Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary DA Friends to lovers Gay Geek/Jock Heat Index High but not hopeless Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort Insta Love Length m/m Mild/low level heat Military Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased second chance at love Teacher Unrequited Love

Don’t Leave Me Alone (Unlikely Heroes #1) by Jenny Wood

 

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Leave-Alone-Unlikely-Heroes-ebook/dp/B01DJAXWRA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1485110683&sr=8-3&keywords=jenny+wood+hero

(right now .99 cents!)

Blurb

Alvin is coming home to bury his family His whole family, all the family that he had left. His mom, dad and twin sisters. The military didn’t think he was stable enough to come back but really, he was just worried how he’d get through the days. The first one’s at his empty family home especially.

Carter is a school teacher going to the funeral of a very well respected family of his community. Not only does he see his crush from high-school, Alvin, but he also see’s him all alone trying to say goodbye to the only people he had left. Carter doesn’t see the fun-loving, carefree teen he crushed on; he’s long gone and the grieving, lost man is in his place.

What will happen when Carter steps in to help this grieving man?
What will Alvin do when his eyes finally open and see’s Carter?
Is leaning on someone in times of trouble the best way to start a relationship or do they realize it’s the best foundation for love?

This book contains strong language and adult situations. It can be read as a standalone. Has HEA, no cliffhanger!

Review

I love supporting new authors and this is a series that introduces us to a new author who I think is just wonderful!

Like many first works, there are some rough edges, specifically editing: grammar, punctuation, spelling, but the important piece, the story is fantastic!

This series is about a group of men who’ve been hurt and who find comfort in their true love. But first… they hurt. Jenny Wood has made me cry so many times now! In this book, reading about Alvin’s loss – tears out my heart! She did an amazing job of showing us the devastation and feelings of anger and guilt and loss that he felt.

When Alvin meets Carter he doesn’t remember him, though Carter had been crushing on Alvin for years. When Carter realizes Alvin doesn’t remember him, he’s crushed – but he doesn’t give up and I love that about this story. They communicate and work through their issues. There are no silly “Big Misunderstandings”.

The smexy times are appropriate and enough to feel good, but not overwhelm the story.

I am really enjoying this series and highly recommend it to fans of hurt/comfort, big/guy little guy, nerd/jock, military men, small towns and sweet romances.

(Aaaaaand the cover! Mmmmm!)

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure Angst Level Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Established Couple Fated Mates Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless m/m Magic Mid level steam/heat Misunderstanding Morgan Mystery New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter vampire Witches/Warlocks/Wizards young adult

Spell Fall (Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge Book 4) by Jacob Flores

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/spell-fall-by-jacob-z-flores-8102-b

Blurb

Love and trust made them soul mates, but destiny might have other plans.

Ever since Drake Carpenter fell in love with warlock Mason Blackmoor, his life has been one supernatural battle after another, but Drake doesn’t mind… much. To be with Mason and experience the magical connection they share, Drake would face entire hordes of vampyren, shifters, or fae—and he has. Luckily Drake is immune to magic, though no one can explain his natural ability to negate almost any enchantment. With Drake’s own family gone, Mason is all he has. So why is Drake experiencing disturbing dreams about Mason that terrify him?

A new threat looms on the horizon, and a revelation about Drake’s identity and the true origin of his bond with Mason shatters everything Drake believes. If Drake, Mason, and all of magic are to survive the coming Spell Fall, the most destructive curse in sorcery, Drake must deal with the truth and fight his way back to Mason—because their enemies are gaining strength, and they intend to reach the boy Drake loves first.

Review

First, this is a book in a series you must read in order to appreciate. I doubt this would make that much sense if read as a stand-alone.

Second, all the brothers are now mated and their powers are increasing but we’ve yet to actually solve any of the main “issues”. The temporary hurdles were handled earlier, but the main problem – revolving around the main attack on Drake Aunt and why is yet to be solved. Ica – who we learn is actually named Icarius seems to have a lot of power but is seeking more and needs Drake to achieve this for some reason.

