Time to Comfort: Rend (Riven #2) by Roan Parrish

release day review

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38944629-rend?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

After a whirlwind romance, a man with a painful past learns to trust the musician who makes him believe in happy endings.

Matt Argento knows what it feels like to be alone. After a childhood of abandonment, he never imagined someone might love him—much less someone like Rhys Nyland, who has the voice of an angel, the looks of a god, and the worship of his fans.

Matt and Rhys come from different worlds, but when they meet, their chemistry is incendiary. Their romance is unexpected, intense, and forever—at least, that’s what their vows promise. Suddenly, Matt finds himself living a life he never thought possible: safe and secure in the arms of a man who feels like home. But when Rhys leaves to go on tour for his new album, Matt finds himself haunted by the ghosts of his past.

When Rhys returns, he finds Matt twisted by doubt. But Rhys loves Matt fiercely, and he’ll go to hell and back to triumph over Matt’s fears. After secrets are revealed and desires are confessed, Rhys and Matt must learn to trust each other if they’re going to make it. That means they have to fall in love all over again—and this time, it really will be forever.

Review

This was not what I was expecting.

I’d really loved Riven – it had angst and pain – sure – but the overall feeling was lighter and definitely had a brighter outlook to it.

I’d thought this would have a similar vibe. Well – it didn’t. It was very, very, very, very angsty – drama at every turn and full of sadness and emotional upheaval.

If this is your bag- you will be psyched because Roan Parrish is a great writer. However, if you’re looking for something lighter in line with Riven – don’t read this.

I thought it was interesting that our MCs are already married in chapter 1 and the book is not our guys getting together but Matt getting over his low self esteem.

I really didn’t like the fact that Matt was a mental health professional with apparently no ability to manage himself – at all.

I think that was definitely part of the problem I had with this. I appreciated the idea of it, but I didn’t necessarily like that our guys were already together.

In any case – it was nice seeing the MCs from book 1 and – as I mentioned – Roan is a great writer – I was just over Matt and his self doubt pretty much from sentence one so this just didn’t tick any boxes for me.

3 of 5 stars


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Audiobook: Redeeming the Stepbrother by Andrew Grey, narrated by Jack Wesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/redeeming-the-stepbrother-by-andrew-grey-9507-b

 

Blurb

A Tale from St. Giles

Family can be a blessing and a curse, but for artist Florian, it’s a nightmare he longs to escape.

As chief designer for Bartholomew Artist Porcelain, Florian specializes in painting birds. He also watches them in the wild to distract himself from his short-tempered mother, at least temporarily. Florian’s heart is too soft to leave his stepsister, Ella, to suffer alone. Still, he can’t help dreaming about one day finding happiness and love.

When Count Dieter von Hollenbach arrives in town to visit a friend and present an award, he isn’t looking for romance. Then again, he doesn’t expect someone as perfect as Florian to come into his life. To make sure Florian is all he seems and that their connection is genuine, Dieter keeps his title to himself.

But he isn’t the only one with a secret.

At a masquerade ball to celebrate the award, some of the masks fall away, but those that remain in place could destroy the love beginning to grow between them.

Review

Story:
This was a sweet and mellow modern take on Cinderella, refreshingly focusing on one of the stepsiblings rather than the Cinderella character.

Florian, the stepbrother in need of redeeming, is not such a blackguard as the title or knowledge of the original fairytale might lead you to suppose. He is quite a pleasant young man, no bully or anything like that, but he keeps to himself and basically looks the other way for years any time his mom goes all evil stepmother on his younger stepsister, Isabella, and therein lies the rub.

Ella is a wonderful young girl, very loving and forgiving, and she really blossoms once Florian decides to help her and starts sticking up for her at home. I love that this particular Cinderella gets a magic night at the ball, but then goes off on an adventure and gets herself an education rather than focusing on getting a boyfriend. She’s only eighteen, after all.

