Release Day Review: Hiding the Moon (Fish Out of Water #4) by Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hiding-the-moon-by-amy-lane-9921-b

Blurb

A Fish Out of Water/Racing for the Sun Crossover

Can a hitman and a psychic negotiate a relationship while all hell breaks loose?

The world might not know who Lee Burton is, but it needs his black ops division and the work they do to keep it safe. Lee’s spent his life following orders—until he sees a kill jacket on Ernie Caulfield. Ernie isn’t a typical target, and something is very wrong with Burton’s chain of command.

Ernie’s life may seem adrift, but his every action helps to shelter his mind from the psychic storm raging within. When Lee Burton shows up to save him from assassins and club bunnies, Ernie seizes his hand and doesn’t look back. Burton is Ernie’s best bet in a tumultuous world, and after one day together, he’s pretty sure Lee knows Ernie is his destiny as well.

But when Burton refused Ernie’s contract, he kicked an entire piranha tank of bad guys, and Burton can’t rest until he takes down the rogue military unit that would try to kill a spacey psychic. Ernie’s in love with Burton and Burton’s confused as hell by Ernie—but Ernie’s not changing his mind and Burton can’t stay away. Psychics, assassins, and bad guys—throw them into the desert with a forbidden love affair and what could possibly go wrong?

Review by Mary
As this is a crossover story I would recommend reading (or listening to) the A Fish out of Water series and Racing for Sun before starting this book. Having said that I feel I should confess that my preference is listening to them. I was waiting for A Few Good Fish (book 3) to be released before starting it and did not realise this book overlapped it. Now that I’ve finished it I can see how they tie together. A Few Good Fish is as usual from Jackson Rivers and Ellery Cramer’s view point with Ernie, Lee, Ace, Sonny etc as secondary characters. This book is Ernie and Lee’s story (including Ace and Sonny playing a big part) and their side of the events of chasing down the mercenaries out to get them. Psychic Ernie finds his soulmate, his home and sanctuary when Lee Burton realised the kill order he received on Ernie was wrong. I liked the good v evil premise. And that the book reads like an action film, where realism is sacrificed for great action and adventure. This is a beautiful story of damaged souls finding a place and people where they can heal. Problem is they have to literally fight cruel, hateful and vindictive men to reach it.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Joshua’s Rainbow by Victoria Sue narrated by Darcy Stark

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Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Joshuas-Rainbow-Audiobook/B07GVMKHF5?qid=1537472886&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=P9FDQWVVZTG2G5AXYXK5&

Blurb

Rainbow Key – an idyllic island retreat off the west coast of Florida. Think wedding destination, white sandy beaches, lurve… except at the moment Joshua is struggling to pay the electricity bill, they’ve no paying customers, and even if they did they can’t afford the repairs from the devastating hurricane that struck three years ago – and to top it off they have to take in Daniel, a grumpy businessman who has been ordered by his doctor to take some time off before he has a heart attack from too much stress.

Funnily enough, Daniel owns a very expensive hotel chain that has been trying to buy the island for the past two years. Not that Joshua knows that yet, and boy are sparks gonna fly when he thinks he’s been set up.

Of course, sparks of a different kind are also soon flying between them.
Then there’s Matt who just got let out of prison, Charlie who ran away from home, and Ben, a famous model until a devastating house fire destroyed his face.
Welcome to Rainbow Key – held together by love, family, and sticky tape

Review

This is a gentle feel good book, perfect for when you want a little boost. Who doesn’t love the idea of beautiful beaches, an island to escape to and falling in love. This is the first book in a series and focuses on Joshua but also introduces two other intriguing characters, Charlie, Ben and Matt. All of them have sought a new start at Rainbow key. Daniel however goes there to rest and recover from a busy schedule. He never expected to meet the love of his life. I loved that neither Joshua or Daniel were looking for love and it swept both of them up. There are bumps along the way, but that’s what makes it so interesting. Each of them have secrets they just don’t want to get out, which of course they do.
I haven’t listened to a book narrated by Darcy Stark before but I will lookout for them. He has a good style and is able to bring out the personality of each character. They all have their own distinct voices and I was impressed with the voices he gave the female characters.

