Categories
adult - 18+

Shortbread and Shadows Author: Amy Lane

 Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/shortbread-and-shadows-by-amy-lane-11686-b

Blurb
Hedge Witches Lonely Hearts Club: Book One

When a coven of hedge witches casts a spell for their hearts’ desires, the world turns upside down.

Bartholomew Baker is afraid to hope for his heart’s true desire—the gregarious woodworker who sells his wares next to Bartholomew at the local craft fairs—so he writes the spell for his baking business to thrive and allow him to quit his office job. He’d rather pour his energy into emotionally gratifying pastry! But the magic won’t allow him to lie, even to himself, and the spellcasting has unexpected consequences.

For two years Lachlan has been flirting with Bartholomew, but the shy baker with the beautiful gray eyes runs away whenever their conversation turns personal. He’s about to give up hope… and then Bartholomew rushes into a convention in the midst of a spellcasting disaster of epic proportions.

Suddenly everybody wants a taste of Bartholomew’s baked goods—and Bartholomew himself. Lachlan gladly jumps on for the ride, enduring rioting crowds and supernatural birds for a chance with Bartholomew. Can Bartholomew overcome the shyness that has kept him from giving his heart to Lachlan?

Review
I don’t always know what I’m going to get with a book written by Amy
Lane but I know I am going to enjoy it. With this book Amy has given us love and magic, what a potent combination. I fell in love with timid, shy, naive Bartholomew who turns out to be a hero in this story. Lachlan is determined that Bartholomew will pay attention to him and realise how much he is attracted to Bartholomew. Here’s where love and magic get sticky because you can’t fool magic. Magic knows Bartholomew’s true hearts desire is Lachlan. Now the fun begins in the book. Such a wonderful comedy of errors occurs as
Bartholomew, his coven and Lachlan try to appease magic and put things right. True love blossoms in amongst the mayhem and Bartholomew realises he can rely on Lachlan to back him up and support him.
Whilst Bartholomew and Lachlan’s story comes to a wonderful happy for now ending there was a tiny cliffhanger. I do hope the next story is out soon this coven grabbed my heart with their spell and I don’t want to break free from them just yet.
Number of stars out 5 of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Soul to Keep Author: Garrett Leigh Narrator: Dan Calley

audiobookreview

Publisher and link to book (i.e. Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36291180-soul-to-keep

 

Blurb
Stand-alone second book in the LAMBDA nominated Rented Heart series.

Recovering addict Jamie Yorke has returned to England from California. With no home or family to speak of, he sticks a pin in a map and finds a small town in the Derbyshire Peak District. Matlock Bath is a quiet place – he just needs to get there, keep his head down, and stay clean. Simple, right? Until a chance meeting on the flight home alters the course of his so-called life forever.

Ex-Army medic Marc Ramsey is recovering from life-changing combat injuries while pulling nights as a trauma specialist at the local hospital. Keeping busy is a habit he can’t quit, but when Jamie – so wild and beautiful – bursts into his life, working himself into the ground isn’t as compelling as it used to be.

Marc falls hard, but chaos lurks behind Jamie’s fragile facade. He’s winning his battle against addiction, but another old foe is slowly consuming him. Both men have weathered many storms, but the path to the peace they deserve might prove the roughest ride yet.

Review
This book worked as a stand-alone for me. I have never read of listened to Rented Heart and whilst characters do cross over a little I did not feel like I was missing something. This story is all about Jamie and Marc. I absolutely loved their meeting, it was like fate was giving them a push knowing they would be just what each other needed. As Jamie fights to control his addiction his OCD comes more to the front as a way to take control of his life. Such a powerful battle he is going through. Marc is there for him, really they are there for each other. There’s a lot in this story without it feeling overwhelming. I love the realism in Garrett Leigh’s writing. There’s aren’t any cinderfella moments. Everyone has to work hard to get what they want or to be with, without a too heavy load of angst.
Dan Cally’s narration adds a perfect amount of grit with his gravelly voice. He is able to convey Marc’s tired determination of an NHS Doctor and the frenetic worry that drives Jamie. Perfect for me.

