Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book co-workers to lovers Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Gay Heat Index m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Race/Species Difference Speculative Fiction Superhero/powers

Beneath The Mask by Victoria Sue

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/beneath-this-mask-by-victoria-sue-9191-b

Blurb

Enhanced World: Book Three
Gael Peterson has spent years hiding behind the enhanced abilities he wears like a mask, even though he is an important, confident member of the FBI’s exclusive H.E.R.O. team. The hurt and betrayal of his mom’s abandonment and his father’s fists are secrets buried deep beneath the ugly scars on his face, and he doesn’t trust Jake, his new regular human partner, with any of them. In a world where those with special abilities like Gael’s are regarded as freaks and monsters, it won’t be easy for him to rely on Jake to have his back, especially when the abilities of a vulnerable nonspeaking enhanced child make that child a murder suspect.
Tempers rise and loyalties are challenged, and when the serial killer targeting the enhanced finally sets his sights on Gael, not only will Gael have to trust Jake with his secrets, he might have to trust him to save his life.

Review

This is the third book the Enhanced series and I think it’s best read as a series. You could probably figure things out, but you’d be missing an awful lot.

If you’ve read the first books, you have an idea of what the Enhanced are and how they and the humans have historically interacted. Jake and Gael have some similar concerns as they pair up. Just as Finn and Talon had to learn to work together so do they. (I was a big Gael fan in book 1 and he did not disappoint here!)

The story is a lovely mix of Gael and Jake learning to work together and love one another as well continued action as we meet more bady guys.

I think fans of the series will love this and love Jake and Gael as a couple and if you’re new to the series, you should probably start with book 1.

Highly recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Bi-Sexual Book Christmas class difference Dreamspinner Exploration Gay Gay GFY/OFY Ghost Heat Index Holiday Hurt/comfort m/m Magic May/December Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Paranormal Part of a Series pining Race/Species Difference Scorching/high heat second chance at love Speculative Fiction Standalone Unrequited Love

The King’s Courage (North Pole City Tales #6) by Charlie Cochet

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-kings-courage-by-charlie-cochet-9168-b

Blurb

With the wedding of Jack Frost and Rudy Rein Dear only three weeks away, everyone travels to Jack’s palace in Svalbard, Norway, where the happy couple will exchange vows beneath the northern lights. Festivities have been planned leading up to the wedding, and Dasher eagerly anticipates not just the fun, but staying under the same roof as the blustering winter spirit who’s caught his eye—the King of Frost, Jack’s father.

A long-ago tragedy has left Eirik fearing to ever love again. As the King of Frost, Eirik maintains his distance from everyone, especially the young Christmas elf who insists on intruding on Eirik’s solitude. But Dasher is determined to find a way to show the lonely king that his heart still beats and he shouldn’t fear allowing it to beat for another.

Review

I have such a soft spot for this series! I absolutely adore the holiday themed curses and the totally unique take on all the old holiday figures and of course Charlie Cochet is the master at giving us romantic stories with humor, excitement and heat!

While you don’t have to read this series in order to fully understand each book, they do absolutely build on one another so those of us who have read them all are re-visiting old friends and finding out how they’re doing in the future, as well as having a bit more background on some of the secondary characters.

I think Eirik (I have no idea how that’s pronounced!) is adorably grumpy and while I get frustrated at his pining for millennia, he doesn’t spend much on page time pining. YAY! I think Dasher was a bit naïve and amazingly brave to approach mr. grumpypants, he was also sweet and the perfect match!

This particular book in the series was a bit more steamy than the others and it was awesome! 😉

I can’t recommend this series (and this book) enough!

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Author Provided Beth Jumper Book class difference Contemporary Gay Geek/Jock Geek/nerd/techie/gamer Heat Index Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Paranormal Secret Identity Speculative Fiction Standalone Teacher time travel

A Shining Knight By Rebecca Locksley

eXtasy Books

http://www.extasybooks.com/a-shining-knight/

Blurb

Can a hard-bitten, horse-mounted fighting man adjust to the peaceful modern world? When nerdy medieval language scholar Gabriel Sussman finds himself responsible for two medieval crusaders stranded in the modern world, the whole question is complicated by his serious crush on the knight, Jordan De Courcy. Surely such a manly man could never be interested in someone like Gabriel. Or are Gabriel’s slim, pale-skinned good looks just the things to appeal to medieval tastes?

