Daily Dose Short Story: Daniel’s Lynx by Ava Hayden

release day review

lynx

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2016-daily-dose-full-set-a-walk-on-the-wild-side-7182-b

Blurb

Daniel Rigaud never imagined he’d be starting over at fifty-five, but relocating from his city practice to small-town Alberta to become the staff veterinarian at the Lac LaForge Wildlife Rescue Center might help him forget his deceitful ex—especially considering his handsome new neighbor, Ronan Magister.
At fifty-three, Ronan’s given up on love and prefers to keep relationships short and sexual. It’s easier than revealing his secret—he’s a lynx part of the time. Something about Daniel makes him long for more, but telling the truth proves disastrous. Daniel believes he’s traded one deceptive man for another.
If Daniel actually fell for Ronan’s outrageous fabrication, then he might be worried that several animals were caught in poachers’ traps near their homes that morning. He might wonder why Ronan isn’t answering his phone….

Pages: 55

Review

Daniel is a veterinarian who is a year out of a bad relationship. His ex was 14years younger than him and cheated on him multiple times. So, in addition to getting rid of the ex, he decides to start over in a completely new town and new job.

Ronan is a lynx shifter who has been burned when it comes to human lovers. He’s vowed to only date shifters as a result, but hasn’t found one that he’d like to keep permanently. The few lynx he’s found that might be compatible aren’t too excited about small town life.

When Daniel moves next door to Ronan, the two are immediately attracted. They’re in their 40s now, so it’s a slower pace and they don’t rush into romance. But the chemistry is right. Daniel isn’t sure he’s ready for another lover and Ronan isn’t keen on having a hook up with a neighbor and anything else is off the table, right?

When danger comes to their part of the woods, Daniel shows Ronan he might be more trustworthy than the others he’s known and Daniel learns his heart is already invested in another possible love.

**

This had several elements that I LOVE in a story: older MCs, shifters who act like their animals and shift often, real people without the insta love, nice dialog and a bit of smexy times that doesn’t overwhelm the story.

I thought this was really well done and I’d love more from this world. (My favorite was the “presents” – gotta love cats!)

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy generously provided by Publisher for Honest review

The Stolen Suitor Audiobook by Eli Easton Narrated by Rusty Topsfield

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Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7668

StolenSuitor[The]AUDLGBlurb

All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.

Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich femalewidow. Or can he?

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Jeremy’s mother – Mabe – wants Jeremy and his brother Eric to disrupt the “romance” between Chris and Trix so that Eric can win the hand of Trix and inherit the ranch her late husband left her.

Jeremy is to seduce the “obviously” gay Chris even though Jeremy himself is not exactly “out”.

In the end things end up quite differently than anyone planned and through many twists and turns everyone ends up exactly where they need to be with a delightful HEA.

**

Eli Easton is a terrific writer. She always makes me laugh (and sometimes cry!) with her moving characters. Jeremy is far more than he seems on the surface and though I really, really didn’t want to like anyone in the Crassen family, I ended up loving them all – perhaps the “loser” Eric the best!

I didn’t ever get quite a good handle on Chris, however. He had some bad experiences in college that made him look upon all gay relationships in a bad light and is now determined to settle in to a sexless if not loveless marriage all before he’s even 30!

Trix turns out to be a dark horse in this story. She ends up showing a lot more depth than I originally thought she was going to have and I really ended up rooting for her part of the story more than even Chris and Jeremy!

There were some parts of this story, however, that just didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to see more of Jeremy and Chris together on page than we did and maybe a bit fewer POV shifts. Though I enjoyed Trix and Eric’s story as well as Billy and Mabe, I really wanted to understand Chris more and follow him with Jeremy after the big “drama”.

Janie didn’t ring true to me as four year old, Mabe felt far older than her forty-two years and Chris also seemed far more jaded than his years would account for. Maybe if everyone had been aged a bit more some of their actions would have felt more authentic and age appropriate.

The other thing that really didn’t set well with me was John and how “replaceable” he felt to both Billy and Trix.

