Release Day Review: Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brook

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/gateway-to-love-by-sarah-hadley-brook-9915-b

Blurb:

Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers…. Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country. He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state. As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road? States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Review:
Another road trip story, this time it’s about two young men who want to see if they can define their feelings for one another, while taking in the sights of Missouri. All, before they go their separate ways after graduation.
Craig and Mitchell are best friends, recent college graduates. Unbeknownst to each other, each man is secretly in love with the other.
From the beginning you can see that these 2 have a great affection for one another – Craig only calls Mitch ‘Mitchell’; likewise Mitch only lets Craig get away with calling him ‘Mitchell’ (and he secretly loves it!).
As they travel together, layers of feelings are peeled away, slowly exposing how they feel about each other. And as the story develops, one also gets to sightsee with them.
When they finally figure out how they feel about each other, they still have to figure their future – they both have accepted jobs on opposite coasts. Hint: This is handled sweetly at the end and with the epilogue.
Overall, this a nice story with an undercurrent of humour and charm throughout, making it an easy, pleasant read with minimal angst.

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Time to get Paranormal: Heard: An Omegaverse Story (Breaking Free Book 3) by A.M. Arthur

 

Good Reads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36589425-heard

Blurb
An omega who can’t speak meets an alpha who won’t listen….

Karter Jenks is a first-year constable who’s still trying to prove himself to his superiors, so he isn’t looking for a mate right now. Soon, sure, but he also knows he has work to do to change his alphahole tendencies around omega rights. The Kell Iverson trial opened his eyes to how cruelly some omegas are treated, and Karter doesn’t want to follow in his authoritarian father’s footsteps when he finds his mate. And he absolutely does not expect a homeless omega vagrant and burglary suspect to be his bondmate.
Jax Orris escaped a life of captivity and pain to save himself and his infant son. Living as vagrants isn’t ideal, but it’s better than trusting the authorities who landed Jax in hell to begin with. When their hiding place is discovered, Jax is shocked to feel the mating bond with the young alpha who’s been tracking him—and even more shocked when the constable doesn’t immediately arrest him for his crimes. It helps him trust Karter enough to accept his help in keeping himself and his son safe from the men Jax escaped.
Jax’s story horrifies Karter, and he vows to protect his omega from further harm—but first he has to get his stubborn, angry omega to trust him. Trust is no longer in Jax’s nature, but he can’t deny his connection to the young alpha eager to please him. Jax never thought he’d want another alpha to touch him, much less mate with him, but Karter’s gentle patience breaks down the walls Jax erected around his heart after the death of his first mate. As Jax’s next heat approaches, the investigation into his captivity uncovers surprising connections to several previous cases, and the danger to everyone involved increases. Can he trust Karter to protect him, or will Jax’s past destroy their chance for a happily ever after?

NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse

Review

After his mate dies in a work accident, Jax is sent to stay in an omega rescue. There his is sold to a pregnant omega fighting ring. After giving birth to his son he runs away from the fighting ring. While investigating break ins Karter starts to think an omega may be breaking into these homes and something is pulling at him to find the man. Eventually he tracks Jax down and discovers that not only is Jax his mate but was rendered mute by the men who ran the fighting ring. The two men are immediately drawn to each other. Karter is determined to be a good alpha to Jax and his son. I really liked the dynamic of this book. Jax, even though he is the omega he is slightly bigger and stronger than his alpha. Karter doesn’t have an issue with that, in fact he seems to revel in having a non traditional omega. Karter is my favorite alpha in the series so far. He is still a young alpha, who was raised in a conservative home and but he is trying to adapt to a more liberal way of thinking. This book was a bit easier to get through than the the first two in the series. The abuse in this book is a little less pronounced than the first two, but there still is some discussion about what Jax went through during his time in captivity.
5 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

Time to Get Paranormal:The Alpha’s Widower Audiobook by Susi Hawke Narrated by: Drew Bacca

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Alphas-Widower-Audiobook/B07F216KGY?qid=1535304112&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=03DB94DQSBSYGC0C7QPZ&

Blurb
Series: MacIntosh Meadows, Book 1

What’s a guy to do when his straight best friend proposes a fake marriage? Just say…yes!
Laurie Adams looked like he had it all, but his marriage was a sham, a Mr. Wrong chosen for all the wrong reasons. When his husband dies, Laurie has no time to mourn the cheating bastard, and his in-laws have decided Laurie isn’t fit to raise his children, and they’ll do anything to take them from him. He’s lost his husband and his faith in people, but he won’t lose his children, too. So he runs back home to the small farm town he’d left behind a decade ago.
Dean MacIntosh should be the perfect alpha for anyone, but all around town he’s known as Mr. Not-Quite-Right, the last man a woman dates before she finds her real Prince Charming. It should bother him, but it doesn’t. So when his childhood best friend comes running home for protection, Dean has no problem stepping in.
Except when Dean offered to fake marry Laurie, he never expected the wedding kiss to feel so sweet, and he begins to question the sexuality he once took for granted. From an awkward wedding night to an even more awkward honeymoon, Dean and Laurie find their affection runs deeper than either of them ever guessed. And maybe now is Dean’s chance to be somebody’s Mr. Right.
This audiobook contains mpreg, adults adulting in fun and sexy ways, and probably more potty-mouth language than should be used in an audiobook with kids underfoot. Eighteen-plus listeners only please.

