Win! Win! Win! THIRDS fans win prizes!

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IMG_2897Hey THIRDS fans!  I got these way cool cards and bags from the amazing Charlie Cochet at GRL.

I have about 40 prizes to give away and all you have to do is tell me your favorite THIRDS character and why!  Then I can mail you either a bag or a set of character cards (you can email me at openskyebookreviews@gmail.com to win or enter the rafflecopter.  I need a place to mail them to, as well.)

The first 40 or the most creative answer wins (depending on the number of entries).

 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rebound Remedy by Christine D’Abo

rebound remedyBlurb

 

The last thing Cole expects to get for the holidays is dumped. But there he is, in the airport on his way to Banff for a romantic getaway, helplessly watching as his boyfriend’s ex declares undying love, proposes—and is accepted. With a few weeks to go until Christmas, Cole’s mood dives from jolly to jaded. But instead of sitting at home alone and feeling sorry for himself, he goes to his favorite bar, McGregor’s, for a pint and some company.

The moment Owen McGregor sets eyes on Cole, he knows there’s something wrong. So he takes it upon himself to ensure that Cole has a happy holiday: twelve outings for the twelve days before Christmas. Even if he can’t quite think up twelve activities that don’t involve getting the forlorn hunk into his bed.

With each outing they take together, Cole realizes that the love he thought he’d shared with his ex was less than perfect. And that Owen might prove to be more than just his rebound remedy.

———————–

Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.

Founded in 1996, the GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of GLBT volunteers, they operate two national hotlines, the GLBT National Hotline and the GLBT National Youth Talkline, as well as private, volunteer one-to-one online chat, that help both youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems and a lot more.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: http://www.glbthotline.org/ 

 

Review

Owen is a bartender who notices how sweet Cole is night after night. When Cole gets dumped right before Christmas, Owen offers to help cheer him up with some outings – one a day – in the 12 days before Christmas.

Over these outings these two guys embark on what could be a lovely romance – if they’d ever talk to each other about it!

There is a lot of sexual tension and tender moments. Cole has to decide if it’s too soon to have a boyfriend and Owen has to decide if he wants to settle down at all, especially with a man (He’s bi, but mostly been with women.)

In the end we are given a lovey HFN/HEA and a hope for their future together.

**

This was a sweet, wintery, Holiday read. Perfect for the season. Low angst, high sexual tension, sweet ending.

There wasn’t anything dramatic or exciting but a nice, mostly believable forward movement of two men falling in love.

I recommend this to fans of the season and low angst reads and cute bartenders!

(Don’t forget the proceeds go to LGBT charity!)

3.75 of 5 stars

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Copy provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review

Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/rebound-remedy

 

Stygian by Santino Hassell

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6830

StygianLGBlurb

Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

Review

Jeremy lost his brother to suicide. Since then he hasn’t been the same. The guys in the band, Stygian, are his lifeline. But they hold a thin thread. Watts, his brother’s friend, is mostly an asshole, totally self absorbed and hateful. He’s screwing around with Quinn, a trusting, open soul who knows he’s being used but can’t help himself. Then there’s Kennedy. Kennedy has entranced Jeremy since they first met.

The band takes a hiatus to Louisiana to work on their next album. Watts decides the atmosphere to be found in a haunted ante-bellum mansion in the swamps is just what they need for “inspiration”. Nothing about the house feels “right”, especially not the brother and sister, Hunter and Laurel who live nearby and who are the house’s owners.

When emotions run high, Jeremy flees into the woods. There he meets with Hunter, a stranger who somehow feels more connected than he should. He wants to run to Kennedy, but Kennedy fights their attraction.

A girl dies, Quinn starts acting strangely and Watts continues to spiral downward. Kennedy and Jeremy connect, but is it going to last? Will Hunter drive them apart? What is the deal with the locked rooms in the house?

12214349_10156171211030414_1788620596_o**

This is a dark, dark story. Gritty and dirty. The emotions aren’t sugar coated and there are a lot of deep, dark, angsty moments between all the guys in the band.

At times this felt more like a horror story than a romance, but the emotional connection between Jeremy and Kennedy is real and strong.

