Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Author Provided Book Fantasy Gay Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter TIme to get Paranormal Xanthe

Time to Get Paranormal: Exhale (Flesh & Bone Book 1) by Joel Abernathy

 

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39678549-exhale?from_search=true

Blurb
Two men haunted by the same ghost…

Falling for “the other man” in my marriage was never part of the plan. Then again, according to Nicolae Ursache, I am the other man, and human wedding vows don’t apply. Not to werewolves.

Nicolae is a smug, arrogant alpha male stereotype–and I do mean alpha in the literal sense–but when the same people who killed my wife kidnap my teenage daughter, he’s my only chance at getting her back. The fact that Nicolae was my wife’s rightful mate means that we share a mutual interest in bringing Ellie home, but I never could’ve imagined how he planned to do it.

I will do anything to protect my daughter. Even if it means becoming the plaything, or worse, of the man I loathe most.

This dark shifter romance contains material suitable for adult audiences only. It is a standalone with full resolution.
**NOTE: There is no mpreg in this universe. 18+ readers only.**

Review
A fantastic shifter book, adding a human to the shifter world when Jack’s daughter is taken and his dead wife’s mate appears offering to help get her back.
The shifter aspect is slowly introduced to Jack with both him and Nicholae despising each other straight away because of their shared history with Francesca (wife and mother). It has darker parts in this story compared to other contemporaries, their treatment of humans for example.
The two MC’s are strong and well developed in their own ways, though we only read from Jack’s POV. There are several secondary characters that come in and provide support and an outlet for Jack through his adaption to their world, and I like how they give everyone him relief from his struggle with learning a new world and working his way through a tumultuous relationship with Nicholae. Their relationship builds naturally which was great to read, not just a sudden adoration for the one offering to save his child.
Ellie is a great character, working and learning through her new found heritage, but also like a regular teenager, butting heads with her dad. Nicholae is a complicated man and it takes a while to learn what side he actually comes down on. He’s well written and he comes into his role as mate well with Jack. Jack, as well as learning about this whole new world, knows he’s ill from his years working in the coal mine so has that to contend with as well. Considering it all, he deals well and again is well written, giving his thoughts and feeling towards people and events clearly. Andrei is adorable and would love to see him in another story, maybe his own.
Definitely recommend this book for shifter fans and those liking a darker aspect to their books.
I received an ARC and am happily giving a review

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
2.5 stars 5 stars Aerielle Author Provided BDSM Book Bullying Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Rebecca Standalone

Recent Review: Never Let Me Go by Elaine White

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40966513-never-let-me-go?from_search=true

Fashion photo of young model man on white background. Boy posing. Studio photo. Black and white

Blurb
We were everything to each other, once. Now we’re basically strangers. The most I get from Bradley, as we pass in the hall, is a glare or a shove against the lockers.
The problem is that I don’t mind.
I’d do anything, be anything and give anything, to be with him. Even if he is arrogant, crass, and the sexiest man in school. He’s also dominant. Over me. Only me. And I love it.
I was waiting for graduation. Until we’d left school and the constant rules, the judgments and gossip. I was waiting until I had the guts to ask Bradley to be my Dom for real. Forever.
I just never expected him to make the first move.

Warning: be prepared for no explicit content, teen drama, snark galore, and a whole lot of tension between strong Dom/sub personalities. These boys know who they are and they aren’t about to hide it.

Review by Aerielle
I had a really hard time getting into this book. Bradley (one of the MCs) was pretty unlikable and I had an issue with the way he treated Rory throughout the story. Bradley seems to have a lot of self loathing issues regarding his sexuality which ends up with him treating Rory abysmally. Rory on the other hand comes off as a complete doormat. He pretty much takes whatever Bradley dishes out. This is supposed to be about two young men’s journey into a D/s relationship but this book goes about it in the wrong way. The only part of this book I like was the epilogue. It was a sweet ending to a “meh” book.

