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+

Holiday Review: A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote


Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48915871-a-boyfriend-for-christmas

Blurb

Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl–how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?

Closeted, innocent and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organised by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.

With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.

After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the ‘nice girl’ they’ve been hoping for?

Contains: A closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).

Review

This book left me feeling giddy and optimistic. It’s a hopeful and fun read, very heartwarming, and surprisingly naughty…

The author brilliantly captures those first nervous moments of falling for someone, wondering if they’ll like you back, the excitement as well as the awkwardness that can come with firsts of any kind, and most especially the passion and delicious rush you get when falling in love.

Archie and Cal are, at first glance, an unlikely, but utterly adorable pair. The posh rich kid and the tattooed, slightly older, biker… how can anyone resist reading this story 😉 I loved that despite the small age gap, Cal and Archie are always on an equal footing and feel incredibly at ease around each other, almost from their first meeting.

Jay Northcote has a knack for writing real-life characters who seem completely genuine and authentic, and he pulls it off here too. He always makes me feel as if I could meet his MC’s just by setting foot in a pub in England, or maybe during a hike in Wales. A Boyfriend For Christmas is a light-hearted holiday romance with a great set of secondary characters, even those that make a rather awful first impression, and a great epilogue. Loved the humor and the inspirational gag gifts!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Interpretive Hearts by Amanda Meuwissen

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/interpretive-hearts-by-amanda-meuwissen-10886-b

Blurb
Love is easy once you learn the steps.
In the competitive world of dance, Teddy was a flawless performer and hardass choreographer who students feared and admired in equal measure. But hip surgery ended the glamour and drama, and now Teddy is recovering at his beach house, lost and listless.
Until he meets Finn, his neighbor, who is too perfect, gorgeous, and kind to exist—but very ill timed. In a seaside town as small as theirs, they can’t avoid each other, especially since Finn is also Teddy’s new physical therapist. But Teddy isn’t the man he used to be, and though Finn flirts shamelessly with him, Teddy can’t believe a has-been dancer is worthy of someone so young and full of life.
Finn’s sunny smile is also hiding heartache. Pursuing Teddy challenges both his professionalism and his self-preservation, but if he can convince Teddy to trust him, maybe they both can heal.
Review

An enjoyable and easy read, well written, with interesting MC’s and a likable cast of secondary characters. I liked the hurt/comfort aspect in the story and the atypical dynamic, with the younger man being the one to help his more mature love interest heal, physically that is.
I wasn’t entirely swept off my feet though. The emotional connection between Teddy and Finn was certainly there, but the push and pull, hot & cold routine on both sides didn’t help matters any in creating that “meant to be” magic that I tend to look for in a romance. I’d also have liked more scenes with them in a relationship and growing closer, whereas now the story mostly focused on their will they/won’t they dance.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Love and Linguistics by Tara Lain

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-and-linguistics-by-tara-lain-10895-b

Blurb

In his neighborhood, El Martin stands out, and that can be life threatening. Against the odds, he’s managed to graduate high school and then master IT. Now he’s desperate to get a good job to free his drunken dad and himself from the control of gang leader M2 and the drugs he sells. But with his piercings and his slang-ridden speech, El looks and sounds like a Bronx gangbanger, and potential employers won’t give him a second look. So when El hears about Henry Fairhaven, PhD, linguistics researcher and wealthy New York socialite, El takes his life in his hands to escape from M2 and ends up sleeping in the stairwell at Henry’s building, hoping to learn how to speak.

To Henry, who wants to prove himself as a scholar and not merely a rich dilettante, El isn’t only the most beautiful man he’s ever seen—he’s also the key to getting a paper published on Henry’s ground-breaking linguistics methods before a competitor beats him to the punch. But Henry doesn’t tell El the truth, and El thinks Henry’s helping him because he cares.

El’s dreams collide with Henry’s ambitions at the elegant Met Gala, where El captivates a prince of Silicon Valley. But the real collision comes when M2 tracks El down and Henry has to choose between the validation he craves and a future with the man he’s come to love.