I still cried when Billy was out searching for Janie and that tells me the story was well written even though the shift was to a different set of character.

Story 3.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Rusty Topsfield is a narrator that I usually really enjoy. He’s easy to listen to, and has a good sense for emotion and pacing. He uses a heavy “country” accent for this story and for the most part it works. Sometimes it got a bit tedious and overdone, but it’s hard to know if that was him or the story. I didn’t care for his female characters as much, especially Janie – the little girl – but I enjoyed Jeremy and his brother a lot. I think the accent grew on me as the story progressed and all in all I found this to be a good way to experience this book as it added to my overall enjoyment.

Narration 4 of 5 stars

Overall 4.25 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Recent Release: 30 Pieces of Bloody Silver (Blood Moon Pack Alliance Book 6) By SA Welsh

29538153Blurb

 

When the pack is attacked Asher hunts the one responsible, however, fate has other plans as it throws not one but two obstacles his way in the form of male mates—one human one vampire. Lies are uncovered and truths shared as Asher’s fears about what is to come are confirmed.
Asher is used to being overlooked and not taken seriously as the brother that lightens a tense situation. It doesn’t usually bother him. When the pack house is attacked, Asher is on a mission to hunt down the one responsible. He is tired of their enemy having the upper hand. If he can hunt down Kimi, then they may finally be a step ahead. The only problem is that he can’t only think about himself now because a confession from a wayward pup causes him to become a guardian of a teenager.
Things only get more complicated when a human named Tyler helps him out in a night club to corner Kimi and gets kidnapped for his trouble. Asher is given a choice—trade newly caught Kimi or Tyler dies. Corralling an uncooperative Kimi gets him up close and personal with the vampire, but instead of wringing his neck like he wants to Asher finds himself drawn to the unmistakable scent of his mate. If that wasn’t enough to test him, the proof the kidnappers deliver to him comes with a stunning revelation. Tyler is also his mate.

Review

This is a book that really must be read as part of a series. All the characters are introduced earlier (with a few exceptions) and as such already have established personalities and histories.

Asher is part of the Blood Moon Pack and doesn’t realize it (or isn’t willing to acknowledge) that Kimi is his mate. He also finds the human Tyler and realizes he now has two mates. The problem is there’s a war going on and Asher has to keep Tyler safe. He also can’t believe that Kimi – who tries to bring the pack down at every turn – is one of his mates!

Will he simply ignore fate and choose Tyler over Kimi – will he end up having to kill Kimi? Is Kimi all that he seems?

**

I know I’m in the minority here, but this was my least favorite book in the series. (I love the series still but this was my least favorite of them all.)

I never warmed to Kimi who felt like a brat and a psychotic brat most of the time. I definitely never felt that Asher and Kimi bonded in any way more than a sexual relationship. The three way dynamic was never really shown and it felt awkward and insincere.

Tyler and Asher felt like a more believable and solid couple and the story would have been less disjointed had that been the case. Or… Asher and Kimi if we’d had more time with Kimi once his truth was revealed.

There is way more “action” in this book than the others and the relationships felt like more of an after thought as compared to the earlier stories. The writing and all was still excellent but I didn’t bond with the MCs this time around.

I loved seeing all our other couples again and find the story arc fascinating but this was a bit of a miss for me in the romance department.

All in all 3 of 5 stars for the continuation of the story.

(One other gripe – call me a cover snob but… I really almost skipped over this book because the cover put me off.  It was only when I realized what series this was that I picked it up!)

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Copy Purchased for Review

Buy Link

http://www.sawelsh.com/blood-moon-pack-alliance.html

Test Drive (Crossroads Book 3) by Riley Hart

41WsZimBzAL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Blurb

A double shot of devastating news turns Justin Evanson’s life upside down. When he learns his father has cancer, and he has siblings he never knew existed, he leaves everything behind and moves to Virginia to support his dad as he tries to make amends with his family—a family Justin’s not sure he has a place in. Things go from bad to worse when he discovers his recent hookup is his newfound sister’s brother-in-law.

