Recent Release: Without Reservations (With or Without #1) by J.L. Langley

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/without-reservations-by-jl-langley-10791-b

Blurb

Sometimes love catches you by the tail.

Native American veterinarian—and werewolf—Chayton Wilson dreams of a fair-haired mate. However, he’s shocked to find his mate is a man. He’s not quite sure what to do with a male mate, but he’s more than willing to find out.

Keaton Reynolds wakes up in wolf form and finds himself with a mate. He’s instantly attracted, but not thrilled to find out the man is supposedly straight. A past relationship where his partner denied being gay left a bad taste in his mouth. Keaton wants to make a break for it and pretend he never set eyes on Chay—but Chay is not ready to let him go.

Together they work to battle prejudice and solidify their shaky relationship. Chay must deal with not only his mother’s preconceptions about gay men but also her hatred of white people. When a power struggle in Keaton’s pack threatens Keaton’s life, the two men must quickly learn whether they can depend on each other.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd., October 2006.

Review

A wonderful shifter GFY romance! I really liked the world-building and how the author wrote the whole fated mates angle. Chay has his work cut out for him, getting over his own shock at finding such an unexpected mate and persuading Keaton to give them a chance. Keaton is a firecracker, quick to jump to conclusions, easy to anger, but he grew on me as the story progressed.

There’s an element of suspense as well, which was very well written, with the author throwing the reader for a loop as to where the danger is actually coming from.
Despite this being a paranormal story, it still has elements of (sadly) real life prejudice and homophobia, which brought added depth to the story.

I enjoyed getting to know some of the secondary characters, especially Remi. I do love me a good redemption story and he definitely has potential for one of those.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Raze (Riven #3) by Roan Parrish Narrated by: Kirt Graves, Tor Thom

audiobookreview

Audible:
https://www.audible.com/pd/Raze-Audiobook/1541445473?qid=1564953992&sr=1-16&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=QA740D25TFCXJP2DZ4RA&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_16

Blurb

Sometimes the walls we build to save ourselves have to come tumbling down.

For the last ten years, Huey has built his life around his sobriety. If that means he doesn’t give a damn about finding love or companionship for himself, well, it’s probably better that way. After all, the last thing he wants is to hurt anyone else. Until Felix Rainey walks into his bar, fresh-faced, unbearably sweet—and, for some reason Huey can’t fathom, interested in him.

As the eldest of five kids, Felix Rainey spent his childhood cooking dinner, checking homework, and working after-school jobs. Now in his twenties, he’s still scrambling to make ends meet and wondering what the hell he’s doing with his life. When he meets Huey, he’s intimidated . . . and enamored. Huey’s strong and confident, he owns his own business—hell, he’s friends with rock stars. What could he ever see in Felix?

As Huey and Felix get closer, the spark catches and soon they can’t get enough of each other. But Huey’s worked hard to avoid intimacy, and Felix threatens his carefully constructed defenses. Huey realizes he needs to change if he wants to truly put his past behind him—and build a future with Felix.

Review

This was so, so good!
It took me awhile to get into this because I was really nervous about the entire “sobriety” thing that is a recurring theme in the series but – though it is definitely a main theme – it almost took a back seat to the really sweet and awkward romance between these two totally mismatched heroes.

I loved that Felix had to really dig deep and find his own happiness and how Huey had to admit his “patterns” were no longer helpful.

The heat is just right – a fair amount of steam but this is really more about the feels.

Highly recommended! I think it’s best when read as part of the series but it can absolutely stand on its own.

5 of 5 stars

Audio

I really enjoyed Kirt Graves’ part of this narration, he does a nice job as Felix – high strung and energetic. I wasn’t a huge fan of Tor Thom. On the one hand he did fit Huey but it was harder to listen to him because I felt like I wanted him to be less clunky in my ear and his breathing bothered me.

In any case, it’s a wonderful way to experience this story.

4 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Recent Release: Romancing the Rough Diamond by: Clare London

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/romancing-the-rough-diamond-by-clare-london-10775-

Blurb
Trust is the most precious jewel of all.

When Mayfair jewelers Starsmith Stones wins the commission for a gay royal wedding, CEO Joel Sterling is recommended to the brilliant young designer Matt Barth—only to discover Matt’s the man with whom he shared an anonymous and passionate kiss on the celebration night.

Disenchanted with the commercial jewelry industry, Matt nowadays prefers muddy archaeological digs to designing. Openly resentful of Starsmith’s hostile takeover of his family’s firm, he is horrified at the realization he’ll be working with the man who engineered that deal—but the opportunity to create something fabulous and unique for the royal couple is too tempting to refuse.

