Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book Gay Gay m/m Magic Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Standalone

Recent Review: The Enchanter’s Flame (The Ellwood Chronicles #1) by Michele Notaro

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41252355-the-enchanter-s-flame?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Strange things are happening all around Brinnswick. Things that remind me of a piece of my past I’d rather forget. Girls are being killed, drained of blood, and left with strange markings on their bodies. When I finally connect the cases together, a specialist is called in—though, what he’s a specialist of is beyond me.

When the chief assigns him as my new partner for the case, I can’t help but groan on the inside. Why of all people would I be assigned to Ailin Ellwood? The man is a disaster waiting to happen and a jerk to boot. A sexy jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.

What will Sebastian think when he discovers Ailin’s specialty? Will he make a run for it or will he stick around and discover a world of magic hidden beneath the city’s surface?

***The Enchanter’s Flame is the first book in the Ellwood Chronicles. It’s a paranormal romance that contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 and over.***

Review

First, let me say I LOVE this cover – it’s so nice not to see the typical half -naked torso!

Second, I wanted to say that I really want to recommend this book. ( I can’t say the series because the first/prequel isn’t my type of book – but that’s maybe just me).  Ailin is a great character and this book is full of magic and humor and some UST!  I really enjoyed it!  The entourage of animals really cracked me up!

I’m looking forward to the next book and hopefullly more laughs and spells!

4 of 5 stars


Purchased for Review

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Fated Mates Gay Gay m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

Release Day Review: Embracing Fate (A Series of Fates #2) by C.C. Dado

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/embracing-fate-by-cc-dado-9927-b

Blurb

A Series of Fates: Book Two

Sometimes you just have to embrace your fate.

Seth has a secret: he has a crush on the human next door. His brilliant plan to meet Jack, the man of his dreams who happens to be an animal trainer? Take wolf form and ask his best friend, Max, to take him next door for training. Seth is the only one surprised when things go horribly awry.

Still, can this shy wolf and a human meet their fate as mates?

Review

This book felt a lot more authentic to me than book one, which is unusual – usually the sequel in any series is the lesser – but not this time!

I thought it was hysterical – really funny at times – and pretty smexy as well. There is a lot of unresolved sexual tension and then some resolved chemistry as well!

The “misunderstanding” is resolved fairly quickly and all in all I really thought this fixed a lot of the “errors” I saw in book 1.

Recommended!

3.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
I have to say, I enjoyed this second book in the series more than the first. Whether we’ve settled in more with the characters or just with a slightly more cutesy story line, I found it easier to connect with the MC’s and fall into their tale.
Seth’s social anxiety leads him to think it’s a good idea to have some interaction with his human mate whilst in wolf form so he can become more at ease. But of course, with a best friend like Max, from book 1, hilarity ensues.
The attraction between Seth and Jack is clear from the outset and both men are really sweet and adorable, you can’t help but want it all to work out for them.
I loved getting to hear from Max and Christian, our MC’s of book 1, as well as Zeus, the pack’s beta. Hopefully he’ll be getting his HEA soon.
Something else this book had in its favour was the settings of some of the scenes, especially down at the lake. Both on a busy, sunny day and a quiet starlit night, it sounds like a wonderful place to be.
This series has gotten better for me and I’m looking forward to book 3. This book can be read as a stand-alone but for full enjoyment I’d recommend reading the series in order. It gives more insight into past events and relationships that are talked about.

Number of stars out of 5
4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Alternate World Book class difference Contemporary Gay Gay Humor Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Paranormal Part of a Series Riptide Publishing Shifter Standalone

Recent Review: Single White Incubus (Supernatural Selection) by E.J. Russell

Good Reads Link

Single White Incubus (Supernatural Selection, #1)

Blurb

Does a bear shift in the woods?

