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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: Rebound (Seattle Steelheads #1) by L.A. Witt narrated by Nick J Russo and Michael Ferraiuolo

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Rebound-Audiobook/1630153648?qid=1567272863&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=9SJTN0G4NXF1Q0FC1MQK&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

A forty-something single dad, a twenty-something hockey star, and a whole lot of baggage. No, this couldn’t possibly blow up in their faces.

Officer Geoff Logan has his plate full. His cop’s salary and Marine retirement aren’t enough to make ends meet. He’s got war wounds and demons that are in it for the long haul. His teenagers are, well, teenagers, plus they’re pissed that he left the boyfriend they loved. Can’t a guy catch a break?

Seattle Steelheads center Asher Crowe has it all. A seven figure salary. A literal house on a hill. A stable, loving relationship with an amazing boyfriend. At least, that’s what the world sees. Behind closed doors, he’s been living in a private hell, and when he finally works up the courage to end things, his boyfriend refuses to go quietly.

One call to the cops, and suddenly Geoff and Asher’s paths cross. But is the connection between them simple chemistry? Kindred spirits? Or just a pair of lonely hearts looking for a hot distraction?

And even if it’s more than physical, is there really a future for two men from such vastly different worlds? Especially when the past comes knocking?

This novel is approximately 89,000 words long.
TW: abuse, combat PTSD

Review

There was a LOT that I loved about this. From a hot, steamy romance persepective this was – on fire! The two MCs are open with each other. Share similar backgrounds (in terms of abuse) and really spark one another.

Beyond that there were a lot of problems – for me.

The hockey just wasn’t there enough to make me feel that was part of the story. Beyond some occasional practices and games he could have been in any profession and I think that’s just not applicable. His coming out, his game, his personality, his physicality, and his ego should have played more of a part and it wasn’t that believable.

The kids bothered the crap out of me. I wanted to shake them and their dad for not coming clean. I didn’t get why the ex wanted to manipulate the dad through the kids and that bothered me the entire story.

So… while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it and I’d recommend it with a grain of salt.

3.5 stars

Audio

Wow! So what do you get when you give two excellent narrators a good story? An amazing adventure!

 

I adore both of these narrators and they do not disappoint when they work together! Nick was the ideal choice for all things Hockey – he does a great job with the clueless but helping teammates as well as the gruff coach. Meanwhile Michael does a fantastic job with the cooler, more collected Geoff.

 

This elevated the experience and definitely is the best way to enjoy this story!

 

5 of 5 stars

 

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

 

 


Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47948494-the-lion-and-the-crow?from_search=true

Blurb

In medieval England, duty is everything, personal honor is more valued than life itself, and homosexuality is not tolerated by the church or society.

Sir Christian Brandon was raised in a household where he was hated for his unusual beauty and for his parentage. Being smaller than his six brutish half-brothers, he learned to survive by using his wits and his gift for strategy, earning him the nickname the Crow.

Sir William Corbett, a large and fierce warrior known as the Lion, has pushed his unnatural desires down all his life. He’s determined to live up to his own ideal of a gallant knight. When he takes up a quest to rescue his sister from her abusive lord of a husband, he’s forced to enlist the help of Sir Christian. It’s a partnership that will test every strand of his moral fiber, and, eventually, his understanding of the meaning of duty, honor, and love.

Review

Set in 1300 The Lion and the Crow is a wonderful tale of knights in armor, facing enemies known and hidden. It has the flare and feel of old tales, Walter Scott type of stories or Robin Hood, with M/M romance. The writing fits the time period well, it was witty and full of charm. There see,ed to be a lot of research put into the story and it shows in the richness and flow of the plot-line.
I really liked Crow- Christian. He reminded me of Loki from the MARVEL franchise, cunning and beautiful and with a heartbreaking backstory. The Lion-William is so honorable, and he was very much the knight you imagine when you think about the crusades and the Middle Ages. They share an interesting bond, starting off as sort of enemies and evolving into friends with great banter and humor. William’s sister was also a great supporting character and the solution to her situation was an interesting, clever twist I was not expecting.

