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

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

 

Recent Release: The Calling by M.D. Neu

Nine star Press
https://www.amazon.com/Calling-M-D-Neu-ebook/dp/B078HGXBX7/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519394410&sr=1-1&keywords=M.D.+Ne

Blurb
Being a nobody isn’t Duncan Alexander’s life goal, but it’s worked for him. He has a nondescript job, a few good friends, and overall he’s content. That’s until one fateful trip to San Jose, California, where he is “Called” to meet the mysterious Juliet de Exter. Juliet is a beautiful, wealthy, powerful Immortal who is undertaking The Calling—a search for a human to join her world of Immortals. Inexplicably, Duncan’s calling is more dangerous than any of the Immortals, even Juliet, ever thought it would be.

There is more to this nobody, this only child of long-deceased parents, than anyone thought. When Duncan experiences uncontrollable dreams of people he doesn’t know and places he hasn’t been, Juliet and the other Immortals worry. Soon, his visions point to a coven of long-dead witches. The dreams also lead Duncan to his one true love. How will Duncan navigate a forbidden romance with an outcast Immortal? How will he and the others keep the balance between the Light and Dark, survive vicious attacks, and keep the humans from learning who they truly are? More importantly, who is this implacable foe Duncan keeps seeing in his dreams?

Review
My first thoughts when I started reading this book was where is this going. The reader is left to ponder the mysterious circumstances of Duncan feeling the pull to come to San Jose. When I did get more into the story I was equally intrigued and impatient to know what happens next. So much happens, changes and becomes revealed I couldn’t stop until I found out more. The Author provides a lot of details which helps the flow of the story. To be honest after reading the blurb I was expecting a paranormal a story but not necessarily vampires. It was a good surprise especially as I found this story to be an interesting new take on it. The whole hierarchy and customs are well developed making it a credible scenario. I especially liked that although we understand a lot has to happen for Duncan and Kirtus to be together, it’s kept off page. The romance between them is written very well and feels a natural development. The conclusion ties up a lot of lose ends nicely but frustratingly opens the door to more books.I only say frustratingly because I hate the carrot of the next story dangled in front of me if I can’t read it yet!

5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

Holidays: A New Life for Christmas by Liam Livings

GoodReads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33383590-a-new-life-for-christmas?from_search=true

Blurb
A house exchange between two single men leads to a romantic new life for both of them.

Oliver and Kyle live thousands of miles apart, but each needs a break from his current life and love. Enter the Cloud B&B website, a wonderful new way to exchange homes for the holiday. They both muster their courage, and decide to visit another continent for Christmas.

In the UK, Oliver has been pining after his neighbour for far too long, living his comfortable but quiet life in a town in the New Forest. When his crush moves on in the worst possible way, Oliver is seduced by the chance to stay in fun-loving, sunny Miami.

In Miami, Kyle is a club owning workaholic, who suddenly discovers the man he lives with has been unfaithful. Yet again. As consolation, Kyle is tempted to see first hand the picturebook charm of the New Forest in winter.

Both of them find not just a new setting but a new romance. Oliver makes a big effort to shed his inhibitions and meets a musician, Mark, who plays in the Florida bars, and who may be just as cautious and polite as Oliver in making the first move.
And while Kyle’s trying to come to terms with England’s very different culture—and food!—he’s charmed by Oliver’s best friend Edward, who’s bold and sexy, but secretive.

Will Oliver take the leap of faith and encourage a lover who can and will give the commitment he deserves? And will Kyle find a man who can be loyal and also offer Kyle the family life he needs?

But perhaps more importantly—when Christmas is over, can a new life survive?

Review

Both Oliver and Kyle need a break from their everyday live so they swap homes. This story kept me wondering where was it going to go, after all both of them have responsibilities in their own country. Kyle owns a bar and Oliver owns an antique shop. Yet both are discontent with how their life is at the moment. They are both stuck in the same day to day pattern until they are encouraged to take a Christmas holiday. This is a duel story, a tale of two romances. Kyle meets Edward in England and Oliver meets Mark in Miami. Liam Livings shows his skill as a writer by keeping two very distinct voices of Kyle and Oliver very clear. The only character whose personality didn’t really shine through was Mark. I had a good sense of Edward and could empathise with him, the same with Kyle and Oliver but not with Mark. I also liked that this was a distinctly British story. The majority of it is set in Lyndhurst, in the New Forest, with the idealised image of a country cottage and snow at Christmas. Even during the parts set in Miami they were from Oliver point of view. I found these parts amusing, the Brit abroad with all the miscommunications that entails. The epilogue was a nice surprise. Such a sweet happy ever after left me smiling.
This is a lovely story of the spirit of Christmas, family, friends and finding dreams do come true.