Well, partially. That was what got grizzly shifter Ted Farnsworth into trouble. He wasn’t trying to break the Secrecy Pact. He just wants people to see the real him. So he signs up with the mate-matching service Supernatural Selection — which guarantees marriage to a perfect partner. Not only will Ted never be lonely again, but once his new beaver shifter husband arrives, they’ll build Ted’s dream wilderness retreat together. Win-win.

Quentin Bertrand-Harrington, scion of an incubus dynasty, has abstained from sex since nearly killing his last lover. When his family declares it’s time for him to marry, Quentin decides the only way not to murder his partner is to pick someone who’s already dead. Supernatural Selection finds him the ideal vampire, and Quentin signs the marriage agreement sight unseen.

But a mix-up at Supernatural Selection contracts Quentin with Ted. What’s Ted supposed to do with an art historian who knows more about salad forks than screwdrivers? And how can Quentin resist Ted’s mouthwatering life force? Yet as they work together to untangle their inconvenient union, they begin to wonder if their unexpected match might be perfect after all.

Review

(Ignore the cover…)
Sooo much fun! The “misunderstanding” mostly works in this story. Our incubus Q-bert – LOL – thinks he’s going to kill any living lover so he agrees to marry a dead one – a vampire.

Our Teddy Bear thinks he needs to settle for the first guy who’ll have him because he keeps getting into trouble.

We get to see some of the MCs from earlier books, have some pretty sweet smexy times, lots and lots of giggles and some pretty sweet feelz, too.

All in all another great one from this author and this series!

Highly recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Book Extasy Books Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

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


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
2.5 stars adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Erotica (not romance) m/m Mid level angst Morgan NetGalley New Adult Nine Star Press Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Opposites attract Scorching/high heat

Recent Release: Ginger and the Wolf by Kerry McBoyd

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41079400-ginger-and-the-wolf?from_search=true

Blurb

Mark Cross is a junior in college working to pay his way through college while forgetting his troubles by partying and hooking up. He meets Scott and finds himself falling head over heels for a wealthy man who couldn’t be any further from his rural background. The mutual attraction is instant, but Mark, unwilling to put himself in a position where his heart is on the line, finds ways to bring up their upper-crust/working-class differences to torpedo their budding romance.

Scott Nolan feels old, even though he’s just thirty-four. Meeting Mark reinvigorates him and gives him a new sense of purpose. After a series of men who were only interested in his wealth and family background, he finally meets a man who doesn’t care about the family he comes from-in fact, Mark seems ready to blow everything up because he thinks they could never overcome their class differences. Scott must fight to show Mark that he doesn’t care about who has how much money, and what matters above all is that they could build something more together outside the bedroom.

Review

This book was … unsatisfying. There was a lot of sex and maybe this is simply a case where “erotica” is a better title than “romance” and that’s what the target audience should expect. But for me – I was wanting a bit more relationship development than I got.

The title caught my eye – but even in the blurb you can see that this is NOT a paranormal story and really I have no idea why the title is the title. Neither the color of Mark’s hair nor is there any real “wolfiness” in Scott take center stage thus making the title apropos.

I’m not a big fan of erotica for erotica sake – don’t get me wrong – I love me some hot smexy times – but this just didn’t go far enough into romance land to appeal to me. The sex was a bit much and didn’t have the corresponding feelz to balance it out. IMHO. If I wanted rough, intense sex to get me going, then I’d watch videos at sites like XXX Videor. Then I can really get my rocks off but when I read a novel I want some more romance.

As others have noted before – the lack of condoms really didn’t fit nor feel appropriate and I think that alone lands this out of the “romance” column and into “porn/erotica”.

This wasn’t my cup of tea – but I could see some glimpses of potential – so I wouldn’t avoid this author in the future.