We only have Florian’s point of view throughout the story, which I thought a bit of a pity. Dieter’s perspective from time to time would have been helpful. As it is, he remains very much the enigmatic Count. He appears to be the more interesting of the two men, but we know next to nothing of what he feels or thinks. We also get very little German endearments or quotes, though that could have really livened things up. Verdammt! Das ist wirklich schade.

Florian and Dieter gravitate towards each other very easily, but it all happens so mildly, almost tepidly, that I can’t say that I was very engrossed by their story.
It takes them a long time to realize and speak of their feelings for each other and when they finally do so, Florian seems resigned to an unhappy outcome, thinking that it’ll be over almost instantly, because Dieter is set to return to Germany soon. Florian, with all his insecurities, can be rather passive, and a bit of a damsel in distress at times. It doesn’t even seem to occur to him that he can fight to keep Dieter in his life, one way or another.

Of course, this is a romance and a fairytale, so Florian and Dieter are assured of their HEA. However, there is still a spot of bother to overcome, remember the evil stepmother and the other, even more evil, stepbrother?
This part of the plot ups the stakes for all involved and brings with it an element of danger and emotional distress that pushes the characters to evolve and grow. Nice twist!

This is the second book in the Tales from St. Giles series, but it can be read perfectly as a standalone.

Narration: The narrator had a warm and pleasant voice, but I felt a bit too much like he was just reading the story out loud instead of really bringing the characters to life. He made Florian’s mom sound really shrill, which was a bit unpleasant to listen to, but perfectly in keeping with her personality.

Number of stars out of 5: 3


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Recent Release: The Cat that Snared the Tom (Shifter’s Regime #2) by Charlie Richards

Extasy Presents

http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2229-5-the-cat-that-snared-the-tom/

Blurb

For over a century, Lachlan Addair worked for the Shifter Council as an enforcer. When the ruling body decided to open a new investigative branch, Lachlan was the first to volunteer. Infiltrating and exploring a shifter unit without detection is right up his curious cat’s alley. When Lachlan’s duty to report the causes of strife within a lynx pride has him slipping into Councilman Goldstein’s estate undetected—just for fun, of course—Lachlan stumbles across Thad—his mate. Unfortunately, the wild turkey shifter is standoffish and brusque. He doesn’t trust Lachlan and makes no secret that he thinks the mate-pull is nothing but a trick of the pheromones—something he’s determined to ignore. Lachlan loves a good puzzle and is undeterred. He admires Thad’s loyalty and uses his extensive wiles to cultivate a little of that for himself. When Lachlan is injured wrapping up a case, will it be the catalyst his mate uses to reject Lachlan—his job could bring so much danger to his flock, after all—and send him on his way?

Review

Charlie Richards is a comforting read for me. I like seeing familiar faces, I know what’s going to happen in the story and there’s usually something sweet or fun that surprises me and keeps thing interesting.

I think you’re ok reading this as a standalone but book 1 would help and knowing the entire story – like a million books long by now! – makes it even better.

3 of 5 stars


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Audiobook: BFF by KC Wells narrated by Michael Mola

audiobookreview

 

Dreamspinner Link

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bff-by-kc-wells-9646-b

Blurb
I’m about to do something huge, and it could change… everything.

I met Matt in second grade, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We went to the same schools, studied at the same college. When we both got jobs in the same town, we shared an apartment. And when my life took an unexpected turn, Matt was there for me. Every milestone in my life, he was there to share it. And what’s really amazing? After all these years, we’re still the best of friends.

