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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.

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Promises Part 2 (Bounty Hunters #2) by A.E. Via Narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview
Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Promises-Part-2-Audiobook/1515949974?qid=1578788149&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=PD91JH3Q2A55KCE87V32&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

Roman “Quick” Webb is one badass bounty hunter on the crime-filled streets of Atlanta. He’s fearless when it comes to carrying out his dangerous job alongside his longtime best friend and business partner, Duke. However, there is one thing that has begun to cause Quick concern and it’s the dreadful thought of living out the rest of his life alone. Seeing his best friend and his son fall in love and sharing the special connection that only true soulmates can, has made him all the more aware of what’s lacking in his life.

Love.

Dr. Cayson Chauncey has been wildly attracted to the big, tattooed hunter for almost a year, ever since he performed the surgery that saved Quick’s best friend’s life. Cayson must’ve mistaken Quick’s gratitude for something more, because the one time he tried to make his desires known, he was harshly rebuffed and left on the man’s doorstep feeling stupid for hitting on an obviously very straight man.

Cayson never dated a man who was willing to come out of hiding and be with him. Now at almost forty, Cayson is intent on no longer being anyone’s dirty secret. Having experienced countless disappointments, and having taken a stand not to fall for any more tricks, Cayson is more than a little skeptical when Quick comes around asking for a second chance to prove himself. The gorgeous man had already made it clear that he was not interested in Cayson… or so he’d thought.

Dr. Chauncey stirred up Quick’s suppressed, most carnal desires from a place deep down inside of him. He’d reacted so badly the first time that now his sexy surgeon wanted nothing to do with him. It was going to take a fair amount of patience and a whole lot of wooing involved as Quick sets out to convince Cayson that he’s worth another chance and that he is the brave lover who Cayson has been looking for.

With a scorned ex and a very dangerous job thrown into the mix, Cayson’s happiness and all of Quick’s promises may not be as easy to keep as they’d hoped.

Review

This couple was my least favorite in the series. I think that at least part of my issue with them is that they spend so much time apart from one another in the book. I really like when the MCs are engaging with one another right away and in almost every scene. That’s not the case here.

In the end I’m not sure I “bought” their relationship as well as I did the other couples either. Though they are definitely cute together, I’m just not sure I see the connection as all enduring like the others. AE Via is sooo good at giving us these hard-boiled men and showing us their soft sides and maybe there just wasn’t enough of them together for me to believe these two wildly different souls have what it takes to go the distance.

In any case, I enjoyed it and I thought the narrator – as always was wonderful!

3 of 5 stars for the story
5 of 5 for the narration
Overall 4 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Family Ties (The Family Novak #1) by Susi Hawke, Crista Crown

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49513647-family-ties?from_search=true&qid=X00t6oFRRh&rank=1

Blurb

In a world where the rules are gray and the Don’s word is a law unto itself, only one thing is sacred… family.

A Team A.L.P.H.A. and Alphabits spin-off series

River Erikson is a man on the run. After scenting his true mate, he’s done everything in his power to escape. Just because he was born an omega doesn’t mean he needs to answer fate’s call and drop to his knees for some alpha. Especially not a smug mafioso who thinks way too much of himself. Luckily, his job at STAHP—the vicious vigilante organization that works to police shifters when law enforcement can’t—keeps him busy enough that he can try to forget how his traitorous body reacts whenever a certain muscled Russian is around.

Vasily Novak is stunned when he scents his mate, but powerless to chase him when he flees. How can he? His focus is entirely centered on the precocious five-year-old he recently learned was his child. All he can do is trust the fates to bring his mate back when the time is right. Vasily is confident that River will be his eventually… he just needs to be patient.

When Vasily’s son is taken, River comes to help retrieve the boy who melted his heart the first time Petey called him “pretty kitty.” As the pair leave a bloody trail through the city on their search, will the fates give them a second chance at finding a forever in each other?

This is the first book in a new mpreg mafia series. Get ready for a world ruled by the Don’s iron fist, unique interrogation tactics, and a family that stands together… no matter what. You can expect to find naughty, knotty scenes of steamy passion, along with a lot of potty-mouth language and more violence than you’re used to from us. But at its heart, you’ll still find all the fluffy mpreg feels and crazy antics you’d look for from Susi Hawke and Crista Crown.

Review

This was fun! Predictable for the most part, but the characters drew me in enough that the storyline was engaging anyway. I am definitely going to look for the second book in the series!