The other witches and warlocks are also not exactly helpful or on the side of the Blackmoors, so they don’t know who to trust anymore.

It’s interesting to me that Drake and Mason are still in HIGH SCHOOL when all this is occurring. They don’t (usually) act like the teenagers they are and their intimate moments are far from YA. On the one hand I applaud Jacob Flores for just going there and letting these guys have their time together be as though they are married, because, with the Soul Bond, they essentially are. But, it was definitely disconcerting to see them in the High School setting with their very immature compatriots and have them sort of devolve back to being as young as their years would imply.

I loved that the “mystery” in this story is so carefully interwoven with both Drake and Mason’s relationship as it is the power struggle between the other warlocks and Icarius. I thought the crafting of this was really well executed and the prose Flores uses is both strong and fluid and at times really artful and beautiful.

While I wish the trials and tribulations would be over for these guys, I’m glad that this isn’t all wrapped up because it means more books are coming! I hope we get to see more of the other couples in the future, because I missed them in this story. (They’re there, but not main players.)

I think this is a tough book to categorize, because the brothers all act older than they are at times, but where they are in life forces them to behave a bit more age appropriate and it sometimes jolted me out of the story when I was reminded of how young they all are.

I do look forward to seeing how their powers grow and change in the future and can’t wait for the next installment!  (I can tell he must really love writing these as it shows in his story telling!)

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
A Poll/ Voting

Results of the Best Audio Book Released in December 2016

The Winner for the Best Audiobook Released in December 2016 is….

Losing Control by Riley Hart Narrated by Jack Du Pont

Tied for Second:

Psycops Briefs by Jordan Castillo Price narr by Gomez Pugh and 

Crime Wave by Adam Carpenter Narrated by Joel Leslie

 

 

Our Comment Winner is:  Gabrielle!

 

 

Congratulations to all our winners and thanks to all our commenters!  

 

 

Categories
A Tour/Guest Post/Blitz

Broadway Babe by JC Long Blog Tour!

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OS:  Welcome to JC Long author of Broadway Babe!  Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us thoughts on your new book!

JL:

Hey everybody, I’m J. C. Long, author of Broadway Babe. I want to thank everyone who’s joining us for the fun today. Also, a huge word of gratitude to the people of Open Skye Book Reviews for hosting my as part of my whirlwind eight-day blog tour. I’ve been having a great time, and we’re going to keep the good times rolling! Today I present for your reading pleasure the interview between dazzling lady Annabelle Hutch and Mike Chang, our sensational leading love interest in Broadway Babe!

 

An Interview With Everyone’s Favorite BAEsian, Mike Chang

By Annabelle Hutch

 

Mike Chang lounges comfortably on the skirt of the stage, legs dangling off, propping himself up on his elbows. Annabelle sits daintily next to him, legs crossed at the ankles like a proper lady, trusty recorder in hand.

 

MIKE: I’m still not sold on the name, Annabelle. You know I hate words like “BAE”.

 

ANNABELLE: Look, the title’s staying, alright? You already vetoed “Gaysian”—

 

MIKE: [heavily sarcastic] I wonder why that was.

 

ANNABELLE: Look, let’s just start the interview, okay? So, Mike Chang—

 

MIKE: You could just call me Mike, you know, like a normal person.

 

ANNABELLE: No. You have name value, and I’m going to use that name value to get this on Broadway.com so I can—

 

MIKE: Yeah, yeah, I know. Long combination of jobs. Tate gave me the gist of it already. Just ask the questions.

 

ANNABELLE: [huffy] Fine. First question—who has a better ass, Tate or me?

 

MIKE: Tate.

 

ANNABELLE: Wow. Zero hesitation there.

 

MIKE: [shrugs] It was an easy question. You thought I was going to say you?

 

ANNABELLE: No. Okay, maybe a little. Let’s just move on before my feelings get hurt. Next question. Most hated cast mate?