Which brings me to this fragile, heart-stopping moment: I want to tell him I love him, really love him, but I’m scared to death of what he’ll say. If I’ve got this all wrong, I’ll lose him—forever

Review
(Book reviewed here previously: https://openskyebookreviews.com/coming-soon-bff-by-k-c-wells/)
The basis of this story is a being written by one of the main characters, Matt, and is told from his point of view. He grows up with David as Best Friends and the book chronicles their journey. I can honestly say I’m not certain how I feel about this story. It’s cute, the story of young men understanding their feelings for each other. Navigating through puberty and all the pressures high school, college and first job brings. Each chapter is another stage in their life and relationship as best friends. I would say this is the ultimate slow burn story as it takes 90% before they realise their feelings are deeper than just close friendship. There is also no angst. Perfect for a light read. My mixed feelings are because I didn’t quite feel the connection between Matt and David, it felt like friends with benefits rather than lovers. This might have been the tone of the narrator and the level of emotions between Matt and David I took from it.
I have not listened to anything narrated by Michael Mola before. He has a young sounding voice appropriate for Matt and David’s age. They are the same age about mid 20’s. All the characters had a unique voice which made easy to distinguish between them. The one thing that I found annoying after a while was Matt’s ‘chuckle’, but don’t let that put you off.

3 of stars out of 5 for both story and narration


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Audiobook: My Fair Captain by J.L. Langley narrated by Joseph Morton

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/my-fair-captain-by-jl-langley-9628-b

Blurb: When Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins goes undercover to investigate the theft of an IN weapons stash, the mission raises painful memories from his past. Using a title he fled nearly two decades earlier, Nate once again becomes the Earl of Deverell, heir to the Duke of Hawthorne, in order to navigate the ins and outs of a Regency world. But planet Regelence—where young lords are supposed to remain pure until marriage—has a few surprises for Nate, not least of which is his attraction to Prince Aiden.

A talented artist, Prince Aiden Townsend isn’t interested in politics and the machinations of society gentlemen, and he adamantly rejects the idea of marriage and a consort. Aiden wants the freedom to pursue his art and determine his own future. But the arrival of the dashing and mysterious Deverell awakens feelings of passion and longing the young prince can’t deny.

As Nate uncovers a conspiracy reaching far beyond the stolen weapons, his future is irrevocably altered by the temptations of a life he never thought he could have. Drawn into the web of intrigue, Aiden is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.

Review:

Book reviewed previously: https://openskyebookreviews.com/release-day-review-my-fair-captain-by-j-l-langley/

Joseph Morton (new to me), had a nice voice. He didn’t attempt to ‘act’ out the different characters. Unfortunately, it also made the narration rather emotionless (to me); any emotion portrayed by the characters was delivered in the same (mono)tone.
Ovearll, the narration was okay – it was more reading, (which isn’t bad), than performance, but I liked it enough to get through the book. I will likely listen to the narrator again.

3 stars out of 5


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Coming Soon! The Spy’s Lovesong By Kim Fielding

October 2!

 

 

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-spys-love-song-by-kim-fielding-9882-b

Blurb
For a singer and a spy, love might be mission impossible.
Jaxon Powers has what most only dream of. Fame. Fortune. Gold records and Grammy awards. Lavish hotel suites and an endless parade of eager bedmates. He’s adored all over the world—even in the remote, repressive country of Vasnytsia, where the tyrannical dictator is a big fan. The State Department hopes a performance might improve US relations with a dangerous enemy. But it means Jaxon’s going in alone… with one exception.
Secret agent Reid Stanfill has a covert agenda with global ramifications. Duty means everything to him, even when it involves protecting a jaded rock star. Jaxon and Reid’s mutual attraction is dangerous under Vasnytsia’s harsh laws—and matters get even worse when they’re trapped inside the borders. Romance will have to wait… assuming they make it out alive.

Review

This absolutely pains me to say, because I am a huge fan girl of Kim Fielding – but this absolutely did not work for me.

It was well written.

It had interesting characters.

The setting was unique and well described.

The premise was also unique and TIMELY!

But the romance fell absolutely flat for me. 🙁

There was little steam – which is fine – but it can help bring a couple closer in the reader’s mind and it wasn’t there. Most of the time I didn’t get the feeling the couple thought they’d make it out alive much less together and even by the end I was scratching my head at how these two could possibly work in the real world.

So much of this was about the machinations of the “spying” and the evading police etc that I didn’t get to feel our MCs really grow as a couple.

