Recent Release: Bad Seed by Gareth Vaughn

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38901778-bad-seed?from_search=true

Blurb
Dane’s a Decrypter down on his luck — after accidentally dispatching the wrong creature, he’s sent to a small town where the cryptids he hunts are sparse. Crypt Coffee becomes his business front, but instead of a thrilling new mission on the side, he’s stuck sending ghosts back to where they came from. Dane can annoy customers, at least, and tries to scare off Professor Sean Sanderson when he starts poking around too much. But Sean isn’t about to stay away. Not when he hears about the murder of a former student, and definitely not if young, exciting Dane has information about it. But the more he allows himself to get dragged into this supernatural world of monsters and ghosts, the more the danger escalates. And if Sean and Dane aren’t careful, tracking down a murderer who can use magic might just get them killed

Review
I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this book. I love the idea of a kind of supernatural enforcer keeping rogue elements in line. But this book just didn’t settle with me. Both Dane and Sean start with an antagonist type relationship and it pretty much stays that way. Dane is very prickly, bitchy and short tempered. I’m not sure if that’s because he doesn’t want to be in bleu falls (he was sent there as a Decrypter) or he is always that way. Sean keeps coming back. If this is a start of a series featuring them that might explain it, they’ll have time to grow. There were also a few loose ends. Sean was initially looking into a student death by what he thought was a werewolf. This is never mentioned again. The investigation diverted on to another who it turns out was poisoned. Another is the all powerful Order Dane works for. We are left wondering if they do come to wipe Sean’s mind because he’s seen to much or not. Is this the start of an investigative/ supernatural peacekeeping partnership? I don’t know but this book hasn’t gripped me enough to want to know.

2.5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Laugh: Warrior’s Cross by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban


Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6782412-warrior-s-cross?from_search=true

Blurb

Cameron Jacobs is an open book. He considers himself a common waiter with normal friends, boring hobbies, harmless dogs, and nothing even resembling a secret… except a crush on a tall, dark, devastatingly handsome man who dines alone at his restaurant on Tuesday nights. All it takes is one passionate night with Julian Cross to turn Cameron’s world on its head.
Julian’s love and devotion are all Cameron could have hoped for and more. But when his ordinary life meets and clashes with Julian’s extraordinary lifestyle, Cameron discovers that trust and fear can go hand in hand, and love is just a step away from danger.

 

Review: Although this book is a standalone, it connects to Armed and Dangerous (part of the Cut and Run series by Abigail Roux) through Julian and Cameron.
This is the story of how Cameron and Julian meet.
Cameron works at a restaurant and waits on the same man, Julian once a week. This goes on for months before Julian decides to talk to Cameron (each man is crushing on the other). They start seeing each other – Cameron is unassuming, unremarkable, lives alone with 4 dogs, whereas Julian is a dark, mysterious, dangerous man – but together they make an interesting couple.

The story is a combination of mystery, (we never confirm what Julian is, hitman for what agency?), action and romance. The story kept me interested, especially when Julian’s past threatened his future with Cam. The only time I was less than engaged was when Cam decided to separate from Julian.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading their story and was thrilled to see them again in the Cut and Run series.

4.5 stars out of 5

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Purchased for Review

 

Friends to Lovers: Campus Visit by Stella Huerto

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15778273-campus-visit?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Damian Garza and Alex Murphy became best friends in their closed-minded small town, remained inseparable through Alex’s coming out, and have stayed close while studying at different colleges. They’re close enough that Damian dares a shocking e-mail confession: he’s bisexual and wants to experiment with men. With Alex.

It’s supposed to be a simple friends-with-benefits arrangement, one weekend only. That one weekend turns into two, then three, then a whole season of unexpected passion. But life after graduation can’t be ignored: soon Damian will be obliged to return to his family’s orange orchard, and Alex will fly off to his dream job in Europe. Unless they can admit their feelings to each other and the world, their time as best friends, may be over.

Review
This has been such a fun trip down memory lane for me! This is –again- another really sweet NA book I read years ago and forgot how wonderful it is.

It’s got two high school friends who, while facing college graduation, finally admit that there’s more than friendship between them. Luckily Alex is very confident in his sexuality and gladly opens his arms to Damian’s explorations.

The smexy times are pretty hot and the love between these two is over the top sugary sweet. There is some self-soul-searching and discovering how to stand up for your own beliefs thrown in as well.

If you’re a fan of young love and GFY/OFY this is for you!

4.5 of 5 stars
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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Bone to Pick by TA Moore narrated by Michael Fell

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bone-to-pick-by-ta-moore-9486-b

Blurb:
Cloister Witte is a man with a dark past and a cute dog. He’s happy to talk about the dog all day, but after growing up in the shadow of a missing brother, a deadbeat dad, and a criminal stepfather, he’d rather leave the past back in Montana. These days, he’s a K-9 officer in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and pays a tithe to his ghosts by doing what no one was able to do for his brother – find the missing and bring them home.