Drew Sinclair never expected to see Justin after their night at the club or to discover their family connection. If anyone found out, it would give Drew’s brother another reason to hate him. But there’s something about Justin that draws him in, and it’s not only because they burn up the sheets together.

One meeting leads to another, and before Justin realizes it, Drew has become the only thing in his world he feels is his. And for the first time in his life, Drew knows what it means to be needed. Being there for Justin and supporting him when things spiral out of control feels right. But with so much happening so quickly, it’s hard to trust their feelings. Is this thing between them real? Or just a test drive before life forces them down two separate roads?

Review

In Shifting Gears we met Justin. He’s the brother Landon never knew he had. Drew is the brother to Landon’s sister’s new husband. (Confused? Well, it sorts itself out easily enough!)

Drew is bi-sexual but has never really acted on the male side of his attraction. Justin is out and proud and in desperate need of finding something to take his mind off his troubles. When they meet in the bar, Drew wants to see if his attraction to men is as strong as he thinks it is, so he takes Justin up on his offer to dance. This leads to … more… which leads to Justin running away and earns him the nickname, Cinderella.

When they meet again it’s at a family gathering and both men are shocked to see the other there. They act like they’ve never met, but Drew really wants another chance to explain his actions, so he gives Justin his number.

From there it’s a rocky start to a friendship which blossoms into a friends with benefits and then into something both guys are reluctant to name.

But Justin isn’t from Virginia. His life is in North Carolina just as much as Drew’s is in Virginia. Is this just a diversion for Justin and a “test drive” of Drew’s bi-sexuality? Or is it something longer lasting?

**

You know, Riley just can’t write something that isn’t amazing! (Take that you double negative you!) Everything I’ve read impresses the hell out of me.

Her characters are real, her sex scenes are scorching and to me – the best part – the feels are so deep and satisfying.

I love that we get to see the other MCs immersed in their HEA – Landon and Rod are so sweet together and of course Nick and Bryce are still crazy!

The family stuff is hard and may be a trigger for people who’ve lived through it. I know it feels authentic to me and that’s not in my wheelhouse – so I can imagine if you’ve been there, this will hit home. She doesn’t make Justin’s Dad into a hero. He messed up a lot of lives. But – he’s human. He deserves a chance to make amends. And that’s what happens here. A chance for a family to heal.

My favorite non-romance scene was the motorcycle ride. I was absolutely bawling. It was very well done and touching.

I highly recommend this and advise readers to start at book one if you haven’t because it’s so much richer that way – though technically this can be read as a standalone.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Test-Drive-Crossroads-Book-3-ebook/dp/B01FY2BJTE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1464015564&sr=1-1&keywords=test+drive+riley+hart

A Kind of Truth Audiobook by Lane Hayes Narrated by Seth Clayton

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7785

AKindofTruthAUDLGBlurb

Rand O’Malley dreams of superstardom. He hopes to one day sing the blues like a rock god. Moving to New York City and hiring a new manager are steps to make his dreams a reality. But nothing moves as fast as Rand would like, and everyone has opinions, which include he keep certain pieces of himself quiet if he plans on making it in the Big Apple. Like his bisexuality.

Will Sanders is a gifted musician who dazzles Rand with his ability to coax gorgeous notes from an electric guitar one moment and play the piano like a professional the next. He’s a geek, but Rand isn’t concerned about Will’s pressed exterior clashing with his tattoos. His focus is music. Yet there’s something about Will that makes Rand think there’s much more to the quiet college student than he lets on. As Rand’s dreams begin to materialize, he’s forced to reconsider his priorities and find his own kind of truth. One that might include Will.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

Rand is part of a band that is slowly gaining fame. He’s dedicated to this 100%. He needs a new lead guitarist – he won’t settle for anything less than perfection. When he interviews a slew of potentials, none make the grade but he gets a valuable recommendation for a music tutor – if he can’t find the best guitarist he’ll become one himself!

Will is a quiet and in the closet guitar musical genius. He has no aspirations of fame and in fact likes to keep under the radar at all times about all things. He agrees to tutor Rand but the chemistry between them is undeniable.