Number 2.5 stars

 

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Rebecca
This book has a great D/s dynamic without going into the S&M kink. The few time jumps in the book was initially confusing, but it got better. Bradley was a very complex but adorable character. You feel bad for him, but yet in other ways you don’t. Rory was adorable and reminded me of how I was a little in high school. Both are strong willed. The couple had ups and downs and I definitely rooted for them. Very well written book. I enjoyed reading it.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Author Provided Book Gay Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Karate Little to no angst m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Virgin

Recent Release: Promises: The Next Generation (Bounty Hunters #5) by A.E. Via

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41183779-promises?from_search=true

Blurb
Duke Webb has run the most successful bail recovery agency in Atlanta for over twenty years. That’s because he has a team of trained, competent hunters backing him up to keep his name feared on the streets. But Duke knows that nothing can go on forever. His hunters are in committed relationships and ready to settle down, and so is he. That’s what leads him to start his new training program.

“That’s the new vision for Dukes. Veterans operating and tracking behind the scenes with a new powerhouse apprehension team on the streets.”

Brian and Quick are the first to offer up two new recruits.

Kellam Knight has studied martial arts under his sensei, Quick, since he was eight years old. A tossed-out reject from high-society, Kell has a problem fighting on the right side of the law. If he sees an injustice, he has to correct it. He doesn’t have to run and cower from his enemies anymore, he’s a fighter who can protect himself and others. When Quick offers Kell the opportunity to join Duke’s training program, he’s all in. Except he’s not prepared for the straight, over-confident, extremely disciplined, sexy man Brian has recruited to be his partner.

Tyrell Jenkins’ world was flipped upside down when his father never returned home from his last deployment. He’d been Ty’s teacher, mentor, his guide to living a righteous life as a good man. His father didn’t raise him to be like every other young, stereotypical male in Atlanta. Instead, he’s been taught to be respectful, to speak the language of real men. When Brian King – his father’s most trusted comrade – finally comes to him with the truth, he doesn’t come alone. He comes with trained men hidden in the shadows… and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a brotherhood unlike any other.

This installment is a part of a series and contains previously mentioned characters, but CAN standalone. Each book centers around a new couple.
This book ends in a HEA. NO cliffhanger.

Review

I loved – LOVED – this book! Which is no surprise as I am a big fan of AE Via and this series. However, in that series, I definitely love some books/ couples more than others and I LOVED these two together.
First because the author isn’t afraid of a little COLOR! She absolutely gave these guys unique qualities that felt very authentic and special and could only be there because of their background experiences flavoring their expressions both verbal and outward appearances. It was awesome! As a reader I get tired of all the MCs falling into “boxes” of this type of character and that type and these two – while they absolutely had some characteristics of Alpha and twink/submissive – they absolutely were NOT the typical of either of those characteristics.

I kinda felt a Malcolm X vibe from Ty and a karate kid vibe from Kell. In either case it was unique and though sometimes Kell acted in ways that weren’t always explained – he was mostly consistent and so it was ok. I had to subtract ½ a star because at the beginning Kell is described as this tough, crazy, off the rails at times vigilante and Duke and Quick have to keep bailing him out. To me, he humbled a bit too quickly and I never saw that part of his personality again. I’d have liked to see that rise to the surface now and again and see how Ty handled it/used it to his benefit against the bad guys.

In any case – while I think you can read this as a standalone I don’t think it’d be as good. There’s just too much going on with the other characters and I think this is best read in order.
https://www.goodreads.com/series/164584

Highly recommended to fans of the series/author!
4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
A Tour/Guest Post/Blitz

Cover Reveal: Fangs for the Memories by Julia Talbot

Title: Fangs for the Memories
Series: Dead and Breakfast: Book 2
Author: Julia Talbot
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Category: Paranormal, Dreamspun Beyond
Pages: 213 (ebook), 222 (paperback)
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson aaronbydesign55@gmail.com

Blurb:

One wolf lost his memory, but they’ll both lose their hearts.

