Recent Release: Omega Released by Tanya Chris

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43815174-omega-released?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Growing up in the Hinterlands hasn’t prepared Benjy for life in North Leland where the alphas grow to an alarming size and he’s expected to get a job. He’s never been farther than running distance from his den until the morning his father drops him off in the city to be claimed by the first alpha who‘ll have him. Of all the things Benjy isn’t prepared for, finding his own mate is at the top of the list.

Fortunately, JT has all that covered—a bed to sleep in, a job at the library he’s in the process of opening, even matchmaking services. There might be wolves in North Leland who disapprove of JT’s wild omega ways, but he knows all the hottest alphas and he for sure knows how to take care of himself. He can take care of Benjy too, even when Benjy goes into his first heat. But could any of North Leland’s alphas really be good enough for his precious potato?

Review: This is the third in the Omega series, but this is the first one that I have read. It reads very well as a standalone, though I think I may have missed out on the world-building from the earlier books, (not enough to detract from the story).

Benjy is a very sheltered, naïve wolf shifter who is brought from his backwater village to a town to find an alpha mate. He was so adorably clueless about so many things, being so sheltered. He is paired up with JT, a more worldly omega, and his eyes are opened to a whole new world or freedom.
Once I understood the type of world the story is set in (half modern, half technologically behind), I really started to enjoy the interactions between Benjy and JT and the different couple pairings – 2 alphas, an alpha and beta, etc. There is also an interesting sub-plot involving the pack Alpha (Marta) and her sons Angel and Devin.
There is a bit of social commentary – e.g. people should be free to love/marry who they want and anyone can stand up for what they believe in – everyone has a right to their opinion. I didn’t find the messages are preachy; they are woven into the story seamlessly.

A unique story that I enjoyed it a lot.

3.75 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Release Day Review: Stealing His Heart (Connoll Pack series book #1) by Bru Baker

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stealing-his-heart-by-bru-baker-10269-b

Blurb

Danny’s parents raised him to believe his wolf was a curse. He’s part of the wealthy and powerful Connoll Pack, but only nominally. He abandoned that world to volunteer with supernatural kids, and he isn’t looking for a mate….

Max is a shifter who is also a detective. He’s working a case that could make or break his career. Danny’s caught up in the case he’s on, and he’s also irresistible. They’re a bad match—Max, an Alpha having trouble with his new powers and Danny, who trusts Alphas as far as he could throw one. But they can’t get enough of each other, and they might bond before they even see it coming.

They could be amazing together, but they have to get past a few obstacles—especially since someone close to Danny might be involved in the thefts Max is investigating.

Review
This is a cute shifter romance with a lot of humor and playful banter going around. It’s shifters, so there’s the whole mating thing, which is always fun, but it’s done surprisingly sweetly with a lot of emphasis on learning to know and trust each other, instead of just starting a relationship based on insta-lust and hoping for the best.

What’s a bit atypical in this story is that we get (some) werewolves who aren’t proud of their heritage, and actually look down on their animal half and try to suppress it or ignore it. In most shifter stories that sort of bigoted attitude is usually reserved for intolerant human antagonists and is not internalized by weres the way it is here.
Danny is raised in one such family and has the emotional scars to prove it. He’s used to fending for himself, so it was nice to see Max care for him and help him out. I liked seeing Danny get “adopted” so enthusiastically by Max’s family, which made for some heartwarming moments as well as unexpected revelations.
The mystery surrounding the thefts that Max is investigating is well-written and a nice way to introduce an element of danger and suspense into the story.

Stealing His Heart is the first book in a new series and it is set in the same universe as the Camp Howl series. We get brief glimpses of characters from the first series and references to Camp Howl as well, which I really liked. It’s always nice to see how the MC’s from previous books are faring.

m/m, gay, paranormal, shifter, finding family, fated mates

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

I loved this!  I thought this was one of Bru Baker’s better stories!

I love their chemistry, the secondary characters and how their feelings for one another manifest.  I love the “mine/mate” feel to this.

Highly recommended!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Better Place (Rainbow Place #3) by Jay Northcote

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43717814-better-place?from_search=true

Blurb

Joe deserves better. Meeting Dylan helps him see that.

After a recent redundancy, Joe takes a few months off to try and make it as a writer. His partner, Harry, is less than supportive but Joe is used to that after ten years together, just like he’s used to Harry’s controlling nature and his drinking habit.

