Categories
adult - 18+

High Heat (Hotshots #2) by Annabeth Albert

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49374434-high-heat?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=ridytVZGaO&rank=3

Blurb

Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series continues—the emotions and intensity of Chicago Fire with the raw, natural elements of Man vs. Wild .

Smoke jumping is Garrick Nelson’s life. Nothing, not severe injuries nor the brutal physical therapy that follows, is going to stop him from getting back with his crew. But when a lost dog shows up on his front porch, he can’t turn her away, and he can’t take care of her on his own. Thankfully, help comes in the form of his new sexy, dog-loving neighbor. As they work together, trying to re-home their little princess, Garrick can’t resist his growing attraction for the other man, even though he knows this guy isn’t the staying type.

Rain Fisher doesn’t take anything too seriously. He dances through life, one adventure at a time, never settling in one place for too long. When his hot, conveniently buff, neighbor shows up on his doorstep, dog in tow, Rain’s determined to not just save the adorable puppy, but her reluctant owner as well. He never expects their flirtation might tempt him into stay put once and for all…

Danger lurks everywhere for Central Oregon’s fire crews, but the biggest risk of all might be losing their hearts. Don’t miss the Hotshots series from Annabeth Albert: Burn Zone, High Heat, and Feel the Fire.

Review

I didn’t bond with these guys as much as I did the guys in book 1. My heart really tugged for both of them and I was super glad they found one another, but by the end of the book I was ready to move on. I can’t put my finger on it, but I just didn’t get the same connection between the two of them and wasn’t as invested in their outcome.

I did like the fancy underwear and the unique physical nature of their relationship a lot!

3.5 of 5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Imago Audiobook by NR Walker narrated by Antony Ferguson

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Imago-Audiobook/1977366465?ref=a_a_wishlist_c5_desk_pg1_4&pf_rd_p=400b1420-4f6a-4b9e-bcc9-3211081ebfe1&pf_rd_r=ZP1K3AP6S3TXGG9Y49VQ

Blurb

Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.
Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.
But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realizes. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bow ties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.
Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books. They exist only in a touch, in a kiss, in a smile. He just has to let go first, so these butterflies can fly.
Imago is the story of finding love, bow ties, and butterflies.
Contains mature themes.
Review

You know how sometimes you get in a reading “groove” – not good, not bad, but a trend seems to emerge totally on it’s own? Well, lately my “groove” has been one of very angsty, emotional, dark stories with a lot of hurt/comfort overtones and many tears. So, when I began reading this, it was like stepping into the sun after a week of rainstorms!

As always, NR Walker’s writing is smooth, flowing and effortless. She engages the reader right from the first paragraph and never lets the thread drop. Jack is – even from page one – a sweet, big guy looking for something more than just a hook-up. Boom. I’m on the hook, right there!

Then, Jack bumps into a nerdy, quirky, sweetheart of a man who doesn’t know his own appeal. The deal is sealed!
With what feels like a plausible set of coincidences our two MCs find themselves in close quarters in search of a butterfly that doesn’t exist!

The romance is slow but steady, not quite low-steam, but certainly on the more tame side. What captivated me – in addition to the romance – was all the information that the author included – without feeling pedantic – about insects and animals and nature in general. It’s like a lovely little trip to Tasmania without having to read a travelogue!

I highly enjoyed this and since it’s listed as book one in a series, I can’t help but wonder if we’re going to see more of our MCs or a new set. As it stands, our guys end up in a very happy place, and they feel more or less settled, but I sure would have liked to see them a few years down the line – maybe we will?

5 of 5 stars

Audio

I don’t think this was the best narrator for the job  I was a bit disappointed with this choice and honestly I’d been expecting Joel Leslie – and he would have hit this out of the park.

3 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars


Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Flash Rip (Flash Rip #1) by Keira Andrews narrated by Joel Leslie

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48054988-flash-rip?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

On Australia’s hottest beach, the most dangerous current is between them.

Training to be a lifeguard is tough work, but Cody Grant loves a challenge. He spends long days in the sun and surf rescuing swimmers from treacherous rip currents while trying not to lust after senior lifeguard Liam Fox—who is deeply, painfully closeted.

