Time to get scared: My Dark Knight by KA Merikan

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34536195-my-dark-knight?from_search=true

Blurb
Love or hate. Life or death. No inbetween. No compromise. No rules in love and war.

Knight. Party monster. Handsome Savage. Doesn’t do monogamy.
Elliot. Obsessive. Intense. Uncompromising.

Newly single, Knight is done with relationships. All he’s interested in is bringing down The Count, an Internet personality who is tarnishing his family name. An opportunity to crush him comes when the audacious clown shows up at the Kings of Hell MC clubhouse to film for his YouTube channel. But when Knight meets Elliot, the man behind The Count, he no longer knows what to do with him.

Knight has never seen a more pathetic creature than Elliot. He’s also never met anyone who needed him more. Skinny, messed up, and a bucket of trouble as thick as tar, everything Elliot does seems to be a wordless death wish. No matter how much Knight hates Elliot’s alter ego, under the makeup and theatrics hides a fragile young guy with a passion for history, and Knight can’t help but catch Elliot every time he falls.

Elliot has bad taste in men. Always hopelessly attracted to violent brutes, his favorite is a long dead serial killer. But he gets more than he’s bargained for when he seizes an opportunity to meet the man of his dreams. The ghost is manipulative and dangerous, offering Elliot all he’s always wanted, for a price he can’t possibly pay.

Elliot is faced with an impossible choice between two men.
One alive, one dead.
One carnal and honest, one drizzling sweet, poisoned promises into his ear.
One unwilling to commit, the other promising an eternity together.
And Elliot doesn’t settle for half-measures. He craves a love that is all or nothing, passion that will consume him, and desire to burn him alive.
Elliot is ready to either get that, or die trying

 

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Themes: enemies to lovers, protector, cruelty, motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, tattoos, impossible choices, deception, crime, self-discovery, healing, black magic, gothic, commitment, ghosts, possession

Genre: Dark, paranormal romance 
Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes

Length: ~145,000 words (Book 2 in the series, can be read as a standalone, but it’s recommended to read book 1 first)

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

Review
This is one terrific ghost story that pulls in murder, lies and obsession but not I would say a love story as such. It’s a very dark story that made me feel uncomfortable at times. Elliott is an unsettling character. From early on I had the impression he had mental health issues with the level of obsession and his desperation to be wanted. Maybe this is unfair I will leave you to make up your own mind. What he desperately wants is some to love and focus on him. When Elliott feels hurt or insecure he makes questionable choices, which leads Knight to rescue him. At the heart of the story is a triangle between Knight, Elliott and the ghost of William Fane. Knight saves Elliott who’s obsessed with the ghost of William Fane, a serial killer from early 19 Century.
Elliott has a kink for humiliation, he wants his partner to use and control him in the bedroom but equally to take care and protect him. Knight got his nickname by being the White Knight out to save the damsel in distress. Only problem is Elliott gets jealous and reckless when he sees philandering Knight with someone else. Cue one manipulative ghost who entices Elliott to do his bidding. Fane is cruel and Elliott suffers once he lets him get a hold. This is where the pace picks up. Beast and Laurent, the main characters from book 1, come more into the story from this point. You are given a synopsis of book 1 so this can be read stand-alone. Personally I think to get the most out of it read book 1. Stick with the slower ground setting first part it’s worth it to get to the dark twisted second half with ghosts and demon. KA Merikan are terrific descriptive writers a this works so well for both the sex scenes and the dark scenes.

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

Recent Release Review: Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott ,V.L. Locey

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35559022-ryker?from_search=true

Blurb

This New Adult book is the first in the Owatonna U Series, a spin off from the best selling Harrisburg Railers Hockey Series.

Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?

Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player. He has no room for relationships, people that point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.

Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree. These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home. Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?

Review
I really loved this book! It’s definitely a YA/NA – it has a lot of angst that is age appropriate (and therefore a little frustrating) but still fits the ages of the MCs involved.

I think this can be a standalone but you’re definitely missing a lot of subtext if you don’t read these in order.

There was enough steam to keep things feeling hot but again – age appropriate.

I was pretty mad at the authors – when the hurt Ten in the last book – but I am hoping he seems on the mend and will hopefully be back up and skating soon 😉

I’ve really been enjoying this series and can’t wait for the next installment!

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Joshua’s Rainbow by Victoria Sue narrated by Darcy Stark

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Joshuas-Rainbow-Audiobook/B07GVMKHF5?qid=1537472886&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=P9FDQWVVZTG2G5AXYXK5&

Blurb

Rainbow Key – an idyllic island retreat off the west coast of Florida. Think wedding destination, white sandy beaches, lurve… except at the moment Joshua is struggling to pay the electricity bill, they’ve no paying customers, and even if they did they can’t afford the repairs from the devastating hurricane that struck three years ago – and to top it off they have to take in Daniel, a grumpy businessman who has been ordered by his doctor to take some time off before he has a heart attack from too much stress.