Review

I love time travel books, so when given the opportunity to review this book I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed. Rebecca Locksley has woven a story that is both believable and interesting at the same time.

We have a Knight and his Squire dropped into the 21st century from the time of The Crusades. Because of their superstitions and fairytales they are lead to believe they are in another realm. An Elfin realm, where magic is commonplace. So much of what they first see is explained away as magic. The stories timeline travels over many months so that the 2 misplaced travelers are slowly exposed to all the modern world.

Sodomy is a crime in the knight’s time, so that even though he uses his squire for physical relief he makes no move on his benefactor. In a comedy of errors the truth comes out and Lord Jordon and Gabriel finally get together.

This story blends the belief and values of 11th century with the opportunities and advancements of the 21st century. Of a man who wants to go home to his own time where he was a man with a purpose and a titled lord, with a man who has only left his hometown once in his life and always felt he would be alone.

The sexy times are hot and the implications of the off screen times are good too. If you want a play by play of the sex scenes this is not the book for you.

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Book Bullying Contemporary Cop/Crime DA Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Fated Mates Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series PTSD Speculative Fiction Virgin

Audiobook: Five Minutes Longer by Victoria Sue Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/five-minutes-longer-by-victoria-sue-8992-b

Blurb

Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.

Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.

Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI from the time he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying, homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with deadly abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.

Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives are at stake—four weeks for them to survive.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

Finn’s been told his whole life (or most of it) that he’s a loser who’ll never amount to anything. He doesn’t give up though, and despite many hurdles (like dyslexia) he keeps applying to the FBI. Finally, he gets his chance! But… it’s for something a little unique and kind of “off the books”.

Talon is a human who – around puberty – gained a special talent (think X Men) – that allows him to kill a person with just his mind. Now he works on a special FBI team full of men like him. He objects strenuously to the idea that a mere human can do the same job as he can and makes Finn’s life hell.

But… like all good romances these guys hide their lust for one another in some good old fashioned bickering which eventually explodes into passion and then regrets and more passion and more regrets and then someone gets hurt…

**

Things I liked/loved: The “super humans” with their bevy of unique skills was fun and the action/adventure “getting the bad guy” stuff was super exciting and very entertaining.

I liked the basic premise of the romance: enemies to lovers, each of them finding new things about the other that change their mind.

I loved that Finn is a virgin! OMG so sweet!

What I didn’t like/didn’t work for me: Talon is a dick. He never really made the turn around where he goes from jerk to understandable to likable to lovable. He was kind of understandable but never likable and he kept making the same mistake over and over. His teammates were far more lovable than him.

Finn was a total doormat. He put up with his family, then Talon and in a movie he’d have been the “weak girl” that’s been portrayed in super hero movies of the 1950s. I needed him to have something that made him “equal” to Talon. Yes, he was courageous and loyal and persevering and kind etcetera, but I had to agree with Talon that as a member of the team he was a liability as was demonstrated by the number of times he ended up in the hospital! For this to work, he needed to have strength and be tough and crafty in his own way. I think this story would have worked better as two alphas meeting together and the “weak human” showing the enhanced humans how tough he could be.

But that’s my own humble opinion ☺

It was a fun story and I read it in one sitting because I was so compelled. But I was pretty annoyed by Talon and didn’t think he deserved Finn in the end.

3.5 of 5 stars

Audio

I always enjoy Nick J Russo and I think he does a nice job giving everybody distinct voices in this story. (There are a lot of them!) There’s a fair amount of excitement/action/adventure as well as some humor and emotional scenes. Nick knows how to balance these out and that’s part of what makes him an excellent narrator. I’m always reminded, when I listen to a story rather than read it, that I get a different perspective or “feeling” from the same words. In this case, what I gleaned was that my feelings about Talon were even stronger. Talon just seemed to not appreciate Finn nearly enough and Finn was far too easy on Talon. I also was struck – again – by how weak the ending is. While I know there’s a book 2 and I’ve even read it – I wanted this book to end on a higher note.

