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

 

Release Day Review: A Few Good Fish (Fish Out of Water #3) by Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-few-good-fish-by-amy-lane-9829-b

Blurb

Fish Out of Water: Book Three

A tomcat, a psychopath, and a psychic walk into the desert to rescue the men they love…. Can everybody make it out with their skin intact?

PI Jackson Rivers and Defense Attorney Ellery Cramer have barely recovered from last November, when stopping a serial killer nearly destroyed Jackson in both body and spirit.

But their previous investigation poked a new danger with a stick, forcing Jackson and Ellery to leave town so they can meet the snake in its den.

Jackson Rivers grew up with the mean streets as a classroom and he learned a long time ago not to give a damn about his own life. But he gets a whole new education when the enemy takes Ellery. The man who pulled his shattered pieces from darkness and stitched them back together again is in trouble, and Jackson’s only chance to save him rests in the hands of fragile allies he barely knows.

It’s going to take a little bit of luck to get these Few Good Fish out alive!

Review

You know I’m an Amy Lane fangirl – so it’s no surprise that I loved this! This is the third in the series and they must be read in order. In fact, you’ll be really confused if you haven’t read the other two and probably you should read Racing for The Sun https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17700033-racing-for-the-sun?from_search=true as well – mostly because it’s awesome – but also because Sonny and Ace are so prominent in this story.

Things that I liked:
Amy is really good at understanding what a sequel needs to keep us engaged. She’s given us Ellery and Jackson’s ILYs and commitments but we still worry about Jackson’s belief in the finality of the relationship and of his ability to be loved. This story moves us forward on that front without necessarily calling in to question the pair of them.

I LOVED that she brought in religion. (Don’t freak out – you’ll see what I mean – and it’s mostly a metaphor…sorta.) Jackson has to believe, has to trust and what greater example of that in a person is there than Faith. The stuff with Lucy Satan and Jackson at the hospital – Gold. Really lovely way to look at things and so perfect for Jackson the character.

I ADORED the link to RFTS. I love that book so much and frequently re-listen to it. Sonny is off his rocker but in a good way and I love re-visiting him and Ace and Jai and Alba. Now we get to add in Burton and Ernie – yes like Sesame Street!- and it’s even more delicious! There’s a new book coming out in October I think? – about these two and it looks AMAZING!

Things that were good:
The mystery/action etc was good. I’m sure she spent a lot of time working this out but – honestly – I skimmed it. There is a lot of blood/injury/hospitalization time – AGAIN – for these guys and I was a little over that. I was tired of seeing them hurt and wanted to see them hole for awhile. (My only real complaint.)

So – to sum up: this is awesome, can’t wait for the new RFTS sequel and you’ve got to read this if you’re a fan of either book/series/author!

4.5 of 5 stars

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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

Time to go Dark: Cut and Run Audiobook: By: Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban Narrated by Sawyer Allerde

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Erotica-Sexuality/Cut-and-Run-Audiobook/B003POLGU6?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=KVYFY2WFN8NQJBKMBC7Q&

Blurb

An erotic gay romance, a suspenseful thriller….
A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.
Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He’s cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he’s paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it’s hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliché: total opposites, good cop – bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.
Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again – this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer’s knife.


Review

This was one of the first books/series I read in this genre and it totally got me hooked! I remember being so glad that I’d found this series after the bulk of them had been written because the emotional cliff hangars at the ends of these are killer!

Our guys go though SO MUCH. There are times when they are apart, fearing for their lives, considering the end… this author (these authors) aren’t afraid of anything.

There are countless reviews for this series – so I’ll just add my own few words.

If you aren’t afraid of angst, like humor and seriously hot smexy times, aren’t afraid to wait A LONG time for the emotional pay out – this is for you. The emotional pay out is there and so satisfying – but not for several books.

Our guys clearly are in it together – but they have to WORK for it and it’s not easy.

The secondary characters and the drama keep the relationship stuff moving along and does – at times – eclipse the romance. However, given the entire series – the relationship is at the center in the end.