Bitten werewolf Tom owes the folks at the Dead and Breakfast big for saving his life. So when they ask for help with a rogue wolf on the premises, he’s happy to do his part….

Though he isn’t quite prepared for what he’ll find.

Werewolf Nathan lost everything to a sadistic kidnapper—his freedom, his memories, and maybe even his ability to be human. But as soon as he meets Tom, he knows he might be able to reclaim his life. And even a turned wolf like Tom feels the mating call. The trouble is, Tom isn’t the only one who wants Nathan, and they’ll need help from all their supernatural friends at the D & B to defeat a powerful enemy and keep their love—and themselves—alive.

Buy Links:

eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fangs-for-the-memories-by-julia-talbot-9965-b
Paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fangs-for-the-memories-by-julia-talbot-9966-b

Author Bio:

Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full-time author, Julia is currently published by Dreamspinner and Changeling Press. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com.

Categories
adult - 18+ Gay Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series TIme to get Paranormal

Time To Get Paranormal: Untouchable Beauty (The Cubi #1) by Meraki P. Lyhne

 

Good Reads Link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32192419-untouchable-beauty?from_search=true

Blurb
Business school is not for Daniel. Not after making the cover of Teen Model. The only problem is that his parents don’t agree, and Daniel skips school to set his plans for fortune and fame in motion. Meeting the award-winning photographer Heimli will change his life, but not in the ways the nineteen-year-old young man expects.

At the age of four hundred thirty-six, Seldon has fed on more beautiful men than he can remember. Living in seclusion from the human world, humans are brought to the Incubi and Succubi as slaves to feed on. Amongst these slaves are the rare Untouchables. When Seldon is entrusted with the safekeeping of one, he has his work cut out for him—especially since this Untouchable gets on his nerves. And under his skin.

Review
Untouchable Beauty…….a Paranormal read (not my first choice but I don’t want to have limitations)
Well that was totally not what I expected. Didn’t read much blurb so it did surprised me
Very nice written!
Daniel an at first look shallow guy. He follows his heart and will become who he want to be. As long he is young and beautiful he wants to be a model. After making the choice between the schoolbus and the skyscrapers he find an advertise from a photographer who is looking for models. And there he goes…..following his dream….

It all runs sooo different After the make up session before the photo shoot he wakes up and find himself in a cell on a train. There are some creatures and other young people on board. What’s the destination?

When he meets his beautiful trainer and guardian and Master Seldon for the next three years he still has no idea what lies for him and what will happen.
And o there are things to happen….

He is disciplined by his master, bruised and slapped in the face. He is very afraid of his master.

He is an ‘untouchable’ and if that’s something to be pleased at….?

There is a lot a lot of sex. Sex is what drives ‘them’ what holds them alive….and ohhh did I say a lot of sex? Holy shit It’s one big orgy
I was really really surprised by this book! I don’t want to detail the story but it’s in another part of the world with creatures you will love and hate. There are all sorts in the hierarchy and a little confusing it is. But all very entertaining.
And damn there is a sort of open end and I cant stand that. Can’t wait to read the next one.

Number of stars out of 5
5 stars

 

 

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Book Dreamspinner Gay Gay m/m Mary D Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Standalone

Release Day Review: Raising the Bar By Leigh Dillon

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/raising-the-bar-by-leigh-dillon-9845-

Blurb
Destin Bellingham has inherited a problem. Thanks to his late playboy father, Destin faces putting a For Sale sign on his family’s historic horse farm. Getting his talented stallion, Black Sambuca, into the Grand Prix show ring would put Bellmeade back on the map—if only someone could make “Sam” behave like a show horse.

Disgraced top rider Tonio Benedetto has his own problems, but he can work magic with difficult jumpers, so Destin hires him despite his bad-boy reputation. The street-smart, openly gay loudmouth from Miami and the closeted, buttoned-down son of Old Dominion Virginia make a rocky pairing, but time is running out to save Bellmeade from bankruptcy.

Opposites attract, sparks of tension grow into flames of passion. But if Tonio fails to tame Sam, will true love become a lost cause too?

