Time to get scared: My Dark Knight by KA Merikan

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34536195-my-dark-knight?from_search=true

Blurb
Love or hate. Life or death. No inbetween. No compromise. No rules in love and war.

Knight. Party monster. Handsome Savage. Doesn’t do monogamy.
Elliot. Obsessive. Intense. Uncompromising.

Newly single, Knight is done with relationships. All he’s interested in is bringing down The Count, an Internet personality who is tarnishing his family name. An opportunity to crush him comes when the audacious clown shows up at the Kings of Hell MC clubhouse to film for his YouTube channel. But when Knight meets Elliot, the man behind The Count, he no longer knows what to do with him.

Knight has never seen a more pathetic creature than Elliot. He’s also never met anyone who needed him more. Skinny, messed up, and a bucket of trouble as thick as tar, everything Elliot does seems to be a wordless death wish. No matter how much Knight hates Elliot’s alter ego, under the makeup and theatrics hides a fragile young guy with a passion for history, and Knight can’t help but catch Elliot every time he falls.

Elliot has bad taste in men. Always hopelessly attracted to violent brutes, his favorite is a long dead serial killer. But he gets more than he’s bargained for when he seizes an opportunity to meet the man of his dreams. The ghost is manipulative and dangerous, offering Elliot all he’s always wanted, for a price he can’t possibly pay.

Elliot is faced with an impossible choice between two men.
One alive, one dead.
One carnal and honest, one drizzling sweet, poisoned promises into his ear.
One unwilling to commit, the other promising an eternity together.
And Elliot doesn’t settle for half-measures. He craves a love that is all or nothing, passion that will consume him, and desire to burn him alive.
Elliot is ready to either get that, or die trying

 

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Themes: enemies to lovers, protector, cruelty, motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, tattoos, impossible choices, deception, crime, self-discovery, healing, black magic, gothic, commitment, ghosts, possession

Genre: Dark, paranormal romance 
Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes

Length: ~145,000 words (Book 2 in the series, can be read as a standalone, but it’s recommended to read book 1 first)

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

Review
This is one terrific ghost story that pulls in murder, lies and obsession but not I would say a love story as such. It’s a very dark story that made me feel uncomfortable at times. Elliott is an unsettling character. From early on I had the impression he had mental health issues with the level of obsession and his desperation to be wanted. Maybe this is unfair I will leave you to make up your own mind. What he desperately wants is some to love and focus on him. When Elliott feels hurt or insecure he makes questionable choices, which leads Knight to rescue him. At the heart of the story is a triangle between Knight, Elliott and the ghost of William Fane. Knight saves Elliott who’s obsessed with the ghost of William Fane, a serial killer from early 19 Century.
Elliott has a kink for humiliation, he wants his partner to use and control him in the bedroom but equally to take care and protect him. Knight got his nickname by being the White Knight out to save the damsel in distress. Only problem is Elliott gets jealous and reckless when he sees philandering Knight with someone else. Cue one manipulative ghost who entices Elliott to do his bidding. Fane is cruel and Elliott suffers once he lets him get a hold. This is where the pace picks up. Beast and Laurent, the main characters from book 1, come more into the story from this point. You are given a synopsis of book 1 so this can be read stand-alone. Personally I think to get the most out of it read book 1. Stick with the slower ground setting first part it’s worth it to get to the dark twisted second half with ghosts and demon. KA Merikan are terrific descriptive writers a this works so well for both the sex scenes and the dark scenes.

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

Time to get scared: Restless Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk (Spirits book 1)

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23569031-restless-spirits?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Henry Strauss knows all about being the victim of a charismatic fraud, having lost his family fortune to a man claiming to be in touch with his deceased father.
He is determined control the spirit world through the application of science with his Electro-Séance. He just needs a haunting to prove it actually works. When a wealthy man offers a contest between Henry’s new scientific methods and the old, unreliable spiritualism, it seems like his wish has come true, not to mention the money prize offered.