So, be that all as it is, I did still enjoy this – both in written and probably even better in audio format.   If you’re a paranormal hero fan this is for you!

 

4.5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Brian Cherry DA Established Couple Fantasy Gay High but not hopeless m/m Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Shifter Speculative Fiction Spooky!

Spooky! Infected Books 1 and 2 by Andrea Speed

Amazon Link

https://smile.amazon.com/Infected-Prey-Andrea-Speed-ebook/dp/B01HLOS37E/ref=sr_1_3_twi_kin_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1508113781&sr=1-3&keywords=Infected+Andrea+Speed

Blurbs

Book 1

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them. 

Book 2

Sequel to Infected: Prey
Infected: Book Two

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a
born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve
crimes involving other infecteds.

The newly married Roan is struggling to balance his work with his home
life as he grows increasingly distracted by his husband Paris’s declining
health. One case with strong emotions attached takes up most of his time:
finding the murderer of a missing little rich girl. It’s a family with
secrets so toxic they’d rather no one investigate, and there’s no shortage
of suspects. But despite the dangers and obstructions involved, Roan won’t
stop… until he loses something infinitely precious as well.

Reviews

Book 1

While this review is only for the first book, the first six books are
available at a bargain priced set that I thought was worth mentioning.

https://smile.amazon.com/Infected-One-Andrea-Speed-ebook/dp/B073Q82XY1/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1508113781&sr=1-2&keywords=Infected+Andrea+Speed

 

This is one of my favorite series. There’s great world building that feels
similar to True Blood or Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, werecats live openly
in society, the ability spread by a disease, with a complicated and
interesting world building on how society reacts to them. They are envied,
feared, even worshiped by some.

Our hero Roan is a likable intriguing character. He’s a rare werelion,
even more rare that he was born with the virus and thus has greater
control and power than most shifters. The realities of the fantastic
situation play out in interesting ways, with the strain of shifting taking
the toll on the health of most shifters causing them to die young.

Roan is a private detective and former cop, putting him in an uneasy
position with local police in his investigations into the disappearance of
a teenage boy who had a fascination with werecats and a series of murdered
werecats.

A great element of the novel was Roan’s relationship with his boyfriend
Paris. They’re an established couple at the beginning although I believe a
novella released later tells how they met. Paris is infected with a rare
werecat strain that is more taxing than most other strains and thus his
health and very life are in a precarious state. This felt very much like a
metaphor for any normal terminal illness, although joined with the men
being gay/bi (specifically Roan is gay and Paris is bi) and the stigma of
them being werecats definitely brought to mind HIV, and the way they get
on with living their lives with this hanging over their heads was touching
and thought provoking. Despite their problems of illness and prejudice
they have a real passion for life and love for each other.

Paris is a great love interest. He’s very very attractive, something he
uses to his advantage with a self aware sense of humor. Roan has very
human pangs of jealousy but it’s not really a problem for them either.
Their relationship is mature and there’s an element of friendship to it
beyond sex and romance that I found refreshing. They’re still very hot for
each other but that doesn’t get in the way of the plot or their
investigations.

The book has a strong ending, but not necessarily a happy one. I do think
it works well as a stand alone although I could see where the ending could
be interpreted as a cliffhanger. It’s a series, and the lives of Roan and
Paris continue into the next book.

5 of 5 stars

Book 2

Bloodlines picks up a bit after the first book, with Roan and Paris having
married in Canada between books (at a time when same sex marriage is still
illegal in the USA where they live). Paris’s health continues to decline
and the two men are coming to terms with the reality that he’s not likely
to live much longer. It does bring a darker tone to the book, but it’s not
overwhelmingly oppressive. The two men are both emotionally strong and
still living life to the fullest. The parallels of the werecat virus and
HIV continues and brings a deeper tone to the story.

In the middle of this very personal crisis Roan is persuaded to take on
the case of a missing woman from a wealthy and powerful family who are
strangely opposed to the investigation.

There’s no happy ending to be found here, and it’s a stronger story for
it. It’s still the ending the story demanded and leaves me anxious to get
to the next book.

