Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Dark Romance/ Bad Boys Gay Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Monthly Theme Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series PTSD Purchased Standalone

Time to go Dark: Little (Trenton Security #2) by J.M. Dabney

Good reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39928008-little?from_search=true

Blurb

Insanity was in the eye of the beholder.

Harmon Little was a surveillance expert. He lived in the shadows, and he liked it there. There wasn’t a place he couldn’t get in and out of without detection. As usual with his mischievous nature, his current assignment went south, and he ran. He thought he was free and clear until he knocked someone over in a grocery store aisle.

Sanity wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Solomon “Solo” Poe was counting calories. Working out until he fell into bed hungry and exhausted. He was plain and pudgy, plus he couldn’t remember when he’d last gone on a date. He wanted more than the occasional, lights out, one-night stand. So, he was going to lose the weight and find himself a man. At least that was the plan, then a big man with a huge smile tried to kill him in a store aisle. There was one thing he was sure of, Harmon was his.

Review

 

Review

While I love Dabney’s series’ in general – I didn’t find anything new or gripping here. Twirled world was so captivating because it was unique. Though I love seeing all the crazy and the insta love and the slightly dumpy guy finding a hot lover – nothing in this gripped me as hard as some of the author’s previous works.

Little was fun but I didn’t see the connection between him and Poe and though I supported their unique take on courtship it didn’t always make sense.

I enjoyed it and will certainly still keep buying in this series – but so far in the Trenton series I’d call it two strikes…

 

3 of 5 stars

(Huge props to the new covers – GORGEOUS!)

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Boss/employee Bullying class difference Closeted co-workers to lovers College/University Contemporary Established Couple/Sequel Gay Gay High but not hopeless Homophobia m/m May/December May/December Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series PTSD Purchased Scorching/high heat

Recent Release: Test of Valor (Valor #2) by Keira Andrews

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39818669-test-of-valor?from_search=true

Blurb

They’re free of the White House, but can their forbidden romance survive in the real world?

With his father no longer president, twenty-two-year-old Rafa Castillo can finally be with ex-Secret Service agent Shane Kendrick. Shane’s given up his career for Rafa, a move his fellow agents question the sanity and morality of. Eager to get away from the questions and judgement, Rafa and Shane are building a new life together in Australia. Though Shane struggles with nightmares and his over-protective instincts while Rafa fights his own insecurity, they love each other more than ever.

Now they just have to get through a visit from the former president and first lady.

Rafa’s parents certainly don’t approve of his romance with forty-year-old Shane, and they’re determined to make him see reason. They don’t see how their son could possibly be happy settling down with an older man, and they question Shane’s motives. Shane and Rafa just want a normal life together—but when they must suddenly battle for survival, they fight to prove their fierce love can withstand any threat.

This gay romance from Keira Andrews is the conclusion of the Valor duology. It features a May-December age difference, sex on the beach, and of course a happy ending.

Review

I fell in love with these guys in book one but I realized, once I’d gone back and re-read it, that they’d been left in a very HFN sort of situation and this book does a terrific job of sealing the deal.

Keira did a great job of showing us how Rafa’s insecurities are still running his life and demonstrating Shane’s issues as well. Rafa’s parents are not as “pretty” as they seem and though Rafa forgave them pretty easily, I’m not so sure either of them deserved it – just yet.

Australia was an interesting setting and appropriate given the new changes there!

I found the developing relationship to be wonderful and though the added “life or death drama” was a touch OTT – it served a nice purpose.

Overall I highly enjoyed this sequel and recommend it to fans of book 1 – but not as a standalone.

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
adult - 18+ Gay High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse Length Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD

Time to Go Dark: Circle by Garrett Leigh

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35894093-circle

Blurb
I love him…but he’s forgotten why.

A lot can happen in six years, and Ash and Pete have seen their world flipped upside down more times than most. Being parents to Pete’s young nephew wasn’t in their plan, but life happens to them and they roll with the punches. Or at least they did, until new heartache rocks their hard-won happily-ever-after.

Ash loves Pete as much as ever—more, in fact—but Pete battles alone with a burden that weighs heavily on his heart. Ash is no stranger to dark clouds, but the secret Pete keeps from him is a storm that could break them.

Despite the fierce love that once buoyed them, they’re both drowning until a new friend throws them a lifeline. His wisdom offers insight—for better or worse, real love is rarely a smooth journey. For Ash and Pete to come full circle once more, they’ll have to hit the road and chase it

Review
This story brings a conclusion for Ash and Pete. It’s six years on from the end of Rare and it doesn’t look like life has settled very much for them. For as much has changed since the ending of Rare essentially they are still the same with Pete working a lot. I loved that Jed and Max from Only Love appear in this story. Jed provides a stabling influence on both Ash and Pete at time they need help. Pete has lost his way and Ash doesn’t know how to help him. For all his success with his art Ash is still insecure and doubts himself without Pete. Pete is pulling away from him and he doesn’t know how to help. Their lives are more busy and full of family now. But the hard won level of trust and communication is suffering. A brilliant emotional roller coaster of a story. This is a terrific conclusion to the series. They get their happy ever after, perfect.