Henry and his niece Joe travel to Reyhome Castle, were gruesome murders took place and a vicious ghost hunts the premises. He is confident he can outmatch every quack medium he meets, including the alluring Vincent Night, the opponent in this match of exorcism prowess. Vincent is smooth, handsome and exotic, and very appealing indeed. But, Henry swore never to let his heart near a medium again, and there is his and Joe’s future to consider. He can’t lose, no matter how much Vincent’s empathy and friendliness seem genuine.

However, Reyhome Castle, which looked like an easy case of hunting, turns out to be anything but, with secrets upon secrets and a deadly force out to claim their very souls. Henry must trust the one thing he swore he never will, and work together with Vincent if they ever wish to leave Reyhome Castle alive.

Review
If you enjoyed her Hexworld books or Widdershins, you will LOVE this one!!!

This book was my first M/M, almost two years ago, and it also introduced me to Jordan L. Hawk who has become one of my favorite authors. Jordan has a fantastic writing style and is one of the best world builders I have read to date. All three of her 19th century book series are fantastically written and have an ingenious way of being both realistic and raw while still having supernatural and magical elements. I love the level of research and feel of scientific accuracy this book has, the exorcism feels logical and feasible, and to be able to write it in such a way is a true gift indeed. The other thing I love about Jordan’s writing are her inclusive, diverse characters. There are characters from every color, ethnicity, gender and gender identity in her stories and she fits each character and story to the time period with such accuracy it’s astounding. She writes real people with genuine struggles in and other-worldly setting, not an easy feat, yet she makes it seem so.
This book is a mystery both scary and intriguing, the plot twisting and unexpected.
I love the struggle between Vincent and Henry, both striving for the same goal but from opposing sides. The “hate-turned-to-lust-turned-to-friendship” between them is wonderful, with just the right amount of snark and fluster. They each bring something to the table and if they can only work together they might survive this hunted mansion. Lizzy and Joe, the wonderful and funny partners and co-workers are each a formidable female character and show a strength and wisdom much greater than their sometimes dens male counterparts. This is the start of a wonderful series that puts a twist on Ghost Busters and combines science and spirit to save the day.

Number of stars out of 5
5



Copy Purchased for Review

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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: Vice Enforcer by S.A.Stovall

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37796640-vice-enforcer?from_search=true

Blurb

Holding on to a life worth living can be hard when the nightmares of the past come knocking.
Eight months ago, Nicholas Pierce, ex-mob enforcer, faked his death and assumed a new identity to escape sadistic mob boss Jeremy Vice. With no contacts outside the underworld, Pierce finds work with a washed-up PI. It’s an easy enough gig—until investigating a human trafficking ring drags him back to his old stomping grounds.

Miles Devonport, Pierce’s partner, is top of his class at the police academy while single-handedly holding his family together. But when one lieutenant questions Pierce’s past and his involvement in the investigation, Miles must put his future on the line to keep Pierce’s secrets.

The situation becomes dire when it’s discovered the traffickers have connections to the Vice family. The lives of everyone Pierce cares about are in danger—not least of all his own, if Jeremy Vice learns he’s back from the dead. Pierce and Miles face a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels—one that will gladly destroy them to keep operating. As Pierce uses every dirty trick he learned from organized crime to protect the new life he’s building, he realizes that no matter how hard he tries, he might never escape his past.

But he’s not going down without a fight

Review

This book is about 8months on from the end of book 1 (Vice City) it probably could be read as a stand-alone. There are occasional references to incidents in book 1 but not anything you could not work out or detract from understanding this story. Pierce and Miles are now settling into domesticity. Well Pierce is trying Miles has succeeded. Pierce is training to be a PI and Miles is in the Police Academy. I was surprised at this considering Pierce’s background the last thing they would need is to be around cops, or is it clever having someone on the inside? It kept me wondering how this story was going to turn out. Through out book 1 I couldn’t decide if I liked Pierce, he certainly seemed like a good person caught up in the mob surviving the only way he could (being the Enforcer). Or maybe he was just realising he was getting too old for that life and needed to get out. Or maybe loving Miles gave him the push to change. Whatever it was Pierce is now trying to adapt, gardening with no success and getting use to Miles brother and sister being around. This all goes to nothing when the PI he works with gets him involved in his former life. The story heats up from here. I liked that this not a now they live happily ever after kind of story. There are so many ups and downs to their relationship. Mainly from Pierce (it is told mainly from his point of view) Miles is steadfast in his belief and devotion to Pierce. So much so that he risks his future career to support him.
I liked that there is not a cliffhanger ending. This story is wrapped up perfectly with a thread linking into a future story. If you like the idea of a bad (but not cruel) man turns good but with a touch of realism these could be the books for a you.