Number of stars 4 out of 5 for story
Number of stars 5 out of 5 for narration


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Freckles by Amy Lane Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Freckles-Audiobook/B077V65PXJ?qid=1582657937&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=WEVBYJSQKXDYAT7YAH3H&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.

Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.

But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!

He can be the owner of a small dog.

Review

On the “super, sugary, sweet and lite” side of the Amy spectrum we have Freckles! It’s about a man whose entire life begins on the day a punk kid gives him a puppy of his own and he meets an aspiring Veterinarian named Sandy.

This is just plain feel-good, sweet, no angst, lots of laughs fun. There’s a bit of smexy times, but really, even that is “lite”. Sandy knows what he wants and just goes for it and so does Carter.

Amy tells us this is based on real people she knows from her own pet-owning experience and it shows. Though there are a couple of “inaccuracies” here and there, it’s a wonderful look at new puppy ownership and finding one’s own place in the world.

Personally I was cringing every time Carter left little Freckles alone – I kept picturing tragedy and mayhem upon return (since no crate!) but our Amy let little Freckles live on in relative peace.

This is a sweet vaguely Thanksgiving story that fans of the author or people just looking for something fun to read will absolutely adore.
Highly Recommended.

Audio

Nick J Russo is such a joy to listen to! He absolutely added to my enjoyment of this story and helped to bring it (back) to life for me as I enjoyed it again!

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Promises (Bounty Hunters Part 1) by AE Via narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=ae+via&ref=

Blurb
Duke Morgan owns and operates one of the largest bail bond companies in Atlanta. Not only does he bond criminals out of jail, he and his notorious group of bounty hunters will also track them down and ensure they show up for court.

Roman ‘Quick’ Webb is Duke’s business partner and best friend. Both men are in their forties and have given up on the happily ever after with the ranch-style home, and white picket fence. They’d both tried it and failed miserably. But they have their friendship and they have the business.

When Quick’s son, Vaughan Webb returns – after seven years – from studying abroad with his law degree in hand, he’s back to claim what he’s always wanted…his fathers’ best friend… Duke Morgan. Vaughan has always claimed to be a classic gentleman with an old soul. He didn’t party and screw up in school like his buddies. He was focused and dedicated to becoming the man worthy of Duke’s love.

It’s a complex and messy situation as Duke and Quick figure out how to still be best friends when one of them is sleeping with his friend’s one and only son. But when Duke is hurt on the job, all the unimportant trivialities fall to the wayside and Vaughan and Quick put their heads together to save Duke.

Part I of the Promises story is about Duke and Vaughan and DOES NOT end on a cliffhanger. Part II is about Quick and Dr. Chauncey and their realization that it’s not too late for any of them to find love.

Review

We met Duke in Judge’s book (Don’t Judge, Nothing Special Book 4). Duke is the bounty hunter who had a no-strings arrangement with Judge until Judge met his forever guy in Austin. Duke, who plays it like it’s no big deal, is actually pretty crushed by this relationship ending.

Vaughan is Duke’s work partner and best friend’s son. He’s almost 20 years younger than Duke and has had a crush on Duke since he can remember. Now that Judge is out of the picture, Vaughan is graduated from law school, he figures it’s his time to move in and make Duke his own.

At first Duke fights the attraction but when he’s reminded that life is short he’s willing to give it a try. They’ve almost begun dating when something so terrible happens it looks like the two will never be together… until Vaughan saves the day.

**

I just love AE Via characters. They continually surprise me. She’s totally willing to put an Alpha and Alpha together, make the older guy the less dominant, a criminal and a cop… you name it. She makes it work.

There is surprisingly little sex in this book but lots of sexual tension and when they do finally come together… HOT!

What I really appreciated about this was how honest everyone was from the start. With one exception, there was no BIG MISUNDERSTANDING or hemming and hawing about. Life got in the way and that was a real hurdle. I also liked that the boys took their time and wanted to do things right. No falling into bed right off the bat. They took the time to build the romance. It was really sweet.