5 of stars out of 5 for the story
4 of stars out of 5 for the narration

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Smoldering Flame (Rekindled Flame #3) by Andrew Grey narrated by Michael Pauley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/smoldering-flame-by-andrew-grey-9585-b

Blurb

Sometimes the strongest flames take the longest to ignite.

Firefighter Dean’s life revolves around his very ill son, Sammy. Caring for Sammy and working to make ends meet leave Dean time for little else, and romance isn’t something he can even consider—no matter how much he longs for someone special to join their family. Because money is tight, Dean couldn’t be more grateful to the photographer who does Sammy’s session free of charge.

After growing up in the foster care system, Marco knows how to rely on himself, and his hard work is about to pay off—he’s poised on the cusp of fame and success he could only have imagined as a lonely child. When Dean brings Sammy into Marco’s studio, Marco can see they’re struggling, and both the boy and his father stir Marco’s heart. The slow burn between the two men isn’t something either expected, but neither wants to lose the possibility of a loving future. With Dean’s dangerous and possibly life-threatening career and Marco’s demanding one, can romance and forever find a place to fit?

Review

This is a book in a series, but does not have to be read in order and does well on it’s own. Andrew Grey mentions other characters from some of his other stories, but that’s about it.

Though this is in the fire-fighter series, the main character is a photographer and we spend most of the time in his head and though the issue of fire fighting is certainly there and a big issue, it’s not the main thrust.

I thought this was a lovely story about two men bravely willing to trust their hearts once again though they’ve been hurt before. Sammy is a cute kid but definitely doesn’t occupy the story.

There were some times when Marco acted in a way that felt inconsistent but in the end I really appreciated the way these two had to realistically assess their relationship and they made real life decisions.

Michael Pauley did a nice job differentiating all the different characters and giving Angus a fun accent!

Highly recommended in this format!

3.75 (rounded to 4) of 5 stars for the story and 5 of 5 stars for the narration, overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: The Wolf’s Man Friday by Julia Talbot Narrated by Joseph Morgan

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-wolfs-man-friday-by-julia-talbot-9904-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
This is the second book in Julia Talbot’s Nose to Tail Inc series. It is completely a stand-alone book, although it’s worth reading (or listening) to the first book. Both are entertaining shifter books in completely different ways. Sebastian and his best friend Alan are putting themselves in danger looking for Ron’s attackers. Jaxon works for Nose to Tail inc and is hired to protect Sebastian, acting as Sebastian’s assistant as his cover. I never thought a wolf and fox would fit together so perfectly. Sebastian and Jaxon’s outlook and personalities work well together because Sebastian just wants to work on his art and find the people responsible for attacking Ron. Whilst Jaxon is a speedy fox, always organised with his finger on the button sorting Sebastian out. At the same time he is monitoring Sebastian’s movements to keep him safe. There are two threads to this story the mystery over who attacked Ron, also the subsequent threat to Sebastian for pursuing it, and the bubbling building romance between Sebastian and Jaxon. Add to the pot Ron’s determination to name Sebastian the next Alpha and you have an enjoyable story.

Joseph Morgan‘s has a good tone and speed with his narration. He provides a good portrayal of Jaxon as a fox shifter with a slight edge to his voice as if he was ready to leap into action at a moments notice. Whilst his portrayal of Sebastian’s character added to the frustrated artist vibe but also someone who was fun to be with.

3 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to go Dark: Dax’s Desire (Avanti Chronicles Book 5) by Hannah Walker

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29873466-dax-s-desire?from_search=true

Blurb
The Avanti have made their way to Berinias, the capital and heart of Landran society. Not only is it King Kastain’s home ground, but it’s the seat of the Conclave’s power.
Dax finally gets to see Kastain in all his glory— regal, confident, powerful and downright sexy. As events unfold, Dax and Kastain realize everything happening with the Derin, with Martellon, Nestor and Teriva, is linked. Their enemies draw closer and the plots and machinations of the Conclave deepen. They just need to work out who is behind it all and what they hope to gain.
Kastain finds himself turning to Dax, the one person he seems to be able to count on more than anything. The bond between the two leaders is stronger than they expected, and they long for rare times alone so they can explore it. Instead their time is taken up trying to work out which Chieftains they can count on and who is attempting to undermine them at every turn.
When plots and betrayals run deep within the heart of the capital, who will succeed and who will pay the ultimate price?

