Fan Art by Karrie Jax
For more visit: https://openskyebookreviews.com/fan-art/
Fan Art by Karrie Jax
For more visit: https://openskyebookreviews.com/fan-art/
It’s finals week during Tony McNeil’s second year in law school, and he’s struggling to keep up. Frankly, he’d rather be cooking. Then he meets first-year student Eddie Cohen-Fernandez, who’s heartsick over missing his family’s annual Festivus celebration. Tony can use his culinary skills to lift Eddie’s spirits, but finding long-term happiness? That just might require a Festivus miracle.
In this very short and sweet Christmas novella, we meet two law students, Tony and Eddie. Tony is only going to law school to please his parents, he’s miserable and lonely in the small Nebraska town. Eddie, is excited to be in law school but misses his folks in California, especially during the holidays, but can’t afford to fly or drive out there to be with them.
Eddie and Tony meet on campus and decide to study together for finals. This leads to post-finals celebration (naked celebration) and then on to… more.
Eddie helps Tony to realize that it’s okay to “disappoint” your parents when it means keeping your soul happy. Tony helps Eddie to achieve his Festivus Miracle.
With a few short pages, Kim gives us a fully developed story about finding out who you are and living your life to its full potential.
There are some sweet smexy scenes, but most of this is about self discovery and finding that place in your soul that makes you sing.
Joel Leslie does an excellent job with this lovely novella. He does a little with the voices, enough to know who is who and is great with the emotion and the pacing of the story.
I really loved both the story and the audiobook and highly recommend both!
6 of 5 stars
Copy Purchased for Review
Kim Fielding Presents
Thrown out on the street by his homophobic stepfather, Dylan struggles to get his life together. Years of being used and abused have left him tough and determined to make it on his own. When he sees a dog getting beaten, his protective instincts drive him to rescue her. But as the attackers turn on Dylan, out of the shadows comes a hero. One with mysterious eyes and a shy sensuality Dylan can’t resist.
Cam Coburn can’t reveal his true identity to the man he rescues. Nor can he reveal that he’s a freak among freaks, a cockatrice shifter with an unwanted gift for seeking out conflict rather than treasure. Newly independent from his mentor, Cam sees in Dylan his first chance to test the limits of his human guise. Defying every rule, Cam succumbs to Dylan’s seduction for just one night. But Cam finds he can’t let his lover go, and Dylan breaks down every barrier. For he is the one human who can gaze in a cockatrice’s eyes without fear.
Yet even as their bond deepens, danger closes in on them from all sides, and Cam’s dark secrets may save them—or lead to their destruction.
Dylan gets thrown out, lives with some buddies who end up getting him hooked on drugs and living in a slum, and when things begin to get abusive, Dylan finds the strength to pull himself up by the bootstraps and make a new life for himself.
He finds part-time work with a veterinarian and is in the process of rescuing a stray dog one night when the owners of the dog (gang members) attempt to beat the crap out of him. He is rescued by a mysterious stranger, Cam, who then takes him and the dog home to clean up.
It turns out Cam is far from human, he’s actually a Cockatrice (WTF?) – which is this bizarre dragon/bat/chicken thing from mythology. A shape-shifter, sent to America to study with and learn about humanity.
Cam is wildly attracted to Dylan and vice versa, even though interactions at that level are strictly forbidden.
The two begin an illicit tryst and are forming a fragile bond when trouble strikes in the form of back-stabbing Weasels and Brothers – you’ll see what I mean – and the two must make life and death decisions that will affect not only themselves but also the future of humanity.
In the end, after a truly monumental story twist, a super amazing and sweet happily ever after ensues.
I LOVED this book. It was sweet – Dylan is so broken yet warm hearted and his love for Cam so pure. It was sexy – Cam is a virgin (of course) to human love and the scenes between him and Dylan are very hot. It was gritty – none of the characters were perfect, they all had elements of good and bad and it gave the story a very “real” feel, despite its fantastical nature. It was uplifting – the ending is so happy and so sweet, it leaves a big smile on your face.