When Will and Rand begin to get more involved, Will finds himself sucked into Rand’s musical life as well. He’s allowed to show parts of himself he never thought would see the light of day and though he likes it – it’s also terrifying. He’s got secrets Rand doesn’t know and when those surface both their relationship and the band are at risk.

**

This is my favorite book flavor! I have a huge bias for rock-band titles, and musicians in general.

Will is a GREAT character! He’s so multi-faceted. He’s geeky and shy one moment, then brazen and shocking the next. He’s inexperienced but daring to try and experiment, too.

Rand is nothing if not consistent. He wants what’s best for the band and he pretty much stays true to that endeavor. Inadvertently people get hurt along the way, but truly, that’s only his blindness to the situation, not any real desire to see them in pain.

The sexual chemistry is off the charts and I really like them as a couple.

If I have any complaints is that the ending wraps things up pretty quickly and we don’t get to see them as a happy couple for very long.

All in all this was a great book and I highly recommend it!

Audio

Seth Clayton is a new narrator to me and he did a fairly good job with this. I didn’t love his interpretation of Will but I LOVED his version of Rand. All in all he was a little to “upbeat” in his dialog, but he did the pacing, emotion and sound quality very well. I definitely enjoyed listening to this and found it a great way to experience this story.

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Shifting Gears (Crossroads Book 2) Audiobook by Riley Hart Narrated by Sean Crisden

audiobookreview51EhNd4IjsL._SL300_Blurb

Rod Nelson is used to being someone’s good time, and that’s fine with him. Spending his days at his adult toy store, Rods-N-Ends, he never knows who he’ll meet. The second Landon Harrison walks in, he has Rod’s full attention. It seems as if Landon wants him too, so why won’t the man jump in the sack with him already?
Landon never thought he’d return home to the town where memories lurk around every corner. He has to admit, Rod makes the adjustment a lot easier. He keeps Landon laughing. Despite the fierce attraction between them, he’s not willing to risk his newfound friendship to get laid.
Neither man wants something serious, but the more they’re together, the harder it is to keep their hands to themselves, until eventually they stop trying.
But flings between friends are never simple, and as they attempt to shift gears, diving into their first relationship, they’re slammed with setbacks. If they want to truly move forward, before they hit the open road together, they’re going to have to let go of a past that could make them crash and burn.
Contains mature themes.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

We met Rod in book one – he’s the guy who sells Nick and Bryce their first sex toys. He’s brash and brazen and out and proud. He’s decided to branch out on his own and open his own shop, Rods-N-Ends and that’s where he meets Landon.

Landon is a motorcycle mechanic who moves back home to help his mom after his sister moves out and he’s at loose ends. He doesn’t have friends around from high school, no job and he’s bored. He meets Rod one day and is intrigued – but… he needs a friend more than a f**k, and he doesn’t do relationships, so he ignores Rod’s flirting and pushes for friendship instead.

Though Rod is relentless in his pursuit of Landon as a sex partner, the two become friends and soon they’re practically roommates, too. But the sex thing still lingers… until one day a line is crossed… now they don’t know how to act around each other and it’s ruining their friendship…

**

Though not as delicious as book one, this is another fantastic story from the fabulous Riley Hart.

Rod is a great character and I had really high hopes for him. Those expectations are met to a certain extent, but there is this missing … something… that makes him a little more “flat” in this book.

I never quite reconciled Rod’s upbringing and Landon’s refusal to have a relationship. Though I know they’re best friends, they didn’t have quite the emotional cross-over into lovers that Bryce and Nick did. I really wanted Landon and Rod to dig deep and find all those hidden demons and exorcise them together – instead Landon’s father and his drama sort of took precedence and we didn’t get to focus on Rod’s issues.

It’s a small complaint though, really, because this is still a very fun, sexy and sweet love story and it’s unfair to compare it to it’s predecessor because both are absolutely wonderful. (Crossroads was just so over the top amazing that it’s hard to follow it.)