Review
I had to think a lot about this book. The scene setting is good. The descriptions give a sense of how beautiful the area is. The romance side took a back seat to Destin’s struggle to keep the farm afloat. I didn’t have a problem with that but both Destin and Tonio seem to have problems that were only skated over. Destin has to come to terms with his feelings about his father and Tonio with his behaviour that triggered his bad boy reputation. Together they have a chance of making the farm viable again. On the romance side I didn’t really feel it. There was something missing for me and I can’t identify it. In my opinion the star of the story is Black Sambuca, Sam for short. This is one smart feisty horse. His stubbornness keeps Tonio guessing and almost proves too much of a challenge. In the end though it all comes together in a happy ending.

3 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
4 stars Audiobook Book Bullying coming of age Dreamspinner Gay Gay High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse m/m Neta Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Scorching/high heat Virgin young adult

Audiobook: When Everything is Blue by Laura Lascarso

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/when-everything-is-blue-by-laura-lascarso-9991-b

Blurb:

Theo Wooten and Chris Mitcham have been friends for years, despite Theo’s nerdiness and Chris’s golden boy charm. Theo lives next door to Chris with his twin sister and his mother after his parents divorced. His relationship with his father is rocky, his social status a mess and his sister is much cooler than he is. For the last year Theo has been attracted to Chris, and he feels bad about not telling him but is afraid of losing their friendship. When Theo’s sexuality is revealed will he be able to keep all the people he cares about?

Review:

overall:
I rather enjoyed this book both for the quality narration and the interesting Coming Of Age story. It is both poignant and funny, and written in a lyrical descriptive way I love! This book is a great YA Coming Of Age that is sexy and achingly heart waring. If you like YA with lots of sexy times this just might be the book for you! This story is full of emotion and realness, it’s a beautiful tale of self-discovery and knowing one’s worth.

Story:
This is a classic Friends To Lovers with Theo and Chris sharing this incredible bond that goes beyond social status and ethnicity. I say this because throughout the book that issue comes up, both as racist slurs, jokes and material value VS love and caring. The best example is Theo’s parents, a white dentist and a Hispanic immigrant. Theo’s father keeps measuring his value in money, and despite the fact his mother is not financially sound you can clearly tell she is much more supportive and caring than his cold, selfish, alcoholic father. These important themes are incorporated well into the story and give it more depth. Another notable element is Theo’s namesake, his great uncle, who has dementia. Captain Wooten is a wonderful side character that is a mirror image for Theo, showing him what happens when you let fear and familial expectations dictate your life choices. Theo is very much struggling with his identity and how he wants to live, and his visitations to his Uncle show him a side of his family he did not know about.

I love how this book shows a true teenage struggle, the exploration of sexuality and questionable decisions fueled by hormones and confusion. Theo is sucked into a relationship with a boy he probably shouldn’t, despite being in love with his best friend Chris. I know many reads shy from books where an MC has a relationship with another character, and here it is described in detail. I personally do not like these kinds of things in stories but here it was fitting, it felt very human to me, and VERY teen like. Chris, his best friend and supporter is such a mature young man, I loved how he steered Theo through the turbulence of his coming out and his relationship with his father. He is the rock that Theo leans on, and he has a very optimistic attitude. The way they get together and explore their connection was wonderful, frantic and gentle at the same time. Also, their relationship is much more HFN then HEA, and that also is fitting these characters and where they are in their life, this is just the beginning of their story.

Narration:
Michael Mola did an amazing job narrating this book, I especially liked how he used breath and added a lot of effects in his narration. He truly preformed this book, and it added a whole new dimension to it. He had a distinct voice for every character, juggling many personalities with ease. The only thing I would change is the accent he did for Theo’s voice. Theo is described as coming from a home were his mother spoke Spanish to him growing up. His twin sister is said to understand but not speak it and it implies that she is trying to “pass” as white American rather than Ethnic. However I do not understand why the narrator chose a Spanish accent for Theo, especially when he did not pull it off so well. It sounded weirdly French and awkward, and in no part of the story does it say he had an accent, nor does it make sense if his twin does not. It was such a shame as everything else from his tone to his pitch was so good and I really enjoyed and admired his skill in performing this book. It’s not a deal breaker for me but was a constant let down and the reason I gave this book 4 Stars and not 5.

