Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Adam Bomb by Kilby Blades

Dreamspinner

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48510695-adam-bomb?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=XxiUmxE9FF&rank=1

Blurb

Levi’s best friend, Adam, has always been larger than life: a smoking-hot billionaire hotelier with imposing charm. When Manhattan stops being big enough for both of them—at least if Levi ever wants to fall out of love with Adam—Levi accepts a job in in San Francisco.

But when Adam pulls an Adam—upending Levi’s calm new life with a plea to lend his photography talent to a worthy cause—Levi is helpless to resist. Adam will be the first Fortune 100 CEO to come out of the closet in grand fashion. He needs a trusted ally on his PR team. And the job will only last three weeks.

Levi accepts on one hidden condition: he’ll keep his new friends away from Adam, certain that if they get a whiff, they’ll fall under Adam’s spell. Bent on keeping his two lives separate, Levi barely makes it through the first two weeks unscathed. Then, Adam drops another bomb….

Review

I just couldn’t get into this. Adam didn’t seem real and his relationship with Levi got tedious really fast.

I was just never invested in them as a couple and by the end I didn’t necessarily believe in their HEA.

I’m hoping it was just the situation/couple and I’d be willing to give the author another chance as this is the first I’ve read by them.

2.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Guppy Prince (The Silver Isles #1) by C.W. Gray

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48762373-the-guppy-prince?from_search=true&qid=clE8TpRERa&rank=1

Blurb

Dover Rees is a guppy tailed merman and the youngest child of the King of the Southern Silver Isles. Despite the lofty title, he fits in better with the other guppy tailed working class than with his royal siblings. Dover spends his days secluded in his creek, successfully avoiding the King’s court and all the judgmental nobles there. Then, the most wonderous and horrible thing happens. He hears the mating call and knows his alpha is waiting for him.
Ben Elliot is just a human trying to get by in a small tourist beach town. He has his art and a few good friends, and that should be enough, right? Wrong. Coming home to a quiet house and an empty bed starts to wear on him, but none of the omegas he knows appeal to him. Until a storm knocks him off his fishing boat and he’s rescued by a mysterious, blue-haired omega.

Together, Dover and Ben forge a bond strong enough to stand against the storm of corrupt lords, court politics, and a cursed king.
Author’s Note: Around 47,000 words. This is a paranormal, merman, mpreg insta-love story with no angst and no cheating, just a HEA. There are a few potty mouths, so beware. 18+ readers only, please. It is book one in The Silver Isles series.

Review

This was just too much.  Too sappy.  Too long.  Too much side story.  Too many characters.  Too many cheesy jokes.  Just too much.

 

I loved the idea but it quickly grew tiring.

 

Not recommended.

 

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Bachelor Thief (A Paranormal’s Love #28) by Charlie Richards

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48837439-the-bachelor-thief?from_search=true&qid=ksMHh1alKD&rank=1

Blurb

Into the Paranormal World: When a confirmed bachelor stumbles into the paranormal world, he must reconcile how his connection with a gargoyle will affect his life.

Attain Walsh knew something was odd at Nicholas Lindson’s ranch. Ever since his best friend married Sandra, things have turned…strange. Wanting to get to the bottom of things, Attain begins to show up unexpectedly. He’s shocked to stumble across Nicholas making out with someone other than his wife. The idea that his buddy was a cheat had never crossed his mind. Unable to help himself, Attain confronts Nicholas…and learns that the marriage is a sham. Both Nicholas and Sandra have separate partners. Not only that, but his friend’s partner—Bodb—isn’t human. He’s a gargoyle. When Attain meets more of them, he’s shocked to find himself attracted to one of the huge beasts—a dark-blue gargoyle named Ssimeas. Then he learns about mates—someone the gargoyle considers the other half of their soul—and Ssimeas claims that Attain is his. But Attain is a confirmed bachelor. He has no desire to be anyone’s soul mate. Can Attain convince the gargoyle to leave him alone? Or will the male’s flattering pursuit sway him into turning his life upside down?

Review

This is a new Charlie Richard’s based on her paranormal gargoyle series. It is pretty much as you would expect. The main character who falls for the gargoyle identifies as straight and has a very conservative family. There is not a lot of plot nor relationship building. It is pretty much exactly what the other gargoyle stories are. However if you enjoyed those, you’ll enjoy this. I should note however that the female in the story is awful and unnecessarily so I don’t think she behaved in any way like a normal person. And it absolutely detracted from my enjoyment. I would round it from 2 1/2 to 3 stars but only just barely I did feel that this was egregious. Three stars.



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: For a Unicorn’s Happiness (Legendary Shifters #2) by Catherine Lievens

Extasy Books

https://www.extasybooks.com/catherine-lievens/978-1-4874-2625-5-for-a-unicorns-happiness/

Blurb

Toby has known little more than loneliness since he was taken from his home and his family was killed. He’s a prisoner, forced to heal the members of the gang that bought him from the men who kidnapped him.

