on their way until I heard the others coming. What was I supposed to do? How else was I supposed to save them? The delicious man and his brother would’ve been killed had I not claimed him.

Will Nate and Tre be able to work together to keep themselves and their packmates alive? Or will they let the cruelty of the outside world tear them apart?

***How We Survive is the first book in the Reclaiming Hope series, but is a standalone novel. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but the couples will show up throughout the series. It’s a paranormal shifter romance between two men with explicit language and graphic sex intended for Adults Only.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This was so good!!!! It’s a dystopian/war type story which I usually avoid like the plague, but the romance is so sweet and the shifter world is really well-developed and captivating that when a friend recommended this I couldn’t put it down!

It’s dark and not super happy, but there are moments of light and I’m hopeful that book 2 will have some more happiness in it as well.

If you’re looking for a real shifter-centered romance where the MCs act like shifter and not just happen to shift now and then – this is for you.

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Kenneth Obi does a nice job with this. He’s easy to listen to and does a nice job giving all the characters a unique voice. Definitely a good way to enjoy this story!

3.5 of 5 stars

Overall
4 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Prophesy The King & Alpha Series Series, Book 1 By: A.E. Via Narrated by: Nathaniel Black

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Prophesy-Audiobook/B07DHRYQBZ?ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_B07DHRYQBZ&pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=9XQDZCZWH3D066HVSFMH

Blurb

Justice Volkov is the youngest Alpha Zenith to ever lead the wolf shifters. Following in his father’s large paw prints was a responsibility he met head on. Now at age 33, he is alpha of the alphas. As a direct descendant of the original Siberian pack, his wolf is bigger and stronger than Justice himself is sometimes able to control. His wolf howled long and hard, but Justice kept it inside. It felt like a bass drum beating against his rib cage. The harsh breaths, angry snarls, and the determined pacing inside him were overtaking him. Justice takes his role of leadership and his legacy very seriously. He has little time for romance, not to mention a true mate. His packs are his priority. With a human government trying to regulate them, an uprising of rogue shifters, and a violent team of scientists trying to experiment on them, Justice has his hands way too full.

Chadwick “Wick” Bentley is not enthusiastic when the captain of his escort tells him he has to leave his comfortable London home and go back to the States. As the Vampire King, he has no choice but to get his species back in line before they cause anymore chaos. At over 100 years old, Wick is no one to trifle with, but his smooth, charismatic manner makes him quite unique, despite the negative reputation vampires have. Wick has had nothing but time up to this point. He doesn’t feel the need to make issues pressing. Nothing is urgent in his life. Until he meets Justice. His beloved.

“Natural enemies can’t be mates.” Or so Justice thought. He knows his skepticism and rejection is hurting his mate, so while he fights their connection, Wick gets help from a source very close to Justice to help him win his beloved’s heart. Wick is a force all on his own, but when he’s blessed with a special gift from the Mother herself, not even Justice’s powerful wolf can prevent the prophesy from being fulfilled.

Review
This was my first A.E. Via story and I found it pretty enjoyable. This was a sweet and sexy fated mate story with a twist. The two main characters of the story were Justice the mega alpha werewolf and Wick, the king of the vampires. I always like when fated mates must work for their HEA, there is a little drama between the two at the beginning, but they quickly move past their differences. I liked Wick more than Justice, mainly because in the beginning, Justice was kind of a jerk. There are plenty of sexy times and some good action scenes packed in this rather short story.

This was also the first audio I have heard narrated by Nathaniel Black. I enjoyed his narration for the most part. He did a good job with giving the vampires distinctive voices but the werewolf brothers all kind of sounded the same. He did a good job bringing this story to life.

4 stars for story and narration


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: The More the Merrier by Sean Michael

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-more-the-merrier-by-sean-michael-10516-b

BLURB
Too much of a good thing?
When Logan gets the call about newborn triplets in need of a home, he steps up, realizing too late the daunting task he’s taken on. He’d be lost without the men of the Teddy Bear Club—especially Dirk.
Dirk even offers to spend spring break at Logan’s home, helping him and the babies settle in. He loves being a dad, and he wants to help Logan find the same joy. It doesn’t hurt that they enjoy spending time together.
Before they even realize it, they’re settling into a routine… becoming a family.
Falling in love.
But their new bond is about to face the ultimate test. Will they come through and realize that with love, there’s no such thing as enough?

