Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book co-workers to lovers College/University coming of age DA Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Humor Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort Insta Love m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Military Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD

Manny Get Your Guy (The Mannies #2) by Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/manny-get-your-guy-by-amy-lane-8550-b

Blurb

Starting over and falling in love.

Tino Robbins’s sister, Nica, and her husband, Jacob, are expecting their fifth child. Fortunately, Nica’s best friend, Taylor Cochran, is back in town, released from PT and in need of a job.

After years in the service and recovering from grave injury, Taylor has grown a lot from the callow troublemaker he’d been in high school. Now he’s hoping for a fresh start with Nica and her family.

Jacob’s cousin Brandon lives above the garage and thinks “Taylor the manny” is a bad idea. Taylor might be great at protecting civilians from a zombie apocalypse, but is he any good with kids?

Turns out, Taylor’s a natural. As he tries to fit in, using common sense and dry wit, Brandon realizes that Taylor doesn’t just love their family—he’s desperate to be part of it. And just like that, Brandon wants Taylor to be part of his future.

Review by Beth

This is a great hurt/comfort story. Taylor was injured in the war, but that only accounts for his physical scars. His family life and his hiding his sexual orientation has scarred him just as deeply.

Brandon has spent the last 2 years living over his cousins garage being drawn into the day to day life of his cousins family. When his adopted family suddenly need help wrangling the 4 children he is against Taylor being that person.

We then see the 2 MC’s start by not liking each other to liking each other, to loving each other. Both deal with painful pasts, both have support from the core family they are now attached to. I love how the secondary characters teach acceptance by their actions more than their words.

As I said I really liked this story and will go looking for more of the stories centering around this family in the storyline.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Review by Morgan

I definitely think you need to have read “The Virgin Manny” for this to make a lot of sense. While I suppose there’s enough information for it to be a standalone, really, the first part of the story and all the background is found in the earlier book.

We met Taylor when he was young and dumb and full of … well, spunk and attitude. ☺
He didn’t make any friends with the way he was hiding and that sense of self-loathing has lingered. Now he’s a new man with a ton of baggage. It wouldn’t be an Amy story if we didn’t have some baggage, right?

Well, Brandon has his own issues, but really, he’s quite stable and he’s definitely the rock in this relationship.

Because the Dreamspun genre really supports this type of plot, our guys get together and fall in love with ridiculous ease. However, there are some really great moments between them and their families. It’s not just “blink and it all goes away.” This story, as compared the “The Virgin” has a lot more steam in it (much appreciated!!) and our MCs have a ton of chemistry.

I think I like this book better than book 1 because the characters felt more solid to me and the situation, while still a bit predictable, was unique enough and had some very “real life” elements in it that made it feel authentic.

As always, it was great to revisit the characters from book 1, and I found it fascinating how different Jacob was in this story versus the first book. Besides the passage of time, I think fatherhood absolutely shaped him a lot!

If I have any problems at all it’s that the initial reaction of Brandon to Taylor never made sense to me – I wasn’t ever quite sure where his anger came from, so I was glad it went away quickly.

All in all, highly recommended to fans of the author, book 1, sweet but hurt veterans, and stories with kids.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
6 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book co-workers to lovers Contemporary Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hidden Lovers Homophobia Hurt/comfort m/m Men In Uniform Mid level angst Military Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD Purchased Rating Review Copies Scorching/high heat Standalone Unrequited Love

On Point (Out of Uniform #3) Audiobook by Annabeth Albert Narrated by JF Harding

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/On-Point-Audiobook/B06XRMCCW8?qid=1498063867&sr=1-1

Blurb

Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously.)

I. LOVED. This. Book!

First, I love the series and it’s original spinoff. Though each book is absolutely a stand alone, you get a little bit “more” if you read them in order – first the #gaymers series then the Out of Uniform series.

Ben, we’ve met before, and he isn’t as loveable as some of the other characters. He sleeps around a lot and doesn’t seem to catch a clue that Maddox is so obviously in love with him.

(Little warning, there is a ménage scene in this that involves Maddox and Ben and someone else who doesn’t seem to mean anything later – just in case you hate that stuff.)

Maddox is so, so, so wonderful. He’s sweet, sensitive, caring – and built like a linebacker! I love that! I loved how torn he was between doing what was right for himself versus what was right for his family or for Ben.

The smexy times are – as always- smokin’. Annabeth can seriously write some hot chemistry and these two sizzle! Maddox opens up and Ben gets downright naughty with the dirty talk!

I was almost near tears when our two MCs are injured – and that is what finally drew them together, I think. So, most of the story is really these two guys learning how to really be in a relationship together after years of friendship. There is still relationship angst and other issues to overcome, but a lot of this is these two guys – being adults – and dealing with a new “reality”.

