Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The Witch’s Blood (The Ellwood Chronicles #3) by Michele Notaro Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Witchs-Blood-Audiobook/B08424F8VD?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=CTDFBBHYFYFWE3S28MVZ&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_B08424F8VD

Blurb

I’ve been living with this burden for years, but my secret has finally been revealed and I feel like I can breathe again. I’ve wanted to ask—to beg—for help, but the spell that’s held me captive wouldn’t allow it. With it out in the open, I’m more determined than ever to break the seal from my chest so I can truly be free.

But what if my seal has something to do with one of the most feared prophecies of the millennium?

“A broken seal breaks the fragile hold…”

What does that mean? How am I connected? And why do I find myself so deeply drawn to Julius when I know my viramore, my soulmate, is out there somewhere? It’s not fair to either of us for me to lead Jules on, but it seems that my vampire companion is fierce in his determination to help me.

The Witch’s Blood is the third book in The Ellwood Chronicles and is a continuation of the overall story as we follow Emrys, Julius, Sebastian, and Ailin on their journey. It contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 years of age and older.

Recommended Reading Order:
The Enchanter’s Flame
The Witch’s Seal
The Enchanter’s Soul
The Witch’s Blood

Review

What a great series! I loved finally finding out the truth behind Emrys and seeing the story for the whole Ellwood clan come together.

Michele Notaro is great at combining humor, magic, smexy times, and feelz.

This is really not a standalone, but I never read “The Witch’s Seal” and I still feel like I’ve gotten all that I needed to from the others in the series.

Highly recommended to fans of the series.

Audio

 

I enjoyed Kenneth Obi’s interpretation of Julian and Emrys.  This was a great way to enjoy the story.

4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Rescuing His Heart (Reclaiming Hope, Book 2) By: Michele Notaro Narrated by: Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Rescuing-His-Heart-Audiobook/B0812BM9CC?qid=1574031391&sr=1-8&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=K4ZKHXM894GT0Z078SCS&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_8

Blurb

Kai
I’ve been dreaming of him for about a year, but I don’t know why. I have no clue who he is. But when a crazed shifter captures me and starts torturing me for information about the blond-haired stranger, I start to realize that he might be the only one that can save me…and I have no clue how to reach him from the prison I’m trapped in.
Patty
I can’t get that green-eyed stranger out of my head. I’m drawn to him…. I know what he is to me…but he works for the enemy, for the Ministry, so he’s off-limits. Or at least he was until my worst nightmare started using him as bait. But what can I do? I can’t let him die just because he’s connected to me. I can’t let him die just because that bastard Edward has gotten his claws into him…but what can I do to protect him?
Will Patty be able to save Kai from Edward’s clutches? Will they be able to move past their differences and come together to save not only themselves, but their loved ones as well?
Rescuing His Heart is the second book in the Reclaiming Hope series. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but it is recommended that you listen to the books in order because you will get more enjoyment out of the story. It’s a paranormal shifter romance between two men and is intended for adults only.

Review

Review
I am including the novella that follows book 2, because it’s really sweet and you should absolutely read it if you’re a fan of the series. It gives some more back story and helps move the series along, though it’s not required I do think it helps.
I gotta be honest with you. I skimmed the entire first 50% of book 2 – it was just too dark/depressing/much for me right now. I had not been keeping track of this series and when the audio for book 1 came out it reminded me about how much I enjoyed it and I found 2 more full stories and 2 novellas I had missed! It was like Christmas in May! LOL
But… I’ve never been a fan of dystopian romances and this is that in spades. I simply could not read about all the dark times, the being separate, the evil bad guys doing evil bad things and so on. It was too much. But… I love these characters and I really wanted to make it to book 3 which was really calling to me – so I skimmed. It wasn’t that bad and when I got to (about) the 50% mark our MCs are finally back with one another and working together to solve their problems. Phew. That – at least – wasn’t too bad and I enjoyed reading it from there forward.
You have to be tenacious. These guys keep getting hit – over and over – by really bad things and it affects everything.
However, the author has done a really nice job of giving us a lot of happy to balance that. I will say that I super love the rumbling chests, the super over zealous “mine” possessiveness and the scenting, hugging, and other Wolfy type behavior. I could do with a bit less smexy times – they seem to happen a lot once our guys get together – but – like I said – it’s to balance the ugly so…
The little novella is a nice touch and helps to round out Felix a bit and I can’t wait for his story!
Highly enjoyable and recommended – with the caveat of “be warned – it’s dark and angsty as F.”