I really loved this book and the other Linda Gayle book I had read and I am ever so hopeful that she will be writing more m/m in the future.
I highly recommend this book and give it 5 of 5 stars.
Copy purchased for reveiw
Bennett “Ben” Pachowski has been a bouncer at Throwbacks for years. He likes his job, though he gets tired of being thought of as more brawn than brain simply because of his size. He also prefers to be romanced before sleeping with a man.
Ben’s favorite band, Rebel’s Ultimatum, occasionally plays at the club, which gives him an eyeful of the sexy bass player, Monty Mabuse. They’ve been eyeing each other for months, though Ben is content to flirt and nothing more, since “commitment” seems a foreign concept to the selfish, arrogant and flirtatious bass player.
But Monty wants Ben to become the next notch on his bedpost, and a devious trick to get what he wants blows up in his face.
Will Ben be able to forgive Monty for his deception? Perhaps, but if Monty wants to have a relationship with Ben, he needs to make some changes, and it remains to be seen whether he can become the kind of man Ben will respect, let alone love.
Sometimes, a little romance goes a long way…
Ben is a bouncer at a club. He thinks the bassist for the up and coming band that plays at the club is hot, but a player, so he stays far away, despite the mutual flirting.
One night the bassist, Monty, who won’t take no for an answer, sets up a “rescue” wherein Ben saves Monty from the unwanted advances of a “fan”. After the rescue he then essentially forces Ben to take him home where Monty feeds Ben liquor and then seduces him, despite Ben’s having told Monty repeatedly “NO!”
Ben is pissed when he realizes what’s happened the next day and refuses to see Monty. Monty, who by now is going on tour, is crushed and chastened.
Meanwhile, Ben gives up his career as a bouncer to work in a facility for the care of elderly people.
Monty continues to try to get Ben to forgive him and one day Ben does.
I could not get behind this book at all. What Monty did amounted to rape in my mind and Ben should NEVER have forgiven him. They never spent any time together as a couple so I have no idea if they’d make it or not (unlikely since Ben is happy in his new job and Monty needs to travel all the time with his newly emerging rock star status) and for me to believe that suddenly they want to be together and have some kids? Nope. I’m not buying it.
This book just didn’t seem at all plausible or even something that I wanted to support if I was willing to totally suspend my disbelief (which I love to do, I am a paranormal fan after all!).
I can’t recommend this book, and though the writing was fine, the story didn’t pass the grade for me. I always assume a writer can’t write every story for every person, so I will absolutely give this author another chance.
1 of 5 stars
Copy generously provided by publisher for honest review
After one very long tour of duty in Afghanistan and an honorable discharge from the USMC, Elijah Preston comes home to nothing. He barely scrapes up enough money for a cheap motel in Quantico, Virginia, with no money-making opportunities in sight. A chance encounter in a local Walmart finally gives Eli hope for employment. Elijah is ready to sign on with Royce Mackey’s proposition… until he hears what’s required. Royce operates a gay military porn site and wants Eli as his next star, never mind that Eli isn’t gay. Desperate and broke, Eli grudgingly accepts Royce’s offer and soon finds himself immersed in a strange new world.
Hamish Turner’s been there before. Taking Eli under his wing, he teaches him everything he can about Royce’s operation. The two quickly become friends, easing the way for their first scene together. Awkward at first, they both ease into it and find there is more of a connection between them than either expected. Curious to see where their mutual attraction takes them, they begin a relationship off-screen. But life gets complicated when a crazed fan of Hamish’s starts sending threatening letters demanding the scenes between the two men stop. Or else….
Eli was in the military for 8 years, signing up in the first place to get away from an abusive, useless family situation. He saves up all his money while in the service only to find out his a**hole family has spent all his money and wrecked his car. Now he has literally one paycheck, no job prospects, a little training in a career no one is hiring for and a lot of hopelessness.
He runs into Royce at the Walmart and Royce sees someone who could fit right in with the bunch of guys he works with at hotmilitaryguys.com. Royce offers Eli money to “perform” on camera with other straight guys like him. Though he’s skeptical, nervous, embarrassed and doubtful, Eli agrees to check things out, mostly because he’s run out of options.