Review

Delightful m/m retelling of My Fair Lady with some darker elements added to the plot, bringing a sense of danger and tension to the story that isn’t there in the original.

El Martin is an amazing character, very driven to make something of himself, hardworking and just the sweetest, unassuming guy underneath the tough boy exterior he’s trying to shed.
Henry is very much the oblivious scholar, too focused on his paper & career to take into account the feelings of actual people like El. He’s quite smug and a bit of a snob, but when he falls in love, he falls hard and it’s easy to forgive him for his imperfections.
I liked how the relationship between El and Henry was written, the misunderstandings and the mutual longing. The secondary characters were great too and it was wonderful to see El gradually making new friends and even a new life for himself.

All in all, an enjoyable, sweet read.

Number of stars out of 5: 3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Flash Rip (Flash Rip #1) by Keira Andrews

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48054988-flash-rip?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

On Australia’s hottest beach, the most dangerous current is between them.

Training to be a lifeguard is tough work, but Cody Grant loves a challenge. He spends long days in the sun and surf rescuing swimmers from treacherous rip currents while trying not to lust after senior lifeguard Liam Fox—who is deeply, painfully closeted.

Liam was supposed to be a football legend. Now in his mid-thirties, it’s been over a decade since his dream shattered along with his knee. Fans still recognize him regularly, and he’s terrified his sexuality will be discovered and his conservative parents will reject him. He has strict rules to protect his secret and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Liam never acts on his need to surrender after being shamed for it years ago by the first and only man he trusted.

Out and proud Cody fascinates Liam—and tempts him to break all the rules.

Cody is practically half Liam’s size and age, but has the confidence and compassion to take charge and give Liam the release, affection, and acceptance he desperately craves. But how long can a secret affair satisfy their hearts? As if saving lives isn’t hard enough, Cody faces his greatest challenge yet convincing Liam to trust him and find the courage to live out loud.

Flash Rip is a gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring a slow burn, an age gap, scorching first times, and of course a happy ending.

Review

This was so amazing!  I really felt the tension and the pain it took for Liam to make the reach to being an out and proud man in a partnership.  Keira did a really nice job with the pacing.  Cody’s constant, unwavering support matched his age and experience, while Liam was understandably lagging behind and so, so fearful but when he does make the transition  it felt authentic.

 

I loved learning about Barkers beach and the life of full time lifeguards.  I always learn so much when I read Keira’s books – they are so clearly well researched.  I also loved all the new slang I learned!

 

This was not my favorite sexual theme, I’m not real keen on D/s but it was gentle and it really felt necessary for Liam and his development romantically.

 

Highly recommended!

5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Recent Release: Across the Pond (Arizona Raptors #2) by R.J. Scott , V.L. Locey

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48637692-across-the-pond?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

The greatest journey isn’t from England to the States, it’s the one that two men take on the way to find each other.

Sebastian Brown is on a mission to rescue the Arizona Raptors and a vow he made to a friend in college. Either that or he’s on vacation. He’s not entirely sure that he’s made up his mind yet. Either way, traveling from England, to the arid desert of Arizona isn’t exactly a picnic, particularly with the doubts and worries he takes with him. He’s turned even the worst of companies around, but faced with the challenge of improving the reputation of a hockey team that everyone seems to hate, he knows his work is cut out for him.

Focus is key, but that is easier said than done when Seb is sent into a tailspin by the intriguing Alejandro. Seb’s entire marketing plan hinges on making Alex a poster boy for equality and fair play. But with Alex’s utter dedication to the game, and his dark secretive eyes, the gorgeous Alex is stubborn, opinionated, doesn’t want any part of being the team focus, and worst of all, doesn’t appear to like Seb at all. It takes everything that Seb has to keep his hands off of Alex, but things get out of hand and Seb’s life might never be the same again.

