Categories
adult - 18+

Bad Habits (Wages of Sin #1) by Onley James , Neve Wilder

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55601709-bad-habits

Blurb

Jonah taught Cas a million ways to protect his body but not one to protect his heart.

Smart-mouthed hacker Caspian escaped an abusive home at 16. Now he’s one of the most sought-after black hat hackers in the world.

Jonah is a ruthless contract killer with only one weakness, the vibrant runaway he took in years ago: Caspian.

But Cas bailed when he turned 18 and Jonah has maintained a steady diet of eat, kill, sleep since then.

Jonah had always been the fatal flaw in Cas’s code, the bug that froze the part of his brain separating logic from emotion.

A threat to Cas’s life brings him back years later—not as the boy Jonah remembers, but as a hardened computer hacker with a price on his head and a list of names everybody wants.

The chemistry between them is as undeniable as it is dangerous.

In a world of secrets and murder, trust is a liability and feelings can get you killed. But Jonah let Cas go once, and he’s not willing to do it again. Even if it means confronting his past, solving a twisted puzzle, and taking out half of New York city’s seedy underbelly to keep Cas safe.

Bad Habits is a steamy, action-packed thrill ride of a romance with a HEA and no cliffhangers. It features morally ambiguous men, dirty, dirty lovin’, pancakes drizzled with snark, chosen family, drive-in movies, and the kind of love that drives a guy to murder in order to protect. In short: all the emo, heat, and sarcasm you’d probably expect from an Onley/Neve collab. This is book 1 in the Wages of Sin series. Each book will follow a new couple.

Review

This had a lot of potential. The set up is dark and angsty with lots of violence and crime and mystery.

The pay off isn’t there (for me).

When our MCs get together it is weird and not very romantic and it exploits a lot of rough sex that didn’t feel particularly loving and is not my taste.

I’m sure others loved it. But it was not for me.

I skimmed through this and was satisfied enough by the ending but never really saw the relationship develop in a meaningful way.

If you’re interested in a lot of angry sex – this might appeal more.

3 of 5 stars


Categories
adult - 18+

Jon’s Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case (Jon’s Mysteries #1) by A.J. Sherwood

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44577241-jon-s-downright-ridiculous-shooting-case

Blurb

A psychic without an anchor. A student in trouble. A shooter on the loose.

I’m Jonathan Bane, a licensed psychic who consults for the police. I routinely help the police put the bad guys away and, for that reason, the criminal world doesn’t like me much. People like to take a swing at me, or go stabbity, or try for a gun. It makes for interesting times. My psychic ability prevents me from handling anything electronic—and I do mean ANYTHING, I fry it in seconds—so calling for help isn’t always a possibility.

I need an anchor, a partner, but I’m resigned: it’s just wishful thinking.

At least, I thought so until he walked through the door.

Donovan Havili looks like a thug and has the soul of a superhero. He shines so bright in my vision it’s like watching a supernova. He definitely has the right mindset and skills for this crazy job. But asking anyone to take me on long-term is a bit much. And now we’ve got multiple cases to handle, a Chinese exchange student falsely accused who needs our help, and someone taking random shots at me. It’s a bit much for any new guy to handle and I’m half-afraid that my new partner will run for the door.

But in Donovan Havili, the criminal world has met its match. And maybe, just maybe, I have as well.

Trigger Warnings:
Your average cop show violence and criminals.

Tags:
Companionable snark, Flirting, Kissing, Jon needs a hug, Donovan gives the best hugs, Getting together, Self-esteem issues, Explicit content, Anal Sex, Romantic Sex, Random shooting, Which Donovan isn’t happy about, Donovan is a gentleman, Sort of, Jon just makes it REALLY REALLY HARD Okay?, Bisexual character, Public displays of affection, Muscles, Communication, Healthy relationships, The fluff might kill you, Supernatural elements, Modern with Magic, Feels, All the Feels, Mostly accurate medical stuff, Multiple electronics died in the creation of this story, blame Jon.

Review

I adored this! So much fun! I love Jon and his quirks and how Donovan just rescues him and supports him and is adorable.

The mystery is pretty ok (I despise mysteries so that is saying a lot!)

Mostly I enjoy the psychic stuff and the relationship and that was very satisfying – I am enjoying this series!

4.5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Marked by Death (Necromancer #1) by Kaje Harper

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55691192-marked-by-death

Blurb

Asking a necromancer for help is scary; falling for him may be downright terrifying.