4 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book DA Dark Romance/ Bad Boys Gay High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse Mary D Mild/low level heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Older MCs Part of a Series PTSD Purchased Stalker/Abusive Ex

Time to go Dark: Ash by Jack L. Pyke

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38719560-ash?from_search=true

Blurb

 

“You up for that, hm, Ash? A lesson from an old soul to youth? From me… to you?”

Ash Thomas and his gameplay with other men is vicious, cruel. Better to fuck someone over than be the one who’s on the floor, fucked up, right? But his latest cruelties are about to catch the eye of the Wraith, someone who’s been brought up to play professionally in the shadows. For Ash, beauty and rage aren’t the kind of sins to win him any favours anymore. Life and lessons of the heart never did come easy, especially when they’re about to walk in off the darkened streets, bringing bloodied footprints in their wake.

Review
Jack L. Pyke’s Don’t series is a wonderfully dark psychological series. All the characters have so many facets, complex lives. I would say that to enjoy the series it’s best to start at the beginning. This book, Ash, brings in new players. Ash comes across as cruel and thoughtless. Only after his own enjoyment as does his mate Chase. As the story progresses we learn another side to Ash which explains his behaviour. I’m still not sure if I like him though. Raif is where the story starts to link into the series. He is a MI5 operative (as is Grey one of the central characters to the Series). He decides to teach Ash a lesson but gets drawn to him as well. At the same time he is made aware of some gruesome murders and is on surveillance for another case. BDSM is an important aspect to all the characters, so if that’s not your cup of tea steer clear.
This book does give you a taste of the nature of the series and Jack L. Pyke’s style. And on the face of it you don’t need to know the details of the previous stories to enjoy this one. However, it is a prequel to book 5 where all the previous characters have a part and I anticipate it would be difficult to follow if you haven’t. Also nothing is resolved in this story, it is just setting the scenes. Book 5 continue from the end of this one.
To be honest if this is your kind of book you probably already know about this series, if it’s got you intrigued don’t wait bring the series to the top of your tbr list.

4 of stars out of 5

 

 

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Dark Romance/ Bad Boys Established Couple Gay Gay High but not hopeless m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD Purchased

Time to go Dark: Rare audiobook by Garrett Leigh Narrator: Michael Lesley

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rare-by-garrett-leigh-4459-

Blurb
Paramedic Pete Adams lived through the year from hell watching his lover, Ash, fall apart, and the precarious balance between work and home is becoming more strained. His heart is always home, with Ash, but the dark side to his job is weighing him down.

Tattoo artist Ash Fagin is recovering from a nervous breakdown triggered by revelations about his traumatic childhood. His battle with mental illness is far from over, but with Pete by his side, he’s feeling good again, so good he doesn’t notice something missing until it walks right into his living room.

Ash believes he’s had enough coincidence in his life, but when a voice from the past comes looking for him, it takes the devastating injuries of the one he loves most to convince him to let a ghost become the family he never knew he wanted

Review
Rare continues where Slide finishes. We learn more about Ash’s recovery from his breakdown and how he deals with his mental health. Pete is right there with him. But the road is never smooth for these two and boy it makes a compelling story to listen to. The dynamic between them works so well. There is more from Pete in this story. He is put through the wringer. But the changes and coincidences keep happening to Ash. He has to use the strength he has to get them through.
Michael Lesley’s narration is still excellent. He has breathed life into this series. It’s one I will listen to several times and probably get something new out of it each time. The only thing I found irritating, and this is more the dialogue, is the amount of sighing. Michael Lesley would say ‘Pete sighed’ and then he would actually sigh….so it was twice each time. Maybe because I was noticing it more but there was a lot of sighing going on in this book!

4 of stars out of 5

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Dark Romance/ Bad Boys Dreamspinner Gay High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse Mary D Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD Purchased

Time to go Dark: Slide audiobook by Garrett Leigh Narrator: Michael Lesley

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/slide-by-garrett-leigh-5714-

Blurb
Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.

Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength – things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.

Review
This is quite an intense story, quite dark and angst.To say Ash has had a hard life would be an understatement. We don’t know what has happened but from the anxiety and phobias Ash has it must’ve been bad. In a way it was better not to know, the focus was on the relationship developing between Pete and Ash and how they deal with them. In the past Ash turned to drugs to block out the overwhelming feelings but when we meet him he is clean and works as a tattoo artist. Pete is a wonderful character. He sees so much in his job as a paramedic but this never dulls his warm loving nature to those he cares about. There are twists and turns and I wondered when these two would ever get a break. Garrett Leigh has built an excellent world. I was drawn into their lives and never wanted to leave. I liked the sensitive way Ash’s mental health is handled.
Michael Lesley’s narration is excellent. He gave Ash and Pete their own voices and personalities. This is one of those that has been given a new dimension with talented narration.