 

MIKE: Come on, Annabelle, you think I’m going to answer that? That’s just rude to put in an interview.

 

ANNABELLE: It’s Donnie.

 

MIKE: Yeah, it’s Donnie.

 

ANNABELLE: The answer is the same for pretty much everyone. It’s Donnie. What about your favorite cast member?

 

MIKE: I get the feeling I really should say Annabelle right now…but it’s Tate.

 

ANNABELLE: Damn it Mike, you’re killing me here.

 

MIKE: Sorry, but don’t you want honesty?

 

ANNABELLE: No. I want you to pander to my ego. I know! Let’s play would you rather!

 

MIKE: This is going to end horribly, I just know it.

 

ANNABELLE: Would you rather have sex with Glinnis or make out with Donnie?

 

MIKE: Ew, Annabelle. I don’t want to answer.

 

ANNABELLE: Come on and answer! This one is easy.

 

MIKE: Yeah, it is. Sex with Glinnis.

 

ANNABELLE: Kissing Donnie or never being able to sing again?

 

MIKE: Why are you so focused on putting Donnie in each and every scenario?

 

ANNABELLE: It’s the worst thing I can think of.

 

MIKE: No more Donnie.

 

ANNABELLE: You’re somehow less fun than Tate was. How about this one, then: what turns you on more, a guys butt or—

 

MIKE: I’m a leg man. I love nice long, strong legs.

 

ANNABELLE: Dancers have nice legs, don’t they?

 

MIKE: [grins] Why yes, yes he—uh, they do.

 

ANNABELLE: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your dressing room?

 

MIKE: Uh, I don’t know…

 

ANNABELLE: How about that time you tried to balance that cookie on your nose and toss it up like a dog with a treat?

 

MIKE: Hey, it took me ten tries, but I got it.

 

ANNABELLE: Still weird.

 

MIKE: Says the girl who I caught practicing for the Tony awards?

 

ANNABELLE: Lots of people do that!

 

MIKE: They practice acceptance speeches, not hosting. Can we wrap this up?

 

ANNABELLE: Okay, fine, final question. Tate—top or bottom?

 

MIKE: Tate made me promise not to answer that one.

 

ANNABELLE: Yup, definitely a bottom.

 

BLURB:

 Tate O’Connor has worked hard to realize his dream of dancing on Broadway, and it’s about to pay off with a premier in his first show. He doesn’t expect the distraction of sharing the stage with his celebrity crush: Broadway superstar Mike Chang. Drama ensues both onstage and off as Tate and Mike work closely and realize there could be something between them. However, there are those who don’t think an up-and-coming dancer is good enough for someone with Mike’s talent and fame, and rumors and misunderstandings might lead to broken hearts if Tate and Mike can’t work through their confusion and insecurity.

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:

J. C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an Army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his lifelong involvement in theater. After living in several countries aside from the United States, J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that.

 His favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing, and Korean food (not in that order… okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time not writing thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts, and wishing he were writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.

  

BUY LINKS:

Dreamspinner Site: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/broadway-babe-by-j-c-long-8093-b

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAPZZEL/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483628445&sr=8-2&keywords=J.+C.+Long

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01NAPZZEL/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483628635&sr=8-1&keywords=Broadway+Babe

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01NAPZZEL/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483628760&sr=8-2&keywords=Broadway+Babe

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/broadway-babe

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/broadway-babe-j-c-long/1125433135?ean=2940157617042

Categories
6 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book coming of age Contemporary Established Couple Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Red Dirt Heart 2 Audiobook by NR Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Red-Dirt-Heart-2-Audiobook/B01N9RDPCZ/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1484947264&sr=1-2