Darien Green’s afraid he’s going insane. The voices in his head are getting louder, weirder, and more numerous. But tattoos appearing on his skin say that there might be a magical reason, something other than his own brain going around the bend. He’s worked up the nerve to ask the local necromancer for help. Now he just has to survive his encounter with tall, dark, and talks-to-ghosts.

Necromancer Silas Thornwood doesn’t appreciate being woken out of his bed by a stranger pounding on his door. But when that stranger turns out to be a half-frozen young man with an unexpected appeal, Silas can’t turn him away. Even Grim, his cat-familiar, agrees— in a world of death and demons, protecting gorgeous, ghost-ridden Darien is Silas’s next difficult job.

Review

I super duper loved this! This was full of magick and had a very quick moving plot and a lovely romance.

I hope we might see more from this world!

Grim was hysterical and I love it when the underdog ends up on top – so – highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Lacuna by N.R. Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55703944-lacuna

Blurb

A boychild swathed in green, a distinct tree-shaped birthmark on his wrist. A girlchild enveloped in red, marked with the three lines of the desert winds. A boy bundled in white, the koi mark on his wrist as defined as his shock of red hair. And a boychild wrapped in black, a raven his mark to serve his fate.

~ ~ ~

Twenty-five years ago, the hand of fate marked four newborns and sent them to the four corners of the Great Kingdoms. They were schooled and trained as rulers of their lands in preparation for the Golden Eclipse ceremony: a festival to celebrate a thousand years of peace and prosperity since the Great War.

Crow, ruler of Northlands, a skilled swordsman and expert tactician, is as reclusive and stoic as the mountains that surround him.

Tancho has spent his life in strict discipline, governing the Westlands with a fair mind and gentle hand. Quiet and unassuming, yet lethal in combat, he is the embodiment of the waters he lives by.

Yet the same hand of fate unknowingly linked Tancho to Crow in ways they cannot comprehend. Ruled by the stars, the brother sun and the two sister moons above them, and marked by an alchemical sorcery as old as time, their destinies were never their own.

As the eclipse draws near and the festival begins, word comes of another threat. Invaders from unknown lands bring a war no one was prepared for, and Crow and Tancho must decide on which side of the battle line they stand.

In life or death, their destinies will see them joined either way.

Review
This was interesting but not my favorite from the author by a long shot.
It reminded me a little of her series Cronin’s key only it wrapped things up (thankfully) in one story. It is VERY involved and there are a lot of moving pieces.

I loved the world building and by the end I appreciated the romance, but there were times in the middle I had to take a break.

There is a definite focus on the fantasy and less on the romance. That’s kinda how I felt with Cronin, too.

In the end it was a good story – NR doesn’t write bad stories – but not my fav.
(I loved the tatoo bits though  )

4 of 5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Rueberry Orchard (Beyond the Realm: Remember #1) by Michele Notaro

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55522885-rueberry-orchard

Blurb

“There’s no time. Remember Rueberry Orchard.”

A beautiful man in strange clothing starts invading my dreams, and even though I know he isn’t real, the dreams—mind-links, according to him—are so vivid it’s hard to imagine this man doesn’t exist. After a few of these nightly visits, I start looking forward to meeting him and listening to his smooth voice as he tries to convince me to go to Rueberry Orchard.

To my surprise, the place really exists, but I know it would be crazy to go there when it’s ten hours away… right?

When the visits don’t stop, some deep desire inside me knows I have to listen to this dream man, even if it’s absolutely insane. I follow his instructions to Rueberry Orchard, and nothing in this world could’ve prepared me for what I find. Or for the wild adventure I’m about to embark on.

Rueberry Orchard is the first book in the multi-author series, Beyond the Realm: Remember. Each book is set in its own world and can be read as a standalone novel. Join eight authors on eight very different, romantic, and magical stories as each one writes their own take on the same concept.

Review

I love this new world! I love the hidden aspect to the story, the mind link, the lacunas, the UST between Joz and Bray (I hope their story is next!) and I thought the amnesia aspect was pretty well done.

There were times when things were a little tedious – there’s a lot of hand-wringing and crying and emotions all over the place – considering they’re together I’d have thought a lot of that would have been mitigated …

The action is good and the final battle was epic!

I am really looking forward to more in this series!

4.5 of 5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Fix It Up (Torus Intercession #3) by Mary Calmes

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55757786-fix-it-up

Blurb
How will a man who doesn’t believe in fairy tales ever hope to recognize when he’s found the love of a lifetime?

