Recent release: Four Ever by Sloane Kennedy

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43588041-four-ever?from_search=true

Blurb

Surrounded by a group of devoted four-footed and two-winged family members, Zak and Killian have built what should have been a dream life in their countryside farmhouse. But a cruel twist of fate and the re-emergence of old demons has frayed the edges of the men’s seven-year relationship until just one wrong move could end up severing their bond for good.

Seemingly content to walk on eggshells around one another, things come to a head when ER nurse Zak brings his work home with him… literally.

After being forced to leave their posh Southern California lives, homeless stepbrothers Liam and Noah are slowly losing themselves to the streets they can’t seem to escape. When twenty-one-year-old Liam is beaten up while protecting his younger “brother,” the pair find themselves being welcomed into a home where being a stray is considered a good thing. But Liam and nineteen-year-old Noah have learned the hard way that nothing is given for free and there’s no such thing as the kindness of strangers. Survival means only counting on and trusting in each other.

Will Zak and Killian’s offer of a no-strings-attached place to heal end up being more than any of the four men bargained for? Especially when feelings between Liam and Noah begin to crawl to the surface and the truth of what Zak and Killian’s relationship has turned into becomes harder to deny?

And what happens when lines begin to blur and needs start to change? Will Zak, Killian, Liam, and Noah end up going their separate ways?

Or will they learn that love doesn’t always come in twos?

Review by Neta
This book has a LOT going on. In the first few pages we are already introduces to an established couple that has been going through some sort of issue for a while, around 15 animals, from cats to miniature horses and two young men, with a mysterious past, in the hospital. We learn pretty fast that there are many secrets these four men hold close to the vest and get little crumbs of the bigger picture here and there. That in itself makes the story very intriguing and keeps you guessing what the story behind them is, even if you do start to get the picture as it goes on.

What I found hard about this book, and the reason I gave it 3 stars, is the sheer amount of emotional baggage for both humans and animals, the physical trauma ad backstory is so complex and it just added too much details to the story. It’s hard to write a good romance about two people, let alone four, and when you add all the trauma and hurt they need to sort through and the issues each ‘couple’ has with the complexity of having the four of them get together in a poly relationship I just felt overwhelmed. Most of the important emotional things about them becoming a foursome where drowned in the complex sexual scenes between the four, that in my opinion, while hot on their own, could have been reduced to one good scene and have the other 3-4 converted into them talking about what is going on between them. Every time someone tried to talk, Noah got upset, and would not listen, which resulted in sex being used as a means to show him and Liam that they do want to be together and cement the strength of their emotions to one another.
It was hard to sort out Killian and Zak, and believing the quick way they ended up with the two younger men living with them, and then being their lovers too, while Liam and Noah have nothing to their name and are in such a difficult situation (no home, money and being physically hurt at first as well as emotionally traumatized. Because Killian and Zak have an advantage, despite their own issues, and it through the whole relationship out of balance for me. The first half of the book takes it’s time with them getting to know each other, while being attracted to each other very fast (while being hurt and scared, a situation I found hard to sort out sexual and emotional attraction in but oh well…). I wish the other half didn’t try to catch up the sexual parts of romance and took the time for them to get into poly in a slower, more sophisticated manner.

Add to that, the stray animals, Noah’s turbulent fast and his blackout attacks, it was all too much and there was no way to close all the plot lines like they should have been in the length of the story (maybe if it was much longer). They story was not bad but it was overflowing with drama and I felt like it should have taken a less dramatic approach in order to deal with the poly stuff.

Number of stars out of 5
3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Karen

Mind-blowing! She pulled it off! Four incredible MC’s in an equal, loving relationship with each other. Just…wow.

The author meticulously built up the relationships between all four men, giving them all a chance to fall in love with each other and connect one on one, but also managing to make them function as a whole.
A loving unit of four. Forever.

What I absolutely love about this author’s writing is her absolute knack for writing tortured heroes with a heart of gold. Which is exactly what we get here. Yay!
Each of these four men has known loss or has been badly hurt in the (not always very distant) past. When life throws them together, they are finally able to find the comfort and healing they need. To say nothing of happiness, of course.

Killian and Zak’s love for each other is evident from the very first, but there’s an incredible aura of sadness surrounding them and something is obviously holding them apart in spite of their intense love for each other. Their pain comes across so clearly. Anxious times that make for an intense reading experience.

Zak has made it a habit to bring home strays, wounded animals in need of a safe space to recover. One day however, he brings home a wounded stray of the human variety. Followed shortly thereafter by a second. When Killian and Zak open up their home to Liam and Noah, they are both taken by surprise by their feelings for their two new house guests and they have a difficult time processing the guilt and shame that comes with those new feelings. What does this mean for their relationship?

I loved seeing all four of them get to know each other, individually and together, learning to lean on one another and most importantly sharing laughter and falling head over heels in love. One of the things that I really liked too was that Liam and Noah are a catalyst in helping Killian and Zak to open up to each other again and get their relationship back on track. The one thing the four of them needed a little help in learning though is that communication is key, and that by avoiding certain subjects you might actually cause someone you love pain instead of sparing their feelings. That was a tough lesson to learn.

