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

Recent Release: Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker

Chasing Rainbows Press LLC:
https://www.amazon.com/Second-Wind-Aimee-Nicole-Walker-ebook/dp/B079QKNW5L/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1519412275&sr=1-2&keywords=second+wind+aimee+walker&dpID=51dMu2nORZL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=src

Blurb
Second wind: a new strength or energy to continue something that is an effort. After an amicable divorce, Lincoln Huxley is ready to embrace the sexuality he repressed for more than two decades. Rush Holden is no longer willing to settle for closeted men or those who don’t share his dreams of marriage and fatherhood. A chance encounter on a lakeside pier is the second wind they both need. Or will it just be a painful reminder of all they had lost?

Second chance: an opportunity to try something again that failed one time. Rush and Lincoln have shared a lot of firsts—friendship, young love, and heartbreak. Cruel reality forced the two men to choose paths that took their lives in different directions. Twenty-six years later, they get a second chance to fall in love with each all over again. Can it really be that simple, or will the same issues ruin their happiness a second time?

Happily ever after: to live happily for the rest of one’s life. Rush and Lincoln know that love and life can’t be defined by words alone. Patience, commitment, and the determination to do whatever it takes will be the only way the two men achieve their happily ever after.

Review
We meet Rush and Lincoln when they are going through difficult times in their current relationships. During this time both of them recall events during their childhood when they were friends and were each other’s first love. This sets the scene perfectly for me. I understood the struggles and longings both of them were going through. So when they actually do meet again falling in love and lust felt so natural in the story. Such a beautiful twist of fate and timing. Lincoln has finally accepted who he is and Rush has learned from past mistakes. They both needed to be at this point in their lives for their second chance to be their forever. This is the kind of story that made me wonder where it was going whilst reading and sigh with content at the end. Aimee Nicole Walker I applaud you for such a wonderfully written story.

4.5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enemies to Lovers: Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

GoodReads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35907068-poke-check

Blurb

One scorching summer in each other’s arms could never be enough.

Stanislav “Stan” Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way. He’d given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan’s heart as before. This time it’s not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there’s a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby. Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he’s now finding it harder and harder to turn away.

Erik Gunnarsson’s dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he’d land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he’d callously broken?

Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan’s life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him. Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?

 

Review

 I thought this was adorable!

Stan is one of my favorite characters – not just in this series – but in general! He’s so sweet, and funny, and sincere!

I kinda wanted Erik to have to work harder for Stan’s forgiveness but I think that’s just Stan, too.

There is a lot of internal dithering in this that probably doesn’t need to be there, but I appreciated the insight into Stan’s mind.

This was really funny as well as super sweet and the smexy times were great, too!

I wanted a bit more hockey and a bit less angst, but it was still a great addition to the series and is probably tied with first for me as my favorite so far!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Valentine’s Day Read: Secret Service: My Secret Valentine By Kim Dare

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6240048-secret-service?from_search=true

Blurb
What’s more important, their love for each other or their differing attitudes to kinky sex?

Alistair has made it very clear he isn’t into anything even vaguely kinky.

Sheridan knew he was in love with him the day he found that out, and then decided to stay with him anyway. Unable to ease his desire to serve at home, Sheridan volunteers at a club where he can secretly serve the patrons, and feed his submission, without upsetting Alistair by revealing that side of his personality to him.

When chance drags Alistair into that same club on Valentines weekend, Sheridan’s leather mask can’t keep his secret safe any longer. With his desire to serve out in the open, it’s not long before other secrets start to come out and they both have to make a choice.

Does Sheridan give up on ever being allowed to submit to the man he loves, or does Alistair take the risk of becoming the master his love has always wanted?

Review
The story introduces Sheridan and Alistair as an established couple. Because of commitments they are apart on Valentine’s Day. Whilst reading the story I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t seem to be the romantic BDSM I was hoping for, but by the end I understood that it really was. It is more about truly knowing and accepting your partner which in the end brings them closer together. Alistair is upset when he sees by chance sees Sheridan behaving subserviently in a club.
Alistair gives Sheridan one night, a night he tests Sheridan’s idea of submission. He expects that Sheridan will see it’s not what he really wants. Alistair had already decided Sheridan was too good to be sullied by being involved in the lifestyle. The story gives a clear indication that something has happened in Alistair’s past experience, as a Dom, to turn him away from the lifestyle. Such was his experience that he now views submission as degrading and he doesn’t want to see Sheridan that light. For his part Sheridan kept his submissive side hidden because he knew Alistair didn’t like the idea of it. These two men have both suppressed parts of their desire, Alistair because he didn’t like that side of himself and Sheridan to please Alistair. One Valentine’s night is all it takes for them to be honest and start the rest of their lives together. This is a well rounded glimpse into an important moment between a couple.

