Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Enchanter’s Soul by Michele Notaro

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45012757-the-enchanter-s-soul

Blurb

Many fall as the last enchanter rises…
The first line of the ancient prophecy keeps playing over and over in my head, but I’m afraid to remember the rest. I don’t want to think about what’s coming for us—what’s coming for him. I’ve been keeping Brinnswick safe for years; I’ve been keeping my coven safe my whole life; and now I was responsible for keeping Sebastian safe, too. It shouldn’t have been a problem, he was my vitmea viramore, after all, and I was used to having the weight of the world on my shoulders.
What Seb doesn’t know is that everyone in the magical community is after him—even if they don’t realize it yet. They’ve been looking for him for centuries; not only for him, but for his soul. But they never counted on him having me. I will protect him with my every breath and take down anyone that gets in our way. His soul belongs with me, not in the arms of evil.
The Enchanter’s Soul is the second book in The Ellwood Chronicles and is a continuation of Sebastian and Ailin’s story. It contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 years of age and older.

Review

I loved this! So much excitement. So much magic! Such great secondary characters. So many feelz! A teeny tiny bit of smexy times. Loads of magical creatures. A mysterious bad guy/omen situation. Lots to keep you turning pages.

My only complaint is that I wish I had the next book now!

I can see some developing side story lines and I’m super intrigued. The brothers and the friends are fascinating and do a great job of fleshing out the story to be more than just about the 2 mcs.

I loved how slowly this relationship is developing – sexually and emotionally – but still maintaining our mcs in fairly constant contact. So often the two mcs are apart and that is hard to develop a relationship. But these guys are together all the time but still going slow. I loved it!

Highly recommended – but you must read book 1 first. I didn’t read the precursor book and probably won’t and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

5 of 5 stars


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Recent Release: Burden By K.C. Wells

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/burden-by-kc-wells-10399-b

Blurb
A Love, Unexpected Tale

They never knew what hit them.

A hooker with a heart, falling for a Vice cop? This is no Hollywood movie, and if they want a happily ever after, it’s not going to be easy.

Detective Randy Michaels is back with Vice, working to help NYC crack down on its prostitution problem. When he suspects Jesse Bryant of soliciting, Randy is torn between duty and his knowledge of what put Jesse on the streets. Jesse is clearly struggling, and he isn’t the only one. Recent events have forced Randy to question his sexuality, and a shocking encounter with Jesse plunges him into a crisis of conscience.

Jesse didn’t think his life could get any worse. His family cut all support, his education is on hold, and he’s surviving the only way he knows—selling himself on the streets. Of all the people who could have offered him a helping hand, why did it have to be Randy?

Two men carrying their own personal burdens: How long will it take them to realize that what they really need is each other?

Review
Burden is the second book in the Love, Unexpected series. To be fully enjoyed book one Debt should be read first, since events and characters from that story show up frequently in this one.

Randy is a vice cop in New York City who spent over a year working undercover at an illegal brothel. It was there that he met Jesse, who causes him to start questioning his sexuality. Jesse is a young vivacious man who starts working at the brothel to help pay for his education. When the club gets busted Jesse agrees to testify but this causes his parents to withdraw all support. With no other job prospects, Jesse is forced to return to selling his body. Randy and Jesse start to hang out after the trial and feelings start to grow between the two.

Burden was extremely well written. KC does an amazing job at conveying the characters feelings. This story had good flow with very little angst. The romance and chemistry between Randy and Jesse was scorching!! I highly recommend this one!

5 stars


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Recent Release: Midnight Flit (The Carstairs Affairs #2) by Elin Gregory

Good Reads

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43714501-midnight-flit

Blurb: Miles Siward and Briers Allerdale return for another thrilling Jazz Age adventure.
“Silk stockings on expenses.”
Miles’s aristocratic mother has information of importance to the British Government and he must escort her home from Bucharest immediately, but their plans go violently awry and Miles and Lady Siward find themselves on a train to Belgrade – where Miles’s lover is posted. Since their pursuers are looking for a man and a woman, might two women slip past them unnoticed?

