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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 3 (Bounty Hunters #3) by A.E. Via Narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Promises-Part-3-Audiobook/1515949990?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=5744V4AYNENGWCQ901VA&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_1515949990

Blurb

A bounty hunter’s partners to lovers’ story.
The hunt is on… and he’s the prey.

Bradford (Ford) King was sure he had the rest of his life mapped out. Though he was no longer a SEAL Lieutenant, his brother was home safe and he had a job that still allowed him to satisfy his hunger for hunting bad guys. Life was simple, no distractions or complications – at age forty-six – that’s all Ford wanted. What he didn’t want was his work partner, sniper/watchman, Dana, giving him s**t all the time.

Dana Cadby had grown up labeled a roughneck from the wrong side of the tracks. He’d fought, scrounged, and survived despite a father that constantly told him he couldn’t. Dana pulled himself up by his own boot straps and made a name for himself in the marksman community. He’d been Duke’s bounty watchman for five years. It was his job to ensure their safety, watch their backs. At thirty-three, he was trusted, well respected by his peers, his bosses, his friends… so why couldn’t he earn the same respect from his partner?

Dana knew he was bisexual before he graduated high school. He also knew he was attracted to the huge, 6’3”, SEAL from the moment he and his brother came to join their team. It wasn’t easy for him to tamp down his immediate reaction to Ford’s thick muscles, full beard, and dark eyes. Still, Dana exhibited nothing but professionalism towards him, not wanting to make his ‘straight’ partner uncomfortable. So why did Ford constantly give him hell?

After Dana took back his ex-girlfriend, he’d noticed an intensification in Ford’s bad attitude. One that turned aggressive and downright antagonistic, and Dana was damned if he’d just lay down and take it. He was gonna make that man respect him if it was the last thing he did.

When Duke sends Dana and Ford out to track down their most dangerous bounty yet, they both embrace the fact that they make one hell of a team… but they fight tooth and nail against the powerful intimacy brewing between them.
Beware: If Ford and Dana connect completely, god help the fugitive who’s in the sights of the hunter and his watchman.

This story is a part of a series but can stand alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has a HEA.

Review

This is another great story in AE Via’s series about bounty hunters. Dana and Duke are both “real” men – with imperfections and foibles and I love that the author doesn’t try to smooth those edges too much.

Via’s signature hot smexy times are in abundance, but so are her feelz.

The beginning was a bit rocky but once the story gained it’s feet and our MCs found themselves entangled, the story flew by. (Honestly, the girlfriend and Dana’s inability to see how terrible a person she was really bothered me. I wanted her gone right from the start. I wasn’t sure why we had so much time with her on page – and this kept me from LOVING this as much as I’ve loved others in the series.)

I always enjoy Via’s characters and her very satisfying HEAs.

Highly recommended to fans of the author, the series and bad boys!

 

Audio

I love this narrator!  He has really helped to solidify the characters in my mind.  Via has made a cast of rough and tumble Alphas with soft , gooey insides and Aiden voices them to perfection.

 

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased For Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Male/Female Review: Hero’s Haven (Dark Protectors #11) by Rebecca Zanetti

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45279009-hero-s-haven

Blurb

He’s her darkest fantasy. . .

After years of struggling, Haven Daly has finally accepted that she’s nuttier than a fruitcake. Why else would she see visions of a beautiful but tormented male every night . . . and actually believe she can talk to him, even feel his touch? But thanks to those dream journeys, she can paint images nobody else on earth can duplicate. In each brush stroke, she captures the blatant masculinity and raw desire in his eyes that promise he’s coming for her…and soon.

She’s the light that keeps him going. . .

Quade Kayrs has already suffered a lifetime of pain and torture. Completely isolated, he kept his sanity thanks to one beautiful female, a vision with kind emerald eyes. In the end, her soft voice led him out of hell. Now, naked and alone, he’s in a strange world that bears little resemblance to the one he left behind. All he knows is Haven. All he wants is Haven. His final mission? To protect her from the evil hunting them both—whether she likes it or not . . .

Review

I don’t read a lot of M/F romance anymore but Zanetti’s Dark Protector series is one that I’ve continued to follow because it is so good.