Review: This is an enjoyable ‘friends to fake marriage to real marriage’ story! Laurie and Dean were such sweethearts and the supporting characters were great, especially Kade, whose story is now on my list to read.
Laurie goes back to his childhood home to get away from the memory of his unfaithful husband and horrid in-laws. He falls back into the friendship he shared with Dean, even though he’s always had a crush on Dean. Dean, for his part, has always considered himself straight, but when issues arise where Laurie’s kids could be taken away, Dean steps in to marry him. The way the 2 men explore their feelings for each other is sweet and funny, with the right amount of mild misunderstanding. There’s even a bit of a mystery which adds to the story.

The narration is very good – Drew Bacca is new to me. I liked his work so much that I got the next audiobook in the series (also very good).
He had different voices for the characters, had good pacing and projected the humour, sweetness and other emotions of the characters well. I was entertained!
I’m still a newbie to this trope, (mpreg, non shifting shifters), but I really like it so far.
This is another one of those stories that the audiobook is a really great way to experience the story. I loved it!

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy provided for review

 

 

 

Time to Get Paranormal: Grabbed (Team A.L.P.H.A. #1) by Susi Hawke and Crista Crown

 

Good reads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39857782-grabbed?from_search=true

Blurb

Team: A.L.P.H.A.:Six battle-hardened alphas with one goal—to save any omega in peril

Preston Tierney, the omega son of a prominent senator, has been taken by a secret group with an ax to grind. Party boy Preston was just out looking for a good time until he was grabbed—plucked right from a party in the middle of a crowd. When he wakes up, he finds himself caged like an animal in a remote cabin far from home.

Noah Perkins is a strong alpha who leads his unit with a strong hand—and a great sense of humor. The last thing he expected when he went to free the sassy little thing in the cage was to scent his own fated mate.

Noah and his crazy crew must free Preston from captivity—from his kidnappers, and again from a source much closer to home than they would’ve imagined—while Noah tries to figure out how to tame his bristly omega and truly embrace the team’s motto: Accept, Love, Protect, Honor—Always.

This is the first in a new series, but can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel. You can expect to find naughty, knotty scenes of steamy passion, along with a lot of potty-mouth language and some violence. No jackals were harmed in the writing of this book—unless they kinda deserved it. HEA definitely included, intended for 18+ readers only. Seriously, would you expect anything less from Susi Hawke and Crista Crown?

An MM Mpreg Romance

Review: I really enjoyed reading the book – the story line was interesting, unique even. Party boy omega, Preston, is kidnapped and rescued by Noah, an alpha and his team, also called Team A.L.P.H.A. The team consists of 5 members of closely knit alphas. The insta-love and misunderstanding tropes are well represented, but not long drawn out.
Even though it’s a fated mate, mpreg trope, it’s a unique story. The banter between the characters is fun and the supporting cast well fleshed out. Definitely will be reading the rest of the series.?

I don’t think I’ve listened to Peter B. Brooke before, but I’d likely listen to him if he narrates the rest of the series (hoping for more audio :)) I’d rate the narration a 3.5/5.
He does a really good job distinguishing the characters, but his cadence was a little ‘off’, (to me), on the non-narrative parts. I got used to it, helped along by an interesting story. There were some points where I thought the narration didn’t convey the emotion of the characters – when one MC was surprised, the narration tone didn’t reflect that.
Overall, I really liked the book and the narration was OK.

Story 4; Narration: 3.5 stars out of 5

Copy provided for honest review

 

Release Day Review: To Love Again by Andria Large

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/to-love-again-by-andria-large-9853-b

Blurb:
Jack
Leaving was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. He would have killed me if I stayed, though. I couldn’t have done it without Warwick’s help. Not only did he give me the out I needed, but also a safe place to live. With my ex looming around every corner, looking for the chance to get his hands on me, I received the best gift ever—a month in England—and I took it!

Warwick
England was supposed to help Jack get away from his ex and find himself again. I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with him there. Especially when I knew he might stay… indefinitely. With my busy schedule as an ER doctor, an ocean between us, and the trust issues his abusive ex inflicted, the chance of a successful long-distance relationship is close to zero. Loving Jack may be the one thing I can’t fix.

Review:

Wow! For a short story, it packed quite a bit in.
Jack has been taken to the ER by his boyfriend, (read abuser), after sustaining injuries from a “fall”. It is not hard to guess what really happened as Warwick, the ER doctor, correctly assesses.
Warwick is a UK transplant working as an ER doctor in Baltimore. When meets Jack, he is immediately drawn to him, first as a healer and then something more. He tries to help Jack get away from the abusive situation, but as is so often the case, the victim is too afraid to leave. Despite that, he gives Jack a way to contact him if he should ever need help. Sadly, Jack does need the help and he finds the courage to get away to safety, to Warwick.
The subject of domestic abuse is not light, but it was portrayed in such a way that it didn’t make the story depressing. Instead, it focused more on how Jack dealt with the aftermath of abuse – adjusting to not having to cower, not having to ask permission to do things, or having to ask what to watch on the box or what to eat.
The attraction between the 2 men developed naturally. Some may wonder why Jack would be attracted to anyone after just coming out of an abusive relationship, but that relationship had soured several months ago, so it made sense.
Diandra, Warwick’s and Jack’s family round out the characters and made a good support group for Jack.
I really liked the story – some parts were a little rushed, (the MCs overall relationship and the end), but it’s really a bright (vs dour) read given the subject matter.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review