 

Audio

 

Unfortunately, this is one of those series where we get a few different narrators. I think each of them added their own twist to the characters and all of them – in their own way – did a great job. The narration definitely adds to the overall enjoyment and I’d definitely recommend it as a fantastic way to enjoy this series. Especially if you have a LONG time to listen J

 

 

5 of 5 stars


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Purchased for Review

Time to Laugh: The Trouble With Tony (Sex in Seattle #1) Audiobook by Eli Easton Narrated by Tommy O’Brien

Dreamspinner Presents:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6109

Blurb

As part of the investigation into the murder of a young woman, Seattle P.I. Tony DeMarco poses as a patient of Dr. Jack Halloran, the therapist who treated the victim at a Seattle sex clinic. This isn’t the first time Tony has gone undercover, but it’s the first time he’s wanted to go under covers with one of his suspects. He can’t help it –Jack Halloran is just the kind of steely eyed hero Tony likes. But he’ll have to prove Halloran’s innocence and keep the doctor from finding out about his ruse before he can play Romeo.
Dr. Halloran has his own issues, including a damaged right arm sustained in the line of duty as a combat surgeon in Iraq and the PTSD that followed. He’s confused to find himself attracted to a new patient, the big, funny Italian with the puppy-dog eyes, and Tony’s humor slips right past Jack’s defenses, making him feel things he thought long buried. But can the doctor and the P.I. find a path to romance despite the secrets between them?

Review

Jack is a Doctor and a war hero who had to re-train from surgeon to sex therapist due to debilitating injuries.

Tony is an ex-cop, PI on the case of a murder of one of Jack’s former patients. Tony “pretends” to have a sex addiction and comes to Jack for “help” so that he can assess Jack as a suspect. Jack sees through the ruse and calls Tony’s bluff. Tony admits, finally, to having “a picky dick”. Meaning, that he has trouble getting erections except with a very small pool of men who manage to stimulate his “picky dick”.

Jack agrees to take Tony on as a patient, though he is concerned because he is not sure Tony is still being honest and Jack is already too attracted to Tony for professional purposes.

Together Jack and Tony research possibilities for Tony’s “problem” and at the same time build a smoldering sexual tension.

Tony essentially rules Jack out fairly early as a suspect, but still must investigate the clinic and it’s employees as well as following other leads.

Finally, when Tony thinks he knows whodunit, he now faces the task of convincing Jack to give their relationship a try.

**

I love Eli Easton! I am a huge fan. This was one of the first books I read of hers after falling in love with Blame it on the Mistletoe. There are several things I loved about this book (especially listening to it again after having read it several times). I love the characters. They seem so real and down to earth. I love that I get to learn something about sex therapy and yet it was still a bit kinky at times too. Totally professional and not at all demeaning to the profession, but still acknowledging the sexual edge that is involved in such an intimate form of therapy.

I also loved the gradual exploration of the feelings between Tony and Jack. It felt real and natural. My only complaint was that after Jack and Tony got together we didn’t get to see much of them as a couple. There was definitely enough to believe in a HEA (and we see them in future novels as an established couple) but I wanted to see more of them here.

Audio:

I had listened to Tommy O’Brien narrate before and thought he did a fine job. I was so disappointed with this. There was little emotion and the very slight difference between Tony and Jack’s voices was not satisfactory. Tony is this great East Coast Italian guy and it would have been so fun to hear that come out in Tommy’s narration. There is some inflection and in fact Tony’s voice is the only emotion I felt in the story.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Taking the Long Way by Max MacGowan narrated by Matt Milne

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7414

Blurb

Male escort Rye Bellamy is looking for a way out. Any way out. He’s getting older, and clients are getting more dangerous. If he doesn’t find something better, he knows he won’t survive.

He sees his chance in Marcus Townsend, a functionally blind Army veteran. Marcus, who refuses to accept his condition as immutable, has a shot at seeing a specialist who might be able to help him—but that doctor’s based on the other side of the country.

When Rye and Marcus meet, they realize they can help each other. Marcus can’t drive, but Rye can. Marcus knows what Rye is, but he likes him anyway. In fact, he more than likes him. Driving cross-country with a near stranger is a daunting task, but Rye’s biggest risk is falling for the gentle, stubborn-hearted soldier—and it might already be too late to stop that.