What he finds is that Royce is totally up front and honest, and he really does work with a bunch of straight, ex-military guys who just need the money. He also meets Hamish, a guy who’s been there for the last 2 years for his own reasons, and is willing to show Eli the ropes.
Essentially, Eli takes to “performing” like a fish to water and he and Hamish form a “bromance” that eases the way for Eli to go from solo scenes to group scenes in the span of 2 weeks.
Though neither Eli nor Hamish will admit to being gay, it becomes clear that the two mean more to one another than just friends and both admit the chemistry between them is undeniably hot.
It’s this chemistry that gets them in trouble.
Someone is watching their growing closeness and is not happy about it. After a video of the pair is aired showing just how steamy they are together, threatening letters and emails arrive, demanding their separation “or else”.
On the relationship front, Eli can’t wrap his mind around being involved with a guy romantically and this drives a wedge between him and Hamish.
The danger of the stalker forces them together and forces them to confront their feelings for one another. Of course we have a very HFN (probably HEA).
Most of this is really hot gay sex as discovered by a truly straight guy and it’s written very well.
The relationship between Eli and Hamish is sweet and fairly realistic and enjoyable to watch unfold.
The bit about the stalker felt a little contrived, something to force the relationship in a speedy fashion. In a way I wish the author had stuck with the main hurdle, overcoming labels and dealing with the idea that two “people” can love whomever they want, despite societal expectations. The groundwork was there and it wouldn’t have taken much more effort to forge through Eli’s barriers. Sure, the stalker did it faster, made him re-think his priorities sooner, but the pay out would have been bigger had he come to the realization on his own. (In my opinion.)
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, it’s fast paced and super hot. I recommend it to anyone who likes the GFY trope or enjoys the gay porn trope. It’s very satisfying!
Randy Fuller does an okay job with this. He doesn’t do a lot with the voices but he doesn’t detract from the experience.
4 of 5 stars
Copy purchased for review
Duke Morgan owns and operates one of the largest bail bond companies in Atlanta. Not only does he bond criminals out of jail, he and his notorious group of bounty hunters will also track them down and ensure they show up for court.
Roman ‘Quick’ Webb is Duke’s business partner and best friend. Both men are in their forties and have given up on the happily ever after with the ranch-style home, and white picket fence. They’d both tried it and failed miserably. But they have their friendship and they have the business.
When Quick’s son, Vaughan Webb returns – after seven years – from studying abroad with his law degree in hand, he’s back to claim what he’s always wanted…his fathers’ best friend… Duke Morgan. Vaughan has always claimed to be a classic gentleman with an old soul. He didn’t party and screw up in school like his buddies. He was focused and dedicated to becoming the man worthy of Duke’s love.
It’s a complex and messy situation as Duke and Quick figure out how to still be best friends when one of them is sleeping with his friend’s one and only son. But when Duke is hurt on the job, all the unimportant trivialities fall to the wayside and Vaughan and Quick put their heads together to save Duke.
Part I of the Promises story is about Duke and Vaughan. Part II will be about Quick and his realization that it’s not too late for any of them to find love.
We met Duke in Judge’s book (Don’t Judge, Nothing Special Book 4). Duke is the bounty hunter who had a no-strings arrangement with Judge until Judge met his forever guy in Austin. Duke, who plays it like it’s no big deal, is actually pretty crushed by this relationship ending.
Vaughan is Duke’s work partner and best friend’s son. He’s almost 20 years younger than Duke and has had a crush on Duke since he can remember. Now that Judge is out of the picture, Vaughan is graduated from law school, he figures it’s his time to move in and make Duke his own.
At first Duke fights the attraction but when he’s reminded that life is short he’s willing to give it a try. They’ve almost begun dating when something so terrible happens it looks like the two will never be together… until Vaughan saves the day.
I just love AE Via characters. They continually surprise me. She’s totally willing to put an Alpha and Alpha together, make the older guy the less dominant, a criminal and a cop… you name it. She makes it work.
