Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Love has no direction by Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-has-no-direction-by-kim-fielding-11492-b

Blurb

A Love Can’t Novel
Yet another series of poor decisions lands Parker Levin back in his mother’s house, working at her coffee shop, and feeling like a failure. Then he learns his ex-boyfriend has died by suicide and things go from bad to worse. When he meets a handsome stranger, he doesn’t have much left to lose.
Ten years ago Wesley Anker made a grave mistake. Since then he’s lived in near isolation, supporting himself by making custom furniture and only rarely connecting with other people. When he attempts to make amends, he encounters Parker, a beautiful and colorful young man, and he agrees to Parker’s impulsive request to join him.
Together, Parker and Wes find quick friendship and fierce attraction. But Wes’s past demons haunt his footsteps, and Parker’s struggle to plan a future has him stumbling through life. Then they uncover evidence that suggests Parker’s ex’s death might not have been a straightforward suicide, and every path seems to lead to dead ends and destruction. Can Parker and Wes find their way to lasting love when the route is hidden?

Review

I loved book one in this series. In general, I love Kim’s characters and her ability to tug at our heart strings – especially since she uses “regular joes” instead of billionaires, or rock stars, etc.

I didn’t love this. I was frustrated by the fast way the two hooked up and was really frustrated by the ending.

I wanted there to be MORE – something more profound and something more concrete. Instead I felt like this was a very watered down story which more or less ambled along until it stumbled to the end.

I’m sure some of my bias is that I didn’t really like the ambiguity we’re left with surrounding the future – but even with that aside – the romance just fell a bit flat for me and I was never quite convinced of it’s longevity.

In any case, Kim is a great writer and the story itself is well written – I just wasn’t so sure of the overall impact it left behind.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Christmas According to Liam (According to Liam #2) by V.L. Locey

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49210166-christmas-according-to-liam

Blurb

First Christmas as Mr. & Mr.

What a magical and romantic time for newlyweds. Unfortunately, Bryn and Mike won’t be spending Christmas Eve cuddled up alone in front of a fire roasting chestnuts. They’ve been unexpectedly called upon to play Santa for Mike’s precocious nephew, Liam, when his mother and her boyfriend are called out of state to attend a funeral. It should be easy to make this holiday a special one despite the unforeseen upset, right? All it will take is love, laughter, a little romance, lots of hugs, and a heaping helping of patience when Old Kris Kringle leaves the easy assembly for someone else.

Review

While this was cute, it didn’t have the “amazing” factor for me that the original did.

It’s worth a read if you enjoyed book 1.

3 of 5 stars



Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Captain’s Flirty Fireworks By Eleanor Harkstead & Catherine Curzon

Pride Publisher

https://www.pride-publishing.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=70762

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48269895-the-captain-s-flirty-fireworks?from_search=true

Blurb

When a hunky fireman and a gorgeous gold medalist meet on Guy Fawkes Night, sparks are sure to fly!

For fireman Rob Monteagle, this Guy Fawkes Night seems like it’s going to be anything but fun. After all, who wants to spend the noisiest night of the year saving careless cats from trees or rattling a fundraising bucket at Longley Magna’s annual bonfire, the pride of the village’s bad-tempered old retainer?

For Ollie Tresham, the night isn’t looking any better. He might have won gold in the Olympic showjumping ring yet he’s still expected to meet the public at his dad’s charity fireworks extravaganza. But when a rogue rocket heads straight for the showjumper, it takes a quick-thinking fireman like Rob to save the day.

As the flames of the bonfire smolder, Rob and Ollie’s night is just getting started. And it’s sure to go with a bang!

Publisher’s Note: This book is related to the Captivating Captains series.

Review
I have read a few other books in the Captivating Captains series and have enjoyed them all…. this one…not so much. This story is written well. I loved how descriptive the authors are. My biggest issue with this novella, is nothing really happens. The two main characters meet up, have a drink and make plans to meet up again later that night. They end up running into each other later and one MC thinks the other is mad at him and ends up skipping the date. He’s pouting at home when the other shows up, they “make up”, spout off a lot of bad fireman puns then its two years later and they are married. I don’t mind instalove stories or novella’s, but I want a little more story line. I just could not get into this story.