Working as a team reignites the spark between Joel and Matt. But when betrayal from within Starsmith threatens both the project and Joel’s confidence, will they have built enough trust to keep their newfound love as precious as the royal jewels?

Review
I liked the premise of this story that enemies become co-workers and then lovers. Despite his animosity towards what Matt sees a soulless corporation taking over his family business he can’t miss this opportunity to be involved in something so special. Joel is not the heartless business man Matt thinks he is. I love how their shared passion for creating beautiful jewellery brings them together. This is a heartwarming book. Full of wonderfully British characters. Matt is so pig headed in the beginning you know that when he falls for Joel it’ll be with his heart and soul. And so it is. He makes a brilliantly daft gesture. Made me laugh at the situation he got himself in. So happy that Joel and Matt get their happy ending in this feel good story.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Watching out for fangs (Book 7) by Lisa Oliver narrated by John York

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Watching-Out-for-Fangs-Audiobook/B07WDRBS2Z?pf_rd_p=3aa0f0bc-1d10-438f-b86c-7f28cc26ca23&pf_rd_r=C1WGA2RXAQD7BTC0WYV3&ref=a_typ_c1_lProduct_1

Blurb

Josh moved from the huge San Antonio pack to join the men at Cloverleah looking for a bit more adventure, and the chance to meet his mate. He’s quick to adapt to the much smaller pack, and even his status as one of the few beta wolves in a group full of Alphas. A chance visit from the Atlanta coven has him meeting the man he was waiting for. It was just a damn shame he was unconscious at the time.
Vadim D’Arcy should be the Regent of the Atlanta coven, but he gave up his position years before when a personal tragedy had him hiding away in his huge mansion. Forced into a situation where he had to escort a cursed vampire to Cloverleah, he realizes pretty quickly that Josh is his true match. The only problem is, he doesn’t want one.
However threats on the pack, and two interfering Fae soon nudge the two men back together. Fighting other wolves, and even vampires is becoming commonplace for the Cloverleah pack. But a dark magic user just might have the last laugh. Can Vadim fight his personal demons long enough to keep his mate safe, and will Josh be there for him when he does? Or will a combined attack from the coven and the pack in Atlanta bring the entire Cloverleah pack to its knees?

Warnings: This is an m/m erotic romance featuring a sweet but staunch beta wolf, an old as sin vampire and all your other favorites from Cloverleah. HEA and no cliff hangers guaranteed.

Review
The Cloverleah pack has several new enforcers, Josh is one of them, from the San Antonio Pack. Josh, like most of the guys in this pack, is ready to meet his mate. He’s not been celibate by any means, but he hasn’t given his heart to anyone.

Vadim is the second oldest vampire in existence. We met his coven when they attacked Cloverleah from Atlanta, trying to get Dean, the Omega as their own. Vadim hasn’t had anything to do with the coven for years, but now he’s being drawn into politics by his scheming brother and his overly ambitious wife. Vadim lost his true love hundreds of years ago and has since sworn to never love again. So when he meets Josh and is forced to bond with him to save him, he’s torn between his vows to his old lover and the fact that without him his newly mated shifter might die, innocent of all the drama.

It takes them awhile to figure things out, but after challenging his brother and being imprisoned, some pesky Fae break Vadim out and return him to Josh. There they begin the process of resolving their mating.

The rest of the book centers on them strengthening their bond as well as fighting the battle between the scheming brother and the evil Atlanta pack who are still after Dean and the Fae and the power those could bring to their pack.

**

I guess you could read this as a stand-alone. Lisa does a lovely job of giving just enough back story that you wouldn’t be completely lost – but it’s definitely best as part of the series.

It’s a wonderful series and I’ve enjoyed each of the books so far. Lisa’s writing just gets better and better and though my copy of the book had several typos, the writing itself was excellent.

I love the world she’s set up. It’s intricate and involved and with the addition of the Fae, Diablo, Dean and now Vadim, it’s more than just a shifter series. There’s magic and maybe in the future Demons and Angels?!?

What appeals to me about this series is that the characters usually fall for one another early on, but there’s more “story”. The length means we get to see our couples interact for more than just the mating. In this case it’s the fighting of the Atlanta Pack and there are some really touching moments involved.

I highly recommend this book and this series to fans of shifter romances.

Audio

John York continues to grow and improve. Josh was a little more “hickish” than I would have chosen but it did nicely to differentiate him from Vadim. This is another nice way to enjoy the series.