I highly recommend this to fans of the series, the author, friends-to-lovers fans, and sweet, sexy romantics.

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Sean Crisden did another wonderful job with this narration. MAN! I love listening to him so much! I thought Landon was very well portrayed and I enjoyed his low, growly voice. Rod was a much lighter and more flamboyant and Sean did a nice job with his character as well. He does a fair job with women’s voices and it’s always easy to tell whom is speaking. To me, Sean’s forte is his grasp of timing and his ability to handle the emotions well – from passion, to anger, to fear and despair.

Highly recommeneded.
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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Audible link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Shifting-Gears-Audiobook/B01FYC5RZG

False Start (An Eastshore Tigers Novel) by Alison Hendricks

30289347Blurb

The heat between them is impossible to ignore. But can they ever be anything but rivals?

Dante Mills has one more year to prove he can hack it in the NFL. If he can’t score attention from the scouts this season, he’ll never be able to give his hard-working mom the life she deserves. The last thing he needs is more competition, but that’s exactly what he gets when blond-haired, blue-eyed behemoth Mitchell Erickson walks into the locker room.

Mitchell Erickson has one year to prove he belongs on a football field. He’s spent his whole life struggling to find acceptance in his family, and now his father’s finally giving him the chance to follow his passion… for one season. If he doesn’t bring the Tigers to victory, it’s back to upholding the Erickson legacy in a suit and tie. But how can he possibly succeed when someone as talented as Dante stands between him and a starting position?

As if the tension between them wasn’t high enough, Mitch is insanely attracted to the very straight linebacker. As the season ramps up and both men fight for their place on the team, a heated locker room encounter leaves Dante questioning everything he thought he knew about himself.

When Dante and Mitch work together, they’re unstoppable. But can two men destined to be rivals ever be anything more?

False Start is a steamy, standalone gay romance novel with a HEA and no cliffhanger.

Review

Dante, who is Jason’s friend from book one, is in his last year at Eastshore and he NEEDS this year to go well for him on the football field. His mom has struggled for years to make ends meet and he needs to be drafted into the NFL so that he can give her all she needs, wants and deserves.

Mitch comes from a long line of lawyer who go you Yale and do the family proud. He’s never felt that he fit in and he only finds satisfaction in playing football. His father has given him one year to “prove himself” in football and even though he’s a freshman, Mitch is determined to be vital to the team and prove to his dad that this is where he belongs.

Mitch is gay and open if not out and proud. He’s immediately attracted to Dante, though he knows it’s ridiculous as Dante has to be straight. When the two realize they are fighting for the same position on the team, things between them go from strained and awkward to openly hostile. But… they’re on the same team and being a team player means supporting everyone – or else.

In time, the two realize they make better team players than enemies and a truce of sorts develops. The simmering attraction between Mitch and Dante becomes more than that as Dante begins to explore a new aspect of his sexuality.

But… the dividing line between them isn’t their sexuality or race or their competition on the football field – it’s money – pure and simple. Dante knows he can never fit into Mitch’s world and at every turn this is proven true. In the end – even if they try to make a go of it – can it last? There’s at least three years between them and a potential job that would take Dante on the road for months at a time. It seems like it’s really not worth it…or is it?

**

I loved book one in this series and was so excited to see book two come around! I find Alison Hendricks to have an easy and engaging writing style and her love of football is clear but not so overwhelming as to give us non-fans a headache.

The GFY/OFY trope is one of my favorites and I was really looking forward to seeing how Dante adapted to his own sexuality given his friendship with the newly out and proud Jason as his best friend.

Well…
First I think that I have to separate my expectations for this based on book one from my assessment of it on it’s own merits.

As a book by itself, I think it was pretty good. The writing is nice, the MCs were well developed, the major plot points made sense and the romance was fairly sweet.
Where things begin to get weak for me: I didn’t enjoy Dante’s exploration as much as I wanted because it was fairly rushed and though I appreciated that he didn’t really dwell on it a lot – it is a big thing and a stark contrast to his past belief about himself – and I don’t think it was given enough weight in the story.

