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

Categories
Uncategorized

Recent Release: Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/blue-umbrella-sky-by-rick-r-reed-10315-b

Blurb

Milt Grabaur has left his life, home, and teaching career in Ohio to start anew. The Summer Winds trailer park in Palm Springs, butted up against the San Jacinto mountain range, seems the perfect place to forget the pain of nursing his beloved husband through Alzheimer’s and seeing him off on his final passage.

Billy Blue is a sexy California surfer type who once dreamed of being a singer but now works at Trader Joe’s and lives in his own trailer at Summer Winds. He’s focused on recovery from the alcoholism that put his dreams on hold.

When his new neighbor moves in, Billy falls for the gray-eyed man. His sadness and loneliness awaken something Billy’s never felt before—real love.

When a summer storm and flash flood jeopardize Milt’s home, Billy comes to the rescue, hoping the two men might get better acquainted… and maybe begin a new romance.

But Milt’s devotion to his late husband is strong, and he worries that acting on his attraction will be a betrayal.

Can they lay down their baggage and find out how redemptive love can be?

Review

I was very intrigued by the blurb but sadly this book did nothing for me. I really struggled to finish it. The two main characters are Milt, who’s husband passed away from Alzheimer’s and Billy, a young man struggling with sobriety. Milt has pulled away from all human contact until a flood forces him into Billy’s orbit. The two men have the beginnings of a friendship going on. Billy admits to himself early on that he was intrigued and falling in love with the lonely man. Milt in the other hand doesn’t want to move on from his deceased husband due to a promise he made to him on the sick bed. The ending seemed very rushed. I think if a few extra chapters of more build up were added I would have liked it more. I also found the frequent jumps back in time to be confusing since there was no notice that it had happed.

3 stars of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Coming soon! Scott (Owatonna U Hockey #2) by R.J. Scott and VL Locey

March 27

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42108159-scott

Blurb
What happens when you try to fix the past and end up threatening your future?

Scott is struggling. Grieving the loss of his brother, carrying the weight of his father’s expectations, and getting his ass kicked in the rink, he’s in a downward spiral. He needs a solution and fast, but when his steroid use is exposed, he’s close to losing his place at Owatonna and more importantly, on the Eagles Hockey team. Thrown out of his house, with nowhere to go and no future in sight, he only has one choice; agree to mandatory counseling, random drug tests, and get his act together. Only then will he have a chance at normal. Meeting Hayne, a senior connected to the world through his art, is a shock to the system. Moving in with him is his only option, but falling for the shy artist leaves Scott in an impossible situation, and one he can’t escape.

Hayne has always been that quiet, creative kid who sat in the back of class drawing instead of listening to the teacher. A talented artist, the shy and sensitive young man is struggling with the loss of his childhood friend. Seeing his sadness reflected in his usually colorful paintings, he decides to attend grief counseling and meets Scott, a lost soul in desperate need of light and color in his life. Taking in a homeless hockey player certainly was never part of his carefully orchestrated ten-year plan. But now that Scott is in his life, he’s discovering the joy of this man’s loving smile and tender touch is one of the most beautiful palettes on earth.

Review

Ugh.

Sigh.

Sorry.

I loved book one SO MUCH! I love this spin off as a concept. I love the adjustment to YA/NA as far as theme and topics and steam. I love all of it.

Except … this mostly didn’t work for me.

I’m a fan. I’m following the stories including the supplementals and sometimes I was confused about what happened. I think a bit more surrounding the steroid crisis itself would have helped. Then I really wanted to see more of Scott’s recovery rather than hearing about it off page. I also didn’t buy the family turn around – it didn’t feel authentic and though I can totally get behind shiny happy HEAs – it didn’t resonate. These authors aren’t shy about giving us angst and drama – so own it! Let his family continue to be as they are – maybe give us some glimmers of hope? But it felt too cleanly tied up given the amount of fuckery they’d engaged in for the last 4 or so years.

I super loved Hayne’s family and I somehow wanted to know more about them at the beginning. I was having a hell of a time picturing him until the family came to town and gave me a more solid picture.

The evil roommates. I think we needed to either make this more of the story’s central theme or get rid of them. They were a distraction and OTT. (I hope they were OTT – sheesh!) I really wanted Craig to get a lot more smack down then he got as it is. What a Douche Bag!

Finally – I don’t know where these boys are going. I love that Ten et al are able to help them out – but I kinda wanted them to have a more concrete plan of their own.

As it stands we have this sort of mix of “reality” like situation meets total fairy land and it was conflicted and hard to follow at times.

I’m not sure how much of this comes from the 2 authors collaborative efforts or just because the story itself lacked cohesion but I felt it here more than in their other works together.

I’m still a fan and I still can’t wait for Benoit but I was disappointed.

2.75 rounded to 3 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Relase Day Review: Reunited by Andrew Grey

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/reunited-by-andrew-grey-10179-b

Blurb

Back in high school, nobody noticed quiet nerd Kevin Howard.
But everybody noticed handsome, athletic, and ultra-popular jock Clay Northrup.
They had nothing in common and lived in different worlds.
But a lot can change in fifteen years, and when they meet again at their high school reunion, Clay is no longer the big man on campus, and Kevin isn’t hiding in a corner anymore.

Can they put aside who they were? Can one night really lead to forever?

Review

Cute second chance at love story with a high school reunion turning into an unlikely first date. I liked that we get quite a lot of backstory for our MC’s, even in this short a novella. Both MC’s have changed a lot since high school, but we still get that opposites attract vibe which is always fun. Kevin is a great guy, but came off a bit boastful sometimes and not as restrained or centered as he prides himself on being.
There’s certainly potential for these two MC’s, both in the romance and finding family department, but there are practical challenges to be faced if they are to make a success of a real relationship.