5 of 5 stars

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Copies Purchased for Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Book Cop/Crime Dystopian Enemies to Lovers Fated Mates Gay Heat Index Historical Hurt/Abuse m/m Magic Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Race/Species Difference Shifter Speculative Fiction Spooky! Stalker/Abusive Ex Witches/Warlocks/Wizards

Spooky Review: Hexslayer (Hexworld #3) by Jordan L. Hawk

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Hexslayer-Hexworld-Book-Jordan-Hawk-ebook/dp/B075J6XQXR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507144694&sr=8-1&keywords=hexworld+jordan

Blurb
Horse shifter Nick has one rule: never trust a witch.

Nick has devoted his life to making his saloon a safe haven for the feral familiars of New York. So when a brutal killer slaughters a feral under his protection, Nick has no choice but to try and catch the murderer. Even if that means bonding with a handsome Irish witch.

Officer Jamie MacDougal came back from the war in Cuba missing part of a leg and most of his heart. After his former lover becomes one of the killer’s victims, Jamie will do anything to solve the case.

Nick comes to Jamie with a proposal: after making a temporary bond, they will work together to stop the murders. Once the killer is caught, they walk away and never see one another again.

It sounds simple enough. But the passion that flares between the two men won’t be so easily extinguished. And if Nick can’t learn to trust his witch, he stands to lose everything—including his life.

Review

I love this series by Jordan L Hawk! It’s not my typical style, so that’s a surprise in itself, but Jordan is an amazing writer so it’s not really a surprise at all.

This series takes place in the past, with a lot of magic and is in a world where shifters (familiars) and witches are part of the main population. In fact the witches are the police and pretty much everything is run with some form of magic – but – it’s still a very harsh world and magic doesn’t necessarily preclude technological advances. It’s fascinating!

We’ve met Nick before, but you don’t have to read these books in order (necessarily) to read this one. However, I do recommend it, not only because they are so good, but because it gives a lot of background.

In this story – Nick – who hates witches – for a variety of reasons – must bond with one in order to help the ferals (unbonded familiars) who are his passion.

Poor Jamie is a “war hero” with a hole in his heart the size of New York. He can’t help but be attracted to Nick even though everything in him screams to stay away.

This is a wonderful enemies to lovers romance, with a mystery and a lot of action. We also get some social commentary and a look at how society manages “the good of all at the price of one”.

The “monster” at the end of this nearly broke my heart – but it was a wonderfully sweet and happy ending. I love these guys together and I think this just might bump book one out of line as my favorite in the series.

I literally laughed and cried and held my breath while reading this – if you’re a fan of the series or the author you won’t want to miss this. If you’ve never read anything by the author I’d suggest this series as it’s wonderful and not as long as some of the others, but I’m sure you’ll want to move on to those as well!

Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

Categories
6 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Anna Book Fan Art Friends to lovers Gay Giveaway Heat Index High but not hopeless Historical Homophobia Karrie Jax m/m Magic Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Speculative Fiction Spooky! Virgin

Spooky Review: Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin #1) Audiobook by Jordan L. Hawk Narrated by Julian G. Simmons

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Widdershins-Audiobook/B00CYRDVS0/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1506537687&sr=1-2

Blurb

Some things should stay buried.

Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.

So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult that murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.

As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?

Review

Trying to review a book 2 years after you read it the first time, might seem kind of strange and also like an impossible task. Fortunately, I have re-read this book, and the entire series in fact, several times over by now, which might show you the level of enthusiasm I have with regards to this series.

On my very first listen of book one, I wasn’t too sure about the narrator, Julian G. Simmons to start with. But he grew on me and it didn’t take long before he was completely under my skin. Three re-listen’s later he IS Whyborne and noone else will do.