REVIEW:
When Logan decided to be a foster parent, he never expected triplets or how his life would change once he brought them home. With the help of his friends and especially Dirk, Logan begins to adjust to having the babies, but he cannot do it alone. Soon Dirk is there to help but once again Logan’s world is turned upside down and he must rely on the help of Dirk and his friends, hoping that all will be okay in the end.
Logan and Dirk’s story is a sweet read and I enjoyed watching their relationship grow and deepen as the two work together to take care of the triplets. This book is full of emotions and will pull on your heartstrings at times. I enjoyed seeing Dirk and Logan figure out how to take care of four children and still figure out just where they stand with each other. The two make a great couple and their love shines through in all that they do. I loved seeing everyone come together and help Logan adjust to his new life. Not only does Dirk and Logan’s love show but all the friendships are strong and make this story a wonderful addition to this series.

Number of stars out of 5 :4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 
Review

This fantastic book is part of a series that I have not read book one. Logan is a dad that takes on adorable triplets and realized he is way over his head. He enlists fellow father Dirk to help initially. Dirk and Logan have an adorable “does he like me” moment. The chemistry is wonderful. This was overall a very sweet story about finding family when not looking. There are a few moments in the book that pulled at my heartstrings. All characters were fun to read. Really hope there are more books in the series. I will definitely read book one.

Number of stars out of 5

5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Strike a Chord (Replay #4) by K.M. Neuhold

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45708987-strike-a-chord?from_search=true

Blurb

“You want to fake date me?”

Music is my life, my band is my heart and soul, and it’s all falling apart before my eyes.

A plan hatched from desperation as we both watch our careers burn down around us. Dating my best friend’s twin brother, Paris, who just so happens to be a gay icon at the moment seems like the perfect plan. And if we have a little fun along the way, where’s the harm in that? The band is spiraling, his football career is going up in flames, and the more the world falls down around us, the easier it is to get lost in each other.

But are stolen moments during our own busy schedules and hurried kisses hidden behind social media posts the basis for a real relationship, or is this just another thing that’s going to turn to dust in our hands?

Review

Both MC’s have been pining for each other since high school, but circumstances and misunderstandings made it so neither of them acted on their feelings and they have no clue that their feelings are reciprocated. Luckily, they kind of tumble into a fake relationship and discover that there is something real beneath the surface, after all. The vulnerability and angst that accompanied this realization was beautifully written and made this a very gripping story. Watching them slowly give in to their feelings was absolutely lovely. Benji and Paris do the long distance thing, which is far from ideal, and I loved how the author solved that for these two amazing MC’s, ending the book on a super romantic, and suitably hot, high note.

I loved how this story was written, with one the hand the growing connection between Paris and Benji, and on the other, the story of the band itself and how all the members find personal happiness and a way to turn things around for their band too. Throughout this series, the importance of their music and the joy the band members find in performing is brilliantly described.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: How to Deal All Cocks Stories, Book 3 By: T.M. Smith Narrated by: Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/How-to-Deal-Audiobook/B01M9IRFFP?qid=1558804688&sr=1-3&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_3&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=XXMJN2MBPJA516DN4Q9E

Blurb

Jon Brennan comes from a long line of men in uniform; all born and bred to both bleed and wear blue. His family and the majority of his co-workers support him every step of the way, so he doesn’t need to hide the fact that he prefers men over women. Between the job and his larger than life, loud and rowdy half Irish, half Italian family, there isn’t much time for dating, much less finding a guy who can deal with the stress and demands placed on the shoulders of an NYPD detective.

Kory White is cocky and abrasive with most people, but it is all a facade he hides behind to keep his heart safe. As a child, Kory lost his mother to an act of violence. Soon after, he and his baby sister Kassandra were separated by the system. Kassandra was immediately adopted, but Kory spent the next 10 years cycling through foster homes before moving to the Big Apple. In an effort to keep everyone at a distance, Kory has meticulously built himself an alter ego: Hayden Cox, All Cocks cockiest model.

These two strong-willed men definitely prove opposites do attract. Both are stubborn and hard headed to a fault, Kory more so than Jon. But Jon is used to being in control, the one calling the shots, and Kory fights him at every turn. Just when it seems they have found a way to navigate the unchartered territory that is love, tragedy knocks on Kory’s door yet again. Volatile and strong, even in the face of adversity, both men refuse to give up on each other – or their love.

Review
Story
How To Deal is the third book in the All Cocks Stories series. It can be listened to as a standalone but I suggest listening to these in order because there are reoccurring characters in each book.
The thing I loved the most about the story was getting to know the real Kory. In the previous books he comes off cocky and brash and quite the jerk. In this story we find out that is just a shield to protect himself from the trauma he experienced as a child.
Jon is a great partner for Kory. He’s laid back and quite easy going but he is strong enough to keep Kory in line when needed. There are some great scenes between Kory and Jon that show just how strong their bond really is. This story has the perfect blending of drama and emotion that I like.
Narration
How to Deal is narrated by the amazingly talented Joel Leslie. He always brings so much to the characters he voices. There are a lot of secondary characters in these books and they all have distinctive voices.