There is surprisingly little sex in this book but lots of sexual tension and when they do finally come together… HOT!
What I really appreciated about this was how honest everyone was from the start. With one exception, there was no BIG MISUNDERSTANDING or hemming and hawing about. Life got in the way and that was a real hurdle. I also liked that the boys took their time and wanted to do things right. No falling into bed right off the bat. They took the time to build the romance. It was really sweet.
I look forward to more from this series and am drooling over the sweet doc and cranky Quick getting their turn!
4.5 of 5 stars
Copy Purchased for Review
Via Star Wings Books Presents
Sequel to Hell & High Water
THIRDS: Book Two
When a series of bombs go off in a Therian youth center, injuring members of THIRDS Team Destructive Delta and causing a rift between agents Dexter J. Daley and Sloane Brodie, peace seems unattainable. Especially when a new and frightening group, the Order of Adrasteia, appears to always be a step ahead. With panic and intolerance spreading and streets becoming littered with the Order’s propaganda, hostility between Humans and Therians grows daily. Dex and Sloane, along with the rest of the team, are determined to take down the Order and restore peace, not to mention settle a personal score. But the deeper the team investigates the bombings, the more they believe there’s a more sinister motive than a desire to shed blood and spread chaos.
Discovering the frightful truth behind the Order’s intent forces Sloane to confront secrets from a past he thought he’d left behind for good, a past that could not only destroy him and his career, but also the reputation of the organization that made him all he is today. Now more than ever, Dex and Sloane need each other, and, along with trust, the strength of their bond will mean the difference between justice and all-out war.
In this sequel we find Sloane and Dex still trying to get that evil Issac and his anti-Therian thugs. This plays in the background while we watch the developing romances of (practically) the entire team Delta Destroyers. And it is AWESOME!
Sometimes the second book in a series can have a tough road to travel because they are stuck in the middle – the relationship has started, but it is not in its dramatic finish-stage. There are only a limited number of mile-stones that can be covered. This sequel has absolutely no problems keeping things moving and keeping us on the edge of our seats.
First, Sloane has some deep, dark secrets that are keeping him from letting Dex “in”. When one of the psychiatrists from the early days of THIRDS is captured, Sloane’s secrecy is threatened. Sloane has to decide if he wants out of the relationship now, or dig in deeper.
Second, Dex is facing his own inadequacy issues: he isn’t Therian, he isn’t ex-military, he isn’t Gabe… But he doesn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on this. That just wouldn’t be him. Instead, Dex continues to be hysterical and we get another drunken night out, this time with the ex! Lou is great and ends up giving Sloane pointers on how to handle Dex.
The other team members (Calvin and Hobbs, Cael and Ash) have their own stories move forward too. I am hoping to see their stories in the “Couples TBA” at the end of the series.
I absolutely love Charlie’s version of shifters. My favorite part of this book was Therian training where Dex is being shown how Sloane (in Jaguar form) is bonding with Dex. It is HYSTERICAL but oh so damn sweet too. I hope we get to see more of the Therians in their animal form in future books.
There is a partial ending in this book that leaves you very satisfied but the door is still wide open to trouble, setting the stage for book 3. I love the advancement of all the relationships in this book and look forward to seeing who does what next.
Even better than book one! I highly recommend this book and the entire series!
Mark Westfield did another amazing job with this narration. Sloane is delightfully growly, Tony is deep and rumbly, Isaac is twangy and greasy… all the guys are well represented. I really enjoyed the dream sequences and the “coms” where Mark alters his voice to sound like it’s being broadcast over the airways.
I really think he adds to the story and makes it even more of a great entertainment than just reading it alone.
I think you I can easily say this is a book narration that makes the listening as adventurous (or even more) than the reading.
I highly recommend this narration and give it a 6 of 5 stars.
(For Books Three and Four look for my review here: http://kimichanexperience.com/rack-and-ruin-audiobook-by-charlie-cochet-narrated-by-mark-westfield/ and http://kimichanexperience.com/rise-and-fall-audiobook-thirds-4-by-charlie-cochet-narrated-by-mark-westfield/)
Dreamspinner Provided for honest review
When Squirt saves troubled Gordon from a terrible fate, Gordon finds a new light to follow and a new purpose to life.
