Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Dichotomy of Angels by N.R. Walker

Good reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49921241-the-dichotomy-of-angels?from_search=true&qid=61iXpLitTm&rank=1

Blurb
Nathaniel and Chasan are no ordinary angels.

Destiny chose them to be twin flames, fated mates. But Nathaniel has avoided Chasan for nearly a thousand years.

When sent to Earth on a mission to live and work together, Nathaniel comes face-to-face with his destiny. Short-tempered, petulant, and grumpy, he hates the idea of being fated to anyone and has chosen an existence of isolation rather than spending time with the calm, kind, and serene Chasan. 
But now he has no choice.

One is fire, the other is air; a true dichotomy of angels. Together they will be ignited, or they will be extinguished. This assignment will seal their fate either way

Review

This was so wonderful! It was funny, sweet, had a little smexy fun and absolutely made me laugh and cry at points.

NR Walker really just writes gold as far as I’m concerned.

Highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Prophesy Book II: The Bringer of Wrath (The King & Alpha Series #2) by A.E. Via narrated by troy duran

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Prophesy-Book-II-The-Bringer-of-Wrath-Audiobook/1515944298?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=Z5DDAPSHSPWA0FAQEAEA&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_1515944298

Blurb
Shifter and Vampire True Mates story.

Alek’s older brother, Justice—the Alpha Zenith—was the first shifter to mate with a vampire in many generations, and it was believed the rare, fated pairing would stop at him. But, it hadn’t. Aleksei ‘Alek’ Volkov was second beta, next in succession to the most powerful shifter in the world. He was proud of his title and he took his duties seriously. It was all he had. Until his true mate literally showed up on his doorstep.

While his brother—the overachiever—excelled at having a vampire as a mate, Alek wasn’t that optimistic he would. He wasn’t averse to love, and he’d often thought of how different his life could’ve turned out if he’d ever experienced the emotion. His life was a mess and he’d worn a mask of stability for a majority of that time, only showing his siblings and pack what they needed to see—a strong Volkov alpha. Not the damaged man he was, with a tortured soul and a rogue wolf.

Alek dropped his heavy head in his hands. Now, for some reason, I’ve been granted a true vampire mate. And not just any vampire. The intimidating Belleron Liatos. Lord High to the King and the leader of his army.

Belleron ‘Bell’ Liatos had come to the states for one reason—his best friend and Vampire King, Chadwick Bentley. He certainly didn’t come to be pounced on by a wolf that could act independently of its master. Not only was his destined cherished a complicated and confused man; but he was also unaware of the powerful presence that lurked in the shadows of his soul. Bell didn’t know he’d be the key to unlocking an exceptional triad that would play a critical role in fulfilling the prophesy.

This story DOES NOT contain or even mention MPREG.
No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a very HFN.

Warning: This book is M/M paranormal: If you DO NOT like alpha men shifting into large wolves, or vampires feeding from their destined beloveds, than this may not be the novel for you.

Review

I love this series and I love this book! I don’t have enough superlatives to explain how much, but the world building is fantastic. Just enough uniqueness to make it stand out in the world of paranormal romance, but enough familiar themes to keep a die-hard fan like me appeased.

There were times when I definitely felt like this should be labeled as a ménage, I should warn you, however. The character building is so strong that the “beasts” inside Alec take on their own personalities and the way the author describes their interaction with one another and with Bell sometimes felt like separate beings at times… a lot of the time.

I found the explanation for Alec’s situation really well done and the way Bell manages him and his issues was also really good. I also loved that Bell never felt as “submissive” to Alec as I maybe sometimes felt with Wick and Justice.

There is a TON of smexy times, but definitely less than book 1 – which for me – was a good thing.

After having listened to book 1 on audio I can say I hope the author uses the same narrator and I can’t wait for it to make it to audio!

I think you need to read book 1 to really appreciate this, but I bet it’s fine as a standalone if you haven’t.

(I didn’t feel this was an HFN, FWIW – it felt very complete to me.)

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Audio

Troy Duran is AMAZING!!! I loved this so so so much! He does a terrific job with the “triplets” as well as all the other millions of characters. So recommended!