5 stars for both story and narration

Purchased for Review

 

Recent Release: Prisoner of Shadows (Lords of the Underworld #2) by Sam Burns, W.M. Fawkes

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45482837-prisoner-of-shadows?from_search=true

Blurb

For more than five thousand years, Prometheus has been chained in the underworld. Every day, an eagle tears out his liver. Every night, he heals. When Hermes releases him in a gambit to save himself from his father’s wrath, Prometheus must adjust to a world that’s forgotten him. Hunted by the twins, Artemis and Apollo, he finds help in an unexpected place.

Julian Bell is a vampire lost. He left his Louisiana home in 1936 and hasn’t settled since. Ten years ago he followed his best friend to New York, but the country they came to wasn’t the America he left. After losing his friend, he found himself unmoored in a strange land. As he nears his hundredth birthday, he’s realizing how truly alone he is.

When Prometheus and Julian’s paths cross one fateful night, they find in each other a safe path through the shadows.

Review
Prisoner of Shadows is the second book in the Lords of the Underworld series which has so far been a delightful twist on Greek mythology.
Prometheus has been chained up and tortured in the underworld for centuries but due to the schemes of others he is released and forced to try and survive in a world he knows nothing about. I found Prometheus to be utterly charming and sweet. He just seemed to have this innocence about him but as the book progresses his character grows and evolves.
This book also takes vampire lore and put a Greek twist on it as well. Julian is apart of the Hunt, which was tasked by Artemis to help the helpless. Julian tasks himself with protecting Prometheus from those than hunt him. I really enjoyed seeing the relationship bloom between these two.
This book was very enjoyable and can easily be read as a standalone.

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Benoit (Owatonna U Hockey #3) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43560366-benoit?from_search=true

Blurb

When the lines between career and love blur, will Ethan and Ben find a way to create a future that will work for both of them?

Senior year is here, and everything is on the line. Benoit’s time to shine in the crease is now, and he’s going to do everything he can to make sure those professional scouts take notice. He’s earned a great reputation for his skills in the net, and his laid-back demeanor is his key to maintaining his cool when things get heated in the goal crease.

As the Eagles roar into a new season, Ben’s laser-sharp focus is shattered by his attraction to Ethan Girard, the team’s new defensive consultant. Trying his best to ignore the budding friendship that’s taking a hard, fast turn into something far more passionate, Ben is determined to keep his mind on the sport he loves and not let his feelings for the handsome older man creep into his performance. But love, like hockey, is wildly unpredictable, and soon Ben finds that he’s unable to distance himself from Ethan who is slowly and surely working himself into his heart.

Famed Boston defenseman, Ethan Girard, isn’t stupid. Celebrating his thirty-second birthday in the emergency room after breaking his leg, and with a warning that healing will be a long process, he knows he has to think about his future. He was drafted at eighteen, and he’s never known anything but hockey, but with no contract in place yet for the new season he considers that maybe it’s time for him to hang up his skates for good.

Volunteering to help out with the Owatonna Eagles fills his time, but from the moment he lays eyes on goalie Ben, he knows his world will never be the same again. Falling in lust is as easy as stealing his first kiss, but Ben refuses to engage. Has Ethan finally met his match?

Review

I love goalies! And goalie stories! Benoit is a little odd, as are all goalies, and he has his own traditions and peculiarities which make him feel authentic.

Ethan did not get as fleshed out, for me, as Benoit did and though he was a lot older than Ben, I didn’t get the same feeling of age difference as I did with Ten and Jared. I loved having the characters from the Railers come through here – especially Stan – who remains my favorite character in both series.

The romance was pretty darn easy and the “suspense” was pretty uneventful. All in all it was a nice, relatively angst free romance with a few smexy times, a nice re-visiting with prior characters and a little bit of hockey on the side.

4 of 5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Strength of His Heart By Victoria Sue narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-strength-of-his-heart-by-victoria-sue-10045-b

