Recent release: Traded Out by Samantha Wayland

Good reads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41555624-traded-out

Blurb

Olle Svensson came to Canada to play hockey, but now he’s wondering if twenty-five is too late to start university back home in Sweden. Things started out well, but then his friend Jamie gets caught with a guy in a men’s room stall at a random bar. Olle knows he should have stood by Jamie, in the bar and the locker room, but he’d been caught off-guard. He’d thought…well, it doesn’t matter anymore what he was thinking.

Jamie Gallagher is in hell. He’d been sure none of his teammates went to that bar, but now he’s been outed against his will and doesn’t have a single ally on the team. He’s giving serious thought to giving up on hockey until the Moncton Ice Cats come to the rescue. Jamie never thought he’d be so happy to be traded.

The only down side is that Olle is coming with him.

A Free Read through Insta-Freebee from August 28th to September 4th together with other authors ->
https://claims.instafreebie.com/gg/FC…

Review

I love this series and this author (and hockey)! This is a rather long story for a freebie and is wonderful!

It’s got a fair amount of hockey in it but is definitely relationship focused. We’ve got a clueless Jamie and an adorable Swede who quietly loves and protects Jamie until he finally clues in!

There is a bit of smexy times a lot of laughs and a nice glimpse of some of our previously loved and adored MCs.

Highly recommended for fans of the series/author but is absolutely fine as a standalone!

5 of 5 stars

Audiobook: Familiar Angel by Amy Lane Narrated by Gomez Pugh

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/familiar-angel-by-amy-lane-8950-b

Blurb

One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family—and shapeshifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.
Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking—but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel the angel has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.
In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk. Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his Familiar Angel for nearly a century and a half?

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

I’m having a tough time reviewing this.

On the one hand, I enjoyed it – as I do nearly every Amy book I’ve ever read, and like those of hers I’ve read a million times.

Amy is very good at giving us clear, crisp writing with just the right amount of show versus tell. The back story for our boys is delivered in a bits and pieces with only small amounts of flash backs to fill in the gaps.

We’re shown the budding relationships between all 3 boys with telling glimpses rather than overt smacks to the face. Sometimes, however, the subtlety got a bit too murky.

It’s obvious that Suriel and Harry are falling/have fallen for one another, but I really missed that moment when it happened … and the reasons why they have to be apart are a little vague and I wasn’t always sure why the things that happened … did.

I loved the cat-ness in this story! The back and forth and the human manifestations of the feline persona were priceless!

The chemistry between Harry and Suriel isn’t as “warm” as some of her other couples, and – in fact – if we get to see the other brother’s stories – I’m sensing a lot more heat between them and their partners already than I did between Suriel and Harry. Instead, theirs felt more like a blanket than a fire – if you know what I mean. They wanted one another, and the passion was talked about – but I don’t know that I felt it much.

I absolutely loved the world building and the “moral of the story” with big Cass and all the “powers” and magic.

I’m really looking forward to the next books in the series!

4 of 5 stars

Audio

I Loved Gomez’ interpretation of this!  He was easy to listen to and made me love the story even more than I had when reading it.  I definitely think our mood influence our opinions of things and I must have been feeling better this time around because I loved this – full stop!  Highly recommended with no reservations!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 5 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Swann’s Revenge by Shira Anthony Narrated by Peter B Brooke

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/swanns-revenge-by-shira-anthony-9268-b

Blurb

Can a swan make peace with his ugly duckling past?
Chubby geek Jimmy Zebulon’s heart broke the day his high school crush, Danny Parker, looked on as his teammates tormented Jimmy. Fifteen years later, Jimmy is long gone, and from his ashes has risen Graham Swann, a movie-star-handsome law firm owner. Graham thinks Jimmy and his past are long forgotten—until attorney Dan Parker shows up for his first day of work.
Getting injured playing college ball was the best thing that ever happened to Dan. It turned his future in a better direction and allowed him to emerge from the closet that trapped him.
Graham wants to believe his childhood dream can come true, but he can’t bring himself to tell Dan who he really is—and their pasts might ruin any chance for a happily ever after….

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

We have a big case of “if these two guys would talk to each other all their problems could be fixed”. This is one of my huge pet peeves as a writing tool and it made me kinda crazy here.

I loved the components – geeky guy goes chic, boss/employee dynamics, fighting for the underdogs in the real world, single fatherhood, sizzling chemistry… but the main drive for the story was a Big Misunderstanding and those aren’t my favorite. At all.

Shira Anthony is a great writer, so her characters are well-developed, the style is fluid and easily engaging and the sexy times are really hot. But… why wouldn’t the two just talk?!

So… if you don’t mind that hurdle, you’ll love this!

