Recent Release: Safe Place- Rainbow Place book 2

Good Reads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41049130-safe-place?from_search=true

Blurb:
Almost 18, Alex is firmly in the closet and desperate to get out. Working hard to get the grades he needs to go to university, were he will be finally able to live out and proud away from his bigoted, homophobic father is his only hope. When Rainbow Place, the new café in town and LGBTQ+ safe heaven, is vandalized Alex can’t help but join the cleaning efforts. And there he meets Cam.

23 year old Cam can’t help but be attracted to the young, beautiful guy he meets at the café, and when Alex shows up on opening day he seizes the chance to talk to him, and maybe a bit more. He soon realizes Alex’s home situation is more complicated, and despite wanting him romantically, backs away in favor of being friends. When Alex fails to get the grades he needs he is devastated, and when he is outed by his father Alex finds himself homeless AND jobless. Cam steps in and offers his couch until Alex is back on his feet, but will they be able to keep their friendship without crossing the lines they drew? With so much sexual and emotional between them, how can they not cross them?

Review
The magic of Jay Northcote’s writing to me is the sense of community he creates. He has a wonderful touch for creating a group on friends were each is interesting and unique in his/her/their way. In this series, much like his Housemates books, you get the feeling of an ongoing story and enjoy all the side characters popping in again with an update. The other part of his writing I absolutely adore is how he describes sexuality and sexual acts. Jay brings a realness to every scene, both physically and emotionally, he shows situations that are not pure romantic idealism, and for that I admire his writing and storytelling.
I have to admit it took me a bit of time to get into the story of Cam and Alex, I was a bit put off by the fact Alex is not 18 yet even though it was just a few months and 6 years apart is not such a big age difference. I eventually learned to like them, when Alex grew and matured so did his story and it was an amazing transition to read. They go from casual almost hook-up to friends, to eventual lovers and it took the time it took because Alex needed to understand who he is first, stand up for himself and figure out how he want to live his life. Cam’s refusal to be more than a friend to him is frustrating but in the end it gave them the safe place to be themselves so they can find to courage to be a couple. It was a VERY satisfying ending to an emotional journey of self-discovery and growing up.

As always, Jay’s writing is funny, witty and sexy, with a bit of angst and a lot of self-restraint to make the fire burn that much hotter when they let lose.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Release Day Review: Guarding His Melody, Enhanced World Book 4 by Victoria Sue

release day review
Dreamspinner Presents:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/guarding-his-melody-by-victoria-sue-9873-b
Blurb
A standalone in the Enhanced World

Deaf since childhood, Sebastian Armitage had a promising musical future until his dreams were shattered when he transformed at twelve years old. In a world where enhanced humans are terrorized and imprisoned, his life shrinks around him even more as he suffers the torment of his father’s experimental research to enable him to hear.

Gray Darling—struggling with the scars left by his experience in Afghanistan—agrees to provide short-term personal protection when anonymous threats escalate into assault on those closest to Seb.

As the lines between protection and attraction blur, Gray and Seb can’t ignore the intense feelings drawing them together. But secrets and betrayals might prove deadly, unless Gray is willing to risk it all. And Seb must find the strength to make his own future and sing his own song….

