Ty Hard (Willow Spring Ranch Book 1) by Laura Harner

ty hardBlurb

Tyler has used Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as a shield against the truth since he was seventeen. Cut loose from his Navy career and mourning his mentor’s death, Ty must come to terms with his desires for another man even while he fights to keep the PTSD from pulling him under.

Rancher Cass Cartwright’s relationships never last more than a few hours, and that’s just the way he likes it. Now he’s done the one thing he swore never to do: fallen in love. Can Cass convince Ty to let go of his past or will sabotage at the ranch kill their love before it has a chance to grow?

Review

Ty has lost a lot in this world, his family, his career, now somebody close by. But he has a place stay and a new job, with a super-hot boss, Cass.

Cass owns a ranch out in the boonies and doesn’t ever imagine he’ll have a partner. He finds his lovin’ in the next town – miles and miles away – to protect his heart and his sanity.

When a sweet matchmaker plops Ty in his lap, he can’t say no. He has to help, protect and love this new ranch cook – even if he has to convince Ty of that plan first.

**

This is a very sweet, sentimental, and sexy short story about two hot guys finding each other and filling the lonely spots in their hearts.

There is a bit of drama thrown in and some PTSD, but mostly it’s about them falling in love.

It’s a wonderful first book to a series and there are loads of interesting men at the ranch whose stories must be told!

I’ve never read this author before, but I’m a fan now!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy purchased for review

Hot Corner Press

http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Willow-Springs-Ranch-Book-ebook/dp/B005GRDWC0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1441771516&sr=1-1&keywords=ty+hard
(Free at Amazon!)

Dirty Kiss (Book 1) Audiobook by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

DirtyKissAudLGBlurb:

Cole Kenjiro McGinnis, ex-cop and PI, is trying to get over the shooting death of his lover when a supposedly routine investigation lands in his lap. Investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman’s son proves to be anything but ordinary, especially when it introduces Cole to the dead man’s handsome cousin, Kim Jae-Min.

Jae-Min’s cousin had a dirty little secret, the kind that Cole has been familiar with all his life and that Jae-Min is still hiding from his family. The investigation leads Cole from tasteful mansions to seedy lover s trysts to Dirty Kiss, the place where the rich and discreet go to indulge in desires their traditional-minded families would rather know nothing about.

It also leads Cole McGinnis into Jae-Min’s arms, and that could be a problem. The death of Jae-Min’s cousin is looking less and less like a suicide, and Jae-Min is looking more and more like a target. Cole has already lost one lover to violence he’s not about to lose Jae-Min too.

Review:

Cole was a police officer who lost his lover and his job to a murder.  (It’s way more complicated than that, but you’ll have to read/listen to the entire series to get the full extent of the story.  You don’t find out here, but you get dribbles and drabbles along the way, piquing your interest.)  He’s now a private investigator, on a job.  He meets Jae-Min at the house of one of the people he’s investigating and is instantly attracted.

Jae is Korean, he can’t be gay.  But he is.  That is a huge deal for him.  He’s attracted to Cole but he knows for the sake of his family he has to push him away.  Cole won’t let that happen.

The mystery in this book is: Jae’s cousin committed suicide – or did he?  There is a lot hidden in Korean society and it’s up to Cole to dig through all the secrets to find the truth.  Of course, in the meantime he gets hurt too, but he seems to have 9 lives – like Jae’s cat!

We get to meet most of the characters we will grow to love throughout the series including Cole’s brother Mike, his assistant Claudia, his BFF Bobby and Jae’s bestie Scarlet.  The mystery gets solved and the beginning of the romance between Jae and Cole begins.

Though the mystery takes up the bulk of the story, to me, the romance is the main thrust of this book and the entire series. Watching Jae-Min and Cole learn to be a couple is the best part of this series. The funny side characters (some of whom get their own stories later on) are an added bonus.

I loved this book and the entire series and also gave it a 5 of 5 stars.

Audio version:
This is a case where the audio version is so amazing as to sometimes surpasses the written word. Greg Tremblay totally gets what Rhys is writing and he “performs” the story, not just reading it.

There are times, and I have said this before, where you feel like you are listening at the door, or listening to a movie soundtrack, instead of a simple narration.

It is supremely excellent.

Each character has a distinct and unique voice, and Greg even has a great singing voice.

I give the audio version a 6 out of 5 stars because it is Rhys’ words performed so excellently by Greg that together, the combination surpasses the book as an experience.

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Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Kiss-Book-1/dp/B00IX3FOKM/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-1

Whiskers of a Chance by Tempeste O’Riley

whiskersBlurb

Jason Grant runs his own IT business from home, owns his own home, and has the best friend he could imagine. What he doesn’t have, or believe he will ever have, is love. When Jason catches a glimpse of his new neighbor on moving day, his libido ignites and his fascination in piqued. He even manages to concoct an excuse to go over and meet the man who makes him hope and want for more than he has in years.