Audio

Peter B Brooke does a nice job with his narration. He attempts to give everyone a unique voice and does a fair job with the non-dialog parts.

4 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Kairos by Mary Calmes Narrated by Michael Fell

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/kairos-by-mary-calmes-9162-b

Blurb

Sometimes the best day of your life is the one you never saw coming.

Joe Cohen has devoted the past two years of his life to one thing: the care and feeding of Kade Bosa. His partner in their PI business, roommate, and best friend, Kade is everything to Joe, even if their relationship falls short of what Joe desires most. But he won’t push. Kade has suffered a rough road, and Joe’s pretty sure he’s the only thing holding Kade together.

Estranged from his own family, Joe knows the value of desperately holding on to someone dear, but he never expected his present and past to collide just as Kade’s is doing the same. Now they’ve stumbled across evidence that could change their lives: the impact of Kade’s tragic past, their job partnership, and any future Joe might allow himself to wish for….

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This is the Mary Calmes I’ve loved in the past. She’s given us another couple very much like Miro and Ian from the Marshals series and thrown in several “easter eggs” from her previous series like Aaron Sutter.

If you’re a fan of Miro and Ian you’ll love this one too. We’ve got two friends who live and work together but who haven’t yet realized that they’re in love. Mix in some really bad guys, some funny and quirky secondary characters and a family of odd-balls out in Napa and you’ve got yourself another low-angst, funny, sweet romance.

I loved seeing some familiar faces and thought reading this was like cuddling up in the perfect warm and cozy blanket. There wasn’t a lot new or exciting but it was familiar and wonderful just the same.

Audio

Michael Fell is relatively new to me but the previous stories I’ve heard by him as well as this one are all well done.

He’s got an easy voice to listen to and he does a nice job with the emotions and timing. He handles the non-dialog well and gives each character a unique voice.

4.5 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39711956-robby-riverton?from_search=true

Blurb

Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run–all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn’t ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his “intended”, Robby’s only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is — and can’t resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.

Damn, what a kerfuffle. If only Trace can get rid of the fugitive while hanging on to his own stupid heart.

Review

First, let me tell you how psyched I was for this. So psyched! Because Eli is one of my favs, this looks hysterical and one of my fav f/m tropes is the “mail order bride/forced marriage” scenarios.

Second, this surpassed my expectations by also being ridiculously touching – more on this in a bit.

I was wondering how the heck Eli could pull this off. Who would be fooled for long enough for this to work out and what would the long term game be. Well – she came up with a great plot and it totally made sense and kept me rooting for Robby. (If I have any complaints is that there is maybe too much lead in to the story and not enough post time with our couple as a couple… however that is a lot on taste.)

Trace is also another perfect MC for his role and plays it well. His family and their “secret” kept me laughing out loud! I don’t think it’s a spoiler to tell you that Robby likes to control things and has no problem brining Pa to hand – and it was one of my favorite parts of this story!

(All in all this was a wonderful “period” story from the old west that felt authentic and plausible in what should have been totally implausible. While I am eternally grateful for not living during those times, I believe she portrayed them accurately.)

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Spencer Cohen by NR Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Spencer-Cohen-Series-Book-One-Audiobook/B079YWN5G5?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=PNCF0KWC7M6PZ0ZKHDGK&

Blurb

Spencer Cohen is the guy who gets answers to relationship questions. Playing the role of the new lover, his job is to make his client’s ex realise one of two things: he doesn’t want to break up or he really does. Either way, his client gets answers.

The ex would either apologize and beg, or turn and walk. But in the end, Spencer’s client won. If he wanted his ex back and got him, it was great. If the guy walked away, then as hard it was for the client, he knew it was over. Regardless of the outcome, Spencer’s work was done.

Andrew Landon’s ex left him without so much as an explanation. But his sister can’t stand to see him miserable, so, much to Andrew’s dismay, they hire Spencer to be Andrew’s new boyfriend to get the ex back.

For Spencer, it is never personal. Merely a business transaction. No emotions, no strings, no complications.

Yeah right.

Even a blind man could see how this would end.

Review by Beth

NR Walker has given us a book that shows us that no matter how much you close off yourself to the thought of love, it can show up when you least expect it.

The job Spencer has created for himself let’s him turn himself into whoever his client needs. Pretending to be the new boyfriend, it will either make the old boyfriend come back or ignore the client altogether. Either way there is the answer to where the relationship stands.