Liam was supposed to be a football legend. Now in his mid-thirties, it’s been over a decade since his dream shattered along with his knee. Fans still recognize him regularly, and he’s terrified his sexuality will be discovered and his conservative parents will reject him. He has strict rules to protect his secret and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Liam never acts on his need to surrender after being shamed for it years ago by the first and only man he trusted.

Out and proud Cody fascinates Liam—and tempts him to break all the rules.

Cody is practically half Liam’s size and age, but has the confidence and compassion to take charge and give Liam the release, affection, and acceptance he desperately craves. But how long can a secret affair satisfy their hearts? As if saving lives isn’t hard enough, Cody faces his greatest challenge yet convincing Liam to trust him and find the courage to live out loud.

Flash Rip is a gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring a slow burn, an age gap, scorching first times, and of course a happy ending.

Review

This was so amazing! I really felt the tension and the pain it took for Liam to make the reach to being an out and proud man in a partnership. Keira did a really nice job with the pacing. Cody’s constant, unwavering support matched his age and experience, while Liam was understandably lagging behind and so, so fearful but when he does make the transition it felt authentic.

I loved learning about Barkers beach and the life of full time lifeguards. I always learn so much when I read Keira’s books – they are so clearly well researched. I also loved all the new slang I learned!

This was not my favorite sexual theme, I’m not real keen on D/s but it was gentle and it really felt necessary for Liam and his development romantically.

Audio

Joel Leslie is super fantastic and wonderful – as always!
Highly recommended!

5 stars


Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Always by Kindle Alexander Narrated by Lee Swift

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Always-Audiobook/B07XP6F24D?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=CQ7YDRQRTGQRT38ZMYTA&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_B07XP6F24D

Blurb

Born to a prestigious political family, Avery Adams plays as hard as he works. The gorgeous, charismatic attorney is used to getting what he wants, even the frequent one-night stands that earn him his well-deserved playboy reputation. When some of the most prominent men in politics suggest he run for senate, Avery decides the time has come to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. With a strategy in place and the campaign wheels rolling, Avery is ready to jump on the legislative fast track, full steam ahead. But no amount of planning prepares him for the handsome, uptight restaurateur who might derail his political future.

Easy isn’t even in the top thousand words to describe Kane Dalton’s life after his father, a devout southern Baptist minister, kicks him out of the family home for questioning his sexual orientation. Despite all the rotten tomatoes life throws his way, Kane makes something of himself. Between owning a thriving upscale Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Minneapolis and managing his long-term boyfriend, his plate is full. He struggles to get past the teachings of his childhood to fully accept his sexuality and rid himself of the doubts brought on by his religious upbringing. The last thing he needs is the yummy, sophisticated, blond-haired distraction sitting at table thirty-four.

Review
Re Read # 20? Lost count.

I’m not the first to review this, nor the last. But I realized that I’d never reviewed it at all and it’s absolutely one of my favorite reads. So I thought I’d re-read it again and just comment on how this book makes me feel.

The first thing I noticed on this re-read – is how hopeful I am that one day something like this will come to pass – and soon. With Obama, and possibly Hilary making history – with the passage of marriage laws – with the new open eyes we (as a nation) have and continue to open – I sincerely hope that one day sexual orientation won’t be considered a “hindrance” in any way shape or form and that a gay politician can make it to whatever office he or she or they desire.

I loved the OTT mushiness in this. When I’m feeling low, this book is so full of sweet and happy and that ending – OH. Man. Talk about an emotional release. I cry every single time I read it. Ugly cry. Every. Time.

Now, the beginning makes me cry as well – so I’m pretty much a wreck right from the start.

Another thing I liked about this was the movement through time. The new technology. The change in their relationship as they aged, had kids, got a different job… all of those played out in their personal interactions, too.

The ending – well – I consider it a beginning. I like to think that after all the hard work and dedication to their family and careers, Avery and Kane can finally just BE together. Always.

With my highest recommendation 6 of 5 stars.