Funnily enough, Daniel owns a very expensive hotel chain that has been trying to buy the island for the past two years. Not that Joshua knows that yet, and boy are sparks gonna fly when he thinks he’s been set up.

Of course, sparks of a different kind are also soon flying between them.
Then there’s Matt who just got let out of prison, Charlie who ran away from home, and Ben, a famous model until a devastating house fire destroyed his face.
Welcome to Rainbow Key – held together by love, family, and sticky tape

Review

This is a gentle feel good book, perfect for when you want a little boost. Who doesn’t love the idea of beautiful beaches, an island to escape to and falling in love. This is the first book in a series and focuses on Joshua but also introduces two other intriguing characters, Charlie, Ben and Matt. All of them have sought a new start at Rainbow key. Daniel however goes there to rest and recover from a busy schedule. He never expected to meet the love of his life. I loved that neither Joshua or Daniel were looking for love and it swept both of them up. There are bumps along the way, but that’s what makes it so interesting. Each of them have secrets they just don’t want to get out, which of course they do.
I haven’t listened to a book narrated by Darcy Stark before but I will lookout for them. He has a good style and is able to bring out the personality of each character. They all have their own distinct voices and I was impressed with the voices he gave the female characters.

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

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Smoldering Flame (Rekindled Flame #3) by Andrew Grey narrated by Michael Pauley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/smoldering-flame-by-andrew-grey-9585-b

Blurb

Sometimes the strongest flames take the longest to ignite.

Firefighter Dean’s life revolves around his very ill son, Sammy. Caring for Sammy and working to make ends meet leave Dean time for little else, and romance isn’t something he can even consider—no matter how much he longs for someone special to join their family. Because money is tight, Dean couldn’t be more grateful to the photographer who does Sammy’s session free of charge.

After growing up in the foster care system, Marco knows how to rely on himself, and his hard work is about to pay off—he’s poised on the cusp of fame and success he could only have imagined as a lonely child. When Dean brings Sammy into Marco’s studio, Marco can see they’re struggling, and both the boy and his father stir Marco’s heart. The slow burn between the two men isn’t something either expected, but neither wants to lose the possibility of a loving future. With Dean’s dangerous and possibly life-threatening career and Marco’s demanding one, can romance and forever find a place to fit?

Review

This is a book in a series, but does not have to be read in order and does well on it’s own. Andrew Grey mentions other characters from some of his other stories, but that’s about it.

Though this is in the fire-fighter series, the main character is a photographer and we spend most of the time in his head and though the issue of fire fighting is certainly there and a big issue, it’s not the main thrust.

I thought this was a lovely story about two men bravely willing to trust their hearts once again though they’ve been hurt before. Sammy is a cute kid but definitely doesn’t occupy the story.

There were some times when Marco acted in a way that felt inconsistent but in the end I really appreciated the way these two had to realistically assess their relationship and they made real life decisions.

Michael Pauley did a nice job differentiating all the different characters and giving Angus a fun accent!

Highly recommended in this format!

3.75 (rounded to 4) of 5 stars for the story and 5 of 5 stars for the narration, overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Full Plate by Kim Fielding Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-full-plate-by-kim-fielding-9767-b

Blurb

Opposites come together for a spicy surprise.
Bradford “Tully” Tolliver has everything—money, a great car, a beautiful condo, and a promising career as one of Portland’s hottest young lawyers. Sure, he puts in long hours and has no social life to speak of, but who needs romance when corporations pay top dollar for his expertise? He hesitates when a colleague asks if her cousin can live with him, but the arrangement will last less than a year, and then the cousin—Sage Filling—will return to his tiny hometown.
But Sage is handsome and intriguing, and his cooking makes Tully swoon. Sage has obligations back home, though, and Tully has offers he might not refuse from a persistent—and very wealthy—ex. Since Tully and Sage each have a full plate, can they make room for a side of love?

Review

I’m not a big chef nor a big lawyer fan, but I’m totally a big Kim Fielding fan!

I’m also a Portlander so I absolutely loved all the trivia and locale references of PDX!

This was a low heat, slow burn romance. A Misunderstanding for these pair of Opposites was at it’s center and it was generally sweet and an easy listen.

While I was a bit underwhelmed by the beginning I thought the ending made up for it!

I’m not blown away by the narrator. He does a solid job but didn’t “wow” me, though he’s easy enough to listen to that he’s not distracting and it’s a good way to experience this – especially if you want to go hands free.

