Release Day Review: Diplomatic Relations (Sci-Regency #4) by J.L. Langley

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/diplomatic-relations-by-jl-langley-10234-b

Blurb

Opposites don’t just attract… they sizzle.

A lusty special forces soldier who lives by his own set of rules, Dalton Fairfax decided long ago to stop wishing for his father’s love, and he found his calling. Now that he’s back home and between assignments, he finds himself at loose ends. When the opportunity arises to play bodyguard and help out his country, Dalton jumps at the chance. Not only does it keep him busy, but it just so happens that his charge is the man he saw on leave last month and hasn’t been able to get out of his head.

Heir to a dukedom and a conservative politician, Blaise Thompson strives to prove himself worthy of carrying on the family legacy as the next IN Councilman. However, his closest competitor keeps getting in the way and taking credit for Blaise’s ideas. Maintaining his stellar reputation isn’t easy to do while keeping his outrageous younger brother in line and foiling his rival’s personal attacks. He has no time for a guard and even less time for romance.

When a priceless antique goes missing, Blaise and Dalton discover that Regelence has larger problems than just IN plots. Now the only way to stop a scandal that threatens both of them is to compromise, and they are forced to confront the risk of losing everything… even each other.

Review

This was a light and fun read. I really like how this series brings such an original sci-fi take to the regency genre. It was a bit surprising, though in a good way, to see a man worry about his “reputation” in society for once, quite the role-reversal.

Blaise is very sheltered, almost too innocent even, which is why I found it a bit incongruous to see him shed his principles and risk his precious reputation so easily afterwards. Although I suppose he was overcome by the power of his love for Dalton. Blaise’s parents are supposedly very loving, but strangely aren’t in the picture much and not overly warm when they are.
I liked the storyline on Dalton and his parents far better, troubled though their relationship was. That brought some intense emotional moments in the story, on top of the developing romance, and gave Dalton’s character extra depth and a nice chance to grow. Dalton’s definitely my favorite.

The banter between Blaise and Dalton was very entertaining and sweet depending on the moment and really enjoyed the “galactic” swear words and expressions. Most of their relationship plays out behind closed doors and with a lot of sneaking around. That did annoy me at times, especially near the end. I feel that Blaise could have been a bit more assertive and forthcoming by then, standing up for his man and all that. Though all’s well that ends well and things wrap up great with an only slightly predictable grand gesture.
The stage is also teasingly set for the next stories in the series and I’m definitely intrigued enough to want to see how they’ll play out.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Recent Release: Escape to Paradise By Cailtin Ricci

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/escape-to-paradise-by-caitlin-ricci-10136-b

Blurb

His attraction to men means Kalean is the black sheep of his wealthy and powerful family—but it won’t get him out of attending his brother’s pretentious wedding ceremony. Kalean doesn’t want to go, but if his parents insist, he has a stipulation: he’ll be there with a man on his arm.
On the pleasure planet, Wish, Kalean goes to a brothel to meet some potential escorts. But the man who captures his attention isn’t one of those on offer….
Descani is as surprised as anyone at Kalean’s attraction to him—and at his own interest in the young man. He’s even more perplexed as a bond begins forming between them.
But a murder rips apart Kalean’s family and redefines his role. He’ll be isolated on his cold and barren home world, far from the warm and colorful planet of Wish—and the arms of the man who’s coming to mean so much to him—unless he can find a way to escape the forces separating them.

Review

This book is the newest in this series. It has shy and inexperienced Kalean. His family owns the mining rights to the icy planet they live on. If there was royalty, they would be the monarch. His cold and distant family grated on my nerves. Hard to be out, but not accepted. Pretty well swept under the rug. Then as stipulation to go to his brother’s wedding, he meets Descani. A character that by description is almost feline like…but no mention of tail. They are very hot together. Kalean started shy, but as the book progresses he became comfortable in his new freedom. Descani’s character is amusingly brash and very forward. Great contrast to Kaleaan who is shy and just accepts thing as is while brooding in silence. A few sad parts, but not bad. I enjoyed the added character of Lethe, his sister in law. She has spunk. The descriptions of the locations are great and you feel transported to the planets in this story. Great book., it was hard to put down.

Number of stars out of 5

5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Like Smoke (Vikings #1) by Catherine Lievens

Blurb
Trygve is used to being on his own. His wife rejected him when he became a draugr around the year 800, and he hasn’t trusted anyone but his best friend, Thorvald, since then. He lives and works alone, and he has no intentions on changing that.

Then he meets Isaac.

Isaac’s life has been rotten—he was kicked out by his parents when he was sixteen, he was kidnapped from the streets at twenty, and he spent the last eight years chained to a wall and being abused. So when a tall blond man, appears out of thin air and kills the man who’s been torturing Isaac for so long, he begs for death—or to be taken away.