Another disappointment for me was the lack of musicality in our musician. Though he had his moments I didn’t like him “before” – aka slutty rock musician – and I didn’t get to see enough of him “after” to make that opinion change.

As for Reid – I wanted to shake him! He frustrated me over and over and I never felt close to him and I never saw closeness between him and Jax.

So… while I’m sure others will love this – Kim is an amazing writer so it’s only appropriate that they do! – it didn’t work for me unfortunately.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars


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Recent Review: Rocked Hard by Morticia Knight

Pride Publishing Presents

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/rocked-hard

Blurb

Can the touch of a rock god last forever?

Legendary alt rock singer, Aubrey King, is making a comeback after many years out of the spotlight. Rumors of his sexuality have always dogged him, and while he’s never come out publicly, his reasons for leaving the industry had nothing to do with his fear of discovery. What matters to him is the music. That’s his truth, and so far, his only real love. He aches to find someone to share his life with, but his propensity to fall fast and hard—along with chasing men he knows can never be his—has left him all alone.

Rock journalist Bryan Gallagher was first turned on to rock music at the age of twelve when he became obsessed with Aubrey’s band, Falling in Stereo. His friends, and even girlfriends, would sometimes tease him that he was hot for Aubrey. But it was all about the music and nothing else—at least that’s what he’s always told himself. When he’s approached about helping Aubrey write his memoir, it’s not only a dream assignment, but an exciting opportunity to work closely with his idol.

When Bryan meets Aubrey, the electric heat between them is unnerving. He’s further confused by how intense Aubrey’s attraction toward him is and how deeply they connect over their shared obsession of music. While Bryan struggles with uncertainty regarding his own sexuality, he also has to navigate through the perils of working with a lover and keeping their relationship a secret.

But Bryan’s biggest struggle of all might be determining whether declarations of true love from a rock star can ever be trusted.

Review by Xanthe
What a great story! I fully enjoyed the characters and the story line of this book from Morticia Knight.
Aubrey King is our rocker looking to make a comeback and has taken on Bryan Gallagher, rock journalist, to write his memoirs. Aubrey has always known he’s gay but the Rock and Roll life that he used to live never allowed him to be open as to who he truly was and he has never had anyone worth coming out for
Bryan, unlucky in love is about to meet and write for his inspiration for writing about the rock world. He’s been a fan since he was a boy and this is his ultimate dream come true. Though things take a turn he wasn’t expecting with some flirtation coming from Aubrey. Having never been attracted to a man before Bryan’s not quite sure how to handle things.
Moving forward with the project, both men become much more than they could have ever expected and big decisions have to be made for both of them.
This, for me, was an absorbing read. Constantly wanting to know how things are developing with both the MC’s and the life that they are moving towards. Aubrey’s lifestyle and person is a bit different to what Bryan was obviously expecting and I love when a character is sent off kilter in that way. Exploration between the two moves quickly and is hot(!) though Aubrey is very keen to point out that any and everything is going to go at the pace that Bryan wants, refusing to hurt or push him in any way. Bryan takes his time with thinking about the changes cropping up in his life since meeting Aubrey, even his interactions with others become interesting.
My only niggle with this book is the speed at which things happen in the beginning. I understand instant attraction and getting to know each other but for someone who has never experienced it with another man, it didn’t really ring true. However, Aubrey is such a lovable guy you can’t help but fall for him and how he expresses his feelings. Both he and Bryan bring out some of the best lines about the other man, just making you awwwww at them both.
There’s quite a bit of drama separate to but also impacting their relationship. It’s interesting to read how both men want to deal with things and the resulting changes it has on both of them.
I love some of the secondary characters we have – Rudy, tour manager and Jimmy, bassist, are the two guys to be truly relied upon, and Ed the man you love to hate. Bryan’s mother is adorable and I would have loved to have gotten more interaction with her and both men.
I’d definitely recommend this book!