3 of stars out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Finding Mr. Wrong by C. Cochet narrated by Andrew McFerrin

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/finding-mr-wrong-by-charlie-cochet-9292-b

Blurb:

He’s nobody’s definition of Mr. Right—but that might make him perfect.

Matthew Hart is heir to the family fortune and owner of Hart & Home. When a near-death experience has him fretting over the future, he decides he needs a husband, and not just any husband—an appropriate man to protect the Hart legacy. The last thing Matthew expects is to cross paths with Jax Foster, his first love and the boy who crushed his heart when he disappeared.

Jax is unlikely to make Matthew’s list of suitable candidates. Bad boy, vagabond, deep in debt, with a father who can’t keep out of trouble, Jax has nothing to offer—except his heart and a second chance at the romance they never got to explore.

Review: The book has been reviewed previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/finding-mr-wrong-by-charlie-cochet/

The narrator, Andrew McFerrin, is new to me. He was engaging – providing distinct voices for the characters. He was good with projecting the emotion and humour of the story as well. Overall, the narration was comfortable; I’d listen to the narrator again.
The story was ok, but the narration made me enjoy it more.

3.5 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Rebel (415 Ink #1) by Rhys Ford

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rebel-by-rhys-ford-9200-b

Blurb: The hardest thing a rebel can do isn’t standing up for something—it’s standing up for himself.

Life takes delight in stabbing Gus Scott in the back when he least expects it. After Gus spends years running from his past, present, and the dismal future every social worker predicted for him, karma delivers the one thing Gus could never—would never—turn his back on: a son from a one-night stand he’d had after a devastating breakup a few years ago.
Returning to San Francisco and to 415 Ink, his family’s tattoo shop, gave him the perfect shelter to battle his personal demons and get himself together… until the firefighter who’d broken him walked back into Gus’s life.

For Rey Montenegro, tattoo artist Gus Scott was an elusive brass ring, a glittering prize he hadn’t the strength or flexibility to hold on to. Severing his relationship with the mercurial tattoo artist hurt, but Gus hadn’t wanted the kind of domestic life Rey craved, leaving Rey with an aching chasm in his soul.
When Gus’s life and world starts to unravel, Rey helps him pick up the pieces, and Gus wonders if that forever Rey wants is more than just a dream.

Review: I am a big Rhys Ford fan; she has a way with words and she can make a murder scene seem like a work of art. However, I initially struggled with this book because it started off somewhat dark. As the brothers are introduced in the story, one gets a sense of the horrible childhood they all suffered through. This is a story about forging a brotherhood, giving/taking second chances and making a family, no matter how one is (or not) related.
After 3 years, Gus has returned to his brothers, after finding out that he is the father of a 3 year old boy. There are flashbacks to events happened to Gus as a child, while with his mum and in foster care; not for the faint of heart. The horrid childhood Gus suffered through is partly the reason that he couldn’t commit to his then boyfriend, Rey. As Gus and Rey dance around their strained relationship, (realising they never stopped loving each other), they have to navigate past histories, custody hearings for the child, a vengeful child protective service officer and family, to get their HEA.
I thoroughly enjoyed their journey.

It took me 2 tries to read this. I had been expecting something along the lines of the Dirty series – tongue-in-cheek humour, a bit of drama, some hurt/comfort. Instead, I got a story that took me apart emotionally, but put me back together in a cocoon of family, warmth and love. As an added bonus, there are little gems in the form of references to characters from other books, (hers and others).
Now to patiently wait for the next brother’s story.

4.5 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Hell is Where the Heart Is by Eden Winters

GoodReads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36630639-hell-is-where-the-heart-is?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Demon Prince Noorvik Metlakatla Hoonah Emmonak (“call me Vik”) likes his lack of responsibilities just fine. His mother, the Big Fucking Deal of the Sixth Level of Hell, longs for the tippity tap of tiny hooves and gives him two choices: find a mate within the next twenty-four human hours or settle for the demoness of her choice. Where can he find the ideal man on short notice, who’ll meet the mother-in-law from Hell’s approval?
Especially when he can’t have the only mate he wants.

 

Review
Loved this!
A funny, cute story.
Vik is a crown prince of Hell, and as such, is expected to marry and sire hell spawn. The wrinkle in this plan is that Vik is gay and has not come out to his mum.
Vik manages to convince his mum that he has someone in mind and he sets off to bring home the perfect mate. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that the person he chooses, Dillon, is perfect for him.
The story is funny, heartwarming with a bit of a twist towards the end.
Highly recommend for a quick, fun angst-free read.