4 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+ Aerielle Audiobook Gay Hurt/Abuse Little to no angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme mpreg mpreg Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter Stalker/Abusive Ex TIme to get Paranormal

Time to Get Paranormal: Soul Mate For Sale by Kian Rhodes Narrated by Alexander Collins

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Soul-Mate-for-Sale-Audiobook/B01LX4A6MK?qid=1535298054&sr=sr_1_5&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_5&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=SNZ9471D6FYNVBFQGYF1&

 

Blurb
Trevor
In most packs, an Omega, even one who couldn’t breed, was treasured and would be revered and protected, not cast aside. But our pack was not like most packs, and I was not like most Omegas. I was human, so I understood why I was being sent to the auction. I didn’t like it, but I understood it. Even if there had been affection for me, even if they had been willing to keep me as a pet (neither of these was the case, but an Omega could dream), Cal couldn’t afford not to sell me.
Clint
Omegas were hard to come by worldwide. While I would have preferred to mate for love, it didn’t seem that it was in the cards for me. I had taken over as pack Alpha five years earlier, and it was high time that I started adding to the pack population. Granted my pack is run less rigidly than some; the Betas in my pack are not just allowed to breed but actively encouraged to. Unfortunately, only a small number of Beta females are fertile enough to get pregnant, and I’ll be damned if I am going to hump my way through the pack until I find the ones who are – which brought me full circle to why I was standing in line to pick up the bidding paddle at the auction house.
Less even than a marriage of convenience, purchasing an Omega at the auction was more of a long-term service contract, a means to an end, so what was an Alpha to do when he found his soul mate on the auction block?

Review:

This is the first book that I’ve listened to or read by Kian Rhodes and I was pleasantly surprised that a book so short had almost everything I love about MM romance. Soul Mate for Sale is an alpha/omega shifter book with mpreg and knotting. There is talk about past abuse but not in any great detail. The story starts with Trevor our omega being nursed after sustaining a beating by his alpha for being barren. He finds out that he is being sent to the omega auctions. Clint is an alpha wolf shifter who goes to the auction in hopes of finding an omega to help with the breeding problems in his pack. He sees Trevor and is instantly drawn to the young man. Even after finding out that he is a rare human omega who can’t breed he ends up purchasing Trevor. Clint discovers how mistreated Trevor was by his old alpha and pack and sets out to show Trevor how pack life is really supposed to be and that an omega’s are meant to be treasured, revered and protected. Trevor ends up thriving with his new pack and finds out that they aren’t the typical group of wolf shifters but that they are werewolves.
The audiobook is only 2 hours and 9 minutes so it does have the instalove feel to it but hopefully we will be seeing more of Clint and Trevor in further books in the series.
I never heard of the narrator Alexander Collins but once I started listening I immediately recognized his voice and after some research confirmed that this is a pseudonym for Mark Westfield, who is one of my favorite narrators. He does an amazing job of portraying Clint’s softly authoritative demeanor and Trevor’s gentle countenance.
 4 of 5 stars for the story only because I wished it was longer
5 stars for the narration

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
A Tour/Guest Post/Blitz

Guest Post: Leigh Dillon for Raising the Bar

OS: Welcome!

LD:

Hello to you, discerning reader of fine MM romance, and a huge thanks to Open Skye Book Reviews for letting me drop by for a visit so we could meet! Ever wonder where ideas for some of the hot guys in romance stories come from? In the case of Raising the Bar, my inspiration for Tonio lived right next door. I don’t know his real name, but I tagged him “Bad Boyfriend” because, well, he was the next-door neighbor’s boyfriend, and he was as bad as they came. Loud, cocky, volatile, devilishly handsome, and irresistibly charismatic—a perfect recipe for a drama-filled relationship. He needed to be in a story, and now, by George, he is. The excerpt comes right after Tonio has ruined a celebratory dinner at a nice restaurant by getting drunk and a little too honest. Then again, it’s always nice to know where you stand with a guy, especially if there’s kissing involved!

