Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Dragon CEO’s Assistant (Golden Kingdom #2) by Jenn Burke

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-dragon-ceos-assistant-by-jenn-burke-10855-b

Blurb
The heart remembers.

When Aidan Bishop staggers out of the woods, naked and suffering from amnesia, he needs to relearn who he is and where he fits in the world.

His boss, nearly five-hundred-year-old dragon Nassim, head of a successful tech company, hurries to claim his wayward assistant and guide him back into the life he disappeared from. As they get to know each other again, Aidan wonders if their relationship went deeper than employer and employee. But Nassim isn’t telling, and Aidan has a secret of his own… even if he doesn’t know it yet.

Review

I’ve always been a great fan of the amnesia trope, and this one was really well-written. The author had a couple of surprises up her sleeve and I really liked how she built up the mystery surrounding Aiden and Nassim. Aiden especially is quite the dark horse. There’s a trail of crumbs to (mis)direct the reader, which was a lot of fun to search out, trying to connect the dots. As the story built, so did unexpected outside threats to Aiden and Nassim, bringing a new level of tension and suspense to the story.

I’d have liked to have seen a bit more passion and romance between the main couple, but I still very much enjoyed their story. Both MC’s are complex, well-rounded characters and the strength of their bond and emotional connection shone through beautifully. Though this is a shifter story set within a fated mates universe, the mating here involves a degree of conscious choice that is usually lacking in this trope and that made for a nice change.

I loved the world and secondary characters the author created. The interactions between the MC’s and Nassim’s family and co-workers, as well as with the Gryphon court, were a delight and very heartwarming at times.

This was a great read that has definitely left me curious to see what’s next in this series.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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Uncategorized

Recent Release: Alpha Knows Best (Shifter Kings #1) by Aja Foxx

GoodReads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47415169-alpha-knows-best?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Shifter King Montgomery Beck has been doing his duty to the high council for the last twenty-five years as he waits to claim his mate. When the time comes, he doesn’t care who he has to fight to get Fagan. The sweet little omega is his and he’ll defy anyone who gets in the way.

Fagan has spent his entire life in a monastery being trained to serve whatever master he is given to. The day before his twenty-fifth birthday, someone comes for him and he’s shown a world he has no knowledge of, but one he should have been taught about from birth. When he’s introduced to a shifter fate says is his, one who speaks to him in his soul, Fagan has to decide if he believes the shifter king’s outlandish tale or if the man is just plain crazy.

When their worlds collide, Beck and Fagan go up against those who are trying to keep them apart, but there are forces at work who want Beck out of the way so Fagan can be turned over to the master he was trained to serve. The things they discover as they fight to stay together will shake the very foundation of the paranormal world.

Review

This was a fun series to stumble upon! I like the new world we’ve got here with blind omegas and Shifter Kings. It’s predictable and mpreg so if those aren’t your thing…

The smexy times were good and Fagan eventually comes into his own. Beck is a great but humble Alpha and the conflict is reasonable.

All in all, fun and a great find!

 

Recommended

3.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
Uncategorized

Recent Release: Running From My Heart (Rock Bottom #3) by Felice Stevens

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48390823-running-from-my-heart

Blurb

“Holding onto the past can hurt more than letting it go.” People say six years is long enough to mourn the death of his husband but for Ross Miller, the pain is as fresh as if it happened yesterday. He’s left his glittering Hollywood life behind, yet guilt still dogs his steps, no matter how far he runs. Trapped by his past and needing to escape his well-meaning friends, he rents a cabin in the secluded Adirondack mountains. A reclusive man moves in next door and piques Ross’s interest, but his persistent attempts at friendship are rebuffed. That doesn’t stop him because the one rule Ross Miller has always lived by is to never take no for an answer.Novelist Arden Wainwright has given up. He can’t pretend a happiness he knows he’ll never find again. Solitary days turn into years, and he remains frozen, unable to take a breath. At his wit’s end, he retreats to the mountains, but it does little to stir his creativity. He continues to hide from life and avoids his overly nosy neighbor, who insists on planting himself at Arden’s doorstep at every turn. Making friends is the last thing Arden wants, but annoying or not, he can’t get the damn man out of his mind.Finding peace in their isolated surroundings, the two lonely men forge an unlikely friendship where they realize they’re more alike than different and better together than apart. With Ross’s help, Arden begins to rebuild the shattered pieces of his life, while Arden gives Ross the strength to face his fears and find his way home. When love comes calling you can choose to hide from hurt, loss, and pain, but if you take a chance and open the door, you might discover that running from your heart is the last thing you’ll want to do.
This book can be read as a stand alone but you may remember Ross, Foster’s best friend from Broken Silence, Book One of the Rock Bottom series.