Recommended!

4 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Hellion (415 Ink series – #3) by Rhys Ford

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hellion-by-rhys-ford-10757-b

Blurb

From the moment SFPD Detective Ruan Nicholls meets Ivo Rogers, he knew the tattoo artist was going to bring chaos to his neat orderly life. A hellion down to the bone, Ivo is someone Ruan not only doesn’t understand but isn’t even sure he needs to. Everything about Ivo is vibrant, brash, cocky and arrogant and Ruan wants no part of him.

Or at least that’s the lie he tells himself when he damps down his desire for the social wild child life tosses into his path.

For Ivo Rogers, his life revolves around two things; his family and 415 Ink, the tattoo shop he co-owns with his four brothers. His family might be stitched together by their battle scars from growing up in foster care but their brotherhood was tight—and strong enough to hold Ivo together during the times when he fell apart.

Now Ivo faces a new challenge when he falls for a cop with an old-school mentality on what a man looks and acts like. Ruan is the promise of a life Ivo thought he’d never have but their thunderous clashes threaten any chance of a relationship. Being the family’s hellion makes it easy to be misunderstood yet Ivo has faith Ruan will not only embrace who he is but love him as well.

Review

This had all the makings of a very promising opposites attract story with a bit of an age gap for extra piquancy, but I was a little disappointed in how it was written. The sentences are rather long and have a rambling quality to them that slows down the pacing of the narrative too much and makes it harder to feel the intensity of what the MC’s are going through and really get that connection to them.

Both MC’s are fascinating characters though and the character development was well written. Ivo’s had a truly heartbreaking childhood and went through some very dark periods, which makes it so important for him to finally be able to unapologetically be himself. Ruan is great for him, steady and loyal, but has to overcome his own fears about what it means to be out, and stand out. After a rocky start things go quite fast, and for me the commitment and I-love-you’s followed too hastily after the brief amount of time they actually spent together.

There’s a heartwarming cast of secondary characters, what with Ivo’s meddlesome, slightly overbearing and extremely protective brothers and I’ll admit to being curious about the stories of the others even if this book wasn’t totally my cup of tea.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish Romance #1) by Keira Andrews Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/A-Forbidden-Rumspringa-Audiobook/151594395X?qid=1567270521&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=C1ZBX33XBS1DN4T22H8S&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

When two young Amish men find love, will they risk losing everything?

In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.

Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.

Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all?

Note: Contains explicit sexual situations and graphic language. This is not an inspirational/Christian romance.

Review

In this version of the Amish faith, electricity and running water are forbidden. Even English isn’t spoken in the home. School stops at the 8th grade and boys become married men at 18. In Zebulon even other versions of the faith are considered too lax and allow too much freedom.
Isaac is 18, and is now considered the oldest son since his brother Aaron left the faith in shame and is now, for all intents and purposes, dead to them. Isaac isn’t much of a farmer, the family business, so his father arranges for him to apprentice with their group’s carpenter, David Lantz.
David’s younger brother also shamed the community when he and 2 other kids got high and crashed their car and died. Now David is responsible for his mother and sisters, but financially speaking things are tough. David meets an “English” (non Amish) neighbor who helps him to sell some of his carpentry for cash to help his family. She also exposes him to things he never would have seen in the community: movies, magazines, MIRRORS, zippers, cars… the list is endless and with each new experience David’s beliefs are challenged more and more. Only his feeling of responsibility to his family remains the same: he can’t leave the community because he can’t leave them.
Isaac had noticed David and vice versa months before. When put in a situation of day to day proximity to one another the spark that started then ignites. It doesn’t take long before the two are engaged in their own version of “rumspringa” or adolescent romantic exploration and it involves lube!
Both men know what they are doing is strictly forbidden and this adds to the excitement. However, there will come a time when they both need to decide what the future holds : more unquestioning belief in a faith that has more questions than answers or doing the unimaginable and leaving behind everything they know to be together.

