Friends to Lovers: Road Trip With Conrad by Candice Blake

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38609213-a-road-trip-with-conrad?from_search=true

Blurb

ELIJAH: You saved me and we quickly became friends…

Needing a change of scene from his life, twenty-five-year-old Elijah Collins dreams of living off the grid and traveling across the country. He leaves everything behind and embarks on the trip of a lifetime in a 1973 Volkswagen Westfalia. But halfway through his journey to Los Angeles, the van breaks down on a rural road in Nebraska. With nobody in sight, Elijah is stranded…until a handsome and strapping alpha gives him a hand.

CONRAD: I’ve been straight my whole life until you came along…

Thirty-five-year-old Conrad Westbrook lives a simple life on a farm where he runs his dad’s honey business. When he finds Elijah on the side of the road, Conrad welcomes the young traveler into his home until the van gets repaired. Wanting to return the favor, Elijah invites Conrad to join him on the road trip. Forced together in the small camper van, while exploring the breathtaking sites of western America, neither men know how to handle their growing attraction towards each other.

Our lives are worlds apart, but can we make it work?

Conrad finds it harder to resist his attraction to another man for the first time. While Elijah, who’s so focused on the destination, doesn’t realize that the man he’s sharing his journey with is all he needs. They started the road trip as nothing more than friends, but unexpectedly become much more. What happens at the end of the road when both men have to head their separate ways and return back to their own lives?

Review

Friends to lovers can always be a rocky road. And it’s on a road trip that these 2 discover what opening that door can lead to.

The story has a great open feel to it. Elijah is half way across the country when he meets Conrad. After the kindness shown, Elijah invites Conrad to join him on the rest of his trip. What starts as an easygoing trip turns hot and heavy quickly. Each stop has the 2 men exploring more of each other till they get to the down and dirty.

The story jumps to an almost insta love genre, but with the story it just leads the 2 MC’s to realize that they are so much better together than apart.

The ending seems a little too easy. Things that seemed like big obstacles were suddenly resolved which lead to Elijah and Conrad being able to be together. All in all a sweet story.

3 of 5 stars

3-stars-small

Purchased for review

 

Friends to Lovers: Private Hearts (River Town book 1) by Grant C Holland

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38467034-private-hearts?from_search=true

Blurb

Dak Preston is a deckhand on a Mississippi river towboat. That means four weeks on the river and two weeks onshore. It also means men willing to stick around for a relationship are hard to find. He’s learned to keep his heart protected from the chaos of men drifting in and out of his bed. Lewis, his latest boyfriend, is on the way out, and Dak faces a new month on the boat with no one waiting for him at home.

Brody Sexton, his best friend since elementary school, is reeling from the sudden illness and death of his mother. He calls on Dak to help him move into the house she left behind. While storing items in the attic, Brody stumbles upon a set of photos that changes the way he sees his family. Secrets of love were hidden far away in the heart of a relative he barely knew.

Both men are vulnerable when they get together to celebrate Dak’s last night in town before he joins the boat for another month on the river. The usual pizza, beer, and movies lead to an unexpected kiss, and their lives are changed. They have a glimpse into what could be, but Dak’s ties to the river and the mystery of Brody’s family threaten to intervene. Will they find the way to set their private hearts free?

Private Hearts is a 50,000 word friends-to-lovers romance. It has steamy scenes and no cliffhangers. It’s the first novel in the River Town series, but it can easily be read as a standalone novel.

Review

This is a story where as usual two best friends both want to be more than friends but don’t want to mess up the friendship. Several big things happen and the 2 men suddenly share a kiss. They then are forced to be apart for a month and spend as much time talking and Skyeping as they can. While all of this goes on there is a small mystery to follow. The story meanders along with a misunderstanding and make up.

For me it felt like there were missing pieces to the story. Things were talked about in the past tense, and it felt like the reader should know about it. So while I liked the story it just felt like there were too many holes in it.

3 of 5 stars

3-stars-small

Purchased for Review

 

Friends to Lovers: The Wolf’s Man Friday by Julia Talbot

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-wolfs-man-friday-by-julia-talbot-9466-b

Blurb
The last thing Sebastian Zeller wants is to be pack Alpha. But when the pack leader, his uncle Ron, is attacked, he has no choice but to leave his beloved Colorado mountains and fulfill his duty as Ron’s heir—at least until his uncle recovers. In the meantime, he intends to lure the attacker out… and make them pay.
When Ron gets wind of Sebastian’s plan to catch the attacker, he doesn’t like the idea of risking his heir.That’s where Jaxon Reedis comes in—he’ll balance protecting the dark and sexy werewolf with pretending to be his personal assistant. He’s walking a fine line that requires all his foxy wit and craftiness… and that’s on top of the inescapable feeling that he and Sebastian are meant for each other. When the attacker returns, will they be able to maintain their deepening bond when danger threatens to tear down everything they’re building?