 

I moved away from M/F books because I got so tired of the female character being portrayed as weak, or needing a man to be fulfilled or feeling shamed for having sexual feelings or… you get the idea.  I loved the chance to break stereotypes that gay romance provided and a way for falling in love to have some “equality”.  (I know there are problems in that genre as well, but …)

 

In any case – Dark Protectors does try to give the female characters some depth, some strength and some power.  Now, the Alpha males are completely Alpha and they can be trying at times as a result.  However, I love the world Zanetti has built and the over arching fight of good versus evil (which isn’t always so clear) and the magic and the powers and the imagination involved in the series as a whole.

 

Quade and Haven are more traditional than some of the other M/F pairs in previous books, thus the 4 stars.  Quade is old school Alpha and Haven – though she tries – is pretty traditionally “saved” by Quade on numerous occasions.

 

The magic and adventure is off the charts, the smexy times are pretty hot and the story line is great.  You do have to read this series from the beginning to really appreciate it so I’m not sure you could pick this book up and really enjoy it.

 

4 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Retro Review: Jasper (Stone Society #6) by Faith Gibson

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28438879-jasper?from_search=true&qid=Lw32HkW0a9&rank=1

Blurb

Jasper Jenkins was a solitary Gargoyle, feeling like he didn’t truly belong to a clan, until he moved to New Atlanta and joined the Stone Society. Now that he’s finally settling in, his past has reared its evil Gargoyle head and is targeting those around him, including the quirky M.E.’s assistant who happens to be his mate.

Trevor McKenzie’s life is no stranger to heartache and loneliness. His insecurities began when he found out he was cloned just in case his brother needed spare parts. As danger closes in, his boss confides in him that the “badass club” of gorgeous men he is surrounded by is really a Clan of Gargoyles. When he finds out he’s the chosen mate of the man he considers his best friend, the most gorgeous of the badasses, his insecurities multiply. Trevor must decide if he can trust the love being offered him is real and not just a product of the mate bond.

Reaching back to his warrior roots, Jasper will stop at nothing to protect his mate as well as his Clan.

Warning: This book contains a relationship between a very male Gargoyle and a very male human.

Review

I was psyched when I found this series of gargoyle books!  It starts with an M/F book but several books in there is an M/M and later another couple of them.  I started the M/F but couldn’t really get into it – which isn’t surprising as it takes a lot for me to read M/F anymore – but what was surprising was how difficult it was for me to make it through this story.

 

First, I was frustrated by the fact that these guys are Mates – like fated mates – but Jasper was able to resist his guy for a long time and it didn’t seem to be a big deal. 

 

Second, the “big reveal” of the paranormal world was pretty lack luster – and that’s always one of my favorite parts.

 

Third, it took FOREVER for the couple to be a couple – like 75% of the book – and by the time they do get together I was pretty over it.

 

There is a LOT of stuff going on and TONS of characters and perhaps if I’d been a big fan and had read all the stories before this I’d have appreciated this one more – but I didn’t so I couldn’t and there you have it.

 

3 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: My Treasure to Keep by Lisa Oliver narrated by John York

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/My-Treasure-to-Keep-Audiobook/B083KC9G4H?pf_rd_p=1ae0e65e-ad09-4aa7-aa73-772cefb1b5e1&pf_rd_r=370HVTEPX9WB32FVKSW7&ref=a_author_Li_c19_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

Thomas, paid enforcer in the Cloverleah Pack, was carrying a lot of guilt. He still believed he was to blame for letting Wesley get targeted by the dark elves, almost causing a rift in Cathair and Marius’s mating.
The alpha Kane told him it wasn’t his fault, and Cathair and Marius came through the experience battered but not broken, but Thomas still felt as though he had to prove his worth to himself and the pack. He spends many hours patrolling long after the rest of the pack had gone to bed, determined to do something worthwhile.
It was on one of those patrol nights that he hears a ruckus outside the territory wards. Dithering as to whether he should help or not, he gets the surprise of his life when his true mate falls right through the magic designed to keep everyone not pack, out.
Ivan was carrying secrets, the main one tucked up in his battered backpack. After a six-month-long mission to find the Cloverleah pack, he was as surprised as the next man when he fell onto pack grounds and into the arms of his true mate. Unfortunately, other pack members, still emotionally scarred by Wesley’s betrayal, didn’t view his “break in” quite so favorably, and Ivan ends up in the Cloverleah cells.
Meanwhile, the dark elves are getting closer and more brazen in their efforts to ensnare the Cloverleah pack. Pack tensions are running high, and something needs to be done…and soon. Through it all, Thomas and Ivan have to navigate their mating and learn to trust in each other.
Secrets will hit the light of day, and life for the Cloverleah pack may never be the same. As for Thomas and Ivan, time is running out for them, too.
A chance arrow, a ray of sunshine – will it mean Ivan and Thomas will get their HEA? Or will they fall at the last hurdle along with the rest of the Cloverleah pack?