3.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Retro Read: The Billionaire’s Bodyguard Series by Erin M. Leaf

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/series/142586-the-billionaire-s-bodyguard

Blurb

Billionaire Alex Roman needs a bodyguard. His best friend, Jesse Emerson, an ex-Security Forces Specialist, needs a job. What could possibly go wrong?

Jesse thinks protecting Alex will be a piece of cake. He’ll get to spend quality time with his oldest friend while avoiding his ex-girlfriend. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. Why would Alex introduce him to everyone as his lover? And why didn’t Alex tell him about the threatening notes he’s been receiving for months?

Alex has been in love with Jesse for years, not that he’d ever admit it to his best friend, but he’s not above making a practical joke out of it. Telling everyone that Jesse is his boyfriend will go a long way toward relieving the stress of the threats he’s been plagued with recently. Unfortunately, when someone tries to shoot him at a charity gala, he discovers that maybe he needs Jesse’s skills more than he realized…

…because sometimes a billionaire’s best friend is the fake boyfriend who’s really his bodyguard.

Blurb

It’s Christmas Eve and billionaire Alex Roman screwed up. He promised his boyfriend, Jesse, that he’d be home for the holidays, but he went to a last minute meeting in the city and got trapped in a snowstorm. Now he must face a fate worse than death: spending the night in a strange motel. Alone.

Jesse Emerson thought he could trust his boyfriend to stay home when it’s snowing outside. After all, his father and Alex’s grandfather died in a blizzard, and since that fateful day, neither of them enjoys winter weather. Instead, Alex is nowhere to be found. Jesse has no choice but to head out into the storm to find his wayward lover.

When darkness falls and ice blankets the roads, will the magic of Christmas Eve somehow bring Jesse and Alex back together, or will both men perish in the cold, lost and alone?

Blurb

Alex Roman controls a business empire, but he can’t control his personal life. Just when he thought he and his boyfriend, Jesse, could settle down and enjoy their life together, their past comes back to haunt them once again. They never discovered who killed Alex’s grandfather and Jesse’s father, and neither man would’ve wanted to know the truth if it meant tearing them apart, but that’s what happens.

When a crazy gunman targets Jesse for the sins of his father, he reluctantly decides he must leave the love of his life in order to keep him safe. Little does he know that his decision to protect Alex may ultimately be his undoing. Alex tracks him down and the gunman follows. A deadly confrontation leaves one man down, and their relationship fractured.

Will their love survive the ultimate test?

 

Reviews

This is a series that must be read in order.

It’s a friends to lovers, first time gay, bodyguard romance. These guys have been friends forever and though they live in different “worlds” have been living in each other’s pockets forever. It’s literally only the sex that differentiates them from lovers and once that barrier is crossed there’s no going back.

This is erotica, so a lot of this is hot smexy times – but it’s not overwhelming to the story.

I loved the chemistry between these two and found the continual “screw you” they gave to the outside world to be amusing.

The story line isn’t super believable and Alex’s continual denial of the danger gets to be annoying, but overall the relationship is enough to make up for these issues.

I am a fan of the author’s paranormal materials and I found this to be just as engaging.

If you’re in the mood for something light, a little funny and a lot sexy – give this a try!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Coming Soon: Hex and Candy (Series: Strange Bedfellows) by: Ashlyn Kane

August 21!

Dreamspinner Presents:
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hex-and-candy-by-ashlyn-kane-9797-

Blurb
True love’s kiss can break the curse. But then what?

Cole Alpin runs a small-town candy store. He visits his grandmother twice a week. And sometimes he breaks curses.

Leo Ericson’s curse is obvious right away, spiderwebbing across his very nice body. Though something about it worries Cole, he agrees to help—with little idea of what he’s getting into.

Leo is a serial monogamist, but his vampire ex has taken dating off the table with his nasty spell, and Leo needs Cole’s companionship as much as his help. When the hex proves to be only the beginning of his problems, Leo seeks refuge at Cole’s place. Too bad magic prevents him from finding refuge in Cole’s arms.

Cole’s never had a boyfriend, so how can he recognize true love? And there’s still the matter of the one responsible for their troubles in the first place…

Review
I liked the premise for this story. The idea that there are witches around with different talents who are discrete around the ‘mundanes’ or ‘muggles’ as they call them. As well as vampires, werewolves, elves etc. Leo comes to Cole for help. He had a brief relationship with a vampire who left him cursed. A curse that is seriously messing up his love life. Cole knows that only true loves kiss will break the curse but can he be the one. The realisation that there is more the world than he ever realised was a bit of a shock for Leo. Bring into this budding new love Cole’s meddling grandmother and Leo’s friend succumbing to a vampire and you have an entertaining story. My favourite character was Cole’s familiar Nineveh, she would say exactly what she thought. Personally I thought it ended abruptly but if it’s the start of a series with Cole and Leo maybe it was the best place. Although I wouldn’t mind reading more about about Leo’s friend Jimmy and his Vampire.

