Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Book Christmas Dystopian Fated Mates Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Historical Holiday Hurt/Abuse m/m Magic Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Shifter Witches/Warlocks/Wizards

A Christmas Hex (Hexworld #2.5) By Jordan L. Hawk

Jordan L Hawk Presents

http://jordanlhawk.com/books/hexworld-series/

Blurb

A Hexworld Short Story

Roland knows he will never find love. Everyone views wolf familiars like himself as dangerous beasts, unable to rein in their savage impulses. He’s resigned himself to his fate—or so he thinks, until he meets the dashing Augustus Cao. His witch.

Gus is on the trail of a gang of thieves, and Roland holds an important clue. Even though they can never bond, Roland can’t pass up the opportunity to spend a night with his witch.

Can Roland conceal his secret, while helping Gus catch the thieves? Or will the handsome detective be the one to steal his heart?

 

Review

Another tremendously sweet, full of magic and adventure, wonderful story from Jordan L Hawk’s hexworld!

I think I love the variety of familiars the best. They’re not quite just shifters but they have those elements. I thought it was a lovely tool, the way the author used the bias against wolves as a way to demonstrate another type of bigotry. It’s all the same, no matter the originating belief.

Jordan is an amazing writer and this was really fun!

Highly recommended to fans of the series, but I’d read them in order to really enjoy this, though it could probably(?) be read on it’s own.

 

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Dystopian Fated Mates Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Insta Love m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased

The 13th Hex (Hexworld #0.5) by Jordan L. Hawk

Jordan L Hawk Presents
http://jordanlhawk.com/books/hexworld-series/

Blurb

Romance.

Magic.

Murder.

Dominic Kopecky dreamed of becoming a member of New York’s Metropolitan Witch Police—a dream dashed when he failed the test for magical aptitude. Now he spends his days drawing the hexes the MWP relies on for their investigations.
But when a murder by patent hex brings crow familiar Rook to his desk, Dominic can’t resist the chance to experience magic. And as the heat grows between Dominic and Rook, so does the danger. Because the case has been declared closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.
Note: The 13th Hex was originally published as part of the Charmed & Dangerous anthology. Only minor details have been altered for this reissue.

Review

This is a prequel to Jordan L Hawk’s Hexworld series. (Book one is reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/hexbreaker-audiobook-by-jordan-l-hawk-narrated-by-tristan-james/)

So, depending on how you look at this, you’ve either already met Rook and Dominic and know a little about their story – in which case this just explains it in more detail – or this is your first exposure to them and you’ll see more of them again real soon!

I guess you’d call this contemporary? They use phones and cars and things, but it feels more like something from the 20s than anything more modern. Dominic and Rook both work for the police in the Witch department. Rook is a detective and a familiar with no witch. Dominic is a hexmaker (he can draw the hexes but it needs a witch to make them actually work with magic).

Rook gets Dominic involved in a case and then opens his eyes to the world of magic!

**

This was so sweet! If you read book one, you already knew where this was headed, but even so it was a fun ride. They’re both great characters and it was fun learning their back story which mirrors Cicero’s and Tom’s so much.

I think if you started with this you’d be fine, but it can also be read after book one.

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Author Provided Book Christmas coming of age Contemporary DA Dystopian Dystopian Dystopian Exploration Fantasy Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index High but not hopeless Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Speculative Fiction Virgin

The Persistence of Mnevermind Audiobook by Jordan Castillo Price Narrated by Seth Clayton

audiobookreview

61y1bfzqrhl-_aa300_Blurb

Every day, Daniel Schroeder breaks his father’s heart.

The two of them have always been close, which makes it all the more difficult to break the daily news: the last five years were nothing like Big Dan remembers. They’re both professionals in the recreational memory field, and Daniel has guided thousands of clients safely through hour-long virtual adventures. So why can’t he lead his father out of the persistent false memory that’s ruining their lives?

He thought he was holding it together, but the situation is sliding out of control. Now even his own equipment has turned against him, taunting him with flashes of a beguiling man in black who’s interacting not with the client, but with him.

