Time to Get Paranormal: Alpha Heat by Leta Blake

 

 

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40103645-alpha-heat

Blurb
Young Xan Heelies knows he can never have what he truly wants: a passionate romance and happy-ever-after with another alpha. It’s not only forbidden by the prevailing faith of the land, but such acts are illegal.

Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart—and so does he.

But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin. With the acceptance and support of Caleb, Xan’s asexual and aromantic omega and dear friend, they must find the strength to embrace danger and build the family they deserve.

Review

What a captivating story! It surprised me and touched me very deeply.

I admit I was still a bit unsure about mpreg/omegaverse books, but if this is what I have to look forward to… Bring it on!

I fell completely in love with Xan and Urho, who are both amazing, complex characters.
Xan is so filled with self-loathing and he has completely given up hope on ever being happy or deserving of happiness even. It was heartrending to read. I wasn’t prepared to feel such depth of emotion for a fictional character, but only a rock would fail to be moved by Xan’s troubles.

Urho was a perfect match for Xan.
I loved their connection and Urho’s acceptance and understanding of who Xan truly is. The first moments where Urho gets a glimpse of Xan’s true self, and his struggle to accept his own reaction to that truth were so intense! Loved that.

At first glance, Urho appears to be quite conservative and rigid in his thinking, but he bends and even breaks the rules when he needs to in order to be able to help others. He’s modest and brave and oh…be still, my beating heart! Just such a lovable, strong & silent type hero.
Xan throws Urho for a loop, because he doesn’t fit their society’s established gender roles and so Urho is required to rethink some of his long-held beliefs.

I was a bit apprehensive about how Caleb would fit in. But I needn’t have worried. He’s such an extraordinary individual. The bond between Xan, Urho and Caleb is not a romantic one, but it is a deeply loving one, just the same. They’re a family unit. The author totally makes it work.

This book also stands out to me because of the astonishing amount of detail that went into the world-building and the great set of secondary characters that surround the MC’s.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

Number of stars out of 5: 5

Review copy provided by the author

Audiobook Month: Squared Away (Out of Uniform #5) by Annabeth Albert Narrated by Greg Boudreaux

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Squared-Away-Audiobook/B07BGJ3FRF

Blurb

In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.

Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.

As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

I don’t think this is too much of a spoiler and I think people would want to know and I think you should read this regardless – but… Mark is Gray Asexual.

Definition: From AVENwiki. Sexuality is not black and white; some people identify in the gray(spelled “grey” in some countries) area between asexual and sexual. People who identify as gray-A can include, but are not limited to those who: do not normally experience sexual attraction, but do experience it sometimes.

This story was very touching, emotional and sexy despite it’s non-traditional characters. I was really rooting for the two of them and it made every physical encounter that much more resonant for what it meant to each man.

The family stuff gets in the way – and that too felt really “real”.

There were times when the story lagged and there were times when I wanted the guys to just “figure it out “ already – but for the most part this was a well-paced, very well-developed love story. (I have only a limited tolerance for angst and there is a fair amount in this.)

Highly recommended- esp for the HEA!

(I don’t think you need to have read the others in the series to appreciate this book.)

 

Audio

Greg is an absolutely amazing performer and there are not enough words to describe how important the difference is between what he does and simply “narration”.  I love the emotion he infuses as well as his ability to make each character feel unique and special both with accents and inflection/pacing/personality, etc.

This is the best way to enjoy this series and is highly recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Coming Soon! Squared Away (Out of Uniform #5) by Annabeth Albert

 


April 16 by Carina Press

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37544729-squared-away

Blurb

In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.

Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.

As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.

Review

I don’t think this is too much of a spoiler and I think people would want to know and I think you should read this regardless – but… Mark is Gray Asexual.

Definition: From AVENwiki. Sexuality is not black and white; some people identify in the gray(spelled “grey” in some countries) area between asexual and sexual. People who identify as gray-A can include, but are not limited to those who: do not normally experience sexual attraction, but do experience it sometimes.

This story was very touching, emotional and sexy despite it’s non-traditional characters. I was really rooting for the two of them and it made every physical encounter that much more resonant for what it meant to each man.