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

 

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Contemporary Cop/Crime DA Dreamspinner Fake relationship Friends to lovers Gay Gay Homophobia Humor Hurt/comfort m/m Medical Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Military Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Part of a Series PTSD Purchased Time to Laugh

Time to Laugh: The Trouble With Tony (Sex in Seattle #1) Audiobook by Eli Easton Narrated by Tommy O’Brien

Dreamspinner Presents:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6109

Blurb

As part of the investigation into the murder of a young woman, Seattle P.I. Tony DeMarco poses as a patient of Dr. Jack Halloran, the therapist who treated the victim at a Seattle sex clinic. This isn’t the first time Tony has gone undercover, but it’s the first time he’s wanted to go under covers with one of his suspects. He can’t help it –Jack Halloran is just the kind of steely eyed hero Tony likes. But he’ll have to prove Halloran’s innocence and keep the doctor from finding out about his ruse before he can play Romeo.
Dr. Halloran has his own issues, including a damaged right arm sustained in the line of duty as a combat surgeon in Iraq and the PTSD that followed. He’s confused to find himself attracted to a new patient, the big, funny Italian with the puppy-dog eyes, and Tony’s humor slips right past Jack’s defenses, making him feel things he thought long buried. But can the doctor and the P.I. find a path to romance despite the secrets between them?

Review

Jack is a Doctor and a war hero who had to re-train from surgeon to sex therapist due to debilitating injuries.

Tony is an ex-cop, PI on the case of a murder of one of Jack’s former patients. Tony “pretends” to have a sex addiction and comes to Jack for “help” so that he can assess Jack as a suspect. Jack sees through the ruse and calls Tony’s bluff. Tony admits, finally, to having “a picky dick”. Meaning, that he has trouble getting erections except with a very small pool of men who manage to stimulate his “picky dick”.

Jack agrees to take Tony on as a patient, though he is concerned because he is not sure Tony is still being honest and Jack is already too attracted to Tony for professional purposes.

Together Jack and Tony research possibilities for Tony’s “problem” and at the same time build a smoldering sexual tension.

Tony essentially rules Jack out fairly early as a suspect, but still must investigate the clinic and it’s employees as well as following other leads.

Finally, when Tony thinks he knows whodunit, he now faces the task of convincing Jack to give their relationship a try.

**

I love Eli Easton! I am a huge fan. This was one of the first books I read of hers after falling in love with Blame it on the Mistletoe. There are several things I loved about this book (especially listening to it again after having read it several times). I love the characters. They seem so real and down to earth. I love that I get to learn something about sex therapy and yet it was still a bit kinky at times too. Totally professional and not at all demeaning to the profession, but still acknowledging the sexual edge that is involved in such an intimate form of therapy.

I also loved the gradual exploration of the feelings between Tony and Jack. It felt real and natural. My only complaint was that after Jack and Tony got together we didn’t get to see much of them as a couple. There was definitely enough to believe in a HEA (and we see them in future novels as an established couple) but I wanted to see more of them here.

Audio:

I had listened to Tommy O’Brien narrate before and thought he did a fine job. I was so disappointed with this. There was little emotion and the very slight difference between Tony and Jack’s voices was not satisfactory. Tony is this great East Coast Italian guy and it would have been so fun to hear that come out in Tommy’s narration. There is some inflection and in fact Tony’s voice is the only emotion I felt in the story.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Military Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD second chance at love

Audiobook: Late in the Day by Mary Calmes Narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/late-in-the-day-by-mary-calmes-8993-b

Blurb

Second from The Vault
Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne. The Vault. Juggling all these names would bother some, but for Darius, it’s business as usual. When he closes a chapter in his life, he leaves a name—and the people associated with it—behind. He’s managed to keep a few colleagues, even fewer friends, and no companionship through his forty-plus years… but that’s now changing.

The newest chapter of his life is bringing serious change: a stable home, a recovered identity, an unlikely family, and now a chance encounter with the one man Darius ever loved: Efrem Lahm. The reasons they parted are still valid, and there’s no way they can trust each other. But Efrem has already decided he won’t let Darius go… and Darius will have to decide if he wants to take a chance with his heart this late in the day.