3 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Wake Up Married Serial, Episodes 1-3 By: Leta Blake, Alice Griffiths Narrated by: John Solo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Wake-Up-Married-Serial-Episodes-1-3-Audiobook/B07S66BB4J?qid=1561171689&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=M0H3ARN2V3TZQKACZQYQ&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

Join the fun in this soapy serial by best-selling author Leta Blake and newcomer Alice Griffiths!

Episode 1: Will & Patrick Wake Up Married

After a drunken night of hot sex in Vegas, strangers Will Patterson and Dr. Patrick McCloud wake up married. A quickie divorce is the most obvious way out – unless you’re the heir of a staunchly Catholic mafia boss with a draconian position on the sanctity of marriage. Throw their simmering attraction into the mix and all bets are off!

Episode 2: Will & Patrick Meet the Family

Meeting the family is challenging for every new couple. But for Will and Patrick, the awkward family moments only grow more hilarious – and painful – when they must hide the truth of their predicament from the people they care about most. Throw in the sexual tension flaring between them and you’ve got a recipe for madcap laughs and surprisingly heartwarming feels.

Episode 3: Will & Patrick Do the Holidays

A couple’s first holiday season is always a special time. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are magical when you’re in love. Too bad Will and Patrick’s marriage is a sham and they’re only faking their affection for each other. Or are they? Sparks fly in this episode of the Wake Up Married serial. Will the sexual tension between Will and Patrick finally explode in a needy night of passion? Or will they continue to deny their feelings?

Review

This was one of those audios that, while I thoroughly enjoyed John Solo’s narration, I had some issues with the story. I had a real hard time getting drawn into the story. I actually had to stop and go back quite a few times. My big issue was with the characters. Patrick was obnoxious and Will, with his constant pining for his jerk of an ex was really frustrating. I might pick up the remaining books in this series just to see how it wraps up but I found this one lacking.

3 stars for story and 5 for narration


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Spark in the Stars by Foster Bridget Cassidy

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/spark-in-the-stars-by-foster-bridget-cassidy-10559-b

Blurb:
A case of mistaken identity could lead to love for an aloof starship captain and a brilliant if underappreciated mechanic from the sticks—if they can survive the dangerous mission assigned to them.

Ginnovi Oshwald just needs someone to give him a chance. He can keep anything running, despite the “spark” his body produces that sometimes wreaks havoc with electronics. Gin gets his chance when Captain Lian Hartford comes to Tallahassee in search of a mechanic. The trouble is, he’s looking for Gin’s sister. But since he only has a name to go by, Gin tells a little white lie. What could go wrong?
Lian loves his ship and his work as a diplomat but has difficulty connecting with others—only partly because of his mixed human and alien heritage. Something about the eccentric mechanic intrigues him, though, and their easy friendship could become more… if they live long enough to broker peace between humanity and a hostile race while pacifying a crew that thinks Gin belongs in prison.

Review:
It’s an interesting read at the start especially when Gin is mistaken for his sister and the dialogue switches between his and his sister’s name – I liked that, once I got used to it ☺
However, the story got to be a little confusing to me; how did Temina know what ship her brother was on? Then there were the secondary characters, they had been introduced but I had a hard time keeping track of many of them – Doc was also called Mother, but I wasn’t sure if she was really Lian’s mum and Pip turned out to be a deity.
Gin and Lian were likeable characters, but I didn’t feel that they any chemistry together.
It’s a good story, just not for me.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Opposites (Opposites #1) by T.M. Smith Narrated by Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Opposites-Audiobook/B01M15QLY7?qid=1561171075&sr=1-3&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=26488232C6PWS7KAVJ7V&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_3

Blurb
In the year 2081 our planet survived global warming of an apocalyptic scale. When the dust settled and the water receded Dr. Anthony Smith, one of only a few hundred survivors of GWI, started society anew. Having come to the conclusion that injudicious breeding played a huge role in the destruction of Earth as we knew it in the twenty first century, he worked closely with other survivors to isolate the Dionysus gene. This gene has the ability to manipulate human DNA to ensure that all male children be born gay, and all female children be born lesbians. A new society is born.

In the year 2300 Dr. Smith’s descendants are ushering in the twenty fourth century having maintained control of the government that still rules society. Twins Aiya and Aiyan are preparing to meet their matches and take control of House Gaeland, the current ruling House. But not everything is as it seems.