Alejandro Garcia has had to work hard to get where he’s at. Born to Mexican immigrants, his siblings and himself have never had it easy in this new country their parents dreamed of calling home. A native son of Arizona, Alex has always been the odd man out on the ice but he’s not going to let a stupid thing like his heritage get in the way of his dreams. He’s now a Raptor and he plans to put all that training and collegiate hockey experience to good use. Working hard comes naturally to him. It’s something his parents have instilled in him from the time he was a toddler. Being one of a handful of Latino hockey players makes him strive for success with even more determination. His first pro season has had some ups but a lot more downs, but Alex is one stubborn young man and failure is not an option.

As the Raptors struggle to rebuild not only their team but their core values, Alex finds himself drawn to one of the owner’s friends, a tall, lanky Brit with the face of an angel and an accent and attitude that bewitches and befuddles him. Sebastian is everything he thought he would never be attracted to but he can’t push the sexy, older, fun-loving man out of his thoughts. If ever there were a man he would not be able to take home to his parents – not that he can bring a man home since he is deeply closeted – it’s Sebastian, but desire knows no socioeconomic, age, or international borders. The heart wants what the heart wants and Alejandro’s wants Sebastian.

Review

(Contains mild spoilers)

 

 

 

 

I am soooo disappointed in this. I’ve been (mostly) loving this series and the original and I was really anticipating Alex’s story, but this did not deliver.

First, Sebastian is so bland and not fleshed-out, as to be almost non-existant. There is next to no real romance building between him and Alex and what there is goes by waaaayyy to fast to feel good.

Second, Alex is so all over the map, he gave me whiplash.  On one hand I know some of that is his character, but on the other hand he goes from being so deep in the closet to out and proud at his sisters party!  It just didn’t feel right.  I didn’t get the sense that the two really spent quality time together to build a relationship worthy of his spectacular coming out.

 

I think there are just too many plot points so none got well developed.  One that really deserved attention was the age gap and it was really skimmed over – at best.  Then they have to deal with either a long distance relationship or moving permanently?    We also had Alex’s virginity and his religion to contend with. Nope.  We just didn’t get enough of that for me to buy this romance as settled or even well thought out.

 

I’ll give the story a 2.5 stars for the characters and the continuation of other story lines, but their romance in particular did not shine as I’d hoped.

 

2.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Surrender the Chase (Grizzly Rim #2) by Mia West

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47169173-surrender-the-chase?from_search=true

Blurb

Coming Oct 7, 2019: Expanded Novel Edition!

For wolf shifter Dmitri Sernov, life bites.

His late-night hunts leave him winded, the twelfth rewrite of his novel is crap, and his last good lay was five drafts ago. He’s staring down forty with a creative well as empty as his bed.

The last thing he needs is a beautiful, intimidating, obnoxious pup bent on exposing Dmitri’s underbelly…

…and everything else that’s gone soft.

Thierry Marrou has burned every bridge from Montréal to Juneau.

Once a prospect for Canada’s Olympic hockey team, he’s just been kicked off a piddling local squad in Nowhere, Alaska.

But one whiff of the silver wolf on the opposing bench was enough to confirm that the dreams drawing Thierry across a continent have a very real source.

Now all he has to do is convince Dmitri Sernov to be his alpha. Très simple, non?

SURRENDER THE CHASE is the 2nd standalone novel in the GRIZZLY RIM m/m shifter series. Lace up for pheromone-charged hockey, dirty French lessons, a grumpy hero who thinks he’s past his prime, and a pushy young hothead determined to prove him wrong.

 

Originally published in 2015 & 2016 as novellas, the GRIZZLY RIM novel editions have been extensively revised and expanded for republication in 2019.

Review
(Previous novella)

In book one we met this amazing little town in Alaska where some unique shifters and a few humans live. Dmitri is a wolf shifter with a reputation as a slut, but conversely he’s a bit of a lone-wolf, too. He’s older, a bit gruff, and if you get to know him, a lot insecure.

Thierry is a flighty, flirty, fast-playing hockey player who finds himself “compelled” by dreams to find a man, Dmitri. He trusts his gut above all else and his gut tells him he needs to meet Dmitri, but it doesn’t tell him what to do next.
At first, beyond the initial attraction, there is doubt on both sides. Dmitri can’t trust that this beautiful, young, stranger has been having dreams about him. Thierry is also not sure what to make of these dreams and though he finds Dmitri fascinating and sexy he doesn’t know if he can make himself stay put when clearly Dmitri is a stay-put kind of guy.