Spencer’s new client Andrew just doesn’t understand why Eli just walked away so he is open to trying out Spencer’s services to find out why. In the process of getting to know Andrew, Spencer doesn’t realize he is falling for his client. Everything clicks between the 2. There are too many instances where they have the same tastes and interests. When it all comes to a head, all of Spencer’s issues drive him away. in the end there is a revelation to what drives Spencer and a HEA

Audio

I think Joel was made to do this book. His ability to do an accent is spot on and even his female voices are realistic. Add to that his timing, and delivery and you are swept away into the story like you are in a corner of the room observing it as it unfolds!

5 of 5 stars

5-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

(Book reviewed here previously)
Andrew got dumped – abruptly – by his ex, Eli. His sister just wants Andrew to be happy, so she arranges for Spencer to act as his boyfriend and stir up the ol’ green-eyed monster in Eli to push him back into Andrew’s arms.

If it works, it was meant to be – if it doesn’t, at least Andrew can have some closure.

Spencer moved to America from Australia after some family issues force his hand. He inadvertently helps a friend re-gain her boyfriend and a career is born! (He also does other things – it’s not that lucrative!)

When Andrew and Spencer meet there is instant attraction – they’re like two pieces of a puzzle who click together perfectly. But… Andrew wants Eli right?

**

Be forewarned – this is pretty classic NR Walker series protocol – so we get a slow, slow burn toward a finale of a … kiss. Granted the sexual tension is off the charts and the looks are seriously smoldering… but no sex.

But – YOU WON’T MISS IT! She is such an amazing writer that this slow burn feels right and the pages fly by.

Of course I can’t wait for the next installment – and you might want to wait for all three are published if that’s your thing – but… this is a wonderful story and well worth the wait.

Both MCs are so complex and fun. Neither is particularly needy or whiny and yet both have this amazing streak of vulnerability in them.

I am thoroughly captivated by this series and I cannot wait for the next book!

Because music is a theme in this book – NR Walker made a spotify list: https://open.spotify.com/…/…/playlist…
I highly recommend having it available while you are reading.

6 of 5 stars

Audio

So you know I’m a huge Joel Fan Girl but you gotta know – this book absolutely resonates with Joel’s narration – it’s just perfect! Joel moved me to tears with the closing chapters – the emotional tension is held beautifully by the pacing and his intonation. Though this is – by far – not the most angsty of NR’s stories – Joel infuses into the words all the tension we’re feeling by the end of this slow burn romance.

Highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars

out-of-this-world-small

Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Purchased for 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

4.5-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Heart Unheard by Andrew Grey Narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/heart-unheard-by-andrew-grey-9023-b

Blurb
The attraction between Brent Berkheimer and Scott Spearman peels the wallpaper, but Brent is Scott’s boss, and they’re both too professional to go beyond flirting. Their priorities realign after Scott is badly injured in an accident that costs him his hearing, and Brent realizes what is truly important… he wants Scott.

Scott pushes Brent away at first, fearing a new romance will just add to his problems, but perhaps he will find unexpected strength and solace in Brent’s support as he struggles to communicate with the world in a new way.

Just as they decide the chance of a happy future together is worth the risk, Scott and Brent discover darker challenges in their way—including evidence that the “accident” Scott suffered may not have been so accidental

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Andrew Grey never fails to deliver a sweet tale, add in Greg Tremblay and what more could you ask for. For me Andrew Grey’s characters are believable, they have all the normal worries and issues to overcome. Thee isn’t any melodrama, just people overcoming fears and obstacles with the help of friends and finding love along the way. Brent made me consider this because he lets his own insecurities rule over his feelings for Scott. It takes nearly losing Scott to spur him on. Even then some of those insecurities threaten their relationship. But Brent comes to see the reality of his fears. Scott is strong and with Brent’s support learns to adjust to his new world. The turn of events around the ‘accident’ was a good twist in the story.

I noticed in the introduction it is ‘performed by Grey Tremblay’ performed is much more apt description than narrated by. It raises the book to a whole new level. There is a lot of emotion in this story which Greg enhances in such a way that I couldn’t help but empathise with the characters. A great story draws you in and great performances bring you into the heart of the story.

4 of stars out of 5

4-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: From Ashes (Heathens Ink #3) by K.M. Neuhold Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview
Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/From-Ashes-Audiobook/B0792C9T3B?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=V2875FPC8CXA3G8PRQD2&

Blurb

“When the broken man with scarred skin walked into Heathens, asked for a job, and showed me a sketch of a phoenix, it felt like fate.”~ Adam

It started with an anonymous post by someone who didn’t want to live anymore. I read it over and over again, unable to get it out of my mind. What if my brother Johnny had posted something like this before he’d taken his own life? Would someone have been able to save him?

I’ve been living a lie for 16 long years and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep it up. And when a beautiful, broken man walks into my tattoo shop asking for a second chance at life, I know I’ll never be able to turn him away.