Review

(Reviewed here previously by Dee)
This is a difficult review for me because I really wanted to love this book. Note: this is all on me. For one, I have not read ‘A Day Makes’ and so was unaware that this book was in the same universe (hitmen, vaults). And, to make matters worse, I have not yet read ‘Mine’. While this book could be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading either (or both) of the other books mentioned.
Darius is chosen to be the new Vault.
The story continues with Darius helping to get someone out of danger and relocate to a new life in Boston. As he is working on this, he is suddenly face to face with his old love, Efrem Lahm.
The story didn’t work for me – it started at some time in the present (?) with Darius dealing with closing down mob ties. Then it jumped to the past where Darius recalls how he became the Vault. Then fast forward some months later; he is suddenly in the custody of Homeland Security, where he reconnects with Efrem.
Also, Darius and Efrem do not get a lot of time together – the book seemed to revolve around all the other characters. Both MC’s do not get together again until two-thirds of the book.
Again, if I had read the other books, especially ‘A Day Makes’, the writing style would have made more sense.
It’s a good book, one that I’ll re-read once I’ve read the other books.

3 stars out of 5

Review by Morgan

Well, I’ve read everything by Mary Calmes and my review isn’t that different from Dee’s. On the one hand this was a great story for those of us who love to catch up with our favorite characters and love seeing them interact with other characters we love. For that I’d give this a full THUMBS UP! That was a ton of fun and I loved it!

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

I hope this isn’t a spoiler but I’ll assume some of this is….

In any case, I didn’t necessarily buy in to the love story and that dropped my rating down significantly.

3 stars out of 5

Audio

Well of course, Greg Tremblay is amazing and he absolutely did this story right. He handled all many and varied voices and accents and “characters” really well and he’s so much fun to listen to. Definitely worth the listen even if this wasn’t my favorite Mary story.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Asexual Book coming of age Contemporary DA Demi Friends to lovers Gay Gay High but not hopeless Hurt/comfort m/m May/December May/December Mild/low level heat Military Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD second chance at love Single Parent Standalone Unrequited Love

Coming Soon! Squared Away (Out of Uniform #5) by Annabeth Albert

 


April 16 by Carina Press

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37544729-squared-away

Blurb

In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.

Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.

As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.

Review

I don’t think this is too much of a spoiler and I think people would want to know and I think you should read this regardless – but… Mark is Gray Asexual.

Definition: From AVENwiki. Sexuality is not black and white; some people identify in the gray(spelled “grey” in some countries) area between asexual and sexual. People who identify as gray-A can include, but are not limited to those who: do not normally experience sexual attraction, but do experience it sometimes.

This story was very touching, emotional and sexy despite it’s non-traditional characters. I was really rooting for the two of them and it made every physical encounter that much more resonant for what it meant to each man.

The family stuff gets in the way – and that too felt really “real”.

There were times when the story lagged and there were times when I wanted the guys to just “figure it out “ already – but for the most part this was a well-paced, very well-developed love story. (I have only a limited tolerance for angst and there is a fair amount in this.)

Highly recommended- esp for the HEA!

(I don’t think you need to have read the others in the series to appreciate this book.)

4.5 of 5 stars

4.5-stars-small

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Author Provided Bi-Sexual Closeted Contemporary Gay Gay GFY/OFY Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Mary D Medical Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Military Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD Single Parent Standalone Virgin

Release Day Review: Storm by HJ Welch

release day review

Good Reads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39671696-storm#other_review

Blurb
*I can’t do this without you*

Chase Williamson was never meant to be a dad. Like it or not, though, he’s now the sole guardian of five-year-old Lyla and terrified of messing it up. He needs help, but who wants to rescue a high school dropout? Certainly not the gorgeous newcomer in town, even if he is an ex-Marine.

Hunter Duke is looking forward to a small-town life to drive away his demons. Maybe meet a nice girl? Adopting a puppy begins to fill the hole in his heart, but it’s an unlikely friendship with Chase and his daughter that really starts to make Hidden Creek feel like home.

When social services threaten to take Lyla away, Hunter knows he’ll do anything to prove that this town is wrong about Chase. Could it be that this is the family he was searching for all along?

Welcome to Hidden Creek, Texas, where the heart knows what it wants, and where true love lives happily ever after. Every Men of Hidden Creek novel can be read on its own, but keep an eye out for familiar faces around town! This book contains a three-legged puppy with attitude, a long-awaited comeuppance, and enough kisses to mend any broken heart

Review
I like the way HJ Welch’s stories make you feel good about life and that no matter how bad things seem there is hope. Chase has been belittled all his life by his Father and expects it from everyone he meets. His lack of self confidence meant he never spent much time with his daughter Lyla. Until that unfortunate day Lyla’s mother died and he has to become a real dad. Hunter is looking for a new start and Hidden Creek is just the place to do it. Both of them need support from someone special in their lives and they find each other a just the right time. This is a wonderful feel good book and I loved it.
Storm is part of a group of books written by different authors all centred around the town of Hidden Creek. Each book can be read as a stand-alone but the characters pop up in the different books. I’m quite intrigued and will be following them.

5 of stars out of 5

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