Audio

Lee Swift does an ok job with this. He isn’t super compelling and I can’t say that I thought he really added to the story but it wasn’t a bad way to listen to this story. He was pretty monotone and flat and for this story, it was a shame.

3 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased For Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Better Than People by Roan Parrish

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52739474-better-than-people

Blurb

It’s not long before their pet-centric arrangement sparks a person-centric desire…

Simon Burke has always preferred animals to people. When the countdown to adopting his own dog is unexpectedly put on hold, Simon turns to the PetShare app to find the fluffy TLC he’s been missing. Meeting a grumpy children’s book illustrator who needs a dog walker isn’t easy for the man whose persistent anxiety has colored his whole life, but Jack Matheson’s menagerie is just what Simon needs.

Four dogs, three cats and counting. Jack’s pack of rescue pets is the only company he needs. But when a bad fall leaves him with a broken leg, Jack is forced to admit he needs help. That the help comes in the form of the most beautiful man he’s ever seen is a complicated, glorious surprise.

Being with Jack—talking, walking, making out—is a game changer for Simon. And Simon’s company certainly…eases the pain of recovery for Jack. But making a real relationship work once Jack’s cast comes off will mean compromise, understanding and lots of love.

Review

This was so wonderful! It has all the elements I love: pets, DA, and a sweet love story. I loved that Simon had to continue to wrestle with the idea that he can’t be “fixed” and that Jack had to see that too.

I wish we’d were able to see these guys a little later in life but I am also hoping we’ll see a story from Charlie that includes them 🙂

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Here Comes the Flood (Elite Athletes #1) by Kate McMurray

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53051867-here-comes-the-flood?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=rO3gLFb6p8&rank=1

Blurb

Two years ago, swimmer Isaac Flood hit rock bottom. His alcoholism caught up with him, landing him in jail with a DUI. After facing his demons in rehab, he’s ready to get back in the pool. He stuns everyone at the US Olympic Trials, and now he’s back at his fourth Olympics with something to prove.

Diver Tim Swan made headlines for snatching a surprise gold medal four years ago, and then making a viral coming-out video with his actor boyfriend, the subject of splashy tabloid headlines. Now his relationship is over and Tim just wants to focus on winning gold again, but reporters in Madrid threaten to overshadow Tim’s skill on the platform.

When Isaac and Tim meet, they recognize each other as kindred spirits—they are both dodging media pressure while devoting their lives to the sports they love. As they get to know each other—and try to one-up each other with their respective medal counts—they realize they’re becoming more than friends. But will the relationship burn bright for just sixteen days, or can it last past the Closing Ceremony?

Review

So- I think I “forgot” about this book because I was so sad at the change in Olympics – I mean – of course we have to change the Olympics – but I am still sad.

I absolutely adore swimming and have followed Michael Phelps since the beginning (I studied in Baltimore so that makes him part mine- right?). In my youth I was a huge Louganis fan, too. Anyhow, Kate McMurray did an AMAZING job with this. I was captivated right from the beginning. The swimming was even exciting. I mean, she really could have done the swimming any way she wanted but I LOVED the way she did it. (No spoilers.). I also thought she handled his alcoholism really well.

I didn’t love Tim as much, but I did appreciate his portrayal in the end and definitely thought he was great for Isaac.

For me, this was Isaac’s story and Tim was more side note – which is fine. I would love to see more from them in the future – maybe after retirement – with a new pupil… something.

I loved this and it made me totally jonseing for the Olympics – maybe I’ll watch some old races…

Highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Love According to Liam (According to Liam #2) by V.L. Locey

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50964357-love-according-to-liam?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=Es3WSuwIOn&rank=3

Blurb

Sometimes it takes a child to remind us that love and family are rarely perfect but an accepting heart can smooth out the imperfections.

Mike Kneller-Mettler’s life has certainly been on the fast track upward since he met his husband, Bryn. Now married for nearly a year to the starting goalie for the Pittsburgh Ravens, Mike’s found himself propelled into a new home, a new career, and a new role as loving spouse. As his baby sister’s wedding approaches, Mike is going to be faced with a couple of monumental decisions that will affect not only his future, but the everyone he holds close to his heart.