The Epilogue is bittersweet but, as a re-release you still have the old Epilogue as well. It’s gentler, and I would recommend it to readers who want the sweeter ending, though it is still a HEA both ways.

Number of stars out of 5
4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Fish on a Bicycle (Fish Out of Water #5) by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fish-on-a-bicycle-by-amy-lane-10835-b

Blurb

Jackson Rivers has always bucked the rules—and bucking the rules of recovery is no exception. Now that he and Ellery are starting their own law firm, there’s no reason he can’t rush into trouble and take the same risks as always, right?

Maybe not. Their first case is a doozy, involving porn stars, drug empires, and daddy issues, and their client, Henry Worrall, wants to be an active participant in his own defense. As Henry and Jackson fight the bad guys and each other to find out who dumped the porn star in the trash can, Jackson must reexamine his assumptions that four months of rest and a few good conversations have made him all better inside.

Jackson keeps crashing his bicycle of self-care and a successful relationship, and Ellery wonders what’s going to give out first—Jackson’s health or Ellery’s patience. Jackson’s body hasn’t forgiven him for past crimes. Can Ellery forgive him for his current sins? And can they keep Henry from going to jail for sleeping with the wrong guy at the wrong time?

Being a fish out of water is tough—but if you give a fish a bicycle, how’s he going to swim?

Review

Oh man! This was awesome! I absolutely love seeing Burton and Ernie again and I was psyched to see Dex, Kane and even poor Scott. I’d have loved to see a bit more of what’s going on with Henry, but it was fascinating understanding things from his side.

Amy got everyone in there – Mackie, Seth, Gaven, Kane, Dex, Henry… If I get my wish, Henry will get his own story – as a side-kick to Jackson, and we’ll get to see more of their HEA (and Lucy Satan!)

This was fun. I do get exhausted seeing Jackson perpetually hurt, so it’ll be nice if he finally figures things out. I wish he’d had more time with the Rabbi but I think Ellery will get him there.

All in all this will make fans of the series happy and was a great addition!

Recommended!

4.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Abel’s Omega by Ann-Katrin Byrde Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Abels-Omega-Audiobook/B07F6PQ7WB?ref=a_a_library_c4_libItem_4_B07F6PQ7WB&pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=XRAHEZ2Z33VXAZ7P1V4V&

Blurb

Bax is desperate. Recently widowed, he takes his pups and flees his pack to avoid a new mate who wants him – but not his babies.
At Mercy Hills, he finds the help he’d hoped for, but also a man who both attracts and unnerves him. He doesn’t want another alpha mate, or even any mate, though he knows an omega has to have one. But Abel is unlike any other alpha he’s ever met, and the hope that had been crushed out of him begins to grow again in the warmth of Abel’s kindness and strength.
Bax is a dream come true for Abel – smart, loyal, strong, and loving. Everything Abe’s ever looked for in a mate. Except the independent omega has no reason to trust an alpha, and Abel’s going to have to work his way through layers of hurt if he wants to convince Bax he’s safe opening his heart.
But to keep him, he’ll have to fight for him.

Review

I read this a while ago and I’ll admit that it’s very long so when I listened to it, I may have skimmed a bit.

Bax is an integral character in this series and his story sets the tone for many omegas to come, so I feel this book, especially, needs to be read to appreciate the others going forward.

From previous reviews, you know that this is a sort of dystopian society where shifters are ostracized to “camps” and made to act like prisoners in the world. They can be themselves but only in certain places.

The male pregnancy thing is not a secret but is definitely kept hidden from non shifters.

In general, the adults spend next to no time as wolves, and this is my main criticism of the series. The children do but the adults don’t seem to shift much.

Most of this is about the Alpha/Omega dynamic and male pregnancy and living on the outskirts of society.

I loved how Bax comes into his own and in later books you’d have a hard time recognizing the meek Omega we are introduced to at the beginning of the book.

If you’re a fan of male pregnancy and Alpha/Omega dynamics you’ll really like this. If you’re more a traditional shifter fan, maybe not.

