Categories
adult - 18+

Marriage Contract by A.J. Sherwood

GoodReads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53502092-marriage-contract?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=FKMzUAL5fC&rank=11Blurb

What’s a man to do when his security company is hacked with a message from the hacker asking for a job? You hire him, of course.

Which is precisely what Aleks does. At first, he’s conflicted to learn Harris is only seventeen and on the run from a past he refuses to talk about, but that confliction soon morphs into feelings for the tragic genius, and he desperately wants Harris to open up and trust him.

Maybe it wasn’t the best decision to start off his new life by hacking into a well-known security company to ask for a job, but Harris is surprised by what he finds there—a boss who genuinely seems to care about him. As the months pass, Harris finds he wants to tell Aleks everything. To stop hiding. To finally stop running, unless it’s into the man’s arms. But fear’s grip is strong, and doesn’t let go easily.

So, when Harris’s past does come calling? Aleks must prove he will do whatever is necessary to protect his new employee and friend—including fake marrying him, despite being in love with him.

Tags:
Brazilians have no concept of personal space, Kizomba, I climbed the trope tree, and hit every branch on the way back down, shy character, underage runaway, bad parenting, May/December, Fake Marriage, Boss/Employee, friends to lovers, virgin character, sharing a bed, Aleks protests all the cockblocking, hurt/comfort, told you I hit every trope, wait I might have missed one

Review

This was a super fast read, very, very sweet. Low steam – which felt VERY appropriate.

I loved the Portuguese and the revenge!

Really well done! I wish it were longer.

4.5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Origin (Scales ‘n’ Spells #1) by A.J. Sherwood, Jocelynn Drake

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55536981-origin

Blurb

Cameron wants to make it clear that he did not go into the festival to find a dragon mate.

Germany is supposed to be an escape. With a new mechanical engineering degree, a new job looming, and a whole life planned out that isn’t his, Germany seems like the best place to find himself.

So how does he end up discovering his lost magic heritage, running from bad guys with a secret agenda, and being adopted by the not-so-extinct Fire Dragon clan?

Cameron blames tall, dark, and sexy Alric, king of the Fire dragons. His fated mate. Because of course he is, and mates are meant to take the blame, right?

It may take a hot second, but as Cameron learns more about the scarred Alric and the life he’s landed in, Cameron realizes that perhaps this is where he’s meant to be, magic and mates and kidnapping and all.

Turns out coming to Germany wasn’t an escape but his awakening.

Tags:

Not-so-extinct, Shifter dragons, mages, fated mates, secret clans, epic libraries, hurt/comfort, age gap, not that Alric cares, magical heritage, mechanical engineers being BAMF, grumpy dragon kings being protective of their cute mates, really the cuteness is downright criminal, we might need a firehose for these two, or not, sass, so much sass, Ravi and Cameron are no longer allowed to be alone together, for reasons, dragons hoarding, when you live long enough statistics will get you, bats named Cheryl, beheadings, no damsels in distress here, just very unhappy mages, with trigger fingers, anyone have life hacks on how to get rid of kidnappers, Cameron is open to suggestions

Review

This was super fun!

Cameron is adorable and Alric is very sweet! I loved the grandma and was glad there wasn’t too much time with the sister.

There is about 50% romance and 50% “adventure” in this 

4.5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Captive Mate (Mismatched Mates #2) by Eliot Grayson

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55129651-captive-mate

Blurb

Captured, imprisoned, and…falling in love?

Arik is many things. Shaman, necromancer, a little on the snarky side…no one could ever accuse him of being boring. But one thing he never intended to be was imprisoned by angry werewolves. Maybe casting that love spell on the sexy alpha pack leader wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Matthew Armitage has a problem. Several of them, actually. And the biggest one is Arik. The shaman can’t be trusted. He’s dangerous enough to get the entire pack killed. Matthew knows that. But knowing doesn’t make it any easier to keep his mind (and hands) off Arik. Surely everything he’s feeling is a side effect of the spell…right?

It’s not long before enemies of the pack start circling—including one intent on claiming Arik as his unwilling mate. If they have any hope of surviving, Arik and Matthew will need to work together. And if they want a shot at happily ever after…well, they’ll just have to cross that bridge when they get to it.

If they get to it…

Captive Mate can (sort of) be read as a standalone, but works best when read in order as part of the Mismatched Mates series, beginning with The Alpha’s Warlock. This book contains a vivid memory of a sexual assault, but the assault occurs in the past and off-page and is not between the main characters.

Review

This was super angsty, sometimes stressful, but good.

The pay out, IMHO, makes it all worth it in the end.

