Recent Release: Channeling the Womanizer’s Lust (A Paranormal’s Love #23) by Charlie Richards

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40544482-channeling-the-womanizer-s-lust?from_search=true

Blurb

Into the Paranormal World: When a woman-loving player finds himself unexpectedly lusting after a male, he discovers the power of the paranormal.

Over the last couple of years, Mitch Lindson has watched his buddies fall in love and bond with gargoyles. He’s happy that they’re happy…but he doesn’t understand it. Settling down with one person isn’t even a blip on his radar, yet. On top of that, all gargoyles are male. Mitch used to double date with his friends. He can’t figure out their sudden switch. When the gargoyle Kardamon breaks up his bid to seduce a daughter of one of the paranormals, Mitch is shocked to feel arousal for the male. Confused, he runs. The dreams start shortly thereafter, leaving him horny and dissatisfied. When he discovers he can’t slake his lust in his usual fashion, Mitch’s frustration grows. It doesn’t help that Kardamon manages to seek him out at unexpected times and in secluded places, driving his unexpected and unwanted desire higher. Facing off against Kardamon, can Mitch find a way to get the blue gargoyle out of his system without his life being turned upside down?

Reader Advisory: Lady bits are spoken of in this story, however, no m/f intercourse takes place.

Review

Though I appreciated the warning about “lady bits” – they weren’t really spoken of that often and those “bits” didn’t really affect my enjoyment of this story. I’m a huge Charlie Richards fan – I literally devour all her stories in all her series – but I can’t give this a good mark.

I never liked Mitch. He was a douche-canoe from the outset (his vision of women and love) and he never convinced me otherwise. I feel that Kardamon got the short stick and the way they figured out for Mitch and he to bond… well – it’s unique but…. not exactly loving or joyous.

These are short stories and I love their reliability but this time around it was too short to make me buy into any sort of “conversion” of Mitch to the gay side or even the bi side.

I can’t recommend this if you’re looking for something romantic. It had some interesting twists but that’s about it.

2 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Unsettled (On the Strip #1) by Zach Jenkins

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Unsettled-Strip-Book-Zach-Jenkins-ebook/dp/B071LN8JRQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1498666803&sr=1-1&keywords=unsettled+zach

Free on KU!

Blurb

 He’s a cop who looks like a cowboy and I just have to see his gun.

I’ve refused second dates for years because I’m too much of a mess to hope for any relationship to work out. After one wild, impulsive, and let’s face it, pleasantly filling night with James, I’m ready to throw all of that out the window.

Men are for drinking buddies and dirty jokes… and now, so much more.

Evan is the first man I’ve ever slept with. If I get my way, he’ll be the one I’m with forever. I’m not sure how I’ll tell the other guys at the police station, but I’ve got bigger problems to worry about.

Someone is attacking people on The Strip in August, GA, and they are working way too close to the club where Evan is a DJ. I’ve got to catch whoever is responsible so that I can protect Evan, the man who taught me everything about love.

Unsettled is a steamy, standalone, first time with a man, romantic thriller novel with no cliffhangers.

Review

This had a lot of things going for it, but I never really felt it!

James is a closeted cop, who cannot seem to find the courage to actually do something about his bi-sexual leanings. His neighbour, a DJ at the local gay bar, comes over to pick a fight, and the two end up hooking up instead.

I wanted to like this, I really did. But I never really felt I got to know the characters in any depth and the romance between them was so rushed, that I never saw it coming. I was just told that they wanted to be with the other person forever.

There are two main plots to the story, the closeted cop and the rejected-by-his-family gay southern boy falling in love, as well as a murder mystery. However, none of the plots were developed with sufficient depth for me to really care or invest myself in the story.

The writing flowed very nicely however, and even if I wasn’t really invested the story was very easily read and didn’t feel like a chore to read. I just wish there had been more showing instead of telling with regards to the relationship and that the characters emotions had been more deeply explored. I never really believed the things I was told about the character’s behavviour or pasts, as I never saw any evidence of it.

I might still give this author another try, as the book was easily read, and I liked the premise of the story, but this one didn’t really work for me.

 2 out of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

The Right Time For Us (Cade Creek #14) by Stormy Glenn

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/Right-Publishing-Stormy-ManLove-Collection-ebook/dp/B0714D9W1B/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1495597617&sr=1-1&keywords=stormy+glenn+time+for+us
Blurb

Robby Fletcher had a lot of things to be ashamed of, but being assaulted by his oldest brother and his pals wasn’t one of them. It’s been going on for years, but after one beating too many, Robby has finally had enough.

