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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.

Recent Release: The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41219382-the-doctor-s-secret?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

The brilliant but brooding new doctor encounters Copper Point’s sunny nurse-next-door… and nothing can stand in the way of this romance.

Dr. Hong-Wei Wu has come to Copper Point, Wisconsin, after the pressures of a high-powered residency burned him out of his career before he started. Ashamed of letting his family down after all they’ve done for him, he plans to live a quiet life as a simple surgeon in this tiny northern town. His plans, however, don’t include his outgoing, kind, and attractive surgical nurse, Simon Lane.

Simon wasn’t ready for the new surgeon to be a handsome charmer who keeps asking him for help getting settled and who woos him with amazing Taiwanese dishes. There’s no question—Dr. Wu is flirting with him, and Simon is flirting back. The problem is, St. Ann’s has a strict no-dating policy between staff, which means their romance is off the table… unless they bend the rules.

But a romance that keeps them—literally—in the closet can’t lead to happy ever after. Simon doesn’t want to stay a secret, and Hong-Wei doesn’t want to keep himself removed from life, not anymore. To secure their happiness, they’ll have to change the administration’s mind. But what other secrets will they uncover along the way, about Copper Point… and about each other?

Review

This story reminded me how much I loved Heidi Cullinan stories so I had to go back and listen to Carry the Ocean. Gah. I love that so much!

This is more along the lines of her Love Lessons series. It’s very light and though it could have some dark moments, the author mostly skims over those. Hong-Wei’s family is actually amazing and rather than doing what you might imagine – they do something a bit different.

The hospital administration is probably the worst villain in this and they seemed to act as they should once faced with the opposition.

I applaud the science and medicine in this. Either Heidi is in the field or knows someone – because if felt very authentic.

I didn’t give this 5 stars because I wanted more tension and resolution between our MCs. It was just a bit too easy and I wasn’t as involved in their romance as I was the whole thing going on with Hong-Wei and his family and career.

In the end, I can’t wait for books 2 and 3 to come out because I already love those characters!

4.5 stars of 5 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Wrong Way Home – Criminal Delights: Taken by K.A. Merikan

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42622237-wrong-way-home—criminal-delights

Blurb

— ONE WRONG TURN. ONE RIGHT MAN. —

Colin. Rule-follower. Future doctor. Witness to murder. Captive.
Taron. Survivalist. Mute. Murderer. Captor.

Like every other weekend, Colin is on his way home from university, but he’s taunted by the notion that he never takes risks in life and always follows the beaten path. On impulse, he decides to take a different route. Just this one time. What he doesn’t realize is that it’s the last time he has a choice.
He ends up taking a detour into the darkest pit of horror, abducted by a silent, imposing man with a blood-stained axe. But what seems like his worst nightmare might just prove to be a path to the kind of freedom Colin never knew existed.

Taron has lived alone for years. His land, his rules. He’d given up on company long ago. After all, attachment is a liability. He deals with his problems on his own, but the night he needs to dispose of an enemy, he ends up with a witness to his crime.

The last thing Taron needs is a nuisance of a captive. Colin doesn’t deserve death for setting foot on Taron’s land, but keeping him isn’t optimal either. It’s only when he finds out the city boy is gay that an altogether different option arises. One that isn’t right, yet tempts him every time Colin’s pretty eyes glare at him from the cage.

*
“When Taron looped the heavy metal collar around the slender neck and closed the padlock, his body throbbed with the excitement of knowing he owned this boy.
Was it wrong? Yes, yes it was.
Was it so, so good? Definitely.”

Review

This is an incredibly intense, dark romance, and I absolutely loved it. The darkness doesn’t come solely from the violence in the story, nor Colin’s abduction, but is in large part also a psychological and emotional darkness and that’s what makes this story so gripping. I love that the authors constantly kept the reader on their toes! The story is unnerving and unpredictable and just such a compelling read.

Taron has a really skewed view of reality and is trapped in a solitude of his own making. He’s completely unprepared for Colin and how the other man will change his life. The bond that slowly, ever so slowly, develops between Colin and Taron is profound and deeply emotional, if rooted in a rather difficult, highly unusual and quite frightening situation.