3.5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Love has no direction by Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-has-no-direction-by-kim-fielding-11492-b

Blurb

A Love Can’t Novel
Yet another series of poor decisions lands Parker Levin back in his mother’s house, working at her coffee shop, and feeling like a failure. Then he learns his ex-boyfriend has died by suicide and things go from bad to worse. When he meets a handsome stranger, he doesn’t have much left to lose.
Ten years ago Wesley Anker made a grave mistake. Since then he’s lived in near isolation, supporting himself by making custom furniture and only rarely connecting with other people. When he attempts to make amends, he encounters Parker, a beautiful and colorful young man, and he agrees to Parker’s impulsive request to join him.
Together, Parker and Wes find quick friendship and fierce attraction. But Wes’s past demons haunt his footsteps, and Parker’s struggle to plan a future has him stumbling through life. Then they uncover evidence that suggests Parker’s ex’s death might not have been a straightforward suicide, and every path seems to lead to dead ends and destruction. Can Parker and Wes find their way to lasting love when the route is hidden?

Review

I loved book one in this series. In general, I love Kim’s characters and her ability to tug at our heart strings – especially since she uses “regular joes” instead of billionaires, or rock stars, etc.

I didn’t love this. I was frustrated by the fast way the two hooked up and was really frustrated by the ending.

I wanted there to be MORE – something more profound and something more concrete. Instead I felt like this was a very watered down story which more or less ambled along until it stumbled to the end.

I’m sure some of my bias is that I didn’t really like the ambiguity we’re left with surrounding the future – but even with that aside – the romance just fell a bit flat for me and I was never quite convinced of it’s longevity.

In any case, Kim is a great writer and the story itself is well written – I just wasn’t so sure of the overall impact it left behind.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Fire and Onyx (Carlisle Deputies #5) by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-and-onyx-by-andrew-grey-11481-b

Blurb

A Carlisle Deputies Novel

Undercover sheriff’s deputy Evan Whittaker is close to infiltrating a vicious local gang. He just needs to find an opening. Instead, he finds Wes Douglas, a web designer who is raising his irresponsible brother’s son. Wes agrees to help with a stakeout, but he pays the price when his home is destroyed in a shootout.

Evan’s always been a loner, but when he invites Wes into his home, living together feels right, and the two men only grow closer as they adapt to each other’s lives and rhythms. A future as a family looks brighter by the day, but all of that could collapse when Wes’s brother—and his connection to the drug dealers—crashes into the life they’re carefully building.

Review
Fire and Onyx is the fifth book in Andrew Grey’s Carlisle Deputies series. This can be read as a stand alone but there are a lot of secondary characters that show up in this book and you may feel lost with all the different couples.

Like most of the stories in this series, there is bad guys needing to be caught and amidst all the drama a sweet romance brews. I really enjoyed Evan and Wes and Wes’ son Grayson. The romance between Evan and Wes does seem to take a backseat throughout most of the story. Despite the interesting plot I also found it to be pretty slow, my attention was easily pulled from this story, which is not normal for me, especially with an Andrew Grey story.
I would still recommend this to all who have enjoyed Andrew’s previous work but if you are new to him do yourself a favor and start at the beginning of the series with Fire and Flint.

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Wrath of Wolves (Dark is the Night #3) by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48839327-the-wrath-of-wolves

Blurb
Preston Alexander has wanted to see the world for as long as he can remember. Now, an opportunity has presented itself. A supposedly haunted item needs transporting clear across the Atlantic. James and William can’t take it, so Preston jumps at the chance. He may not know nearly as much about the dead as his friends, but surely it can’t be that difficult. Besides, he won’t be alone: Benjamin will be at his side, and together, they’ve always been able to handle anything.

After abandoning his new job and the strained relationship with his father, and still grieving the loss of his mother, Benjamin Prichard is eager to figure out his place and purpose in life. He isn’t keen on the idea of travelling across the world, but if it means staying with Preston and keeping him out of trouble, he’s willing to give it a go.

But their trip isn’t exactly the holiday they’d hoped for. Not only is their cargo possessed, but it’s also sought after by a mysterious group led by a man with supernatural abilities far beyond what either of them thought humanly possible.

They aren’t just being trailed; they’re being hunted.

This time, the true danger is as much the living as it is the dead.

Review
The Wrath of Wolves is a perfect, suspenseful, scary, and scarily amazing addition to the Dark is the Night series! It answers some questions about all the things that go bump in the night and some other threats out there, but raises even more and introduces several intriguing new secondary characters (please pretty please can we have more N & S?). The reader is mercifully spared a cliffhanger ending, but still left so so needy for more stories in this universe.