He’s good at solving difficult mysteries. The dog is even better.
This time, the missing person is a 10-year-old boy who walked into the woods in the middle of the night and didn’t come back. With the antagonistic help of distractingly handsome FBI Agent Javi Merlo, it quickly becomes clear that Drew Hartley didn’t run away. He was taken, and the evidence implies he’s not the kidnapper’s first victim. As the search intensifies, old grudges and tragedies are pulled into the light of day. But with each clue they uncover, it looks less and less likely that Drew will be found alive.

Review: The book has been reviewed previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/bone-to-pick-by-ta-moore/

:
TA Moore has crafted a great suspense story with enough simmering sexual tension to keep me very interested indeed. To quote Cloister Witte’s opinion of Javi Merlo he’s a prick. Nothing really endearing about Javi whereas Cloister is a driven soul. How these two can meld together was as much a suspense to me as finding missing Drew Hartley. The investigation into missing Drew is quite good, kept me guessing. The storyline in that respect is somewhat complex but I didn’t find it to hard to follow. The main focus is the investigation with the relationship as a side element. I loved the K9 part of the story, Bourneville stole the show.

 

If ever a book would benefit from a sequel it would be this one. Not from the crime drama viewpoint that is resolved but the relationship between Javi and Cloister needs to be explored further. It is the classic case of the two of them disliking each other but also being unable to keep their hands off each other. Made good reading but I would like to know how their non relationship develops, if it does. They are left in a sort of happy for now status.

 

If you like crime stories I would recommend this one.

 

Audio:

Michael Fell is the second new (to me) narrator that I’ve listened to in 2 weeks. In both cases, the narration has complemented the story.
This is a really good story, unfortunately I kept getting interrupted while trying to read it, so I had to put it aside. I was thrilled to be able to listen to the audio version, crossing my fingers that the narrator would not muck it up. I am happy to report that Michael Fell did not ‘muck it up’, in fact his narration made the suspense of finding the missing kid feel real. His narration was well paced, and the characterisations of Cloister and Javi, were distinct and very well done.

Between the story and the narration, I found myself very disappointed when the story ended – not because of the HFN – that was perfect for both men. No, I was disappointed because I wanted more – more story (that’s a hint TA Moore) and more Michael Fell!
Definitely recommend!

4.5 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Friends to Lovers: Summer Ride By Susan Laine

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/summer-ride-by-susan-laine-9480-b

Blurb

High school best friends Toby Billings and Jim Maverick went their separate ways after graduation. Five years later, they meet by chance. Toby needs a ride, and Jim offers to give him one.
During a journey across several states, with stops at roadside diners, state parks, and cheap motels, small talk turns to serious discussions of lives that didn’t turn out the way either of them dreamed. Their choices are catching up to them, and neither is on an innocent summer vacation. Renewing their friendship will mean painful admissions and secrets coming to light. Yet they discover they have more in common now than they ever guessed, and going their separate ways at the trip’s end won’t be easy.
After aimlessly wandering the country, all roads lead back home. But first they must decide what home means.

Review

 This is the story about two young men who reconnect with each other on a road trip; they discover more about each other (and themselves) than they bargained for.
Toby and Jim had been best friends, but lost contact, (for unclear reasons), after high school. Toby meets Jim again at a bus terminal and agrees to go on a road trip with Jim. During the journey they find out that both of them a.) seem to be running away from their current problems, b.) they are both gay and c.) they are still attracted to each other (they had secretly crushed on each other in school).
As their trip progresses, both men have to make decisions that will ultimately affect their future, including their HFN/HEA.
While YA stories are not my favourite theme, I liked the story. It was nicely written and held my interest, especially since there were no other character interactions in the book.

3 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Cover Reveal: This Must Be the Place by Jane Darius – Giveaway!

OS Welcome to Jane Darius here to talk about their new book!

JD:
Hi, everyone! I’m Jane Darius, and I’m so excited to be revealing the cover of my first novella, This Must Be the Place! I started writing about Nick and Ben for Dreamspinner’s 2014 Advent Calendar Celebrate! in a short story called “Love Light,” which you can buy here (link to: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-light-by-jane-darius-2340-b). The short story takes place well into their relationship, but the novella reveals how everything started from their first meeting to their first kiss to their first time (and all the awkwardness in between). I hope you like the book!

-Cover Art Designer: Jennifer Vance (she is on both Facebook and Instagram as Jennifer Vance Studios

Blurb:
“Having explosive sex is easy for Nick and Ben—getting past their hang-ups and opening up to each other won’t be.
Handsome New York City bartender Nick might’ve left life—and his abusive, homophobic father—in West Virginia far behind, but even though he was a star quarterback in high school, he can’t outrun the effect those years had on him. He’s still not comfortable as a gay man, and he keeps his relationships short… as in a single night.
Hotel reviewer Ben is a hopeless romantic, but he can’t seem to find a guy who feels the same. After being cheated on again, he doesn’t expect to spend forever with Nick, but even their one-nighter doesn’t go off without a hitch. Ben falls asleep on Nick’s couch, and in the morning, they have to face their hookup that wasn’t… and the fact that there’s a connection between them whether they’re looking for one or not.”