The family stuff gets in the way – and that too felt really “real”.

There were times when the story lagged and there were times when I wanted the guys to just “figure it out “ already – but for the most part this was a well-paced, very well-developed love story. (I have only a limited tolerance for angst and there is a fair amount in this.)

Highly recommended- esp for the HEA!

(I don’t think you need to have read the others in the series to appreciate this book.)

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Color of You by C.S. Poe

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/color-of-you-by-cs-poe-9173-

Blurb
Bowen Merlin— yes, that’s his real name—accepts a position in the quaint town of Lancaster, New Hampshire as the high school band director. He leaves New York City for the snowy countryside of New England just in time for the holidays. With class, homework, after school activities, and a surprise Christmas concert to plan and rehearse, Bowen is plenty busy. And since he’s never had much luck with romance, factoring in time to find Mr. Right isn’t a priority….

Until he meets the proprietor of Snowy Ridge Apple Orchard, Felix Hansen. Suddenly, true love seems like a possibility for the first time in Bowen’s life. The two are a perfect match and fill the skipped beats of each other’s hearts. But as wonderful as Felix seems, he’s harboring scars that could end their budding relationship when someone in town goes to great lengths to sabotage their careers.

If Bowen is to survive the holidays, he’ll need to lean on old friends and new, convince Felix he’s worth any hardship, and prove they can come out of the catastrophe stronger if they do so together.

Review
Wonderful, just a wonderful story of love friendship and family. I loved Bowen Merlin such a fun quirky character and Felix Hansen lovely deep shy character. In the story Bowen described Felix voice as rich amber and my thoughts immediately went to the way Derrick McClain sounds when he narrates the Snow and Winter series. The excellent descriptions of both characters helped me get a good picture of Bowen and Felix in my head. The chemistry between them was very well developed in the story. They are soulmates, each the perfect half of the partnership building a solid relationship. It’s a Love story that turns into mystery.
I did think it odd that as this story is about family their parents were not mentioned, not even just a passing reference. It didn’t affect my love of the story in any way it just raised a point of curiosity. There is a wonderfully strong cast of secondary characters, Alan, Scarlet and Steven all support both Felix and Bowen. In fact I would love Steven to have his own story. The second part of the story where their new insta love relationship is tested was in some way a surprise, in who was the perpetrator, and in others not, when homophobia was the driving force. What I did find uplifting was the way everyone pulled together to help Bowen and Felix. I wholeheartedly recommend this warming Christmas story.

5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Mine to Keep (Fraser Lake Pack #2) by Lynn Tyler

Blurb

Chris Towns is overworked and lonely. As the only beta wolf in the Fraser Lake Pack and co-owner of a fledgling business, he barely has time to sleep, let alone commit to a relationship. Until a simple trip to the airport changes everything.

When Eagle Elder Rylan Blake lands in Fraser Lake, he’s expecting to treat a sick, lone eagle. The last thing he expects to find is romance, especially since he’s never felt any type of attraction before.

Just as Chris and Rylan begin to realize their feelings, tragedy strikes, reminding them both why falling in love with each other had been such a bad idea.

Can love really conquer all?

Review

I really love Lynn Tyler books and I wish there were more! Here is where I reviewed book one in this series: http://kimichanexperience.com/accidentally-mated-fraser-lake-pack-book-1-by-lynn-tyler/ While each book is a standalone I do think that reading the books in order gives a LOT of information and realistically to really enjoy this – reading both series will add a even MORE information : https://www.goodreads.com/series/106699-pack-mates. For this story – Michael’s Heart and Michael’s Mate https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22075468-michael-s-heart – would give a great background on the Eagle shifter “thing” as well as the need for the orphanages mentioned in this story. So – I guess – maybe I DO think this needs to be read as part of the series… at least some of it! LOL

In any case, we know a bit about Chris from book 1 but we don’t really know much about Rylan other than what we know about his brother, Justin. We do know that Eagle shifters are NOT like wolves, they have a totally different set of priorities and expectations and they don’t generally live in packs or groups of people. This is important when you think you might have met your mate…

One thing that is not emphasized in the blurb is that Rylan is an adorable, clueless, workaholic who thinks he’s asexual. So when he starts having “feelings” for Chris it’s all new to him – this was super fun to read! The two of them are ADORABLE working out their “sex feelings” and it was sweet, tender, sexy and funny all at the same time.