Blurb

Up until Travis arrived on his doorstep, Charlie had lived a very solitary life. He had surrounded himself with isolation; a couple million acres of red dirt, scorching sun, and loneliness. Six months on, winter has settled over the desert, and Charlie has the life he never dreamed possible. But living and working together, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight starts to take its toll. Charlie is a stubborn, stubborn man, who tends to have more conversations in his head than what comes out his mouth, whereas Travis has no problem saying what’s on his mind. And even as they both struggle to communicate, struggle to make sense of need versus want, Charlie can see that he’s pushing Travis away – yet seems helpless to stop it. When it all boils down to whether Travis should stay or go, maybe the decision won’t be theirs to make.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously: http://kimichanexperience.com/red-dirt-heart-2-by-n-r-walker/ )

This is a series that must be read in order, so I’m assuming you’ve at least read book one if not the entire series by now.

Travis and Charlie have been living and working together for 6 months now and things are mostly on an even keel. The two stubborn boys clash now and again, but mostly, they love one another.

They have some minor/major-ish squabbles over Travis wanting to raise a baby Kangaroo and Charlie worrying incessantly that Travis isn’t happy out in the boonies. But then … real trouble hits when immigration pulls Travis’ visa and Travis faces exportation.

**

Wow oh wow this was a great book! I had wondered what trouble the boys would get into since the last book ended fairly happily settled and boy do they have trouble.

Charlie really fretted this book. Like constantly. He just can’t get his brain wrapped around Travis being happy out there. The two fight and fight about it and almost split up as a result. But then Charlie digs deep and does some really, really amazing growing and – pull out the tissues – the end result is so sweet, it makes your teeth ache. (The scene at the Cattleman’s meeting and Immigration are the places where the Kleenex will come most in handy!)

I love Charlie and Travis as a couple and was so pleased to see them dealing with real life issues but still retaining the fairy tale romance.

I highly recommend this book and the series!

Audio

I’d forgotten how heartbreaking and wonderful this part of Charlie and Travis’ s story is, what makes it even more emotional is the amazing job Joel Leslie does with Charlie’s part -not that Travis doesn’t have his moments, but the end – when Charlie finally busts free and shares his feelings – MAN – talk about a Kleenex moment! You can hear the tears in Joel’s voice and it brings the sobs out even harder!

I absolutely love this series and I think Joel is absolutely AMAZING in his narration.

Highly Recommended!

6 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Arranged Marriage Audiobook Bi-Sexual Book class difference Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Exploration Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index High but not hopeless Homophobia m/m Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

The Heart of Texas (Texas Series Book 1) Audiobook by RJ Scott Narrated by Sean Crisden

audiobookreview

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Heart-of-Texas-Audiobook/B01JQB9JPK/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1484683587&sr=1-1

Blurb

Riley Hayes, the playboy of the Hayes family, is a young man who seems to have it all: money, a career he loves, and his pick of beautiful women. His father, CEO of HayesOil, passes control of the corporation to his two sons; but a stipulation is attached to Riley’s portion. Concerned about Riley’s lack of maturity, his father requires that Riley ‘marry and stay married for one year to someone he loves’.
Angered by the requirement, Riley seeks a means of bypassing his father’s stipulation. Blackmailing Jack Campbell into marrying him for love suits Riley’s purpose. There is no mention in his father’s documents that the marriage had to be with a woman and Jack Campbell is the son of Riley Senior’s arch rival. Win win.
Riley marries Jack and abruptly his entire world is turned inside out. Riley hadn’t counted on the fact that Jack Campbell, quiet and unassuming rancher, is a force of nature in his own right.
This is a story of murder, deceit, the struggle for power, lust and love, the sprawling life of a rancher and the whirlwind existence of a playboy. But under and through it all, as Riley learns over the months, this is a tale about family and everything that that word means.

Review

Man! This brings back memories.

This was one of my first m/m romance series, and I fell in LOVE with Riley and Jack. They are a super hot, GFY couple, with two VERY alpha personalities who have a TON of super hot sex. This series is definitely up there as being one of the reasons I fell in love with this sub-genre.