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

 

Time to Laugh: Somebody Killed His Editor Audiobook by Josh Lanyon Narrated by Kevin R. Free

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Somebody-Killed-His-Editor-Audiobook/B00B29YVJ4?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_11&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=TP4H6VXN8VT08ZQ7M5QD&

Blurb
For sixteen years reclusive mystery writer Christopher (Kit) Holmes enjoyed a very successful career, thanks to the popularity of elderly spinster sleuth, Miss Butterwith, and her ingenious cat, Mr. Pinkerton. But sales are down in everything but chick lit, and Christopher’s new editor doesn’t like geriatric gumshoes. It’s a pink, pink world for Mr. Holmes.

At the urging of his agent, Christopher reluctantly agrees to attend a mystery writers’ conference at a remote Northern California winery. But no sooner does he arrive than he discovers the pajama-clad body of a woman in the woods. If nearly two decades of mystery-writing are anything to go by, the woman doesn’t appear to have died a natural death.

With a storm in full force and a washed-out bridge making it impossible for law enforcement to come to the rescue, it’s practically like all those classic murder mysteries in isolated country manors that Christopher has been penning for sixteen years! If only Miss Butterwith was on hand. Or even Mr. Pinkerton

Review

There is a lot of situational humour in this story. We first meet Christopher stuck in a storm getting soaked in his new designer clothes to improve his image, on his way to meet an editor and stumbles across a body. For the length of the book, told from Christopher’s point of view, he is stuck on a literary retreat with a number of other crime/mystery writers. To make matters worse he doesn’t want to be there. The irony of his situation is very amusing. Not to mention Christopher’s droll sense of humour. I liked how his prickly relationship with J.X, they go so hot and cold and the miscommunications between them had me longing for some frank discussions but that would’ve spoiled the tension.
I liked Kevin R. Free’s narration. He gave me a great sense of sarcastic Christopher and exasperated but amused JX. The large cast of secondary characters were also handled really well. Each with their own unique characteristics coming through. I liked it so much I downloaded the second two books straight away.

5 of stars out of 5

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Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Laugh: Warrior’s Cross by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban


Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6782412-warrior-s-cross?from_search=true

Blurb

Cameron Jacobs is an open book. He considers himself a common waiter with normal friends, boring hobbies, harmless dogs, and nothing even resembling a secret… except a crush on a tall, dark, devastatingly handsome man who dines alone at his restaurant on Tuesday nights. All it takes is one passionate night with Julian Cross to turn Cameron’s world on its head.
Julian’s love and devotion are all Cameron could have hoped for and more. But when his ordinary life meets and clashes with Julian’s extraordinary lifestyle, Cameron discovers that trust and fear can go hand in hand, and love is just a step away from danger.

 

Review: Although this book is a standalone, it connects to Armed and Dangerous (part of the Cut and Run series by Abigail Roux) through Julian and Cameron.
This is the story of how Cameron and Julian meet.
Cameron works at a restaurant and waits on the same man, Julian once a week. This goes on for months before Julian decides to talk to Cameron (each man is crushing on the other). They start seeing each other – Cameron is unassuming, unremarkable, lives alone with 4 dogs, whereas Julian is a dark, mysterious, dangerous man – but together they make an interesting couple.

The story is a combination of mystery, (we never confirm what Julian is, hitman for what agency?), action and romance. The story kept me interested, especially when Julian’s past threatened his future with Cam. The only time I was less than engaged was when Cam decided to separate from Julian.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading their story and was thrilled to see them again in the Cut and Run series.