This is definitely something else. Very different from anything I’ve read before. I loved the original ending and where the MC’s ended up. The way to their HEA is fraught with violence, captivity and manipulation, but it also has lots of cats, quiet camaraderie and a scorching hot physical connection.

Definitely recommend!

 

5 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44437664-family-camp

Blurb

When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?

Review

I loved this!

I’m always reminded – after I read an Eli Easton book – just why she’s one of my favorites.

It doesn’t matter the subject matter or the MCs, she manages to make even the most recalcitrant part of my heart.

In this case it was easy. You have a very loveable – do gooder – teacher – with a dopey sense of humor – trying to do right by a couple of “less than easy” kids and he’s an instant favorite. Next you introduce an – in the closet – baseball player who only wants to be the best because he’s a foster kid at heart, too.

It was a no brainer. These guys are loveable. The kids are great – felt pretty real – and the situation was believable – mostly.

I’m not a baseball fan but I can imagine this is what they’d go through and hopefully – one day – we can have out players without all the media going crazy.

If you’re a fan of the author, sports romance, kids, dopey humor and sweet romance – this is for you!

5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Coming Up for Air by Amanda Meuwissen

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/coming-up-for-air-by-amanda-meuwissen-10421-b

Blurb

It’s not easy being someone’s fairy tale.

Leigh Hurley is making a name for himself among thieves and criminals, even if it isn’t the life he would’ve chosen. He shouldn’t have screwed over the Moretti brothers, though. It landed him in the river with weights on his feet. But somehow he’s escaped certain death. The last thing he remembers before waking on the riverbank is a beautiful face and a soft kiss.

Then, Tolomeo turns up naked at Leigh’s apartment.

Tolly comes from a race of killers—merfolk who drown humans for fun. But Tolly is different, and when he sees a human in trouble, he offers a kiss, granting the man the ability to breathe underwater… and himself the ability to walk on land, at least until the next full moon. The ancient laws state that if he is given a vow of love by the one he kissed, he will be able to keep his legs. If not, he will be put to death when he returns to the water.

But love is not something Leigh offers easily… and Tolly has a secret of his own.

Review

This was a wonderful fairytale retelling! There were some unique twists on the original that gave added depth to the story as well as a really delicious dose of angst.

Instead of a prince we get a low-level criminal trying to survive a conflict between two gangs, while also attempting to stay on the right side of the law, or rather, out of sight of the law. This gives the story a grittiness and complexity it otherwise wouldn’t have had and really ratchets up the tension level. Leigh is so kind and obviously meant for better things than thieving or worse, but he doesn’t see a way out of that kind of life.

Tolly saves Leigh from drowning and firmly believes Leigh is the one for him, risking his life on the strength of that conviction. I loved Tolly’s quaint way of interpreting certain words or expressions. He’s super endearing, sweet, protective, self-effacing… and he has a secret.

True love never did run smooth, and it doesn’t for Tolly and Leigh either. At one very low, low point, the emotional anguish and despair of the MC’s actually brought tears to my eyes and I started to panic about their chances of getting to their HEA. Cruel author!

This was an amazing, well-written story. The secondary characters were great and really helped build a world around the MC’s, especially Alvin and Cary, but also all of Leigh’s friends from his apartment building.

I hope Amanda Meuwissen will try her hand at other fairytale retellings, because this one was incredible!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5

5 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Moved By You by Ann Lister

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44020092-moved-by-you?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Vance: He’s angry and bitter over the direction his father has chosen for him in the family business – and in his life. He may have been born into money, but Vance always saw his journey as something less grand. He’s desperate to follow his real passion which is metal sculpture, created with nothing more than scraps he pulls out of junk piles, a blow torch, and a sweat. But he lacks a critical element to make that happen: the spine to stand up to the man who moves him around like a pawn on a chessboard. He needs something – or someone to give him the motivational push to take back control of his life.