Review

This is another great addition to the Cloverleah pack. I won’t spoil the surprise but it is awesome!
I love how each story is it’s own tale but definitely builds on the stories that have come before it.

While I think you could enjoy this as it’s own story, I’m not sure how much you’d take away if you hadn’t been enjoying the series from book 1.

In any case, fans of the series will undoubtedly enjoy this and for anyone who loves paranormal romance – you should check this series out if you haven’t already!

The narration by John York is solidly dependable and an easy listen. He has a monumental task of keeping the myriad characters separate and I think he does a terrific job!

4 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Collide (Out for Justice #2) by Reese Knightley narrated by Tristan James

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Collide-Audiobook/1541439392?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=Z347FVH5C21509W12TPD&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_1541439392

Blurb

Ex hacker Seth O’Leary enjoys the hell out of being part of an elite team of operatives known only as Phoenix. In fact, he’s pretty much made it his whole life. When things go horribly wrong with his deadbeat boyfriend, Seth is surprised to find help coming from an unexpected source. The man he’s secretly fantasized about for years finally takes notice. Asher Grayson, code name Frost, is everything that Seth wants in a man but the player is gun shy about relationships. What will it take to capture the man’s icy heart?

Phoenix operative, Frost, thought he had it all figured out. Scratch an itch with the newly single and hot Seth O’Leary and the craving would be over. Best laid plans and all that, Seth gets under his skin like nobody ever has and without warning Frost finds he can’t seem to walk away so easily. Which is completely out of character for him. He doesn’t ‘do’ relationships because of his past. So, the question remains, will he let long-ago events drive him away from the best thing that has ever happened to him?

Mix in tragic turn of events and ruthless acts of violence, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. With evil forces hell bent on destruction, the pair are on a collision course that leaves them reeling. Will Frost get a chance to step up and be the kind of man Seth can respect or will a madman end any chance for a happily ever after?

*Collide is book two in Reese Knightley’s Out for Justice series. To get the most out of the variety of characters and storyline you may want to first read Ricochet, book one.

Author trigger warning: Violence.

Review

I didn’t enjoy this as much as book 1. The relationship between Seth and Frost is more tenuous and there was a lot of time when I didn’t really like Frost all that much and thought Seth put up with way too much crap.

The crime/mystery stuff occupies a LOT of this and maybe, since I wasn’t as into the couple, it bothered me more.

I enjoyed it, but less.

Audio

 

Tristan James is just so easy to listen to!  I love his tone and quality of his voice.  He does a great job voicing the many characters in this series including women and children.  Highly recommended!

4 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Longest Night by Z. Allora

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-longest-night-by-z-allora-11472-b
Blurb:
The holiday season is lonely for construction worker Benjamin Morgan,
a big muscular guy who just wants to submit, obey, and serve. But the men
he’s attracted to usually don’t have a dominant bone in their bodies. He’s
done seeking his BDSM dreams with someone who isn’t interested in putting
him in his rightful place—on his knees at their feet.
When a friend sets up a meeting with Foster Ridgeway at the BDSM
club, Entwined, Benjamin has his doubts. Of course he is attracted to bookish
Foster, who works for the same construction company, but how will someone
so small and delicate-looking master Benjamin? But when Foster—the tiny
temple of dominance wielding a crop—heads toward Benjamin, he might get
what he’s always wanted, just in time for Solstice.
Review:
This is a sweet story about finding the love that you are looking for and keeping it. Benjamin longs for a man to control him and to give him what he truly wants. Benjamin is looking for a smaller man to take charge but that seems to be beyond his reach. Until a friend sets him up with Foster a man who may be small in stature but big where it matters. Foster is a Dom like no other and he is the man Benjamin finds himself longing for.
I enjoyed this story. Foster and Benjamin are good characters and their story progresses nicely. Benjamin is sure his dream man does not exist but after only a few minutes with Foster he realizes his dream is closer than he thinks. The two men complement each other well and make a good couple. It was nice to see their attraction blossom into something much deeper as the two spent more time together. This is a nice quick read that is full of emotions and will keep you engaged until the end.
Number of stars out of 5: 3.5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Caulky (Four Bears Construction #1) by K.M. Neuhold

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50715079-caulky?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=1NWX3e2bSK&rank=1

Blurb
Ren is in desperate need of a rebound fling. Lucky for him, the smoking hot contractor he hired has just the tool for the job.