Review

Undoubtedly one of the most moving love stories I’ve read this year. Ross and Arden’s journey is all about love, love lost and new love found, and it really resonated with me. Arden’s loss especially hit me very hard. The sorrow and grief both MC’s are struggling to overcome is almost palpable and seeing them find the strength to live and love again after such heartbreaking loss was incredibly touching and inspiring. I liked that the author didn’t rush the healing process and that Ross and Arden became friends before becoming lovers, after a bit of a rocky start. The trust that gradually built between them was a wonderful thing to read.

I loved the writing style, its imagery but also its realism, and of course the well-rounded secondary characters. Note to self: must read Julian and Foster’s story asap. I also very much enjoyed how the author described the nature and wildlife surrounding the cabins in the Adirondack mountains, the ospreys first and foremost, and their importance to Ross and Arden’s journey.


Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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Uncategorized

Audiobook: The Omega’s Alpha (Mercy Hills Pack #4) by Ann-Katrin Byrde Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Omegas-Alpha-Audiobook/B07Y22N5GG?qid=1570230370&sr=1-2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=S5W4K90PQ6D2BWVR5QSY&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2

Blurb

Barren, unwanted—a lot of omegas would have given up. But not Holland. Tired of living down to other’s opinions, he reaches for something more and seduces the new Alpha, only to fall so far in love he can’t see the moon for the trees.

Quin’s ghosts won’t leave him alone. He lives like a ghost himself, but Holland’s shining light gives him courage to reach for healing and, maybe, a family. Except Holland has his own unhealed wounds and he refuses to mate, until disaster in another pack reminds them both how fragile life can be.

From that disaster rises a new determination, and Quin and Holland set out to change their world.

And through it all, the secret of the True Omega begins to unveil itself, bringing hope and fear in its wake.

141,000 words full of love and family, disaster and triumph.

Review

This is another great addition to the series. Holland was rejected for being barren – but… he’s still got loads to offer and Quin’s damage allows him to “need” someone just enough to get over the Alpha nonsense.

The story is long and involved and as usual I think could use some stiff editing, but it’s still very enjoyable and a must for anyone who loves mpreg, shifters, the author and this series.

Nick J Russo narrates this series, and honestly , if it wasn’t him, I’m not sure I’d be able to listen to hours and hours of this series. I enjoy his voice so much that I get lost in the story again and am not tempted to just skim ahead.

Recommended.

4 of 5 stars for the story

5 of 5 for the narration

4.5 of 5 stars overall



Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Coast to Coast (Arizona Raptors #1) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46688754-coast-to-coast?from_search=true

Blurb

When opposites attract, it’s not just the team that’s in for a shake-up.

When a stipulation in his father’s will throws Mark back into a family that disowned him, he has only two things on his mind; buying his way out of contractual obligations and running in the opposite direction as fast as he can. When neither option pans out, he finds he is now a one-third owner of the struggling Arizona Raptors hockey team, and that is just about the worst thing he could have happened to him. Not only does he hate hockey, but the Raptors are a bottom-of-the-league team, rife with jealousies and anger in a locker room that only knows self-pity. How is he supposed to help turn things around when the only way to start fixing things is to form an alliance with the estranged siblings he’d run from fifteen years earlier?

Then there’s Rowen Carmichael, a stubborn, opinionated, irritating man with superiority issues and questionable taste in music. Butting heads with Rowen, who he’d never even wanted to hire in the first place, is one thing, but there is no way in hell that he will allow the growing attraction to the new coach become anything more. Until with everything on the line, he has to make decisions that will change his life forever.

After years of collegiate coaching, Rowen is given an offer that he simply can’t refuse, although perhaps he should. When he’s presented with the chance to take one of the worst teams in the league and mold them into a future cup contender, the challenge is just too alluring to pass up. He leaves his beloved Ontario behind and moves west to the arid city of Tucson where he is faced with a broken team, shoddy management, and players overflowing with resentment and bigotry.

Never in his twenty years of hockey has he ever seen such a raging dumpster fire of an organization. Yet there’s something about this team and this city that compels him to roll up his sleeves and start dismantling. He has his eye on a new associate coach that’s bound to make waves and several key players who should be sent packing. Now all he has to do is convince the new owners of the team that his choices are for the best. If only Mark Westman-Reid, one of three siblings who now own the Raptors, wasn’t so damned rock-headed, so damned snooty, and so damned appealing his job might be a bit easier.