6 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Nova Praetorian by N.R Walker; narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Nova-Praetorian-Audiobook/B07WS2N77M?qid=1569968539&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=Q1QT0RJF87DG33HJCM8E&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb: Quintus Furius Varus is one of the best lanistas in Rome. Tall and strong in build, fearsome in manner, and sharp of wit, he trains the best gladiators bound for the arenas of Rome. When Senator Servius Augendus seeks personal guards, he attends the Ludus Varus for purchase of the very best. He puts to Quintus an offer he cannot refuse, and Quintus finds himself in Neapolis, contracted as a trainer of guards instead of gladiators.
Kaeso Agorix was taken from his homelands of Iberia and delivered to Rome as a slave. Bought by a senator to be trained as a guard, his fate is handed to the man who would train him. Absent free will, Kaeso knows his life is no longer his own, though he soon realizes the gods have favored him when he learns his new master has a kind heart.
Quintus and Kaeso forge a bond that far exceeds the collar at Kaeso’s neck, and together, they discover the senator’s move for promotion has an ulterior motive. Thrown into a world of politics and conspiracy, of keeping enemies close, they move against time to save Rome before traitors and the gods themselves see to their end.

And in doing so, see the dawn of the nova praetorian – the new guard – rise.

Review:
Story already review previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/?s=nova+praetorian

A historical romance from one of my favourite historical periods – Roman times, coupled with an absolutely epic performance by Joel Leslie! What’s not to love?? ☺
This story is a product of is time – one of the MC’s is a slave, there is blackmail, political back-stabbing and political villainy; but there are shining moments, like the fairness of Quintus, the affection and bond between Quintus and Kaeso and the backdrop of general Roman life (which appealed to my inner history geek ☺

The narration was nothing short glorious! Joel Leslie is one of the best audiobook performers in the business. He has the knack of knowing how to channel the characters, first by getting the right accent, then their personalities and then their emotions. This is all tied together in the overall tone of the story – in this case, a more somber tone – since some of the topics are serious.
Throughout Joel Leslie’s performance I could visualise the gladiator training area, I could ‘see’ the villas of the senators, feel the decadence of the time. I could also feel the treachery, and the love and affection between the 2 MCs.
This is a well crafted story, with a tour de force performance by Joel Leslie!

Narration: 6 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Hexhunter (Hexworld #4) by Jordan L. Hawk Narrated by Tristan James

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Hexhunter-Audiobook/B07VDMBP71?qid=1564959434&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=ZG720NFKW4X0EN0B2FPV&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

Detective Bill Quigley fell in love with the familiar Isaac the night they met. But after more than two years, it’s time to admit to himself that Isaac doesn’t return his feelings.

Isaac knows he’s too broken by his experiences for anyone to fall in love with. Especially someone like Bill, who deserves a partner unplagued by Isaac’s nightmares and doubts.

When children go missing from an orphanage, Bill and Isaac must work together to find them. And as years of yearning threaten to ignite into passion, they must decide once and for all whether to take a chance on love.

Review

Just as I’ve come to expect, Jordan Hawk brings us another amazing installment in her Hexworld series!

What I love about this series is how clearly she brings to life the flavor, sounds, colors of her world with her words. Having listened to Tristan James’ narration of her characters helps – of course – but honestly – she does such a terrific job of painting the picture that it’s like being in a painting or watching a movie as I read.

The mystery is exciting but doesn’t overshadow the romance and the new “twist” we see here between Bill and Isaac is lovely and just as rewarding as the previous MCs in the series.

Highly recommended and I can’t wait to listen to this as well!

Audio
Gah! I LOVE listening to Tristan James do accents! Mmmmm He did a tremendous job differentiating ALL the different characters and the British/Irish/Bronx… all of them were fantastic! It must be SO HARD to do but it comes off as effortless.

I still think my favorite is the cat- Cicero. He’s so catty! And snarky and funny and Tristan truly does him justice. He did a nice job with Bill and Isaac too – but Cicero holds a special place in my heart.

This is ABSOLUTELY the best way to enjoy these – you won’t regret it!

6 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Why We Fight By TJ Klune

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/why-we-fight-by-tj-klune-10447-b

Blurb
Do you believe in love at first sight?