Excerpt:

Tonio managed to get all the way out of the dining room and down the front steps without looking more than a tiny bit tipsy. Only the exaggerated precision of his movements gave him away.
“Hey. You know what I didn’t tell you?” Tonio said as they crossed the parking lot.
Destin’s heart lurched. “No. What?”
Tonio turned around and walked backward, facing Destin. “You’ve got really gorgeous blue eyes.”
“Uh, thanks.” Destin put a hand on Tonio’s shoulder and steered him away from the shrubbery before he could back into it.
“You should wear blue. Gray doesn’t do crap for you.” Tonio stopped walking, so abruptly that Destin nearly crashed into him. Instead of drawing away, Tonio leaned forward, and before Destin could react he planted a quick, warm, boozy kiss on Destin’s mouth.
Heat, equal parts embarrassment and desire, enveloped Destin’s body. He stepped back, blinking, words tumbling through his head in a useless jumble.
Do I really turn him on?
Impossible. No way was he Tonio’s type. Flattering as the idea was, it had to be the wine talking. Even so, the ghost of that kiss burned on Destin’s lips.
“You know, that Land Rover is a pretty slick car,” Tonio said.
“Uh, yes, it is.” Destin pressed the fob, confused but relieved by the sudden change of topic. The Rover beeped and flashed.
Tonio held out his hand, palm up. “Here, lemme drive it home.”
Destin’s jaw dropped. “Uh, no. I don’t think so.”
“Aw, c’mon. Let’s have some fun with it.” Laughing, Tonio made a surprisingly quick grab for the fob. Destin jerked his hand away before Tonio got it, but if Tonio hadn’t been slowed by alcohol, Destin suspected he would have succeeded.
“No!” Destin snapped. He didn’t mean to speak so sharply, but Tonio was starting to scare him.
Tonio’s laughter vanished in an eyeblink. “Oh right, you’re fucking George Washington’s next-door neighbor,” he sneered, his voice suddenly icy. “I’m not good enough to drive your limo. Fuck it. I’ll walk home.”
“No, you won’t!” Destin shot back, trying hard not to yell. “It’s a long way, it’s dark, and it’s not safe. Get in the car. Please.” He reached for Tonio’s elbow, but Tonio whipped his arm out of Destin’s grip and stumbled toward the road.
“Tonio, get in the damn car.”
Tonio paused just long enough to flip Destin the bird, then continued down the driveway.
“If you get out on that highway, I’m calling the police!” Destin shouted at Tonio’s retreating back.
Tonio stopped. Destin could hear him talking to himself, and he was pretty sure he didn’t want to know what Tonio was saying. Then Tonio about-faced and came back. Without a word, he jerked the passenger-side door open and flung himself onto the seat.
Destin, slightly shaky with relief, got behind the wheel and started the engine. “Better buckle up,” he said, pointing at the warning light.
Tonio crossed his arms over his chest and looked out the window.
“Fine. Whatever.” Destin put the Rover in gear and rolled onto the highway