Until he’s not.

Camden didn’t expect to find out that Sam’s brother, the brother who was sold to a gang, is his mate. He’s not sure where to go from here. Toby is understandably wary and cautious, and most of the time, he won’t let Camden close enough to talk to him. Camden doesn’t have a problem giving him the time and space he needs, but they might not have much of it.

When the envoy from another pack arrives and demands Camden give up one of the unicorn shifters, Camden refuses, even though he knows the Rosewood pack doesn’t stand a chance. The pack is small, and its members aren’t warriors. He’s not about to give Toby or Sam up, but he has no idea how his people are going to deal with this—or if they’ll make it out alive.

Review

I did not read the first book but I don’t think you need to. This was pretty standard fated mate stuff but the romance was definitely weak. There is a lot of back and forth between the two MCs and not much to grab on to and trust that they would have anything in common or even really like one another.

I found it refreshing that Camden isn’t as “alpha” as you’d expect, but Sam is definitely hard to like.

All in all I was not really invested in this and I doubt I’ll look into more from the series. I was a little intrigued by the upcoming possible stories of the phoenixes but… I’m just not sure they’re enough to compel me to read on.

2.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Recent Release: Across the Pond (Arizona Raptors #2) by R.J. Scott , V.L. Locey

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48637692-across-the-pond?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

The greatest journey isn’t from England to the States, it’s the one that two men take on the way to find each other.

Sebastian Brown is on a mission to rescue the Arizona Raptors and a vow he made to a friend in college. Either that or he’s on vacation. He’s not entirely sure that he’s made up his mind yet. Either way, traveling from England, to the arid desert of Arizona isn’t exactly a picnic, particularly with the doubts and worries he takes with him. He’s turned even the worst of companies around, but faced with the challenge of improving the reputation of a hockey team that everyone seems to hate, he knows his work is cut out for him.

Focus is key, but that is easier said than done when Seb is sent into a tailspin by the intriguing Alejandro. Seb’s entire marketing plan hinges on making Alex a poster boy for equality and fair play. But with Alex’s utter dedication to the game, and his dark secretive eyes, the gorgeous Alex is stubborn, opinionated, doesn’t want any part of being the team focus, and worst of all, doesn’t appear to like Seb at all. It takes everything that Seb has to keep his hands off of Alex, but things get out of hand and Seb’s life might never be the same again.

Alejandro Garcia has had to work hard to get where he’s at. Born to Mexican immigrants, his siblings and himself have never had it easy in this new country their parents dreamed of calling home. A native son of Arizona, Alex has always been the odd man out on the ice but he’s not going to let a stupid thing like his heritage get in the way of his dreams. He’s now a Raptor and he plans to put all that training and collegiate hockey experience to good use. Working hard comes naturally to him. It’s something his parents have instilled in him from the time he was a toddler. Being one of a handful of Latino hockey players makes him strive for success with even more determination. His first pro season has had some ups but a lot more downs, but Alex is one stubborn young man and failure is not an option.

As the Raptors struggle to rebuild not only their team but their core values, Alex finds himself drawn to one of the owner’s friends, a tall, lanky Brit with the face of an angel and an accent and attitude that bewitches and befuddles him. Sebastian is everything he thought he would never be attracted to but he can’t push the sexy, older, fun-loving man out of his thoughts. If ever there were a man he would not be able to take home to his parents – not that he can bring a man home since he is deeply closeted – it’s Sebastian, but desire knows no socioeconomic, age, or international borders. The heart wants what the heart wants and Alejandro’s wants Sebastian.

Review

(Contains mild spoilers)

 

 

 

 

I am soooo disappointed in this. I’ve been (mostly) loving this series and the original and I was really anticipating Alex’s story, but this did not deliver.

First, Sebastian is so bland and not fleshed-out, as to be almost non-existant. There is next to no real romance building between him and Alex and what there is goes by waaaayyy to fast to feel good.

Second, Alex is so all over the map, he gave me whiplash.  On one hand I know some of that is his character, but on the other hand he goes from being so deep in the closet to out and proud at his sisters party!  It just didn’t feel right.  I didn’t get the sense that the two really spent quality time together to build a relationship worthy of his spectacular coming out.

 

I think there are just too many plot points so none got well developed.  One that really deserved attention was the age gap and it was really skimmed over – at best.  Then they have to deal with either a long distance relationship or moving permanently?    We also had Alex’s virginity and his religion to contend with. Nope.  We just didn’t get enough of that for me to buy this romance as settled or even well thought out.

 

I’ll give the story a 2.5 stars for the characters and the continuation of other story lines, but their romance in particular did not shine as I’d hoped.