“When I was so far down I couldn’t even see the light, a stranger reached in to save me”~ Nox
I didn’t have anything to live for, until a kind stranger pulled me back from the brink. With physical and emotional scars I have nowhere to turn now but to that same stranger who saved my life without realizing it. But as my feelings for Adam grow, will I ever be anything other than a surrogate for the brother he couldn’t save? Am I even worthy of his love?

**From Ashes is the third book in the Heathens Ink series, each book in the series CAN be read as a standalone.

CAUTION: this book contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence and drug use that may be disturbing to some readers.

Review
(Book Reviewed here Previously)

Though the author stresses that this can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the other books in the series first. I agree that you can figure things out without having read them, but I do think they give a bit of background that is helpful.

Continuing the theme of hurt/comfort – we have another set of people who come together with a tragic past to find love. I was pleased that we didn’t spend pages and pages before everyone’s true identities are revealed. That can get tedious. I was also pleased by the response Adam had when Nox revealed his secret. That was actually one of my favorite parts of the story.

Unfortunately, for a lot of the story Adam really, really made me mad. I didn’t understand his need for secrecy and I couldn’t believe that he’d ask Nox – with his past – to go into hiding like he did. That INFURIATED me and made me want to quit reading.

Nox is soooo sweet and has such an amazing strength to him. Adam not only asked him to hide but was so dismissive of his VERY VALID fears. I couldn’t believe how he brushed aside all Nox’s worries and was so self-involved.

I didn’t care for Adam’s ex and it spoke poorly of him that he’d be willing to spend so many years with her just because the sex was good.

Speaking of the ex – she seemed a bit “too” psychotic – she felt like more of a caricature than an actual person – and she was difficult to take seriously.

I’m very intrigued by the next story – hinted at in this and glimpsed at in the end – but this wasn’t my favorite book in the series by a long shot.

I still recommend the author and series, but I wasn’t a big fan of this installment.

2.75 (rounded to 3) of 5 stars

Audio

Kenneth Obi is a relatively new to me narrator. He is easy to listen to and does a really nice job with the pacing and emotions. He does a valiant job of giving all the characters unique voices and even the females were pretty good.

I miss the dual narration we had from the previous two books in this series but this wasn’t bad. While I wasn’t bowled over with his talent, he was definitely good.

I’d give him a solid B+ – or 4 of 5 stars

Overall 3.5 of 5 stars

3.5-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Enemies to Lovers Audiobook: Locked in Silence (Pelican Bay, Book 1) By: Sloane Kennedy Narrated by: Michael Pauley

Audible link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Locked-in-Silence-Audiobook/B077T655L9?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4FET26ZB2TWP5QS87FGH&

Blurb

I’ve spent years hoping someone would finally hear me. It’s easier not to try anymore….
10 years after leaving his small Minnesota hometown in his rear view mirror for what Nolan Grainger was sure would be the last time, life has decided to throw the talented musician a curveball and send him back to the town he lived in but was never really home.
At 28, Nolan has traveled the world as a successful concert violinist with some of the best symphonies in the country. But success breeds envy, and when Nolan’s benefactor and lover decides Nolan has flown high enough, he cruelly clips Nolan’s wings. The betrayal and ensuing scandal leaves the violinist’s career in shambles and with barely enough money to start fresh somewhere beyond his vindictive ex’s powerful reach. But just as he’s ready to get his life back on track, Nolan gets the call he’s been dreading.
After a stroke leaves his father a partial invalid, duty-bound Nolan returns to Pelican Bay and a life he’s spent years trying to forget. When he’s forced to use the last of his own money to keep from losing the family home, desperation has him turning to the one man he’d hoped never to see again….
Even if I could speak, there wouldn’t be anyone there to listen….

Review

Sloane Kennedy is hit or miss for me. Not because she is a bad writer or because she doesn’t have great ideas – but because I’m only good for so much angst before I throw my hands up in resignation and that seems to be what she excels at.

I was recommended to listen to this story because it was less angsty and it had a DA MC – which I love!- and I’d say it was a pretty good rec.

On the one hand I do find the deep, dark “moments” to be a bit much for my taste – I’m more a humor and hijinks type reader than deep and contemplative. On the other hand I think the two MCs moved on fairly quickly from their back stories to embrace one another.

I really enjoyed Michael Pauley’s narration and think he matched the tone for this story perfectly. He doesn’t do a lot to change the voices of the MCs and I wish he’d attempted to alter the voice a little of Dallas but he’s easy to listen to and great with emotion.

If you’re a fan of the author you’ll adore this, if you’re new to the author I’d read some reviews and see if she fits. This would be a great “first book” of hers to start with.

4-stars-small
Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Purchased for Review