4 stars out of 5

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Copy provided by author for honest review

 

Holidays: A Timely Gift (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Kris T. Bethke

Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2017-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-stocking-stuffers-9042-b

Blurb
Sometimes the right gift can be life-changing….
On the solstice, Rory’s grandfather gives him a pocket watch that he claims will have Rory’s life sorted and his problems solved by Christmas. Rory starts out skeptical, but when he reconnects with an ex he never thought he’d see again, he has to admit there might be some holiday magic working after all.
Deacon’s life is in shambles, and he’s returned to Syracuse for a fresh start. Running into Rory again feels like much more than a coincidence, and neither of them can deny the passion between them is still smoldering. With the watch behaving oddly at just the right moments, Rory and Deacon might receive the gift of a lifetime—if they’re willing to accept it.

Review
This is a lovely story. Fate (or Grandpa’s magic) has given Rory and Deacon a second chance at love. I loved how Rory wants to think the pocket watch is influencing each moment but dismisses it only to finally accept a little solstice magic has helped things along. I love the Christmas films and stories where there is a little touch of magic. Makes you believe anything is possible. Rory and Deacon make a lovely couple and deserve their happy ending.

4 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

An Unlocked Mind by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/an-unlocked-mind-by-kc-wells-and-parker-williams-9140-b

Blurb
Sercrets: Book Two
Rob Daniels is determined to prove to himself that his brother Alex got it wrong. Alex believes he found love through BDSM; Rob is certain that’s not possible. He even makes several visits to a London club to prove his point. But when he attends the grand opening of Secrets, Rob gets a shock, one that has him fleeing, vowing never to return—until he does… and runs into the brick wall that is Dom Vic Prentiss. As first meetings go, theirs is a disaster.

The more time he spends around Rob, the more convinced Vic becomes of two things—one, something is eating away at Rob, and two, he’s looking for something. Every instinct tells Vic to help him, but trying to unlock the secrets hidden in Rob’s mind requires a key. All Vic has to do is find it. Because maybe then he’ll get to see the real Rob, the man who’s scared to let go…

Review
The main thrust of the story revolves around Rob and how with the help of Vic he feels able to turn his life around. To fully understand the extent of the issues between Rob and his brother Alex would I recommend reading book 1 of the collars and cuffs series, An Unlocked Heart. However, I think there is enough information in this story to get an idea of what happened. The history and circumstances of bad blood between the brothers is very well explained.
At the start of the book Rob is not a likeable character. He is an angry man that thinks life is out to get him. He’s in a spiral of self hate which comes across as a very short temper and aggressive behaviour. There were times however that his insecurity comes across and I felt sympathy for him. Meeting Vic was the best thing that could’ve happened to him. Vic was able to see past Rob’s walls and defensive behaviour to what is underneath. I really liked this gentle friends to lovers story with the Dom/Sub element. As it progressed I got more absorbed in the evolving relationship between Vic and Rob and how Rob mends bridges with his brother. If you are unsure about BDSM I would recommend this book as it is a gentle and caring relationship.

5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

Romance Redefined by SJD Peterson

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/romance-redefined-by-sjd-peterson-9099-

Blurb

Opposites attract, but are some differences too drastic for a romance to survive?

On the surface, Benson Howard Winthrop III and Hugh Bayard have a lot in common: they’re young, handsome, and blessed to be one of the wealthiest couples in the country. Surely they have everything anyone could want. But Ben is no longer satisfied with their long-running relationship. Hugh’s need to control every situation is suffocating him, and Ben needs to know if he can make it on his own merits by following his passion.

But Ben’s mother isn’t about to let her son live in a rundown apartment as a struggling actor. She’s determined to get him back to his rightful place at the top of the social ladder—and back with Hugh.

Rekindling their romance will require more than doing what’s expected. Ben and Hugh need to understand and embrace each other’s differences. They’ll have to support each other even when one makes a decision the other doesn’t agree with. For their passionate love to grow, they will need to redefine the meaning of romance… only then can they find true happiness

Review
Whilst reading I kept wavering between thinking that Benson was whiny and just didn’t know what he really wanted to thinking he was justified. He needed to cut his losses if Hugh would not or could not see his point of view and open up. There is also the irony of Ben complaining about his mother when he was behaving just like her and shutting Hugh out. But love is love and Ben and Hugh have a forever love, they just had to understand what each other needs emotionally. Into the equation comes Jason. He is very interested in Ben and romances him in they way Ben has always wanted. But is romance what he really wants or is it for Hugh to change. SJD Peterson’s books always give me pause for thought. In this case Hugh and Ben have everything money can buy but not companionship. Ben feels like he is being controlled and has to leave and make his own life. The story is told from Ben’s point of view and I cannot decide whether this helped me empathise with him or whether it would have worked better knowing what was going on in Hugh’s mind. The love triangle with Jason is needed to spur Hugh on and make him reconsider Ben’s position. I would love for Jason to get his own story. The epilogue does give Ben and Hugh their happy ever after once they realised compromises had to be made by both of them. I think this is quite a good second chance story.

4 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review