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Sorel

I’m not quite sure what it was about this book, but it didn’t seem realistic enough to me and instead of feeling pulled into the story, I felt like quite detached from it.

Both Aubrey and Bryan were likeable enough characters, but from the very first meeting the whole relationship felt slightly off, even false. Maybe it is because I am not a big fan of insta-love and this was very, very instant.

As a character Bryan came across as very grounded and down to earth, but way too excepting of his attraction and very fast relationship with Aubrey. From never showing any interest in a man, to jumping into bed with one within a couple of days of their initial meeting, just doesn’t ring true.

As for Aubrey himself, at times I found his childlike quality towards love and commitment far too sugary and implausible. Even with the explanation we were given, the insecurities he displayed seemed more like a teenager than a rock star of 42 and had me pausing in annoyance on more than one occasion.

Overall, it was an easy, readable book, but it just didn’t grasp my attention like a good book should.

3 stars out of 5


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Release Day Review: Love You So Special by Tara Lain

release day review

Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-special-by-tara-lain-9894-b

Blurb

Artie is a simple guy, a blue collar plumber, not smart, and still deeply closeted, the only thing special about his life are his colorful tropical fish. Artie is working in a concert hall when he hears the music for the first time. Intrigued and instantly enamored, he even finds an excuse to go back after hours to try and hear it again. The mysterious musician might be a figment of his imagination, but a few days after when he goes to the ritzier part of town for a job he hears it again. The source is the pianist and composer Francois Desmarais, international talent, beautiful and rich, and oh yeah, his boss.

Francois is a world renowned musician with fans all over the globe, too bad he can’t stand to talk to people and crowds petrify him. Secluded and barley making any public appearances, Francois is fascinated with the cute guy working in his property. He feels safe and at ease in his company, something he never though himself capable of feeling again, and they become friends. Just when Francois starts feeling more confident in himself his fear of strangers turns out to be justified and Artie has to decide if he will stay in the closet or stand next to this amazing man he grew to adore for much more than his talented fingers.

Review by Karen
This is a very cute romance, but definitely a whirlwind one.

Once the MC’s start to have feelings for each other, everything just goes incredibly fast. I feel like they skip a few steps in the whole let’s get to know each other process. I would have liked it better if the author had given them a bit more time to fall in love.
François and Artie are very sweet together though, and do have a great connection, however fast it came about.

I did really like that music was so important to both men. It felt almost like a third in their relationship and was wonderfully described. A piano and Chopin… what’s not to love about that combination? It gave François all the advantage he needed to woo Artie.

Danger lurks in the crowds of fans that gather to hear François play, however.
When it comes out of the shadows, it does so suddenly and unexpectedly.
A great way to add tension and suspense to the story and give both François and Artie a chance to prove what they’re made of.

Artie’s coming out felt a bit rushed to me, especially the conversation with his family. I feel this was a missed opportunity to add some more emotion and depth to the story, but it did not detract from my overall enjoyment of it.

This was a fun, quick read.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Review by Neta
This was a true sweet read, quit funny and just all around pleasure. Both main characters were interesting, Francois with his elusive personality and mystic and Artie, the big tough plumber with the heart of gold and softness. I especially liked how each did not live up to the stereotypical expectations of similar characters, and managed to surprise me along the way. This book had all of Tara’s charm and sass with a surprisingly small amount of sex which was actually nice. It fit the story well and I was not missing it, even though Tara’s books tend to be on the lava side of hot this was a bit milder. I liked the pacing too, they formed a nice friendship before they moved to the romantic side and it was fun getting to know them.

This is a great palate cleanser after and emotional read or a really bad book you need to flush out (did you see what I did there?) full of funny moments that will make you smile and unforgettable characters.

Number of stars out of 5
3 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 
Review by Dee

A really nice story about a regular, blue collar guy meeting and falling for a classical pianist. There is humour, a bit of hurt/comfort and a good bit heat in the story.
Artie is closeted, somewhat due to his job but mostly because he really hasn’t had a reason to declare himself. François had been subject to a traumatic incident (as a kid) and is quite wary of people in general. When both men meet, they feel a connection that trumps both their fears. Artie finds someone to protect and brave being out for; François finds someone (other than his mum) to have his best interests at heart.
This is another good standalone addition to the ‘Love You’ series!