All of the drama reminded me of stories long since passed. Depending on your age – you might be reminded of TV’s Dallas (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077000/) or Dynasty (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081856/?ref_=nv_sr_1 ). Especially since this is set in Texas, the rich cowboy feel is unmistakable. As a reader, I was reminded of Janet Dailey and her Calder series (https://www.goodreads.com/series/53488 ). That was one of my first introductions into Romance as a genre and it plus Johanna Lindsey (https://www.goodreads.com/series/43347-wyoming )made me an addict!

In any case, I’ll say that the all the drama didn’t bother me on the first read through, but as a listener, who’d already read the book, I did get a bit bogged down by all the nonsense. It did seem a bit OTT. However, Sean Crisden’s narration makes it all mostly palatable.

Since there are SO man characters, having someone as gifted as Sean do the narration makes listening to this the adventure it should be. He gives each and every person of importance a unique voice and I really love how he depicts Jack and Riley. (Though even Sean’s gorgeous voice couldn’t make me love the nick-name “Het-boy”!)

I figure there are two groups of listeners out there. Those of you who’ve read the series and are eager to see what Sean did with it and those who’ve never read the series. To those of you who have read the series – I’ll say that you will be SO PLEASED with this narration, and you should absolutely give this a go! For those of you who are new to the series – I’d read some of the reviews and decide if you’re a fan of drama and soap opera-esque story lines (ie “That’s not your father!” and forced marriages and Last Will and Testament decrees and new babies. As the series progresses we get other types of drama – victims of abuse, etcetera, too.) then this is for you. I’d say this is also great for fans of first-time gay romance lovers, enemies to lovers, and cowboys.

I give the audiobook 4.5 of 5 stars because Sean Crisden is amazing and FWIW the series is a lot of fun and has a lot of great characters.

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Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book DA Extasy Books Fated Mates Gay Heat Index Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Mild level angst Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Shifter vampire

The Vampire’s Special Lover (Wolves of Stone Ridge #16) by Charlie Richards

Extasy Books Presents

http://www.extasybooks.com/the-vampire-s-special-lover/

Blurb

Out of the cage: A good relationship needs three things: respect, communication, and compromise…besides love, of course.

Vincent Dobs Marché thought he scented his beloved—his fated one-and-only—at a shifter enforcer challenge months ago. Since rogue shifters killed his mother, bonding with one is the last thing he wants to do. He runs from the knowledge, vowing to live his life alone. Fate has other plans. Slowly, blood from human donors becomes unpalatable to him, until it’s easier to go hungry than deal with the taste. When he hits the verge of collapse, his friends step in, forcing him to return to Stone Ridge and give the shifter a chance.

When Dobs meets his beloved, Franklin Drunger for the first time, the big, sexy, wolf shifter’s blood calls to him. Frankie seems just fine with the idea of Dobs drinking from him, so he gives in to his desire and bites the man. Reb, Frankie’s protective older brother, isn’t nearly as open-minded and attacks Dobs. Acting on instinct, Frankie defends his mate, shifting to wolf form. Dobs panics at the sight of the wolf and insults his beloved. Angry and hurt, Frankie flees.

Can Dobs learn to accept the gift Fate has given him and convince Frankie to give him another chance? Or is it too late for him to earn the love of the special shifter he’s been given?

Review

This is one of my favorite books in all the series! Frankie is Reb’s brother and he’s got a brain injury that results in him thinking a little slower than he did previously. As a result he’s very forthright and easily distracted.

Dobs is a vampire who hates shifters because they destroyed his family and when he learned his fated mate was one, he ignored the pull – to disastrous effect. What’s great about this is that he and his friends realize that he needs professional help to get over his issues and he starts with Dr Digby, a psychiatrist – instead of some “magical” cure that happens without any logical explanation.

Frankie, as a character, is so open and cute and sweet – he’s just perfect for the cynical Dobs. I love how jealous Dobs gets of the natural shifter nakedness and how Frankie and he can’t go two minutes without falling on each other!