Bryn Mettler and his team haven’t had the best ending to their season. Nursing a recurring groin injury, Bryn isn’t quite sure he’s ready for wedding chaos. But, the nuptials are going to go off whether he’s able to dance with the bride or not. Amid the usual insanity that every wedding brings, unexpected guests show up to throw the beautifully planned affair into turmoil. As the adults slip into childish behavior, it might be up to Liam to be the voice of reason.

Review

This was very cute. Nothing earth shattering. Just more of the cuteness we’ve come to expect with this series.

3.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Nothing Special VII: Ex Meridian Audiobook by AE Via narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50250631-nothing-special-vii

Blurb
Police Lieutenants, God and Day are under intense pressure from the chief to take back control of Atlanta’s streets. The last thing their task force needs is a pair of trained killers in town with a personal score to settle.
Take a man and strip him of his ability to feel compassion, empathy, remorse, or any of the emotions that make him human, but leave the ones that ignite rage and aggression and you have the perfect killing machine—now imagine two of them.
Code names Ex and Meridian are synonymous for ‘guaranteed death’ to international terrorists. Two broken men from the same crooked streets, recruited into an unsanctioned government program that few know about. Trained to operate most efficiently—lethally—together.
When Ex returns from an op in Bolivia to learn his little brother has been accidentally killed in a feud between drug gangs, he’s stateside before he can consider the rules he’ll be breaking, and of course Meridian is right beside him. There’s mayhem on the streets of Atlanta and the police are losing control. If Godfrey and his elite team of detectives can’t get the job done then they’d be happy to lighten their caseloads for them. And Ex nor Meridian care about doing it quietly.
“I know who you are.” The man grunted when Ex turned to leave. “You’re the fucking devil.”
Meridian walked past, glaring one final time. “Say that loud enough… maybe God will save you.”
But after their first run-in with the big lieutenant and his protective husband, Day, Ex and Meridian start to reevaluate their own relationship. Wondering if they could be even deadlier if they let loose the feelings for each other that they’ve been forced to suppress for years.
Meridian’s dark eyes stayed locked on his, “A man who can fight beside the one he loves doesn’t make him weaker, Ex—it makes him more dangerous.”
No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a HEA.
Note: This is a partners-to-lovers, out-for-you, action romance.
Review
I LOVED this! I had been eagerly awaiting this title since I’d first read the blurb and it did NOT disappoint!
AE Via has just a magical way of letting these Alpha males be vulnerable in a way that does not mess with their ability to be bad-asses in the least!
In this case, we not only get to see the tender moments between Ex and Meridian develop but also some really touching moments between God and Day and Ruxs and Green, too.
The action is fast and the bad guys get whooped good and the smexy times are the perfect amount of steam and frequency.
I think her editing is getting better and better with each book and her covers continue to be top notch!
This is absolutely fine as a stand alone but even better in the series.

Audio

Just like all the others in this series – Aiden Snow does a fantastic job and is absolutely perfect!

6 of 5 stars

ExMeridian Audio Tour Banner

Title: Nothing Special VI: Ex Meridian

Series: Nothing Special

Author: A.E. Via

Genre: M/M Action Romance

Publisher: Tantor

Narrator: Aiden Snow

Length: 9 Hours

Audio Release Date: 07.07.20

nothing special7-eBook-complete (2)

Blurb

Police Lieutenants, God and Day are under intense pressure from the chief to take back control of Atlanta’s streets. The last thing their task force needs is a pair of trained killers in town with a personal score to settle.

Take a man and strip him of his ability to feel compassion, empathy, remorse, or any of the emotions that make him human, but leave the ones that ignite rage and aggression and you have the perfect killing machine—now imagine two of them.

Code names Ex and Meridian are synonymous for ‘guaranteed death’ to international terrorists. Two broken men from the same crooked streets, recruited into an unsanctioned government program that few know about. Trained to operate most efficiently—lethally—together.