When he learns that Moose is in danger, Robby wants to protect his brother for once, and that means going to Cade Creek to warn him that Billy is out for revenge. But nothing ever comes easy for Robby. He barely has time to step foot in Cade Creek before he’s running for his life.

Gus Fletcher knew something was wrong the second three rough-looking guys stepped inside his feed and seed store. He knew they were after something, and he was determined they wouldn’t get it, especially when he discovered the frightened man hiding under his desk.

Between misunderstandings, the danger from Billy and his cohorts, and trying to help Robby and Moose mend their relationship, falling in love seems easy. But finding the right time for it is almost impossible.

Review

(Spoilers may be included, read at your own peril!)

I did not care for this, unfortunately, because I really love this author and this series.

We met Robby earlier, he’s Moose’s brother, and he had helped Moose escape from under the evil thumb of their brother and father.  Now it’s Robby’s turn to escape but not before we learn just how bad he’s had it.  (Rape, beatings, and more.)

When Robby leaves town he goes looking for Moose not expecting help but hoping Cade Creek can be his refuge, too.  He finds himself in the store of Moose’s boss, Gus and Gus instantly knows he has to protect Robby.

It’s here that – for me- things get dicey.  What looked to be a fabulous hurt/comfort read ends up being a ridiculously quick courtship to marriage and though abused all his life, Gus insists on spanking Robby because that’s Gus’ kink.

I not only didn’t buy it, but it felt like a continuation of Robby’s abuse and really turned me off.

Maybe not everyone will see it that way, but I don’t think there was enough story here for me to feel that the spanking was something Robby wanted or could even tolerate.

In addition, with the absence of a paranormal mating, the I love yous and the marriage happened way too quickly for me to be a believer.

 

Sadly, I cannot recommend this.

2 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

Talk of the Town 
By Caitlin Ricci
 Dual review by Mary and Anna!

Extasy Books Presents:

http://www.extasybooks.com/talk-of-the-town/
Blurb

After ending an abusive relationship, Julian comes back home to live with his parents and his son in a small town. Life is simple, and he’s happy about that. When he delivers groceries to Garrett he finds a grumpy blind man who just wants to be left alone, but they form a fast friendship with the promise of more.

 

 

 

 

Review
I was attracted by the blurb but there is too much packed into these 33 pages to make it work for me. I was a bit confused over the timeline. Julian and his four year old son Joey, seemed to have moved around since he left his abusive husband. But it’s not clear how long, long enough to get a divorce. Yet Julian mentions mostly healed bruises. Looking for a fresh start Julian moves back to his parents home with Joey. He gets a job makes a friend, which doesn’t last. Then meets Garrett. Garrett has only been blind for six months, that’s a lot for someone to adjust to. But the way he talks about it at the end makes it sound like it happened a long time ago. Maybe I’m being too harsh but it feels like the emotional baggage is missing.
I really think this short story could have been longer. The potential is there for a lot more detail to flesh out the characters, their situations and a slow build up to a relationship. I was surprised at the speed of Julian and Garret got together given that Julian was just out of an abusive relationship.
It is a nice story but it feels too rushed.

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Review
This could have been great, but at only 33 pages there was just way too much going on and way too little time to explore it. Our two MCs spend about 2 pages of time together (on three separate occasions. The first two grocery deliveries taking all of 5 minutes in real time) and based on that they start a relationship. That moved way too fast for me. There was no lead up to the relationship, to the sex (mainly off page) and no connection or chemistry between the two.

The idea of the story still intrigue me. And if the author decided to expand it into a full length novel I would be interested to read it, but as it stands it’s a bit of a disappointing read.

2 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

The Sun Still Rises
 By Laura Bailo


release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-sun-still-rises-by-laura-bailo-8474-b

Blurb

Erik’s father lived for Pamplona’s yearly festival and the running of the bulls. Now he’s gone, and Erik flies to Pamplona on a whim to see the festival his father loved—without booking a room first. He’s looking at sleeping on the ground until friendly David from the tourism office offers to share his home.

When Erik realizes he trusts David, that he might even be willing to face his anxiety to get to know David better, he begins to understand what this trip could mean. Pamplona is even more beautiful when seen through David’s eyes, and Erik might have traveled around the world just to find himself. But can he hold on to his newfound confidence—and to David—when it’s time to go home

Review by Mary 


Sweet love story!