Trygve knows he should dump Isaac in a hospital and go back to his solitary life, but Isaac needs help, and for some reason, he seems to trust Trygve, so Trygve lets him stay with him. Neither of them expects their unlikely friendship will become more, and they take things slowly, for both their sakes.

But someone is after Isaac, and Trygve knows he will do anything to protect the first person he’s loved in more than a thousand years.

Even if that means killing people he’s not being paid to kill.

Review

This had some really interesting world building.  The Berzerker/Viking as a Vampire type is new to me but- of course – the Alpha male falling for the small guy is not new and one of Catherine’s hallmarks.

If you are a fan of the author’s other works you’ll probably like this as well and if you haven’t read her but you like the big guy dominating the small guy and rescuing him all the time – this will be up your alley.

I enjoyed it for the humor, the unique world building and the predictable HEA.  I also LOVE the cover!


Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: The Dragon Boss by Anna Wineheart ; Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Blurb

What happens when you send an accidental dick pic with your resume?
On the run from dark-web criminals, Lucian Bolt has given up on a permanent safe place – all he needs is a temporary one, so he can earn some quick cash and run again. Better to flee than linger in the truth: Because of his electronic whispering abilities, his family has been murdered. A person like him doesn’t deserve happiness.
Then Lucian meets Knox, and things change.
As the boss of Whole Fish Seafoods, Knox has everything – except a family. Fifty years ago, wolf-shifters murdered his mate and child. Believing himself a failure, Knox has sworn off taking another mate…until he meets the job applicant that stumbles into his office.
Lucian smells like wolves. Suspicious, Knox frisks him and plants his seed in Lucian. Only to find out a week later that Lucian’s not the non-magic human he claimed to be. And that Lucian is now pregnant… with a dragon child.
With Knox, Lucian glimpses what a happy future could be like. And with Lucian, Knox has someone to protect again. As the sparks between them grow, and as the dark tendrils of their pasts coil ever closer, can Lucian and Knox find their way to a future together?
The Dragon Boss is a stand-alone dragon-shifter novel with sentient shopping carts, a kraken, and a dragon who will not fail his mate. No cheating, no cliff-hangers, but there definitely is a happily ever after.

Review

On one hand this was really creative with a sort of “normalized” magic in society setting but there are still plenty of secrets.  I really thought the computer whisperer idea was fantastic and the “alive” shopping carts interesting.

On the other hand there some pretty big plot holes that kept me from loving this more.  The computer whisperer can’t figure out a way to get his dick pic back and he sent it in the first place.  Then the Dragon Boss doesn’t take precautions even though he knows the guy is magic.  And they sleep together right away and often despite not really liking one another and being in constant danger.  Then there is the kidnapping… that plot line made me crazy.

So… I did read all of it and was happy for the HEA – but I was bothered by these plot issues that kept this from being unique and well crafted.  I’d definitely take a look at the next book in the series.  Dragons are awesome and Lucian’s magic was cool.

Audio

John Solo is just not my favorite. He’s fine. He’s acceptable but I don’t enjoy him like I do some of the others. It might be just a personal thing.  He does a fair job of telling the story and it’s a nice way to enjoy this if you can’t read it.

Overall for both the story and the audio 3 of 5 stars.

 


Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: Eye of the Beholder by M.D. Grimm

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/eye-of-the-beholder-by-md-grimm-10154-

Blurb
Is it better to risk it all… or never know what could have been?

After surviving an abusive childhood, Vulcan remade himself upon arriving in Los Angeles, California. He became a blacksmith for the paranormal community and strives to earn the respect of the vampire covens and werewolf packs that call LA home. He also prevents the pain of loss by keeping everyone at arm’s length.

But he never planned on meeting a former Roman soldier by the name of Marcus Cassius Vespillo. Something sparks between them and turns into a friendship he never considered possible. He can’t deny his intense attraction to the intelligent, courteous, ancient vampire. And it scares him.

Though Vulcan is wary of seeking more with Cassius, an attack leaves him at death’s door and forces him to reexamine his priorities. But Cassius has his own secret, one that promises tragedy and loss. And if that wasn’t enough, a slayer arrives in the States, one with a bloody connection to Cassius… and Vulcan himself

Review
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The world building is great. Only a few humans know that vampires, werewolves and gouls exist. Those who do work for them in someway. The story started by setting the scene for Vulcan then jumped forward. Cassius is a wonderful character. A very ancient vampire who falls madly in love with Vulcan. Theirs is a slow paced love story and it needs to be slow to get the most from the building romance. Due to his past Vulcan is hesitant to get involved with anyone let alone an ancient vampire. Running alongside the romance is a mystery one that climaxes just as Vulcan let’s Cassius past his defences. All in all I loved the new take on this trope. The epilogue is a wonderful ending.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon! Hexhunter (Hexworld #4) by Jordan L. Hawk

Feb 8!