**

Mia is an amazing author! I absolutely adore this series! I reviewed the first book, Launch the Hunt here: http://kimichanexperience.com/launch-the-hunt-grizzly-rim-1-by-mia-west/

I couldn’t wait for book two and it was worth the wait!

Mia’s writing is so fluid and effortless (though I’m sure she’d say it takes work, if Dmitri is any example!) that the reading of this story is so easy. I was expecting a story similar to book one and got none of that, but it was not a disappointment at all. Dmitri and Thierry have a very different story to tell. They still have that element of magic that connects them, but at their core they have this very human relationship story first.

Dmitri is getting older and doubting his attractiveness and purpose in the world. Thierry is still young, but also has questions about his purpose and future. I LOVED that both Dmitri and Thierry called Thierry’s mom for advice! So. Funny! Her little side story is interesting in it’s own right and I’m wondering/hoping she becomes a continual secondary character.

The use of French and Thierry’s adamant, “I’m not French I’m Quebecois!” was wonderful. So beautiful and touching then funny and heart-warming at the same time.

My heart absolutely ached for both of these guys and I’m always impressed with shifter stories who use the animal part as much as the human part to create their characters and their motivations. It was hysterical that Thierry’s mom asked him about his fur and skin and was he hunting enough! So cute!

The smexy times are very sensuous but also REAL feeling and authentic. Dmitri is older and nervous and that shows!

I can’t wait for book 3, I loved this as much as book 1 and can’t recommend it enough.

(re-read and 2nd edition)

I can see that there were some additional scenes – more hockey, more parental involvement- maybe some more romance building?

All in all I think both the longer story and the novella are good and I couldn’t really say I appreciated a lot of difference.

I still enjoyed these two characters a lot and I guess I felt a little bit more of their HEA with the novel than the novella.

Recommended!

(I liked the original cover better 🙂   )

4.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Bite (Anthology) by Clare London, Ruby Moone, Sue Brown, Joanna Chambers

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48272713-bite?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Vampires old and new, strong and sensual, with desires both predatory and protective. Their attraction is fierce and fascinating, and their love is eternal. We believe they deserve a very special kind of man—and their own happily ever after.
Four best-selling authors bring you their own take on the vampire lover’s story.

In Out of Time by Clare London, the ancient vampire Ambrus tries to protect Edward, a newly-turned young man, hoping to bring him comfort, acceptance of his fate, and eventually love.

In Christmas for a Vampire by Ruby Moone, grief-stricken vampire, Ellis Davenport, faces a miserable, lonely life when it seems the love of his life prefers death to eternity with him.

In A Tale Told in Darkness by Sue Brown, Lee comforts his lover with the tale of Brook, a vampire who falls for his neighbour Michael. When the young man is pursued by someone far more dangerous, only Brook can save him.

In Lamb to the Slaughter by Joanna Chambers, there is very little Lucien St. Villiers enjoys more than hunting for beautiful young men who are eager to learn all that Lucien has to teach them.

Review: Four well written, vampire-themed novellas in one collection.
Here are my thoughts about each story (in no particular order).

A Tale Told in Darkness (Sue Brown)
This is a story in a story. The main story, (with Lord Brook and Michael), has a bit of suspense, but a satisfying end. Brook, the vampire, meets his neighbour, Michael (human and is his fated mate). However, someone seems to be stalking Michael, and when he disappears, Brook has to find out who and why.
Nice little mystery here.

Lamb to the Slaughter (Joanna Chambers)
This was definitely a tale of the hunter being the hunted ☺
Lucien, our undead person, is a love/feed them and leave them creature. Until he meets Marcus, who gives him a run for his money. I enjoyed the twists in this story.

Christmas for a Vampire (Ruby Moone)
This story was a bit sad. Set during the winter holidays, Ellis is heartbroken that his lover, Quinn doesn’t want the same things he does. The holidays remind Ellis of his lost love. Liked the story overall.