Locryn Barnes knows what it means to be a fixer for Torus Intercession. Torus is the place that people in need turn to for everything from bodyguards to chaperones, and God knows Loc is the kind of man who’d rather play human shield against a bullet than spend even a moment of his life as a glorified babysitter. Which is why he tells a prospective client, in no uncertain terms, that he’s not the right fixer for the job when Torus is tapped to play what amounts to a life coach for a spoiled, burned out, fresh-out-of-rehab rock star.

Nick Madison has been living on the edge since he was seventeen—drugs, booze, men, women . . . you name it, Nick has done it. Now, at twenty-six, aimless and on the verge of losing everything, he can’t seem to give a damn. When he wakes up one afternoon, hungover and strung out, to find a stranger in his house ordering everyone around like he owns the place, Nick is sure he’s woken up in his own little corner of purgatory. When he realizes why Locryn Barnes has invaded his life, Nick is determined to prove he doesn’t need anyone’s help, least of all from the walking, talking definition of infuriating.

Through weeks of recovery, of rebuilding his life and facing his past, Nick comes to realize that Loc is not the enemy. Nick has met every challenge and is finally ready to spread his wings and fly, but not alone, which means another daunting challenge to face. Now, Nick needs to convince the fixer that the rock star is his happily-ever-after. Which could prove to be Nick’s biggest challenge yet.

Review

I liked this a fair amount, which surprised me a little. I’ve been a little off the “Calmes wagon” lately though I do religiously re-listen to several of her books as they are some of my favorites ever!

Locryn is funny and the tension between him and Nick is great. There is a fair amount of nonsense in the book, but it mostly moves forward at a good pace with good UST and a satisfying HEA.

I wanted to punch Nick’s family – which means Mary did her job correctly 😉

I honestly don’t think there was a pea coat in this story and minimal waggling eyebrows.

All in all really enjoyable and definitely fine on it’s own, no need to read the previous two stories.

4 of 5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Heart by Garrett Leigh; narrated by Dan Calley

audiobookreview
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23288462-heart?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=wQNrPwx1xl&rank=4

Blurb:
Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb’s world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.

Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, ‘Uncle’ Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden’s other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn’t dare dream he’ll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.

Story: Seb and Dex, the journey to their HEA is mix of hurt/comfort, love, acceptance and hot intimate scenes. There is a fair bit of angst – Dex’s home life is a very unhappy , sometimes horrific life – but ultimately these men get to fall in love and be together. Garrett Leigh writes beautiful stories that pull at your heartstrings, make you tear up, and ultimately give you a warm, fuzzy feeling at the end. Lovely story!

Narration: Dan Calley made this an awesome listen! He got Seb’s slightly gruff demeanour and Cornish burr. Dex’s Irish lilt was not overdone – just enough that you know it’s there, but not overwhelmed by it. I loved how he captured the slow burn romance, the love and patience that Seb had for Dex, and Dex’s vulnerable, but not completely broken, spirit.
Highly recommend listening to this, it’s really a great way to enjoy the book!



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Painted Lace by K.M.Neuhold

Blurb
Austin never realized he was painting his life with shades of gray, until Keaton came along and injected a rainbow of color.

Keaton is a tornado of chaos and paint, which turns out to be more exciting than I ever would’ve imagined. I love my organized, predictable life…or at least I thought I did. But what started as a casual hookup is slowly becoming so much more, and I find myself loving the beautiful mess more than I expected.

Can two people so different really make it work once feelings get involved?

**** This is a standalone story and was originally published as Kiss and Run in the Valentine’s Inc series. It has since undergone significant changes and doubled in length.

Review
I enjoyed Austin and Keaton’s story. Keaton lives his life as it comes never having a day like any other and Austin is the total opposite yet somehow the two find common ground. It is great to see the men come together. Austin may think he is boring, but he just needs the right man to come along and bring him out of his comfort zone. Keaton is more than happy to do that and soon the men are finding out that they have more than just a sexual connection. Each man must decide if they are willing to let their lives be turned into what they think they do not want. I loved seeing that there was so much more to Austin underneath his prim and proper exterior and that Keaton is not just a wanderer with no destination. Austin and Keaton are a great match, and it was nice to see their relationship take shape. Their story moves along at a good pace and pulls you in right from the start. Theirs is a beautiful story of finding love in the last place you expect. The author brings does a good job of bringing out the emotions that the two men are feeling and keeps you engaged all the way to the end.