 

2.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: From Brussels, With Love by Amy Calirel

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/from-brussels-with-love-by-emy-calirel-10834-b

Blurb

Dispirited after a recent breakup, Irish project manager Trevor is guilted into a trip to Brussels with his best friend. A chance meeting with cute and funny tour guide Jerome turns into a weekend of sex and friendship. Forgetting his phone at Jerome’s apartment shifts their fling into a long-distance relationship held together by postcards, texts, and stolen weekends. But distance isn’t the only thing keeping them apart—Trevor is a workaholic who values his success, while artistic Jerome is carefree but insecure.

Starting a life together means facing major challenges, but the loving words they’ve shared build a bridge across the sea—one that might let them meet in the middle.

Review

This was an okay read, but I think both the characters and the plot could have been a little better developed. I didn’t feel the magic between the MC’s and their romance fell a bit flat for me. A couple of weekends don’t a relationship make. Their annoyances and differences are glossed over, allowed to fester and throw a wrench into things at far too late a stage in the story. Some of the writing also felt too over the top, with overly dramatic, cliché plots and reactions from the MC’s and even sometimes from the secondary characters.

I’m from Belgium so I was curious to see how the author would incorporate Brussels/Belgium into the story, but unfortunately I didn’t get much of a Belgian feel from either the setting or the Belgian characters, apart from a little name-dropping of touristy places and a little bit of French thrown in. The setting didn’t feel authentic to me.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 2.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: From a Jack to a King By: Scotty Cade Narrated by: Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/from-a-jack-to-a-king-by-scotty-cade-9718-b

Blurb

New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity – at least on the surface. In public, he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and introverted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice – gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.
Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play.

Review

This was a fail for me. I didn’t enjoy the MCs – I wanted to like Bay as a geek/loner and King as the confident opposite but it felt forced and not at all realistic. Which is fine – but not what I was after. I thought the self help stuff was interesting and unique from a “romance novel” standpoint but I didn’t connect with King and as a result I didn’t find his story compelling.

I think others have enjoyed this but I couldn’t get behind the characters so I wasn’t attached to their relationship.

I found the narration to be only ok, nothing to make me want to keep listening when the story wasn’t enough.

I think a lot of this is personal preference versus poor writing or bad narrating. None of this jumped out at me and had it not been on my review list I’d have stopped reading/listening.

2.5 of 5 stars overall


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Case of the Voracious Vintner (The Middlemark Mysteries #2) by Tara Lain

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-case-of-the-voracious-vintner-by-tara-lain-10132-b

Blurb
Where Bo Marchand comes from, gay men are just confirmed bachelors who never found the right girl. But now Bo’s a successful winemaker on the central coast of California, supporting his whole damned Georgia family, and all he really wants is the beautiful, slightly mysterious Jeremy Aames.

Jeremy’s vineyard is under threat from Ernest Ottersen, the voracious winemaker who seems to know all Jeremy’s blending secrets and manages to grab all his customers. Bo tries to help Jeremy and even provides a phony alibi for Jeremy when Ottersen turns up dead in Jeremy’s tasting room. But it’s clear Jeremy isn’t who he claims, and Bo must decide if it’s worth tossing over his established life for a man who doesn’t seem to trust anyone. When Jeremy gets kidnapped, some of the conservative winemakers turn out to be kinky sex fiends, and the list of murderers keeps dwindling down to Jeremy. Bo has to choose between hopping on his white horse or climbing back in his peach-pie-lined closet.

Review
The first book in the series was very nice and I was looking forward to reading this one, but I have to say I had a hard time reading it. A big part of the book, around 25-60% dragged out too much for me, I kept losing interest and deviating to other books because I was just bored. I think the most annoying thing was that I could tell what was behind the mystery, and the clues were very obvious. The characters, including Llewellyn and Blaise from book #1 were frustratingly clueless and it was too hard for me not want the plot to just get on with it. The last 35% or so are much more interesting, but most of the book could not hold me in suspense.

The couple is funny, their romance, while a bit cliché, was amusing and I liked how well wine making was incorporated into the book. Yet I can only give it 2.5 stars because it was so hard to finish and could not keep my interest for long.

Number of stars out of 5
2.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: His Consort by Mary Calmes Narrated by Scott Smith

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/his-consort-by-mary-calmes-9995-b

Blurb
A new life in New Orleans is all Jason Thorpe had hoped: his quaint little store attracts a devoted staff and his warm, loving heart grants him a loyal circle of friends. He’s perfectly content, having left behind the chill of a confusing and danger-filled night in Washington, until he discovers something unbelievable lurking in the steamy darkness of the shadowy streets of the Vieux Carré, something that turns out to be terrifying… and utterly mesmerizing.

The prince of the vampyrs, Varic Maedoc, is visiting New Orleans when he finds out the man who once helped his counselor is there in the Quarter. He thinks to simply meet and thank Jason—until he lays eyes on him. Varic’s devoted himself to protect the honor of his race, and he’s never wanted a mate before… but he immediately knows he must have this man, and no one else will do.