Of course, that’s impossible, so it must be a glitch in the program—or at the very least, wishful thinking. But when the man shows up in yet another program, it leads Daniel to wonder…what if this mystery man isn’t pixels and circuitry, but flesh and blood?

The Mnevermind Trilogy
1: The Persistence of Memory
2: Forget Me Not
3: Life is Awesome

Review

So, I admit. I was absolutely NOT attracted to this series when I read the blurbs on the books. I’m not into dystopian stuff and though I can appreciate a good mind fuck, that’s not generally what I look for in a romance. It sounded like there was going to be some sort of robot or electrically created person… yeah. Not my thing. But… I like Seth Clayton as a narrator and I ADORE all the stuff I’ve ever read by Jordan Castillo Price so… I said – I’ll give it a try!

OMG.

It both is and isn’t what I expected. But it is friggin’ awesome!

So, yeah. It’s a bit dark. (Not nearly as dark as the Mary series or Meatworks, though.) Daniel is up against a wall both emotionally and financially, so he’s not super cheery and he’s really not even looking for a hook up much less a relationship.

I’m not going to go into much detail about the story – because what’s the fun in that? You’ll have to figure things out along with Daniel as far as what’s what. But… I will tell you that I was very surprised by the turn of events – pleasantly.

Besides a fascinating bit of science and philosophy (what is memory, experience, reality, etcetera) there is some moral dilemma thrown in here, a bit of hurt/comfort and disability type stuff as well.

The stuff about reality is really compelling. Everyone’s had that sensation of trying to figure out “am I dreaming” or waking up from a dream KNOWING it was real, but then eventually figuring out that it wasn’t. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s disappointing. With this “technology” that sense of memory goes one step further and blurs the definition of “reality”. Add to that when things go wrong… it makes for a very compelling story.

I found “the man in black” to be fascinating and I can’t wait to learn more about him. Which leads me to how this is both awesome and sucky at the same time. On the one hand I’m psyched because I can at least read the next two books in the series – but I’m bummed because only one (so far) in audio format and the audio is awesome!

Seth Clayton did a lovely job with Lane Hayes’ books as well as Raine O’Tierney’s book, so I knew he would at least be acceptable. Well, he really seemed to fit this genre/story to a “T”. He adds in some “special effects” with his voice, he does the dry humor perfectly, and manages to give everyone a unique voice without making anyone (including aunt Pipsie) sound ridiculous. He definitely added to my overall enjoyment of the story and really brought this to life. I loved how he handled “the man in black’s” character in addition to (of course) Daniel and Larry and his Dad and Carlotta- so good!.

(I can’t wait for the audio – I’m gonna read the next two books – but I’m gonna be excited for the audios when they come, too!)

Highly recommended. 5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level BDSM Bi-Sexual Book coming of age Contemporary Cop/Crime DA Dreamspinner Dystopian Dystopian Exploration Friends to lovers GFY/OFY Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Military Morgan Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Scorching/high heat vampire

A Chance For Us (New Vampire Justice: Book 2) by Jake C Wallace

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-chance-for-us-by-jake-c-wallace-7760-b

 

o-a-chance-for-usBlurb

Love between a young man with a broken mind and the jaded New Vampire Justice officer who cares for him might be the last hope to stop a human-vampire war….

Justin Masters is stuck in a nightmare. Waking after seven years in a catatonic state, he falls desperately in love with the straight NVJ officer who saved him. Between that and dreams of being tortured and taking pleasure in the pain, which bleeds into his waking hours, Justin’s sure he’s starting to crack.

The growing unrest in the vampire world should be Max Kincaid’s focus, but Justin’s struggle, along with Max’s confusing feelings for his ward, have him reeling. When Justin’s attacked, his resulting needs might be more than what Max can provide, but he’ll be damned if anyone else will touch Justin.

As the NVJ investigates humans missing from a high-end bite club, they uncover a deeper plot that traces back to Justin. If those who want him have their way, there will be bloodshed. Justin and Max are in a fight to save Justin not only from those who would use him, but from his own mind.