Dylan, a server at Rainbow Place, is fascinated by Joe as he sits in the café and works on his laptop. His attempts to flirt are met with awkwardness at first, but gradually Joe opens up. Dylan is disappointed when he learns Joe isn’t single. As their friendship develops he begins to worry about the nature of Joe’s relationship, especially when he witnesses Harry’s behaviour in person. Abuse isn’t always physical, and Dylan knows that from experience. His concern helps Joe see his relationship for what it is, and gives him the courage to end things with Harry.

Free to act on their mutual attraction, Joe and Dylan dive headlong into something that becomes serious fast. Joe revels in the passion and intimacy he’s been missing out on for so long, but Dylan is worried that Joe is on the rebound. He puts on the brakes, knowing that they need to slow down to make this last. For this new relationship to work, Joe needs to show Dylan that he’s ready to move on from the past.

Review

This book reminds me again of why I love Jay Northcote’s stories so much. This is a truly wonderful love story with two incredibly authentic MC’s, facing real-life problems.
What I always take away from his stories is that love, romantic, soul-deep and overwhelming love, can happen for everyday regular people. That’s where he shines and brings out the magic. Which is exactly what he did here.

I really felt a connection with these characters, Joe and Dylan, though Joe especially, and I was so moved by their story. Perhaps part of the reason is its slow and gentle build-up, with the focus on the emotional bond between the MC’s first, before any physical shenanigans take place. The story builds very gradually, because at the start of the book Joe is still in a relationship, albeit one who has seen better days with a partner who is very controlling, dismissive of Joe’s wants and needs, and who pretty much takes Joe for granted.

Joe and Dylan start out as friends and stay that way until Joe’s newly single. No cheating here.
I think the author did a really good job at describing Joe’s and Harry’s relationship, taking his time to give us a look into their lives and for Joe to do his utmost for their relationship to succeed even after he gains a new perspective on it. It makes Joe very easy to relate too. I also love that Dylan wasn’t “that guy”, breaking up a supposedly happy home, so to speak.

Dylan’s past experiences make him very well suited to understand what Joe’s going through and seeing him watch out for Joe was very touching. Dylan also has insecurities to face and I love him for his insight and courage, figuring out the best way for their relationship to make it long term.

The writing style is wonderful, fluent and very evocative with beautiful imagery. I especially loved the scenes at the beach which were so descriptive I felt as if I was right there too.

I also absolutely adored one of the new characters! Lady Gogo is just wow! I can’t help but feel that she’s been introduced to be a significant other for a certain someone… and I have to say I’m super excited for that pairing!! So fingers crossed!

m/m, gay, contemporary, friends to lovers, age-gap

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

This book is part of a series. I have not read the others, so it’s possible to read as standalone, but there’s probably side stories that are thrown in that only one reading series would appreciate, but it’s ok. Dylan is an artist on his off time and works at a LGBT café. There is where he meets Joe, an older man that he feels instantly attracted to. Joe is involved with someone else so they remain just friends, though attraction is still simmering beneath the surface. Joe’s relationship with his partner was rocky and very relatable. They were overly complacent and the other man took Joe for granted and was a bit of a jerk. Dylan could see the warning signs after witnessing an encounter because he had gone through something similar….and with a small scar to prove it. Even though Dylan was trying to help, he did come off way too brash in need to help. I also was iffy on how fast things progressed with Joe and Dylan. However, they had a fairly solid friendship before a relationship so I guess it makes sense to not hold back . Still. I liked how Dylan was supportive of Joe in ways no one else was and Joe was able to start building his life again. Also that Joe helped inspire and encourage Dylan with his art. Feel good book and I enjoyed reading. Will read previous books now.

Number of stars out of 5

5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
This book left me feeling slightly ambivalent, and I reckon part of it is due to the themes this book deals with. Joe is in a relationship that is already falling apart, and meeting Dylan helps him see the extant of it. As he falls for Dylan, and realizes he is no longer in love with his partner, you understand as a reader why this is happening, and that it’s not ‘cheating’. Yet there are some gray areas and even the breakup itself was not a very clean break. I say it left my ambivalent not as a bad thing, just that it had a very realistic feel to it. Life is rarely black and white, relationships are complicated, and Jay managed to get that across very well in this book (and all his books have the same quality, be honest). I still felt uncomfortable at times, that maybe they needed clearer lines when they became a couple. Yet, you see how they build a bond over the time they were friends so it’s not like Joe was bouncing from one man to another without any thought.

The book also has a somewhat slower pace, and it works well with all the heavy themes it deals with. Dylan and Joe are both interesting characters, and I liked getting a lot of the other MC’s from previous books and side characters in the action. This book to me feels more of a HFN then a HEA but it is a happy ending non-the less.
I am also really anticipating the next book, IF I guessed the MC’s correctly, it looks awesome!