I got swept away in the atmosphere of Pamplona, it felt like I was there with Erik. Erik is coming to terms with losing his Father and I applaud the way Laura Bailo expresses this without it being too heavy. David is just what Erik needs to show him how to appreciate life again. Steph, Erik’s agent, is the voice of reason and helps reassure Erik about his decisions. I really liked this story. I could relate to the characters and found it enchanting. Left me with a smile on my face.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Review by Dee

This is a part of the ‘World of Love series, set in Spain (Pamplona to be exact), but I felt I was in Anywhere, USA (a bit ironic, since I didn’t even get a sense of where Erik lived in the US).

Erik has recently lost his dad, (he used to visit Pamplona for the running of the bulls festival), and has decided to make the same trip in honour of him. Erik gets to Spain, eventually finds his way to Pamplona and meets David, who works at the local tourism office. Up to this point there is not much to indicate that Erik has left the States- yes, there are some Spanish words, but even my local mercardo more has Spanish on its front door (I live in Northern Virginia). There was no mention of the flight over, what it was like when Erik finally lands in Spain or even a description of what he might of seen on the drive over. Another thing that made this feel less than authentic was how David was portrayed- he was nice, but he read as an American. There was no hint of a local accent, (even though he’s never left Pamplona) he sounded American.

Anyway, Erik realizes he’s ill-prepared for the trip and needs a place to stay and David offers his place. They get to know one another and eventually get their HEA.

What I liked: If this was just a simple ‘boy meets boy’ story it reads as a nice story. David and Erik had a good rapport – I enjoyed their conversations.

What I didn’t like: I did not get a feel for where the story is set, even though it’s stated. Another thing that bothered me was that they ordered pizza for their first meal together!!! You’re in Spain, where there is so much good food, I expected at list one Spanish dish.. Last, the MC’s read younger that they were supposed to be; I honestly was not sure how old they were supposed to be.

I really tried to like it, but, (as an avid traveler, and a transplanted Brit), it fell flat for me.

 

2 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher For Honest Review

Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk

Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/dating-ryan-alback

Blurb

Ryan Alback has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a successful acting career, a dog who adores him, great family and friends, and a life outside the closet. The only thing missing is a boyfriend — but Ryan’s been burned by Hollywood relationships before, and he’s not eager to try one again.

Jason Santos has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a fulfilling career teaching middle school, a house in a city he loves, and parents who support him in every way. Too bad he can’t seem to forget the ex-boyfriend who rejected his marriage proposal.

When a talk show host launches a dating contest to find Ryan a boyfriend and Jason accidentally wins, neither of them expect anything to come from it. Yet somewhere between a disastrous massage and a mud sinkhole, they both start to wonder if this date could be more than just a public relations stunt. But before they can move into the future, they’ll both have to learn to let go of the past.

Review

This premise and the cover of this story pulled me in, so cute and fun. And to be fair, the story was cute. But that was all it was, unfortunately.
Ryan Alback is a TV-star, who is insanely paranoid about his private life remaining private, yet he is coerced into being set up for a blind date by by his manager. Jason Santos is a middle school teacher, still pining after his ex and annoyed at his friends meddling in his love life. The two end up on a blind date together, but both are loaded down with the issues of their pasts.
This felt so much like an after school special. Just a little too preachy and awkward to get me invested in the story and the characters. The characters had no chemistry, so I never really felt that they were right for one another. The plot was cute, but the conflicts felt contrived and a bit out there, to be honest.
All in all I was left a bit dissatisfied. The premise was great, but the story itself lacked a bit and the ending wasn’t really that satisfying either. It was cute and fluffy and easily read, but completely forgettable the second you close the book.

2 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley For Honest Review
* (originally posted here: https://goannago.wordpress.com)

Rushing Love by Meg Bawden

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rushing-love-by-meg-bawden-8176-b

Blurb

After a devastating breakup with the man he thought he’d spend his life with, Flynn Webb takes a vacation to a South Dakota dude ranch. It’s something completely different from anything he’s done before, and it helps that it’s as far away from his ex as possible. Trapped in his own depressive thoughts, Flynn is surprised to meet Grayson Harland. Not only is Grayson a sexy cowboy—one fifteen years younger—but he’s the most charming man Flynn has ever met.