I can’t tell you what it is, but there’s a twist having to do with Hunter and Laurel. They aren’t who they seem to be. When the climactic moment hits it’s somewhat shocking in its brutality but countered by the love that gets shown between Kennedy and Jeremy.

We leave on a tenuous HFN and I believe there’s more to this story…

If you are a fan of dark, haunted love stories this will be right up your alley. Angst? New Adult drama? This has it in spades. Emotional musicians and a mystery in the swamp? You betcha!

4 of 5 stars

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Could be a Crowd by CJ Munoz

could be a crowdBlurb

Nicolas has worked with Pierce almost his whole life, and they’ve come far together, currently Co-CEOs of one of the largest companies in the United States. As they keep on heading toward bigger and better dreams, only one fear casts a shadow over Nicolas: Pierce falling in love.

Nicolas tells himself it’s for the company, for their shared goals and dreams. He can’t let Pierce get sidetracked, so he does his best to make sure it never happens—including keeping all the cute interns well away. Then Lynn shows up, attractive, eager, practically perfect.

But it’s not Pierce that Nicolas should be worrying about this time.

Review

Nicholas and Pierce have been friends and work partners for years. Nicholas has yearned for Pierce forever, but Pierce is forever falling for the latest new thing at the office. This time Nicholas vows to thwart the threat by occupying the new intern Lynn’s time for himself.

As it turns out, Lynn is interested in Nicholas too. At first it seems like this is where things are headed but Nicholas still pines for Pierce. Since Lynn is 18 and, really, anything goes, they all agree to try something out as a threesome.

**

This story seemed so cute at times, then would lose its focus. It wanted to be funny and snarky and at times was. (Nicholas is a grumpy brat and he has some funny dialog moments.) I never quite understood the jump from the two men to three and it really never coalesced into a relationship for me. The guys act so juvenile most of the time that it’s really awkward. Nicholas is embarrassed and calls them “perverts” for wanting a threesome. Lynn is shocked and appalled at being thought “gay” by his male partners when he is adamantly “bi” and then throw in the whole “we want to make life easy for you Lynn so work for us and don’t go to school” thing just didn’t fit the rest of the story.

So… though I liked the premise, and found some fun with the MCs and the three-way sex, overall I didn’t really “get” this and found the HFN pretty unsatisfying.

I haven’t read this author before and I will definitely give CJ Munoz another try, but this book just wasn’t for me.

2.5 of 5 stars

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(Goes for sale on November 11)

Copy generously provided by NetGalley for an honest review

Less than Three Press

http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=106_132&products_id=935

Curling Up with his Critter (A Loving Nip book 7) by Charlie Richards

critterBlurb

Just a little love bite: The bigger they are the harder they fall.

Lucius is finally feeling confident with his place in his pack. His new alpha and inner circle are fair and kind, and everything his abusive ex-leaders were not. Learning about the world beyond pack lands, Lucius takes online courses to earn his GED, planning to focus further studies in botany. Everything changes when his pack takes in a dozen Angus shifters rescued from a herd in Texas. One of the rescuers who accompanies the shifters is a vampire that makes Lucius’s blood sing. Gypsum Vereen. While Lucius can’t deny his attraction to the male, he’d given up sex when the new alpha took over. His old inner circle had made the act nothing but degrading and painful, and he never wants to experience that again. When Gypsum speaks of making love, can he dredge up enough faith to take a chance and learn the difference?

Reader Advisory: This novel contains references to past rape.

Review

This is book 7 in Charlie Richards Loving Nip Series. Most of Charlie’s worlds are linked in some way and in this one we see Vampires and Shifters co-mingling. In book 6 we met a herd of Angus shifters who were being bullied by their alpha into mating. They were secluded from the world and only recently have been released from torture. Gypsum is a vampire and part of the coven that rescued these guys. He’s taking a group of them seeking asylum to Kai and Dorian’s pack of dingo shifters who are being healed from their abusive alpha.

Lucius is one of the dingo shifters that was abused, sexually. He has no desire to mate or even have sex as his past experiences were so horrible.

When Gypsum realizes Lucius is his mate and what he’s been through he vows to be patient and do all he can to convince Lucius that mating is wonderful.

Meanwhile the crazy Angus Alpha escapes and heads to Dorian’s pack to take back his members forcibly and Gypsum must defend them.