2.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
3.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Book Dreamspinner Established Couple Established Couple/Sequel Gay Gay High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series time travel vampire

Recent Release: Blood and Eternity (Book 3) by Shira Anthony

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/blood-and-eternity-by-shira-anthony-9785-b

Blurb

Sequel to Blood and Ghosts
Blood: Book Three

Vampire hunter Adrien Gilbert never dreamed he’d fall for his prey or that his love, Nicolas Lambert, would give him the gift of immortality. But when a hunter bent on destroying the truce between vampires and hunters throws the gauntlet at Adrien’s feet, Adrien must travel through time to save Nicolas, and with him, the entire vampire race.
The time has come to make a choice—one they will live with for eternity.
In this final installment in the Blood Trilogy, Adrien and Nicolas must face their greatest enemy in a deadly last confrontation. But to prevail, they’ll need to master the enemies within.
When Adrien awakens to a future he doesn’t recognize, he faces an impossible decision: live a perfect life with Nicolas in a shattered world, or risk everything to repair a broken past. But before he can challenge vampire hunter Verel Pelletier, he must master the demon who lives in his own mind—and learn to control his ability to travel through time. With Nicolas by his side, he prepares for a final battle against a powerful adversary who likes to play games with the past and future.
But the price of ensuring a future for their loved ones may be an eternity spent alone.

Review

This is – at long last – the ending we’ve been waiting for.

Can I say it was worth it? I’m not sure. I love Shira’s world building, her characters and I usually love her plot devices as well as story lines but in this case there was so much WORK involved. I felt like book two put me through the wringer and though we get put back together again in book 3 it was maybe not quite as “rewarding” as I’d have wanted it to be.

So – in summary – I guess if you’re a lover of action and adventure – with some time travel and a lot of angst – very well written angst mind you – I’d give this a go.

If you want a lot of togetherness in a couple then this is not for you.

All in all I’d give this book a 3.5 and the whole series a 3 of 5 stars.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars Book Christmas Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Friends to lovers Gay Gay High but not hopeless Hockey Homophobia Hurt/comfort m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Purchased Sports Standalone Virgin young adult

Recent Release Review: Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott ,V.L. Locey

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35559022-ryker?from_search=true

Blurb

This New Adult book is the first in the Owatonna U Series, a spin off from the best selling Harrisburg Railers Hockey Series.

Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?

Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player. He has no room for relationships, people that point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.

Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree. These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home. Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?

Review
I really loved this book! It’s definitely a YA/NA – it has a lot of angst that is age appropriate (and therefore a little frustrating) but still fits the ages of the MCs involved.

I think this can be a standalone but you’re definitely missing a lot of subtext if you don’t read these in order.

There was enough steam to keep things feeling hot but again – age appropriate.

I was pretty mad at the authors – when the hurt Ten in the last book – but I am hoping he seems on the mend and will hopefully be back up and skating soon 😉

I’ve really been enjoying this series and can’t wait for the next installment!

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Bullying Dreamspinner Gay Gay m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series

Audiobook: Bad to the Bone by Nicki Bennett Narrated by Colin Darcy

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bad-to-the-bone-by-nicki-bennett-9442-b

Blurb

A second chance at first love—if he has the courage to take it.
Alex can’t think of himself as anything but a failure. In high school, he was on the fast track to a career in pro football when he forged an unlikely friendship with a half-Comanche boy from the wrong part of town, Ricky Lee Jennings. Their shared love of books could have grown into more—but a homophobic teammate attacked Ricky Lee, and Alex wouldn’t risk his scholarship to defend him. Ricky Lee was kicked out of school, and Alex never heard from him again.
Now Alex’s glory days are nothing but a memory. An injury ended his football aspirations, his marriage fell apart, and his dreams of making a difference as an environmental lobbyist are as dead as his fantasies of sports stardom.
But all that could change in one magical night, when Ricky Lee shows up at their high-school reunion.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

While I don’t usually like “second chance” books, I really enjoyed this one.

This was very heart-felt, with a real-ish type setting but enough “fantasy” elements to make it feel a bit like Cinderella.

I loved the added touches of making Ricky Native American, as well as rich. The “bad guys” were super bad and I definitely felt like I was reading an old timey romance – with a gay twist!

