Recent Release: Promises: The Next Generation (Bounty Hunters #5) by A.E. Via

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41183779-promises?from_search=true

Blurb
Duke Webb has run the most successful bail recovery agency in Atlanta for over twenty years. That’s because he has a team of trained, competent hunters backing him up to keep his name feared on the streets. But Duke knows that nothing can go on forever. His hunters are in committed relationships and ready to settle down, and so is he. That’s what leads him to start his new training program.

“That’s the new vision for Dukes. Veterans operating and tracking behind the scenes with a new powerhouse apprehension team on the streets.”

Brian and Quick are the first to offer up two new recruits.

Kellam Knight has studied martial arts under his sensei, Quick, since he was eight years old. A tossed-out reject from high-society, Kell has a problem fighting on the right side of the law. If he sees an injustice, he has to correct it. He doesn’t have to run and cower from his enemies anymore, he’s a fighter who can protect himself and others. When Quick offers Kell the opportunity to join Duke’s training program, he’s all in. Except he’s not prepared for the straight, over-confident, extremely disciplined, sexy man Brian has recruited to be his partner.

Tyrell Jenkins’ world was flipped upside down when his father never returned home from his last deployment. He’d been Ty’s teacher, mentor, his guide to living a righteous life as a good man. His father didn’t raise him to be like every other young, stereotypical male in Atlanta. Instead, he’s been taught to be respectful, to speak the language of real men. When Brian King – his father’s most trusted comrade – finally comes to him with the truth, he doesn’t come alone. He comes with trained men hidden in the shadows… and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a brotherhood unlike any other.

This installment is a part of a series and contains previously mentioned characters, but CAN standalone. Each book centers around a new couple.
This book ends in a HEA. NO cliffhanger.

Review

I loved – LOVED – this book! Which is no surprise as I am a big fan of AE Via and this series. However, in that series, I definitely love some books/ couples more than others and I LOVED these two together.
First because the author isn’t afraid of a little COLOR! She absolutely gave these guys unique qualities that felt very authentic and special and could only be there because of their background experiences flavoring their expressions both verbal and outward appearances. It was awesome! As a reader I get tired of all the MCs falling into “boxes” of this type of character and that type and these two – while they absolutely had some characteristics of Alpha and twink/submissive – they absolutely were NOT the typical of either of those characteristics.

I kinda felt a Malcolm X vibe from Ty and a karate kid vibe from Kell. In either case it was unique and though sometimes Kell acted in ways that weren’t always explained – he was mostly consistent and so it was ok. I had to subtract ½ a star because at the beginning Kell is described as this tough, crazy, off the rails at times vigilante and Duke and Quick have to keep bailing him out. To me, he humbled a bit too quickly and I never saw that part of his personality again. I’d have liked to see that rise to the surface now and again and see how Ty handled it/used it to his benefit against the bad guys.

In any case – while I think you can read this as a standalone I don’t think it’d be as good. There’s just too much going on with the other characters and I think this is best read in order.
https://www.goodreads.com/series/164584

Highly recommended to fans of the series/author!
4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Author Spotlight: Cardeno C Home Again Book and Audiobook narrated by Alexander Collins

Amazon links

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Home-Again-Audiobook/B01GUEIM86/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1492130469&sr=1-1

https://www.amazon.com/Home-Again-Contemporary-Gay-Romance-ebook/dp/B00TBW2JAW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1492130528&sr=1-1&keywords=home+again+cardeno

E book Free on KU!

Blurb

Imposing, temperamental Noah Forman wakes up in a hospital and can’t remember how he got there. He holds it together, taking comfort in the fact that the man he has loved since childhood is on the way. But when his one and only finally arrives, Noah is horrified to discover that he doesn’t remember anything from the past three years.

Loyal, serious Clark Lehman built a life around the person who insisted from their first meeting that they were meant to be together. Now, years later, two men whose love has never faltered must relive their most treasured and most painful moments in order to recover lost memories and secure their future.

Book Review by Anna

I read this series a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, even if Cardeno C’s tendency to instalove / soulmates is hard for me to stomach sometimes. But that’s just me. I don’t believe in love at first sight and have a hard time with the concept, regardless of how romantic it may be.

Home Again is the first in the Home series, but all of the titles can be read as stand alones and the series work in any order you wish to read it.

Home Again is about Noah and Clarke. Who meet when they are teenagers. Their story is told through a series of flash backs as the story actually starts in present time, when Noah is in hospital after a serious accident with a lot of trauma to his body and a brain which has wiped off the last three years of his life.

I liked Noah and Clarke both, even if I found Noah a bit too possessive for comfort (I wouldn’t be able to live with that level of possessiveness in my life) and I really felt that he got off a bit too easy for what he had done. Why was Clarke the one who seemed to apologise the most for the incident? That didn’t sit quite right with me.

The bonus chapter was a sweet edition, but does include a spoiler for a later book, however, the timeline in general in this book means that we also get to see another couple, who gets together in a later book in the series.

I wasn’t too keen on the narrator to begin with, but he grew on me, and hot damn… that man could read a sex scene *fanning myself*…

This story is not my favourite of the series, but I do enjoy all of them and with Cardeno C you always know that you will get something well written and engaging with a sure fire happy ending.

I will be looking for the next book in the series on audio too. Even though I have already read all of them in book form.

 4 of 5 stars

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Audio Book Review by Morgan

 

This is the beginning of Cardeno’s Home series and in it we meet many of the series’ MCs. This is one of the very first m/m books I ever read and I have since read/listened to it many, many times. It is VERY sentimental and VERY sweet. There are some who may think it overly so, but not me!

I adore how frank and open Noah and Clark are with one another and how touching their re-union is. I love when Clark finally “calls a spade a spade” and calls out Noah’s needs to him plainly. I also respect how, though it may seem silly, the big misunderstanding is actually kind of justified if you look at it from both of their perspectives.

The sex is plentiful and hot and a bit kinky.  It’s interesting how the book can switch from “rough” to “sweet” on a dime so smoothly.

This story (and the whole series) is a warm blanket on a cold day and definitely gives you the feeling of coming home after a long trip away.

I highly recommend it and give it 4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

I think Alexander Collins does a tremendous job with this.  He adds in variations to his voice to make the person feel like they are part of the story – for example muffling his voice when it calls for it, changing it up for phone calls, really adding in the emotion when someone is upset, etc. He does a great job with the entire cast of characters in this series and adds to the overall enjoyment of listening.

(With this narration we get the bonus chapter too, which is awesome!)

4.5 of 5 stars
 

 
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Copies Generously Provided for Honest Reviews

Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/block-and-strike-by-kelly-jensen-7995-b

Blurb

Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

Review

This is the fourth full length novel I’ve read by this author and I am continually impressed by their work! I love the time dedicated to character development – giving us a really rich pair of MCs to enjoy.

This is a slow-burn romance, poor Max is no shape to fall into a relationship when we first meet him and Jake has his own secrets. But it works and when they do come together it’s not just sweet but it’s sexy too.

I like that the women in this book aren’t evil and are there as friends and family and are helpful and lovely and strong.

I also loved that when it came time to open up, our guys act like adults and don’t do the running away thing. They listened and worked through their issues. Thumbs up!

Things that are important to me: sentimentality, good characters, appropriate heat, and a good HEA. All of those are here. (Although I would have loved to see them a little further down the line, we end in a really nice place.) Highly Recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided By Publisher For Review