The last thing I want is another relationship or another broken heart.

All I need are my bees and the occasional hookup to scratch the itch.

Okay, maybe meeting up with my hot contractor weekly is a little more than occasional. And maybe the way I’m starting to feel about the guy I’ve been anonymously chatting with online should concern me.

But CaulkyAF doesn’t want to meet, and Cole doesn’t want anything serious, so what’s the worst that could happen?

**** Caulky is book 1 in the Four Bears Construction Series and can be read as a stand-alone. This is a funny, steamy MM story guaranteed to make you laugh and swoon. Absolutely NO cheating and NO love triangle. This series does NOT contain shifters, it’s the OTHER kind of bears.

Review

Brilliantly written, hilariously funny romance. The humor is incredibly strong with this one. I just had so much fun reading this! Can’t remember the last time a book had me laughing and giggling this much. Neither of the MC’s is looking for a true connection or meaningful relationship, and seeing them fall for each other, ever so gradually and unexpectedly, was the sweetest! And also very hot! I loved how Ren and CaulkyAF built up a connection through chats and how Ren reaches back to that medium even later on in the story.

I really like the set-up for this series and am very excited to find out what the author has planned for the other bears from Four Bears Construction! The secondary characters are just perfect, well-written and intriguing, and absolutely left me wanting more.

 

Number of stars out of 5:5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: On The Brink (Cloverleah Pack #10) by Lisa Oliver narrated by John York

audiobookreview

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/On-the-Brink-Audiobook/B084GBYBCR?qid=1580842682&sr=1-23&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=A5XDE53W7ZTDBB9YR0CA&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_2_3

 

Blurb

Raff never wanted a lot out of life; his pack, his family and to be accepted for who he was. Yes, Red Wolves were smaller, skinnier and weaker than other shifters, but they were also extremely rare. Which is why, when he was banished from his home pack and family, he made a point of staying away from other wolves. But living rough, without any money, is really hard and when Raff risks a trip into San Antonio to find some cash work, he quickly wished he hadn’t. Although, thanks to his dog Killer, he did meet up with the Alpha Mate of the local pack. Maybe, just maybe his life would take a turn for the better.

Nereus was almost as old as the sea itself, but he made a point of visiting friends whenever he could. A chance visit to the wolf pack at San Antonio put him in the path of his mate, and Nereus grabbed the little man as quickly as he could. But Raff was new to the pack and when Scott and Madison get kidnapped and the men from Cloverleah zap into town, Nereus can’t help but wonder if Cloverleah might offer his new mate a safer place to live.

Back in Cloverleah, Teilo is pleased his brother is mated, but it’s not as though he has a chance to go and look for a mate himself. He’s settled in his home and loves to run in his wolf form. Although, when he gets bitten by a teacup poodle with the ridiculous name of Killer, he wonders what other surprises are going to jump out of the bushes at him. He didn’t expect to find two mates.

A crazy serial killer with no scent; danger for Raff at every turn and a landlocked beach? The men at Cloverleah are in for some pleasant and not so pleasant surprises. Throw in four dogs and the gorgeous bear cub and all of the men in Cloverleah are going to have to be on their toes.

(Warning: M/M/M menage: violence, graphic intimate situations between men and an attempted rape of one of the MCs. Also features a teacup poodle who thinks he’s an alpha, a serial killer who believes in mpreg and a merman with a beautiful tail).

A note to readers: This book is based partially on a time line from Angel in Black Leather Pants. It is not necessary to have read that first, but if you have, don’t be surprised at the overlap. Also, because of the timeline of the book, it is written in two parts. Part one is in San Antonio where Raff and Nereus meet. Part Two is in Cloverleah where Raff and Nereus meet up with Teilo.

Review

This is a series that you should definitely read in order. I think, technically, if you read this on it’s own it’d make sense, but you’d miss a lot of the import since so many recurring characters and overall story arc would be missing.

I realize that I’ve never formally reviewed any of the books in this series! Well – that’s going to be remedied! I love to re-read this series, so on my next pass I’ll catch everyone up.