Corey Ellis sure doesn’t. Oh, everyone around him seems to have found their happy ending, but he’s far too busy to worry about such things. He’ll have plenty of time for romance after he survives his last summer before graduation. So what if he can’t get his former professor, Jeremy Olsen, out of his head? It’s nothing more than hero worship. And that’s the way it should stay.

Except bigender Corey—aka Kori—is interning at Phoenix House for the summer, a LGBTQI youth center. A center that recently hired an interim director until someone can be found to fill the position permanently.

Because life is extraordinarily unfair, the director just so happens to be a certain former professor, now turned current boss.

Desperate to keep things professional as he and Jeremy grow closer, Corey makes a major mistake: he turns to his friends, Paul Auster and Sanford Stewart for help.

But Paul and Sandy have some ideas of their own….

Set in the summer of 2016, Why We Fight is a celebration of queer life and being true to oneself… no matter the cost.

Review

Why We Fight was beyond amazing! This is TJ Klune at his finest. This series has long been a go to reread for me. Like most of his books there are a bunch of little Easter eggs hidden throughout this story. The characters are so outlandish but yet still so real.
At long last we finally get Corey/Kori’s story. We find out more about their past and the difficulties of going through the foster care system. We briefly met Corey/Kori’s love interest Jeremy at the end of Until You. Both are completely oblivious to how the other feels. I really enjoyed getting to see the Tucson crew from Corey/Kori’s perspective. They really do have a unique view on things. I am very sad to see the end of this series but I loved every minute of this book.

6 stars beyond amazing


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 
Review:
This is a fitting end to this fun, touching, hilarious series. It’s about love and the family you make (and keep).
This is Corey/Kori’s story – and it’s perfect. There’s so much I want to say about how much I loved the book – the shenanigans starting off with Corey and Nana at a spa (with Paul’s mum and dad in tow). Then there’s Corey/Kori falling over his feet, (sometimes literally), when talking to Jeremy (his crush); the machinations of Sandy/Helena while trying to ‘help’ Corey/Kori’s love life. The kids at the youth centre were great characters. Let’s not forget Paul and Vince, who are unable to keep their hands off each other … hilarious! Charlie and Robert; so sweet together. Through it all, TJ Klune blends in a thread of hope, family, friendships and the forging of bonds – new and old.
For those who have followed the series from the beginning, you will love this ☺

5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Elements of Retrofit (Thomas Elkins Series Book 1) NR Walker narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Elements-of-Retrofit-Audiobook/B07QNS22VB

 

Blurb

Book one in the Thomas Elkin series
Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture and love. Can they prove that the old and new can be the perfect design?
A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his fortieth birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thinks he knows everything about architecture, about life.
Cooper Jones, twenty-two years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.
Starting an internship working with Thomas, Cooper is about to knock Tom’s world off its axis. Tom can teach Cooper about the architecture industry, but Cooper is about to teach Tom what it means to live.

Review
(Book previously reviewed)

Thomas Elkins got married young to a woman he mostly loved, they had a wonderful son but then Tom realized as he got older that his love of men could no longer be denied. He got divorced, moved out and moved on.

Now, he lives his life as a rather famous architect in a lonely apartment in NYC, neither miserable nor happy.

One day his son brings home a friend, a very cute, very interested and interesting friend. Eye-ball messages may have been exchanged, but really, Tom thought nothing of it. He’s 22 years older than the guy for Pete’s sake!

When that friend, Cooper, ends up being Tom’s new intern, trouble really starts showing up.

Cooper is 22, trying to make the best impression he can on an icon in the industry who also turns out to be his friend’s father and a super-hot-newly-out-gay-guy!

Cooper doesn’t back down from a challenge and when he notices the looks Tom inadvertently sends his way, not to mention the fact that the two can talk for hours without missing a beat, and the fact that he’s smokin’ hot… he decides to go for it.

What happens next is the two men making room in their lives for a less-than-usual relationship, in a dangerous-for-them environment.

Tom is afraid he’s too old. Cooper doesn’t know what a real relationship even looks like. Tom is scared that Cooper might be using him for his prestige. Cooper is worried he’ll never measure up or be thought of as an equal. Both are afraid of getting caught by their friends and family.