I thought Alex and Ricky Lee had great chemistry and their story was mostly sweet and little hot. I loved Sam – especially the end scene!

Overall this was exactly what you’d expect for the genre, well-written and a quick sweet read.

 

Audiobook

I found the narrator, Colin Darcy, to be good but not great.  He definitely makes the attempt to give everyone a unique voice and does his best to “act” out the emotions.  However, there are times when his narration is rather sing-song and while I appreciate his attempts, he doesn’t always give a good match in terms of tone or tenor to the emotions that he is reading.

Those are definitely “icing of the cake” type issues and the main body of his narration is good and solid and easily a perfectly fine way to enjoy this story.

Overall 3.75 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Bi-Sexual Gay Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Standalone Virgin

Retro Read: Hiding in Plain Sight Audiobook by Cassandra Carr Narrated by Jason Hilton

Good reads link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26799230-hiding-in-plain-sight

Blurb:
Vladimir Gusev exists in a living hell. A year ago in the Olympics the professional hockey player was forced to use a homophobic slur during a game, and guilt is eating him from the inside out. Not only is Vladimir not a homophobe, but in the aftermath of the Olympics, he was finally able to admit his true nature to himself. Yet he’s been taught homosexuality is a sin, so he tries to push away his feelings, but to no avail.
Joe Bufford is an out gay man and an ex-Delta Force member who was medically discharged after an injury to his hand leaves him no longer able to perform his duties. His job as a mechanic at the airport is hardly a long-term career choice, but Joe has no idea where he can utilize the skills he learned in the Army.
Vladimir and Joe meet, and Joe instantly recognizes Vladimir as a terrified closet case. Before he knows it, Joe is offering to help Vladimir figure out what he is and what he wants. As time goes on, Joe begins to hope more and more that the answers to those questions lie with him.

Review:
This is book two in the Safe Harbor Series and it is so good it even surpasses book one!
First, we see the homophobe from Book one is actually gay and hiding it because of the Russian Mob and threats to his family. Second, we see someone experience being gay for the first time in his life. Everything. Third, Joe is amazing. He is kind, sweet, sensitive and really grounded. But… he’s ex-Delta force so he can kick ass, too! He’s the absolute perfect guy to tackle a giant hockey player and take on his closeted issues.
Vlad has a lot keeping him in the closet. He has to wrestle his own issues with being gay and feeling less “manly” and those are interwoven with fear about his family and their reaction in Russia, and he worries about his job security as a hockey player and his reputation in the media (since the Olympics branded him a homophobe he’s been ridiculed).
Joe is reluctant, at first, to be the guy that introduces Vlad to gay sex for fear of being abandoned for the closet (he just got out of the military and is grateful to be out and proud) or being abandoned for the next guy once Vlad decides to stretch his new gay wings. But he can’t resist Vlad’s honest and sincere desire to learn more about being gay and he’s super attracted to him, as well.
Finally, the couple agrees to a trial arrangement, with the caveat of no strings and nobody can know. Both men are fooling themselves if they think they aren’t invested, and it becomes clear that neither thinks of the other as merely a “fuck buddy”.
Politics moves Vlad into confessing his sexuality and Joe does it proudly by his side, with the help of Jason and Patrick from book one. A very HEA is had by all.
**
The narration for this book is both way better and way worse than book one. On the one hand, there are several glaring mistakes where it is clear the narrator messed up and nobody went back to edit out his mis-starts and throat clearings. However, those almost fit in. The guy’s voice is just so natural in the role it feels like he’s telling the story to you personally and those things happen in normal conversation. I wasn’t bothered by them, I just chuckled when I noticed a mistake.
On the other hand, the narrator does a fairly awesome Russian accent that makes the smexy scenes to die for! Ooo la la. Did I enjoy Vlad telling “Joey” in a thick Russian accent “I want to fuck you!” Wow! Scorching hot! (I loved that Vlad calls Joe “Joey” and nobody else is allowed to call him that… super cute!)
So – despite some technical errors and a few strange plot twists and turns I really, really loved this book and this narration and give them both a 5 of 5 stars. You are seriously missing out if you don’t give this one a try. (They are both stand alone books and don’t necessarily need to be read in order, though reading them booth adds a bit to the enjoyment.)
Overall Impression:
5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
2.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Book Dreamspinner Gay Gay High but not hopeless Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Shifter

Coming Soon! Lone Wolf by Anna Martin


Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lone-wolf-by-anna-martin-9890-b

October 9!