4.5 stars out of 5

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Purchased for Review

 

Recent Release: Bad Seed by Gareth Vaughn

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38901778-bad-seed?from_search=true

Blurb
Dane’s a Decrypter down on his luck — after accidentally dispatching the wrong creature, he’s sent to a small town where the cryptids he hunts are sparse. Crypt Coffee becomes his business front, but instead of a thrilling new mission on the side, he’s stuck sending ghosts back to where they came from. Dane can annoy customers, at least, and tries to scare off Professor Sean Sanderson when he starts poking around too much. But Sean isn’t about to stay away. Not when he hears about the murder of a former student, and definitely not if young, exciting Dane has information about it. But the more he allows himself to get dragged into this supernatural world of monsters and ghosts, the more the danger escalates. And if Sean and Dane aren’t careful, tracking down a murderer who can use magic might just get them killed

Review
I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this book. I love the idea of a kind of supernatural enforcer keeping rogue elements in line. But this book just didn’t settle with me. Both Dane and Sean start with an antagonist type relationship and it pretty much stays that way. Dane is very prickly, bitchy and short tempered. I’m not sure if that’s because he doesn’t want to be in bleu falls (he was sent there as a Decrypter) or he is always that way. Sean keeps coming back. If this is a start of a series featuring them that might explain it, they’ll have time to grow. There were also a few loose ends. Sean was initially looking into a student death by what he thought was a werewolf. This is never mentioned again. The investigation diverted on to another who it turns out was poisoned. Another is the all powerful Order Dane works for. We are left wondering if they do come to wipe Sean’s mind because he’s seen to much or not. Is this the start of an investigative/ supernatural peacekeeping partnership? I don’t know but this book hasn’t gripped me enough to want to know.

2.5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Bone to Pick by TA Moore narrated by Michael Fell

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bone-to-pick-by-ta-moore-9486-b

Blurb:
Cloister Witte is a man with a dark past and a cute dog. He’s happy to talk about the dog all day, but after growing up in the shadow of a missing brother, a deadbeat dad, and a criminal stepfather, he’d rather leave the past back in Montana. These days, he’s a K-9 officer in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and pays a tithe to his ghosts by doing what no one was able to do for his brother – find the missing and bring them home.

He’s good at solving difficult mysteries. The dog is even better.
This time, the missing person is a 10-year-old boy who walked into the woods in the middle of the night and didn’t come back. With the antagonistic help of distractingly handsome FBI Agent Javi Merlo, it quickly becomes clear that Drew Hartley didn’t run away. He was taken, and the evidence implies he’s not the kidnapper’s first victim. As the search intensifies, old grudges and tragedies are pulled into the light of day. But with each clue they uncover, it looks less and less likely that Drew will be found alive.

Review: The book has been reviewed previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/bone-to-pick-by-ta-moore/

:
TA Moore has crafted a great suspense story with enough simmering sexual tension to keep me very interested indeed. To quote Cloister Witte’s opinion of Javi Merlo he’s a prick. Nothing really endearing about Javi whereas Cloister is a driven soul. How these two can meld together was as much a suspense to me as finding missing Drew Hartley. The investigation into missing Drew is quite good, kept me guessing. The storyline in that respect is somewhat complex but I didn’t find it to hard to follow. The main focus is the investigation with the relationship as a side element. I loved the K9 part of the story, Bourneville stole the show.

 

If ever a book would benefit from a sequel it would be this one. Not from the crime drama viewpoint that is resolved but the relationship between Javi and Cloister needs to be explored further. It is the classic case of the two of them disliking each other but also being unable to keep their hands off each other. Made good reading but I would like to know how their non relationship develops, if it does. They are left in a sort of happy for now status.

 

If you like crime stories I would recommend this one.

 

Audio:

Michael Fell is the second new (to me) narrator that I’ve listened to in 2 weeks. In both cases, the narration has complemented the story.
This is a really good story, unfortunately I kept getting interrupted while trying to read it, so I had to put it aside. I was thrilled to be able to listen to the audio version, crossing my fingers that the narrator would not muck it up. I am happy to report that Michael Fell did not ‘muck it up’, in fact his narration made the suspense of finding the missing kid feel real. His narration was well paced, and the characterisations of Cloister and Javi, were distinct and very well done.