Another area that felt neglected was the future. Without giving away the ending – Dante has to make some big decisions about his future and that of his family – the end result while pleasing is absolutely rushed and there is absolutely no discussion of it until the dust is settled and I felt left out in the cold. It felt a bit deus ex machina and I didn’t think it flowed well with the rest of the story.

I liked that the major obstacle for these guys was class/perception and two alpha personalities clashing – but I don’t think their resolution (on page) was very satisfying. I wanted a bigger MOMENT when the two make sacrifices and speeches of devotion to one another.

All in all this felt a bit bland to me and here is where I have to speak to the previous book. Because the first book was SO GOOD, I can’t help but compare the two and side by side this lacks the luster and brilliance of book one. The MCs aren’t as well developed, their romance is a bit too rushed and not nearly as “deep”, and the final portion – though happy – wasn’t nearly as shiny and joyous as I’d hoped for.

All in all, both in comparison to book one and on it’s own merits, this was just a bit disappointing – still very enjoyable – but not as wonderful as I’d hoped.

3.75 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

(Free on Kindle Unlimited!)
Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/False-Start-Eastshore-Tigers-Book-ebook/dp/B01G6H3LCY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1464380242&sr=1-1&keywords=false+start+alison

Bad Dogs and Drag Queens by Julie Lynn Hayes

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7762

BadDogsandDragQueensLGBlurb

Rose and Thorne: Book One

Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners—on and off the clock. Federal undercover detectives, they’re part of a covert task force designed to promote goodwill between the feds and local authorities. They lend an unobtrusive helping hand wherever it’s needed. No credit required.

Vinnie and Ethan work primarily in the Southeast region of the United States and live together in Richmond, Virginia. A mugger problem brings them to Roanoke, where Vinnie is thrown out as bait to catch the man who’s been snatching purses in a city park, but they end up with more than they bargained for. Why is Vinnie always the one who has to wear the dress? Ethan says it’s because Vinnie looks much prettier in a skirt. How can he argue with that?

Expecting to return to Richmond afterward, Vinnie and Ethan find themselves assigned a new case instead. They are to go undercover at The Stroll, one of the biggest gay nightclubs in Roanoke. Someone is terrorizing both the customers and the performers. Could they be dealing with a hate crime? Someone has to protect the drag queens of Roanoke, so it’s Vinnie and Ethan to the rescue!

The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.

 

Review

Vinnie and Ethan are partners on the job and off. For the last 5 years they’ve been fighting crime in Richmond, VA, but are now part of a special liaison in Roanoke, trying to stop a mugger. Vinnie (who first met Ethan at a drag show) wears the dress and it’s Vinnie who also meets the “Bad Dog” – aka Benny – while catching the bad guy in a park one day.

Ethan loves Vinnie, his life and now the dog, too.

After catching the mugger, the pair is put on the job of busting a series of crimes at a bar that features drag queens. You guessed it – Vinnie’s in a dress – again.

Will Vinnie be able to trust Ethan with all the flirting his undercover character must do? Does Ethan really want Vinnie or Vinnie in a dress?

**

So…. This is a mixed bag for me as far as reviews go.

The writing style was engaging and easy to follow. It flowed, there were no mistakes and I really liked the two MCs who, as characters, were really well developed.

What didn’t work for me was the lack of distinct story. There is really no angst, no hurdle, nothing for this couple to overcome. Beyond the crime – which I never cared about – a bit of flirting – and the fact that Vinnie has never lived in a house before… there just wasn’t much happening in this story.

I enjoyed the sweet way the MCs interacted, thought the dog was funny, loved all the drag queen personas, but was never really invested in this story much at all.

So… I guess I’d recommend this to anyone looking for something very, very light and sweet – maybe after you’ve read a hard tear-jerker and you need a palate cleanse – or something that’s easy. If you’re looking for anything deep or moving or exciting… keep looking.

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

 

Alexi’s Mouse (Werewolves of Manhattan Book 5) by AC Katt

30187573Blurb

 

After leaving his place as the Russian Second and immigrating to America, Alexei Davidoff just wants to settle in and not upset the status quo. He wants to start his position with Garou Industries and improve the conditions for his packs. The gods have a different plan for him.