I enjoyed the magic and the “mate, mine!”.

Having read the first book makes this easier, but it’s not necessary.

4.5 of 5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Billy & The Beast (Ever After, New York #3) by Eli Easton

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55435994-billy-the-beast?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Y1NIXWQ5on&rank=36

Blurb

A stolen rose leads Billy to the Beast of his dreams…
The rose is so perfectly pink and delightfully fragrant, so temptingly within reach through the bars of the locked gate. One snip later, and a masked man from Billy’s darkest fantasies grabs his arm.

Billy’s punishment for the theft? To toil in the estate’s horribly overgrown garden for the summer. Only this summer job comes with a mystery. Who is the sexy, scarred, irascible man who lives at Malfleur, and what dark secret from his past is he hiding?

The Beast believes he deserves his self-imposed exile for the crime he committed one awful, reckless night—a night he can’t even remember. He believes no one can love the ruin of a man that survived that cursed accident.
He didn’t count on Billy Martin.

BILLY & THE BEAST is a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast that features a rich playboy recovering from a near-fatal accident, a web of dark secrets and gaslighting, a gothic estate, a happy Labrador retriever, and a plucky young man who adores mysteries & monsters.

This book is part of the EVER AFTER, NEW YORK series of contemporary gay romance fairy tales, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

Review

I will admit that this is NOT one of my favorite tropes and so it probably influenced me a bit.

I did enjoy the spin Eli put on the story and I loved how grumpy Seb/Aaron is. The plot is predictable – but whatever.

I skimmed a bit in the middle because it was just taking too long for anything to really happen, but if you enjoy that slow burn you’ll like it.

The ending was rushed and my least favorite part of the story.

3.5 of 5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Hitman vs Hitman by L.A. Witt, Cari Z.

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54458811-hitman-vs-hitman

Blurb

Ricardo Torralba and August Morrison don’t agree on much besides the fact that they hate each other. According to Ricardo, August is a spoiled brat who really needs to knock off the sass once in a while. August insists that Ricardo needs a sense of humor, a good lay, or a well-placed bullet. Maybe all three.

Fortunately, the assassin’s profession is a solitary one, and they can go about their lives without getting in each other’s way.

Usually.

When a contracted hit turns out to be a setup for both of them, they narrowly escape with their lives. Now, even if they don’t like it (spoiler: they don’t), August and Ricardo have to work together if they want a shot at survival.

In between firefights and questionable interrogation methods as they hunt down their would-be killer, the cranky assassins discover that under all that mutual loathing is a spark of chemistry they can’t ignore. They want to ignore it, they probably should ignore it, but August can’t help flirting to annoy Ricardo, and Ricardo can think of at least one way to shut him up for a while.

But they need to focus, damn it, and figure out who’s gunning for them and why.

Assuming they don’t kill each other first.

Hitman vs Hitman is a standalone gay romantic suspense featuring two men who’d rather chew glass than fall for each other, a whole lot of inappropriate comments, and some buttons that will need resewing.
Review

This was a lot of fun! There is a lot of hating followed by admiration followed by some rough sort-of hate smexy times and during all of this there is snark and adventure.

I loved the clever way these two evaded death and the chemistry was what really made me enjoy their relationship.

I didn’t love the ending but…

4.5 of 5 stars

Categories
Age Group

Gothika: Tales of Love and the Supernatural by Eli Easton

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55566599-gothika?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=ZIouysaFq9&rank=5

Note: These have all be previously released in the Dreamspinner “Gothika” books – and are unchanged. However, it is really nice having them in one place if you are a big Eli fan and they are all good stories to re-read 🙂

After having re-read them in this go around, I found I loved “Among the Dead” the best followed by “Black Dog”.

I didn’t love Reparation or The Bird as much but they are interesting if nothing else 🙂

I loved the other covers a ton more… but … whatever 😉

Reparation by Eli Easton
On the harsh planet of Kalan, weakness is not tolerated. When young spore farmer Edward suffers an carriage accident that kills his mail-order bride and his factory manager, Edward has little chance of survival, until Knox—an enormous “reconstitute” labor slave—plucks him from disaster.

Recons are part machine, part human remains from executed Federation prisoners. But Knox is different from other recons. He can read and has flashes of brilliance. With no one else to rely on over the bleak winter, Edward forms an alliance with Knox, and against social taboos, they become friends. Edward struggles against his growing lust for the large humanoid, and while Knox thrives in his new life, memories of his past torment him.

A twist of fate brought Knox and Edward together, but there will be a price to pay in blood when they learn how deeply their lives truly intersect.