“Is anyone on this train who they say they are?”
Briers doesn’t know whether to kiss Miles or punch him but is delighted to accompany him and his mother on their journey. All he has to do is keep an eye open for their enemies – but who exactly are they; the enormous Russian, the sinister priest, the handsome jazz pianist, or maybe the winsome young movie star? And his mother-in-law might just be the most terrifying of all!
All aboard for the ride of a lifetime, with a cast of characters you’ll never forget!

Review:
Briers, Miles and Millie back with a bang! This time they’re in Eastern Europe. It all starts with Lady Siward (Miles mother) getting some sensitive information that endangers her life. Miles is sent from London to accompany her home, ostensibly for a visit to the doctor. As they prepare for their journey home, they’re attacked and end up seeking refuge with Briers.
Briers has been on assignment in Budapest and is relieved to have his lover safe. But the adventure doesn’t stop there – all 3 (4 if you count Millie☺ ) have to make it back to London – alive.
This is such a good story, the historical and social settings well researched, down to the way people spoke and addressed others. I really loved it and as a history buff, I learnt a few more things about that era.
The relationship between Briers and Miles is still strong, although Briers does have a tendency to underestimate Miles (but only because he cares!). And let’s not forget Pritchard, he’s definitely a good egg!
Looking forward to reading about their next adventure.

5 stars out of 5


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Recent Release: Eleventh Hour by Elin Gregory

Good Reads

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30820566-eleventh-hour?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Borrowed from the Secret Intelligence Service cipher department to assist Briers Allerdale – a field agent returning to 1920s London with news of a dangerous anarchist plot – Miles Siward moves into a ‘couples only’ boarding house, posing as Allerdale’s ‘wife’. Miles relishes the opportunity to allow his alter ego, Millie, to spread her wings but if Miles wants the other agent’s respect he can never betray how much he enjoys being Millie nor how attractive he finds Allerdale.

Pursuing a ruthless enemy who wants to throw Europe back into the horrors of the Great War, Briers and Miles are helped and hindered by nosy landladies, water board officials, suave gentlemen representing foreign powers and their own increasing attraction to each other.

Will they catch their quarry? Will they find love? Could they hope for both?
The clock is ticking.

Review: This is a really good book! I enjoyed it immensely. It is a historical (1920’s), romantic thriller – set mostly in London. It has many of my favourite themes – wit, banter, authentic period references and situations, a bit of cloak and dagger spy situations and a straightforward romance.
Briers and Miles work for British Intelligence (pre-MI6). While Briers is more of a field agent, Miles is the desk jockey, a linguistics expert. Miles has an additional talent – he can convincingly impersonate a woman. Unfortunately, this talent has not always earned him the respect of his peers. When both men are paired together to foil an anarchist plot, both men soon find themselves falling for each other.
There are a few bumps along the way – Briers tendency to treat Miles like a delicate flower, for one – but Briers soon learns that Miles/Millie are both made of sterner stuff. There is a lot of subtle humour throughout the story, even during some desperate times.
This is a well written, fun story and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
I loved this book!

5 stars out of 5

 


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Wicked Games (Queen City Rogues #2) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44390881-wicked-games?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Ryder Jameson and Lucien Clarke have a complicated past: Ryder conserves art; Lucien steals it. Their love-hate relationship spans six years and two continents and has endured multiple heists. Hoping to restore his tarnished reputation and heal his jilted heart, Ryder returns home to Cincinnati. When Lucien suddenly reappears in Ryder’s life, the ancient Shang Dynasty artifact isn’t the only prize he wants to claim.

Something more sinister than stolen art is stirring. Ryder and Lucien must join forces to untangle a web of secrets, lies, and treachery bigger than either of them expected. Trust won’t come easy, but they’ll need to rely on each other because pulling the wrong thread could lead to their death.