Keith Skyler is a shifter in a world where his kind is known to only a few, but they don’t often mix and they never mate. Keith has been hoping for a mate since before he can remember, but gay lynx don’t have true mates. As far as he knows, they don’t have mates at all. However, while moving his little family across Seattle—and away from their tribe—his reality tips and spins more than he thought possible.

When these two men meet over a dish of five-cheese broccoli-noodle casserole, sparks fly. Who knew a welcome to the neighborhood gift could give both of them their chance at love?

Review

Keith is a lynx shifter who suffers under the thumb of his autocratic father, who is also his alpha. In 3 years he will have a chance to stand on his own and challenge him, but for now he must either follow his rules or work around him.

Keith is positive he has no mate, as far as he knows there are no gay shifters, so he’s almost worried when he scents something “mate-like” on the air as he’s moving into his new house. He’s ecstatic to find that it is his mate and his mate is a man!

Jared is a little bit gun-shy in the love department. He’s been burned in the past and has a low self esteem as a result. When he spies his new neighbor moving in next door, he wants to be friendly and introduce himself. He is overwhelmed when he realizes that not only is this hot guy gay, but he’s totally into him!

There are quite a few things these guys have to work through to make it to their HEA. First there’s Keith’s very conservative (and controlling, evil, manipulative) father. There’s the whole “Introducing a human into the world of paranormals” and there is Jared’s resistance to a relationship based on the “mate bond” and his own low self-esteem.

But… love does conquer all and after some fierce fights, some fantastic alliances and some really hot sex… they do get their HEA.

**

I love shifter romances! The “mine”, that dramatic pull of attraction, the animal-like qualities that get explored, the magic… so much fun and creativity!

This follows a fairly common theme. Meet, mine, how to explain, oh-no not a human, it doesn’t matter, mine, etcetera. I did like the addition of the vampire-friend Sasha. He was fun and loyal and spunky and managed to force these guys into communicating when it looked like they were going to get stuck in the middle of a “Big Misunderstanding”.

The father was super-evil and it was nice that he got beaten down, so that was pretty satisfying. I enjoyed the “uber-skills” Keith ends up having – I love it when authors use the shifter element and actually do something with them as shifters!

I wasn’t super-impressed by anything being new or really unique, but it was a solid, fun, sexy read. I enjoyed it and recommend it to fans of shifter romance.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy provided by Dreamspinner Press

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6828

Solo by Carol Lynne

soloBlurb

Sam “Solo” Braun lives by one truth, the Grave Diggers Motorcycle Club above all. The creed has served him well, giving him the only real family he’s ever known.He would die for his brothers and them for him, but they don’t know he prefers men over women. Coming out to a group of men who fear no one isn’t high on Solo’s priority list, especially because he’s never indulged in more than one night stands.

Everything changes after one night with Eric James. For the first time, Solo can’t stop thinking about a single night he’d spent with a man. When fate intervenes, Solo comes face to face with his blue-eyed obsession only to find out Eric is a cop. Solo hates cops, and so do his brothers in the club. However, Solo decides to gamble everything and spend more time with Eric under the guise of getting information.

Falling in love with a cop is a very dangerous proposition for a man in Solo’s position, so why can’t he walk away?

Review

Solo goes to a bar full of guys in polo shirts knowing he’ll get laid. Sure enough he makes eye contact with a super hot guy with denim blue eyes. He dubs the man “Blue” and they agree to go back to Blue’s house for the night.

The sex is off the charts but Solo doesn’t do relationships – being a motorcycle club means he can’t be gay.

Blue, who is really Eric the cop, never expects to see Solo again, so he’s shocked when he runs into the man while doing some undercover work. They agree to work together to solve a case involving kids and drugs, and while the case is being investigated they agree to a “relationship”.

The men can’t stay apart and feelings get involved. What will it take to keep these guys together when being gay could get Solo killed and neither man can be seen with the other “professionally”.

**

This is a fast read, not very long, but full of steam. Solo is rough around the edges but willing to be vulnerable. Blue is not the preppy guy Solo thinks and together they have more in common than not.

I loved the emotional connection these guys made and how gritty the story felt, it seemed more “realistic” to me.

If you like alpha males, gritty romance, motorcycles and “tough love”… this is for you.

(FWIW I loved the old cover!)

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy purchased for review

Amazon Presents
http://www.amazon.com/Solo-Grave-Diggers-MC-Book-ebook/dp/B014L9PYUQ/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1443632511&sr=8-7&keywords=solo+carol

The Happily Ever After Mating Agency Presents: Kitten and Puppy (Book 4) by Jane Wallace-Knight

happily kitten puppyBlurb

There have always been conflicts between shifters of different species but these were supposed to be better times. Cheetah shifter Henry Dale was just sixteen when his entire coalition was burned alive. Having to stay with the neighboring wolf pack should have been terrifying for him, especially as one of them was responsible for setting the fire, but meeting the alpha’s son, Will Gray, made him feel safer than ever.

When the council came and took Henry away, deciding he would be better off with his own kind, he not only lost his best friend, but also his first love. On the night of his thirtieth birthday he decides on a whim to sign up to a mating agency, hoping that maybe he can find love again. He never thought he would see Will again but fate, it seems, has other plans.