Review

This is a book that will elicit strong emotions I think. For me it was very hard to get through. While I understood that Justin’s pathology led him to link pain to sex it was hard to read his lover doing these things to him. It just never sits well with me, though I KNOW that perfectly “sane” people also mix pain and sex on a regular basis. It’s just really not my thing.

As a result I was far more guarded in my appreciation of this installment. It seemed that every other page was discussing or dealing with the pain and torture Justin had endured and it was frankly too much for my tastes.

The writing is just as good as it was in Book 1 and it was great seeing Lincoln and Carson again. There is even MORE angst in this (if that’s possible) than in book one and more drama.

I think anyone not as sensitive to this subject as me will find this book to be a fantastic sequel to book one. For those of you who shy away from BDSM type stuff, I’d recommend avoiding this as well.

I’ll give this 3.5 of 5 stars because the world building and writing is still stellar, but it’s just not my cup of tea.

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Categories
2.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Contemporary Cop/Crime Dystopian Enemies to Lovers Fade to black/No Steam Gay Heat Index Less Than Three Press m/m m/m/m Magic Mid level angst Morgan Motorcycle Club NetGalley Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal zombie

Elemental Ride by Mel Eight

Less Than Three Press Presents

https://lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=106_139&products_id=1227&zenid=hv472jkcp3epfpg8948tacqtd0

31924955Blurb

 

Rawley isn’t the type to crush hard and fast on anyone, but he’s somehow helpless when it comes to the new mailman. Even his bikes and his job as enforcer for a local motorcycle gang, the center of his world, don’t compare to his interest in Reign. Unfortunately, Reign doesn’t seem to be as interested—but secrets and magic have a way of turning everything upside down.

 

 

 

 

Review

This was not what I was expecting! It is utterly unique and to that extent, Kudos!

Without “spoiling” this for you, Reign isn’t human – and what he “is” is absolutely unique. It’s a little disconcerting and even Rawley isn’t sure what to do with him or if he wants to be involved with him.

This is paranormal in other ways, Rawley lives in a new world where “sprites” live under the skin of humans and give them powers. There is very little world “building” or explanation as to what that means or how that works, but there are a few demonstrations of the powers and it looks cool! It’s definitely a new twist to the magic theme and pretty interesting.

Unfortunately, more time is spent on Rawley and his MC’s problems with the mayor than anything else and there is very little time spent on the romance between him and Reign. In fact, we never see them together til the end and even that is a little odd.

If this is a set up for a serial, things make sense, this would be the first part where we meet the players. If this is a book all by itself? Well. It fails. There’s not a satisfying ending to either the trouble with the mayor or the romance. So… I have to assume this is a first book of several?

The other books in this series by Less Than Three Press “Roughhouse Raiders” are all done by different authors and deal with different MCs and do not use the same “world” so I don’t think reading them will give more information/storyline to this particular piece. (I read Hellbeasts and it had nothing to do with this, nor do the blurbs sound similar.)

So… for this, as is, I’d say read it for the curious and the unique take on magic the author provides, but set your expectations low as far as completeness or romance.

2.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Arranged Marriage Audiobook Author Provided Book Dystopian Dystopian f/f Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort Insta Love m/f m/m Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Scorching/high heat Speculative Fiction

Opposites Audiobook by TM Smith Narrated by Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

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Blurb

In the year 2081, our planet has survived global warming on an apocalyptic scale. When the dust settled and the water receded, Dr. Anthony Smith, along with the few survivors of GWI, started society anew. Having come to the conclusion that injudicious breeding played a huge role in the destruction of Earth as we knew it in the 21st century, he worked closely with other survivors to isolate the Dionysus gene: the gene has the ability to manipulate human DNA to ensure that all male children be born gay, and all female children be born lesbians.

A new society was born.

In the year 2300 Dr. Smith’s descendants are ushering in the 24th century, having maintained control of the government that still rules society. Twins, Aiya and Aiyan, are preparing to meet their matches and take control of House Gaeland, the current ruling House. But not everything is as it seems.