Is it fate that keeps bringing Ryder and Lucky together, or are they merely pawns in someone’s wicked games? Will they play for keeps this time or become collateral damage?

Wicked Games is a second-chance romance filled with passion, humor, and intrigue. It’s the second book in the Queen City Rogues series but can be read on its own. Wicked Games contains mature sexual content intended for readers 18 and older.

Review

This was a very gripping story, both the romance and the action plot. I did feel there was a bit too much focus on the suspense plot involving Lucien’s mysterious “employer” and the subsequent danger they find themselves in because of it, where I’d have preferred it if instead the author had taken more time to develop Ryder’s and Lucien’s relationship.

They have a lot of history, off page, and to my mind, they got over their trust issues and heartbreak a bit too fast, leaving too much unspoken when they get back together. This is not to say that things aren’t intense between them, and even at times quite moving as well. I loved how Lucien/Lucky called Ryder “Love” all the time, even when they are still at odds.

I really liked the secondary characters and the banter and flavor they brought to the story. Carmen, Dev and Percy stood out the most and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them. I’m curious to see where the next book in this series will take us.

m/m, contemporary, action/crime, second chance at love, opposites attract, misunderstanding

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Review

I loved Wicked Games so much. This is a story full of all sorts of emotions, drama and suspense. At first, I thought there was going to be a lot of back and forth fighting between Ryder and Lucien before they “made up” but that wasn’t really the case here. After reuniting for the first time there is an explosive scene between the two men (super hotttt). I loved all the references to Romancing the Stone and they play off of Carmen Sandiego.

These two men go on their own adventure to achieve their own happy ending. Aimee Nicole Walker is an amazing storyteller!

While this is a part of the Queen City Rogues series there is actually very little interaction with other characters from the series and can easily be read as a standalone but do yourself a favor and the first book Broken Halos for a little more build up to this one!
5 stars


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Recent Release: Unfamiliar Waters By Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/unfamiliar-waters-by-andrew-grey-10081-b

Blurb

With the pressures of the job bearing down on him, police officer Garrett Wreckley needs a vacation—in fact, he isn’t given a choice in the matter. Since the water has always soothed Garrett’s soul, he heads to the Caribbean, hoping some time alone sailing on the open water will help him pull himself together.
But even though he’s taking a break from law enforcement, Garrett can’t get rid of his cop’s instinct so easily.

He meets Nigel, a young man as innocent as he is beautiful, who grew up sheltered from the world, exploring the beaches and tropical forests with only the company of his aunt, his brother, and the wildlife and sea creatures he befriended.

As sweet, passionate love blooms, their time in paradise feels too good to be true… and Garrett’s gut and training tell him that might be the case. As he investigates, he quickly realizes everything is not as it seems. Will his snooping destroy not only their romance, but everything Nigel believes about his life?

Review

Once again Andrew Grey has knocked it out of the park with this one. Garrett is dealing with the grief of losing his long-term partner and this is causing him trouble with his work as a cop. After nearly shooting an unarmed man, Garrett is forced to take a vacation. He heads out to sail around the Caribbean. After setting anchor on a small island he meets Nigel.

Nigel has spent the last decade living on the island with his younger brother Jules, aunt Phyllis and caretaker Fairfield. Garrett is attracted to Nigel’s innocent view of the world. Garrett knows that there is something not quite right with Nigel’s situation and he is determined to protect Nigel and Jules at all costs.

One of the things I love best about all of Andrew’s books is the feelings his characters emote. You can practically feel Garrett’s pain throughout the first part of the story. The descriptions of the tropics made me want to go book a trip immediately. The relationship between Nigel and Garrett was so sweet and tender. I highly recommend this one!