Number of stars out of 5
3.5


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Recent Release: Sun Shift One: No Sanctuary by Bailey Bradford

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42097017-sun-shift-one

Blurb

One shifter, waiting for others to join him in the sanctuary he’s built. One lone wolf, broken and close to death. Cali and Jacob find more than sanctuary; they find hope and the possibility of a love that can endure throughout time– if they can survive the evil coming for them and those seeking safety with them. But there might not be any truly safe place for shifters…

Cali has had to be cautious around humans, who have no clue that shifters exist. He’s made a success of himself, and now he’s ready to escape from humanity. The sanctuary he’s had built will be home not only to him but to any other shifters looking for a safe place to live. He’s spared no expense. Now all he needs is for others to join him. Maybe he’ll even have his deepest wish come true– that he will find another lion shifter to share the kind of the abiding love his parents had.

When the perimeter alarms go off, Cali races to see if there’s a lion waiting for him. What he finds is a lone wolf, beaten, battered, and on the verge of death. Cali rescues the wolf and brings him to the refuge. Whatever ails the other shifter is an unknown to Cali, and it takes all of his skill– and a lot of luck– to keep the lone wolf alive.

Jacob is a haunted wolf and a tormented man. He’s seen things no one should ever have to see and survived something more tragic than most people or shifters could imagine. A mystery illness keeps bringing him to the brink of death, but somehow, he has found sanctuary with a lion shifter determined to help him live.

Jacob isn’t what Cali expected, but a bond forms between them, and through that bond, emotions that neither man can deny.

But nothing in life comes easy. Other shifters find sanctuary, Jacob’s illness continues to weaken him, and an enemy greater than any Cali had ever expected comes for those he’s trying to protect.

Even hiring the best security firm in the field might not help save Cali and the man he loves, or the Pride of mixed-species shifters he’s building.

Review
I am looking forward to this new series!
While this isn’t as specific a “fated mate” as some, it’s definitely there. There are some crazy bears who I’m hoping will find mates soon as well as some pretty damaged but still loveable wolves and other types of shifters.

There is a fair amount of excitement and some bad guys to beat as well as some hot smexy times to be had.

All in all a good start to a new series!
Recommended!

4 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

 

Recent Release: Obsessed (bundle) by Quin Perin

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43198063-obsessed

Blurb

All Meik cares about is lust, not love.

An eager boy toy, that’s what he’s looking for. Someone who worships the ground he walks on. The very second he lays eyes on the enigmatic, street musician Sebastian, he believes he found his new playmate. Obsessed with the young man, Meik introduces him to a world full of sins and desire until the man’s presence threatens to reveal dark memories he had locked away tightly.

Review

This book is at once deliciously smutty, sneakily romantic and utterly heartbreaking. What a rollercoaster this has been! It’s so refreshingly different and original. I loved it!

The story is written from the pov of Meik Lennen, a man who seemingly has it all and is bored with the sameness of his easy, luxurious life. Until… a chance encounter with a mysterious street musician, Sebastian.

There’s a lot of very hot dirty talk and gratuitous sex, deliberately throwing the reader off the scent of the unique love story that is to follow. Almost slyly at first, the authors drop little hints to help the reader understand Meik better and gradually flashbacks are introduced as the story unfolds further. These give us a truly heart-rending glimpse into Meik’s past and it finally starts to make sense why he is so broken and closed-off.

Honestly, I love Meik!! He starts out, and continues for quite a while, as a real jerk, but in the end I just wanted to cuddle him and cheer him on. After shaking him a little (no, a lot), because the man is so oblivious! Sebastian remains a mystery for some time, because we get our info through Meik and he’s not always the most perceptive of narrators. I like Seb’s resilience and his acceptance of Meik, warts and all.

As the emotional connection between Meik and Sebastian continues to grow, Meik is forced to recognize that he actually feels something for the younger man. Something more than lust, that is. Can’t say he gives in with good grace, but he does go after his man in his own fashion. The continuing flashbacks into Meik’s past are beautifully written and very sweet, poignantly so.

After a certain event… Meik and Sebastian have a falling out of sorts. The L-word is still something Meik has a lot of trouble accepting, and he fights it. So hard. Will he have the courage to embrace it (again), knowing how deeply it hurts when things go south?

The story concludes in a very unique way, with the focus shifting even more to Meik’s origin story.
He is always so blunt, arrogant and cold even (on the outside) that seeing him so vulnerable and sweet with his first love was an endearing change of pace. Knowing what was coming didn’t make it any easier to read though. Meik’s emotions are raw and overwhelming, his grief so real. He’s totally forgiven for closing his heart off like he did.