They plan to part ways when they reach their destination, but plans change as the affection between them grows. Now neither wants their journey to end, but continuing means finding a way to bridge the distance between who they were and who they’d like to become.

Review

(Book Reviewed here previously)

From the blurb we find out that Rye and Marcus end up finding each other at the right point in their lives to help the other out. Rye just lost his “job” by pissing off his pimp, and Marcus has lost faith in his VA doctor and is seeking a second opinion in Atlanta, but can’t fly due to his injuries.

Marcus offers the chance to a new start to Rye in a new place if Rye will drive Marcus to Atanta.

What the blurb doesn’t tell you is how amazing the journey is for these two guys.

**

I absolutely can’t believe this is Max MacGowan’s first book! It is so well done! The writing is clear, crisp and evocative. The MCs are multi-faceted and real. The situation – while improbable – is absolutely possible and even the secondary characters are fully developed.

The pacing is slow – Marcus identifies as straight and Rye doesn’t need any long term involvements so the two dance around their attraction a long time. But that helps them to build their relationship on a solid foundation.

Along the way they meet some great people and I won’t say much – but the DOGS – oy – so touching!

I can’t recommend this highly enough and give it 6 of 5 stars for being an amazing book and extraordinary for a first time author.

 

Audio

Wow. Just Wow.

Matt Milne is an amazing choice for this. He really suits the tone of the story and was so easy to listen to. His accent isn’t always perfect but I loved listening to him.

Highly, highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Late in the Day by Mary Calmes Narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/late-in-the-day-by-mary-calmes-8993-b

Blurb

Second from The Vault
Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne. The Vault. Juggling all these names would bother some, but for Darius, it’s business as usual. When he closes a chapter in his life, he leaves a name—and the people associated with it—behind. He’s managed to keep a few colleagues, even fewer friends, and no companionship through his forty-plus years… but that’s now changing.

The newest chapter of his life is bringing serious change: a stable home, a recovered identity, an unlikely family, and now a chance encounter with the one man Darius ever loved: Efrem Lahm. The reasons they parted are still valid, and there’s no way they can trust each other. But Efrem has already decided he won’t let Darius go… and Darius will have to decide if he wants to take a chance with his heart this late in the day.

Review

(Reviewed here previously by Dee)
This is a difficult review for me because I really wanted to love this book. Note: this is all on me. For one, I have not read ‘A Day Makes’ and so was unaware that this book was in the same universe (hitmen, vaults). And, to make matters worse, I have not yet read ‘Mine’. While this book could be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading either (or both) of the other books mentioned.
Darius is chosen to be the new Vault.
The story continues with Darius helping to get someone out of danger and relocate to a new life in Boston. As he is working on this, he is suddenly face to face with his old love, Efrem Lahm.
The story didn’t work for me – it started at some time in the present (?) with Darius dealing with closing down mob ties. Then it jumped to the past where Darius recalls how he became the Vault. Then fast forward some months later; he is suddenly in the custody of Homeland Security, where he reconnects with Efrem.
Also, Darius and Efrem do not get a lot of time together – the book seemed to revolve around all the other characters. Both MC’s do not get together again until two-thirds of the book.
Again, if I had read the other books, especially ‘A Day Makes’, the writing style would have made more sense.
It’s a good book, one that I’ll re-read once I’ve read the other books.

3 stars out of 5

Review by Morgan

Well, I’ve read everything by Mary Calmes and my review isn’t that different from Dee’s. On the one hand this was a great story for those of us who love to catch up with our favorite characters and love seeing them interact with other characters we love. For that I’d give this a full THUMBS UP! That was a ton of fun and I loved it!

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

I hope this isn’t a spoiler but I’ll assume some of this is….

In any case, I didn’t necessarily buy in to the love story and that dropped my rating down significantly.