4 stars out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

Audiobook: Tart and Sweet (Candy Man Book 4) By Amy Lane Narrated by Philip Alces

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tart-and-sweet-by-amy-lane-8858-b

Blurb

In the Army, Robbie Chambers turned on his lover out of fear—and he hasn’t been able to live with himself since. Now he’s out of the Army but still trapped in the closet that brought on his most cowardly moment, and he starts to think he’ll never be able to fight his way free.

Until he sees Cy McVeigh. Beautiful and uninhibited, Cy is dancing on the boardwalk at Old Sac for no other reason than the moment called for it. Robbie not only joins in the dance but is smitten from the very beginning.

However, Robbie still has old business to clear up, and when he helps out a kid in need and comes face-to-face with the man he betrayed, he’s forced to come clean with himself. He can’t redeem his mistake if he’s still locked into his old patterns, and he won’t ever be worthy of Cy if he can’t earn Adam’s forgiveness. He’s going to need all the help he can get from the people at Candy Heaven in order to make things right with his past so he can have a future with Cy.

Review

(Book Reviewed Here Previously)

This is book four in a series and I guess – in theory- you don’t have to read these in order – but ya should! Without reading about Adam and Finn, you really can’t truly appreciate Robbie and why it’s such an AMY thing to do to give him his own book! Also, Ezra and Miguel’s book also gives you insight as to why Ezra has to be the one to help Robbie.

On Facebook we had a long discussion – Mary and Amy and all the peeps – about whether or not Robbie even WAS redeemable and a lot of people thought he wasn’t… well – she managed to find a way.

At first you think Robbie was a true a-hole. He dumped Adam in the middle of a war-zone and left him high and dry, knowing what that could potentially do to him. And we, as readers, are already very invested in making Adam (and Finn) happy so how can we look at Robbie and root for him?

Well—- there are some things we learn that help – for sure – but I think the most important lesson Amy teaches us is that anything (I guess within reason!) can be forgiven if you really mean it and are determined to “not be that guy” anymore.

That’s awesome because who doesn’t want to believe they can outgrow their mistakes, right?

In any case – we now get to see just what makes Robbie tick and learn more about the bi-sexual and oh so tempting Cy (who briefly thought about pursuing our Ezra). And… for me this is HUGE – we get to see Mickey and Shane again!!!! WOOOOOT!

Of course I devoured this in one sitting the minute I got it and I loved every last bit of it. Just like all the other “Amy lite” books it has some hot smexy times, some super satisfying feels and some hard bits that we have to be brave to withstand.

Based on the ending I’m not sure if this is the last one? It sort of leaves it open for more, but not in the near future… As Darrin said – all his boys are happy and healthy so I guess this is a good place to stop, (or take a vacation!) right?

Highly recommended to fans of the series, an okay standalone but better read in order.

5 of 5 stars

Audio

So, Philip Alces has done all the other books in this series (and several others by Amy) and he does his typical good job with this. I definitely think he’s getting better over time, though I do think his voice is a bit “old” for the characters he’s portraying.

However, he attempts to do a Russian accent for Anna and Mickey and…. Well – it sounded more Scottish than Russian. Also – I have a huge soft spot for Paul Morey’s narration of Amy’s Making Promises (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8578296-making-promises?from_search=true) and his interpretation of Anna, Mickey and Shane – so I was disappointed by Philip’s accent – but glad he gave them an accent at all!

This is a lovely closing book to the series and – of course – it was great having the same narrator throughout – I thought he did a nice job of giving Ezra a bit more of a distinct accent this time and I adore his Miguel, Adam and Finn … so all in all I was quite pleased. I’d have made this a 6 if his Russian accent was better *wink!

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Cowboys Don’t Come Out (Cowboys Don’t: Book One ) by Tara Lain Narrated by K.C. Kelly

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/cowboys-dont-come-out-by-tara-lain-8519-b

Blurb

Rand McIntyre settles for good enough. He loves his small California ranch, raising horses, and teaching riding to the kids he adores—but having kids of his own and someone to love means coming out, and that would jeopardize everything he’s built. Then, despite his terror of flying, he goes on a holiday to Hana, Hawaii, with his parents and meets the dark and mysterious Kai Kealoha, a genuine Hawaiian cowboy. Rand takes to Kai’s kid brother and sister as much as he drools over Kai, but the guy sports more prickles than a horned toad and more secrets than the exotic land he comes from.