Donal Berne ran away from home at fourteen to escape a bad situation and found himself in an even worse one. Seven years later the only way out that he sees is to overdose.

On the verge of Donal’s suicide, Alexei comes to his aid realizing that he is his given Mate. Overcoming the physical and mental injuries will take time, patience and a blessing from the gods to use both Alexei’s and Donal’s experiences to assist homeless and abused wolves.

Review

Book 4 reviewed here https://openskyebookreviews.com/marking-kane-werewolves-of-manhattan-4-by-ac-katt/

Books 1 and 2 here: http://kimichanexperience.com/?s=werewolves+of+manhattan

Werewolves of Manhattan is a series about several Alpha Werewolves who find their mates – all male, mostly omega/smallish – and rescue them in some way only to find out that their mates have some sort of ability or skill that will eventually aid them in their battle against enemy werewolf nations.

All of the Mates have had, or nearly had, some crushing circumstances that make their lives with their new werewolf husband a walk in the park. With one exception all the Mates are human so the first hurdle is always the “I’m a werewolf” speech. Then there is some form of danger to be escaped followed by the “I’m not worthy” issue.

In this case, Alexi is the Alpha and Donal is the Mate. Donal ran away from home at 14 to escape an abusive situation with his stepfather. He was immediately kidnapped by an evil pimp who forced him to take heroin and made him turn tricks.

When Alexi finds him he’d just overdosed in an attempt to escape – the only way he knew how.

Alexi had been in the Russian prison for the last three years being raped and tortured for protesting the rights of gays in Russia. He’s carrying his own scars but knows his new Mate will help him to heal.

There is a little drama with Donal’s old pimp but most of the story is simply Donal healing and getting used to the whole rich, werewolf lifestyle.

**

There are some writers who are good storytellers and some who are good writers and some who are both. In this case, AC Katt is a good storyteller, but not a great writer. Her writing is full of “tell” and lacking in “show”.

Just like an agenda, the story is outlined room by room, hour by hour and the details of the time spent are listed out in very plain spoken details. There’s not much guess work or subtlety, but the story is an interesting one.

There is very little romance involved. The Alpha knows his Mate is his one and only, they work up to having sex, and then they live happily every after. This story in particular is rife with revenge and ways to make Donal’s abusers pay. Though our guys tell one another they love each other, they really don’t do much to build their relationship.

I was also a bit disappointed that the healing Donal was supposed to have in store for Alexi was mostly brushed under the rug with “now that we’re mated I feel whole” instead of actually going through or even talking about the issues both characters faced in their lives.

We get a glimpse of the next couple and a hint that all the Mates are going to be needed to use their special skills in some apocalyptic event in the near future.

One thing that bothers me in this series is that Alexi shifts one time and other than the rules, the knotting, and the Mate bond, there is really no “shifter” in this “shifter series”.   Most of what happens could be achieved with wealth and power alone, the ability to be a wolf is really not a factor.  I like it when they shift and act like animals so I miss that in this series.

Though I’m sure I’ll read the next one – because I just have to see what happens next! – I wasn’t that impressed with this story and found others in the series a bit better developed.

3 of 5 stars

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Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Buy Link

http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=ACKMO– USE

Pib’s Dragon by Beany Sparks Book Blast and Giveaway!

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Pib's Dragon - 600x900Title: Pib’s Dragon
Author: Beany Sparks
Part of a series? If yes, can it be read as a standalone? Yes and yes
Series Title: Twisted Fairy Tales
Number in Series: #1
Publisher: Rainbow Ninja Press

Release Date:
Early Download at Rainbow Ninja Press – 27th May
Third Party Pre Order – 3rd June
General Release – 10th June

Word Count: 21,699

Links:

Rainbow Ninja Press
Rainbow Ninja Press – EU Customers

Goodreads

Categories: M/M Romance, Gay Fiction, Paranormal, Humor

Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blurb:

A dragon is about to find out what happens when a cat discovers his cave of shiny treasures.