I look forward to more from this series and am drooling over the sweet doc and cranky Quick getting their turn!

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Aiden Snow is awesome – again! Thoroughly enjoyable!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard (Paranormal Princes #1) by Charlie Cochet Narrated by Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Prince-and-His-Bedeviled-Bodyguard-Audiobook/B08352Y573?qid=1577645527&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=DXZYJMDHQTFR6AN612FT&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

Prince Owin

Being a fierce predator—not at all adorable, despite my graceful stature—the last thing I needed was a bodyguard. Especially a wolf shifter, whose presence alone was an insult to my princely principles. As Prince of the Ocelot Shifters, I prided myself on my infallible feline instincts, uncompromisable dignity, and flawless fashion sense. If having a canine follow me around at all times wasn’t bad enough, I now faced the most important moment of my entire life. The time had come to prove I was worthy of my crown. If only I could find a way to get rid of the pesky bodyguard.

Grimmwolf

When the King of All Shifters asked me to guard Prince Owin, I admit I had no idea what to expect. Cat shifters tend to be a little intense, not to mention kinda cranky. Owin was no exception, though he seemed crankier than most. Being his bodyguard was proving to be one of the greatest challenges of my life—but not nearly as great as convincing him there was something special between us. When Owin is faced with a perilous quest to prove his worth, I was determined to keep him safe, even if the same couldn’t be said of my heart.

Review

OMG I loved this so much! This reminded me so much of Charlie’s Soldati Prince (which I adored!)
It had that same humor, otherworldly flavor, adorkable characters, mild adventure and loads of magic!

The smexy times were hot and the romance developed at a lovely, sweet, pace.

Highly recommended!

Audio

Greg is a great choice for this and thoroughly enjoyable!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Ricochet by Reese Knightley narrated by Tristan James

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Ricochet-Audiobook/1977364659?qid=1577645604&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=T3KP9YNSWZYSX0XT018C&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

WITSEC victim Noah Bradford knows secrets that could get him killed, and staying hidden seems like a good plan. What he didn’t plan on is losing his heart to a man who is sworn to protect him.
Battle scarred US Marshal Robert “Mac” Mackenzie has a job to do, and guaranteeing the safety of Noah Bradford is at the top of that list. Mac will do whatever it takes to keep Noah safe, even if it means walking away.
Mac and Noah, brought together during extreme circumstances, have been separated by evil. It’s been six years, give or take, and Noah is coming for vengeance against the men who killed his mother. He’s on a collision course with Mac, who has no idea of the man Noah has become. Sparks fly and the heat sizzles when these two powerful men are reunited, but will they survive the passion the past created?
Contains mature themes.
Review

I had missed this series when it came out in e-books. Wow! I LOVED this. It had danger and intrigue and an amazing sweet and HOT love story.

It’s about over coming childhood trauma and falling in love – even though you shouldn’t – and finding long lost loves again.

It’s heavy on the crime story/mystery – so be prepared. But – the love story is still the main focus IMHO.

Tristan James is amazing – as usual – and was a joy to listen to.

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Nothing special 5 by AE Via narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Nothing-Special-V-Audiobook/1515944255?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=Z5DDAPSHSPWA0FAQEAEA&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_1515944255

Blurb

Atlanta’s notorious narcotics task force is at it again. They are stronger, bigger, and better than ever. Especially when a city councilman sends RECON Marine Edwin Steele – who’s been blacklisted from his Oakland department – to join the team.
Steele was ready to hang up his shield. He was done fighting with bigoted bastards that couldn’t respect the job. He was good at fighting; he just needed the right team to fight with. When his uncle – City Councilman Rasmus Steele – shows him a video of God’s team in action, he knows right away it’s where his nephew belongs in order to restore his faith.
Steele was skeptical about his new placement, but when he meets God’s technology specialist/computer genius, “Tech”, he’s willing to give it his all, and he definitely shows and proves.
Tech is stunning. His sweater vest and khakis, a stark contrast to the blue-jeaned roughnecks he works with. A beautiful sheep amongst the wolves. Steel thinks there’s no way the brilliant man would be interested in a hardhead like him, but Tech has a few badass hidden talents of his own and manages to surprise him…surprise all of them.
Contains mature themes.