Review
Wow, Victoria Sue never fails to disappoint in her writing regardless of the genre. The Enhanced World series are a fantastic read and this just proves it even more.
This book is separate from the first three books though we do get a cameo from the MC’s of them.
In this story we follow Gray And Sebastian, Gray being hired as personal security for Seb after some threats and attacks on people he knows. He is hired as a precaution but there is so much more going on than Gray’s been told.
Sebastian has been deaf since a young boy due to meningitis and then evolved when h was twelve causing his world to shrink even more. With operations to try and help his hearing, his recent bodyguard apparently committing suicide and the constant vertigo, nothing is going right for him at the moment and the only way he has control is within his rooms at his father’s estate.
Gray takes on the new security role expecting a spoilt young man but he got something he never bargained for. When he witnesses Seb’s reaction and symptoms of vertigo he wants to do all he can to help. As well as keeping Seb safe, he wants to help him get better. But there is so much more going on than he knows and he needs all the help he can get to keep the man he’s coming to care for safe.
This book is filled with so much! We have action, mystery, a developing friendship into something more. The mystery going on throughout is well written, keeping us guessing as to the who and why of what is going on and how it involves Sebastian. As well as drawing our MC’s together, it also has the chance to tear them apart.
Sebastian and Gray are characters given good histories that we slowly learn over time. Allowing the readers and the MC’s to learn about them, grow to love them. I would say this is a slow burner as things between the characters mean so much more than just falling in love as there’s protection, care and friendship in there too. Both men also have trauma in their past and it’s treated with respect by the author. Afghan, loss of parents and friends for Gray and illness, deafness, the loss of a parent, becoming enhanced, subsequent operations and now threats for Seb. It’s a lot for anyone to handle but when you have the care of someone who truly cares, it’s not quite as bad as it was when alone. Whilst Gray is there because of a not so obvious threat, we are also treated to some positive, happy moments with Seb being a highly skilled piano player and Gray sharing his morning Tai Chi ritual. Gray opens up Sebastian’s world from the suite he has at home to the rest of his home, the garden and even some time outside of the gates. It all makes for fantastic reading.
Victoria is wonderful at world building and also including a wide variety of characters, both good and bad. We have several emotional moments, not just with our MC’s but with those around them as well.
I definitely recommend this book! And the series, and any books from Victoria Sue 🙂
I received an ARC from the publisher and am happily giving a review.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: 415 Ink: Savior by Rhys Ford

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/savior-by-rhys-ford-9856-

Blurb

A savior lies in the heart of every good man but sometimes only love can awaken the man inside a savior.

The world’s had it out for San Francisco firefighter Mace Crawford from the moment he was born. Rescued from a horrific home life and dragged through an uncaring foster system, he’s dedicated his life to saving people, including the men he calls his brothers. As second-in-command of their knitted-together clan, Mace guides his younger siblings, helps out at 415 Ink, the family tattoo shop, and most of all, makes sure the brothers don’t discover his darkest secrets.

It’s a lonely life with one big problem—he’s sworn off love and Rob Claussen, one of 415 Ink’s tattoo artists, has gotten under his skin in the worst way possible.

Mace’s world is too tight, too controlled to let Rob into his life — much less his heart — but the brash, Filipino inker is there every time Mace turns around. He can’t let Rob in without shaking the foundations of the life he’s built, but when an evil from his past resurfaces, Mace is forced to choose between protecting his lies or saving the man he’s too scared to love.

Review by Mary
Wow Rhys Ford doesn’t hold the punches in this sequel. The book is different but just as terrific as the first in the series, Rebel. It can be read on it’s own but in my opinion you get a better sense of this family by reading starting with the first book. We met both characters in Rebel but in Savior we get to understand them better and see through their eyes. All the brothers have created their family through a strong bond of surviving the system and the worst childhood imaginable. In this book both Rob and Mace have overcome adversity to get to where they are now. Mace however is still struggling with a past that haunts him and it only gets worse. Because of the abuse he suffered as a child he has built strong barriers which he believes protect others from him, what he believes his father made him. Both of them are attracted to each other but hold back for various reasons. Mace’s control slips and they both give in to their desire. It’s tempting to see Rob as Mace’s savior but I see them as saving each other. Both have to face fears, it’s just that Mace’s fears come back to challenge him and he has to face them head on. This is a slow building romance. It has to be because of their misunderstanding in the beginning, they seem to, I would say, dislike each other rather than hate and to break through Mace’s defences. For me it would not be believable if they rushed into a full hot and heavy relationship. The very fact that Rob is steadfastly there for Mace all the way shows the potential strength of their relationship. I was on such an emotional rollercoaster with this story. What Mace went through as a child broke my heart. I think the first book has the drama and this book is a lot more emotional. I can’t wait for book 3, looks like Ivo has met his match.

5 of stars out of 5

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Xanthe

Book 2 in the 415 Ink series and its a fantastic follow up to Rebel. It’s not necessary to have read the first one but I think it will enhance your enjoyment of the overall feel and knowledge of the characters and their self made family.

In Savior, we follow Mace and Rob. They first met when Rob started work at the tattoo shop and both men felt the instant attraction but deny it for a long time.

However, Mace’s past comes back to haunt him and he finds himself surprisingly leaning on Rob when it all gets too much. With what happened in his past and now his present, will Mace make the stand for himself and for a live he deserves.