Review
A delightful, snappy, story about a wolf who doesn’t want to be alpha and a bodyguard pretending to be a personal assistant.

The banter between Sebastian and Jaxon is great. I had a hard time at first when they started talking mind to mind. Thought that would unsettle them more, but it just flowed. Also I’m not sure if Sebastian ever put together that Jaxon was more than a personal assistant. Yes the guy had mad skills, but that issue never came up in conversation. Nobody called Jaxon on him moving from personal assistant/bodyguard to mate. Nothing from the alpha that hired him, or Jaxon’s boss.

The things I liked was how well they played off of each other, mentally, physically and emotionally. I loved their playful side. Running around Dallas following whatever whim was suggested. Julia Talbot was masterful in blending both the human side with the animal. The sex scenes were both hot and tender, and the cuddle times included both skin and fur. I loved how she incorporated the need for touch so deeply into the story.

The main supporting characters really pulled the story together. I’m sure Alan will have a story, and I would love to see Tyrone have one too. I mean really an elk working for a pack of wolves!

This is definitely a fun read, and I look forward to more from the author.

4.5 of 5 stars

4.5-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Friends to Lovers: Baby Love by Harper Logan

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38825117-baby-love?from_search=true

Blurb
When Rafe arrives in Rosebridge, he has three goals: escape from the darkness of his past, make a stable home for his two-year-old daughter, and maybe explore his longstanding – and nerve-wracking – attraction to men. The 911 operator decides to check out the local gay bar to see how the whole thing works.

Marshall wants Rafe the moment he spots him at the bar. That is, he wants to set him up with a friend. He’s taking a year-long break from dating due to his habit of falling head-over-heels, and plans to play matchmaker instead – but Rafe pushes him to the brink of his willpower. And then the sexy stranger enrolls his daughter in the preschool where Marshall teaches.

Despite their growing friendship, Marshall’s determined to keep his vow not to date. Can he really set his crush up with someone else? Or will Rafe convince him they belong together?

(Baby Love is a is a 55,000-word steamy M/M friends-to-lovers romance with low angst, no cliffhangers, no cheating, and a guaranteed happily ever after!)

Review
The start of this book is a hoot! The scene where Marshall and Charly meet Rafe in the local bar had me laughing out loud. Follow that up with the next morning at the preschool and Harper Logan sets the tone for most of the story. The story moves on from there and Rafe shows that he is kind and mature and respectful of someone’s choices. Then all of the sudden, after an eye opening situation, he does a 180 and it’s all downhill from there.

Marshall is a character that has decided he is going to improve himself for himself, not anyone else. I love that although he starts this to put himself in a better place to find the right man and keep him, by the end of the story it truly is to make himself happy.

A few things in the story don’t sit right for me as a reader, or at least I wish there had been more said about it, but overall a sweet story.

4 of 5 stars

4-stars-small

Purchased for review

 

Friends to Lovers: Trusting Tanner by Nicky James

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32071080-trusting-tanner?from_search=true

Blurb
Maybe tomorrow it will be better…

Zander Baker has spent years forcing a smile onto his face to make the world believe he is a happy man. In reality, it’s a façade for the battered person he truly is. Living a life imprisoned in an abusive relationship, Zander doesn’t know how to break free. Ordinary enjoyments are not within his reach. Not only has he lost all his friends, but over the last seven years, he’s lost himself as well.
Tanner Mathews has recently returned to the city and needs to start life all over again. New job, new friends and a new relationship are top of his list. When he meets his niece’s new preschool teacher he is drawn in by his good looks and shy personality. Sadly, Zander is involved with someone else. Settling for friendship, Tanner soon realizes there is a lot more to Zander than what he shows the world. As their friendship struggles to grow, and details about Zander’s life come to the surface, Tanner finds himself unexpectedly falling in love. His heart aches for Zander and all he wants to do is help the man break free.
Can Tanner help Zander reclaim his life?
Will his feelings for his friend interfere with his intentions?
What happens if it all goes wrong?
Will love conquer all in the end?

Review

Trusting Tanner is an emotional roller coaster in several ways. We are shown Tanner’s point of view, not wanting to break up an established couple, yet he slowly falls in love with the man. Zander’s point of view of knowing the relationship he’s in is toxic yet he wants Tanner’s friendship even with Tanner pushing to show him what’s wrong with his life.

The author does a fabulous job of laying out the story, showing the partner abuse, the ability to use escapism to cope, the frustration of close friends who can blatantly see what’s going on and do nothing but support him. All while building this love story between Tanner and Zander.

Although this could be a hard story for some to read, it ends in a HEA. And in the end we are shown how strong Zander really is.