To summarize, for any new to this series, this is a very unique pack of shifters. It starts with just wolves, but eventually we add in a jaguar, Fey, a Vampire, a Djinn, and now a demi-god. They are all gay – of course!- and most have been ostracized for that in their respective family group. They somehow all end up in this small little pack and even though it’s unusual, many of them are Alphas but they all follow the leadership of Kane, the first Alpha from book 1.

There is another pack, the San Antonio pack, across the nation, who works closely with this pack and with whom they share some members through a family link – ie Scott and Troy.

Though there exists a BDSM club that predominates in both pack areas, BDSM is not a main theme in this series, only occasional references but no real “action”.

There are a few triads, so ménage is no uncommon for this series, and this is a ménage as well.

What I love about this series is the complexity of the plots, the use of magic and other “paranormal” behaviors routinely, the very well-developed characters who have flaws and aren’t all perfect all the time. Sometimes, especially in the beginning, the writing can feel a bit stilted, but as the series has progressed, Lisa Oliver’s writing has improved and now the stories really flow.

In this ménage, I found the triad was really essential to making the mating work. It was clear that Nereus and Raff weren’t working just right. The addition of Teilo filled gaps and made them truly whole. To me, that’s what makes a good triad – when all the partners are needed and it’s not simply a couple plus one for added kinky sex.

In fact, though there is an appropriate amount of sex, it’s really not the main theme in this story. There’s so much action and kidnapping and danger – the reunions are lovely though!

There’s also a nice family thread with Nereus and his fathers – and the great introduction of Death to the series! – that was really lovely.

I’m excited to see where this series goes now that we have these other figures involved: Thanatos, Sebastian, and maybe even Abraxas? It looks amazing!

Highly recommend this book and the series to lovers of shifter romances!

4.5 of 5 stars

 

Audio

John York supplies a solid performance.  My main complaint is the vast number of “twangy” accents.

 

3.5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 

 

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Bitter Pill (PsyCop #11) by Jordan Castillo Price

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49321623-bitter-pill

Blurb

There’s a new drug on the streets called Kick. The side effects are so brutal, most folks only try it once…unless they’re psychic. Then they do it until it kills them.

Psychic medium Victor Bayne is well acquainted with pharmaceuticals, from the Auracel that blocks his ghosts to the Seconal that offers him a blissful nights’ sleep. But he’s managed to steer clear of street drugs…so far.

Jacob Marks has a medicine cabinet filled with every over-the-counter remedy known to man, but none of them are doing much for his mood—and his long, fruitless days of combing through records at The Clinic are taking a heavy toll.
But their lackluster investigation does have one silver lining: a front row seat at The Clinic when the first Kick overdose comes in. And as scary as the drug might be, if it truly does augment psychic ability, the appeal is not lost on Vic.

Because the very first hit never killed anyone.

Where did Kick come from? Why is it so addictive? And why is everyone at The Clinic acting so darn shady? That’s what Vic intends to find out. And if he’s lucky, he can also expose a shadowy figure from Camp Hell.

Unfortunately, the demons of his pill addiction might prove just as deadly as his long-buried history. He thought he’d managed to ditch that pernicious habit. But what if it was only lurking in the shadows, waiting for the best time to rear its ugly head?

Review

I was so glad to find out Jordan was continuing the series! First, there is a lot left for Vic to learn about himself and second – there’s a lot of crazy ghosts out there he needs to meet!

But really, I also love that he and Jacob are still learning about one another, too. Their relationship keeps growing and changing and yet still manages to be hot while sweet at the same time.

The mystery and mayhem in this are compelling and I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for the audio!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard by Charlie Cochet; narrated by Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48122504-the-prince-and-his-bedeviled-bodyguard?from_search=true&qid=uiutP3y4e0&rank=9

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, uncompromising 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 was tasked 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:
Story: A really amusing, fun story. Owin, as spoiled as he seemed, is really very sweet and caring; Grim, ever the protector, knows how to handle Owin. They make a nice couple. I love how Owin doesn’t change much (from being a bit of a brat), even when he pretty much gives up everything to be with Grim. I wasn’t ready for the story to end 
I can’t wait to see who greets matched next, and I’m dying to see the king get his arse in gear and realise his fate has been in front of him for ages! 

Narration: Greg Boudreaux is an excellent narrator in his own right and a great choice for the book. He’s got great comedic timing and he is great with character emotions. This is an excellent way to enjoy a really good story.
Definitely on my relisten list.

Story: 4.5 stars
Narration: 4.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review