This is the first full-length story that doesn’t revolve around James and William, but it holds up beautifully next to A Light Amongst Shadows and A Hymn in the Silence. I liked Preston and Benji fine before, but I utterly adore them now. They were a bit of a surprise, so different from James and William, but just as strong in their devotion and love for each other and absolutely wonderful characters in their own right. I’d be hard put to name a favorite MC at this stage.

In The Wrath of Wolves Benji and Preston are faced with mysteries and threats on different levels, some of this world and some… decidedly not so. And perhaps even more dangerous for it. I loved the suspense and the scary, threatening atmosphere throughout the story, as well as the action scenes, which were excellently paced and very, very bad for my blood pressure.

The love story builds up very slowly, though we are never in any doubt about the strength of Benji and Preston’s feelings for each other. The longing and intense emotion these two young men feel for each other is only hinted at for the longest time, but picking up the clues left by the authors was the sweetest torture. Preston’s feelings are slightly more obvious than Benji’s which makes everything even more of a tease for the observant reader. Will they, won’t they…? And when?! The moment they finally cross that line was just…everything! Such a pivotal scene, a shot to the heart.

Loved this and need more!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Socks for an Otter by Posy Roberts

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/review/new/50238860-socks-for-an-otter

Blurb: He fell from his ivory tower and landed in the gutter.
But Sebastian would rather be homeless and hungry than clueless.
On his way to the food pantry, a guy on his cell phone runs into him and triggers his prickly side. As a sign of goodwill, Louis offers to cook for him. But all Sebastian sees is the privilege he used to have.

This isn’t a fairytale. Louis isn’t Prince Charming. And Sebastian can make it on his own.
But it’s been days since he’s had a hot meal. And a blizzard is coming.
Will Sebastian’s pride be his appetizer?

Review: I loved this story! It is a touching story, but not maudlin. The plight of the homeless is told in a simple but impactful way.
Seb and Louis make a great couple. Seb reads older than his age (23) – not in a bad way – showing that life on the street can and will make you grow up real fast. Louis is a caretaker – always needing to be needed. The one time he failed to be there for his loved one resulted in tragedy. With Seb, he has a chance to feel needed again, though Seb wasn’t very accepting of what he thought of as charity. This makes for some prickly interactions between both men, but their simmering attraction and willingness to listen to each other helps them forge a relationship.
Lovely story!

5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Promises (Bounty Hunters Part 1) by AE Via narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=ae+via&ref=

Blurb
Duke Morgan owns and operates one of the largest bail bond companies in Atlanta. Not only does he bond criminals out of jail, he and his notorious group of bounty hunters will also track them down and ensure they show up for court.

Roman ‘Quick’ Webb is Duke’s business partner and best friend. Both men are in their forties and have given up on the happily ever after with the ranch-style home, and white picket fence. They’d both tried it and failed miserably. But they have their friendship and they have the business.

When Quick’s son, Vaughan Webb returns – after seven years – from studying abroad with his law degree in hand, he’s back to claim what he’s always wanted…his fathers’ best friend… Duke Morgan. Vaughan has always claimed to be a classic gentleman with an old soul. He didn’t party and screw up in school like his buddies. He was focused and dedicated to becoming the man worthy of Duke’s love.

It’s a complex and messy situation as Duke and Quick figure out how to still be best friends when one of them is sleeping with his friend’s one and only son. But when Duke is hurt on the job, all the unimportant trivialities fall to the wayside and Vaughan and Quick put their heads together to save Duke.

Part I of the Promises story is about Duke and Vaughan and DOES NOT end on a cliffhanger. Part II is about Quick and Dr. Chauncey and their realization that it’s not too late for any of them to find love.

Review

We met Duke in Judge’s book (Don’t Judge, Nothing Special Book 4). Duke is the bounty hunter who had a no-strings arrangement with Judge until Judge met his forever guy in Austin. Duke, who plays it like it’s no big deal, is actually pretty crushed by this relationship ending.

Vaughan is Duke’s work partner and best friend’s son. He’s almost 20 years younger than Duke and has had a crush on Duke since he can remember. Now that Judge is out of the picture, Vaughan is graduated from law school, he figures it’s his time to move in and make Duke his own.

At first Duke fights the attraction but when he’s reminded that life is short he’s willing to give it a try. They’ve almost begun dating when something so terrible happens it looks like the two will never be together… until Vaughan saves the day.

**

I just love AE Via characters. They continually surprise me. She’s totally willing to put an Alpha and Alpha together, make the older guy the less dominant, a criminal and a cop… you name it. She makes it work.

There is surprisingly little sex in this book but lots of sexual tension and when they do finally come together… HOT!