5 of 5 stars

5-stars-small

Purchased for review

 

Audiobook: Flight or Fight by Dirk Greyson Narrated by Mark Westfield

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/flight-or-fight-by-dirk-greyson-9316-b

Blurb

Life in the big city wasn’t what Mackenzie “Mack” Redford expected, and now he’s come home to Hartwick County, South Dakota, to serve as sheriff.
Brantley Calderone is looking for a new life. After leaving New York and buying a ranch, he’s settling in and getting used to living at a different pace—until he finds a dead woman on his porch and himself the prime suspect in her murder.
Mack and Brantley quickly realize several things: someone is trying to frame Brantley; he is no longer safe alone on his ranch; and there’s a definite attraction developing between them, one that only increases when Mack offers to let Brantley stay in his home. But as their romance escalates, so does the killer. They’ll have to stay one step ahead and figure out who wants Brantley dead before it’s too late. Only then can they start the life they’re both seeking—together.

Review

A love story and a mystery all rolled up into one story! 

Let’s start your new life with a murdered woman on your front porch. Brantley just wanted a fresh start.  Mack doesn’t know this new guy in town, but everything points to Brantley at first.

The two men start looking for clues and then after Brantley needs a place to stay he ends up at Sheriff Mack’s house. The attraction between the two men builds to where of course they end up in bed. So between trying to solve the mystery and realizing that the attraction between then is past the mild heat stage we are lead through carefully placed clues. Just don’t assume you know all the answers right away.

 

I really liked Mack’s dad! Throughout the story his soft humor and acceptance moved the story along nicely. 

Story 3.5 of 5 stars
Narration 

Mark Westfield 

I wasn’t impressed with Mark’s narration. It seemed to me to be more monotonous than anything. I always keep going enough to get immersed into the story so that I can ignore what I don’t like about a narrator. So even though I enjoyed the story, Mark didn’t put it over the top for me.

Narration 2.5 of 5 stars

Overall 3 of 5 stars

 

3-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Rome and Jules by Tara Lain

release day review

Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rome-and-jules-by-tara-lain-9339-b

Blurb

Two werewolf households, both alike in dignity….
Rome Siracusa, youngest son of the alpha of the nouveau-riche Siracusa pack, wants to be a faithful son and pack member, but he’s got two big secrets. One, he’s blessed with enhanced hearing, vision, strength, and the ability to shift at will. Second, he’s gay, a fact he can’t admit to his deadly homophobic father.
Rome crashes a party at the mansion of his pack’s greatest enemy, the ancient, pure-blooded Havillands. Jules, the gay son of the drunkard alpha, is being married off to a rich entrepreneur. Smitten and moved by the beautiful male’s plight, Rome tries to find a way to save Jules—while digging himself deeper into pack politics and navigating his own arranged marriage. Secrets climb out of the caves as the werewolf gods speak through the mouths of their children, and the two great families clash, suffocating the hopes of star-crossed lovers.

Review

It took a little bit of reading to get into this book for me. But once I got into the second chapter I felt I was getting a better understanding of the flow of the story. We are presented more with shifter society and hierarchy, than shifters, shifting. Although we see more of that as things heat up between Rome and Jules.

The story seems more like 2 gangs trying to control the majority instead of 2 packs. Needless to say one alpha and most of his pack is homophobic, the other pack is strong but broke and is being lead by an alcoholic. Both are looking for a way to take control over all and using their sons as pawns.

I had a hard time believing that just a kiss would alter perceptions of the 2 MC’s. The Story eludes to fated mates, yet never comes out and says it. Also the ending of the major conflict was confusing to me.

I got caught up in the story as the story progresses but in the end it just didn’t work for me

2.5 stars of 5

2.5-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Friends to lovers: Road Trip With Conrad by Candice Blake

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38609213-a-road-trip-with-conrad?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

ELIJAH: You saved me and we quickly became friends…

Needing a change of scene from his life, twenty-five-year-old Elijah Collins dreams of living off the grid and traveling across the country. He leaves everything behind and embarks on the trip of a lifetime in a 1973 Volkswagen Westfalia. But halfway through his journey to Los Angeles, the van breaks down on a rural road in Nebraska. With nobody in sight, Elijah is stranded…until a handsome and strapping alpha gives him a hand.

CONRAD: I’ve been straight my whole life until you came along…

Thirty-five-year-old Conrad Westbrook lives a simple life on a farm where he runs his dad’s honey business. When he finds Elijah on the side of the road, Conrad welcomes the young traveler into his home until the van gets repaired. Wanting to return the favor, Elijah invites Conrad to join him on the road trip. Forced together in the small camper van, while exploring the breathtaking sites of western America, neither men know how to handle their growing attraction towards each other.

Our lives are worlds apart, but can we make it work?

Conrad finds it harder to resist his attraction to another man for the first time. While Elijah, who’s so focused on the destination, doesn’t realize that the man he’s sharing his journey with is all he needs. They started the road trip as nothing more than friends, but unexpectedly become much more. What happens at the end of the road when both men have to head their separate ways and return back to their own lives?