Audio
Kenneth Obi does a nice job with this. There are a lot of characters and he helps to keep them separated. This is a good way to enjoy this story.

Overall 4 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Fall Through Spring by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fall-through-spring-by-amy-lane-11443-b

Blurb
A Winter Ball Novel
As far as Clay Carpenter is concerned, his abusive relationship with food is the best thing he’s got going. When a good friend starts kicking his ass into gear, Clay is forced to reexamine everything he learned about food and love—and that’s right when he meets troubled graduate student, Dane Hayes.
Dane Hayes doesn’t do the whole monogamy thing, but the minute he meets Clay Carpenter, he’s doing the friend thing in spades. The snarky, scruffy bastard not only gets Dane’s wacky sense of humor, he also accepts the things Dane can’t control—like the bipolar disorder Dane has been trying to manage for the past six years.
Dane is hoping for more than friendship, and Clay is looking at him with longing that isn’t platonic. They’re both positive they’re bad at relationships, but with the help of forbidden desserts and new medication regimens, they prove outstanding at being with each other. But can they turn their friendship into the love neither of them has dared to hope for?

Review

Now this is the Amy I love! I LOVED book 1 – Winter Ball and was a bit disappointed in book 2. I thought the characters were amazing and was not a huge fan of Terry – even though they definitely all get a happy ending I wasn’t sure Mason and Terry are a “forever” couple.

First, Amy kinda addresses that in this book – IMHO. Through the eyes of Dane and Carpenter we see their worries for that couple, too. Second, I’m SOOOOO glad Amy decided to give Dane his own full story. Sure – a lot of it we speculated about in Mason’s book – but here we get to see it really evolve.

Carpenter is such an amazing guy. Wow. He puts up with a lot of BS from Dane and he will have to continue to do so for a long time. However, I loved how Amy shows us WHY he’s worth the trouble.

I also LOVED the frank discussion about both Carpenter’s issues and Dane’s. We get no happy ever after for those problems – they are a constant work in progress. I thought that Carpenter’s take on his body was insightful and realistic and that struggle with the clothes in his closet was SPOT ON! Man – how many sizes do we all have “just in case” – well maybe not all of us – but I sure do!

The feelz, the smexy times, and the HEA are all wonderful and though you don’t HAVE to read books 1 and 2 – I think you should read book 2 to really appreciate the nuances in this book 3.

Highly recommended to fans of the author, angst, mental illness, body image stress, cookies and animals!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Watching out for fangs (Book 7) by Lisa Oliver narrated by John York

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Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Watching-Out-for-Fangs-Audiobook/B07WDRBS2Z?pf_rd_p=3aa0f0bc-1d10-438f-b86c-7f28cc26ca23&pf_rd_r=C1WGA2RXAQD7BTC0WYV3&ref=a_typ_c1_lProduct_1

Blurb

Josh moved from the huge San Antonio pack to join the men at Cloverleah looking for a bit more adventure, and the chance to meet his mate. He’s quick to adapt to the much smaller pack, and even his status as one of the few beta wolves in a group full of Alphas. A chance visit from the Atlanta coven has him meeting the man he was waiting for. It was just a damn shame he was unconscious at the time.
Vadim D’Arcy should be the Regent of the Atlanta coven, but he gave up his position years before when a personal tragedy had him hiding away in his huge mansion. Forced into a situation where he had to escort a cursed vampire to Cloverleah, he realizes pretty quickly that Josh is his true match. The only problem is, he doesn’t want one.
However threats on the pack, and two interfering Fae soon nudge the two men back together. Fighting other wolves, and even vampires is becoming commonplace for the Cloverleah pack. But a dark magic user just might have the last laugh. Can Vadim fight his personal demons long enough to keep his mate safe, and will Josh be there for him when he does? Or will a combined attack from the coven and the pack in Atlanta bring the entire Cloverleah pack to its knees?

Warnings: This is an m/m erotic romance featuring a sweet but staunch beta wolf, an old as sin vampire and all your other favorites from Cloverleah. HEA and no cliff hangers guaranteed.

Review
The Cloverleah pack has several new enforcers, Josh is one of them, from the San Antonio Pack. Josh, like most of the guys in this pack, is ready to meet his mate. He’s not been celibate by any means, but he hasn’t given his heart to anyone.