This was a really sweet story with a little angst and lots of feels.

There is a sweet and short follow up story with Frankie’s birthday that’s adorable too!

Today’s Visitor is Charlie Richards!

5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book DA Dancer Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Fated Mates Heat Index Hidden Lovers Homophobia Humor Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Paranormal Part of a Series Race/Species Difference Scorching/high heat Shifter

Just Like Cats and Dogs by BA Tortuga

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/just-like-cats-and-dogs-by-ba-tortuga-8090-b

Blurb

2nd Edition

A Sanctuary Novel

Can cats and dogs ever get along, let alone fall in love?

Sam knows you can never go home again. As an orphaned feline shifter raised by wolves, being an outcast is nothing new to him. But the pack is still his family, and when one of them passes away, Sam returns to the New Mexico desert to say good-bye.

Gus is a loner who rarely returns to his pack, but as fate would have it, Sam is there when he chooses to visit. The history between Gus and Sam is tumultuous, to say the least, but when Gus gets an eyeful of the grown-up and gorgeous version of his childhood bully, he can’t control his reaction. And he isn’t alone.

The attraction is powerful, but so are their differences. And with trouble brewing in the pack and danger surrounding them, Sam and Gus might not have the opportunity to seek common ground.

This action-packed shifter novel is the ultimate opposites attract and enemies-to-lovers romance, and it includes a bonus novella, In the Dog House.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2011.

Review

This was a lot of fun! One thing I appreciate about BA Tortuga’s shifter books is how “animal-like” the shifters are, even while in human form. They purr, growl, crave tuna, rub against one another and chase birds in the park. Sometimes the writing style reflects this – short, staccato phrases that go along with a more “simple” brain and this can be disconcerting until you get into the rhythm.

I was confused at times by the whole “mate” thing. It’s not as simple as some other shifter novels where they meet, know immediately and claim one another. It’s a bit more subtle than that, so I found myself flipping back and forth trying to figure out if I’d missed something when our MCs go from fighting to fucking to calling one another Mate.

I also didn’t fully understand the whole situation regarding Sam in the city and what happened. Maybe we’ll learn more as the series progresses? But that was not really clear. Nor was the family situation. I guess the “sanctuary” is meant to be the big adopted family but having everyone refer to one another as brother and sister (even when they hooked up) was a bit confusing and disconcerting. (I was also confused about the type of cat Sam was – the cover suggests a Jaguar but the way he acted felt more like a house cat…)

Overall, I really enjoyed this. There was a lot of sex and a lot of odd discussions but a lot of warmth and humor and sentiment as well.

I definitely recommend this to fans of shifter romances, but you might want to read a sample first if you’ve never read anything by this author before, as she has a distinct style that not everyone enjoys.
(This cover is a huge improvement over the original! Kudos!)

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Audiobook Book coming of age Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Exploration Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index High but not hopeless Hockey Homophobia Humor Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Sports Sports Virgin

Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) Audiobook by Avon Gale Narrated by Scott Smith

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/empty-net-by-avon-gale-8162-b

Blurb

Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie and captain Isaac Drake ended last season with an unexpected trip to the playoffs. He’s found a home and family with his coach and mentor, Misha Samarin, and he’s looking forward to making a serious run for the Kelly Cup. But things take an interesting turn when Isaac’s archnemesis, Laurent St. Savoy, is traded to the Spitfires. After Laurent’s despicable behavior in the playoffs last year, Isaac wants nothing to do with him – no matter how gorgeous he is. But that changes when Isaac discovers the reason for Laurent’s attitude.

Laurent St. Savoy grew up the only son of a legendary NHL goalie in a household rife with abuse, constantly treated like a disappointment on and off the ice. When a desperate attempt to escape his father’s tyranny sends him to the Spitfires, the last thing Laurent wants is to make friends. But there’s something about Isaac Drake that he can’t resist, and Laurent has an opportunity to explore his sexuality for the first time, but he’s cracking under end-of-the season pressures. When facing the playoffs and a rivalry turned personal vendetta, Isaac’s not sure he’s enough to hold Laurent—or their relationship—together.