Blurb: Destin Bellingham has inherited a problem. Thanks to his late playboy father, Destin faces putting a For Sale sign on his family’s historic horse farm. Getting his talented stallion, Black Sambuca, into the Grand Prix show ring would put Bellmeade back on the map—if only someone could make “Sam” behave like a show horse.
Disgraced top rider Tonio Benedetto has his own problems, but he can work magic with difficult jumpers, so Destin hires him despite his bad-boy reputation. The street-smart, openly gay loudmouth from Miami and the closeted, buttoned-down son of Old Dominion Virginia make a rocky pairing, but time is running out to save Bellmeade from bankruptcy.
Opposites attract, sparks of tension grow into flames of passion. But if Tonio fails to tame Sam, will true love become a lost cause too?
Bio: Leigh Dillon is a native of horse-happy North Central Florida but has deep family roots in the Virginia and West Virginia areas. Coming of age in the dinosaur days of cable television, when fledgling channels filled their empty blocks of programming time by airing entire equestrian competitions, Leigh’s young brain became infected with a lifelong mania for show jumping, three-day eventing, and other exotic horse sports. Though tragically denied a pony of her own in childhood, Leigh has wreaked her revenge by including equine characters in almost everything she writes.
A bookbinder and librarian by trade, Leigh has also worked on local thoroughbred horse farms. Leigh’s short fiction has been featured twice in the Florida Writers Association annual story collection, and one of her book-length works received Book of the Year honors at the 2017 Royal Palm Literary Award.

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Buy Links:
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/raising-the-bar-by-leigh-dillon-9845-b

books2read.com/u/bxZM1o

Social Link:

https://www.facebook.com/Leigh-Dillon-Writes-229520631184036/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Categories
3 stars 4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Gay Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Pain Part of a Series PTSD Purchased Scorching/high heat Standalone

Retro Read: Criminals Books 1 and 2 by Erin M Leaf

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/series/223385

The Nullifier

Blurb

Contract killer Felix Zamaro isn’t looking for love—at his age, all he wants to do is retire. When he interrupts a robbery-in-progress, he stumbles into a mess: Nick Banner is in town to help his sister kick her loser boyfriend to the curb.

Nick never thought he’d meet a hot-as-hell assassin in the middle of a random coffee run, but watching Felix take down a couple of thieves in a crappy gas station has him questioning his rule against playing with straight guys.

When Felix’s next mark turns out to be none other than the boyfriend of Nick’s sister, all hell breaks loose. When Nick moves into the house next door to Felix, both men think fate is messing with them. However, it’s Nick’s unexpected career choice that really throws Felix off his game, and for a killer, that could be a fatal mistake.

Review

I admit that while I love Erin’s writing style and her characters, I love her paranormal story lines more than her contemporary. IMHO her paranormal plot lines and world building takes up more of the page time and while they all have loads of smexy times – the paranormal has less focus on it? I might be wrong but that’s what it feels like.

The other thing I find in a lot of Erin’s stories: evil women. While I can respect that in a world of men and women at least 50% of the time the bad guy will be a female, but I think a disproportionate number of her villains are women. Just sayin’.

I love a good “anti-hero” story and I think this fills the bill. Felix is not what you typically expect in a hero and he’s a kick in the pants. Matching him up with the naïve but yet almost equally “off color” Nick was genius and I love them as a couple.

The story line (non romance) was ok, interesting but not fascinating.

All in all I liked it and thought it was good.

3.75 rounded to 4 of 5 stars

The Fixer

Blurb

When Zero Graham wakes up in the hospital, he has only one thing on his mind: revenge on the mastermind who shot him and trashed his home. He’s the best fixer in the business, and that means he has a reputation to uphold.

Julian Amon doesn’t want to check up on his mother’s patient, but he can’t say no to her, and he finds the older man intriguingly hot. His decision to tag along when Zero checks himself out of the hospital borders on crazy, but the older man interests him, and Julian has always enjoyed a good mystery.

Zero doesn’t want or need a babysitter, but Julian’s physical competence and lack of fear push all of his buttons in exactly the right way. Violence is his kink, and the younger man doesn’t seem to mind the scent of blood, but will Julian be able to handle the pressure when Zero closes in on his enemy?

Review

I wanted more for Zero – he was such a neat character in book 1 and I thought this didn’t do him justice.

I don’t like the cutting and bleeding and there were times I wasn’t sure everyone was on the same page. Zero became more of a parody in this than he was in book 1.

This didn’t sit as well with me as book 1 but I still enjoyed Julian and Zero as a couple.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars

Copies purchased for review