Vadim is the second oldest vampire in existence. We met his coven when they attacked Cloverleah from Atlanta, trying to get Dean, the Omega as their own. Vadim hasn’t had anything to do with the coven for years, but now he’s being drawn into politics by his scheming brother and his overly ambitious wife. Vadim lost his true love hundreds of years ago and has since sworn to never love again. So when he meets Josh and is forced to bond with him to save him, he’s torn between his vows to his old lover and the fact that without him his newly mated shifter might die, innocent of all the drama.

It takes them awhile to figure things out, but after challenging his brother and being imprisoned, some pesky Fae break Vadim out and return him to Josh. There they begin the process of resolving their mating.

The rest of the book centers on them strengthening their bond as well as fighting the battle between the scheming brother and the evil Atlanta pack who are still after Dean and the Fae and the power those could bring to their pack.

**

I guess you could read this as a stand-alone. Lisa does a lovely job of giving just enough back story that you wouldn’t be completely lost – but it’s definitely best as part of the series.

It’s a wonderful series and I’ve enjoyed each of the books so far. Lisa’s writing just gets better and better and though my copy of the book had several typos, the writing itself was excellent.

I love the world she’s set up. It’s intricate and involved and with the addition of the Fae, Diablo, Dean and now Vadim, it’s more than just a shifter series. There’s magic and maybe in the future Demons and Angels?!?

What appeals to me about this series is that the characters usually fall for one another early on, but there’s more “story”. The length means we get to see our couples interact for more than just the mating. In this case it’s the fighting of the Atlanta Pack and there are some really touching moments involved.

I highly recommend this book and this series to fans of shifter romances.

Audio

John York continues to grow and improve. Josh was a little more “hickish” than I would have chosen but it did nicely to differentiate him from Vadim. This is another nice way to enjoy the series.

Recommended!

4 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Spell Cat (The Aloysius Tales #1) by Tara Lain Narrated by KC Kelly

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/spell-cat-by-tara-lain-7676-b

Blurb

When Killian Barth, history professor, meets Blaine Genneau, quantum physicist, they ignite their own big bang. But Killian can’t pursue a physics professor—or a human. As the most powerful male witch in ten generations, Killian must bolster his dying race by reproducing—despite the fact that he’s gay.

Even a fling with Blaine is out of the question, because Killian has been told sex with humans drains his power. But if that’s true, why can young human Jimmy Janx dissolve spoons with the power of his mind? If Killian can sort through the lies he’s been fed, he’ll still face his biggest obstacle—convincing rational scientist Blaine to believe in magic.

With his ancient and powerful cat familiar, Aloysius, on his shoulder, Killian brings the lightning against deceit and greed to save Blaine from danger and prove love is the greatest power of them all.

Review
This was not at all what I was expecting. I guess I was expecting a more “wiccan” witch and a more Alpha type? I dunno. What we have is a very powerful – with magic magic – witch – who really needs a spine.

Killian just blindly follows his mother’s dictates about marrying the right witch in order to strengthen his powers until he meets Blaine. Blaine forces him to reconsider his options, but it’s almost really more that the “bride” in this equation is adamant at not marrying Killian than Killian works at not having to follow through.

While I thought there was a lot to this story that brought a smile to my face: Jimmy, Lavendar, Al – the cat and the magic, I wasn’t terribly impressed by the main couple. They had a lot of chemistry and it was exciting when Killian finally found his depth of power, but before that I was kind of annoyed with his lack of questioning and his default “hide my head under the covers when things go bad” state of being.

The story itself was fun – evil family members, newly discovered magic, Matrix references and – again – Al being devious. I thought the dialog between Killian and Blaine got a little too syrupy a little too fast, but that could be forgiven given the over all “fairy tale” feel this story has.

It’s not my favorite Tara Lain story but it was still good. I’m compelled enough to be excited to read the other books in the series – the third looks really good – Al’s the main character! (Probably one of my favorite Tara Lain stories is any or all of the Harker Pack books: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/searchresults?q=harker+pack)

If you love a good “magic” story and want a smile and don’t mind some OTT moments, give this a try.

Audio

KC Kelly is a great narrator! He does an admiral job attempting the accents in this story – and if they aren’t quite spot on they are at least fun!
His style definitely matches Tara Lain’s light hearted and “dramatic” tale.
Recommended!

4 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Don’t Judge (Book 4 Nothing Special Series) by AE Via Narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Dont-Judge-Audiobook/1977343740?qid=1564258125&sr=1-5&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=03TYCMSF3TKRRACZ6X9G&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_5

Blurb

AN ENEMIES TO LOVERS STORY

Detective Austin Michaels didn’t think life could get any better after he was accepted into the most notorious narcotics task force on the East Coast, headed up by two of the baddest’ Lieutenants with the Atlanta Police Department – Cashel Godfrey and Leonidis Day.