5 stars


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Release Day Review: Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan

release day review

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dirty-laundry-by-heidi-cullinan-10335-b

Blurb
A Tucker Springs Novel
Sometimes you have to get dirty to come clean.
When muscle-bound Denver Rogers effortlessly dispatches the frat boys harassing grad student Adam Ellery at the Tucker Springs laundromat, Adam’s thank-you turns into impromptu sex over the laundry table. The problem comes when they exchange numbers. What if Adam wants to meet again and discovers Denver is a high-school dropout with a learning disability who works as a bouncer at a local gay bar? Or what if Denver calls Adam only to learn while he might be brilliant in the lab, outside of it he has crippling social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder?
Either way, neither of them can shake the memory of their laundromat encounter. Despite their fears of what the other might think, they can only remember how good the other one feels. The more they get together, the kinkier things become. They’re both a little bent, but in just the right ways.
Maybe the secret to staying together isn’t to keep things clean and proper. Maybe it’s best to keep their laundry just a little bit dirty.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Riptide Publishing, January 2013.

Review
Dirty Laundry is the third book in the Tucker Springs series. Each book can be easily read as a standalone. Compared to the first two books in the series this one has been tweaked quite a lot making the flow a lot better then the original release.
The two main characters, Adam and Denver are both very different but complex characters. Adam is a self-proclaimed “Bug Guy” who suffers from anxiety and severe OCD which prohibits him from really having any relationship. Denver seems to be really self-assured in the beginning but then later in the book we find out a lot about him. He doesn’t see Adam’s quirks as strange and doesn’t treat him any different because of his mental illness.

This book is HOT!!!!!! It starts of with a bang and just goes up from there! This book contains mild BDSM elements like spankings, gags, bondage and punishments. Heidi does a great job at showing us a guy who NEEDS bondage and punishment and doesn’t just want to play with it. The characters were written in away that they just come alive in this book. The character disabilities were written and dealt with in a very touching way. Heidi herself is very open about what she struggles with on a daily basis and you can easily see this in her characters. I cannot recommend this book enough.

5 Stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Upside Down by N.R. Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44292759-upside-down?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider. The last thing he needs is one more. But he when he realises adding the label ‘asexual’ might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.

Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.

A little bewildered and scared, but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs. Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now—for the first time in his life—the right way up.

Review
I enjoyed this book immensely!! It was engaging and funny and surprisingly sweet. I loved Jordan’s personality and the way his mind worked. I must admit that I enjoyed the chapter’s that were in his point of view versus the chapters in Hennessy’s. Not that his chapters were boring or anything, but Jordan is just hilarious, and Hennessy is a bit more sedate, although he has his moments.
This is an amazingly sweet and fluffy love story that I cannot recommend enough!
5 stars


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Review
This book was incredibly sweet, with the humor I liked so much in Walker’s ‘The Weight of it All’ and dealing with the subject of Asexuality in a wonderful eye opening way. I think the thing that makes this story so good it how much you don’t really need sex to feel the romance, longing and passion Jordan and Hennessy feel for each other. Jordan is one of the funniest characters I’ve read in a long time, and he had me laughing more times than I can count. Their relationship is so sweet, and gently brings some of the lesser known sexual identities in the romance genre. Walker showed the struggle Asexuals face in our overly sexualized world. Angus and Merry were some of the most amazing side characters I have ever seen and I wish we could get their story someday.
This book makes you feel so good, while still having emotional depth and dealing with serious themes. Leaves you smiling and a gooey happy pile of emotions. Just a wonderful read through and through.

Number of stars out of 5
5


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Audiobook: Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch, narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Tantor Link
https://tantor.com/salt-magic-skin-magic-lee-welch.html

Blurb:
Lord Thornby has been trapped on his father’s isolated Yorkshire estate for a year. There are no bars or chains; he simply can’t leave. His sanity is starting to fray.

When industrial magician John Blake arrives to investigate a case of witchcraft, he finds the peculiar, arrogant Thornby as alarming as he is attractive. John soon finds himself caught up in a dark fairytale, where all the rules of magic—and love—are changed.