3.75 stars out of 5


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Release Day: A Dom and His Warrior by Xenia Melzer

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-dom-and-his-warrior-by-xenia-melzer-9871-b

 

 

Blurb

Leeland Drake and Jonathan White are a committed BDSM couple and have just moved in together. Leeland has only one year left in college, and everything seems perfect… until Leeland’s uncle asks him to stand in for an injured UFC fighter.

Leeland wants to help his uncle, but he remembers all too well from his years competing in martial arts how strenuous life as an athlete can be. He doesn’t want to risk his relationship with Jonathan. After some discussion, they decide Leeland will go pro for a year.

As if the training and strict diet weren’t bad enough, the pressure skyrockets when Leeland encounters homophobic fighter Noah Adams—especially when they end up facing each other in the championship.

Between the bigoted rants of his opponent, the scrutiny of the media, the pressure from his sponsor, and a fire in his uncle’s gym, Leeland is close to breaking down. Only Jonathan’s support and love keep him focused enough to set foot in the octagon once more—and maybe even walk away a winner

 

Review by Truus
Leeland and Jonathan

As a perfect fit D/s couple Jonathan and Leeland will move in together.

Martial arts is Leeland’s expertise and to help his godfather he has to go pro as UFC fighter for the next year. He don’t really want to, but family matters and he has to help his uncle.

It is harder than they ever could imagine, the stress, the bigotry and homophobia, the exhausting days. Leeland has such a hard time but he is lethal and vicious.
But opponents can be vicious too… and ugly.

A very captivating story with wonderful personalities. Smoothly written with a nice flow. Jonathan and Leeland are not in a typical BDSM relationship. They play in their own way and have their own rules. Deep rooted love is the what glued and hold them together. Between all the training and fighting we can enjoy some delicious hot and satisfying scenes and how they still learn from and with each other. Their friends who are all subs and Doms are irreplaceable and their stories woven into this journey are also awesome. And all this together made it to an entertaining story. I just love the dynamic between Doms and their subs.

4.5 of 5


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Review by Mary

A Dom and his Warrior is the third book in the Club Whisper series and can be read as a stand-alone. Having said that there are characters from the previous books with cameo roles in this book and it’s nice to know their story to give some context. To be honest I didn’t love this story as much as the previous two. I couldn’t find the hook, that something to pull me into these characters story. Both Leeland and Johnathan are lovely kind generous men. Maybe too bland? Leeland goes through so much to help his uncle with the training to be a UFC fighter but never has a tantrum. Yes he has a wobble which he comforts with a sugar binge but no drama. That’s what I think I was missing, the drama of Leeland being constantly under pressure and harassed by his homophobic opponent. On the other hand Xenia Melzer knows how to write hot BDSM scenes. In fact the book opens with a scene. One that completely fits in with both Leeland and Jonathan’s temperaments being such nice guys. It was a nice story, don’t get me wrong and I might be too harsh because we all need something mellow every now and again. The other aspect that distracted me was that Leeland wasn’t sure what to make of Emilio and Garrett’s relationship. This aspect kept being mentioned but wasn’t resolved. Possibly it was setting up the story arc for the next book.

 

3 of stars out of 5


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Release Day Review: Strays by A.J. Thomas

release day review

 

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/strays-by-aj-thomas-9875-b

Blurb

Orphaned at a young age and raised in the foster system, Jory Smith has no idea he’s half incubus. He only knows he has the power to heal people, making himself sick in the process. Exploited by a crooked faith healer who sells his abilities and his life to the highest bidder and then left for dead, Jory flees, falling into a job at a small-town café where he can put his lifelong obsession with baking to good use.

But the minister who exploited him wants him back.