Nick Russo narrates this, and if it hadn’t been for him I’m not sure I’d have listened to this at all as it’s quite long and full of minutia.

4 of 5 stars for the story

5 of 5 for the narration

Overall 4.5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Blog Tour AE Via’s Bishop With Giveaway!

 

Hello all!!

Wow! It’s great to be on here sharing my latest release entitled: Bishop: A True Lover’s Story. Bishop’s story is my twentieth book, and I am celebrating this milestone in the best way. Which means showering my readers with gratitude gifts and tons of love letters. It’s been an amazing journey writing these stories and it feels as if I’m just getting warmed up.

Bishop and Edison’s journey is a slow burn, make-you-feel novel, that’s very different than anything I’ve written. While there’s no intense car chases, there’s still gripping scenes that will keep you on the edge of your Kindle. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

To come party with me and a chance to be adorned with love and appreciation, join my lively Facebook group. You can drop anytime for some mature MM fun. https://bit.ly/2Ku4jAx

xxxxxx

Adrienne V.

 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 
 
Length: 121,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Simply Defined Art
 
Blurb
 

At only thirty-two, Bishop Stockley has lived a hard-knock life. His gang was his family, the streets his home. Until the crew he’d always called his brothers betrayed him. After doing five years in a federal prison, Bishop is back at his dad’s trailer and working for his landscaping company, thrust into a legit world where he’s no longer the alpha—a world where a criminal record is the least of his disadvantages, because Bishop can’t read or write. Illiteracy had never been an obstacle for him on the streets, he didn’t need to know how to read Moby Dick to survive, he needed to know how to read people… and that was a hustle he’d learned hard and fast. Now, he had to change his life.


Bishop’s only support system was a young, inexperienced dad who’d insisted he call him Mike all their life—since they looked more like brothers than father and son. And his hot-tempered, childhood, best friend from ’juvie, Trent. Bishop already had the deck stacked against him, but he wasn’t afraid of hard work to change his situation, and he did want to change. Especially after he encountered Edison Scala, a kind-spirited office manager who didn’t hesitate to come to his defense… a man that saw past Bishop’s grass-stained coveralls. A man who wasn’t intimidated by his stern features and his silence.


Edison hadn’t grown up the way most of his peers had. He’d been raised by a single father who’d owned an old-fashioned barber shop where Edison was taught how to not only shave with a straight razor, and shine shoes, but also how to treat others, to not judge, to be a gentleman, to be respectful and speak without profanity. But, the biggest lesson he’d learned, was to always be himself. His lack of friends and a social life wasn’t his fault. No matter how much weight he gained, no matter how many times his staff called him a square, Edison did not need to change.


Bishop knew Edison was off-limits. He’d made personal vows to himself when he was released from prison, ones that he never intended to break. But, when Edison asked him about providing landscaping services at his home, there was no way he could refuse. He hadn’t expected Edison to feed him, praise him, encourage him, and look at him the way he did—as if Bishop was somebody. Mike and Trent warned him not to mix business with pleasure and he didn’t intend to.


No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a very, very HFN.
Warning:
This book is a M/M contemporary romance, a hardened man’s struggle to find real love. There are no police chases or doors being kicked in, in this one. But, don’t worry. Bishop is still intense enough to keep you on the edge.


 

 

A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.


A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.


A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.


Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.


Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

 

 

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Recent Release: Twice Baked by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/twice-baked-by-andrew-grey-10815-b

Blurb
When the pickiest eater in America is tapped to judge a cooking competition along with his chef ex-boyfriend, will it be a recipe for a second chance… or disaster?

Luke Walker’s humor about foods he can’t stand made him an internet celebrity and his blog, The Pickiest Eater in America, a huge hit. He plans to bring that same lighthearted comedy to the show—but he won’t be the only host.

Meyer Thibodeaux might be a famous chef, but he’s solemn, uptight, and closeted. He’s also Luke’s ex. As different as they are, the sparks between Luke and Meyer never really went out, and as they work together, each begins to see the other in a new light, and the passion between them reignites, hot as ever. But secrets, gossip, and rumors on the set could sour their reunion.