Love is Love.. it knows no gender and doesn’t conform to restrictions and boundaries. Aiyan has found his soul mate in Kaden, the prince of House Devi that he is matched with and eventually marries. But when the person Aiya falls in love with tests the boundaries put in place after GWI, all hell breaks loose. And in the midst of one secret unraveling, another will emerge. There is a growing anomaly that threatens to destroy over two hundred years of progression. This anomaly is known as Opposites.

Review
Story:
Based on the cover and the blurb I had expected the story to focus on one couple, Aiyan and Kaden, with maybe a strong secondary character in Aiya. It goes far broader in scope though, and features seven main characters, all but one of whom fall in love with someone from among these seven. The book becomes even more crowded when taking into account all the parents that are never far from our young heroes and heroines.
Everyone gets about equal attention from the author, with slightly more time in the spotlight for Aiyan and Kaden, but because there are so many characters to follow up on, I feel as if we don’t get to truly know any of them. All the characters’ interactions, though well-written, remain almost superficial, making it very difficult to get into the story or care about what happens to them next. There’s too little time for self-reflection or internal dialogue and what dialogue there is among the group or pairings isn’t necessarily very revealing or meaningful.
When things get physical, we stay with the couple in question for a longer time, which struck me as somewhat unbalanced in the grander scheme of things. I’d have preferred it if the writer had taken more time to actually build these relationships on an emotional level too.
A lot of attention to detail has gone into the world-building and the story is certainly set in a highly unique universe, giving the reader a thought-provoking perspective. Still, there are some things that struck me as a bit strange. A futuristic society, with great biological advances, falls back into an almost medieval way of living but keeps quite modern sounding idioms that don’t fit the atmosphere of this alternate universe. The main characters are nearly all of royal rank or at least quite high up in society, but servants seem to be scarce, leaving all the menial work for princes and princesses to do themselves.
I don’t care much for Aiya who seems very passive and a stereotypical damsel in distress. Outside of a physical attraction there doesn’t seem to be much to bind her to her chosen significant other. Once Aiyan learns more about who his sister loves he reacts like an absolute boor. For twins with a supposedly strong connection, they don’t communicate well at all and don’t trust the other with their secrets. Aiyan, and some of the others, are shown to be bloodthirsty and vengeful, leaning towards gratuitous violence rather than attempting to keep up any sort of justice system. The book ends on a cliffhanger of sorts.
I really couldn’t get into this story, I tried, but it’s not for me.
Narration:
Greg Boudreaux did a great job narrating this story. It can’t have been easy with the multitude of main and secondary characters, several of whom had distinctive accents.
Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Give Him Hell (Hellhound Champions #3) by Casey Drake, and Macy Blake

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45420218-give-him-hell?from_search=true

Blurb

Nick Smith is a man with a mission: find the place where he’d been held captive as a child and discover what happened to the kids he left behind. His memories are in flux, returned to him after being blocked for the past fourteen years, along with his ability to shift into his lion form. Nick is ready for answers. Instead, he finds a huge Viking of a man with flaming eyes and more power than Nick knew existed.

As a hellhound, Jedrek is often sent on missions that lead to nothing. It’s part of the gig. He’s a champion of the fire goddess, tasked with keeping the secret of the supernatural world safe. When he gets called to a house of horrors he’d not visited in years, the last thing Jedrek expects to find is an out of control alpha lion who brings to life feelings he’s never felt before.

The mysteries of Nick’s past collide with a powerful, evil force causing havoc in the supernatural world. Nick is convinced he can determine who is behind the current rash of dark magic–especially if he has the strength of a hellhound at his side. And if that hellhound is one he can’t keep his mind or hands off? Well, that suits the lion instincts roaring back to life just fine.

Review

This was a bit more disjointed for me in comparison with books 1 and 2.  I really felt the gap this time around since I’d not read the original series for which this is a spinoff where the first 2 books I didn’t.

 

I didn’t feel like our MCs got as much attention to their relationship as I would have liked and so I wasn’t as invested.

 

I still really like the world building and the magic and the HEAs but this just didn’t grab me as much as the others.

 

3 of 5 stars


Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Eye of the Dragon by BA Tortuga

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/eye-of-the-dragon-by-ba-tortuga-10438-b

Blurb:
The Wildcatters: Book Two
Graduate student Cameron is on the trail of an ancient Chinese artifact, a ruby with a history. When he meets adventurer Poe in Mexico, he spills the beans on his quest, and Poe sees dollar signs as well as the hottest professor he’s ever met.