Kai’s earned his privacy and lives to protect his “kids.” He ought to stay away from the big, handsome cowboy for everyone’s sake—but since the guy’s just a haole on a short vacation, how much damage can he do? When all of Kai’s worst fears and Rand’s darkest nightmares come true at once, there’s not much chance for two cowboys who can’t—or won’t—come out

Review:

A sweet wonderful holiday romance. All Rand ever wanted to be was a Cowboy so he became one setting up his own ranch. Kai is a paniolo, an Hawaiian Cowboy, its in his blood. Rand didn’t want to come on holiday with his parents over Christmas but when he gets there and meets Rand the sparks fly. The only trouble is both are in the closet, for very valid reasons, and both of them are stubborn. At times I wanted to bang their heads together and tell them to get on with it. I love the way Tara Lain gets you comfortable in a story letting you think you know what comes next them wham one big road block sending yin another direction. This story is just like that and what fun it is to.

KC Kelly has the perfect cowboy voice to narrate this story. Lovely silky voice for Rand and Kai’s accent works well. I quite liked the way he portrayed the children hyper Aliki and serious Lani. Overall a lovely story that brightened up a wet miserable day.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

One Bullet by Casey Wolfe

NineStar Press
Presents
https://ninestarpress.com/product/one-bullet/

Blurb:
When Ethan Brant was shot, he found himself dealing with severe PTSD and unable to do his job as a police officer any longer. With the aid of Detective Shawn Greyson, the man who saved his life, Ethan not only finds himself again but discovers love as well.

Shawn’s life growing up was less than ideal, however, he overcame that to become who he is today. That doesn’t mean he isn’t missing something in his life. What Shawn hadn’t realized, upon first meeting, was that Ethan could give him all that and more.

One bullet changed both their lives.

 

 

 

Review:

The story starts after Ethan has physically recovered from being shot but has severe PTSD. There is a slow start to romance between Ethan and Shawn. They dance around any possibility of being attracted to each other when all their friends can clearly see they are. To be honest the slow build up didn’t hold my attention and I found myself drifting away from the story. It was about half way when they had their first kiss and it was sweet, lovely and amusing. The sex scenes fade to black and I’m fine with that. The story conveys the strength of feelings between them without needing to go into details. In this respect the story does have a young adult feel about it.

Much to my surprise the story is very low angst. I was expecting a lot more given the blurb. In one respect it’s good to have a character whose treatment for PTSD works for them but for me, in this case, it didn’t make an interesting read. When the PTSD did occur there wasn’t much grit to it. It felt glossed over rather than dealt with n detail.

There is a good cast of supporting characters, Shawn’s sister Sophia, Detective Davies, Ethan’s brother Matty and best friend Sebastian who bring in the lighter elements. They would work as a good balance if only there was more grit and angst but as there is not it leaves their contributions flat.

One bullet is a nice sweet story of two people finding love out of a tragic incident. Just don’t expect it to be a gritty drama.

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook Month: A Second Harvest by Eli Easton Narrated by Will Tulin

 

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-second-harvest-by-eli-easton-7193-b

Blurb

David Fisher has lived by the rules all his life. Born to a Mennonite family, he obeyed his father and took over the family farm, married, and had two children. Now with both his kids in college and his wife deceased, he runs his farm alone and without joy, counting off the days of a life half-lived.

Christie Landon, graphic designer, Manhattanite, and fierce gay party boy, needs a change. Now thirty, he figures it’s time to grow up and think about his future. When his best friend overdoses, Christie resolves to take a break from the city. He heads to a small house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to rest, recoup, and reflect.

But life in the country is boring despite glimpses of the hunky silver fox next door. When Christie’s creativity latches on to cooking, he decides to approach his widower neighbor with a plan to share meals and grocery expenses. David agrees, and soon the odd couple finds they really enjoy spending time together.

Christie challenges the boundaries of David’s closed world and brings out feelings he buried long ago. If he can break free of the past, he might find a second chance at happiness.

Review
(Book Reviewed Here Previously)

David is a Mennonite (a conservative Christian religion) farmer in rural Pennsylvania who has recently lost his wife of almost 2 decades to cancer. He has 2 grown children in college and a farm to run. He’s lonely. He’s lonely and worried about how he’s going to convince himself that life is worth living.