Review

I am not a space fan, so this didn’t resonate with me. I found a lot of plot holes and I won’t spoil it here, but I had an issue with who made up the “reconstitute” … I also didn’t love the whole creepy cyborg/necromancy aspect so it was hard to feel this was a romance – more a creepy Halloween story with a slight romantic tinge.

3 of 5 stars

Bird

“The Bird” by Eli Easton
Colin Hastings is sent to Jamaica in 1870 to save his father’s sugar cane plantation. If he succeeds, he can marry his fiancée back in London and take his place in proper English society. But Colin finds more than he bargained for on the island. His curiosity about Obeah, the native folk magic, leads him to agree to a dangerous ritual where he is offered his heart’s most secret desire—one he’s kept deeply buried all his life. What happens when a proper English gentleman has his true sensual nature revealed and freed by the Obeah spirits?

Review
Colin doesn’t know it, but he’s in love with his best friend. In 1870, you don’t admit that to just anyone, even yourself. It takes a voodoo ceremony for him to make this realization and then he has to convince his friend to take a risk, if that weren’t enough.

Following a close second as best of the bunch, this was another great short story that fulfilled its obligations in a few pages. Very well crafted. It’s historical and educational without being pedantic. The writing is very dark and evocative and quite unlike the previous books/stories I’ve read by Eli Easton.

She always produces an amazing story and this is no different.

4.5/5 stars

(On re read I wasn’t as big a fan, but it is interesting)

The Black Dog by Eli Easton
Constable Hayden MacLairty is used to life being dull around the tiny hamlet of Laide on the north Scottish coast. They get occasional tourists, “monster hunters” interested in the local legend of the Black Dog, but Hayden thinks that’s only a myth. A rash of sheep killings, a murdered hiker, huge footprints, and sightings of the Black Dog force Hayden to rethink the matter. With the help of Simon Corto, a writer from New York doing research for a book about the Black Dog, Hayden tries to figure out why the enormous hound is reappearing. Hayden finds himself strongly attracted to another person for the first time in his life. But between the danger stalking the hills, Simon’s inevitable return to New York, and Hayden’s mother’s illness, true love may be more of a phantom than the Black Dog.

Review

Black Dog was my favorite in this series. It was a fully fleshed out short story about a man who doesn’t know his own families secrets and when he finds out he has to make some tough decisions.

Eli is one of my all time favorite authors and this story is just as amazing as her longer stories.

(This was super cute and I loved the little twists this short story takes.)

4.5 of 5 stars

Among the Dead

Ever since his accident, Neil Gaven sees dead people. He’s isolated himself, unable to bear the constant barrage of sadness and grief. But a gentle ghost grabs his attention on the bus one day. He seems to understand, to have some secret to impart. Neil works to interpret the ghost’s clues. Then they lead him to Trist, a homeless young man who is also tormented by spirits. Are they two of a kind? Maybe together they can find a way to live among the dead.

Review

This is a lovely and sweet story with a little twist. Eli Easton’s writing is smooth and flawless and her characters are rich and full. I loved the attention to details with the subtle blurring that at first causes confusion then clarity as the story draws to its finale. I suppose the story has a HEA – depending on your point of view. ☺ It’s excellent. 5 of 5 stars

(This was hands down my favorite and I liked it even more than the first time I read it!)

Overall 4 of 5 stars

Categories
Uncategorized

Clarity of Lines by N.R. Walker; narrated by Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26081236-clarity-of-lines?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=P1MpNcHpUF&rank=1

Blurb:
When some lines blur, others become crystal clear.

Absolutely smitten, Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones have decided they’re prepared to give a relationship a try.
What they’re not prepared for is the reaction from their families, who try to force them apart. Both men are about to learn that there are lines that define us. Sometimes the lines blur, sometimes the lines become crystal clear.

Review:
Story: The May-Dec romance between Tom and Cooper continues to strengthen; good thing to because now they have to deal with family trying to pull them apart.
I loved how they weathered the family maelstrom – disapproving ex-wife, shocked and disappointed parents – without having any drama between them. They dealt with the family issues using humour, love hot/steamy times (with each other ) and patience. Lovely story!

Narration: Nick J. Russo is a really good narrator and he really shines with this series! His voice for Cooper is spot on, especially capturing his youth and almost perpetual horniness, lol! His voices for the other characters, especially Tom are just as good. This is really a great way to enjoy the series!

Story: 4.5 stars
Narration: 4.5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

‘Nother Sip of Gin (Sinners #7) by Rhys Ford

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54491708-nother-sip-of-gin?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=6IBmDgJWUf&rank=1

Blurb

For Crossroads Gin rock stars Miki, Damien, Rafe, and Forest, life is a Möbius strip of music, mayhem, and murder. Through it all, the sweet, hot moments between tours with lovers, friends, and family keep them sane, healthy, and happy.