-Buy Link: ebook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/this-must-be-the-place-by-jane-darius-9551-b

 

Jane is giving away one free copy of the book to one lucky commenter who leaves a comment!  * One name will be drawn to win via email.

 

-Author Bio:

Jane Darius is a writer and dreamer who wants to travel the world. If you try to talk to Jane when she’s writing, she will probably get scared like you just snuck up on her. Someone once told her that writing is like being alone in a dark room. She understands the sentiment but prefers to think of it as sitting by a warm fire while her characters tell her their stories.
When she’s not working on fiction, Jane is a freelancer, writing for many different websites, magazines, and other publications. In her spare time, she loves to go out to dinner, spend time with her friends, family, and cat, and yell at her favorite TV shows. You can follow Jane at janedarius.tumblr.com.”

Friends to Lovers: Step by Step Audiobook by KC Wells narrated by Connor Goff

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Step-by-Step-Audiobook/B074Z3JZCH?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_8&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=797B0C8X1J0PC9WTH9W3&

Blurb:

Jamie’s life is one big financial mess, and it really isn’t his fault. However, the last thing he expected to find in the library was a Good Samaritan. He might have been suspicious of Guy’s motives at first, but it soon becomes apparent that his savior is a good man who has been lucky in life and is looking to pay it forward. Guy being gay is not a problem. Jamie’s not interested…or so he thinks.

Guy is happy to help Jamie, and the two men get along fine. But when Jamie’s curiosity leads him from one thing to another, Guy finds himself looking at the young man with new eyes. What started out as a hand up is now something completely different….

Review: The book has been reviewed previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/step-by-step-by-k-c-wells/

I enjoyed the story and the narration.
Conner Goff is a new narrator to me. He has a ‘comfortable’ voice, cadence. His narration was well paced, and the characterisations of the older Guy and younger Jamie, nuanced. The narration is not dramatic, (the story is mostly drama free), just even keeled. It was right for the story – warm, fluid, and fun.
Overall, I liked the story a bit more – because Conner added warmth to a sweet, May/December romance.

3.75 stars out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Friends to Lovers: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue Audiobook by Mackenzie Lee, narrated by Christian Coulson

Audible Link

 https://www.audible.com/pd/Teens/The-Gentlemans-Guide-to-Vice-and-Virtue-Audiobook/B071NV6DG1?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=XGB2H3B070GV0AXTNQYA&

Blurb:
Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Review: This is a wonderful story made excellent by the narration. The story centres on Monty, a seemingly self-absorbed young man who has to clean up his act in order to take over the family business. Monty is also in love with his best friend and companion, Percy.

This is the first time I have listened to narration by Christian Coulson and I will definitely lookout for more of his work.
He managed to capture the essence of Monty as a decadent and somewhat selfish young man, but he also makes you sympathise with Monty. The narrator also voices the other characters – main and secondary – extremely well. The standout character (for me) is Felicity – snarky and intelligent; Mr. Coulson does her justice.
It’s hard to adequately describe how good the book is and how excellent the narration is. All I can say is that I recommend the narration unreservedly.

5 stars out of 5

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Copy provided by publisher

 

Audiobook: Heart Unheard by Andrew Grey Narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/heart-unheard-by-andrew-grey-9023-b

Blurb
The attraction between Brent Berkheimer and Scott Spearman peels the wallpaper, but Brent is Scott’s boss, and they’re both too professional to go beyond flirting. Their priorities realign after Scott is badly injured in an accident that costs him his hearing, and Brent realizes what is truly important… he wants Scott.

Scott pushes Brent away at first, fearing a new romance will just add to his problems, but perhaps he will find unexpected strength and solace in Brent’s support as he struggles to communicate with the world in a new way.

Just as they decide the chance of a happy future together is worth the risk, Scott and Brent discover darker challenges in their way—including evidence that the “accident” Scott suffered may not have been so accidental

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Andrew Grey never fails to deliver a sweet tale, add in Greg Tremblay and what more could you ask for. For me Andrew Grey’s characters are believable, they have all the normal worries and issues to overcome. Thee isn’t any melodrama, just people overcoming fears and obstacles with the help of friends and finding love along the way. Brent made me consider this because he lets his own insecurities rule over his feelings for Scott. It takes nearly losing Scott to spur him on. Even then some of those insecurities threaten their relationship. But Brent comes to see the reality of his fears. Scott is strong and with Brent’s support learns to adjust to his new world. The turn of events around the ‘accident’ was a good twist in the story.

I noticed in the introduction it is ‘performed by Grey Tremblay’ performed is much more apt description than narrated by. It raises the book to a whole new level. There is a lot of emotion in this story which Greg enhances in such a way that I couldn’t help but empathise with the characters. A great story draws you in and great performances bring you into the heart of the story.

4 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

April’s Theme is…..

I can’t think of a better time for a good laugh than now. With all the horrible things happening in the world – sometimes you just want a break, right?

We’re going to review some of the books from these lists: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/43050.Funniest_M_M_romances

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/4921.The_Best_Humorous_Gay_Romances

 

Including:

and more!

 

Join us for a laugh!