The first time I listened I was literally exhausted when I finished. It was such an exiting story and my comments made whilst reading probably sums the experience up quite well:
• 20%: This is gonna be bloody brilliant! I want to know about the sands, tell me! Now!
• 25%: “And then the candle burst into flame.” Argh! I resent my own rules forbidding me to continue this until tomorrow in the car!
• 50%: Was I the only one, who actually shouted out loud: “It’s a trap! Get out!”
• 65%: I really do not have the time to go to work right now! People have risen from the grave and are stealing papyrus for goodness sake!
• 80%: No, Whyborne, no! No, no, no!
• 90%: I cannot believe I have to abandon them right now and go to work! Surely there must be some kind of leave that covers: “I cannot possible concentrate on work as Griffin is being held captive by the Brotherhood and Whyborne is deep undercover in very dangerous company!”
This is a historical paranormal mystery at it’s finest with a romance thrown in, and it is delicious. Ms. Hawk is a true storyteller and the narration of this book is so well done that you are completely immersed into the story. Even when listening for the third time I still get caught in the action, even if I know exactly what will happen next.

Read it! Or even better, listen to it! Greatly recommended. I was so thoroughly entertained all the way through, that this deserves all the stars I can give it.

6 out of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

Categories
2.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Bi-Sexual Bodyguard Book co-workers to lovers Contemporary Cop/Crime Dystopian Enemies to Lovers Exploration Fated Mates Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Homophobia m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan mpreg Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Shifter Speculative Fiction Standalone

My Omega’s Baby (Bodyguards and Babies #1) by S.C. Wynne

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/My-Omegas-Baby-Romance-Bodyguards-ebook/dp/B073DCD2YV/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1505413818&sr=1-1&keywords=my+omega+wynne

Blurb

Enemies to Lovers.

Blade Carr and Wyatt Smith are bodyguards from rival agencies who can’t stand each other.
Blade is a younger omega who thinks, Wyatt, a slightly older alpha, is arrogant and disrespectful. Wyatt believes Blade is nothing but a cocky punk. But when Wyatt receives a death threat, his boss decides the last place anyone will look for him is at Blade’s house.

Both men dread spending time together and are shocked when, despite their dislike of one another, they are suddenly physically attracted to each other. When they give into their lust one night, Blade just wants to pretend the perplexing night of passion never happened, but when the younger omega discovers he’s pregnant, the two men are forced to form a closer bond as they try to find a way to come together for the child.

This is a heartwarming, but steamy, 55,000 word story featuring a non-shifter Alpha/Omega world and contains mpreg (male pregnancy). This is a standalone fated-mate, gay for you story and Book One in the: Bodyguards and Babies mpreg series.

Review

This didn’t really work for me. First, they are shifters who “choose not to shift” – so in the blurb when it says non-shifter Alpha/Omega – that’s not really true. The author doesn’t really expound on why they don’t shift – but basically it’s to blend in better with humans.

I love the enemies to lovers trope but this felt like two school boys who fought all the time for no good reason – and they’re mean to one another! Then, when forced together they lose their minds and start having sex. It felt very awkward. I was uncomfortable with how they treated one another from start to finish and never really felt the love.

Towards the end – when they’re making a go of it as a couple – the author tells us rather than shows us how they’ve become closer over the weeks, but I’d have liked to see more of this on page.

I thought the issues of abortion versus adoption could have been handled a bit more on page to give this story a bit more depth.

The other thing that I didn’t understand is why – after the omega gets pregnant – they revert back to no touching when clearly they both crave it. This would have been at least one way for them to reconnect and bond and I wasn’t sure why it was left as it was.

Another issue I had was the world building. I wanted to know more about these guys and why they chose to abandon their wolves. That seems huge to me and worthy of discussion. I also wondered at the fact that so few of their kind know about this ability to get pregnant and why it’s a secret.

As far as a manageable system – the having to be isolated for a month seems pretty unattainable for most people and I would think this would be hard to perpetuate long term.

As a side note I also never liked Wyatt’s mom and I wondered at a name like Blade – without an explanation.

I investigated the second book in the series but it seems like more of the same.

I was disappointed in this and can’t really recommend it. I was grabbed at the beginning but it lost steam for me around the 35% mark and it was a struggle to finish. I love mpreg and chose this because it wasn’t a shifter book but I’m not sure it really satisfies that requirement and I just couldn’t get behind the world building or the romance in this story.