They head off to the salt flats and mountains of Utah, searching for a lost wagon train from the eighteen hundreds. What they find is danger beyond normal comprehension and a stone that drives men to insanity.

Soon Poe’s only concern is saving Cam, but to do that, he’ll need help from some old friends and a few new ones. When it becomes too late to turn away from their quest, Poe and Cam put themselves and their friends in deadly peril. It will take every bit of their talents and courage to make it through and survive the Dragon’s Eye.

Review: This was an OK story. The blurb drew me in, but the execution wasn’t quite there (IMO). There was quite a bit of sex (never thought I’d complain about that!), almost to the point that the plot hardly took off. When Poe and Cam weren’t horizontal, the adventure story – searching for the Eye of the Dragon – was fun. There was a bit of magic with the things the Eye could do.
I liked Poe – a rogue with a good heart and sweet Cam, who was able to hold his own with Poe and Poe’s friends. I love BA Tortuga’s books, but this one was not one of my favourites.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Stalking My Mate (Assassins Inc. #5) by Stormy Glenn

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45454417-stalking-my-mate?from_search=true

Blurb

Stalker

I was stalking my mate and I had good reason. He was bonded to someone else, but that didn’t absolve me of my duty to him, or my obsession. Making sure he was happy and safe, even if it wasn’t with me, was just something I had to do. When I discovered he wasn’t, all bets were off.

Jojo

I’d given up the dream of a mate in exchange for the life of my son. It was an exchange I willingly gave to have Tommy with me. When our lives were threatened, escaping with Tommy was my only option. I just wasn’t sure where we were going to escape to or who could help us, but someone had to. I’d already lost my mate. I couldn’t lose my son.

Review

This is a fun series.  Each story is pretty quick with some hot smexy times a little action and usually a fair dose of humor.

 

In this case the comic relief comes from Bob – he’s a great character! – rather than the two MCs. 

 

I wish there was more shifting in these stories – it feels more like a reason to have fated mates more than anything else – but overall it’s still enjoyable.

 

3 of 5 stars


Purchased for review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession #1) by Mary Calmes

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44349918-no-quick-fix

Blurb

A retired SEAL is about to face his toughest assignment yet. As a nanny…

Fixer. Bodyguard. Advocate. Brann Calder is expected to play all these roles and more as a member of Torus Intercession, a security firm guaranteed to right what’s wrong. In the military, catastrophe was his specialty. Five months out of the service, Brann is still finding his way, so a new assignment might be just what he needs. Unless it includes two things sure to make a seasoned, battle-trained veteran nervous: life in a small town, and playing caretaker to two little girls.

Emery Dodd is drowning in the responsibility of single fatherhood. He’s picked up the pieces after losing his wife and is ready to move on now, hopeful that his engagement to a local patriarch’s daughter will not only enrich his community but will grant his daughters some stability too.

The only thing standing in Emery’s way is that he can’t he seem to keep his eyes—and hands—off the former soldier he’s hired to watch his girls until the wedding.

Emery’s future is riding on his upcoming nuptials, but being with Brann makes him and his family feel whole again. Too bad there’s no way for them to be together.

Or is there?

Review

Ho Hum. That’s what my overwhelming feeling from this was, unfortunately. 

First, the MCs don’t get together til almost the 75% point and I was frustrated and bored. Emery is engaged to a WOMAN for most of the book, and though they don’t cheat – it’s not awesome either.  

Like in other books of hers, the two MCs are fairly recognizable in Calmes stories and they don’t diverge much here. For example, Mary loves to give us these “unsuspecting” heroes and then show us their heroism – in this case Brann.  Emery is the super nice guy everyone in town loves but who doesn’t suspect it himself and is surprised by the adoration.

I don’t want to sound too harsh, but I’ve been a Mary fan for a long time and lately she just hasn’t wowed me with her work. Her characters feel like repeats and their trajectory to love is the same path with slightly changed scenery.

There are some reviewers out there who point out some Mary-isms – I’m not cool enough to keep track of that stuff – but when I do see those reviews I think – Oh Yeah – that’s SO TRUE! The very specific designer clothes, the pea coats, the waggling brows, the fact that the women all love the MCs to the point of being ridiculous… it’s all in here.

The cover by Reese is gorgeous and I was absolutely compelled by the blurb, but it just didn’t pan out for me.

For devoted fans of the author or maybe for folks new to Mary – this one will appeal. Otherwise… maybe not.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review