Please be advised: This book does contain some non-graphic references to past childhood physical/emotional abuse as well as issues relating to ED (bulimia and restricted eating, disordered thoughts about eating).

Review

(Book Reviewed Here Previously)
There’s a little teaser story that Avon Published called : Overtime you can get for free off her site (https://www.avongalewrites.com/) that is sort of a prequel to this story. You don’t need to read it, but it gives a little bit of foreshadowing to this story.

Technically you don’t have to have read any of the other books but… well… you’d miss SO MUCH and… those books are awesome so… just go read them and then come back to this 😉

Of course, after book three, we all want to see Drake find his HEA. And, he does. But with Laurent? Here’s an anti-hero if you ever saw one. He’s a total d-bag to Drake and his team, he never talks, doesn’t seem to care about anything and he’s a big jerk. Until one day Drake sees him in a different light and then it’s like a switch is flipped and suddenly it all makes sense.

Without giving away too much – from the blurb we can tell that Laurent has some “issues” and they’re pretty big. Only someone as relatively self-assured as Drake has a chance at cracking this guy open.

It was lovely to see more of Max and Misha. GAH! I love those two so much! Misha as the father figure seriously tugs at every one of my heartstrings.

There’s a lot of hockey in this book, maybe a bit less sex… not sure, but it didn’t stand out as it had in the others as much. Probably because of all the feels surrounding Laurent and his pain.

Avon is just one of those authors that hits all my buttons. Her dry sense of humor tickles my funny bone and when I read her books my husband has to tell me “no giggling” as I read in bed! (He’s kidding ☺ ) Despite the common theme of hockey and being gay in a very masculine sport she manages to come up with something new in each story and a way to make her characters even more interesting/funny/sweet/inspiring…

I really think that the relationship between Drake and Misha was almost as touching as the one Drake finds with Laurent and I was – of course – so satisfied by the way Laurent dealt with his own father.

This is another winner and highly recommended to fans of the series, the author, the sport, mm romance and laughter.

5 of 5 stars

Audio

(The teaser is a free audio you can find here: https://www.avongalewrites.com/freebie/) It’s narrated by Scott Smith, too.

What makes the teaser fun, is part of what makes this audio so much fun- Misha! They are probably two of my all time favorite MCs – Max and Misha. Though I love Lane and Jared a ton, too… hard to choose!

In any case, we’ve met Drake before and he’s got a fairly decent Southern accent. I’m not sure what I was expecting for Laurent, maybe someone with more of a French accent – but as he tells everyone repeatedly, he’s American, so he has a flat American accent.

Laurent’s father has a vague French accent and it’s pretty good.

I guess Scott is growing on me. I love this series so much that I’ve listened to the entire thing over and over despite the fact that I’m not really enthralled with the narrator. He tries hard with the accents, but he places weird emphasis on words sometimes that makes it seems like he doesn’t understand what he’s saying. But… he is otherwise easy to listen to and for that I’m grateful.

I have come to ADORE his version of Misha and we get a lot of Misha in this story. (When Misha and Drake argue with one another and Misha gets all riled up – MAN did I love that!) Max is also wonderful and he’s there a bunch, too.

I think this is a great way to experience this, the continuity is nice – having the same narrator for the entire series – and it’s a fantastic story. Highly Recommended!
4.5 of 5 stars for the Audio

Overall 4.75 (rounded to 5 ) of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book class difference coming of age Contemporary Fated Mates Gay Heat Index m/m/m Magic Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Race/Species Difference Shifter Virgin

On The Brink (Cloverleah Pack #10) by Lisa Oliver

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/Brink-Cloverleah-Pack-Book-12-ebook/dp/B01NBURI29/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1484760107&sr=1-2&keywords=on+the+brink
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

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Copy Purchased for Review