Good reads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43532383-hexhunter?from_search=true

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!

5 of 5 stars!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: His Cursed Prince by Ryan Loveless

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/his-cursed-prince-by-ryan-loveless-10063-b

Blurb

Three facts about Tuckington Belle:

1. Given the choice between illegally scaling the royal castle’s walls to steal flowers for a client at his family’s dress shop or going on a date with a girl his brother set him up with (“He’s fertile, and he can sew!”), Tuck will scale the wall like a spider after a fly.

2. If, upon knocking himself unconscious when he falls off the wall, Tuck wakes up bruised, blindfolded, and inside the castle, where—based on the unearthly wails heard nightly—the prince no one has seen in ten years is probably a ghost, Tuck would still choose this over a date with a girl.

3. Tuck thinks it’s time to admit he’s gay.

Three facts about Prince Frederick George Deor (Read and approved with great reluctance by Lord “Protocol is Protocol. Stop Being a Pain About It” Todd):

1. He brought a curse upon himself and now bears the skin of a snake.

2. He can’t take his eyes off the injured thief recovering in the castle.

3. Friendships born from lying and insisting the other person wears a blindfold can blossom into true love—which he needs to break the curse.

Review

I really loved the author’s Ethan who loves Carter and I’m beginning to wonder if that was just a unique book for them. I’ve tried other books by this author and none have really worked for me and definitely none as well as that first book.

I was hesitant to request this book because even the blurb seemed weirdly written and was a bit confusing and off putting. But it was short and had some elements I thought sounded intriguing – namely the “Beauty and the Beast” feel to the story line.

Welllll, it is a Beauty and the Beast story but it takes place in a hybrid world of old timey horse and buggies meets cell phones and Twitter with magic.

Some people might like that but I never got a good sense of where this place was or what exactly we were dealing with.

I didn’t care for the writing – it was meant to be funny but to me it was just a bit hard to follow and that’s one of the reasons I took so long to review this.

In the end I can’t really recommend it – which is a shame but I’ll give it 2 stars for creativity.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: A Wish Upon the Stars By TJ Klune Narrated by: Michael Lesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-wish-upon-the-stars-by-tj-klune-10278-b

Blurb

Sequel to The Consumption of Magic
Nearly a year ago, blinded by grief and betrayal, Sam of Wilds made a desperate decision to follow the Great White into the Dark Woods. Now, he emerges to a world changed.
The City of Lockes is a prison. The King has been locked away in the dungeons. The Kingdom of Verania has fallen, and the Dark wizard Myrin sits on the throne.
But soon after his return, Sam learns of a resistance fighting in his name, led by a courageous knight, a defiant prince, a pissed-off unicorn, and a half-giant who wants to smash everything in sight. If he has any hope of defeating the villains who have taken their home, Sam must face the consequences of his choices—and the friends he left behind.

Review:
This has got to be one of the best series in all fiction, period!
I was going to compose my thoughts and write a somewhat regular (staid) review about how much I enjoyed it, how good the final installment was, etc. But screw that! I am going to say exactly how I felt about the story and narration.
It was absolutely, brilliant ☺ TJ Klune wrote a fitting series finale – with all the humour, all the suspense and all the feels! Small disclosure – I have not read any of the books in the Verania series – I have all as ebooks – but never got past the first chapter of The Lightning Struck Heart. And that is due to TJ’s ‘CORNERSTONE’ Michael Lesley (and yes, it’s captalised so it’s true!). He channeled the magic of TJ Klune’s book and made the audiobook a masterpiece of its own.
Michael Lesley makes it impossible for me to read the books. In the finale that is AWUTS, he holds nothing back. It’s a glorious performance with our favourite characters – Sam, Justin, Tiggy, Gary, Kevin, Randall; some bittersweet times as Morgan is remembered and suspenseful as Myrin and Sam square off at the end. The liberal use of sound effects serves to make the performance pretty much perfect ☺
I won’t go into the story, except to say that while Sam has grown, he is still the same and the end is spectacular, with events that I didn’t see coming.
I will happily listen to this book again and again – the 18+ hours fly by with this excellent performance.
Honestly, this is one of best books and performances out there – entirely due the magical combination of TJ Klune and Michael Lesley.

6 out of 5– Out of this world!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

First off, I have to say FINALLY!!!!!! I was stalking audible relentlessly for most of November waiting for this release and I devoured it in less than 2 work shifts!!