Man, these guys break my heart! First with Gus and now Mace. What makes it so much easier to read and to deal with such emotion is the family unit that they’ve built for themselves. You know that the 5 men who call themselves brothers are there for each other through life, death and all of the in between. It also helps that Rhys’s writing just pulls you in from the beginning, not letting you go until you’ve ridden the roller-coaster of emotion along with the MC’s off the book.

Mace stands strong and supportive, pushing his brothers to be better men but never expected more for himself. The secrets he holds within himself are things that would break others and comes close with him. It’s hard to read and think about the history of character and what they fictionally went through.

Rob’s character is perfect with Mace’s as he won’t be pushed around and will stand up for himself and others when the need arises. He is emotionally invested in Mace, even before anything happens and its heartwarming to read someone caring about the wellbeing of another without needing something in return, just needing to know that they’re ok, or at least going to be. I love how passionate he is about his art and work as a tattooist, having to fight for it amongst younger guys but smart enough to take good advice when he hears it.

Another mark for Rhys’s writing is how involved it gets you in the story overall but invested in the goings on of characters.

The emotional parts of the story involving Mace’s past, and when it reappears in his present, bring a tear to the eye and make you so grateful for the family that he got to join in the end.

It’s great that whilst we’ve moved on to another couple in the 415 Ink world, we still get to read about the others brothers and some of their goings on, especially with Chris now running amok in a house full of man childs!

I highly recommend this book and I’m thoroughly enjoying this series, looking forward to book 3!

I received an ARC from the publisher and am happily giving a review.

 

 

4 of 5 stars 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Courageous Ride By Andrew Grey Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-courageous-ride-by-andrew-grey-9907-b

Blurb

The Bullriders: Book Three
Aspiring orchestra conductor Marshall is exhausted after months of auditions without a single job offer. Marshall’s friend, Terry, recommends a change of scenery and points Marshall in the direction of a dude ranch run by former bull rider Indigo Santana. Marshall is understandably skeptical, but his friend is convincing, and Marshall needs a break, so he agrees to go.
Indigo captures Marshall’s attention but leaves him confused. Indigo’s confidence is shot after an injury ended his rodeo career, and he walks with a slight limp. He hasn’t been anywhere near a bull since he was hurt, and he’s not the most accommodating host. After all, the only reason he keeps guests is because his family ranch is all but bankrupt.
Marshall’s attraction doesn’t go unanswered, which leaves him with a huge dilemma. He’s torn between the possibility of love, something he’s searched for all his life, and the career he’s worked toward for as long as he can remember, which is miles away. From his side of the fence, Indigo doesn’t see how the ranch could ever be enough.

Review

This is another solidly written, romantic and sweet story from Andrew Grey paired with the equally solid and always reliably good narration of John Solo.

What I love about these books/this author/this narrator is that I totally know what I’m going to get when I pick it up to read/listen. I know the characters are going to be sweet and loveable despite whatever their background/troubles may have in store for them. I know I’ll get some steamy sex (but not too much!) and some really tender moments.

John Solo is a reliable narrator who gives everyone unique voices and does well with the overall emotional scenes as well as the smexy times.

In this case we are introduced to two opposite people (conductor, bull rider) who shouldn’t have anything in common but are both facing the daunting task of rebuilding their lives and – together – they find the strength to do that.

Recommended for: fans of the author/narrator or anyone wanting a guaranteed win and an uplifting story.

(I didn’t read any of the other books and I wasn’t lost.)

3,5 of 5 stars


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: On Davis Row by N.R. Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/On-Davis-Row-Audiobook/B07FK3X4W3?qid=1533353429&sr=sr_1_10&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_10&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=W1E89REAYVSSRC54DJ64&

Blurb

Nearing the end of a suspended jail sentence should unlock a brighter future for CJ Davis, only the chip on his shoulder is as hard to shift as his bad reputation. Born into a family of career criminals who live down Davis Road, an address the cops have dubbed Davis Row, his name alone is like a rap sheet that makes optimism impossible.

Brand-new parole officer Noah Huxley is determined to see the good in men like CJ. After all, he knows firsthand that bad things can happen to good people. His colleagues mock his doe-eyed optimism, but Noah soon sees CJ’s bad attitude and bravado are weapons he uses to keep people at a distance.