Review
Another enjoyable story from Andrew Grey. Luke and Meyer attempted a relationship in the past but Meyer’s refusal to be out caused the relationship to fail. Fast forward a few years and Luke is asked to be a judge on a popular cooking show, that Meyer just happens to also be a part of. You can pretty much guess the rest of the storyline. There is a little awkwardness between the two as they struggle with seeing each other again. Throw in a little drama from an unknown source. The only surprise in this book was the reveal of the “bad guy” totally not who I thought. This isn’t the most original of stories but it was enjoyable never the less.

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Test of Valor (Valor #2) by Keira Andrews narrated by Iggy Toma

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Test-of-Valor-Audiobook/197734867X?qid=1566147565&sr=1-19&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=T5W82KN42TZZ8DMK97TB&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_19

Blurb

They’re free of the White House, but can their forbidden romance survive in the real world?

With his father no longer president, twenty-two-year-old Rafa Castillo can finally be with ex-Secret Service agent Shane Kendrick. Shane’s given up his career for Rafa, a move his fellow agents question the sanity and morality of. Eager to get away from the questions and judgement, Rafa and Shane are building a new life together in Australia. Though Shane struggles with nightmares and his over-protective instincts while Rafa fights his own insecurity, they love each other more than ever.

Now they just have to get through a visit from the former president and first lady.

Rafa’s parents certainly don’t approve of his romance with forty-year-old Shane, and they’re determined to make him see reason. They don’t see how their son could possibly be happy settling down with an older man, and they question Shane’s motives. Shane and Rafa just want a normal life together—but when they must suddenly battle for survival, they fight to prove their fierce love can withstand any threat.

This gay romance from Keira Andrews is the conclusion of the Valor duology. It features a May-December age difference, sex on the beach, and of course a happy ending.

Review
I fell in love with these guys in book one but I realized, once I’d gone back and re-read it, that they’d been left in a very HFN sort of situation and this book does a terrific job of sealing the deal.
Keira did a great job of showing us how Rafa’s insecurities are still running his life and demonstrating Shane’s issues as well. Rafa’s parents are not as “pretty” as they seem and though Rafa forgave them pretty easily, I’m not so sure either of them deserved it – just yet.

Australia was an interesting setting and appropriate given the new changes there!

I found the developing relationship to be wonderful and though the added “life or death drama” was a touch OTT – it served a nice purpose.

Overall I highly enjoyed this sequel and recommend it to fans of book 1 – but not as a standalone.

5 of 5 stars

 

Audio

 

If you enjoyed book 1 you’ll enjoy book 2! Iggy Toma does another great job with the drama and all the variety of characters – including a fair Aussie accent!

Highly Recommended!

 

5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review
 

Recent Release: The Evolution of Love by Phillip William Stover

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-evolution-of-love-by-philip-william-stover-10763-b

Blurb:
When a charming but misguided account manager gets stuck on a cruise to the Galapagos Islands with his hunky zoologist ex, he might rediscover his true passion—in and out of the bedroom.
After art school, Mike Davis gave up on his dream in favor of a stable job. But when he gets an opportunity to teach wealthy travelers how to paint stunning sunsets, it seems like the perfect break. Until he finds out he’ll be sharing a suite with his ex, charismatic Benton Aldridge—a British scientist cuter than the baby animals he studies. Mike makes it clear he has no intention of getting back together with Benton, but sharing a suite makes it almost impossible keep his distance.

As they climb over volcanic peaks and swim with manatees through sparkling jade-colored water, can they also heal past wounds and take the next step in the evolution of love?