Review
And the storyline continues!

With each of the previous books we have seen the political posturing of all the groups and in this story it all centers around the King , the Capital and the Avanti. Some questions are answered and more are asked. And while all of this is going on another of the Avanti finds the love of his life.

King Kastain and Avanti leader Dax are both strong personalities yet when they get the chance to be alone they really are both soft and caring men. With all the political intrigue weaved through the story there is also comic relief and also truly hot sex scenes.

Many questions are answered but nothing is truly solved. The story does end in a HEA for the couple, but those of us who are following series are waiting impatiently for the next book and the next set of clues to the ongoing storyline.

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: Forged in Fire (Asheville Arcana #2) by Ari McKay

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/forged-in-fire-by-ari-mckay-9518-b

Blurb

The magic touch.

Ever since Harlan Edgewood was bitten by a possessed werewolf, his monthly shifts have been agonizing. When he meets Whimsy Hickes—a mage who specializes in transformation—the attraction is mutual. But Harlan believes his curse is too great a burden to inflict on any romantic partner.

Fortunately, Whimsy thinks he can help.

When Harlan is provoked into an unexpected change, Whimsy uses his magic to help ease Harlan’s pain, but with an unexpected consequence. While he’s shifted, Harlan’s wolf claims Whimsy as his mate.

As they draw closer, suspicious events in the Asheville magical community escalate. Shifters are disappearing, others are murdered, and Harlan’s curse makes him an obvious target. It will take all of Whimsy’s magic to force back the rising evil—and if he fails, Harlan will lose not only his life, but his very soul.

Review

Loved this!

Whimsy is so wonderful and I loved that he had his own mo-jo powers and wasn’t a wimp! Harlan is also terrifically old-fashioned and adorable and I thought the sexual chemistry between these two was off the charts!

While I grew a wee bit tired of Harlan’s “woe is me” attitude I was grateful for his willingness to put faith in Whimsy and their relationship.

The “mystery/action” elements in this series are interesting and captivating without stealing the central spot light from the romance.

I loved book 1 and this was just as good! (Reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/audiobook-out-of-the-ashes-asheville-arcana-1-by-ari-mckay-narrated-by-andrew-mcferrin/)

Looking forward to more in this series!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Friends to Lovers: Brokenhearted: Hope Cove Audiobook by Cate Ashwood; narrated by John Orr

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Brokenhearted-Audiobook/B00JUZSSDW?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_5&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=KC4S5EYY9VZR0TN45AYX&

Blurb:

Oliver Parrish has been alone in the world since he was born. So when Sheriff Owen “Mack” Macklin shows up on his doorstep to deliver the news that Oliver’s sister has died, he’s beyond surprised. Still, Oliver returns with Mack to Hope Cove, Maine, hoping to get to know the sister he never knew he had. As he tries to snap these new elements into his solitary life, he’s not sure how they might fit.
His life is shaken up further as he falls in love with the irresistible town of Hope Cove, and with Mack, its equally irresistible sheriff. But when he receives devastating news about his sister’s cause of death, Oliver doesn’t know whether to stay and fight for love and a good life, or cut his losses and run.

Review: When I started to read the book, I couldn’t get into it (personal things going on), it seemed interesting, so I decided to get the audiobook. I’m so glad I did!
The story is good – Oliver travels to meet the sister he never knew he had, only to find out that Maggie has died. He meets Mack, Maggie’s best friend, who helps him get to know what her life was like in the town. Oliver stays on to take over Maggie’s bakery, gets to know and fall in love with Mack. There are some ups and downs – Mack is not really out, Oliver finds out some devastating news and doesn’t handle it well.
John Orr was a pleasure to listen to – he really brought the characters to life, including the supporting characters (especially Hayden). His tone was even, with good, distinct characterisations. An enjoyable listen; I’m looking forward to listening to the other 2 books.