Out of Time (Clare London)
Younger Edward as not had an easy life (or afterlife after being turned). Ambrus, an older vampire offers to help Edward. Ambrus travels through time, not forming any connections with anyone … until Edward. The story of how Ambrus helps Edward overcomes his resentment against his situation, (as a reluctant vamp), spans several decades. Sweet story with a touch of angst.

All 4 stories were enjoyable, there were a couple I wished had been a bit longer, but all were entertaining.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Hellion (415 Ink series – #3) by Rhys Ford

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hellion-by-rhys-ford-10757-b

Blurb

From the moment SFPD Detective Ruan Nicholls meets Ivo Rogers, he knew the tattoo artist was going to bring chaos to his neat orderly life. A hellion down to the bone, Ivo is someone Ruan not only doesn’t understand but isn’t even sure he needs to. Everything about Ivo is vibrant, brash, cocky and arrogant and Ruan wants no part of him.

Or at least that’s the lie he tells himself when he damps down his desire for the social wild child life tosses into his path.

For Ivo Rogers, his life revolves around two things; his family and 415 Ink, the tattoo shop he co-owns with his four brothers. His family might be stitched together by their battle scars from growing up in foster care but their brotherhood was tight—and strong enough to hold Ivo together during the times when he fell apart.

Now Ivo faces a new challenge when he falls for a cop with an old-school mentality on what a man looks and acts like. Ruan is the promise of a life Ivo thought he’d never have but their thunderous clashes threaten any chance of a relationship. Being the family’s hellion makes it easy to be misunderstood yet Ivo has faith Ruan will not only embrace who he is but love him as well.

Review

This had all the makings of a very promising opposites attract story with a bit of an age gap for extra piquancy, but I was a little disappointed in how it was written. The sentences are rather long and have a rambling quality to them that slows down the pacing of the narrative too much and makes it harder to feel the intensity of what the MC’s are going through and really get that connection to them.

Both MC’s are fascinating characters though and the character development was well written. Ivo’s had a truly heartbreaking childhood and went through some very dark periods, which makes it so important for him to finally be able to unapologetically be himself. Ruan is great for him, steady and loyal, but has to overcome his own fears about what it means to be out, and stand out. After a rocky start things go quite fast, and for me the commitment and I-love-you’s followed too hastily after the brief amount of time they actually spent together.

There’s a heartwarming cast of secondary characters, what with Ivo’s meddlesome, slightly overbearing and extremely protective brothers and I’ll admit to being curious about the stories of the others even if this book wasn’t totally my cup of tea.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Gazes Into You by Alex Jane

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34880901-gazes-into-you?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb:

Ex-detective John Right likes to watch.
There’s no harm in it.

The latest object of his obsession—a twenty-something stranger who chains his bike outside John’s office—doesn’t feel the weight of John’s eyes on him, doesn’t know about the secret recordings or what John does with them in the dead of night. Except when the kid disappears, John finds himself doing far more that just watching.

Reluctantly, John has to start thinking like a cop once more as he frantically tries to track down his mystery man. Although when he finds him, John is left with more questions than answers. And the more he learns, the more he wishes he’d never started looking in the first place.
Can John get to the bottom of the mystery without giving away his own dirty secret? And without giving in to his urge to do more than simply watch?

Well…nobody’s perfect.

Review:

The story has an interesting premise: John, a former detective, works as a security guard; he also happens to be a voyeur. I was a tad put off by this at the beginning of the story, especially as he watches Jason and pleasures himself to Jason’s images. But when Jason disappears, I had to find out what happened to him (and see if John’s character could be redeemed).
When John tracks Jason down (at a hospital), the mystery really begins. Who wants Jason dead and why? John transforms into Jason’s protector and, as their friendship develops into more, his lover.

The story has good bones and the secondary characters were interesting, (especially Chris), but it needed to be edited a little better. There were missing words, misplaced commas and other punctuation issues; enough to pull me out of the story at times.
Overall, the story was good, and I would read the next book in the series.

3.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review