To set Thornby free, both men must face life-changing truths—and John must accept that the brave, witty man who’s winning his heart may also be about to break it. Can they escape a web of magic that’s as perilous as love?

Review:

From the very first chapter of this book I was caught up in its intense atmosphere of desperation and mystery. Poor Soren, trapped on his father’s estate by powers unseen and with no way out of his predicament!

Listening to this story wreaked havoc on my nerves, there’s a constant sense of urgency and tension. It reminded me of a Gothic novel of yore, though luckily faster-paced than let’s say the good old Mysteries of Udolpho. The Victorian setting with the broken down manor and romantic moors lends itself perfectly for this type of story. Technical advancements are on the rise, but at the same time it’s far enough into the past to make legends and superstitious tales, even magic, seem plausible.

The writing was beautiful, fluent, gripping and evocative. I loved the attention to historical details, that touch of realism to contrast so wonderfully with the very original magical setting of the story. I adored the references to the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace especially! How awful indeed for Soren to have missed out on that experience.

John and Soren seemed an unlikely match at first, because of the differences in their characters, their station in life and the trust issues they needed to overcome. But they are really great together!
They have amazing chemistry. However, it was the yearning and the tender, vulnerable moments they shared that truly made them stand out to me. What struck me too is that Soren, in large part, is drawn to John because of how kind the other man is.

Narration: This is a suspense-filled story with an eerie atmosphere, which Joel Leslie managed to capture (and enhance) perfectly in his performance. He also did a great job with the accent of the characters, as per usual. I loved how he read John and Soren, making John sound just a bit rougher around the edges than Soren, whereas Soren sounds quite posh, the perfect young English lord.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Mating of Convenience Second Chances, Book 1 By: Ann-Katrin Byrde Narrated by: John Solo

audiobookreview

https://www.audible.com/pd/Mating-of-Convenience-Audiobook/B07N8HYTH6?ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_9_B07N8HYTH6&pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=QAYDWY42QXAKVE3F90J3&

Blurb
Money problems? Marry your best friend!
Nathan and Raphael were friends first, then lovers, then…nothing when Raphael left to pursue his dreams of becoming a tattoo artist. But only one year after Raphael makes it out of his small-town home, bad news descends on him. His useless father has gotten their family into debt so deep , it would take 1,000 years to dig them out. With his siblings on the brink of becoming homeless, Raphael turns to his estranged but wealthy grandmother for help and receives a deal: If he settles down and marries, he’ll free his siblings of the debt.
When Raphael asks Nathan for a favor – to enter a marriage of convenience – Nathan agrees. After all, he’s doing it so he can start his own pet shop, right? Wrong. Nathan just can’t say no to the man who used to be his best friend – the man he’s still secretly yearning for, even as he’s doing his best to hide that fact. After all, he knows better now than to fall for Raphael again.
Haunted by the loss of their past relationship, Raphael regrets breaking Nathan’s heart. Scars from the past are never easy to heal, though, and the more time he spends with his new husband, the harder it gets for Raphael to deny the sparks that Nathan ignites in him. Except, this is just a pretend relationship, isn’t it?
While this audiobook is part of the Oceanport Universe, knowledge of that series is not required to enjoy this story.

Review
I really enjoyed this audio for the most part. The only issue I had was with all the secondary characters, I felt a bit lost, and I have read all the Oceanport books too. This is a solid friend to lovers/second chance at love story. We have soft spoken and easy-going alpha Nathan and the omega Raphael who while he loved Nathan, he felt he had to give him up so Nathan could eventually have his dream family. This book was a fairly easy listen but there was a difficult scene dealing with miscarriage that may be a trigger.

John Solo has long been a favorite narrator of mine. I loved all his voices, he keeps the story moving at a nice pace. He is a master of his craft!
4 stars for story and 5 stars for narration


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