Love is love, it knows no gender and doesn’t conform to restrictions or boundaries. Aiyan has found his soul mate in Kaden, the prince of House Devi, whom he will eventually marry. But when the person Aiya falls in love with tests the boundaries put in place after GWI, all hell breaks loose. And in the midst of one secret unraveling, another will emerge. There is a growing anomaly that threatens to destroy over 200 years of progression. This anomaly is known as Opposites

 

Review

I have a (perhaps) unique perspective on this in that I listened to the novellas before the original novel. This helped me in that there are a LOT of characters and a LOT of world building going on – especially in the beginning. I can’t say I always kept track of who was who – I’m a far more visual person than auditory so my mind would wander a bit – but having the wonderful Greg Boudreaux narrating means that each character was unique and easily identifiable.

I found the concept of this story captivating and the romance(s) both really sweet and super sexy!

Usually I shy away from anything remotely “dystopian” as I tend to find them terribly pessimistic and dour, but this was almost like an entire other world and far less “doom and gloom” than the typical.

If you’re looking for a somewhat complicated, but rewarding and unique look at the future – and you really like some steam in your romances – this is the story (series) for you.

I think that listening to this is an amazing experience because Greg is such a tremendous performer. He really adds to the overall enjoyment by giving depth and emotion to the characters and making the story really pop up and feel multi-dimensional.

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars Action/Adventure Angst Level Author Provided Book DA Dystopian Dystopian Enemies to Lovers Established Couple Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Scorching/high heat zombie

Fight the Tide (Kick at the Darkness Book 2) by Keira Andrews

 

release day review

 

30989088Blurb

Adrift in a post-apocalyptic world, they only have each other. Is it enough?

A virus that turns the infected into zombie-like killers spreads through a burning world thrown into lawless chaos. Lovers Parker and Adam have escaped to the open sea when they hear a message over the airwaves from a place called Salvation Island—a supposed safe haven.

Orphaned as a child, werewolf Adam has always longed for a pack. He’s eager to investigate the island, but Parker doesn’t think for a nanosecond that the voice on the radio can be believed. He doesn’t trust anyone but Adam and is determined to keep it that way. They don’t need anyone else complicating their struggle to survive. Or do they?

Danger on the high seas can surface in a heartbeat, and if Parker and Adam aren’t careful, the current will drag them under.

This gay romance is a dystopian adventure featuring a werewolf, his boyfriend, and their struggle to find a place to call home

Review

This must be read in order. This book takes place right where book one left off. Adam and Parker are on a stolen yacht in the ocean off the east coast hoping to avoid being bitten, avoid pirates, avoid other non-bitten people who are out to take what they have and pretty much everybody else. Except… Adam longs to find a place where he and Parker can settle down and be safe. When they hear a message over the airwaves that sounds like a haven, Parker immediately thinks “trap” and Adam thinks “home”.

What proceeds is the two of them fighting for resources, fighting one another (a bit) and them finally deciding to take a risk at Salvation Island and what happens there.

**

I have to admit I’m a huge Keira Andrews fan. I adored book one and was PSYCHED to see book two. I’ll probably read book three….

My problem isn’t the writing, isn’t the MCs, isn’t the romance – those are all wonderful. Adam and Parker still have stuff to work through, and by the end of book one they’d really only scratched the surface. By the end of this story, they’re on more solid ground but they are by no means “safe”.

My problem is dystopian stories. I just don’t care for them. I don’t like the bleak, dark nature of them and the sense of impossibility that seems to pervade every line in the story. It’s depressing!

So, while book one should have felt that same way – it didn’t – for some reason, but book two definitely does. It’s dark. There are times when I thought to myself – how in the world can these guys survive? Even at the end.

So… it’s just not my type of story. I’m hopeful that some crazy awesome solution will arise to help our MCs but in the meantime it’s so much hopelessness and really kind of depressing…..

However, if that’s your cup of tea you’ll love this and the author does a fantastic job of engaging the reader so even people like me will enjoy the writing and character development but be prepared. This is a much darker story than book one and it was hard to read at times.

3.5 of 5 stars

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