Story wise, A Wish Upon the Stars goes back to light-heartedness that The Lighting Struck Heart had. It is ridiculously funny, while being sweet, sexy and surprising. Sam, while he is now a full-fledged wizard, is still as immature as ever. His on-going feud with Lady Tina is hilarious. One my favorite things about this series is Sam’s ever-growing bond with the dragons, especially Kevin. While 99% of what Kevin says is gross and over the top, he has these moments of pure brilliance. There is so much that goes on in this story but the message is one of love, friendship and sacrifice.

Michael Lesley’s narration of these stories is beyond amazing. Normally I’m not a fan of special effects and sounds used in audiobooks but listening to this series has changed my mind. The range of voices Michael has is outstanding. There has to be 80 billion characters in this book alone and I don’t think he reused a single voice. If you aren’t normally an audio listener, do yourself a favor and get these books, you will not regret it!!

P.S.
Do yourself a favor and don’t skip Michael’s sound effect credits, there are some hilarious moment there as well.
6 stars!!


Copy Purchased for Review

 

Recently Released: Captive Fire by Erin M. Leaf

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25437374-captive-fire?from_search=true

Blurb

Prince Ryuu hates his father, Emperor Midian. When he’s forced to buy a slave, he defiantly chooses Drakon instead of a woman. Because he’s determined to overthrow his father’s empire, he can’t afford to show vulnerability, but Drakon is more compelling than he’d anticipated. For an Arethuza warrior, affection is a weakness that can lead to death.

Drakon isn’t really a slave—he’s a black dragon, considered cursed by everyone. Despite his people’s distrust, he will do anything to keep them safe, even submit to an Arethuza prince. He never expected to find love, and that complication could ruin his plans to sabotage the emperor’s war campaign. Though Ryuu is his fated mate, their fledgling bond is a secret too dangerous for Drakon to reveal.

Will their duty tear them apart? Can honor prevail in a war that might be too violent for even the strongest dragon warrior?

Review

This was a surprisingly dark and heavy but still very hopeful and sweet dragon shifter story.

It’s high on angst and its sort of a dystopian flavor dragon shifter story but it has all the elements you’ll want if you like insta love/lust and fated mates, enemies to lovers story with some high adventure thrown in.

4 of 5 stars

 

Copy Purchased for Review

Time to comfort the hurts: Falling for the Omega (Hobson Hills Omegas #1) by C.W. Gray

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42396684-falling-for-the-omega?from_search=true

Blurb

Story takes place in the Omegaverse. Book One in the Hobson Hills Omegas series:

Carter Benson is a lonely, scarred mess of an alpha. Honorably discharged from the army after being injured, he is left with very little that really matters. All he has is a Trust fund he refuses to touch, burns on his face, and a brand new prosthesis. He doesn’t have his family, he isn’t near his friends, and his face makes small children cry. So, he goes to Maine, finds a tiny town, and starts a business as a plumber. It doesn’t help his loneliness, though. Until a little girl hunts him down and forces him to be her new best friend.

Elijah Wilson has lived in Hobson Hills his whole life. So what that most of the townspeople think he’s a whore because he’s a single omega and got pregnant at eighteen? So what if they think he takes advantage of his grandparents by living on their property? Elijah and his large extended family know better. They know that he hasn’t dated anyone since before Olive was born. They know he works hard in the family business and is great with investments. They know the truth, but it can be hard living in a town that doesn’t care about the truth. It can also be really lonely. Until his daughter makes a new best friend.

When the two men meet, sparks fly. Their lives change for the better, but life isn’t always easy. Narrow-minded townspeople and greedy parents can cause a lot of trouble. But there’s always hope. There’s always love.

Author’s Note: 30,000+ words. This is a m/m, non-shifter, mpreg love story with no angst and no cheating, just a HEA. There are a few potty mouths, so beware. 18+ readers only, please.

Review

This book is set in the Omegaverse. You meet Carter, an Alpha military veteran. He’s a plumber and due to an accident in the military is disabled. He’s left with a prosthetic limb and scarring. Next you meet Omega Elijah. Single dad to an adorable girl that makes you smile every scene. He works on an apple orchard for a family business. Carter and Elijah hit it off right away, with less than subtle pushes from his daughter. The progression was very fast between them. The families were so funny to read, loved the banter. Good drama from meddling individuals that involves gossip, phone threats, and some arson. You feel for Elijah by the end. A few minor grammar and incorrect names used, but not enough to be distracting. Fast paced romance, family shenanigans, adorable kid, mpreg, and an omega that giggles and dances a lot.

Number of stars out of 5

4.5

 

Purchased for review