At twenty-six, Gordon Stafford figures his days are numbered. At least he hopes they are. Wearied by guilt and regret stemming from a horrific automobile accident two years earlier in which a man was killed, Gordon wakes up every morning with thoughts of suicide. While the law puts Gordon to work atoning for his sins, personal redemption is far harder to come by.
Then Squirt—a simple homeless man with his own crosses to bear— saves Gordon from a terrible fate. Overnight, Gordon finds not only a new light to follow, and maybe even a purpose to his life, but also the possibility of love waiting at the end of the tunnel.
Gordon never imagined he’d discover a way to forgive himself, and in doing so, open his heart enough to gain acceptance and love—from the very person he hurt the most.
Gordon had it all going for him. He was on top of his game, awards and money, living the life he’d always imagined, when one bad decision takes it all away. One night, driving home drunk and texting, Gordon hits a car and kills a man. He ends up spending a year in jail and serving 2 more years in community service. But that isn’t enough. His guilt is slowly overwhelming him and what guilt leaves behind alcohol takes. Every day he contemplates taking his own life, and it is by the barest of threads that he continues on living.
Until one day…
One day Gordon meets a tow-headed angel of a man, Squirt, in need of rescuing. Later Squirt, returns the favor and saves Gordon, in more ways than one.
Squirt has his own demons and together he and Gordon go about saving each other with a love so sweet and pure it brings tears to your eyes.
They have some pretty significant hurdles to over-come, but when they do, all that’s left is a love story you will remember a long time.
This book will be a book that you read and read again. It is so amazingly touching. The guilt that Gordon hangs on to seems insurmountable. How can you bounce back from taking another life? His depression is deep and palpable. But through Squirt’s eyes, we can see how there is light at the end of the tunnel, and with enough love, even something as devastating as death can have a silver lining.
John Inman’s writing is crisp and clear and his ability to draw you into his character’s emotions is excelled only by his ability to tell their compelling story.
I loved how no small gesture went without affecting something or someone later on. It was a little like the Butterfly Effect in that one small thing ended up with a ripple effect that amounts to a tsunami.
In the end I was touched, happy and sad all at the same time, but I was so glad I had read the book and taken the journey.
I highly recommend this book and give it 5 of 5 stars.
Dreamspinner Provided for honest review
When fitness professional Jay Capello is unexpectedly offered the job of training a movie star’s teenage daughter for the summer, he thinks he’s scored a fairly cushy gig. But once let inside the locked gates of the actor’s residence, he begins to realize he’s been dropped into a web of family secrets, and the unconventional challenges of this assignment may be more than he can handle. But when he starts to fall for Bodie, the girl’s personal security guard, he tries to stick with it, and his simple summer commitment becomes a struggle to perform his job duties without losing his heart in the process.
Jay is a fitness instructor, made semi-famous by a work-out DVD he made, which attracts the attention of a major movie star. The movie star wants Jay to get his daughter in shape and wants to pay Jay exorbitantly for the work.
The daughter, Sassy, is actually a perfectly healthy girl who is blackmailing her famous father and her dad actually wants Jay to keep her occupied and out of trouble.
Bodie, Sassy’s cousin, is her bodyguard. His job, mostly, is keeping Sassy out of trouble, too.
At first Jay and Bodie are at cross purposes, neither trusting the other’s motives, but it soon becomes obvious that they are both hot for one another and on the same side when it comes to protecting and helping Sassy out of her predicament with her dad.
There are some tense times when the Sassy situation comes to an urgent crisis-point, but that only serves to show Bodie and Jay how much they mean to one another.
In the end, though things don’t necessarily go the way everyone envisioned it, a HEA is had by all.
I really liked this book, having enjoyed some of Darien Cox’s books in the past, I was pleasantly surprised to find I liked this book even more.