This Sinners collection features short stories spanning the entire series, from before the first note to after the lights go out.

[‘Nother Sip of Gin features bonus shorts finally together in one volume as well as four new Sinners Gin stories, combining classic foundational pieces with newly written material.]

Review

These were fun!

This was a great way to get the ficlets we’ve enjoyed over time in one place with a few new ones 

Love these guys!

4 of 5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Safe Heart (Search and Rescue #3) by Amy Lane

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54294132-safe-heart?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=5VKRBLgpZU&rank=4

Blurb

Search and Rescue: Book Three

Five months ago boy-band lead singer Cash Harper left Glen Echo in a hospital in Jalisco… and broke his heart.

Glen’s heart is the only home Cash has ever known. He’s spent the past five months trying to find his friend Brielle and make sense of his own instincts. Now he’s ready to be a real partner and lover to Glen—but first they have to finish their original mission.

Glen is ready for Cash to walk through his door needing help, but he is absolutely determined not to let him back into his heart. Men don’t run. Cash did. End of story.

Rescuing Brielle will take the full talents of Glen’s search and rescue company, and that means Cash needs to re-earn the team’s trust. Between Bond-villain traps, snakes that shouldn’t be there, and bad guys with guns, they all have plenty to negotiate. If Cash can prove he can stay the course and that he deserves Glen’s faith, they might survive this op whole and ready to love.

Review

This was okay. I didn’t love the lack of relationship building time. I thought the characters were fun and the excitement of fighting the cult interesting.

I can’t really tell you if Cash and Glen will make it because they weren’t really together much and they didn’t seem to share a lot of common interests or hobbies etc.

I still love Preston and his dogs 🙂

3.5 of 5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

There Goes Sunday School By: Alexander C. Eberhart Narrated by: Joel Leslie

audiobookreview
https://www.audible.com/pd/There-Goes-Sunday-School-Audiobook/1705249442?qid=1601593441&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=TM9R2TGEP01XNQPQFSS3

Blurb
In 16-year-old Mike Hernandez’s life, only one thing is clear: Gay is not okay. His family’s life revolves around the church, a church run by the vocally intolerant Pastor Myers, so Mike has resolved to spend his life in the closet. His only escape – besides the occasional, anonymous gay make-out session – is his art. He pours his complicated emotions into risque drawings he keeps in a secret sketchbook. A sketchbook he carries everywhere.
When his sketchbook goes missing in the middle of Sunday school, Mike is sure his life is over. He’s going to be outed, ostracized by their community, condemned by the pastor, maybe even homeless. What’s worse, the pastor’s son, Chris, suddenly seems hell-bent on adopting Mike and his friends, and he has no idea why.
When an awkward confrontation with Chris leads to an unexpected kiss instead of a much-expected punch, Mike’s world is turned upside down. As their friendship grows and faith is questioned, Mike may be forced to choose between the comfortable life he’s always lived and a chance at the love he never thought he deserved.
Review
There Goes Sunday School was a funny, yet heartbreaking coming out story.

We have Mike, who seem like the all-American teenage kid. He has his two best friends, Tanner and Jackie. They hang out, smoke a little pot and just act like normal teenagers. Although Mike is hiding a secret. He’s gay. He is afraid of coming out. His family are heavily involved in Church, Mike even goes to a Christian high school. He crosses paths with his pastor’s son Chris and the two have a tenuous friendship. Eventually, Chris reveals that he is gay as well and their friendship becomes quite rocky as Mike’s fears take hold.

My heart really broke for Mike and Chris. These were just two young guys who wanted to be loved and to belong. They had to grow up in a toxic church environment. There is a line in the story were Mike says that there are no happy endings for him, because he is an abomination, and abominations don’t get happy endings. This broke me. It reminded of my own issues with the Christian church.
This is actually a pretty funny book; despite the heavy issues it deals with. Mike’s friends, Tanner and Jackie are hilarious. I love the bickering between these too. I also like the interaction between Mike and his sister Rosie, even though there are too many scenes between the two of them. I was a tad bit disappointed with the ending. Even though this is a book dealing with high schoolers, I wanted a big happily ever after, which I know is unrealistic but that’s me and my big mushy heart.

Narration by Joel Leslie was fantastic, as always. He did a great job, bringing these characters to life. I was really impressed with his ability to have these kids sound like kids.

I strongly recommend this audiobook!!!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review