Flynn doesn’t have much experience with being seduced, and he has even less with guys like Grayson taking an interest in him—and Grayson is definitely interested. What begins as a fling while visiting iconic South Dakota sights soon develops the potential for much more. But Flynn is afraid that falling in love again so soon—and with a man so much younger—will lead only to another catastrophic heartbreak. Luckily for them both, Grayson isn’t giving up without a fight.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Review

Gah! I was leery of this book because I’ve not been impressed with this series overly much, however – this is a unique part of the world and May/December and I really enjoyed Avon Gale’s contribution to the series … so I thought I’d give it a try.

Well, I’m just going to say it didn’t work for me.
There was a lot of “info dumping” about being in South Dakota, being a Native American from South Dakota, being a ranch operator etcetera that felt more educational than entertaining.

I didn’t care for the way Grayson talked to and about Flynn right from the start. It didn’t feel authentic or sincere and it bothered me a lot. Ie:

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. You’re gorgeous. Please tell me you’re the gay one.”

I didn’t like that Flynn referred to his BFF as a “fagstag” and their relationship felt awkward and strange as well.

Then there’s the ending. We got a very HEA but it was totally unbelievable – especially given the circumstances surrounding Flynn’s trip in the first place and didn’t feel real. Even the “misunderstanding” seemed unrealistic given who all was on the ranch – I think Flynn would have guess who Grayson was right from the start.

In any case – while I might read something from this author in the future, this just wasn’t for me.

2 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher For Honest Review

Branded by Flames (Dragon Soul #1) by Sean Michael

release day review

Carina Press Presents

http://www.carinapress.com/shop/books/9781488024337_branded-by-flames.html

32813414Blurb

Meet the Beteferoce brothers. Five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power. And each with a fierce desire to find his soul mate…

For years, dragon-shifter-slash-firefighter Jake has been searching for his mate, but he’s beginning to tire of the search. Maybe soul mates are only for the lucky few.

Then he meets Shae.

A former navy welder, Shae is handsome, talented, into power play and rough sex, and covered in dragon tattoos. All of this suits the shape-shifting dragon just fine—until he finds out that Shae literally has Jake’s family crest already tattooed on him. A coincidence? Or something more…

Jake must convince Shae to trust him as a man and as a Dom before the heat between them burns out of control. Becoming a dragon’s mate is not without danger, and Shae will need Jake’s guidance—and love—if he’s going to make it through alive.

Review

I was so excited when I read this blurb because I love the idea of fated mates and dragons and thought the whole tattoo thing sounded fascinating. I, however, missed the whole DOM thing and that’s a big drag because I would have skipped it had I noticed that because I don’t like BDSM as a rule.

On the one hand there were things I really liked about this. The world building is interesting, there are a few brothers and I’m sure we’ll get their stories. I thought Shae was a great character in that he was submissive but didn’t let Jake run him over. The tattoo artist is compelling and I’m betting there’s a story there, too. I loved the magic and the bonding and the nuances that occur once a pair is bonded – that was pretty cool!

What didn’t work for me: Most of the book is sex. Like, almost all of it. It’s one sex scene after another and I’d barely call it Porn with a plot as it’s mostly porn. The sex DID NOT add to the story and I skimmed it at best. (Partly because there was so much of it and partly because it’s not my cup of tea as far as kink goes.) There wasn’t much relationship building – unless all the sex was meant to be that. I think there could have been more attention spent on the plot and the world building and the romance and less on the sex – or it could have been a much, much shorter book.

I didn’t like Jake or bond with him. I hated how he called Shae BOY all the time – and not in a D/s way but in a degrading way and I didn’t really care if they became a couple by the end of the book.

So… in general I might be interested enough to read the blurb on others in the series but I’d wait for reviews before I pick it up. If the entire series is as sex-laden as this, then I’ll be skipping it. If there’s more romance in future stories I’m intrigued by the world building enough to give it a shot.

This just didn’t work for me but if you like loads of sex and pain is your kink you might like this.