 

After nine years, Pib is finally free from his contract with the newly wed prince. Slipping out in the middle of the night to avoid getting stuck in another contract, Pib shifts into his cat and makes his way home to the little village he foolishly left, hoping his best friend Wil still lives there.

Dray is bored. His services as a princess-guarding dragon are no longer needed and even his gold and jewels are unable to cheer him up. His mood changes quickly when he catches someone in his treasure cave, and it starts a series of events that change his life forever.

When the two finally meet, sparks fly, but Dray will have to move quickly if he’s to save his cat after Pib gets kidnapped.

 

Excerpt:

Prologue

Pib snuck into the darkened room, tiptoeing quietly so as not to wake the newly crowned prince Geraint and his princess. Looking around, he both thanked and cursed his shifter senses. While he was grateful he could see inside the room, the smell of sex throughout the air was something he could have done without.

Reaching the desk on the far side of the room, he paused and glanced at the couple. Once he was satisfied they were still asleep, he eased open the cover and found what he was after—his freedom. After nine long years as the bastard’s slave, the letter freeing him from servitude almost brought tears to his eyes. Carefully folding it and placing it in his inside pocket, Pib gently shut the desk and tiptoed back toward the bedroom door, leaving the room as silently as he’d entered.

He knew there was only a limited window of opportunity for him to make his escape. Even though the pompous bastard had made a production of signing the form and granting him his freedom, Pib knew it was all for show. If he didn’t escape now, Geraint would get him alone and force him to sign another contract and then make some sort of bogus announcement about how Pib wanted to stay.

Pib snorted, unable to help himself. Luckily there was no one else around the castle at this time of the night, though even if there was, Pib didn’t care. He was leaving, and no one was going to stop him. Anyone who tried would have a close encounter with his knife, or his claws, he wasn’t picky.

“Hey, Pib, where are you off to in the middle of the night?” asked the guard at the front door of the castle. Pib never bothered learning their names or getting friendly with them, especially since Geraint could force him to kill any of them at a moment’s notice. He’d learned that it didn’t pay for him to form any attachments with those surrounding Geraint.

“Getting an early start on my retirement,” Pib replied, smirking at the man while he continued to stroll toward the exit.

“Sorry, Pib, but I have to check. Do you have a signed letter from Prince Geraint?” The guard shifted from foot to foot, showing his unease.

Pib stopped in front of him and forced a smile. “Of course,” he said, carefully extracting the letter and handing it over to the guard.

He waited, watching the guard closely as he read the letter. One wrong move and Pib was going to gut him. Nothing could happen to that letter.

“Looks good,” the guard said, handing the letter back to Pib. “It’ll sure be different without you around, but all the best. And, uh, don’t take this the wrong way, but I hope I don’t see you again.”

Returning the letter to his pocket, Pib looked up and smiled a real smile at the man. He wanted to laugh when the guard’s face paled as he caught sight of Pib’s canines, but restrained himself. “Don’t worry, I hope never to see you again either.”

With that, Pib walked out of the castle and made his way through the sleeping village. Pulling his hood up, he used the dark material to blend into the surroundings. He wasn’t taking any chances that Geraint wouldn’t wake up any moment and send guards running after him. After all, Pib was practically friends with all of the skeletons in Geraint’s closet.

Pib reached the edge of the village and paused. After nine long years, he was finally free of Geraint, his orders, and most importantly, his shackle. The magical cuff that had decorated his right ankle for nine years had been removed after Geraint had signed his release. The cuff was the only thing ensuring Pib’s obedience, and finally, it was gone.

Taking a deep breath, Pib stepped over the invisible boundary line and felt the remaining enchantments shatter and disappear, leaving him standing as his true self for the first time in years. Reaching inside, he called out his inner cat to come out and play, and in seconds, his clothes disappeared and he was standing on all fours in his serval form. Stretching, he threw one last glance back at the castle and the village before slinking away into the trees, using the natural camouflage to shield him as he made his way toward the start of his new life.