**
I admit I was not at all attracted to this book when I first saw it. I just don’t like religious themes – having had too many bad experiences. But I kept seeing the good reviews from people I trusted and I thought… well, I’ll give it a shot.
What a pleasant surprise! Yes, the religion plays a heavy, heavy role, but the romance is so beautiful that I didn’t mind the religion. For those of you with an interest in the religion Keira Andrews does an amazingly thorough job of explaining the Amish faith and the differences. I think you can skim those parts and still get the benefit of reading the story if those parts don’t interest you.
Isaac’s naïve view of the world, then his complete faith in love are really touching. I thought it was fascinating that of all the sins he was committing, he stood firm on not looking at himself in the mirror. Like, if he didn’t see himself doing these things, then perhaps he could still hide? David, is more comfortable with the “sin”, he’s more concerned about his family and his feelings of guilt surrounding them.
I found the ending to be actually sort of a surprise in the way things unfolded – it’s very exciting – you’ll enjoy it! And, even better news, this is book one and in book two we get to see more of the characters, that is awesome because … well I can’t tell you, but it will be great to see what happens next.
I had read Keira Andrews before and I found this book to be a step above her other books – it is very well written and the story is very touching and might just make you think, too.

Audio

John Solo seems to fit this story really well.  He does a nice job with the pacing and his tone matched that of the story.  This is a nice way to enjoy the story!

Recommended!

 

4 stars 


Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Wolf Lost (The Wolves of Kismet #1) by Sam Burns

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47637443-wolf-lost

Blurb
An omega on the run.

An alpha fractured.

Sawyer Holt can’t go home. The Alpha who has replaced his father wants to use him as a tool to cement his political power, and Sawyer isn’t interested in marrying his father’s murderer.

Dez Sullivan’s leg may never heal from his last mission in Afghanistan, but he’s getting used to that. What he can’t adapt to are the nightmares and the tremor in his hand that the doctors insist is all in his head. Next to that, being a brand new werewolf seems easy, until Sawyer Holt blows into his life. The omega activates his burgeoning wolf instincts in a new way, and they threaten to overwhelm his common sense.

Both men are in Colorado searching for a new start, a new pack, and the safety they’ve lost. Their meeting is pure Kismet.

Review
I enjoyed this book for the most part however It did leave me unsatisfied in a few areas. We are missing a lot of backstory, especially with the 3 alpha’s of the Kismet pack. We get a little with the omega, Sawyer but not much. Most of the story was the new pack trying to figure out their dynamics, while preparing to open a coffee shop. The villain of the story was very disappointing once he finally showed up. The grand “I love you” scene was very rushed and lackluster. In my opinion this wasn’t one of Sam Burn’s best stories. Hopefully the next story in this series will be better.

3.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Fae For All (Cloverleah Pack #6)by Lisa Oliver Narrated by John York

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fae-for-All-Audiobook/B07VPRP5ZL?qid=1564958306&sr=1-5&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=MF003FMEDHYEPD52T0WZ&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_5

Blurb

Book 6 The Cloverleah Pack
Can be read as a standalone

Jax Cooper never planned to meet his mates. A strong wolf shifter, who keeps his Fae heritage hidden, all Jax wants to do is keep his pack safe and his secrets tucked away. But when men turn up from another pack, all intent on stealing the two men Jax knows to be his, then Jax’s wolf has a hard time controlling himself.

Aelfric and Fafnir have been together for three hundred years. Not that unusual for two Sidhe Fae princes. Having known since puberty that their third destined mate was a wolf shifter, they are overjoyed when Dean, the sweet Omega from the Cloverleah pack gets in touch with them to let them know some possible mates have been found. Hurrying to the Cloverleah Pack, the two men not only find their mate, but also find out that the Cloverleah pack is in trouble – and it’s coming from all sides.

Trying to keep his head, and his mates, Jax has to rely on his friends from the pack to keep things safe. Between two other packs, vampires, the Shifter Council and the Fae Council all trying to intervene in what should be a simple mating process Jax has to wonder if keeping the two beautiful men, destined to be his, is worth losing his life over.

Warning: This is an m/m/m story – it contains strong language, some violence, and acts of male on male sex. This work of fiction includes a beautiful blond Fae with a tendency to have tantrums, a strong wolf shifter who would never describe himself as a nice person and a dark haired Fae who is desperately trying to hold them all together.

Review

As with the others, though technically this is a “stand alone”, I think it’s really a must read in order kind of series. Each book in the series has the same characters and builds on the same over arching theme with the Cloverleah pack and makes more sense read in order.

Jax, who recently we met as one of the wolves with a crush on Troy, is a half-breed Fae who was exiled after he shifted for the first time. He’s known forever that he’s had two Fae mates somewhere in the world (part of a triad) but he also “knows” they’ll never accept a shifter for a mate because the Fae are so prejudiced against shifters and other paranormals.

Fafnir and Alefric are already mated to one another but “saving themselves” (in terms of penetrative sex) for their third. When they meet Dean, they’re excited to begin their search for their wolf partner in Cloverleah.