2 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review

Matchless Man Audiobook by Ariel Tachna Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-matchless-man-by-ariel-tachna-7763-b

61ogov4pfol-_sl300_Blurb

Lexington Lovers
None of the matches caught his eye as much as the matchmaker himself.
Growing up poorer than poor didn’t leave Navashen Bhattathiri many options for life outside of school. All of his concentration was on keeping his scholarships. Sixteen years later, he’s fulfilled his dream and become a doctor. Now he’s returning home to Lexington and is ready to prove himself to the world. In doing so, he reconnects with Brent Carpenter – high school classmate, real estate agent, all-around great guy, and closet matchmaker.
Brent makes it his mission to help Navashen develop a social life and meet available, interesting men. Unfortunately Navashen’s schedule is unpredictable, and few of those available, interesting men value his dedication like Brent does. Brent’s unfailing friendship and support convince Navashen he’s the one, but can he capture Brent’s heart when the matchmaker is focused on finding Navashen another man?

Review
(Some spoilers at the end)

I’m just so surprised by this story. Ariel Tachna has proven not only her writing chops but also her immense creativity and ease with angst and danger and drama and emotion in her gripping series Lang Downs and Partnership in Blood. I’d even read her other Dreamspun Desire book so I definitely had an expectation that ran toward the creative and angsty.

This is the exact opposite.

It’s like expecting a Bloody Mary and being served warm tap water instead.

The story, told from Navashen’s POV is more like “a day in the life of” memoir than an exciting or heartfelt romance. Navashen tells us about moving home, finding a new house, furnishing the house, picking out a restaurant, meeting new friends, talking to his family, etcetera, etcetera. Using way more detail than calls for we are walked through his relocation and new home set-up. None of which is terribly exciting or angst ridden.

His character reads fairly “blah” in that he had some “issues” with poverty growing up and some potential issues with his Indian family but those aren’t actually even a thing (much) anymore. They color his decisions but have not made him an interesting character.

Brent is even worse. There is nothing noteworthy about his character at all up until the very end when we learn he was married to a woman whose family didn’t approve of Brent and that ultimately ended their marriage for them.

(Spoiler)

 

 

Brent and Navashen don’t even begin to date until 80% into the story and then at 90% they break up! Only to reunite in the final pages.

I never felt a bit of chemistry between these two and the ease with which Brent walked away speaks loudly for how little the two are invested in one another. I have no idea what Brent sees in Navashen (not that there’s anything wrong with him but we aren’t really shown why the two hit it off.) Also, Navashen seems like he’s interested in Brent only because he’s the better option to being alone.

(End of spoiler)

 

 

 

Navashen’s brother and mother are the only “interesting” characters and they didn’t have enough to them to carry the story.

Listening to this was probably worse than reading it only because in addition to being not very interesting, John Solo made Brent sound like a smarmy used car salesman and he kinda made my skin crawl. I expected some accents with all these unique characters but there weren’t any, so that didn’t help the situation either.

All in all this was very disappointing and I’m sorry to say I just can’t recommend either the book or the audiobook.

2 of 5 stars

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Dear Santa, Dear Dad by TJ Masters

14976042_10157666458050414_2062317784_o

 

 

 

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dear-santa-dear-dad-by-tj-masters-7889-b

 

18919565Blurb

Widower Steven drives to the North of England two days before Christmas to meet his estranged son Andrew hoping for a reconciliation. Steven had rejected his son when, as a 19 year old student, he came out to his parents as being gay. Andrew now lives with his partner Peter who initiates contact with Steven by forwarding on to him the almost childlike ‘Letter to Santa’ that the lad has written asking for a father who loves him.
At first Andrew is hostile to his father’s overtures but the bad weather conspires to strand them all together over the Christmas period. Father and son both experience a steep learning curve, not helped by the father realising that his son’s lover is actually older than he is. Proximity breaks down barriers and the three men work together in the spirit of cooperation and of the season to create a Christmas experience which will change their lives for ever.

 

Review

If you’ve read the blurb, you know what happens in the story.

Unfortunately, there’s not much else to it. In addition, it’s told from the father’s POV and that eliminates the element of “romance” from this.

I think, if you look at this as “gay fiction”, it could hold some interest, but as a romance it lacks all the elements that make a romance. (Andy does tell the story of how he and Peter met, and he and Peter squabble for a moment when Steven shows up on the door, but there really is not much in this about Peter and Andrew.)

Mostly, this is Steven’s story about making up with his son and that, too, is lackluster. I really wanted Andy to hold Steven up to his ridiculously homophobic, clichéd and bigoted opinions (that he states before and AFTER the two make up) – but he doesn’t.

Though I think the writing was fine as was the editing, I can’t recommend this as a romance at all, nor do I recommend it as a stellar example of gay fiction.

2 of 5 stars

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