Review

Jane Wallace-Knight has a delightful series where paranormals with unique situations can join a mating service that helps them to find their mates. It’s not “Mate” with a capital M, as in fate, but rather that perfect someone to fill your life.

In this case its two men who knew each other as boys, each seeking the other (subconsciously or consciously). They had made a strong connection as teenagers but were kept apart by leaders who viewed inter-species mating as wrong.

Despite time, distance and a vengeful enemy, these two “opposites” manage to find love.

**

I just love this series! It’s sweet and sentimental with a dash of sexy and sometimes some intrigue.

The author gives us two perfect MCs who have to fight to find one another and then fight for the right to stay together. It’s a light, low angst, fun read that I recommend to all fans of shifter romance.

(Look here for my review of book 3 in the series: http://kimichanexperience.com/the-happily-ever-after-mating-agency-the-dragon-prince-by-jane-wallace-knight/)

4.25 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Siren Publishing Presents

http://www.amazon.com/Happily-After-Mating-Agency-Presents-ebook/dp/B015NIJ2K2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1443246183&sr=1-1

Going Up Audiobook by Amy Lane Narrated by Paul Woodson

going up

Blurb

Every dreary day, Zach Driscoll takes the elevator from the penthouse apartment of his father’s building to his coldly charmed life where being a union lawyer instead of a corporate lawyer is an act of rebellion. Every day, that is, until the day the elevator breaks and Sean Mallory practically runs into his arms. Substitute teacher Sean Mallory is everything Zach is not – poor, happy, and goofily charming. With a disarming smile and a penchant for drama, Sean laughs his way into Zach’s heart one elevator ride at a time.

Review

Zach is thirty-something. He’s a union lawyer living in a high rise owned by his father. He’s gay but only the rent boys he frequents knows that about him. He’s socially awkward and shy and …he’s lonely. Very lonely.

Sean is a substitute teacher also living in a high rise, but he’s got 5 roommates! He’s colorful, quirky, out-going and spontaneous. He sometimes dates, but mostly works – trying to make ends meet.

They meet when the express elevator breaks down and Zach is forced onto the regular elevator that runs for those not in the pent-house. Zach is enthralled by Sean. Sean is color in Zach’s black and white world. Heat to his cold, chaos to his order.

Over a year these two meet for thirty seconds of “dating” on the elevator. It takes a lot of effort. If Zach is too early or late he’ll never catch a glimpse of Sean and he has to ride Sean’s elevator which isn’t his norm. In fact he gets a bit conflicted when he makes friends with Jace and Quent (yay!) who also ride the express elevator so he splits his time between the two elevators.

He managed to catch his friends on the two days (because apparently Jace was made out of clockwork parts and would never be late, rushed, or anything but perfectly attired) and maybe, once or twice a week, Sean managed to make it into the elevator on time.

 

But he doesn’t approach Sean for more. Sean has to invite Zach over for a party for the two to actually start something real.

Zach sees Sean as his knight in shining armor, come to rescue him from his tower of loneliness and bring him to the land of the loving.

Fortunately, Sean is a knight in shining armor and he does and it’s wonderful!

**

This story is quirky, funny, sweet, tender and heart-breaking. My heart broke for the inner dialog in Zach’s head.   He’s so lonely and feels so useless. Sean is his polar opposite and they mesh so beautifully together.

I love Amy’s “light” fare, because she always gives us at least a taste of the angst, but without the horrible separation/death/bad decision making/curse that the heavier stuff includes. The chemistry is pretty hot, but mostly it’s tender and touching. Sean isn’t a perfect model of a man, but he’s absolutely worshipped by Zach. Zach who probably fits that model definition to a “T” but he’s so broken on the inside.

There was no coming up for air, there was only Sean, who tasted like coffee and magic and unicorns and knights in geeky armor and some sort of gravy he’d had for dinner.

 

The secondary characters are superb. Zach’s secretary and her girlfriend are a hoot! We get to see a glimpse of my all time favs Jace and Quent and then there’s all of Sean’s roomies living in a two bedroom with 6 people!

This is vaguely a holiday piece as there are some Christmas scenes but really, it’s wonderful any time of the year.

My only complaint was that I’d have liked more time with them together working on their relationship. I’d have loved to see more of Zach transformation from lonely shy guy to coupley “out” guy, but the ending was terribly sweet anyway.

“Happy. I’m happy. I’ve lived my whole life and not known what this feels like.”

Sean kissed him, and pulled back. “That’s awful,” he said, a little hitch in his voice. “We’re going to have to fix that.”

 

Audio

The audio says it’s by Paul Woodson, but you’ll recognize the voice of Philip Alces who does Amy’s Knitter’s series. I’m not sure what the deal is with the name, but it’s gotta be the same guy. I LOVE what he does here. His emotions are spot on and he absolutely brought Zach and Sean to life for me.

I pretty much adore any of Amy’s books, but this one along with Gambling Men go near the top as some of her easiest reads. Just fun and sweetness and gooey happy endings – huzzah!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4867