**

Like most of Charlie’s books this is a short love story that moves them quickly from strangers to mates. Gypsum is a gentle giant and patiently helps Lucius recover his sexuality.

I love seeing the past MCs and the feeling of connectedness we get as each story moves the timeline forward not just for the current MCs but for the entire group of “friends” that we’ve made by reading her stories.

These guys feel like friends of the family and I love checking in with them and meeting new members.

I can see Lucius’ brothers in upcoming books – they seem like a sassy and fun pair!

The Loving Nip series is sweet and fun and I highly recommend it to fans of the author and the genre.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Extasy books

http://www.extasybooks.com/Curling-Up-With-His-Critter/

A Guy’s Thanksgiving by Skylar M. Cates

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7011

GuysThanksgiving[A]LGBlurb

A Work in The Guy Series

Two proposals. One giant dog. Reunited lovers.

Welcome to Glamour, Arizona, where the holidays are never dull. Glamour may be a small town, but the surprises keep coming.

Everybody’s looking forward to Thanksgiving. Only Mac Sharma is a reluctant guest. Even as Anthony and Dean make him feel welcome at the Carrino table, Mac feels awkward among the close-knit group of friends. Life gets even more complicated when Conor Harvey shows up in town.

Mac has been in love with Conor since his university days. Too bad Conor broke his heart—right before he fled to his hometown in Ireland without explanation. Conor’s still a wild artist and as sexy as Mac remembers. But they’re no longer kids. This Thanksgiving, Mac must decide if he can give Conor a second chance.

Review

If you are a fan of “The Guy Series”, you will absolutely love this!

All of the couples are in this sweet holiday “epilogue” and we get a boyfriend for Jesse’s agent, Mac!

Aaron and Jesse go to Arizona for an art show (with Mac, the agent) and end up engaged!

Dean and Anthony plan a huge Thanksgiving meal with all their friends and newly expanded family only to find Anthony down with the flu. Now Dean “I can burn water” has to cook the meal!

Henry and Locke decide to expand their family with a new, small dog. Or… life gives them what they “need” in the form of a Great Dane whose been abused.

Finally, Mac reminisces about his first and lost love, Conor, another artist. Conor, it turns out, has always regretted his actions where Mac is concerned and decides to try to re-connect by showing up at the art show he knows Mac will be attending with Jesse.

This was just enough “new” mixed with the “old”.  It was great seeing the other couples and touching base with their lives.  Jesse and Aaron’s proposal was so amazingly sweet!  Seeing Mac settled was just an added bonus, and imagining Conor’s sexy accent was a treat in itself.

I really loved this series, you can see my reviews for those books (and audiobooks!) here:

The Guy from Glamour http://kimichanexperience.com/guy-glamour-audiobook-skylar-m-cates-narrated-matt-baca/

The Only Guy http://kimichanexperience.com/guy-audiobook-skylar-m-cates-narrated-matt-baca/

The Last Guy Breathing http://kimichanexperience.com/last-guy-breathing-novel-audiobook-skylar-m-cates-narrated-matt-baca/

I highly recommend this to fans of the series and give it 4.25 of 5 stars!

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Review

Down and Dirty Audiobook (Cole McGinnis #5) by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

down

Blurb

From the moment former LAPD detective Bobby Dawson spots Ichiro Tokugawa, he knows the man is trouble. And not just because the much younger Japanese inker is hot, complicated, and pushes every one of Bobby’s buttons. No, Ichi is trouble because he’s Cole McGinnis’s younger brother and off-limits in every possible way. And Bobby knows that even before Cole threatens to kill him for looking Ichi’s way. But despite his gut telling him Ichi is bad news, Bobby can’t stop looking… or wanting.

Ichi was never one to play by the rules. Growing up in Japan as his father’s heir, he’d been bound by every rule imaginable until he had enough and walked away from everything to become his own man. Los Angeles was supposed to be a brief pitstop before he moved on, but after connecting with his American half-brothers, it looks like a good city to call home for a while—if it weren’t for Bobby Dawson.

Bobby is definitely a love-them-and-leave-them type, a philosophy Ichi whole-heartedly agrees with. Family was as much of a relationship as Ichi was looking for, but something about the gruff and handsome Bobby Dawson that makes Ichi want more.