Review

This is book five in the series and I don’t think it’d be great as a stand-alone. It technically could be, but OH MAN you’d have missed so much!

In fact, it’s best if you’ve read all the previous four including You Can See Me because there’s a part that involve Pres, Rick and Blair too! (OMG there’s a part with Blair and Furi…. Just OMG – and no – no cheating or anything like that but it’s HOT!)

What I love so much about this series is the juxtaposition between brains and brawn. All the guys, even Ruxs and Green are smart, sensitive but very manly men.

Tech is a great addition to the coupled up crowd. He’s so lonely at the beginning and it was wonderful to see him fall for Steele, pretty much right away and vice versa.

There’s a bit of strife in this but only a little with Steele and Tech, some for God and Day and some for Pres and his partners.

Almost as much about Tech and Steele, this is a book about God and Day so that’s why I say this is definitely best read in order. If you’re a fan of the series you’ll ADORE what’s in store for God and Day!

There’s also great stuff with all the guys! (The scene with Ruxs and Green in the morning – that’s some the stuff I love the most from the author!) AE Via always provides the feels with the smexy times and exciting action sequences as well.

I love how super hero ish they are and how they clean up modern day metropolis (Atlanta) but have to deal with paperwork after. At least nobody is fighting them anymore on the inside.

I think this is the best edited book I’ve seen from her as I found no noticeable typos etcetera. I also think it’s one of the better books in terms of writing, too.

I highly recommend this to fans of the series, and to any fans of alpha males, police romances and good, ol’ fashioned hot men gettin’ it on!

(I cannot wait for Free and Hart’s story – I’m sure it’s gonna be Hart, right? – it sounds amazing already!)

Audio

I love Aiden Snow’s narrations.  He has such a delicious voice and he does a tremendous job with all the various characters.  Highly recommended!

 



Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Digging Deeper (Interlocking Fragments #2) by Michele Notaro and Sammi Cee

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48846687-digging-deeper

Blurb

Hendrix~

One minute, I’m on patrol with my partner. The next, I’m waking up after being in a coma for weeks and my whole world has changed. On the bright side, my twin brother tells me he’s moving home after being gone for almost ten years, and I couldn’t be happier. Plus, I woke up. That’s definitely a positive. On the other hand, they don’t know if I’ll ever walk again, my brother’s dating my best friend, and I’m starting to obsess about my brother’s best friend … yeah, like that’s not a disaster waiting to happen. How’s my brother going to feel if I admit I’m bisexual after all these years? After watching him struggle alone?
And am I really thinking about Gavin, the man I’ve resented for keeping my brother away all these years? But I can’t take my eyes off of him, especially when his brown eyes seem so sad and haunted.

Gavin~

Following my best friend to Baltimore was an easy decision since he’s the only family I have, and finding a physical therapist job was a bonus. But now I’m afraid of being a burden to him and his new boyfriend, so I’ve been keeping to myself. The loneliness is seeping back in, and the person that’s been helping is the last one I’d expect. Hendrix has always hated me, but the more I help him recover, the more of him shines through, and I begin seeing him in a different light. He’s always been my best friend’s grumpy, twin brother, but now he’s the straight guy I can’t stop thinking about, the one I can’t stop checking out, and the one I can’t have. Not that I even want anyone after everything—my baggage is too heavy for even me to deal with, let alone someone else… but that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about him.

With Hendrix harboring family secrets, and Gavin’s painful past still bleeding like an open wound, can these two men find a way to help each other dig deeper? Or will they hide from their truths and forsake the potential staring them right in the face?

Digging Deeper is the second book in the Interlocking Fragments series, but is a standalone novel. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but the couples will show up throughout the whole series. This is a contemporary romance intended for 18+.