Christie is an again party-boy in Manhattan. When he nearly loses his BFF to an overdose he decides to take a good hard look at his life and re-evaluate things. When his aunt leaves him a house in rural Pennsylvania in her will, he decides to live there for 6 months to clear his head while he clears out the house.

On the surface, David and Christie are as opposite as you can imagine. But something in the two of them are attracted to one another like magnets.

Once Christie begins the cooking/sharing meal process, the two find any excuse to spend time together. The only thing that keeps this from being a “relationship” is David’s denial, and Christie’s belief that David doesn’t see him that way.

When David’s will finally collapses and allows Christie in – the passion is beautiful – but can it last?

**

As you know Eli is one of my “Hall of Fame Writers”. If she writes it I will automatically buy it and I’m NEVER disappointed. Sure, some I like more than others, but she ALWAYS delivers a love story that warms your heart. Every. Time.

This story is particularly satisfying. It’s longer than some of her other stories and as such we are given more time with our characters and that makes the bonding more special.

Because this is a very, very, slow burn – most of the story is the two becoming friends. It felt very authentic and plausible. When David finally does give in to his passions, it makes sense, and the readers understand just why he’s able to do so.

Christie is authentic and proud and “FIERCE” all the way through the story. His character stays true to form from start to finish and I really appreciated his lack of wavering.

The other thing I really appreciated was Eli’s consistency with David’s children. They too didn’t waver and behaved as I think they would have/could have in this situation.

I thought the level of steam was appropriate for the story – enough to entice but not so much as to over take the storyline. I don’t think anyone with religious issues (either fears or passions) will be upset by this – she handles the religious aspect with a delicate hand.

My only niggling complaint with the story is the ending. We got a very long and drawn out courtship, and then the ending was POW right there and the story was over. This is one of the issues I’ve had with a few of the author’s stories. I feel like giving us a bit more – especially given that Epilogue!!! – would have felt more balanced. I do appreciate the epilogue but I would have wanted to see a bit more of what decisions drew the couple to that ending.

In any case, it’s a truly wonderful story that kept me reading into late in the night and I couldn’t put it down.

Highly Recommended!

Audio

Will Tulin is a new to me narrator. He does a fine job with this, he’s easy to listen to and definitely has a great grasp of timing and emotion. He doesn’t do much with accents or making the characters unique, which was a little disappointing given the potential, but this is a good way to experience this story regardless. Each character was easy to distinguish as they were speaking and the females were voiced well, too.

Recommended

4.5 of 5 stars overall
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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Dreamspinner Year 9, Greatest Hits by: Anna Martin, Kim Fielding, Grace R. Duncan, Sean Michael, Michael Murphy

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dreamspinner-press-year-nine-greatest-hits-8436-b

Blurb:

Enjoy a selection of the greatest hits of gay romance published by Dreamspinner Press combined into one exclusive volume: by Anna Martin: Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, a story of a boy who he wanted to marry his best friend at age six, and the journey that finally gets them there; by Sean Michael: The New Boy, a romance between a shy photographer new to the scene and an experienced model and Dom; by Grace R. Duncan: Beautiful boy, about a Dom with a hurtful past and the sub who shows him love again; by Kim Fielding: Rattlesnake, where a drifter on a quest finds hope and a home; and by Michael Murphy: The President’s Husband, in which the first openly gay president and first husband of the United States must deal with the pressures of their demanding new jobs.

Review:
This is a great collection of Dreamspinner titles, which I would warmly recommend. It contains something for everyone and I very much enjoyed reading it. It contains 5 full length novels by different authors.

Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, Anna Martin – 3.5 stars
Sweet friends to lovers story about Scott and Evan, who grew up together. We see the boys in different stages of their lives from around 8 years old and up to they are approaching 30. The story is told through 5 time jumps, each containing the story of a kiss. Super sweet story, but a bit too slow for my liking. Still recommendable though.

(Previously reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/five-times-my-best-friend-kissed-me-audiobook-by-anna-martin-narrated-by-jesse-cota/)

The New Boy, Sean Michael – 2 stars
This one wasn’t for me. The plot is basically a porn movie. A photographer has to take some pictures of fetish models, the models arrive and everyone starts having sex. The photographer is hesitant, but end up being coerced to join.
Sean Michael and I, rarely mesh, so it wasn’t a surprise that this one didn’t really work for me. The sex to plot ratio is too high, and although the sex is hot, and I have no issue with porn, neither in written or movie variety, I appreciate a bit more plot in my romance novels. Also, there’s a big difference between being a Dominant and being an arrogant asshat who believes he knows better than everyone, including his submissive, and Tide is the last type, not the first.