In the end (part one that is) they decide to dive in and make a go of it because what they feel is too wild and amazing to dismiss.

**

This is the first series I read by NR Walker. I have to admit that I avoided it for a long time mainly due to the name. It felt – stodgy. When I read the blurb I was worried it was going to be a very weird father figure type romance due to the tremendously large age gap.

BOY was I wrong. NR Walker is an amazing writer. Her stories simply flow off the page and into your heart. She creates these REAL characters with heart, and flaws, and compassion and fears and then shows us how they can grow/change/heal in the new relationships they forge.

Tom is kind of … boring. He doesn’t take a lot of chances in the personal department and has gotten lackadaisical at work. He’s… comfortable.
Cooper comes along and messes that right up!

Cooper is young, but way older than his years. Sure, he messes up and acts his “age” sometimes, but for the most these two guys are really well suited and never did I feel like there was a father figure vibe whatsoever.

The sexual chemistry between them is scorching hot, but has elements of realism too. The boundaries they set and the expectations.

All in all I absolutely loved this book (and series) and am happy to promote the new cover!

Audio

I am SOOOOOOOO glad she chose Nick Russo for this. He did an amazing job and he’s such an easy and wonderful narrator to enjoy. His voice is just the right amount of gravelly and sultry and snarky when needed.

I thoroughly enjoyed his interpretation of one of my favorite NR Walker books and can’t wait for the next one!!!

6 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Static by LA Witt Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

audiobookreview

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Static-Audiobook/B07MG5SS4N?qid=1548287456&sr=1-47&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_3_7&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=2GJDG2GPF838QPYS7GM7&

Blurb
After two years together, Alex has been dreading the inevitable moment when Damon learns the truth: that Alex is a shifter, part of a small percentage of the population able to switch genders at will. Thanks to a forced implant, though, Alex is suddenly static—unable to shift—and male. Overnight, he’s out to a world that neither understands nor tolerates shifters . . . and to his heterosexual boyfriend.
Damon is stunned to discover his girlfriend is a shifter, and scared to death of the dangers the implant poses to Alex’s health. He refuses to abandon Alex, but what about their relationship? Damon is straight, and with the implant both costly and dangerous to remove, Alex is stuck as a man.
Stripped of half his identity and facing serious physical and social ramifications, Alex needs Damon more than ever, but he doesn’t see how they can get through this.
Especially if he’s static forever.

Review

Book reviewed previously

WOW!

This ranks as one of my all time favorite books in this genre.
I can’t say enough good things about this – but I’ll try!

First – it’s sort of a unique shifter book. Instead of shifting into animals, in this world that LA Witt has created, some people can change their sex at will. Not just the important pieces, but their entire bodies. So they become more masculine, larger, muscular, etcetera for male and smaller, more delicate, etcetera for female. But like fraternal twins, they still retain that look about them so you can see the resemblance.

In this case Alex (both female and male version) is dating Damon as a woman. Damon doesn’t know about the male Alex and this causes a lot of worry as to how to go about telling him. The point becomes moot when Alex’s parents decide to force her to stay permanently male, or “static” by injecting an evil chip into her spine. Of course they have no knowledge of Alex’s female love-life, only a desire to have a son and NOT to have someone who can shift genders.

There is the possibility of removing the chip but it has the potential for disaster, paralysis, death, dismemberment – ok not really – but also continuing the static state. Some people choose this treatment voluntarily but not Alex. S/he has always enjoyed the huge freedom allowed by being able to be one then the other gender. And since she thinks she may be in love with her straight boyfriend, being stuck as a man is particularly harsh.

But… the time comes when Alex must show Damon the truth of the situation. And here is where things really get to be interesting on both a plot level and a sociological level. (This is what makes this book spectacular IMHO – the bringing in so flawlessly the social construct of gender identity and the breakdown of what it means to be woman or man – especially when – in this case – it’s the same person wearing a different “skin”.)

Damon really does care for – maybe even love Alex – so he’s willing to at least try to work through this crisis and see it through. He doesn’t know what he wants. For Alex to go through with the reversal surgery? To try to be with a man when he’s only ever identified as straight? To give up and let Alex do this alone? But no, he’s an amazing person and sticks with it.