Both men know one simple mistake can change a life forever. At first glance, they might seem to be polar opposites. Yet underneath, they’re not that different at all.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This is such a wonderful, heartwarming story. It’s not Christmas themed, but it is absolutely something you’ll want to enjoy during the holiday season.

NR Walker is the MASTER at giving us characters who tug at your heartstrings, whom are prickly on the exterior and marshmallows on the interior. That’s CJ. Noah, of course, is undeterred by all the bluster and sees the man on the inside.

In addition to these guys really clicking in terms of personality, we’re also given an absolutely gorgeous chemistry that is also very sweet and tender.

If you’re a fan of the author, of underdog stories, or simply a person who wants a lovely happily ever after – this is the story for you!

5 of 5 stars

 

Audio

Joel Leslie does another fantastic job – not only giving us Australian accents but different variants of Australian accents! I can’t imagine the research he must do!

In any case, he gives us – again – a wonderful portrayal of both the fear of falling in love for the first time as well as the emotional freedom that comes from being true to yourself.

Highly, highly recommended.

5 of 5 stars

5-stars-small

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Shared Revelations By: Andrew Grey Narrated by: J.J. Boyer

audiobookreview

Blurb

It’s the 60s, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to be different. Eddie Baronski spent his high school years looking out for his partially deaf friend, Jack Emmons. Now that they’ve graduated, they spend their free time at Green Bay’s newly renamed Lambeau Field, taking in the practices.
When Eddie’s crush, Johnny Grant, a new Packers team member, offers him a ride home, Eddie thinks it’s the start of a grand romance. But Johnny and Eddie may not be on the same page, and love – true love – sometimes comes from an unexpected quarter.

Review

This was both really sweet and touching and not very satisfying.

I loved the idea that it spans almost 7 decades and gives a teeny tiny glimpse into the lives of these two men, but as far as page time I almost feel like we got more on page time with Eddie and Johnny and Eddie’s fantasies about Johnny than the real love story between Eddie and Jack.

While I’m sure there’s a reason behind the whole Lambeau field being the center of attention – I’m not sure what it was.

What I would have wanted was more interactions with Jack and Eddie as boys, and then maybe some glimpses of their struggles over the years so that the culminating Epilogue would have felt hard won.  This could have been about being gay, being deaf, growing up in the 60s, being hurt by an old closeted lover…. but it wasn’t any of those things.

I was expecting to see good ol’ Johnny again or at least hear about him – but he just disappears and I’m not sure what the first half of the story has to do with the second half at all.  Or what it matters that one of the MCs is deaf.  Or that some of it happened in the 60s.

So, while I appreciated the premise of this story – I think it mostly confused me.

Audio

JJ Boyer was a narrator, not really a perfomer. He did a nice job reading this story but didn’t really add anything to my overall experience.

So, while I’m an Andrew Grey fan and I usually love short stories – I’d have to give this a pass.

2.5 of 5 stars

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Recent Release: Found Again (Fraser Lake Pack #3) by Lynn Tyler

Recent Release: Found Again (Fraser Lake Pack #3) by Lynn Tyler

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40618331-found-again

Blurb

From the author of the bestselling series, Pack Mates, comes the highly anticipated third book of the Fraser Lake Pack.

After his rescue from a prisoner of war compound in Russia, wolf shifter Lieutenant Colonel Mark Thompson doesn’t quite know what to do with the rest of his life. When an intriguing young man makes him an offer to recover more than a thousand miles away, he accepts.

Nathan “Hacker” Anderson has made a living by using his genius to carry out some not-so-legal jobs for whoever wants to hire him. Coming too close for comfort with being caught, Nathan fled to British Columbia, where he made his home in the middle of a forest. For the first time in his life, he’s happy and perfectly content with his lonely life.

Until…

…a chance meeting with the handsome Mark Thompson has him falling in love for the first time in his life. If he could only convince Mark that he was so much more than his career-ending injury, life would be perfect.

Mark has never been so taken with another shifter. Nathan brings out feelings he’s never experienced. But what could he ever offer the young eagle shifter? He doesn’t have a job, a role in his new pack, or even a working right hand.