Blurb
Enhanced World: Book Four

To protect and serve…. All Vance Connelly ever wanted to do was continue his family’s tradition and join the Tampa Police Department, but his dreams were crushed the day he woke with the enhanced mark on his face. After years of struggling to adjust to life as an enhanced human, by a stroke of luck, he met Talon Valdez and became a proud member of the FBI’s Human Enhanced Rescue Organization.
Samuel “Angel” Piper is eager to leave his DEA undercover work behind as he joins the HERO team as Vance’s regular human partner. But Sam’s painful past is ever present, just below the surface of the life he has built for himself as an ambitious young agent. When the team investigates rumors of a new drug using enhanced blood, the case’s mysterious connection to Sam threatens not just his life but Vance’s.
Trust doesn’t come easy for Sam, but Vance is willing to fight to convince his partner that the strength of his heart might be the salvation they both need.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Sigh. There is so much I love about this world and this series – but there is so much that I get frustrated with as well.
In this case – I was really unimpressed with Vance and Angel’s romance – which was a drag because I really thought Angel would be one of my favorite characters’stories based on his presence in other books.
I find myself skimming a lot in this story and I think the author could use a strong hand with an editor to really make these stories leaner and more powerful. There was just so much thrown in here that I found myself confused a lot which led to frustration and finally to indifference. Frankly, it was too much work to figure out who, what and where with this – even though I’d read all the books leading up to this book.
There is an awful lot of telling and not nearly as much showing as I’d like and the end result is more of a lukewarm romance than something that really sets the heart/pages on fire. When I read the next to last sex scene I was ready to be done with the entire series – it’s really awful – and if it hadn’t happened just near the end I would have DNF’d the book – it felt almost like non-consensual contact- though it wasn’t – and it happened almost at the end when our MCs are already supposedly in love and happy… it felt really uncomfortable and we didn’t get nearly enough Happy to make up for it.
2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars

Audio
I super love Nick J Russo. He makes any book better just having narrated it. I really enjoy his ability to do a plethora of characters with a variety of accents including women and children. This is a series with a metric ton of characters and Nick does an excellent job of giving each of them a unique sound. I enjoyed in particular his version of Luis and was able to make it through this story as an audiobook despite my reservations from reading it.
I’m still a big fan of this series and I definitely recommend the audiobook as a terrific way to enjoy this story.

5 of 5 for the narration

4 of 5 stars overall


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Prince of Death (Lords of the Underworld #1) by Sam Burns, W.M. Fawkes

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44224267-prince-of-death

Blurb

Gifted power over life and death, Lysandros has spent millennia in the underworld, listless and alone. The youngest child of Hades and Persephone, he’s been sheltered from the threats in the world above.

Theo Ward hasn’t been so lucky. After watching his mother wither away, he’d do almost anything to have her back. When a messenger appears at the Banneker College of Magic and offers the young professor a chance to save her, Theo can’t pass it up, even if it means going straight into the underworld and dragging her home. But Theo gets more than he bargained for when he crosses paths with the prince of Hades.

Set against the king of Olympus, they must shed their past burdens and learn to trust in each other, so they can face down a storm that threatens to wipe the nation’s capital off the map.

Review
I had a lot of fun reading this story. I have loved Greek mythology since childhood and I loved the unique take on these legends. There are a lot of secondary characters in this story but lucky there is a glossary at the end of the book. The relationship and romance between the two main characters, Theo and Lysandros, while hot and steamy, it did feel a bit rushed. The characters and story were very well written so I can forgive the fast-paced romance. This book was very entertaining and enjoyable.

I highly recommend to all who are fans of mythology!!

4.5 Stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Larry Boots, Exterminator by John Inman

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/larry-boots-exterminator-by-john-inman-10514-b

Blurb:
Kenny Long is living a new life. Blinded in an accident, he has taken control of his unexpected reality the best way he can, and it’s working out better than he hoped. Of course Larry Boots doesn’t know any of that. All he sees is a beautiful man sitting on a park bench. Larry has a few problems of his own: His mother. His job. The lack of romance in his life. His job. In the course of that job, Larry strikes up a friendship with Kenny. The next thing he knows, he’s so head over heels in love, even his mother doesn’t seem so bad. Of course his career is still a problem, but he’s working on that. Hopefully he’ll have the problem resolved before the man he’s being paid to murder succeeds in murdering him first. And before the man he loves finds out he’s a cold-blooded killer.

Review: This is a fun story, despite some of the darker elements related to Larry’s line of ‘work’ ☺
Larry, as the title suggests, gets rid of unsavoury things. Unsavoury people, if one is to be accurate. He stumbled into this line of work by accident, but as long as he’s needed, he’ll do it. That is, until he finds a reason to quit, in the form of Kenny.
Kenny is blind, but that doesn’t stop Larry from falling for him. When the two men strike up a conversation, Larry is intrigued by how self-sufficient Kenny is. As they get to know one another, Kenny has to navigate meeting Larry’s mum (she’s a hoot), his 2 dogs and Larry’s odd hours. When one of Larry’s marks hits a little close to home, Larry has to decide what is more important to him.
There were some dark/sad aspects as to why Larry is an exterminator, but these were deftly interwoven with the humour and romance of the story. I really enjoyed it. It’s a good, lighthearted story that I enjoyed a lot.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review