Michaels knew he would fit right in as the team’s sniper, having received his fair share of commendations for marksmanship. He was just as badass as the rest of the twenty brothers that made up their team. But when Michaels lets their prime suspect get away from a huge bust with over a quarter of a million dollars in drugs, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it right.

Left with no other options, God chooses to bring in outside help, calling on his long-time friend and bounty hunter, Judge Josephson.

Judge was considered one of the best trackers during his enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. After retiring, he used those skills to become one of the most sought out fugitive trackers in the country. When Judge gets a call from his old friend needing his help, he quickly tells God, yes.

Still embarrassed, and intent to prove himself, Michaels immediately volunteers to partner up with Judge to get their suspect back quickly and quietly. Neither man wanted or needed a partner. But, after Judge and Michaels get on the road, the hate/lust relationship they quickly develop between them will either make them heroes… Or get them killed.

Review

This is such a fun series! What I loved about this book was Michaels’ character. He is just so tenacious and badass and does everything right.

 

It would be so easy to let moody, angsty Judge get under your skin and decide he wasn’t worth it, but Austin sees through all that and manages to convince him to open up.

 

We don’t get to see much of these guys in later books, which is disappointing – but I really enjoyed watching their romance unfold and getting to know them better.

 

Aiden Snow is – again – amazing at doing the gruff and gravelly voices and does a terrific job with all the action and emotion.

 

Highly recommended!

 

 

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Dreamspinner Gay Gay Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Magic Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Part of a Series vampire

Retro Read: Blood and Rain(Book 1) by Shira Anthony

Blurb

Adrien Gilbert has spent several lifetimes searching for the love he lost. Born in the 1800s into a clan of fabled vampire hunters, Adrien once wanted nothing more than to tend his family’s vineyard in southern France or read a good book. But Adrien’s peaceful existence ends abruptly when his older brother, François, is murdered. Bound by his hunter’s oath, Adrien sets out on a path that will forever change his life when he agrees to execute his brother’s killer, the vampire Charles Duvalier.

After months chasing the elusive Charles, Adrien reluctantly makes a bargain with Nicolas Lambert, an ancient vampire. Adrien will escort Nicolas to Paris for his marriage to a rival clanswoman, and Nicolas will help Adrien find Charles. Nicolas’s quiet strength and gentle heart soon convince Adrien that Nicolas is nothing like the vampires he has sworn to destroy. As the wedding date draws nearer, a force intent on destroying the fragile peace between the vampire clans threatens to tear apart both the vampire realm and the world of the hunters. To secure both past and future for those he loves, Adrien must find a way to stop the looming war between hunters and vampires. But first he’ll have to let Nicolas go.

Review

First, I think anyone interested in this series should be PSYCHED to know that all 3 books are finally released. I didn’t touch this because I didn’t want to be in cliff-hanger torture while waiting for the series to finish. So…. Once I saw book 3 released I said – at last! – I can begin this series!

Second, this is Shira Anthony. So… you know you best be prepared for in depth world building, complex characters, lots of angst, and pain, and maybe some not-so perfect MCs.

I think, as someone who has enjoyed her other series – Blue Note and Mermen of Ea – that this (so far) seems to follow in their footsteps. Book one is all about the back story and world building and introducing us to all the myriad characters. Right now my interest in piqued with Charles and Francois more than Adrien – but time will tell…

I’m not a big fan – ok I hate – cliff hangers, and I’m actually more attracted to short stories than I am to epic multi book series – but – I’m looking forward to starting book 2. I do love Shira’s writing style and though I’m not loving the flashbacks and there was a lot of the time that I was really confused as to who was where and when but… – I love me some biting and vamps who like biting and all the magic – so….

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Author Provided Bi-Sexual Bullying DA Exploration Gay Gay Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Monthly Theme Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Scorching/high heat Standalone Steamy Romance

Steamy Romance: Unforgiven By: Ruth Clampett Narrated by: Eric London, Iggy Toma

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Unforgiven-Audiobook/B071X7VW49?qid=1532034461&sr=sr_1_4&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=QRVS6K5PXVWC340YMVBR&

Blurb

Would you live a lie to hold onto the one you love?
Dean and Jason are best friends, like brothers since boyhood, now architecture students and college roommates. They’ve always had each other’s back, but when one walks in on the other with another man, everything changes. How do you explain to your best friend that he’s the one you’ve always wanted, that until now your life has been a lie?
Desperation and shame are two dirty words that run through Jason’s veins. He carries the scars from a wayward priest who stole his innocence and left him shattered. Meanwhile for years he’s watched Dean pursuing woman after woman, as his own heart slowly breaks.
When their world blows apart, they learn the powerful bond between them has more fire than either understood. Can two broken souls find the light in their darkness and come together to make a whole, or will sins of the past be forever unforgiven?