(On a side note – while this SC Wynne book didn’t strike my fancy I really enjoyed their Assassins in love series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/174948-assassins-in-love)

2.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World angels Angst Level Book Fantasy Gay Gay Heat Index m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Pride Publishing second chance at love Secret Identity Speculative Fiction Standalone

The Angel on the Northern Line by Catherine Curzon

Pride Publishing Presents
https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/the-angel-on-the-northern-line

Blurb

 
When your average, run-of-the-mill retired superhero Latin teacher meets an angel on the underground, it’s not only runaway trains that spark.

Christian Winter used to save the world. In World War II, when good and bad was a simple matter of whose side you were on, life had seemed so much simpler. Back then it was easy for a superman to see the troops safely home. Back then it was easy to be Mithras.

Long since retired to teach Latin in a London school, the man who used to be Mithras wants nothing more than a cup of tea and a quiet life. All that changes thanks to a runaway train and a red-headed Scottish angel on the Northern Line whose eyes are bluer than a summer sky, and who just happens to have a thing for chaps in tweed.

Swept along by Freddy Rose’s passion and enthusiasm, Christian’s efforts to resist the Scottish angel’s attractions aren’t exactly heartfelt, but can the passionate angel and an encounter with a very important lady tempt Mithras back to a life of adventure?

Review

I found this a very enjoyable short story. Christian Winter is weary and heart sore. His days are filled teaching Latin and trying to forget his past. I felt for Christian. He still has his super powers but doesn’t want to use them since the war. Meeting Freddy on the Northern line was a little escape. Until he saves the train and has to leave quickly before he is identified. So beautifully written. I understood his reluctance after the war to still be the hero he once was. Freddy is quite a character more like a cheeky imp than an angel! They are gorgeous together so passionate. I started out wondering which direction the story would take and was pleasantly surprised with super heroes were part of the norm. The ending took me by surprise but left me smiling. Perfect for a quick read.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book Bullying co-workers to lovers Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Dystopian Dystopian Dystopian Enemies to Lovers Fairies Fantasy Gay Heat Index Hurt/Abuse m/m Magic Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Speculative Fiction

Audiobook: Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

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Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dim-sum-asylum-by-rhys-ford-8556-b

Blurb

* Novel-length expansion of original short story found in Charmed & Dangerous anthology. *

Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that’s running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.
Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.
While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart… even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.

Review

While we’ve reviewed this book on the site before, I feel that – with the listening – I wanted to amend some things.

First, as was said before – this is another great example of how Rhys Ford has a crazy wonderful imagination and an absolutely awe-inspiring talent for description.

She has created a fully developed, intricate and unique new world here and manages to give the reader/listener the set up without an “info dump”. This is a rare and wonderful gift.

Rhys is also amazing at metaphors and descriptions that make the reader/listener hear, feel, smell, taste and touch the story she is creating. I can think of few writers who match her in this skill.

What I didn’t focus on as I was reading it – and that is the magic of audiobooks – they really can change your impression of a story – is how DARK it is. Every day it rained, every day poor Roku got injured again and again – every day we were reminded of the death and destruction in Roku’s world.

The other part I didn’t quite “see” when I was reading this was how little the relationship between Roku and Trent really develops – even by the end.

I guess, when I was reading this, I must have skimmed all the violence and focused on the very cute and funny relationship parts and my brain gave them more weight. Upon re-visiting this, the main story is really about Roku and his struggles in the world and his relationship with Trent is a small part of this.

If this were to be expanded to a series I could see the relationship deepening and becoming more of a “thing” but as it stands I think I’d call this Romantic Fiction more than a romance – because the mystery and the main character development supersede the romance – IMHO.

It was still an amazing story that absolutely enthralls the reader/listener – but it wasn’t as romantic as I’d remembered.

Audio

Greg and Rhys are a powerhouse team and he was absolutely the best choice for this narration! He’s got all those Chinese and Japanese words down and they flow effortlessly off his tongue. I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t Rhys’ other series – Cole McGinnis – because Trent reminded me so much of Bobby – both in voice and characterization! In a way this is kind of a paranormal Cole McGinnis – and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all!

In any case, this was an amazing way to experience this fantastic story and highly recommended to fans of the author, urban fantasy and romantic crime stories.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review