I would have liked to have had more of an answer to the final question on the blurb. The ending, though sweet and hopeful, still left quite a bit open.

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Relase: Moonlight Kiss (Vampires of Silver Creek #1) by Kensie King

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43514703-moonlight-kiss?from_search=true

Blurb

We only have one rule: don’t tell humans who we really are. Vampires. But what if the one you’re destined to be with is human?

Jonathan Monroe has been part of his clan of vampires since they settled in Silver Creek. He honors his leaders’ wishes about keeping their secret from humans, though he doesn’t see humans as a threat. They intrigue him. Flesh and blood with real lives, real worries—real heartbeats. But he keeps his distance even though he feels like he’s missing something. When he sees a car slide off the road one night and rescues the man inside, he’s sure he’s found the person he’s meant to be with—even though it goes against everything their kind stands for.

David Reynolds has always taken care of himself. A job, a home, a new start. But coming to Silver Creek left him with a hole he can’t seem to fill. Until he meets Jonathan Monroe. Since Jonathan saved him from near death, he feels a special connection to him he’s never felt with another person in his life. Nothing can deter it—not even Jonathan’s secret. But when he finds out the truth about his savior, his entire existence is put in jeopardy.

Jonathan is willing to do whatever it takes to keep David safe, but it might mean risking everything to stay with the man he’s fallen for.

This steamy M/M romance is set in a contemporary world with vampires. Each book in the series is a standalone story, with a sexy romance and a HEA.

Review

This was good, not great.  I enjoyed the human finding out about vampires thing.  I didn’t enjoy the “keep it a secret or make him a vampire” thing.

The smexy times were good, the drama predictable but not distracting from the romance.  I thought it was funny that the one rule was immediately broken! 

My biggest complaint was that it was not full of typical vampire “fun powers” and biting etcetera and it made it seem like being a vamp is super boring and not fun.  I’ll investigate the second book in the series but I’m not very hopeful.

2.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Vampire’s Determined Mate by Alice Cain

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43783897-vampire-s-determined-mate?from_search=true

Blurb

Dominic has lived more centuries than he cares to count. He’s seen empires rise and fall, watched humanity grow and evolve and explode into war time and time again. He’s seen the best and the worst that the world has to give, but the past century has been the hardest.

Faced with an unknown illness, Dominic is running out of time to reconcile with his sentinels—the werewolves he considers his sons—but getting sidetracked by his deliciously sexy neighbor for a few years won’t hurt. He believes that excuse right up to the moment his empathic link to one of his sentinels goes haywire.

Pierce didn’t mean to fall for the sweet, much younger man across the hall, but he sure isn’t going to say no to their developing relationship when Dominic is the one seducing him.

Yet when the young man disappears, tracking Dominic by his cellphone might just be the weirdest experience of Pierce’s life. Can a human with an adult daughter, a responsible job, and a secret kink for biting really be dating a vampire?

Surely Dominic’s belief in the supernatural is simply a personality quirk…because there’s absolutely no way vampires and werewolves can exist. Right?

Review

Ugh! Remember how glowing I was about book 1? Well – this was very disappointing. First, it’s only a little about Dominic the rest is the folks from book 1 – which is fine but we really get almost none of Dominic’s romance and that’s very disappointing.

Also there is a huge plot hole in how Dominic blurts out his Vampire status.

Plus even now that I am done I don’t know why he was sick – so if it was explained it didn’t stand out.

Also the side story of Mac is now officially convoluted and all the lovely simplicity and thoroughness I was excited about in book one has gone. This book is too short for all the twists and turns and it did not make me very happy.

Also who picked the cover? It’s about a millennia old vampire or a 42 year old human – the colors, the model, the pose – all wrong.

2.75 rounded to 3 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Oil and Water (The Wildcatters Book 1) by B.A. Tortuga

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/oil-and-water-by-ba-tortuga-10084-b

Blurb

Oilman Max inherits a passel of trouble when his boss passes away, leaving him a house in England and a heck of a lot of money. He’s thinking London is the worst place on earth… until he meets Morgan.

Colorful, carefree, and a little crazy, Morgan is just what Max needs, and the two set out on the adventure of a lifetime, chasing pleasure wherever it takes them, learning that together they can make anything fun… and sexy.

Too bad reality has to set in, and Morgan’s multimillionaire father has a lot to say about what reality looks like. Will their different worlds conspire to separate them like oil and water?

Review

This was different from what I’m used to reading. The writing style is very distinct, bringing to mind stream of consciousness a bit. It’s a well-written story, but the pace was a tad too slow and meandering for me.

Our main characters, Max and Morgan, hit it off almost instantly and spend the biggest part of the book happily making out on what seems like one long extended vacation, going to various exotic locations. Money is no object for either man, so no pesky roadblocks from something like reality or work. It was a bit difficult for me to believe in the strength of their connection, because they were so constantly removed from anything real. When it’s all fun and games, how do you go from infatuation to a deeper emotion like love?

They do have one big threat to overcome, Morgan’s dad. Who seems to come straight out of the 19th century with his Bedlam antics and makes Mr. Rochester seem like a benevolent angel for only keeping his mad wife locked up in the attic. This part felt a bit contrived to me, but what was good about it, is that it tested both men’s feelings and their determination to be together.
This is Max’s moment to shine and he takes it.

I found myself losing interest a bit in the middle of the story, but the final chapters caught my attention again and I liked how the author wrapped things up. With a perfect stand-in for the proverbial bow.

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review