Are their feelings strong enough or will the combination of Mark’s insecurities, Nathan’s inexperience, and pack instabilities tear them apart?

Review

This is the latest in her spin off the Fraser lake pack. Even though it is a spin off we still get to see all our old friends. Well a lot of our old friends.

This does a bit of back filling from the last two books and this is definitely best read in order. (I think you’d be able to figure things out if you started here, but the series in it’s entirety is pretty fun – so go ahead and start at the beginning!)

In this case we get a really sweet hacker who gets to fall for a broken down war hero. There’s not a lot of shifting and I miss that aspect but I appreciate the hurt/comfort that we get for both our guys.

This wasn’t as strong for me as the other books in this series or her first series (https://www.goodreads.com/series/106699-pack-mates) but it’s a great addition.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Running to you by Andrew Grey Narrated by Jack Richmond

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/running-to-you-by-andrew-grey-9906-b

Blurb
Home, love, and possibilities he never imagined are waiting for Billy Joe to claim them. But first he needs to escape the horrors of his past.

A twisted act of cruelty and prejudice drives Billy Joe from his Mississippi home, and he makes it as far as Pennsylvania—where his car breaks down just as the year’s first snowstorm blows in. Fortunately, Carlos is there to lend a hand.

Carlos is no stranger to hardship. His family rejected him for being gay, but with determination, he put himself through school and became a librarian. Carlos sees the same willpower in Billy, and he wants to help Billy and his son succeed in a new life that is very different from the one they left behind. With his support, they start to adjust, and before long, both men want more than encouragement from each other. They want the chance for a future together, but their families have other ideas… and Billy’s will stop at nothing to get what they want

Review
This is a story about the impact of blood family, not in a good way, and how choosing and making your own family can make a world of difference. Billy Joe escapes from a toxic family life. One he does not want to bring his son up in. He drives as far as he can where he meets Carlos. Carlos was rejected by his family. Together they build a new life and family. With another author this story would be angst driven but with Andrew Grey that is not the case. It’s good to have the drama and the emotions without all the angst and crisis that can weigh a story down. Here both Carlos and Billie Joe help each other through the tough times and come out the other side stronger and full of hope for the future.
This is the first book I’ve listened to narrated by Jack Richmond. He portrayed the characters quite well giving each their distinct voices. His tone is easy to listen to and follow.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Stand by Your Manny (The Mannies #3) by Amy Lane Narrated by Peter B Brooke

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stand-by-your-manny-by-amy-lane-9516-b

Blurb
Learning to trust and falling in love.

Sammy Lowell has his hands full juggling his music, college, some pesky health problems, and making the uncles who raised him proud. He needs help fulfilling his after-school duties with his siblings. Nobody can be in two places at once—not even Sammy!

An injury puts Cooper Hoskins in a tough spot—if he can’t work, the foster sister he’s raising can’t eat. But years in the foster system have left Cooper short on trust, and opening up to accept help isn’t easy.

Luckily, family intervenes—Cooper needs a job so he can care for Felicity, and Sammy needs someone who can see past his illness to the wonderful things he has planned for his life. Each heals the damaged places in the other’s heart. But falling in love is a big responsibility for young men deep in family already. Can the two of them get past their fear of the immediate future to see forever with each other?

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

I absolutely loved these guys! The hurt/comfort between these two was off the charts in the sweet factor and I fell in love with them and their little extended family/ies.

I kinda wanted their “de-virgininzing” to be hotter – but I guess that’s more the Dreamspun thing than anything else. Book 2 was a bit steamier and so this was a bit of a let down.

The glimpses of previous MCs was appreciated and I’m looking forward to the next in the series very much.

I really hope Nick Russo gets to do the narration…. Just my hopeful hint!

For fans of the author and the series this is a must, if you’re new to the series this isn’t my favorite of the bunch but it’s Amy so it’s great!

4 of 5 stars

Audio

Sigh
Disappointed.  It’s not Nick Russo.

Peter B Brooke is just did not live up to my expectations.  His accents were good, but many times his voice lacked the emotional depth that this type of story really needs. This made it really frustrating to listen to. 

While his voice overall is enjoyable at the end of it all, the frustration won out.

I’d give the narration 3 of 5 stars and overall 3.5 of 5 stars.

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