3.5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Coming Soon: Threepeat by KC Wells & Parker Williams

August 21!

Dreamspinner Presents:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/threepeat-by-kc-wells-and-parker-williams-9822-

Blurb
Can two Doms open their hearts again for a young man desperately in need of their help?

Two years ago, Aaron Greene and Sam Thompson were devastated when their submissive broke the contract that bound the three of them together. They still wonder what happened and whether they can find a way to move forward. When Aaron finds a sick young man by the curbside, his protective instincts kick in, and after consulting Sam, he takes Tim home.

After being thrown out of his home, Tim Waterman finds himself on the street, doing whatever he needs to survive. Until a bear of a Good Samaritan scoops him up and saves him. Then one bear becomes two, and a chance discovery gets him thinking about what might be, if he’s bold enough to make a move.

So what happens when Aaron and Sam wake up one morning to find Tim naked in their bed? Will they get a new chance at life, or will history Threepeat itself

Review
On finishing Threepeat I have mixed feelings, I didn’t want it to end and a feeling contentment, a satisfied sigh at the way it ended. I do love this series. I’m growing fond of all the characters just like I did with Collars and Cuffs. Sam and Aaron are heartbroken after their Sub leaves them. They just don’t understand why. Two years later they are coming around to the idea of trying again. This for me was an important part of the story, it sets up the premise for how their relationship works and how a sub fits into their dynamic. For Tim being found by Aaron is a blessing. He couldn’t survive much longer on the streets by himself. This is another emotional journey KC Wells and Parker Williams takes their readers on. The abuse Tim suffers at the hands of his family and insecurities arising from that along with the grief Sam and Aaron are feeling made it a compelling read for me. The emphasis of this story is relationships and family. Building a strong family from people who love you for who you are. Because of the abuse Tim suffered the kink is on the lighter side with some inventive aspects, the tickle session sounded more torturous than others I’ve read! Despite the emotional aspects the story is low angst with a lot of emphasis on communication. Maggie as always is a wonderful secondary and character and has a greater role in this story. On the whole it is a stand-alone book but like with other series you get more enjoyment knowing the background to a lot of the other characters.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Color of You By: C.S. Poe Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/color-of-you-by-cs-poe-9815-b

Blurb

Bowen Merlin – yes, that’s his real name – accepts a position in the quaint town of Lancaster, New Hampshire, as the high school band director. He leaves New York City for the snowy countryside of New England just in time for the holidays. With class, homework, after-school activities, and a surprise Christmas concert to plan and rehearse, Bowen is plenty busy. And since he’s never had much luck with romance, factoring in time to find Mr. Right isn’t a priority….
Until he meets the proprietor of Snowy Ridge Apple Orchard, Felix Hansen. Suddenly, true love seems like a possibility for the first time in Bowen’s life. The two are a perfect match and fill the skipped beats of each other’s hearts. But as wonderful as Felix seems, he’s harboring scars that could end their budding relationship when someone in town goes to great lengths to sabotage their careers.
If Bowen is to survive the holidays, he’ll need to lean on old friends and new, convince Felix he’s worth any hardship, and prove they can come out of the catastrophe stronger if they do so together.

Review

I’m going to be in the minority here. It took me awhile to figure it out and I had to really think on what about this story didn’t work for me. There’s so much about it to like/love. The music is what attracted me originally, the hurt/comfort aspect and the scarring, the big city meets country – all of these things really worked for me. I also loved the synesthesia –that was not only cool but really interesting, too. At first, I thought maybe it was the insta-love – and I think that wasn’t my favorite aspect, but it didn’t bother me that much EXCEPT…

I never liked Bowen. Ugh. I said it. I wanted to like him, but I never warmed to him. He was bossy and though he said he wanted an equal in his relationships, he was just too bossy/toppy and as I’ve said before I really shy away from anything even remotely BDSM and his relationship with Felix really bordered on D/s in the sense that he was so dominant.

Many people really enjoyed this and if you’re not as sensitive to that particular power dynamic it might not bother you either – but – for me – each time they were intimate and Bowen began to talk it just pushed all the wrong buttons for me and that influenced my feelings for the rest of the story.

In general, it was really sweet – with an OTT subplot about homophobia that sort of matched the super quick love story and large personalities of all the secondary characters.

I think people who are looking for something really sweet, holiday themed, super quick love story with some interesting/quirky characters will find this right up their alley.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Greg B (Tremblay) does his typically wonderful job with this and it was his narration that attracted me to this story in the first place. I knew I could trust that he would be easy on the ears and really let me sink into the story. He did not disappoint!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review