The story is so full of social questions. There’s prejudice. There’s the discussion of what if feels like to be in the “wrong body”. There’s the gay/straight/person centric version of sexual attraction. There’s – Gah! So much!

In the end the two lovers must make a decision. Should Alex attempt the surgery and is the risk worth it.

I won’t tell you the final decision but it is thought provoking – to say the least.

LA Witt won some awards for this – as she should have – and I can see why. It’s so amazing, her ability to hit you with these social question while still weaving a beautiful and touching and sometimes erotic love story. Superb!

If you have any interest in transgender and gender fluidity or gender ID this is right up your alley. It also fulfills something for those GFY fans. But it’s still, at it’s heart, a love story and a story of knowing one’s heart – so truly, any fan of romance will be entranced.

I can’t recommend it highly enough!

6 of 5 stars

 

Audio

Michael does an absolutely fantastic job with this.  He handles the women’s voices, the angst, the drama, the timing all perfecutly.  He contributed to keeping this wonderful story one of my number one books/audiobooks of all time!

Highly Recommended in this format as well!

Copy purchased for review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: BFF: Forever (BFF book3) by Devon McCormack

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43224645-bff?from_search=true

Blurb
JESSE:

It began with his electric touch and a hurricane of frenzied passion that ravaged my body, my mind, my soul…my entire life.

We both knew where the line was, yet we crossed it because it was the only way we could be close to one another. We told ourselves it was nothing more than a fantasy–a beach vacay we could treat like a dream, cherishing it in our hearts, but evading the real life repercussions of our actions.

If only it had been that easy…

We couldn’t keep away from each other, and one lust-filled encounter after another birthed a connection, which turned into so much more.

Now I’m head over heels for my best friend’s father.

Oh, Eric Westright…you’ve changed me. I’m addicted to your touch. I’m a servant to your desires.

I kept telling myself it was nothing more than a dream, but now the thought of awakening from our life together terrifies me. I can’t bear a world where I never knew what it was like to be lost in those magnificent blue eyes, to feel his caress against my face, his lips against my own…him loving me deep inside.

Oh, please, if this is all a dream, don’t let me wake up. Let me have this. I know I messed up, but I can fix everything I’ve broken. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’ll make it right.

I’ll do whatever it takes. Just please let me have him FOREVER.

Review
All the love for this amazing couple!! What a wonderful and inspiring love story. I’m still on cloud nine, this is going to be an awful book hangover.

It’s been a long time since I anticipated the release of a book the way I have this one. I’ve just been so curious about what else was in store for Jesse and Eric. It didn’t feel finished, or maybe I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet. Honestly, my expectations were so high, I was almost afraid to start reading. I held back for about five seconds and then I was all in. And it was everything I hoped for and more.
All the romance. All the love. All the feels. Absolutely worth the wait.

The love these two characters have for each other just feels so all-encompassing. It goes way beyond the bliss of the initial attraction and early butterflies straight into the deeper joy that comes when you’ve gotten to truly know each other, the bliss and comfort you find in being there for your partner through the good and the bad, and the peace that comes with knowing that the reverse is true as well.

The author did an amazing job at describing how utterly gone Jesse and Eric still are on each other. Their devotion, the sheer magnitude of their love was an immense pleasure to read. I soaked up every word. Each time I read the words “my Eric”, I about melted on the spot from the sweetness of it all. Jesse’s humor, his limitless patience and understanding, Eric’s bravery and the vulnerable side he shows in this book… It was all just … wow. No words can do this story justice.

I was so happy about the way all the “loose ends” were resolved. Just so glad how it all worked out for Eric, Jesse and Ty especially. There were quite a few family moments that were very emotional, a bit painful, and a lot teary, but full of love and hope for the future.

I very much enjoyed all the wonderful secondary characters like aunt Connie, Charlotte and Stan, and even Tricia. Not to mention the loyal bands of friends both Eric and Jesse have. A lot of potential there for other future stories! So I’m happily readying myself to play the waiting game again.

Number of stars out of 5: 6


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review