Review: Mike has pretty much given up his dream of being an artist – he has a ‘proper’ job and this was one of the main reasons he and his then boyfriend, (Benton), broke up. When a chance arises for Mike to visit the Galapagos as the cruise artist, he jumps at the chance. Little does he know that his aunt Penny has a surprise – in the form of Benton being the resident scientist!
I really liked this second chance at love story. Benton was still trying to push Mike to be an artist, which still hurt Mike, but in the end, Mike realised that was where his true passion lay, (as well as with Benton ☺).
There’s not a lot of steam to the story, but it wasn’t really wasn’t needed. The story is fun, humourous and sweet, with fun characters like Penny, as well as some of the passengers.
I enjoyed the story and will look for more from this author.

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Reveal (Men of Hidden Creek Season 4, Book 4) By HJ Welch Narrated by: Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Reveal-Audiobook/B07X58KMXT?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=SK2XT2CQKD7VRSRSSWQ5&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_B07X58KMXT

Blurb

“I wish this were real with you.”
Geeky Jason Miller has never really been with a man, and his bullying colleagues at NASA know it. But when an innocent white lie gets out of hand, Jason never would have guessed his gorgeous-but-straight childhood friend would leap to his rescue.
Firefighter Channing Forster saves people every day, so when protecting his former next-door neighbor turns into faking a relationship for a work getaway, he doesn’t hesitate. As the weekend goes on, though, Channing starts to think that he doesn’t just see cute Jason Miller as a buddy anymore.
Are Channing’s feelings for Jason real enough that he could be his first? Jason needs to accept his true self before he can love another. But when his colleagues and boss discover his many secrets, will he lose everything forever, including Channing?
Welcome to Hidden Creek, Texas, where the heart knows what it wants, and where true love lives happily ever after. Every Men of Hidden Creek novel can be enjoyed on its own, but keep an eye out for familiar faces around town! This audiobook contains not-so-fake boyfriends, a stowaway kitty, and enough fireworks to outshine the Fourth of July.

Review
I loved this! I found Channing to be AWESOME and I truly wish he was a person I could know and love because I totally would!

I found his “coversion” to bi-sexuality to be totally believable and totally sweet and wonderful.

If I have a complaint it’s that the Nasa “boss” was supposedly trying to be more open and keeping with modern times but time and again Jason’s nemesis – I forget his name – says homophobic and bullying comments in front of their boss and it’s brushed off til the end when he damn near kills people!

Jason was a doll and though I grew a little weary of his “but how can he be attracted to little ol’ me?” a bit trying – he mostly charmed me. I SUPER loved all the wives! They seemed like a hoot as well, and another great group of folks to get to know.

I bought this for Nick Russo and he did another tremendous job – including the southern accents!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

 

Copy Purchased For Review

 

Recent Release: Lucifer’s Litigator By: T.J. Nichols

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lucifers-litigator-by-tj-nichols-10820-b

Blurb
To save his soul, he’ll have to fix his one regret—the love that got away.

The summer between the end of school and the start of what came next was full of sun, surf, and sex. For Will McLeod, that meant Tom, his first male lover. He knew the romance had an expiration date and would end when Tom joined the Army, but that didn’t stop Will from falling in love.

Tired of being looked down upon for being poor, Will became a lawyer—but not just any lawyer. He litigates for the gods as they gamble with the lives of those desperate enough to make deals. His job is to make sure they don’t slip free. He has more money than he knows what to do with, but he’s fast running out of soul.

Twenty-five years haven’t dimmed the candle Will holds for Tom, and when they meet again, he has a chance to put things right. Back then, Tom wasn’t ready to fight for them. Now the decorated soldier is willing to get his hands dirty, but will he be a match for the forces trying to keep them apart

Review
What a great concept. With the title and the blurb I gathered that Will was trapped in a job he no longer wanted. What I wasn’t expecting was the role Lucifer plays in the story. Will’s one regret was Tom, his first love. The story hangs on what that regret was. Neither of them knows for certain and it can’t be spoken about. I liked the flashbacks giving the reader an insight that the characters were just starting to remember and whilst we reading the story may be able to identify the significance Will and Tom don’t always get it away. I got invested in both Will and Tom. Wanting both f them to succeed and beat the odds against all the obstacles put in their way. There is a happy ending although I would have loved an epilogue just to leave me feeling everything works out well for them.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review