Kyle: He’s drifted through life with a massive chip on his shoulder. He doesn’t mind being a city bike messenger, but he knows his body won’t allow him to do that forever, and riding for a living isn’t his calling in life. But with no clear plan B in place, he needs to keep his day job – for now. The other problem? He loathes the privileged people he delivers to, despises what they stand for, and how they look down at him as if he was worthless. The only thing more prominent than the grudge he holds against them is his pride. Everything changes when a company owner’s son hits him with his car, which puts both rider and driver on entirely different paths in their lives.

But is this a path they can both take together, or will egos and societal privilege create too many obstacles to overcome?

Moved By You is a 67,000 word MM novel with an enemies to lovers theme, and an HEA.

Review

This was a good enemies to lovers story with a fair amount of steam. Nothing really made it stand out for me as far as stories go and it will probably fall under the category of “don’t really remember much about it” within a few days of having read it. If anything I didn’t really care for the MCs or their relationship much so I wasn’t terribly attached to their HEA.

Fans of the author and the trope will enjoy it but I can’t say it stands out for any reason beyond that.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Breaking the Ice (Sophie Fournier #1) by K.R. Collins

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44026234-breaking-the-ice?from_search=true

Blurb

Sophie Fournier is the first woman drafted into the North American Hockey League. Playing hockey is something she’s done all her life, but she faces new challenges as she finds her place on the struggling Concord Condors. She has to prove herself better than her rival-turned-teammate, Michael Hayes, and her rival-turned-friend, Dmitri Ivanov, and she has to do it all with a smile.
If she’s successful then she opens the door to other women being drafted. She can’t afford to think about what happens if she fails. All she knows is this: if she’s not the best then she doesn’t get to play.
No pressure, though.

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Category: Literary/Genre Fiction
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 82100
Book Length: Novel
Sex Content: N/A
Orientation: Bisexual, Demisexual
Identity: Cisgender

Review

This was so interesting! Especially with the NWHL shutting down I am stoked to see women at the professional level playing hockey. Even if it’s fiction – that’s one step towards reality.

This is a series – so the romance doesn’t happen. There is a woman who is introduced at the end who looks to be a likely candidate but we don’t get to meet her yet or even identify Sophie as a sexual person.

On the one hand – as a lover of hockey – I appreciated this as a piece of fiction. On the other hand – as a lover of romance – I was very disappointed. At the very least I wanted the other MC to be part of the story even if they don’t get together til another book down the line.

This is really interesting to hockey fans but I’m not sure anyone else would find the same appeal as I did.

4 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Unbroken (A Port Lewis Story) by Brooklyn Ray

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41541534-unbroken

Blurb

Despite the rumors about Port Lewis, Michael Gates doesn’t expect the house he rents with his sister on Foxglove Lane to be haunted. An eerie meeting with Victor Lewellyn, the resident witch-turned-demon who is bound to the property by dark magic, changes his mind.

Michael isn’t looking to start a relationship with anyone, let alone someone like Victor, but the intense attraction between them can’t be ignored. As he dives into the world of magical drug rings, demons, witches, and necromancers, Michael also grapples with the complicated past he left behind in Arizona.

A relationship might not be what he wants, but it sparks something in him he didn’t realize he needs—the chance to heal.

Review

This was maybe a bit more intense than the previous books in this series. It’s still a YA/NA book, but felt a bit more “erotica” than the others in the series. You don’t have to have read the others to read this, the author does a nice job in that department.

Many people loved this but I had a hard time getting into it and at the end I didn’t have that same attachment to the characters that I did in the first books. Maybe it’s the dynamics of their relationship or the way that it felt a bit darker and more … intense. I don’t know – but I just didn’t like this as much as the first two.

I’d read a few reviews before jumping in on this as it isn’t the same as books 1 and 2.

3.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Burden By K.C. Wells

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/burden-by-kc-wells-10399-b

Blurb
A Love, Unexpected Tale

They never knew what hit them.

A hooker with a heart, falling for a Vice cop? This is no Hollywood movie, and if they want a happily ever after, it’s not going to be easy.