The chemistry between Bodie and Jay was terrific, the secondary characters, Evelyn and Sassy were fantastic additions to the story and really gave the story its depth.
There were times I felt Bodie was kind of an immature jerk, and Jay too good to be true, but a lot of that gets sort-of explained and justified in the book itself, so it didn’t bother me too much.
I also never really understood Jay’s relationship with his family and his mom was super weird, but overall they added some comic relief and didn’t detract from the story.
I highly recommend this book and give it 4 of 5 stars
Copy purchased for review
Ben Amann currently hates everything: The accident that temporarily put him in a wheelchair, the fact that he has to go for rehab and live in an assisted living home as well. Sebastian Hofers, the good looking but equally bad-tempered new assistant to his rehab therapist changes that.
Sebastian has two choices after causing an accident while driving drunk: community service hours or go to jail. The decision is a no-brainer, and so he meets Ben at the rehab center. The two of them hit it off and slowly, Sebastian sees more than just a patient in Ben.
But their growing relationship faces hard trials, not only because of Sebastian’s heavy drinking, but also because of the truth:
Contains: Two ill-tempered men, a lot of hang-ups, a shared hope, and a destroyed dream.
Trigger Warning: deals with alcohol abuse and alcoholism
(Can be considered to contain spoilers, so read with caution.)
The blurb pretty much explains the main thrust of this story. Sebastian got drunk, hit a car which in turn hit Ben’s car, causing him to be in a wheel-chair and severely scarred. When the story starts we don’t know if the paralysis is permanent or not.
For his punishment, Sebastian is given 200 hours of community services at a physical rehabilitation clinic, coincidentally the same clinic Ben uses.
Through pure chance, the two end up working together and forming a friendship. When they learn who the other is to one another there is of course shock and disbelief. Ben’s friends help him to realize he has to forgive Sebastian as it does no good to harbor any anger.
Sebastian tries to release his guilt but his drinking continues to get in the way of his moving forward with any sort of healthy relationship – with anybody – much less Ben.
I have to admit that I DNF’d this book at the 70% mark. I just couldn’t keep reading. For this I am sorry, but I felt pretty strongly about several things.
I’d read Ms. McHart’s other books and liked them, so though I was leery of this book based on the blurb, I wanted to give it a try. I don’t think the writing is all bad, but I do feel there is maybe some cultural differences that are present which make this book very hard for me to read.
One of my biggest problems with this book is the idea that Sebastian nearly killed someone and he ends up with only 200 hours of community service. THEN that community services puts him in contact with people like Ben, and in fact with Ben when his lawyer did all he could to protect Ben from meeting Sebastian. THEN the community service guy is massaging patients! How would that happen??? No way would somebody off the street be allowed to even touch another person without tons of training and definitely not as a community service. So for him to have met Ben, much less been in physical contact with Ben seems just wrong. Sebastian should have gone to jail or gotten something serious as a punishment. He almost committed man-slaughter and maybe the laws are different in Germany but I found this on the internet:
Under German law, when a driver is involved in an accident involving serious injuries or death and found to have a blood alcohol content of .032 percent or more, the consequences become even more severe, including a possible jail sentence of up to five years.
So I have a real hard time with the idea that Sebastian got a wrist slap and then moves on with his life.
Next, I felt that the lack of any sort of alcohol rehabilitation until the end was unconscionable. Maybe this is just a bit too close to home for me, but Sebastian is the walking definition of an addict and for nobody to have recognized that and to have included that in his punishment is crazy.
Finally, I never quite understood Ben and Sebastian’s relationship. Besides a physical attraction I would think the overwhelming grief/guilt/anger etcetera would have been an INSURMOUNTABLE hurdle, certainly not one overcome in the short amount of time they knew each other.
So when the couple begin to have a physical relationship, that’s when I called it quits. I just couldn’t get behind the story, the initial premise, or even really support the MCs, specifically Sebastian.
I won’t rate this because I didn’t finish it, but I can’t recommend it, I am sorry to say. I will still look forward to other books by this author, but on this subject I fear we just don’t mesh.
(Copy provided by author for honest review)