Between the story and the narration, I found myself very disappointed when the story ended – not because of the HFN – that was perfect for both men. No, I was disappointed because I wanted more – more story (that’s a hint TA Moore) and more Michael Fell!
Definitely recommend!

4.5 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Release Day Review: Mage of Inconvenience by Parker Foye

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/mage-of-inconvenience-by-parker-foye-9390-b

Blurb
Can they find the magic in a practical union?

West is on the run from his werewolf pack, but if he cannot renew his magical defenses, he won’t get far. What he needs is a mage….

Julian is part of a wealthy and ancient family, and one day, his legacy will include his mother’s vast library of spell books—and the knowledge he needs to correct his past mistakes. But his inheritance comes with a stipulation: he has to be married before he can collect. What he needs is a husband….

West and Julian can help each other, and at first they don’t want anything further. But as they dodge meddling cousins, jealous rivals, and an insidious drug, it becomes clear that their lives are entwined in ways they never imagined—and they’re in greater danger than they thought possible

Review
I’m a sucker for this kind of trope where they make a bargain then fall in love. This one is a little different. They are a Mage and a Werewolf for one. There is a lot more than just a will, dare I say motherly interference after she has passed away (I don’t mean as a ghost just spells left behind). Julian puts up a front of ampretentious young man to all those who meet him. Only those close know how insecure he can be. West was on the run from his father that’s why he’s hiding. As the story progressed and I got to know both characters I found myself drawn more towards West than Julian. Julian needs not only to marry but to form a bond, which he doesn’t really believe in. West does believe in bonds but needs Julian’s skills. The majority of the story is dealing with interference and the bond growing between them. Julian’s two cousins and West’s family cause trouble for them in different ways. The problem I have is that it seemed like the bond just appeared. There is no sex in the story so either the bond grows out of affection or it’s a subtle fated mate situation. Also considering that West is hiding from his family, apart from his brother there is no mention of them at the end. Overall not one of my favourite stories but good enough.

3 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Friends to Lovers: Lessons in Love Audiobook by Charlie Cochrane Narrated by Phil Mayes

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Lessons-in-Love-Audiobook/B01AO7MOFW?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=KH0GYNMFVNQKRQJMBH41

Blurb
St. Bride’s College, Cambridge, England, 1905. When Jonty Stewart takes up a teaching post at the college where he studied, the handsome and outgoing young man acts as a catalyst for change within the archaic institution. He also has a catalytic effect on Orlando Coppersmith. Orlando is a brilliant, introverted mathematician with very little experience of life outside the college walls. He strikes up an alliance with the outgoing Jonty, and soon finds himself having feelings he’s never experienced before. Before long their friendship blossoms into more than either man had hoped and they enter into a clandestine relationship. Their romance is complicated when a series of murders is discovered within St. Brides. All of the victims have one thing in common, a penchant for men. While acting as the eyes and ears for the police, a mixture of logic and luck leads them to a confrontation with the murderer can they survive it

Review
I don’t normally read or listen to period romance or drama but I wanted to give this one a try. The setting and the time period intrigued me. There is charm to this story which reflects a world in its own bubble. The high morale code of behaviour and traditions which exclude anyone not in academia. The burgeoning friendship and later romance between Jonty and Orlando has such an innocence around it that cute feels like the wrong word.
I do like the way Charlie Cochrane introduced and kept the murder mystery side going. I certainly didn’t have a clue who could be doing it. Not to mention that the police didn’t seem to know what to do either. The conclusion of the mystery was enthralling.
The only fly in the ointment was the narration. Phil Mayes tone was slow and methodical. Whilst I appreciate that there needs to be narration that reflects the slower way of life in 1905 and to get the accent right for level class in society reflected in the story, I don’t think it works. I think I’ll stick to reading this book in future.

3 of stars out of 5

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Purchased by reviewer