Detective Randy Michaels is back with Vice, working to help NYC crack down on its prostitution problem. When he suspects Jesse Bryant of soliciting, Randy is torn between duty and his knowledge of what put Jesse on the streets. Jesse is clearly struggling, and he isn’t the only one. Recent events have forced Randy to question his sexuality, and a shocking encounter with Jesse plunges him into a crisis of conscience.

Jesse didn’t think his life could get any worse. His family cut all support, his education is on hold, and he’s surviving the only way he knows—selling himself on the streets. Of all the people who could have offered him a helping hand, why did it have to be Randy?

Two men carrying their own personal burdens: How long will it take them to realize that what they really need is each other?

Review
Burden is the second book in the Love, Unexpected series. To be fully enjoyed book one Debt should be read first, since events and characters from that story show up frequently in this one.

Randy is a vice cop in New York City who spent over a year working undercover at an illegal brothel. It was there that he met Jesse, who causes him to start questioning his sexuality. Jesse is a young vivacious man who starts working at the brothel to help pay for his education. When the club gets busted Jesse agrees to testify but this causes his parents to withdraw all support. With no other job prospects, Jesse is forced to return to selling his body. Randy and Jesse start to hang out after the trial and feelings start to grow between the two.

Burden was extremely well written. KC does an amazing job at conveying the characters feelings. This story had good flow with very little angst. The romance and chemistry between Randy and Jesse was scorching!! I highly recommend this one!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Galen’s Redemption By Parker Williams

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/galens-redemption-by-parker-williams-10363-b

Blurb
A Links In the Chain Story

A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other.

Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter.

Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed.

Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.

Review
Galen’s Redemption is the second book in Parker William’s Links In the Chain series. While this can be read as a standalone, I think its best enjoyed if book one Lincoln’s Park is read first.
The title of the book sums up the story perfectly. Galen is looking for redemption. He spent his whole life trying to please his domineering and abusive father. This has caused a major rift between Galen and his brother Lincoln. Galen has run himself ragged trying to please an unpleasable man.
Robert is the opposite of Galen. He has given his life to help others. He runs a homeless shelter that is barely surviving. Through Robert, Galen learns what family really is.
I’m a big sucker for redemption arc’s. This is very much a slow burn romance but seeing these two men come together for their HEA was simply divine. I loved every word of this story!!
5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Midnight Flit (The Carstairs Affairs #2) by Elin Gregory

Good Reads

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43714501-midnight-flit

Blurb: Miles Siward and Briers Allerdale return for another thrilling Jazz Age adventure.
“Silk stockings on expenses.”
Miles’s aristocratic mother has information of importance to the British Government and he must escort her home from Bucharest immediately, but their plans go violently awry and Miles and Lady Siward find themselves on a train to Belgrade – where Miles’s lover is posted. Since their pursuers are looking for a man and a woman, might two women slip past them unnoticed?

“Is anyone on this train who they say they are?”
Briers doesn’t know whether to kiss Miles or punch him but is delighted to accompany him and his mother on their journey. All he has to do is keep an eye open for their enemies – but who exactly are they; the enormous Russian, the sinister priest, the handsome jazz pianist, or maybe the winsome young movie star? And his mother-in-law might just be the most terrifying of all!
All aboard for the ride of a lifetime, with a cast of characters you’ll never forget!

Review:
Briers, Miles and Millie back with a bang! This time they’re in Eastern Europe. It all starts with Lady Siward (Miles mother) getting some sensitive information that endangers her life. Miles is sent from London to accompany her home, ostensibly for a visit to the doctor. As they prepare for their journey home, they’re attacked and end up seeking refuge with Briers.
Briers has been on assignment in Budapest and is relieved to have his lover safe. But the adventure doesn’t stop there – all 3 (4 if you count Millie☺ ) have to make it back to London – alive.
This is such a good story, the historical and social settings well researched, down to the way people spoke and addressed others. I really loved it and as a history buff, I learnt a few more things about that era.
The relationship between Briers and Miles is still strong, although Briers does have a tendency to underestimate Miles (but only because he cares!). And let’s not forget Pritchard, he’s definitely a good egg!
Looking forward to reading about their next adventure.

5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review