I adore Quin & Perin’s writing style. They are brilliant with picking the right word or comparison to make the reader understand just how much their character is feeling. I love the way they cut off sentences to create more tension and heighten emotions.

Can’t wait to see what they bring us next!

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates Narrated by Colin Darcy

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rocking-the-cowboy-by-skylar-m-cates-9800-

Blurb
Opposites who go together like country and rock ’n’ roll.

Long before he was a superstar, Remy Sean had a secret crush on Jed Riley. But Jed sees Remy as a spoiled pop rocker and an extension of his father’s control. Still, Jed is willing to let Remy hide from the press on his ranch—but only as a way to get his father out of his life and business for good.

Used to being admired and fawned over, Remy keenly feels the sting of Jed’s dismissal. Can he make Jed see him as more than a pain in the ass? Or is Jed too tangled up in his ranch to see past his old hurt?

Jed doesn’t believe someone desired by so many fans could want him, a simple cowboy. But Remy is determined to change Jed’s mind and steal his heart….

Review
Opposites attract stories have always been a favourite of mine. I love the way seemingly insurmountable obstacles are overcome and bridges built bringing a couple together. Even better that it’s a Cowboy and a Rockstar with a history. This story is a wonderfully easy listen. The Ranch is Jed’s whole life. His father walked away for the glitz of the music industry and Jed has to keep the ranch afloat without interference. Remy feels burnt out and has no inclination to write songs. When Remy gets to the Ranch it reawakens the unrequited love he felt for Jed as a teenager. It’s lovely how they grow to care and love for each other. Jed puts others himself, making decisions he thinks are for the best but he doesn’t actually find out first if that’s what they want. This leads to misunderstanding and nearly risking everything he has with Remy. Until Remy realises what is happening and sorts it out. There’s great chemistry between them and I was happy for the happy ever after ending.
Colin Darcy does a great job narrating this story, he gives right voices to Jed and Remy brining out their personalities. And the secondary characters of Jed’s father and family are portrayed really well. All the characters are believable and he pitched his tone just right for the mood of the story. I’ll watch out for others narrated by him.

4 of stars out of 5 for the story
4 of stars out of 5 for the Narration


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Release Day Review: Helix by Anna Martin

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/helix-by-anna-martin-10255-

Blurb
When high school student James has trouble with his truck, Dylan, who is studying to be a mechanic, comes to the rescue. James thinks he hides his immediate attraction well, but is happy to be wrong when Dylan asks for his number. Since James is new to romance, they take things slowly, and because Dylan is in college, James keeps the budding relationship secret from his overprotective dad.

Across town, Mark, a teacher and single father to James and his sister, Frankie, meets Steve at a bar for what both believe will be a quick hookup. Mark doesn’t see any reason to tell his kids about Steve or press Steve for details about Steve’s adopted son…. It’s just sex between them. Isn’t it?

Two very different love stories grow side by side, each hidden from the other. But all of that changes at a family barbecue, when Mark decides it’s time for his kids to meet Steve and for him to meet James’s boyfriend, who none of them realize is Steve’s son, Dylan. The inevitable explosion means the two couples have some explaining to do to soothe the hurt feelings of their families—and lovers.

Review
The blurb attracted me to this story. I was intrigued as to how the two couples would react when they found out about each other. From previous experience of Anna Martin’s work I was confident that it was not going to be some parody. I loved reading about two very different love stories growing at the same time. Each from a very different perspective. The mature couple with their previous experiences and issues and the younger pair with their own very different but no less important aspects to a building relationship. There was the innocence and gentleness of James and Dylan’s as opposed to the passionate intensity between Steve and Mark. Each couple looking for something different. It was also interesting reading the near miss meetings between the two pairs.
The very different parenting styles were interesting and I could see the pitfalls coming. Thank heavens for Frankie or I wonder if Mark and James would have built the bridge between them so easily. It surprised me how much of an unreasonable ass Mark became, there really is no fool like an old fool.
The epilogue rounded things up beautifully.
I think this book would work really well as an audiobook.

4 of stars out of 5


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Recent Release: Kennard’s Story (Cronin’s Key IV) by N.R. Walker

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43572632-kennard-s-story?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Kennard and Stas have been enjoying being newly bonded mates, hidden away for the last six months in Stas’ cabin, deep in the forests of Northern Russia. When they get a visit from Alec, Cronin, Eiji, and Jodis, Kennard and Stas decide to return to London where they get news of a supernatural disturbance in India.