The character development is wonderfully done, as always, and the writing is well-paced and evocative. The mystery surrounding Noah’s past, with its far-reaching consequences, held me captivated and nearly broke my heart once it was revealed. The cast of secondary characters, which consisted mostly of family pets this time, is extraordinary. Especially dearest Waldo.

This was a deeply emotional, beautiful love story, with just the right amount of angst.
Signature Sloane Kennedy. 2,3 or 4 men, I don’t care. If she writes it, I’m reading it.

Number of stars out of 5: 6


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Coming Soon! Somebody to Die For Series: Requiem Inc.: Book 3 Author: Kris T. Bethke

 

 

Release Date: September 4, 2018

 

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/somebody-to-die-for-by-kris-t-bethke-9839-b

 

Blurb

Dying is easy. New love is terrifying.
Avery Wagner quit ghostwalking when he lost his beloved anchor to cancer. Now teaching others who have the ability, he’s beginning to live again—but he’s not looking for another lover, not now, maybe not ever.
But then he meets Jameson… younger, talented, dedicated, almost perfect, even though his mouth sometimes opens ahead of his brain. And Jameson wants Avery desperately, though he’ll settle for friendship if he can’t have more.
When an emergency demands they work together in the field, Avery discovers just how perfect Jameson is. But he had a perfect love once before, and he’s scared to even consider that he might have a chance at another. Can he trust Jameson with his newly healing heart?

Review

I love this series so much! This is hard for me to differentiate – because I can’t help but compare this to the previous two books, which I really loved…
On the one hand: I loved the world Bethke has given us – the ghosts, the afterlife, the alternate way of thinking… I was so PSYCHED that Avery gets a happy ending… I loved the idea of May/December – especially in this long lived world…

In the end – I didn’t like Avery. Ugh. He bothered me the entire time. I appreciated that he loved Luke and that was a big deal but man – Jameson is soooo awesome and I’m not sure Avery appreciated him like he should have.

That’s absolutely my humble opinion – obviously – but I kept wanting a grand gesture that proved Avery got what a treat Jameson was. The power balance in this couple felt off and I didn’t feel like it got it’s own footing by the end. Maybe if it’d been a bit longer…

Anyhow, I loved seeing the guys from books 1 and 2 – especially Derek – *sigh…

Fans of this series will want to read this and you don’t have to have read the others to enjoy this one but it won’t mean as much to you if you start with this one.

For the writing and the world building I’d give this a 5 for the romance a 3 – so 4 of 5 stars overall.

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Never By Tara Lain Narrated by Kale Williams

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/never-by-tara-lain-8971-b

Blurb

A Pennymaker Tale
Wendell “Wen” Darling lives in a world of shoulds and musts. Left to care for his brother and sister by his dull drudge of a father and wacko irresponsible mother, he suppresses his creativity, slaving in an ad agency seventy hours a week, letting his no-talent supervisor take the credit.
Then his bosses blow the campaign for their biggest client and Wen gets a chance to shine—but only if he can find the artist who painted a wild, glorious wall of graffiti in the subway. Hiding behind a pillar at 2:00 a.m., Wen comes face-to-face with the scarlet-haired, elven-faced embodiment of his divergent opposite—Peter Panachek, the flighty, live-for-today painter, singer, and leader of the rock group the Lost Boys. Everything Wen takes seriously, Peter laughs off, but opposites attract, even if their kisses always lead to battles. Peter’s devil-may-care persona hides a world of secrets, self-protection, and hidden fears, until the day a drug dealer, Vadon Hooker, threatens everything Wen holds dear. Guided by the mysterious Mr. Pennymaker, Peter has to choose between facing responsibility or burrowing even deeper into Neverland.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously by Mary)

I so very much enjoy Tara Lain’s reimagined fairy tale series with Mr Pennymaker, the fairy godfather, appearing in each one. I think this take on Peter Pan is my favourite so far. I loved Peter’s vibrancy. He is carefree, an artist and the lead singer of the Lost Boys. Peter lives for the moment. Wendell on the other hand was thrust into responsibility at a young age caring for his sister and young brother. He has to keep his job. Tara Lain does an excellent job of bringing you into their lives and caring about them all. I could feel how tired and stressed Wen is and how spirited and alive Peter is. Together they provided a balance for each other. The only problem being their past. Both of them let past experiences cloud the chance of happiness. This is one of the best opposites attract stories I have read. They want each other but are convinced it’ll never work until a certain Mr Pennymaker helps them see the error in their thinking. The character for Hook is extremely clever and so appropriate for today. All the other characters are included, Tink, the lost boys (each with their own personalities and part to play in the story) smee and a small reference to the crocodile. Such an enjoyable book and one of the best reimagined fairytales I’ve read. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
5 stars out of 5

Review by Morgan

I definitely admire the way Tara Lain is able to make these old fairy tales over into m/m romances! What an imagination! Some of the tales are more transmutable than others and this one – while ridiculously clever – didn’t resonate with me as well as some of the others.

I found the names and the people cute but I didn’t feel the spark between Wen and Peter as well as I have in some of her other tales.

If you’re a fan of the author and the series – I think you’ll love this as much as you did the others – but if you’re new to either the series or Tara Lain in particular this wouldn’t be where I’d start.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Kale Williams did a fantastic job with this! He gave everyone unique voices, made the humor ring loud and clear and managed to carry it all off with a good amount of panache. Recommended in this format as the best way to experience this story.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 

 

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review