Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Escape (Rebellion #1) by Annabelle Jacobs

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47185989-escape?from_search=true

Blurb

This isn’t the life Cole dreamt of, but what choice does he have?

With his twenty-third birthday behind him, Cole Moreton now faces the shifter compatibility test which will decide his future. Testing positive means joining a pack and eventually taking the bite. Unfortunately, with enviable skills in self-defence and hand-to-hand combat, the kind of packs interested in him aren’t any he’d want to join.

Logan has been a member of the McKillan pack for most of his life. Pack is family and loyalty is everything, but when the shifter government turns out to be no better than the oppressive humans before them, he questions everything.

Right from their first meeting, Logan knows that a life with the McKillan pack isn’t right for Cole, but with his alpha taking a keen interest in Cole’s skills, Logan’s hands are tied. Mutual attraction builds between them, but acting on it is futile—helping Cole will put their lives at risk and an end to any future they could’ve had.

Review

Annabelle Jacobs excels at world-building and she has yet again imagined an incredible, even if a bit scary, shifter universe. Wolf packs rule England through (abuse of) power and coercion, equality between humans and shifters seemingly an impossible dream.

This is very much a suspense driven story, action-filled and brilliantly paced. The romance storyline builds up slowly in a threatening environment that isn’t conducive to it, still the growing emotional bond and passionate chemistry between Cole and Logan is unmistakable and enthralling.

Cole is determined not to be forced to join a pack or change into a shifter, but his choices, as those of every human, have been taken away. He finds help, unlikely and unexpected, in Logan, the very shifter send to recruit him. There’s no insta-love or mating instinct in this universe, so no easy or quick trick to make the MC’s fall in love. They actually get to know each other first before falling head over heels in love. I love how determined and brave Logan is, how respectful of Cole’s wishes even in extremely dire circumstances. Cole is also a wonderful MC, adapting to new circumstances with alacrity and very courageous himself when it comes down to it.

We leave Cole and Logan on the brink of a dangerous future, ready to face all the challenges and possible heartbreak that comes with fighting for a better world… The start of a rebellion.

I can’t wait to see what’s next for them and their friends!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Ramen Assassin by Rhys Ford

release day review

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ramen-assassin-by-rhys-ford-10582-b

Blurb:
When life gives Kuro Jenkins lemons, he wants to make ponzu to serve at his Los Angeles ramen shop.
Instead he’s dodging bullets and wondering how the hell he ended up back in the Black Ops lifestyle he left behind him. After rescuing former child star Trey Bishop from a pair of thugs in the middle of the night, he knows it’s time to pick up his gun again. But it seems trouble isn’t done with Trey, and Kuro can’t quite let go… of either the gun or Trey Bishop.

Trey Bishop never denied his life’s downward spiral was his own fault. After a few stints in rehab, he’s finally shaken off his Hollywood bad-boy lifestyle but not his reputation. The destruction of his acting career and his relationships goes deep, and no one trusts anything he says, including the LAPD. When two men dragging a dead body spot him on a late-night run and try to murder him, Trey is grateful for the tall, dark, and deadly ramen shop owner he lusts over—not just for rescuing him, but also for believing him.
Now caught in a web of murders and lies, Trey knows someone wants him dead, and the only one on his side is a man with deep, dark secrets. Trey hopes Kuro Jenkins will stick around to see what the future holds for them once the dust settles, but from the looks of things, neither of them may survive to find out.

Review: I really enjoy the way Ms. Ford weaves the character of a city, a piece of furniture or other everyday things like birds, smells, tastes into the story. This latest story is no exception. The city of LA, even the seagulls were featured characters ☺
Trey is a washed up child actor. He’s gone through rehab a few times and this time aims to keep on the straight and narrow. However, fate has other plans for him.
Kuro is ex-covert ops (not assassin). Forced to ‘retire’, he’s opened a ramen shop. When he rescues Trey from a violent situation, Kuro finds himself falling back into his old way of life.
Overall, I enjoyed the story but it didn’t feel as tight or as well put together as some of Ms. Ford’s other stories (rushed maybe?). A few things didn’t work for me – the continued hostility of Trey’s family, esp. Kimber; the arc of Kuro’s former mentor coming out of retirement, (possibly continued in the next book?). I felt that the feelings between Kuro and Trey developed a little too quickly – yes they had been eyeing each other prior to them actually meeting – but I really didn’t buy their chemistry. Since this is the first of the series, I hope to see their relationship get more attention and really feel their connection. And I’d like to see Trey’s family situation improve, at least a little.

Story: 4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Gay Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Standalone

Audiobook: Hidden in Darkness by Alice Winters; narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Hidden-in-Darkness-Audiobook/B07HJBJND9?qid=1541961109&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=C88ZHS34SJ9AVYKBKM4Z&

Blurb: When Felix lands a job taking care of a man recovering from severe injuries, he thinks his life may have just turned around. Anything has to be better than the place he’s leaving. There’s something about Lane that draws Felix to him and makes him question if this place could finally become a home for him. But when someone begins stalking Felix, he is left to question who Lane is and what actually happened to him. Together, Felix and Lane will be forced to see just how far they will go to protect each other. Being chased by cops, kidnapping a man, and breaking into a drug operation seems to be his normal since arriving in Lane’s life. Felix may be out of his element, but one thing he is sure about is that he doesn’t want to leave, even if it costs him his life.

Review by Dee:

Book previously reviewed here https://openskyebookreviews.com/time-to-laugh-hidden-in-darkness-by-alice-winters/

When I read the book the first (of many times), I was startled by the lack of ‘kid glove’ treatment Felix gave Lane. Don’t get me wrong, it was funny as hell, but wow!, it’s rare to read a story where the disabled MC is treated as they deserved; in this case, a bit meanly (Lane was a bit of a dick at first).
The sarcastic humour and banter is genuinely funny and the crime/suspense kept me engaged.
The audio, as performed by Joel Leslie, does not disappoint*. He continues to wow his listeners with his talent. In this case, he brought Felix to life, capturing his snark perfectly. Joel also captured Felix’s vulnerability and, at times (few), his sensitivity; especially when dealing with Lane. It goes without saying that the overall performance was great, but wow, did he nail the essence of Felix.
This will be an audiobook that I’ll re-listen to often. Loved it!

*(except that there were very slight pauses between sentences due to the ‘I said”s – an editing issue)

5.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

I agree with Dee that Joel Leslie did a wonderful job as always with his narration.  He manages to convey humor and romance as well as give us a variety of well developed characters.

His narration is definitely a 5 of 5 stars for me.

I’m not a fan of the story however.  I don’t like mysteries and I found Felix tedious rather than charming but I know others like Dee really found him hysterical.  He just grated on my nerves and detracted from my overall enjoyment.  (It could be a mood thing… but it just didn’t work for me.)

The humor here is just not my style of humor so I have to give the story a 2 of 5 stars.  Overall a 3 of 5 stars.

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review