This is hands down my favorite in the Out of Uniform series – these two guys just really touched me, Maddox especially. I can’t wait for the next one!

I can’t recommend the series or this book enough – highly recommended! 6 of 5 stars

Audio

JF Harding is a relatively new to me narrator. I’ve listened to the Kage series and of course the Cut and Run series but I couldn’t have told you who narrated those audiobooks. (They’re not my favorite series and I guess I just wasn’t paying attention 😉 He did a FANTASTIC job with this! He’s got excellent timing and an understanding the material. He uses great voice differentiation and accents and I was really taken in by his interpretation of the writing.

I loved reading this but I think listening is the even better way to experience this!

Highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Author Provided Book Contemporary DA Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Military Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD Review Copies Scorching/high heat Standalone Unrequited Love

Salvation (The Protectors Book 2) Audiobook by Sloane Kennedy Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Salvation-Audiobook/B0722KS5X5?qid=1496102474&sr=1-1

Blurb

Trauma surgeon Ronan Grisham lost everything the day the man he loved was stolen from him in a brutal attack. Driven by a thirst for vengeance, he turns his hatred into building an underground group that can do what he couldn’t that fateful day…take the lives of the guilty to save the lives of the innocent. But years later, he’s forced to confront the one link to his past that he can’t sever.

Seven years after the loss of his parents in a violent home invasion that left him permanently scarred both inside and out, 21-year-old Seth Nichols is trying to put his life back together so he can take over the reins of his father’s global shipping empire. But the last person he expects to come back into his life is the man he drove away with one innocent, stolen kiss.

With one brush of his lips, Seth managed to do to Ronan what no other had since the day Ronan watched the light in his fiancé’s eyes go out forever. He made him need again. But Ronan can’t need anyone, least of all his dead fiancé’s younger brother. Because even one touch from Seth could shatter Ronan’s carefully constructed world and Ronan knows there’s no coming back from that a second time.

But when a series of escalating attacks against Seth forces Ronan back into his life, Seth knows it’s his last chance to show Ronan he can be the man the broken surgeon needs. Only the Ronan who returns isn’t the Ronan Seth fell in love with so long ago…

Can Seth be Ronan’s salvation or will he end up destroying them both?

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

This is hard to review. On the one hand, as the many, many reviewers before me have stated, this is a powerful book with two very broken MCs and if you enjoyed book one, it’s style and it’s characters are replicated here, so the continuation is nice.

However, the one big difference between one and two is how the “salvation” comes about. Ronan has some pretty serious trust/intimacy issues and it takes him awhile to work them through. While he’s working through them he is a DICK to Seth. It was painful to watch Seth throw himself at Ronan over and over and see Ronan treat him like dirt. It made both men hard to like/respect.

But… with time and patience both men do make significant changes in how the approach/are treated by the other. I had to bite the bullet and keep reading because I was tempted to bail after the initial sex scene between the two – but it does get much better.

The mystery element is there, as is the reveal of our next MC – Hawke, and a re-visit with our triad from book one.

All in all it was a gripping story that kept my interest – while I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as book one – I am really enjoying the continuation of the saga and can’t wait to dive into book 3.

4 of 5 stars

Audio

I loved the way Joel interpreted these characters. He’s just so good with the emotion and giving each character a truly unique voice. This absolutely is the best way to enjoy this story and I LOVED his interpretation of Ronan’s voice as well as Hawke’s. Fantastic! Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars for the audio

4.5 of 5 stars for the audiobook

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Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Closeted co-workers to lovers Contemporary Dreamspinner Established Couple Gay Heat Index Hidden Lovers Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort Little to no angst m/m/m Military Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Older MCs Part of a Series PTSD Scorching/high heat

Revelations (Talking in Code 0.5) by Ariel Tachna

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/revelations-by-ariel-tachna-8567-b

Blurb

Spanning the six years before the events of Talking in Code, this collection of short stories recounts highlights of how Richard, Tim, and Eric fell in love—and into bed. These seven tales reveal the early adventures of the two former Navy SEALs, an expert sniper, and their paramilitary organization, Strike Force Omega. Between dangerous missions and their aftermath, the three men find time to explore the limits of their relationship and what it might become, whether it’s blistering physical passion or something with the potential to run much deeper—something that will see them through their most difficult battles.

 

Review

I am glad to see this is a freebie, because while it was lovely, I definitely think it would have been better suited as an “outtakes” or “cut scenes” and included in the original book, Talking in Code. That’s what this novella felt like to me, some missing scenes that didn’t make the cut but the author thought fans would like to see – and I agree. Fans of the story will appreciate these scenes, but they didn’t really add much to my understanding or appreciation of that story and are not much on their own.