Much, much more.

Review

My full review of the story can be found here:

http://kimichanexperience.com/dirty-audiobook-cole-mcginnis-5-rhys-ford-narrated-greg-tremblay/

(Abridged)

I absolutely loved digging deep into Bobby’s psyche. He’s a unique character, with years of experience that Jae and Cole don’t have. His history (being a closeted gay cop) must mirror what so many men of his generation experienced and it serves as a reminder for how far we (as a culture) have come along (hopefully) in our acceptance of “other” in our society. There was even a story thrown in as told by an older man who had similar experiences with his mixed marriage, that is, he was subjected to questions and cruelty as well.

Without reading this book, you may be worried that Bobby couldn’t possibly be seen as someone to trust in a long-term relationship. What Ford did was show us, by slowly peeling back the layers, just why Bobby is EXACTLY the type of guy you should trust in a long-term relationship. It was very elegantly done and felt completely organic.

Ichi’s history surprised me a bit too. There are things we find out that explain some of his personality; information about his mother (Cole’s too) and father and step-mother… fascinating. He’s an old soul and perfectly matched for Bobby.

The ending was absolutely THE BEST. First, the way Jamie finds out Bobby is gay and then, the last scene at the tattoo shop… (le sigh) grab some tissues, it’s just wonderful. It feels so complete, but is just open enough that it hints at more excitement that we could see in upcoming book(s). I hope that both Bobby and Ichi (and maybe even Jamie?) will continue to play big roles in any future book(s).

Well done Rhys Ford, well done!

Audio

Listening to Greg Tremblay narrate is like inviting the characters from Rhys’ books to dinner. They are there with you in the room, telling their story. He clearly does research on each character and in turn becomes them for the duration of the recording.

Knowing that he is carrying on a conversation between Bobby and Ichi then switching to Jae, Scarlet and Bobby without the aid of digitally stopping and starting to get into “character” blows my mind. It’s flawless. He is somehow able to become each of these very unique people in a breath and thus the listener gets the amazing experience of having all four men (or women as the case may be) tell us their own story.
I was thinking that as a writer Greg must be a tremendous asset. To literally have your character able to talk back to you! What that must feel like?! (Mind blown…)

Again, he’s done tremendously wonderful work here and I think one part that stands out for me is the part with Jamie, Bobby’s son. The emotions are so thick first between Ichi and Bobby then we switch gears from passion to anger and pain with Bobby and Jamie. Just amazing. Or when Bobby and Cole have their big confrontation – God it’s so emotional and tear jerking!

I absolutely loved this audiobook and highly recommend it along with the entire series.

6 of 5 stars!

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Copy Provided by Publisher

Dreamspinner presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6180

Interview with Greg Tremblay

Greg Tremblay

 

 

 

Karrie Jax Fan Art

Interview

I was fortunate enough to meet Greg Tremblay at this year’s GRL in San Diego.  He’s an amazingly sweet and talented man.  While I was talking with him he gave me a glimpse of just how skilled he is as a voice actor by slipping easily in and out of a variety of voices.  It’s eery – like talking to Jae and Ichi having them in the same room.  Their voices are so unique and their speech patterns such that you’d think it would take him a bit to “get in character” but he just slips in and out like changing coats!  I was floored!  Anyhow, he was also talking a little about his process and his relationship with Rhys Ford and her “Dirty” series – The Cole McGinnis Mystery Series.  I asked if he’d be willing to answer a few questions for me and from that discussion I give you this nearly 45 minute phone interview we shared. (Please ignore the obvious nerves and fan-girling you might catch on my side of the conversation – Greg was amazing!)

I want to express my most sincere gratitude to Greg for his time and talent and also give a nod to Rhys Ford for her body of work and her amazing talent and for Dreamspinner for their blending of their respective geniuses.  Thank you!

I can’t wait for the last Cole McGinnis book and it’s audio companion!

Click here to listen.

 

 

DirtyKissAudLG

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6180

DirtySecretAUDLg

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5173

DirtyLaundryAUDLg

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5232

DirtyDeedsAUDLg

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5419

Down&DirtyAUDLG

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6180