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
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

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Hard Evidence Anthology by L.M. Somerton, Cheryl Dragon and Elizabeth Hollows

Publisher: Pride Publishing
https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/hard-evidence
Blurb:
‘Secret’s Hold’ by L.M. Somerton
Hiding in plain sight is a risky business—in more ways than one.
Jamie is hiding from the past and sacrificing a lot to do so. After witnessing a murder, he’s on the run from powerful enemies. Taking a job at a rough leather bar, Spikes, is a way to survive off-grid.
Bubba is the bouncer at Spikes who takes a personal interest in protecting Jamie’s very cute behind, but when Jamie runs from the club in panic straight into the path of a van, there’s nothing Bubba can do.
Amnesia puts Jamie at risk, but his returning memories are even more dangerous. Desperate to protect his friends, he puts his life on the line for Bubba—the only person he can rely on to save his neck.
Reader advisory: This book contains a scene of attempted rape. There are also scenes involving abduction, violence, and the forcible administration of drugs.

‘Under His Protection’ by Cheryl Dragon
A cop protecting his witness… It’s all business until desire becomes stronger than rules or self-control.
Detective Matt Blackburn and addiction counselor Josh Braidshaw first crossed paths at the LGBTQ+ youth shelter where they both volunteered. There was mutual attraction and plenty of flirtation, but Josh’s relationship kept anything from happening beyond that.
The duo is again thrown together when Josh is attacked while witnessing a young boy from the shelter being kidnapped. Matt puts Josh under his personal protection and things heat up, now that both men are free. Josh wants his normal life back and Matt isn’t keen to lose his career by crossing a professional line, but their close quarters and the heat that simmers between them might cause them both to change their priorities.
Reader advisory: This book includes references to drug addiction, kidnapping and violence.

‘Ticket to Freedom’ by Elizabeth Hollows
When Calvin wishes for a knight in shining armor to save him from the criminals he works for, the last thing he expects is Felix.
Calvin Hughes works in a bar run by a criminal empire. He hates his life and desperately wants to escape, but he is afraid of reprisal if he does.
No one who stands up to the criminals walks away alive. It’s too risky. Who would do it?
Someone like Felix.
Felix crashes into Calvin’s life and immediately throws him into danger. Felix has done the unthinkable and stolen important information from the criminals. They want him dead and, after being in the wrong place at the wrong time, they want Calvin dead too.
It sounds like a disaster—but it might be everything Calvin’s ever wanted.
Review:
This anthology contains three stories from three strong authors. Each one brings a new world and characters to life in these stories. They are fast paced reads full of action and romance. These men must decide if they want to risk it all and follow their heart or miss out on what could be the best thing that could happen to them. Is love worth the risk?
Ticket To Freedom by Elizabeth Hollows brings readers Felix and Calvin’s adventure. When the chance for freedom drops in Calvin’s lap he must decide if he will take a chance for a different life. I enjoyed watching Felix and Calvin find their way. The two made a good couple and work well together. Seeing their relationship build made for a nice read.
Secret’s Hold by L.M. Somerton gives us Jamie and Bubba. I enjoyed their story. Jamie is hiding but soon the men he is hiding from find him and Bubba offers him his help. The two are good together and Bubba has some secrets of his own. When danger comes Bubba is more than ready to step up, but can he save Jamie before it is too late? I enjoyed watching their relationship take shape. Jamie learns not to take everything at face value as he spends time with Bubba.
Under his protection by Cheryl Dragon is Matt and Josh’s story. The two dance around their attraction for some time yet no matter how hard they try to fight it the attraction cannot be denied. The two work hard to keep things platonic and find the young man Josh wants to help. It was fun to see the secondary characters do their match making in this story. Matt and Josh are good together, but they need a little push to take the plunge.
Each of these stories had strong characters and an engaging plot. The authors did a good job of balancing the action and romance together. While I enjoyed these stories there was not a lot to make them stand out. They are well written and have good characters, but they did not make me want more. These are short and quick reads that will have you hoping for a happy ending for these men.
Number of stars out of 5 :3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

The Soldati General (Soldati Hearts #3) by Charlie Cochet

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55210795-the-soldati-general?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=56YPVQvNfi&rank=3

Blurb

A powerful, yet awkward, Soldati healer. A retired Orso general. A plot to kill the king. A secret that could destroy them all.

The Summer Solstice Festival has arrived in the Soldati realm, and guests from all over will flood the kingdom to join the festivities. But the excitement is shadowed by rumors of an Orso plot to kill the king. Now Ezra and the Soldati council must protect Khalon’s secret —and stop a conspiracy that could destroy the Soldati and the human world they protect.

As Ezra and General Segreti explore their growing affection, a dangerous game begins, but are they the pawns or the players? Can their hearts survive the final checkmate?

Review

This was so wonderful! It was not as great as book 1 (IMHO) but better than book 2 (which was still good!).

It is really sweet with a little misdirection and angst and loads of cuteness.

Highly recommended but you should read book 1 first, and probably book 2 as well.

4.5 of 5 stars