I almost wish they’d been part of the story because it felt like, just as our guys were getting together, the scene ended before I got to the juicy good parts! Well, I’ll just have to re-read Talking in Code so I can remember them 😉

3 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided BDSM Beth Jumper Book Contemporary Gay Heat Index Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Military Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series PTSD

Broken Wings (Phoenix Reborn book 1) By Houston Michaels

release day review

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Wings-Phoenix-Reborn-book-ebook/dp/B06Y4LTJBF/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492920278&sr=1-2&keywords=broken+wings+houston

 

Blurb
Proud to have served his country, Gabriel O’Roarke returned from war unable to recognize the man he had become. While war was hell, it was the aftereffects that were slowly eating away at his soul. Returning to civilian life after surviving events that should have killed him, he struggles to adjust and find himself again. Suffering from PTSD, he is without hope, until a chance encounter with one of the men who saved his life changes things.

Gabriel never imagined Nickolas Tanner would be into the lifestyle, so running into him at a BDSM club is a surprise. The patient and caring Dom is exactly what Gabriel needs, but everything he fears. After suffering captivity, Gabriel struggles to let himself go, to submit to another man. He craves regaining that part of himself, but worries it is forever lost. Nickolas’ steady domination gives him something he has thought lost long ago – hope.

Can a broken submissive, damaged by captivity and torture, learn to fly again?

Review
If you want a BDSM book that isn’t all about pain, control and bizarre toys, than you will like this book. It is such a great blending of what the basics of BDSM are and how to live and survive PTSD.
Houston Michaels has set up a great storyline where Gabriel who enjoyed the lifestyle before his tragic, life altering event can attempt to try getting into it again.
I loved the character of Nick the Dom. I loved his approach to everything involving Gabriel, both in and out of the bedroom.
For just a Novella I think the story was well told and everything was covered. Do I wish it was a longer story? Of course! If for no other reason than the few sex scenes. They were tender but passionate and I can see that this couple could have some great and fun times together.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Author for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary DA Gay Heat Index Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort Insta Love m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD Purchased

The Sound Of His Silence (Unlikely Heroes #7) by Jenny Wood

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Silence-Unlikely-Heroes-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZZ814MP/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1492664855&sr=1-1&keywords=jenny+wood+silence

Blurb

Evan is new to Edgartown. Just having lost his twin brother along with his voice; he doesn’t know how to start over and live this life without the one person that’s been there through everything. Abusive and neglectful parents to years fighting side by side as Marines….. Now he’s alone, a new town, some new friends and…a new puppy? So many new things, how will he adapt to a new guy as well?

Jury is content with his life at his dad’s construction company, working hard and spending time with his hearing-impaired brother, Caleb. A trip to the animal shelter to find Caleb a service dog has his running into (literally), silent and sad, Evan.
He know’s he’s attracted to him at first glance, but the muscled looking Marine doesn’t speak to him after nearly knocking him on his butt, so, why did his friend invite him to tag along on a night out? And why did he really want to go?

Hot guys, heavy problems, great friends, and a little puppy. What more could you want?
A guaranteed HEA and never any cliffy’s….
Graphic language and adult situations. Enjoy 🙂

Review

Gah! I love these stories! First, Jenny rips your heart out – telling us how much Evan and his brother love one another – then she kills him off! Seriously, crying right from page one!

Second, she throws in a deaf brother, a service dog, and a hot construction guy – YES!

Evan was a really interesting character – I loved how much he loved his brother and how fierce and loyal he was about it – so much that he lost his voice in his grief. I have to admit, however, that I was disappointed that there was a sudden change in that he seemed to “miraculously” be able to use his voice. I was really hoping that he and Jury would end up signing together or something like that.

Jury was a little less clear for me than some of the other characters in this series. He’s sweet and kind but I didn’t get to know him as an individual as much as we got to know Evan or some of the other partners in the series. He felt more blank slate to me, and I wish we’d gotten to see more of his interactions with Caleb or his family.

The editing seemed a lot better this time around, though the grammar is still something that needs attention.

However, even with these niggles, I have to admit that I just LOVED this story. It met all my hurt/comfort, insta-love needs and I devoured this as soon as it reached my hands!