It takes a bout of jealousy for Jax to show his cards, but admitting to being their mate is not enough. There is a lot of bad water under that bridge (on both sides) and to make matters worse, there are parties on both sides (fae and shifter) who want to see this triad fail.

**

You all know how much I love this series, but I have to say, this triad really didn’t work for me.

I love Jax and as his powers changed and grew, I loved him more. He’s a great character with a lot of amazing potential and I really wanted someone to love him as much as he deserves.

When a triad is formed (in any book) with two parts of that triad already in place, the biggest “hurdle” to overcome is making the reader believe the new addition is not only equal but needed in the triad for it to be whole (and improved). Fafnir and Alefric had been together 300 years and while they claim they’ve been “looking” all that time – they never actually sought out any wolves. That felt really suspicious.

In addition to that fact, as the story unfolds, Alefric acts like a complete douche bag for 97% of the story. Seriously. Even by the end, I have to admit, I never liked him, nor did I feel like he was interested in the triad beyond making Fafnir happy.

While I still loved seeing the other couples and enjoyed the new Fae elements that were added to the series. I really, really didn’t love this triad. I wanted – so much! – for Jax to finally find the love he needs, and while it looks like Fafnir , at least, is a good first step at that, I never did forgive Alefric or feel that he groveled enough or even proved himself in the slightest.

So – for the action and story I’d give this a 4.5 of 5 , but for the romance a 2.5 of 5 – rounding to a 3 of 5 overall. I was still glad to (re) read this, but I’m disappointed in the romance.

 

Narration

I liked the character/voices John York chose for these three. They seemed to really match the characters’ personalities. I am either getting more “used” to his narration style or he’s improving over time ☺
In any case, this was a great way to enjoy this story.

4 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Vying for his Affection (A Loving Nip #19) by Charlie Richards

Extasy Presents
https://www.extasybooks.com/charlie-richards/978-1-4874-2667-5-vying-for-his-affection/

Blurb

At five-foot-two and skinny to boot, Maximus Bonner has always been a little sensitive about his size. When he’s forced by his job to attend a team-building activity at Rolling Meadows Ranch and Resort, his worst fears are realized—outdoor activities. On top of that, he overhears the hottest cowboy at the place making fun of the little stringbean. His anger getting the best of him, Max lodges a complaint against the sexy man.

As a vampire, Rhyme Mythstone has been waiting for his beloved for over a century. Imagine his surprise when he comes in the form of a tiny slip of a redhead with a fiery temper. With one teasing comment, his chance at wooing the human goes up in flames. Max wants nothing to do with him. Can Rhyme figure out a way to prove that he loves his beloved’s size and can make him happy?

Review

This was pretty predictable and uninspired.

I have to admit to the fact that this series just might be done for me. It makes me sad because I love all the guys but the stories are just repetitive and I don’t feel happy when I’m done.

2.5 of 5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Dirty Mind By: Roe Horvat Narrated by: Vance Bastian

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Dirty-Mind-Audiobook/B07WMN4MH9?pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=VFQ4CVVDFSRTKBKA5AAJ&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_B07WMN4MH9

Blurb
Alexander Popescu is a university lecturer in a quiet German town. He’s a respectable man in his thirties who stays fit, has a decent career, and travels alone – his only vice is an occasional greasy meal. And beer. And violent computer games. Nobody has to know about the other Alex – the acclaimed porn writer. His ingenious erotic fantasies earn him good money and keep his capricious mind harmlessly entertained.

When his young friend and protégé Christian transfers to Freiburg for medical school, Alex is overjoyed…and terrified that Christian will find out about Alex’s indecent alter ego. The time they spend together, as lovely as it is, could overturn Alex’s carefully balanced life. Suddenly, the writing is not good enough, his hair seems to be thinning, his careful hookups leave him unfulfilled, and his dreams are haunted by the innocent young man he’s vowed to protect.

However, Christian is not a boy anymore. He’s a grown man of 21, clever, and deadly attractive. And he’s hiding some secrets of his own.

Review
Dirty Mind was a delightful audiobook. I loved the slow burn between Alex and Christian. They start out as friends and the relationship continues on through correspondence for a few years until Christian moves to Alex’s town for school. The main issue I had with this one was Alex’s constant negative views about the age difference. Vance Bastian did a great job with the narration. He portrayed Alex perfectly! I strongly recommend this fun, sexy, lighthearted audiobook

4 stars for book and narration

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review