(Link to blurb here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27506896-the-new-boy?from_search=true)

Beautiful Boy, Grace R. Duncan – 4 stars
Hot BDSM sex and internal angsting are the two main ingredients in this story about Mal, who lost his sub to a serial killer and thereby lost his confidence as a Dom, and Kyle, the closeted submissive who is never good enough for anyone. The story is steamy and sweet and I would definitely pick up other books by Ms. Duncan based on this one.

(Link to blurb here:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27266145-beautiful-boy)

Rattlesnake, Kim Fielding – 5 stars
Brilliant slow moving, character driven love story about two middle aged scarred men. If you do not fall in love with Jimmy and Shane, your heart is a hell of a lot harder than mine! I loved this story and will warmly recommend it to everyone.

(Previously Reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/rattlesnake-audiobook-by-kim-fielding-narrated-by-kc-kelly/)

The President’s Husband, Michael Murphy – 3 stars
This started out interesting, but ended up feeling a bit too trite. The characters were to stereotypical “good” or “bad” and there wasn’t enough communication between the two MCs. They had been married for ten years, I expected more from them as a couple. Also I couldn’t really get on board with the idea that a first spouse could actually continue his work just as before. I would have thought it would have been too much of a security risk. The conflict was a bit over the top and the resolution and ending too rushed. I enjoyed the premise of the story and the writing though, and would try something from this author again.

(Previously Reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/the-presidents-husband-audiobook-by-michael-murphy-narrated-by-randy-fuller/)

Overall Impression: 3.5 out of 5 stars (each story has separate ratings)

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Add Love and Mix Audiobook by Sean Michael Narrated by Steve Balderson

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/add-love-and-mix-by-sean-michael-8419-b

Blurb 

Firefighter Jason “Jase” Weller and EMT Scott Bronson are living the perfect life. They work together in jobs they love, they live together, and in their downtime, they still can’t get enough of each other. It’s been six amazing years. Then on Christmas Eve, Jase’s former lover Elsa shows up with a six-year-old girl in tow. The strung-out junkie claims Kerry is Jase’s daughter and it’s his turn to care for her, and then she walks out.
Shocked at both the fact that Elsa is now a junkie and that he has a daughter he never knew about, Jase nonetheless steps up to the plate as her father and Scott offers his full support. Having an instant family comes with plenty of challenges, and the two men work to deal with sweeping changes in their lives and to make things right for Kerry.
It’s not going to be easy, and their new circumstances test them and their relationship like nothing ever has. They’ll need all the love they have for each other—and the love they discover for their daughter—to keep from breaking apart.

Review
Boy. I’m not sure how to really even review this.

First, the couple is already together – as you can tell by the blurb – so their “romance” is pretty well … established. It almost reads like a sequel wherein we’d met the MCs in an earlier book and this was “what happens next”. They definitely have stuff to overcome in their relationship, but it’s not that they don’t love one another so it’s kind of a strange book to categorize from that sense.

It’s Sean Michael, so we do get some sex and that is pretty steamy – but this is the “family book” Sean Michael versus the “BDSM” Sean Michael so sex isn’t the main focus.

The main focus is, instead, the trials and tribulations of two youngish men, who hadn’t ever really “wanted” kids (at least not yet) suddenly becoming parents. Which is… kinda interesting but more … exhausting and sometimes whiny.

On the one hand, I think the author did a good job of setting up realistic hurdles and having the couple work through them in ways that felt authentic. Maybe a little too realistic. It just felt like work and I wasn’t ever very invested in anything because you knew they were going to stick together so it was just a matter of time and… it was just a bit – blah.

What didn’t help was the fact that I was listening to this and the narrator, Steve Balderson, isn’t very interesting either. His narration felt very “story book telling time at the library” to me and didn’t inspire a lot of passion. It was fairly monotone with no variations for the MCs and the girl’s voice was just pitched higher.

He’s a new narrator to me, and I’d be cautious about picking another story narrated by him in the future. It might have been his subject matter or it might have just been how he chose to portray it.

In any case, I can’t really say I recommend this. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t good.

All in all I’d give it 2.5 of 5 stars for both the story and the narration.

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review