Highly recommended for fans of the author, the series and for fans of hurt MCs who find love and devotion with someone equally sweet and wonderful.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Hurt/Abuse Little to no angst m/m Mary D Mild/low level heat Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD Valentine's Day

The Mystery of the Curiosities (Snow and Winter #2) by C S Poe

Dreamspinner Press Presents

https://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-mystery-of-the-curiosities-by-cs-poe-358-b

Blurb

Life has been pretty great for Sebastian Snow. The Emporium is thriving and his relationship with NYPD homicide detective, Calvin Winter, is everything he’s ever wanted. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Sebastian’s only cause for concern is whether Calvin should be taken on a romantic date. It’s only when an unknown assailant smashes the Emporium’s window and leaves a peculiar note behind, that all plans get pushed aside in favor of another mystery.

Sebastian is quickly swept up in a series of grisly yet seemingly unrelated murders. The only connection tying the deaths together are curiosities from the lost museum of P.T. Barnum. Despite Calvin’s attempts to keep Sebastian out of the investigation, someone is forcing his hand, and it becomes apparent that the entire charade exists for Sebastian to solve. With each clue that’ll bring him closer to the killer, he’s led deeper into Calvin’s official cases.

It’s more than just Sebastian’s livelihood and relationship on the line—it’s his very life

Review

After finishing the Audiobook of The Mystery of Nevermore, book 1 in the series I really wanted to know what happens next with Seb and Calvin. C.S. Poe has not disappointed me. The Mystery of the Curiosities is set only a short time after the first book. Seb and Calvin’s relationship is progressing and Seb’s thoughts turn to being able to go out with Calvin and have a romantic valentines date. However Seb is left notes in quite a dramatic way which pulls him into a compulsion to solve the mystery despite Calvin’s fear for his safety.

The Mystery has been well crafted and kept me guessing right to the end. I kept turning the page only giving in when I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I really liked the way Seb and Calvin’s romance is progressing. It’s not going too fast, they are still getting to know each other and I am eager to see where book 3 takes them. Another really good aspect is the way Calvin’s PTSD is portrayed. Seb, his Dad and Calvin’s partner Quinn are all worried about him and the story doesn’t magically cure his PTSD or pushed it to one side. It is something Calvin needs to face and I’m sure Seb will be there through out.

I am looking forward to book 3!

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book class difference coming of age Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Gay Heat Index Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort Length m/m Medical Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series PTSD Rating Review Copies Reviewer Virgin

Just Add Argyle (Fabric Hearts #3) by K.C. Burn

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/just-add-argyle-by-kc-burn-8391-b

Blurb

Tate Buchanan is a troublemaker who can’t keep a job, no matter how many times his lucky argyle sweater gets him hired. Add to that a learning disability and an impetuous nature that sends him into altercations to protect the defenseless, and he hardly manages to make friends, let alone find a man who’s interested in him for more than one night.

Most people think EMT Jaime Escobar is a player, but the truth is he wants a serious partner—he just can’t justify wasting time on guys he knows aren’t a match. But when he treats a gorgeous redhead after a fight, he finds the spark he’s spent so many years looking for.

Jaime wants to take the next step with Tate, but it’s clear Tate’s not going to curb his impulsive behavior—his next fight sends him to the hospital. Jaime’s relationship with a near criminal isn’t something his family is ready to accept, not any more than Tate is willing to be kept a secret. Jaime will need a lot of understanding—and some luck of his own—to keep them both. But this is one fight he’s going to see through to the end.

Review

(Previous books in the series reviewed here:  https://openskyebookreviews.com/tartan-candy-audiobook-by-kc-burn-narrated-by-david-ross/ )

I absolutely ADORED this book. It reached me at EVERY level and I couldn’t read it fast enough!

I think it’s clear that a romance is best when the readers are invested in the characters – first and foremost. Tate – as a character – had me by the heart right from page one. He’s scrappy, got a short fuse, a low self-esteem – but the absolute biggest heart you’ll find.

Jaime is another amazing character who is so filled with love and also gratitude that he can literally do no wrong – but – this is important – he doesn’t come across as a goody two shoes or “too perfect”. He’s just a great guy.

I was surpised by the relative lack of smexy times – but what we do get is very HOT and very, very sweet, too. There was enough in here that I was satisfied – but I’m used to more from this author and this series.

I loved the “slow reveal” of all of Tate’s secrets. It wasn’t obvious – nor was it hidden in a fake way. It felt very natural and I learned something, too!

If I have any complaint at all – it’s the ending. Tate and Jaime felt so good together and the ending we get is amazingly sweet and wonderful – but I did want to see them a little further down the road- specifically so I could see where Tate ends up!

Seriously, Tate is my current favorite MC – and I highly recommend this book to fans of the author, fans of gingers, fans of scrappy MCs and anyone who needs a good book to warm your heart.

5 of 5 stars

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