3 stars out of 5

Audio

Well of course, Greg Tremblay is amazing and he absolutely did this story right. He handled all many and varied voices and accents and “characters” really well and he’s so much fun to listen to. Definitely worth the listen even if this wasn’t my favorite Mary story.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

4-stars-small

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest 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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Release Day Review: Storm by HJ Welch

release day review

Good Reads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39671696-storm#other_review

Blurb
*I can’t do this without you*

Chase Williamson was never meant to be a dad. Like it or not, though, he’s now the sole guardian of five-year-old Lyla and terrified of messing it up. He needs help, but who wants to rescue a high school dropout? Certainly not the gorgeous newcomer in town, even if he is an ex-Marine.

Hunter Duke is looking forward to a small-town life to drive away his demons. Maybe meet a nice girl? Adopting a puppy begins to fill the hole in his heart, but it’s an unlikely friendship with Chase and his daughter that really starts to make Hidden Creek feel like home.

When social services threaten to take Lyla away, Hunter knows he’ll do anything to prove that this town is wrong about Chase. Could it be that this is the family he was searching for all along?

Welcome to Hidden Creek, Texas, where the heart knows what it wants, and where true love lives happily ever after. Every Men of Hidden Creek novel can be read on its own, but keep an eye out for familiar faces around town! This book contains a three-legged puppy with attitude, a long-awaited comeuppance, and enough kisses to mend any broken heart

Review
I like the way HJ Welch’s stories make you feel good about life and that no matter how bad things seem there is hope. Chase has been belittled all his life by his Father and expects it from everyone he meets. His lack of self confidence meant he never spent much time with his daughter Lyla. Until that unfortunate day Lyla’s mother died and he has to become a real dad. Hunter is looking for a new start and Hidden Creek is just the place to do it. Both of them need support from someone special in their lives and they find each other a just the right time. This is a wonderful feel good book and I loved it.
Storm is part of a group of books written by different authors all centred around the town of Hidden Creek. Each book can be read as a stand-alone but the characters pop up in the different books. I’m quite intrigued and will be following them.

5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z. Narrated by Jack Wesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/off-the-beaten-path-by-cari-z-9368-b

Blurb: 
When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.

Henry Dormer is an alpha werewolf and an elite black ops soldier who failed his last mission. He returns home, hoping for some time to recuperate and help settle the pack’s newest member, a little pup named Ava who can’t shift back to her human form. Instead he meets Ward, who refuses to leave his daughter without a fight. The two men are as different as night and day, but their respect for each other strikes a spark of mutual interest that quickly grows into a flame. They might find something special together—love, passion, and even a family—if they can survive trigger-happy pack guardians, violent werewolf politics, and meddling government agencies that are just as likely to get their alpha soldiers killed as bring them home safely

Review:
(Book reviewed here previously by Mary)

I’m always looking for a new twist on a shifter story and this did not disappoint.
With the way the world is is could see werewolves being treated in manner described in this story. Used when it suited the Government but kept isolated out of fear. The world building is superb. The treatment of the werewolves is so unjust they gained my sympathy immediately and I was so pulled in that I was sorry when I came to the end of the book. I felt connected with Wade and Henry. To have the Government take your child and never to see her again would be heartbreaking. He is strong in his determination to get her back. Henry is pulled in so many directions. He has his duty to his pack as Alpha and to his role as an elite black ops soldier. I liked the way both Wade’s and Henry’s situations were explained without taking too much time away from the crux of the story, the burgeoning relationship between Henry and Wade and Ava not being able to shift back. I hope Cari Z has plans for a sequel or a series.

The only problem I had was that it is written from both Henry and Wade’s points of view in alternating chapters. This did throw me a bit and I kept checking who’s POV I was reading. However I was so captivated by the story it didn’t affect my enjoyment. If you are a fan of shifter stories I wholeheartedly recommend Off the Beaten Path.

(Review by Morgan)

I agree with Mary, but I want to add that sometimes this was really hard. I’m sure there are some allegories between this story and “real life” camps that strike home.

I think, depending on your frame of mind, the hate and distrust and the making people feel isolated and different can really strike a nerve given our political times.

Audio

I thought Jack Wesley (new to me) did a great job. He was easy to listen to, did a nice job with the emotion, and helped differentiate the characters.

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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