Excited for a new adventure, the band of friends embark on a journey like they’ve never seen before. Following a trail of snakes and serpents, they slip through gates into timeless dimensions all over the world, leaving them without their vampire powers. Even Alec is powerless as they follow a trail of gates and doorways to their final destination.
But the bad guy isn’t who they think it is, and Kennard will need to draw on his past to save their future. Because history is never what it seems…

Review:
When we left Cronin and Alec (Cronin’s Key III), Kennard had found his mate, Stas. The cosmopolitan, city vamp and the Russian lumberjack vamp; talk about opposites!
The story starts off with the 2 men still in their honeymoon period, getting to know each other in and out of bed (mostly in ;)). Kennard is now much happier having found his mate, even willing to wear non designer clothing (gasp!).
We also get to catch up with the rest of the gang – Cronin, Alec, Jodis and Eiji, with Alec giving hilarious driving lessons to the others.
However, the book is called Cronin’s Key IV for a reason – another adventure awaits them – with most of story centering on the latest mystery. Unfortunately, this is what I found to be a little disappointing. To me, the mystery was convoluted, mixing Greek/Roman mythology together with ancient Mayan, Indian, Persian and other cultures. It seemed like NR Walker was trying a bit too hard to create an adventure which seemed a bit rushed. However, I did like how she wove in Kennard’s backstory and made it the ‘key’ to completing this mystery.
So, while I did like the overall story, I think I would have liked a simpler adventure and more emphasis on Kennard and Stas, especially blending their very disparate lives together.

3.5 stars out of 5


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Retro Review: Shattered Secrets (In the Shadow of the Wolf #1) by R.J. Scott , Diane Adams

Blurb

Rob is a cop and has just passed his thirtieth birthday, being promoted to a special police task force specializing in wolf / human cases. He sees it all. The seedy underbelly of city life, the fights, the murders, and the parts of human / wolf interaction that people would rather ignore. He meets a young man, Jamie, at a club and embarks on the hottest one night stand of his life. Little does he know that his lover is a shifter. He has no worries with wolves, but interspecies relationships are not on his to-do list.

When a case involving kidnappings of young werewolves lands on Rob’s desk the ugly face of the werewolf sex trade is something he has to deal with. With Jamie seemingly at the centre of it all can Rob push past his prejudices and keep his lover alive?

Review

I’m not sure why I hadn’t read this before but I love RJ Scott and have enjoyed Diane Adams work in the past and I ran across a mention of this somewhere… you get the picture.

 

In any case I really enjoyed this!  There are a few plot holes – like the “I don’t want to date a shifter because we wouldn’t be equals” that are small and don’t really interfere with my overall enjoyment. 

 

There is a fair amount of hot smexy times and “mine” / mate feelz.  There is an exciting crime to solve and some shifted times as well.

 

Overall I read through this quickly and can’t wait to move on to book 2!

 

Highly recommended to shifter fans!

4.25 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: Wild as the West Texas Wind Author: Jackie North

release day review

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43787252-wild-as-the-west-texas-wind?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Blurb
Soulmates across time. Two hearts that were meant to be together.

In present day, Zach takes a road trip to Trinidad to find information on a missing friend.

In 1892, Layton Blue, outlaw, longs for hearth and home even as he treasures his life of freedom.

A freak rainstorm washes Zach’s car into a ditch, sending him back to the year 1892. Searching for help, alone and on foot in the middle of the nowhere, he crosses paths with the famous Ketchum Gang. Now the gang’s prisoner, Zach’s fate is to be sold at a seedy auction for whores.

Layton is put in charge of making sure Zach does not escape, but as the chemistry between them grows, Layton finds himself wanting to help Zach.

Can Layton overcome years of being on the run? Can Zach accept help from an outlaw?

A male/male time travel romance complete with fast rides across the desert, campfires beneath the stars, cool water in the desert, wild rescues, and true love across time

Review
It’s not often that I read late into the night because I had to finish a story, but this is one of them. I wasn’t sure going in whether I would connect to an outlaw as the main character but I needn’t have. Layton is a sweet caring man caught in a situation where he is making the best he can out of what life has given him. The main characters from the previous books are mentioned but they do not play a major role and their context is explained so well in the story I didn’t feel I was missing something not having read it. Although I will do now because I want to know more about them. The relationship between Layton and Zach feels like enemies to lovers but it’s not that’s only on Zach’s part given the circumstances he finds himself in. Back in time stranded and in the clutches of an immoral gang. His only hope is to find Laurie. In the last section of the story the pace picks and I was rooting for them. I just wish there was an epilogue a glimpse into the future but maybe that’ll be in the next book.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review