Blurb

Jackson Lewis isn’t a typical werewolf. He isolates himself in a small town outside Spokane and dedicates himself to making his business—Lone Wolf Brewery—a success. If it leaves him little time for romance, he’s okay with that. His soul mate could be out there somewhere, but he isn’t actively looking.

So he’s in for quite the shock when he literally bumps into his soul mate—Leo Gallagher, an adorable, nerdy, vibrant music therapist who’s Jackson’s polar opposite.

But he’s human. And a man.

Jackson is straight—or at least he’s always assumed so. Though he can’t deny his attraction to Leo, it’s a lot for both of them to deal with.

While Jackson and Leo figure out what their future might hold, they face prejudice from both the human and werewolf communities—including a group of fanatics willing to kill to show humans and werewolves don’t belong together.

Review

Man. Where to start?

First, I think it’s pretty clear that I am a huge fan of shifter romance and that I’ll pretty much read anything in that vain. I have a huge tolerance for believing the unbelievable and for letting my imagination get carried away with me. I also don’t mind insta-love and I adore fated mates stories.

In addition, I’m not a huge Anna Martin fan but I’ve definitely admired her work in the past and thought – based on the blurb – that this would be a slam dunk.

However… it wasn’t.

It revolves around a straight guy – Jackson has never and will never like guys. He only grudgingly admits that Leo is his mate and fights it tooth and nail.

Most of the book is these guys living apart and hating life at their respective fates.

There are at least 2 or 3 different side stories: the anti werewolf people, the anti humans with werewolves people, Leo’s roommate who gets beat up and who also hates Jackson but who is a werewolf himself… There’s a lot going on and none of it really materializes as a cogent storyline and as a reader I was either scratching my head about where the plot was taking me, rubbing my neck due to whiplash as the story spun around to another topic, or yawning because the two MCs were fighting – again! The steam between these guys was practically non existent and that was the only thing they had going for their relationship.

Leo is a doormat. He is hard to like even though he has so many elements of likeability. He’s a music therapist and that is so interesting but we get one or two moments of that taking place and effecting his life and then he’s back to being ignored by Jackson. When Jackson calls he goes even when everyone – even his roomy the wolf – says stay away! Jackson never convinces me he deserves Leo… but the Leo kinda brings it on himself by not demanding good treatment either. So…

Jackson brews beer and is reclusive and that apparently excuses him from being kind, decent, supportive, interesting, reliable, or not a douche. In other words – he’s a jerk from page one and he really doesn’t redeem himself. He hates being mated to a human. Hates being mated to a guy. Hates everything! He pushes Leo away then pulls him back then pushes him away then needs him when he’s down then pushes him away… you get the idea…He ends up buying an apartment/condo/business thing in the end and then telling Leo – oh – it’s ok if you want to move in too. (This is after they’ve already hooked up and are in the process of cementing their bond – I’d tell him to stick it and find my own damn house!)

While I know I have a bias against werewolf stories where the general population knows about them, I have read many that are compelling. And this just wasn’t.

While I appreciated that Jackson shifted – once – I despise shifter stories where the wolf part of their being is merely a characteristic and not integral to their being – and that’s the case here.

I really wanted to love this. But I can’t.

I give it 2.5 stars … but maybe that’s being generous? I’m just so surprised that this is from the same author who wowed me with Tattoos and Teacups https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15719569-tattoos-teacups or Signs https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24991214-signs which I loved…


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review