When Ex returns from an op in Bolivia to learn his little brother has been accidentally killed in a feud between drug gangs, he’s stateside before he can consider the rules he’ll be breaking, and of course Meridian is right beside him. There’s mayhem on the streets of Atlanta and the police are losing control. If Godfrey and his elite team of detectives can’t get the job done then they’d be happy to lighten their caseloads for them. And Ex nor Meridian care about doing it quietly.

“I know who you are.” The man grunted when Ex turned to leave. “You’re the fucking devil.”

Meridian walked past, glaring one final time. “Say that loud enough… maybe God will save you.”

But after their first run-in with the big lieutenant and his protective husband, Day, Ex and Meridian start to reevaluate their own relationship. Wondering if they could be even deadlier if they let loose the feelings for each other that they’ve been forced to suppress for years.

Meridian’s dark eyes stayed locked on his, “A man who can fight beside the one he loves doesn’t make him weaker, Ex—it makes him more dangerous.”

No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a HEA.
Note: This is a partners-to-lovers, out-for-you, action romance.

Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/NSVIIExMeridian

ExMeridian Audio PromoExMeridian Teaser 1ExMeridian Teaser 2

Excerpt

Neither of them spoke while they ate. Ex never felt the need to fill their long moments of silence with idle words, and his partner wasn’t a big talker. Besides, Ex could enjoy Meridian by him simply being there. His presence was just that powerful.

“So, what’s next?” Meridian asked after he’d pushed his empty plate to the side.

Ex drank some of his water, the coolness feeling good to his parched throat, but he wished he had something stronger. He reclined in his seat, mimicking Meridian’s posture and trying to appear casual.

“First and foremost, we go to Virginia and get our supplies. My contact there is ready for us, we should be in and out,”Ex explained. “Oay night. Of course, flying would be faster but we can better stay under the radar if we avoid TSA. Amtrak will be easiest to transport our cargo as well.”

“Works for me. He knows what we need?”

“Yes. As soon as we get back we can start to have some conversations around town. We’ll backtrack over the task force’s recent arrests and see what we can find. I also wanna keep an eye on that deputy district attorney. Something seems off there to me,” Ex said.

“Agreed.”Meridian put his cigarette into his mouth and finally lit it. He blew the aromatic smoke away from Ex but he still caught the robust scent of cloves.

Ex thought the smoking habit was atrocious, but he found he liked it when Meridian did it. The addiction made him seem less programmed. It was something his partner did when he was battling on the inside, and it was also something he only showed Ex.

Meridian’s eyes were half covered by his long black eye lashes, appearing as if he was enjoying what he was doing. He had one arm braced on the back of the seat and Ex could see the shiny Italian silk lining of Meridian’s jacket and the butt of his chrome Wesson Valor resting against his rib cage.

AEVia-Logo-JayAheer2015-white-black-Large (1)

A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for six years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay literature for over twenty years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great, new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her.

Writing.

A.E.’s novels embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

She’s recently celebrated her 20th book anniversary, and is well-known for her hardcore, love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48195130-bishop

Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com

A.E. Newsletter Signup: https://goo.gl/4hfuMh

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

Vibrant Promotions Logo (1)

Categories
adult - 18+

His Prince (House of Maedoc #2) by Mary Calmes

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54437292-his-prince?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=txUDvyBnlS&rank=1

Blurb

Jason Thorpe was content living a quiet life in New Orleans. He and his best friend Ode opened their cozy curios shop in the French Quarter, and he was making some new, albeit interesting, friends….

Then Jason met Varic Maedoc, the prince of the vampyrs, and his life changed forever.

Named the prince’s consort, Jason quickly became the most important subject in the vampyr realm, the man who holds the wolf of Maedoc’s heart—a position that comes with certain obligations and no small amount of influence. Theirs is a partnership of love and a lifetime commitment, but that bond is about to be tested when Varic must return to court and Jason accompanies him.

The king’s court in Malta is unlike anything Jason could have imagined. Amidst the luxury and decadence of the palace is an air of danger and intrigue he is unprepared for, further complicated by new friends and allies who may not be what they seem. To stand beside and protect Varic, Jason must use every weapon in his arsenal to uncover a plot to usurp the king and reveal the identities of those who would see Jason dead before accepting him as their consort.