Review

This was a mixed bag for me. First, through no fault of the author, this is a really bad time for me to read anything remotely “angsty”. When I asked to review this – more than a year ago – I wasn’t as worried about our world – as I am today. Unfortunately we had some miscommunication and it took over a year for me to get the audio code and now… well, I’m in a different place.

 

However, the story itself is really good. There’s no denying that. The author does not pull ANY punches and if you have triggers – especially around molestation – please read the reviews that allude to the triggers. I don’t consider these things triggers for me personally but they were VERY disturbing and hard to read.

 

As for the romance – well- Dean is kind of a dick throughout most of the story and Jason is a pushover. That made it hard for me to root for these guys as a couple. Though I love the whole “discovering your gay side” stories – and that part was usually pretty dang hot! – the way Dean treated Jason before and after made it less … good.

 

The ending definitely ties things up for these guys and leaves us with a pretty solid HFN if not HEA.

 

What saved this – for me – was the dual narration. I think, had I been reading it, I’d have bailed. However, the narration was awesome! I really love dual narrators as I think they really help to differentiate the MCs so nicely!

 

I thought Eric London and Iggy Toma were well suited to their MCs and did an excellent job with the emotion, the timing and helping to immerse the listener in the story. For that reason I’d definitely recommend this, though I had reservations about the story itself.

 

 

Story 3 of 5 stars

 

Audio 5 of 5 stars

 

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Bullying DA Gay Gay High but not hopeless Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Monthly Theme Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs pansexual Part of a Series PTSD Purchased Scorching/high heat Standalone Steamy Romance

Steamy Romance: Tight Quarters (Out of Uniform #6) by Annabeth Albert narrated by Greg Boudreaux

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40769198-tight-quarters

Blurb

Petty Officer Bacon, a navy SEAL and ace sharpshooter, has been on the front lines of more than his fair share of dangerous ops. Yet when a minor injury relegates him to the beta team, he’s tasked with what may be his riskiest assignment yet: the silver fox journalist he’s babysitting is the hottest, most charismatic man he’s ever encountered.

Award-winning journalist Spencer Bryant may have been named one of Pride magazine’s most eligible bachelors of the year, but he’s not looking to change his relationship status. He’s a consummate professional who won’t risk his ethics or impeccable reputation by getting involved with a source. Even a sexy-as-hell military man. But while Spencer can resist his physical attraction to Bacon, he has less control over his emotions—especially when the mission goes sideways and the two men are trapped alone.

Getting out of the jungle alive turns out to be easy compared to facing the truth about their feelings for one another back in the real world. And whether or not they can build a future is a different story altogether.

Review

This was a wonderful addition to the series Annabeth Albert has given us – filled with angsty, hot, military men and plenty of complicated drama, emotions, hawt sex and heas.

It literally took me months, however, to get through this and it took the coming out of the audiobook for me to actually make it through. This is in no way a reflection of the “goodness” within the book, only a reflection of my willingness to subject myself to more angst.

Without getting on a soapbox, I have found myself with only the barest, most minimal ability to tolerate angst and discord in my reading these days because I am so seriously mind-fucked by how awful the real world is under our current administration. Every day I am reminded that we are one day away from another world war and I just can’t tolerate any fictionalized angst when the current world is full of so much real angst. None of this is pertinent except to explain why it took me so long to get into this.

There is a fair amount of real angst in this and though the solution our boys agreed to in the end – to solve the big dilemma – seemed obvious – I could see how egos getting involved might have made this seem impossible – until it wasn’t.

In any case, I think fans of the series will really like this – I found it to be as enjoyable or more enjoyable than others in the series once I made myself get into it.

Highly recommended for fans of the series, military drama, may/December, angsty reads, hot reads, opposites attract, OFY.

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

As a side note, Greg Tremblay/Boudreaux did another really great job with this. There are a LOT of people in the story and he really strove to make each a unique person/character and he managed to make the hot smexy times even hotter!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 5 of 5 stars

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Copy purchased for review