Review

I super loved this! This was so much fun! We get back to lots of hockey and quirky characters doing stuff that I bet really happens! Well maybe a bit exaggerated but still…

 

Fans of the series, hockey and humor will love this. There are some villainous villains who get their “what’s coming to them” and some true love and some shiny new MCs I can picture in future books.

 

We’ve got some women’s rights advocacy and some appropriately ridiculous goalie tantrums.

 

Highly recommended!

4.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Single (Single Dads #1) by R.J. Scott Narrated by Sean Crisden

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=single+dad+rj+scott&ref=

Blurb

Reeling from the painful rejection of a man he thought he loved, Asher is left holding the baby.

Ash wants a family, and is determined to continue with a surrogacy he’d begun with his ex. Bringing baby Mia home, he vows that he will be the best father he can be. Nothing in this world matters more to him than caring for his daughter, not even accidentally falling in lust with the doctor next door. Challenged by his growing attraction to Sean, and confronted by painful memories of his family, Ash has to learn that love is all that matters.

When ER doctor Sean moves in with his friends next door to sexy single father Ash, he falls so quickly it takes his breath away. The sex they have is hot, but Ash is adamant his heart is too full with love for his daughter to let anyone else in. Why is Sean the only one who sees how scared Ash is, and how can he prove to his new lover that he desperately wants the three of them to become a family?

Review

This was … hard to review.

On the one hand it was a relatively low angst story about a man finding family. That includes trusting himself as a new father and finding a loving partner in a nearby neighbor.

The romance, however, was very lack luster and most of the story is really about becoming a new dad.

It’s not bad that it’s about becoming a dad – but if you’re after a hot romance, this ain’t it.

It’s sweet and the baby stuff is cute but I do wish it’d had more about the budding relationship with our MCs.

Sean Crisden does a lovely job with the narration and he kept me engaged.

3 of 5 stars for the story

5 of 5 for the narration

Overall 4 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Nova Praetorian by N.R Walker; narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Nova-Praetorian-Audiobook/B07WS2N77M?qid=1569968539&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=Q1QT0RJF87DG33HJCM8E&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb: Quintus Furius Varus is one of the best lanistas in Rome. Tall and strong in build, fearsome in manner, and sharp of wit, he trains the best gladiators bound for the arenas of Rome. When Senator Servius Augendus seeks personal guards, he attends the Ludus Varus for purchase of the very best. He puts to Quintus an offer he cannot refuse, and Quintus finds himself in Neapolis, contracted as a trainer of guards instead of gladiators.
Kaeso Agorix was taken from his homelands of Iberia and delivered to Rome as a slave. Bought by a senator to be trained as a guard, his fate is handed to the man who would train him. Absent free will, Kaeso knows his life is no longer his own, though he soon realizes the gods have favored him when he learns his new master has a kind heart.
Quintus and Kaeso forge a bond that far exceeds the collar at Kaeso’s neck, and together, they discover the senator’s move for promotion has an ulterior motive. Thrown into a world of politics and conspiracy, of keeping enemies close, they move against time to save Rome before traitors and the gods themselves see to their end.

And in doing so, see the dawn of the nova praetorian – the new guard – rise.

Review:
Story already review previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/?s=nova+praetorian

A historical romance from one of my favourite historical periods – Roman times, coupled with an absolutely epic performance by Joel Leslie! What’s not to love?? ☺
This story is a product of is time – one of the MC’s is a slave, there is blackmail, political back-stabbing and political villainy; but there are shining moments, like the fairness of Quintus, the affection and bond between Quintus and Kaeso and the backdrop of general Roman life (which appealed to my inner history geek ☺

The narration was nothing short glorious! Joel Leslie is one of the best audiobook performers in the business. He has the knack of knowing how to channel the characters, first by getting the right accent, then their personalities and then their emotions. This is all tied together in the overall tone of the story – in this case, a more somber tone – since some of the topics are serious.
Throughout Joel Leslie’s performance I could visualise the gladiator training area, I could ‘see’ the villas of the senators, feel the decadence of the time. I could also feel the treachery, and the love and affection between the 2 MCs.
This is a well crafted story, with a tour de force performance by Joel Leslie!

Narration: 6 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Finders Keepers by N.R. Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Finders-Keepers-Audiobook/1494535637?qid=1564959655&sr=1-4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=3MCVYWX3X34N9DH82J17&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4

Blurb

Needing a change of scene, Griffin Burke moves from Brisbane to Coolum Beach to start a new job. The beautiful white sand, aqua-coloured ocean, blue skies, and summer breezes are everything he longs for. What he finds is a mud-covered dog, lost and hungry, with a nametag and a phone number.