His single greatest asset is the love of his prince, but even that may not be enough to save Jason’s life.

Review

So, I didn’t love His Consort, but I enjoyed it. Mary admits she loves world building and she definitely continues in this.

There are entire sections devoted to explaining side characters’ lives who don’t even make it to the end of the story. It’s got Mary’s “formula” – One alpha male, one clueless, loveable, big hearted male, the women who adore said big-hearted guy, the mysterious words, the separate nature of the two “lovers”, lots of aggressive sex and then some bad guys.

What surprised me was the sheer number of times Jason almost gets killed. Who is this guy, Jory?

Varic is pretty much a non-entity for most of the story. “I’m sorry Jason – you almost got killed. I swear we won’t be apart again. Forgive me.” Then, next chapter. “Ok, no really, Jason, I mean it. I won’t ever leave you alone, you’re far too precious and fragile.” Then, next chapter. “Ok for REALS, we are not going to part – EVER – what? Another meeting? Sure, Jason you stay here, I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

I think Jason nearly buys it 5 times. There is a lot of sadness. The King and his whole lot are pretty gross. Sorry. But they are. I couldn’t get too involved in their story because they’re all kind of a-holes who sleep with whoever they want and are pretty snobbish. Sure, I can get behind historical changes and blood lines etc – but I still didn’t like them.

It felt a lot – to me – like her Change of Heart series. You could sub out Jason and Varic for Jin and Logan and Domin and Mikhail for Gideon and Zev. (Poor Gideon – GAH!)

Anyhow – it was entertaining in that way that something comfortable is entertaining if not earth shattering.

3 of 5 stars


Categories
adult - 18+

Illuminate (The Magic Users of Greenford #1) by Lisa Oliver


Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54413447-illuminate?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=vgMpoEIMaQ&rank=1

Blurb

Stefan de Marco was looking for a position… again. Being a high scoring magical anchor was only useful in his world when he had someone to partner with. His slender body and elfin looks meant he was usually only chosen to anchor people who believed his duties should extend well past working hours, and that wasn’t something Stefan was interested in. Taking a chance on a pleasant man he met at the Magic Council job board one day, Stefan finds himself in the upmarket side of town, but as he listened to a gruff voice in an adjoining room, he had a horrible feeling he was making another mistake… or was he?

Lucifer Fireborn never claimed to be a nice person. Working as the Lead Steward for the Magic Council, it was his job to track down criminal magic users and bring them to justice. Finding out that Darwin, his younger brother and long-term anchor, had gone and allowed himself to be claimed by his magical mate was the sort of annoying distraction he didn’t need. Especially when he receives word Technic, a criminal he has been tracking for three years has surfaced in Cairo. Darwin recommends Stefan as a suitable anchor, but in Lucifer’s head the man is too young, too pretty and would prove too much of a distraction.

Shootings, fires, and kidnapping are all in a day’s work for someone like Lucifer, but when sparks of a different kind start igniting between Lucifer and his new anchor, he feels the Fates have an agenda of their own. Can Lucifer and Stefan find the bad guy and win the day, or will Technic have the last laugh after all.

TRIGGER WARNING: Please check the Author’s Note in the “Look Inside” option for the trigger warning for this story.

This is a Male-Male fated mates romance story with a guaranteed HEA, just like all of my stories. It contains a spot of violence, some bad language, and graphic scenes of an intimate nature and is suitable for adults only.

Review

This was so good! Now, I don’t want you to take this wrong – but WOW has Lisa Oliver come a long way!
I’ve always been a fan, I love her world building, and though not every one of her books hits a home run with me (normal) I am genuinely entertained and usually glad to have read it. However, especially with the early Cloverleah books, I was sometimes hard pressed not to groan at some of the editing and info dumps etc.

This was so polished! Really great world building, just the right amount of smexy times versus danger versus relationship building and plot development.

I have to admit that Lucy isn’t an easy character to love, and really, none of the secondary characters are either. Only poor Stefan remains easy to love in this one.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and am looking forward to more from this series!

6 of 5 stars