Review

I mostly agree that this is a standalone, however, you’d miss out on a LOT of back story if you only read this – and – since book one was so good – I’d recommend reading them both – in order!

This is a recovery story – for both our MCs. Mostly Hendrix, but Gavin has his healing to do as well.

I loved the way these two played off one another and their chemistry is scorching!

If you enjoyed book 1 you’ll love this and if you’re a fan of tough love and inspiring HEAs this is the story for you.

Highly recommended!

5 stars



Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Angels Sing (Daddy Dearest #2) by Eli Easton

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48979969-angels-sing?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=exeFJVJDDE&rank=2

Blurb

Jamie Bailey has not had such a wonderful life. He gave up his dreams of Harvard at 18 to raise his sister’s unwanted baby, and later a prized job to help a sick friend. Now the father of six-year-old Mia, and assistant manager at Raven Books, Jamie’s dreams are dashed once again when Uncle Billy admits what dire straights the bookshop is in.

Stanton Potter, son of the most notorious businesswoman in Bedford Falls, loves his job teaching at the local elementary school. But he’s less than thrilled when he is forced to put together a Christmas pageant with first-graders, including Mia Bailey.

When Stanton meets Jamie, angels sing. Jamie’s gender-bending fashion sense, and sweet aura, have Stanton suffering through the worse crush he’s had since he was a teen. But can there be any hope for them when Jamie and Mia’s lives are about to be uprooted?

This Christmas, its Jamie’s turn to receive a little help from heaven.

Review

This was AMAZING!  Eli did it again!  I adored this!  It was sweet with such a lovely Christmas-miracle twist that I was in tears!

 

I loved Stanton.  LOVED him.  He was adorable and he was equally matched with Jamie.  The two of them together are like cotton candy ice cream!  Just sweet as can be!  Mia is fun and keeps the story from getting maudlin and I loved Stanton’s mother and her input as well as her relationship to Mia.

 

This is fun, sweet, sexy, and adorable.

 

Highly, highly recommended!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Book: Reindeer Games (Ace’s Wild #6) by N.R. Walker

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48572398-reindeer-games?from_search=true&qid=JmiKhEZws7&rank=1

Blurb

Reindeer Games Definition: activities to exclude outsiders

Industrial-art student Leif Caldwell and his best friend win tickets to the hottest party in town, the annual masquerade Christmas gala at the upmarket nightclub, Evoque. Not a gig they could ever afford to attend or buy costumes for, so Leif makes their masks. Given the holiday theme and the play on words, he makes a set of striking reindeer antlers and intends to have the night of his life.

Vintage Ridge’s resident millionaire and owner of Evoque, Russ Quarrington, hates the holiday season because it reminds him of everything he’s lost. All the money and success in the world can’t fill the void in his heart, and this year he’s particularly bereft. With the gala looming, his personal assistant insists Russ attends and that he wear a mask that offers anonymity, and hopefully find some festive cheer. Bored with the guys in town and tired of men only wanting him for his money, he reluctantly agrees.

But when Russ sees a mysterious man with a magnificent reindeer antlers and mask, he’s instantly intrigued. Even when their masks are removed, Leif has no idea who Russ really is, and what Russ discovers is a man who understands him. And for the first time ever, a man who doesn’t want what Russ has. This time, it’s Russ who wants what Leif has, what money can’t buy.

Russ and Leif are about to learn that sometimes Reindeer Games are the only games worth playing.

Reindeer Games is a 42,000 word novella.

Review

Reindeer games is a very cute story. It’s a novella, taking place over the holiday season but not necessarily a Christmas story. I loved the art and the imagery discussed in the story.  The family stuff was sweet.  And the smexy times were hot!   It definitely built enough around the emotions to be very satisfying emotionally – as are all Walker’s stories. I really loved that both parties had some growing to do – one surrounding their art the other surrounding family and acceptance. I love that families come in all sorts sizes and make up. Highly recommended. Five stars.  —My only small complaint was that with all the art – the cover is pretty uninspired 🙁 

5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review