4 stars out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Friends to Lovers: Happily Ever Alfie by K. Sterling

 

 

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38214356-happily-ever-alfie?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Happily Ever After can seem so far away. Especially when life kicks you every time you’re down. Alfie Stanford was a master of fairytales and happy endings but his own story was one sad twist after another. He didn’t have time for true love and he was too tired to dance at midnight, he had four younger siblings to raise.

Happily Ever After doesn’t happen for everyone. Sometimes, you miss your chance while you’re serving your country. Jack Church gave more than thirty years of his life to the Army and believed it was too late for him to be some man’s Prince Charming.

Sometimes, a little girl and a very special quilt are all it takes for something very magical to happen… Sometimes, there’s robots.

Review: I wish I had a way to describe how much I really enjoyed this story! It’s funny, heartwarming with a few hot scenes! What makes this such good story is how well the different tropes/themes are blended together; the May to December trope, hurt/comfort trope, (a past tragedy leaves MC to raise siblings), precocious (but funny) kids, humour and steamy scenes.
I had a great time reading this – definitely in my re-read pile ☺

4.5 stars out of 5

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Copy purchased for honest review

 

Enemies to Lovers: Perfect Fit (Book 4 of the Fated Hearts Series) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28500149-perfect-fit?from_search=true

Blurb: Two incurable bachelors, one incredible journey…

Jagger Jackson hides behind a sexy playboy veneer. He’d rather people see him as a man who doesn’t believe in love, rather than one who doesn’t deserve it. No matter how hard he works, he still sees himself as the unlovable boy from the wrong side of the tracks.
Miller Brexler doesn’t believe he’ll ever meet a man who could make him want to settle down. He’s perfectly happy with his hit it and quit it lifestyle. Behind his easygoing nature is a man who’s passionately devoted to his career, family, and friends.
JJ and Miller are brought together when their best friends meet and fall in love. Sparks fly from the very beginning and no matter how much they try to fight it, their attraction is unavoidable. What starts out as “just sex” has the potential to become so much more if JJ can come to terms with his painful past, and Miller is willing to admit that love may be the missing piece in his seemingly perfect life.

Will these two stubborn hearts admit that they might’ve been wrong about love or will they allow the chance at true happiness to slip away? This is the tale of two imperfect men that together make a perfect fit.

Review

The way these two men fought their attraction, they might as well have been frenemies! This is the 4th book in the Fated Hearts series, but this is the one I started with. It can definitely be read as a standalone.
JJ and Miller, both confirmed bachelors, both with a backstory that keeps them from believing in their own HEA. However, they didn’t count on their powerful attraction to each other.
The fun of the story is how they fought against their attraction meaning anything and the feels start when they open up to each other and when they are tested after tragedy strikes.
This is one of my favourite books to reread.

4.5 stars out of 5

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Copy purchased for review

 

Valentine’s Review: The Moore the Merrier Audiobook by Alex Miska, V. Soffer narrated by Sean Lehart, Jill Smith

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Moore-the-Merrier-Audiobook/B078P4W6G6

Blurb: “Our family will always have room for a few more Moores.”
The Moore family is growing exponentially this year! All three brothers are enjoying their happily ever afters. Julian and Xander only have four weeks to plan their dream wedding and are waiting impatiently to welcome two homeless teens into their family. Amidst all the merriment, Chance discovers that he has siblings, and they need his help. He’s forced to confront his past, but he won’t have to face it alone.

Review

 I loved this continuation of the Julian and Xander’s story. The best part was seeing the proceedings from the furbabies POV. They were hysterical.
The collaboration between Sean Lenhart and Jill Smith was really good, but I have to say that Sean was excellent with both the narrative and non-narrative bits.
This story is best experienced as an audiobook – the animals are hysterical – especially the cats and their territorial ways (the Xmas tree scene is a scream) and Luna. Ms. Smith portrays her brilliantly.
I highly recommend this audiobook, it’s so funny 🙂

4.5 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review