Exiled hellhound-turned–bounty hunter Malpheus Pelle has no idea why his human client wants him to track down an incubus. Jory is traumatized and afraid to touch anyone, an emotional handicap that could prove fatal for a demon who requires physical contact. Needing answers, Mal concocts a disastrous plan: pretend to date Jory to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, his plan never included dealing with an ancient demon assassin, Jory’s orgasmic pumpkin cookies, or losing his heart to the incubus he’s supposed to be hunting….

 

Review by Karen

 
This was a really fun paranormal romance, set in a well-drawn imaginary world.

Mal and Jory are a match made in heaven, or hell rather, since both of them are demons, though only one of them actually knows that. I was quite intrigued by the mystery surrounding Jory ‘s powers and identity and had a hard time stopping myself from skipping to the end to find that out sooner than the author intended.

I adore Mal for the way he cares for Louise and for how suddenly and completely he loses his heart to Jory. Even believing it’ll mean forfeiting his own life, he’s still all in and wants to protect Jory…no matter what. If only Mal could also find a way to be completely honest with Jory about who they both are without losing him. Decisions, decisions…

Jory’s a dear as well, a genuinely kind and caring person. He doesn’t start off squeaky clean though, helping a corrupt reverend to deceive his gullible congregation, but we can forgive him because he truly does help people and in a way he sticks to the only (manipulative and ungrateful) family he’s ever known. And almost gets himself killed in the process. Poor guy.

I really liked the hierarchy in the demon-world, and the way it mirrors human society in a way, though on a darker and more dangerous scale because, hey…demons. There’s a lot of strife and one-upmanship, both close-knit and dysfunctional families, and last but not least, discrimination between the different species.
I loved the amount of detail that went into the world-building and the original take on the incubus-mythology. The secondary characters were lovely and I hope to see more of them in future books, especially Keygan and Neal. Neal is great as a demon turned guardian angel, booze and all.

I very much hope this will turn into a series!

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


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Review by Neta
I was very interested in this book and love the plot going in, I do have to say as I got into it I was constantly confused and felt like details were too vague. I mainly feel like the world was not build clearly enough, for example some names of creatures were not explained and I found myself trying to make sense of them or having to wait for another tidbit of information to understand the meaning of authors intent. When you have a fantasy setting such as this and you invent names for things there needs to be some consistency and clarity. I was too focused on understanding these small things to enjoy the story itself at times. I also feel like Jory himself was not clearly defined as a character, and at times he was unaware of his Incubi bloodline and the fact demons and Hell exist. Other times he was very cool about magical, supernatural things and his un-human-ness and I found that a bit strange. There is a bit of mystery involved in this story, and it was done fairly well and was interesting and unexpected at times but the Supernatural elements being so undefined really got in the way for me.
Mal and Jory are cute together, sweet and fun, I loved his companion Louise was a character I really liked, there was something about her connection to Mal and the story behind her name that touched my heart. Neal was a mysterious one, and I don’t feel I fully get what his deal is and his connection to all the other supernatural things going on in this book but he was funny and I liked him as well.
I wish this book had better structure, and a bit more cohesiveness, because the plot was interesting with lots of potencial.

Number of stars out of 5
3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

There is much about this that I liked. The world building is unique and definitely interesting and kept me reading. I wasn’t ever quite sure what Jory’s deal was and how he went from healer to powerful incubus and even what all the rules governing his status was – and that made this a frustrating read.

Mal also confused the hell outta me in that at times he seemed eager to give up his life and then he would reverse and be sort of stand offish – all without really even knowing Jory that well.

I sort of understood the others who were there defending Jory but all in all I feel like this was a story with parts missing.

The romance itself was ok, but again, there was SO MUCH going on that it was hard to really focus on the romance at all and in fact it didn’t really fell like a focus, more like a side interest.

By the end our guys have a tentative HFN but it wasn’t super satisfying to me.

I was captivated by the magic and world building but underwhelmed by the final execution of the story itself, especially the romance.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review