The book is pretty short, so we move along quickly. I was glad that the final “hurdle” is breached rather quickly and our MCs get their HEAs with only a little angst.

If you’re a fan of the author, shifter series, “nerds in love” books – this is for you!

Highly Recommended! 4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

For A Good Time Call (Bluewater Bay #17)by Anne Tenino and EJ Russell – Review by Beth!

release day review

Riptide Presents (tomorrow!)

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/for-a-good-time-call

Blurb

Thirty-seven-year-old Nate Albano’s second relationship ever ended three years ago, and since he’s grace—gray asexual—he doesn’t anticipate beating the odds to find a third. Still, he’s got his dog, his hobbies, and his job as a special effects technician on Wolf’s Landing, so he can’t complain—much.

Seth Larson, umpteenth generation Bluewater Bay, is the quintessential good-time guy, content with tending bar and being his grandmother’s handyman. The night they meet, Seth’s looking for some recreational sex to escape family drama. But for Nate, romantic attraction comes before sexual attraction, so while Seth thinks they’re hooking up, Nate just wants to talk . . . genealogy?

Dude. Seriously?

So they declare a “just friends” truce. Then Seth asks for Nate’s help investigating a sinister Larson family secret, and their feelings start edging way beyond platonic. But Nate may want more than Seth can give him, and Seth may not be able to leave his good-time image behind. Unless they can find a way to merge carefree with commitment, they could miss out on true love—the best time of all.

Review by Beth!

Let me say I love this series! I’ve read most of them so the references to the secondary characters just fits right in.
Seth, who seems to be just drifting along in life, always up to have an itch scratched is suddenly faced with Nate, an asexual character that is sub classified as a grace. Someone who needs the romance before the sex, to put it simply. So when they meet Seth sees one thing and Nate sees something completely different. And off they go from there.
There are a couple of sub stories included, Nate and his relationships with others close to him. Seth and his relationships with his family. And the town founders history and how it all ties up to Seth’s family. So you have a story that keeps you guessing, has angst, has secrets, has control issues and a HEA. In someways it almost seems like there is too much going on. I think one or two of the subplots could have been left out and still been a great story.

4.5 stars of 5 

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  Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review

How to be a Normal Person Audiobook By TJ Klune Narrated by Derrick McClain

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7744

HowtobeaNormalPersonAUDLGBlurb

Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. He reads encyclopedias every night before bed. He has a pet ferret called Harry S. Truman. He owns a video rental store that no one goes to. His closest friends are a lady named Lottie with drag queen hair and a trio of elderly Vespa riders known as the We Three Queens.

Gus is not normal. And he’s fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone.

Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey, even if Casey is obsessive about Instagramming his food.

But Gus isn’t normal and Casey deserves someone who can be. Suddenly wanting to be that someone, Gus steps out of his comfort zone and plans to become the most normal person ever.

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This story almost defies description. If you’re a fan of TJ’s you know how he likes to rant. Well, this is almost one crazy rant after another.

It’s really hysterical and at times very moving.

It’s basically a love story about two men who aren’t “typical” in any way. They have many idiosyncrasies and somehow they work magically together as a couple.

I know that the whole “asexual” aspect – to me- was fascinating. I’m not well versed in the subject, so I can’t judge how well it was portrayed, but since TJ himself identifies as such, I can only imagine it’s accurate. I loved learning about that and seeing it played out in a romance genre known for it’s sex scenes.

There were times I was moved to tears (when Gus thinks Casey is leaving forever and when he returns) – TJ is good with the feels!

I recommend this to anyone interested in learning something new, laughing out loud and reading a sweet and sometimes sentimental love story.

I only give it a 4 and not a 5 of 5 because I still think it could be edited down to a more concise and tighter story (maybe a few less tangents).