Number of stars out of 5: 4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Safe Heart Author: Amy Lane


 Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54294132-safe-heart

Blurb
Search and Rescue: Book Three

Five months ago boy-band lead singer Cash Harper left Glen Echo in a hospital in Jalisco… and broke his heart.

Glen’s heart is the only home Cash has ever known. He’s spent the past five months trying to find his friend Brielle and make sense of his own instincts. Now he’s ready to be a real partner and lover to Glen—but first they have to finish their original mission.

Glen is ready for Cash to walk through his door needing help, but he is absolutely determined not to let him back into his heart. Men don’t run. Cash did. End of story.

Rescuing Brielle will take the full talents of Glen’s search and rescue company, and that means Cash needs to re-earn the team’s trust. Between Bond-villain traps, snakes that shouldn’t be there, and bad guys with guns, they all have plenty to negotiate. If Cash can prove he can stay the course and that he deserves Glen’s faith, they might survive this op whole and ready to love.

Review
This book was the opportunity for Glen and Cash to work things out between them. I hadn’t read the previous two books but found it no problem following along. I found the back and forth between the past and now easy to follow. The story concentrates more on rescuing Brielle rather than the romance. It is a happy ending in that they achieved their goal and got the bad guy. I assume Glen and Cole have a happy for now ending. I hope there are more stories to come.

Number of stars 4 out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Copy provided by Dreamspinner Press
(Purchased, Provided by Publisher, etc.)

Tags:Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Mary D, 4 star, Dreamspinner, adult – 18+, Mild, Part of a Series, Standalone, m/m, Gay, Mild, Action/Adventure, Music/Rock Star, Contemporary world, Opposites attract, second chance at love.

Categories
adult - 18+

Retro Reviews for Halloween!

Among the Living (Psycop Book 1) Audiobook by Jordan Castillo Price Narrated by Gomez Pugh

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5603414-among-the-living?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=lcWwjgCj4l&rank=1

Blurb:

Victor Bayne, the psychic half of a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who’s more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves.

He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic (or “Stiff”) from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner’s retirement party and it seems like his dubious luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer surfaces who can change his appearance to match any witness’ idea of the world’s hottest guy.

Solving murders is a snap when you can ask the victims whodunit, but this killer’s not leaving any spirits behind.

Review:
Because this starts our series, a little background on the story is important. In this series we have a few central characters that we follow in each book. Victor is the star, he’s a detective who can see and somewhat interact with ghosts. In this “world” the fact that psychics exist and are on the police force to exploit their skills is a known quantity and accepted. Sure, it’s still a bit shunned, but there are some people who find it fascinating. Like Jacob.
Jacob is absolutely without psychic powers. He’s a plain ol’ detective paired with a psychic partner, Carolyn, who detects lies. When he meets Victor he’s enthralled with the geeky, awkward and somewhat dark – fellow police officer.
Though Jacob has been burned by working with a lover, he falls for Victor and can’t avoid the attraction.
What proceeds is their awkward romance while solving crimes.
In this first book, the mystery has to do with a killer who looks like everyone’s version of “hot”. (That in itself is fascinating! JCP you are so talented!) Since people don’t know that’s the situation, we get this awesome back-door view into people’s psyche because when they describe the bad guy – we now know who they think is “the hottest man alive”. This is particularly sweet later in the book, but I’m not giving anything away.
The paranormal level of this book is mild/medium – so even if you aren’t a fan of paranormal/ghosty type books, I think you will like this book (and probably the series). If you are a mystery/detective fan you definitely will. If you like dry humor and awkward/dorky characters you’ll love these books. And of course, if you are a JCP fan, you already read them ten times.
So, overall – 5 stars! You’ll ask yourself – why haven’t I read this before? And then you’ll go get the rest of the series… I know I did!

Audio:
Gomez’ Vic is SPOT-ON. He is exactly how you think he’d be in your head. Gomez Pugh does an absolutely fantastic job with Lisa and Warrick too. I kept picturing the SNL skit “Da Bears” which is what you should picture when thinking of a Chicago Police Captain. It was great fun listening to his “bad guy” accent too… can’t tell you more than that, but you’ll have a hoot! I didn’t exactly love his Jacob… I liked it. It fit. But it bugged me sometimes. (He fixes this down the road so… give it a try!) It didn’t detract much from my overall adoration of the narration and as the series progresses your love of him will grow!

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review