What I really appreciated about this was how honest everyone was from the start. With one exception, there was no BIG MISUNDERSTANDING or hemming and hawing about. Life got in the way and that was a real hurdle. I also liked that the boys took their time and wanted to do things right. No falling into bed right off the bat. They took the time to build the romance. It was really sweet.

I look forward to more from this series and am drooling over the sweet doc and cranky Quick getting their turn!

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Aiden Snow is awesome – again! Thoroughly enjoyable!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Legally Mated (Mercy Hills Pack, Book 5) By: Ann-Katrin Byrde Narrated by: Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview
Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Legally-Mated-MM-Gay-Mpreg-Romance-Audiobook/B081J32ZVJ?qid=1574031789&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=MKHBKK38AZ47EWAS7JF7&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

More than a century ago, the Segregation Laws made enemies of humans and shifters, and imprisoned the pack behind their enclave walls.
Laine wants Garrick. He wants him out from behind those walls and being what he was meant to be – a brilliant lawyer. He also wants to claim Garrick openly as his partner, but with the prejudice on both sides, he’ll never get what he wants. Unless he can pull off something spectacular.
Like getting Garrick admitted to the Bar.
Garrick’s spent so much of his life keeping secrets, he doesn’t know how to open up to another person. Even if it’s Laine, the human lawyer who stole Garrick’s heart and made him want things he could never have. But Laine’s pushing too hard, and there’s another lawyer, one from Washington, holding out the promise of truly eliminating the laws keeping shifters locked behind walls. If they could bring those down, then maybe some of Garrick’s dreams could become reality. If only he could make Laine see….
All while an unforeseen gift of history creates rumbles of change in the packs, and drives Mercy Hills to an announcement that will rock shifter society to the roots.

Review

You have to be tenacious with these stories but they’re all really good.

I think the author could use a strong hand with editing and the stories would be improved, but I do love the characters and their journey to growth.

This story did not emphasize the MCs as much as I’d wish but their story was sweet in the end. For this, I had to mark it down in ratings – I read these for the romance and that wasn’t as much the focus as in the other books.

I’ve really enjoyed watching where this band of shifters has gone over time.

I love Nick J Russo and so listening to these (long) stories is very enjoyable.

3.5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard (Paranormal Princes #1) by Charlie Cochet Narrated by Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Prince-and-His-Bedeviled-Bodyguard-Audiobook/B08352Y573?qid=1577645527&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=DXZYJMDHQTFR6AN612FT&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

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!

Audio

Greg is a great choice for this and thoroughly enjoyable!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Retro Review: Rampage (Out for Justice #3) by Reese Knightley

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46157085-rampage?from_search=true&qid=GbldCNoPVl&rank=3

Blurb

Explosive action, bullets flying, heroes, villains, and love, you don’t want to miss this next installment in Reese Knightley’s Out for Justice series. Read Ricochet and Collide before diving into the next story!

-Rampage –
Three strong, independent, and protective badasses are on the cusp of romance when tragedy and disaster come at them like a landslide. While they chase down a sex trafficking kingpin with a devious plan, life throws one challenge after another in their path.
Grumpy Phoenix sniper, Storm, wears a perpetual frown to keep others at bay. There’s a reason they call him stormy, which has nothing to do with the color of his eyes. He equates communicating with people to chewing on glass. It’s not that he doesn’t want to connect, it’s just that he sucks at it.
Easygoing FBI Agent Roscoe Burns navigates an unexpected tragedy that sends his comfortable world in a tailspin right when he’s found what he wants in life. But then, sometimes life has a way of providing the extraordinary.
Spirited Phoenix tracker, Wild, is reeling from a past he thought he’d left behind. When a golden chance for something greater emerges, his propensity to overthink things might just ruin his chances.
Storm, Roscoe, and Wild flirt around a burning attraction as Phoenix continues the fight against crime. Communication, tailspins, and tragic pasts are just some of the things these men will need to face when death comes knocking. Can three strong men survive the trials they face or will history destroy them all?

*Note from author – Rampage is not a standalone novel. To get the full enjoyment out of the story and characters, reading from book one is strongly recommended. Trigger warning: Human trafficking, mention of child abuse and murder

Review

This one I both liked as much as and less than book 1.
I thought the romance was great – BUT – I did NOT see the connection between all 3 guys. I could see it between any set of 2 of them, but I did not see why they HAD to be a triad. It just didn’t feel organic in the way that you hope to see triads develop.

There were times when I thought Roscoe was an afterthought, and I didn’t like that.

The crime/mystery stuff is a HUGE part of this and the wide array of characters can be dizzying.

You have to read these all in order and even then it’s a bit much to keep track of everything.

Overall, I enjoyed it – but I didn’t love it.

3.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review