Review

Friends to lovers can always be a rocky road. And it’s on a road trip that these 2 discover what opening that door can lead to.

The story has a great open feel to it. Elijah is half way across the country when he meets Conrad. After the kindness shown, Elijah invites Conrad to join him on the rest of his trip. What starts as an easygoing trip turns hot and heavy quickly. Each stop has the 2 men exploring more of each other till they get to the down and dirty.

The story jumps to an almost insta love genre, but with the story it just leads the 2 MC’s to realize that they are so much better together than apart.

The ending seems a little too easy. Things that seemed like big obstacles were suddenly resolved which lead to Elijah and Conrad being able to be together. All in all a sweet story.

3 of 5 stars

3-stars-small

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

Recent Release: Blood Dance by Samantha Cayto

Pride Publishing
https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/blood-dance

Blurb
What lurks in the dark is not always a monster. Sometimes it’s your deepest desire.
A thousand years ago, Alex captained an alien ship that crashed on Earth. Stranded, he has tried to keep his men together while forging a new life. He’s locked into a never-ending war with mutinous crewmembers that makes unsuspecting humans collateral damage. That humans mistake them as vampires is all to the good. Humans are still not ready to learn aliens live among them. Alex has finally found some peace running a private club, but the memories of a human, loved and lost, keeps him alone.
Quinn Cooper was kicked out of his family when he came out as gay. Having travelled to Boston, he takes a job in Alex’s club. His boss and the men around him are large, scary and hard to ignore—as is his instant attraction to Alex. Becoming involved with the boss is always tricky. There’s something about Alex, however, that’s too sexy and compelling to ignore.
Knowing that seducing the vulnerable and virginal Quinn is a bad idea, Alex tries to keep his distance. He’s also trying to protect the boy and everyone else when the traitorous crew once more stirs up trouble. Alex’s and Quinn’s growing attraction leads Quinn closer to the frightening truth of whose bed he shares, while putting him in unfathomable harm’s way. Alex has to find a path forward to end the alien war for good or risk losing another love.

Review
Can many of our beliefs in the supernatural really be aliens who have infiltrated our world? Not as farfetched as belief in vampires. Quinn stumbles into a BDSM club in answer to an ad for go-go dancers. New in town, as well as homeless and hungry he immediately catches Alex’s attention. Unfortunately he shows up just as an opposing group of aliens are starting to pick at the life this group has made for themselves.

The world building goes on through the whole story. Bits and pieces revealed in the form of explaining the story and later informing Quinn. The romance between Quinn and Alex seems to happen quickly, I think the story only spans a few weeks, yet by the end there are declarations of love. The writing was good, the story kept my interest all the way through, and the sexy times were hot! There was mention of men being able to get pregnant, but it didn’t happen in this story.

This ended with a HFN, and left it for more stories to come, both with Quinn and Alex as well as the other alien members of the group. There will be an overall storyline so the books should be read in order as they come out.

Rating 4 of 5 stars

4-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Enemies to Lovers: Wild City Life by Liv Rider

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33780897-wild-city-life?from_search=true

Blurb

Elliot Novak and Dominik Askov—heirs to the Leopard and Tiger packs—have been clashing for years. But when the Leopard pack is brutally attacked, it’s time to put their rivalry aside.

Elliot knows that taking Dominik with him to confront the threat might be the only way to ensure their alliance holds. But even in the middle of terrible danger, he’s not sure he can keep someone with Dominik’s keen senses from noticing the attraction he’s long hidden.

Dominik doesn’t mess around when the safety of his pack is at stake–even if it’s the first time he’s had a chance to spend time with the man he secretly admires. He’s determined to keep his long-concealed feelings for Elliot under wraps and his tiger’s instincts under control.

But when they embark on a journey to find the attackers, they forget the power of the rising moon. Under its influence, they might reveal everything their human selves would rather hide. Can they fight both the animal instincts pulling them together and the enemies bent on destroying them?

Review

This was a nice story that gives us a different perspective on shifters and the world they live in.

Humans don’t factor into this story, it is strictly shifters trying to survive after the world has combusted. It is also about tigers and leopards instead of wolves or bears.

The tiger and leopards have pack lines that overlap and two shifters bump up against these as they grow up. Both are intrigued by the other, yet keep their distance. When one pack is brutally attached Elliot and Dominik must work together to find out who and why.

I liked that the roles were somewhat reversed as the bigger of the two was actually the more passive. The pull of the moon just brought out what wasn’t wanted to be acknowledged. I also liked how even after the hot sex scene it took a while for everything to settle into place.

The author did a nice job of creating a different world and didn’t settle for an easy predictable ending.

Rating 4 of 5 stars

4-stars-small

Copy Purchased for Review