Varic may want to bring Jason safely into his world, but someone who doesn’t like the human’s soothing influence on vampyrs has deadly plans that would disrupt Varic’s dreams. Now, unable to tell friend from foe, Jason finds himself wondering how to hold on to the prince’s heart when he’s fighting for his life.

Review by Karen (book reviewed here previously)

I don’t think anyone can bring the soulmate/fated mate vibe to a story as well as Mary Calmes can. There’s no doubting the all-encompassing, blissful feelings that well up between Jason and Varic. I loved that they are so drawn to each other from the first, but even more that it’s not just about chemistry or power, but true love and appreciation of the other person that makes them so strong together.

I’m impressed by the amount of detail that went into the world-building and the setting of this story, bringing into it such history and a great cast of secondary characters. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them in a follow-up story! We get to know Jason really well from the first, whereas our prince remains far more enigmatic. It takes a while for him to make an appearance “on page”. The author sure understands how to build up anticipation!

Jason is an incredibly endearing hero, strong and capable, but with a soft heart underneath. Varic, he who has it all and has had it for what seems like an eternity, needs to swiftly adjust to what it means to have a modern-day man for a mate, and how vulnerable that makes him feel. It’s not as easy as he might have expected, but his devotion to Jason never wavers.

The story is excellently paced with various vampyr political intrigues to muddy the waters for our heroes. Danger lurks in unexpected places and it’s hard to know who to trust. I didn’t see the threat coming at all! It was brilliant! Though less so for our MC’s, of course…

This was such an enjoyable read, I was totally swept away by it. It was all so intense! Loved it!

Number of stars out of 5: 5

Audiobook Review by Morgan

Well- let’s just say that I wasn’t as enthralled by the story as Karen was. I’ve been a big fan of Mary’s in the past and have really enjoyed her paranormal stories as well as some of her contemporary romances. Lately I’ve been re-visiting them and I think that while I still quite enjoy them – I maybe don’t love them like I used to.

This story kind of exemplifies the good and the bad in a Calmes story. She’s amazing at world building and not afraid to use terms and words that are unique. These can totally make the reader feel like they’re reading about something real or historical or otherworldly because it’s so complex and thorough and well-documented. However, the odd names sometimes feel bulky and as a reader I sometimes faltered over them. As a listener it was certainly made more easy but it still brought me out of the story and that isn’t a good thing.

Another Calmes trait is her clueless “aww shucks, who me?” MC that everyone adores and yet never knows his own worth. On one hand I really love that guy, on the other the repetitive nature of this guy has grown a bit tired. His counterpart – the more aggressive/kinetic/powerful MC is also a familiar face and in this case I never warmed to Varic at all. He wasn’t nearly as much of the story as Jason and I never got to see the two fall in love or really to understand why they did (unless it was a vague paranormal mate/consort thing that they couldn’t control – it was confusing.)

The secondary characters in Calme’s stories are always fun and well developed and they were here as well. I was just not that enthralled by them as I had been in some of her other books – probably because they were expected.

Just as I felt with her Change of Heart series – I think the world building was too much and the violence was OTT and the relationship rushed and non-romantic.

I’m afraid I’d give this a 2 of 3 stars and I can’t really recommend it.

As for the Audio –

Well – Scott Smith is one of those guys – I can’t say I like him but I tolerate him and he’s easy enough to listen to. He definitely tries with the accents and he tries to say all those new words well – but he’s still not great at pacing or emphasis or non-dialog passages.

I’d give him a 3 of 5 stars.

Overall 2.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Chance at the Impossible (The Men of Canter’s Handyman #2) by J.M. Dabney

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43329992-chance-at-the-impossible

Blurb
Brent Canter lived forty-seven years content with his life to have it all disappear with one life-threatening diagnosis. Cancer without hope of survival, yet he’d beat the odds. He had a successful business and a family he loved, yet he was missing something. That something was an adorable, younger man, and he didn’t know what to do.

Miller Andrews loves the silver fox, Brent Canter. The older man is everything he’d wanted in a partner. Brent was smart, caring, affectionate, and sexy. He is damn near perfect. When he needed a favor, Brent was the only person he thought to ask.

Can one pretend kiss turn into the love of a lifetime for a man who thinks he only screws up and the other who questions if he can have a second chance at love with a younger man?

Review

This is a daddy kink book and I just wasn’t into it.

There was a lot of potential – sweet older guy who is befriended by his son’s friend while recovering from cancer – but it doesn’t always feel good and sometimes feels a little too much like a real father and son – to me.

I didn’t like how delicate Miller was and the chemistry just didn’t feel right.

Normally I’m a big fan but this was a miss for me.

2.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review