Dane Hughes is stuck in Surfers Paradise at a week-long work conference when he gets a phone call from his distraught mother. His dog, his fur baby, Wicket, has run away. Unable to leave and feeling helpless and miserable, he gets a text from a guy. “I think I found your dog…”

Griffin and Dane start talking, and Griffin agrees to look after Wicket until Dane can collect him. With a few days left before his new job starts, Griffin takes Wicket on some coastal adventures and sends Dane photos of their fun, and so the start of something new and kind of wonderful begins.

Griffin might have moved to Coolum in search of a new life, but what he finds is so much more. What he gets to keep just might take some four-legged help

Review

Nr Walker is such a diverse writer! She can break our hearts out in the desert, open our minds out in Africa, introduce us to fighting and lighten our days with sweet and simple romances!

This is a cute, no angst story about two guys who are a little lonely and really into one specific dog. They meet on the phone and over texts and slowly learn about the other.

Meanwhile, there is a more deeply moving story happening with Dane’s landlady, and that too, ends happily.

If you want something sweet, sexy and funny – this is the book for you!

Highly Recommended!

 

Audio

As always Joel Leslie brings to life this Aussie adventure with all his wonderful talent! He handles the humor and smexy times as well as the variety of characters with such skill!

Recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Best Man (Close Proximity #1) by Lily Morton

GOOD READS

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48316789-best-man

Blurb
Zeb Evans doesn’t do messy.

The product of a disorganized and chaotic childhood, Zeb likes order and control, and as the boss of his own employment agency he can give that to himself. Life runs along strict lines and he never mixes business with pleasure. Everything in his life lives in neat, alphabetized boxes. Until Jesse.

Jesse Reed is Zeb’s complete opposite. He’s chaos personified. A whirling cyclone of disorder. He’s also charming and funny and a very unwanted distraction.

Which is why it comes as a complete surprise to Zeb to find himself asking Jesse to pose as his boyfriend for a few days in the country at a wedding.

Zeb doesn’t do impulsive, but as the time away progresses, he finds himself increasingly drawn to the merry and irreverent Jesse. But can he bring himself to break the hard-won lessons he’s learnt in life? And even if he can, how could Jesse be attracted to him anyway? He’s so much older than Jesse, not to mention being his boss.

From the bestselling author of the Mixed Messages and Finding Home series comes a warm and funny romance about one man’s fight for control and another man’s determination to circumvent it.

This is the first book in the Close Proximity series, but it can be read as a standalone.

Review
This book was a fun, sweet read…everything I expect from Lily Morton!!
I loved all the pining in this book. Both Jesse and Zeb have mutual crushes on each other but don’t act on it for years!!! I don’t always like fake boyfriend stories, since they all seem the same, but Lily weaved a lot of humor into this story so this one standout. There are some wonderful side characters introduced in this story, hopefully they all get their happy endings too!
Cannot recommend this one enough!!!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Drawing the Prince (Stars from Peril #3) by Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/drawing-the-prince-by-kim-fielding-10806-b

Blurb

Painting themselves a life together will be a royal ordeal.

Small-town boy Cal Walters doesn’t know whether he owes his phenomenal success as an artist to talent or to his connections to famous people. Doubt leaves him secluded—until a lost bet lands him on yet another blind date. But this one is different.

To Teofilo Vabriga-Kastav, playboy prince of the tiny nation of Porvunia and passionate art lover, Cal’s paintings are as intriguing as Cal himself. When Teo invites Cal to his country for an art competition, a whirlwind romance sweeps them up. But it can’t last—loyalties and obligations bind them to lives that are worlds apart.<

Cal and Teo might’ve found their perfect complements in each other, but to hold on to their happiness, they’ll have to get creative.

Review
This was an easy, quick read where our artistic Cinderfella gets his prince, is not saddled up with a stepfamily, horrible or otherwise, and goes on to live the dream in a slightly oversweet HEA.

I’ll confess that I’d hoped for a bit more tension and emotional depth in the story. I liked the book fine until it neared its ending and the MC’s came to the final hurdle to overcome, where things went a little downhill for me. The obstacles Teo and Cal ultimately faced shouldn’t have been as insurmountable as they made them out to be, which made me feel at least one of them wasn’t completely committed. I wasn’t impressed with the solution the author came up with either, which felt more than a little implausible, even for a book with a made-up country and royal family. I also didn’t entirely understand what initially caused Teo and Cal to be so drawn to each other, with Teo especially going out of his way to win Cal over.

The story had its moments though and will certainly do great for someone in the mood for something romantic and mushy to dream away by.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review