4 of 5 stars

Audio

If I hadn’t been a Derrick McClain fan already, this would definitely make me one! I always know he’ll give me an entertaining and wonderful experience, regardless of the subject matter, but Derrick really does an extraordinary job with this. There are SO MANY characters and he does a really great job differentiating them and making them unique. The sound quality is excellent and the “acting” is stupendous. I highly recommend listening (it’s LONG so be warned!) as the best way to experience this story.

Narration 5 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Part & Parcel (A Sidewinder Story) by Abigail Roux

release day review

Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/part-and-parcel

Part&Parcel_500x750Blurb

Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott had their happy ending in sight when a friend’s call for help almost ended with them losing it to the blade of a knife. Now, in the aftermath of near-disaster, both men are trying to heal and move on.
Moving on together, though, is harder than either of them realized it would be. Kelly struggles with simply being a lover instead of the Doc, while Nick is mired in his recovery. The distance between them inches along in stilted silence.
Desperately seeking solace, Nick finally gathers the courage to sort through the possessions his dear friend and fellow Sidewinder teammate Elias Sanchez left him when he died. Instead of comforting memories, Nick and Kelly find a stack of letters and strict instructions from Eli that prompt them to send out a call for assistance. With Eli’s letters in hand, Sidewinder sets out on one last mission together, seeking peace and absolution from beyond the grave—and from each other.
Review

So the Sidewinder series is definitely something that “could be read alone” but I don’t really believe it 😉

These books are all best read in order and Part & Parcel falls in the timeline after Crash & Burn, the last of the Cut & Run series books. I think that Nick and Kelly’s story is far too woven in to really appreciate without reading the entire series.

Kelly & Nick have been best friends for years and only recently been lovers. In Shock & Awe the two cross from friends to lover and in Cross & Crown they “cement” their relationship more, but as you find out in Part & Parcel they are definitely not as fully entrenched in the relationship as you’d think. In Crash & Burn, Nick almost dies and we are left at the end of that book with Kelly and Nick post-stabbing.

Kelly is helping Nick to recover and this is something he’s done for his team forever, but now that Nick is his lover, things have changed. But it’s way more than just that. Nick held a lot back from Kelly over the last year or more and Kelly has to decide if he can forgive Nick for that. So, in addition to changing their relationship from friend, to nurse, to lover – they also have to navigate both Kelly’s feelings and Nick’s regarding the lies.

But that isn’t all… Nick has even more “truths” in store for Kelly – and vice versa, Kelly has some stuff he’s keeping from Nick. The two don’t know how to breach the chasm that seems to have formed between them. They know they love one another but there’s all this – stuff – between them. Using a letter and scavenger hunt left by their buddy Eli Sanchez, Nick, Kelly and the rest of the Sidewinder team end up going on a days long road trip together down memory lane. It’s an amazingly healing and painful trip and along the way – we hope – these guys finally begin to find some peace.

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This was such an unexpected book! All of the other books in this series have had some mystery or crime or puzzle to solve and a lot of violence. I guess Eli’s game is a little puzzling – but it is in no way similar to the crimes and blood-shed, fires, weaponry, etcetera that we’ve seen in the other books in the series. Instead, a lot of really deep and sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes awkward backstory is told about the members of the team.

Nick is a surprisingly multi-faceted guy and we learn so much about him and Kelly (as well as the other guys on the team) that I’m really excited about the direction the series is headed.

Abigail Roux gave us Ty and Zane who are very deep and complex characters and up until now, I really didn’t see Nick and Kelly as very “deep”. They seemed like lunatics who loved sex and had wild fun times together, but who are not nearly as complicated as Ty and Zane (as far as character development).

So, for me at least, this book really got me re-reading the other books looking at Nick and Kelly with different eyes and with a different appreciation.

I loved that Abi took so much time with the emotions in this book. I loved that she made Digger’s character unique – and Kelly’s too – in a final confessional near the end. It gives the entire gang more solidity to them and makes their stories that much more intriguing. We get a break from the explosions to really look at the underpinnings of the team and it was really, really well done.

I know that fans of the series will love this and if you aren’t a fan of the series – you should really skip this 😉

Highly recommended. 5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for and Honest Review