Recent Release Review: Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott ,V.L. Locey

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35559022-ryker?from_search=true

Blurb

This New Adult book is the first in the Owatonna U Series, a spin off from the best selling Harrisburg Railers Hockey Series.

Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?

Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player. He has no room for relationships, people that point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.

Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree. These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home. Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?

Review
I really loved this book! It’s definitely a YA/NA – it has a lot of angst that is age appropriate (and therefore a little frustrating) but still fits the ages of the MCs involved.

I think this can be a standalone but you’re definitely missing a lot of subtext if you don’t read these in order.

There was enough steam to keep things feeling hot but again – age appropriate.

I was pretty mad at the authors – when the hurt Ten in the last book – but I am hoping he seems on the mend and will hopefully be back up and skating soon 😉

I’ve really been enjoying this series and can’t wait for the next installment!

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to get paranormal: Slow Heat Audiobook by Leta Blake, Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=slow+heat+leta+blake&ref=a_pd_Love-Y_t1_header_search

Blurb:

Professor Vale Aman is an unbonded omega in his mid-30s who lost the hope of contracting with an Alpha. He’s content with his career, his poetry, his cat, and his small group of friends. When Jason Sabel imprints on Vale strong emotions and a deep sexual need to be together threatens to bring both men to ruin if they do not contract legally before consummating their bonding. Jason being such a young Alpha, with a much older Omega might just tear them apart.

Contracting with Jason also means Vale has to give up his independence trusting a young inexperienced alpha, not to mention facing the physical and emotional scars of his past. While Vale is not sure if giving up his comfortable life is worth it, Jason will not give up is fated mate and the future he knows they could share together.

Review

I have always avoided Omegeverse books, and MPREG has never been my thing, I felt like it’s never explained properly in many of them. But, as a Leta Blake book and the number of good reviews and recommendations this book gets I knew I had to read it. Leta has an amazing talent to write fantastic stories, heartbreaking, beautiful and gut twisting. This book was all these and more, and I am so happy to have read it at last. First, I want to say what an incredible world Leta created, the dynamic between characters, classes and Alpha-Omega-Beta is interesting and even though this is such an over explored genre, this book feels unique. It did take me a bit to get into the story, at first I was getting my bearings, but as soon as I did I was hooked and could not put it down! This book twisted me up and was so emotional, I felt deeply for each character.

The narration was superb, done with a sensitive touch and expert emotional timing, Michael Ferraiuolo lead me through the story like a sheep after its shepherd. He put the right emphasis on every note, tone and breath and brought life to the wonder that is this book. I have listened to another book narrated by him (Annabeth Albert’s On Point) and his narration was as moving and thrilling there as it was here. He has a wonderful way of capturing you and really delivering the atmosphere of the story. Knowing this book is as good as it is I would still not skip the pleasure of listening to the audio version.

Leta created amazing relationships between all the characters, and set them into a complex situation both dangerous and exhilarating. Jason and Xander have an amazing bond that is just wonderful to read, despite and painful decisions they had to make and endure. Discovering Vale Is Jason’s Erosgape is a shocking twist of fate and they both need to learn how to live this new, unexpected turn in their future. Jason is staggering to understand and adapt to the new role he now needs to fill as an Alpha to an Erosgape’, and it’s not a smooth transition.

I admired the way Leta wrote Jason’s transitioning from careless young man to bonded Alpha. This book embodies the struggle between the instinctual, animalistic, biological side of a person and the human, civilized side. And, unlike many shifter and Omegaverse stories there is not clean black and white, before and after split. Jason has all these new overwhelming instincts and urges, but he cannot turn off the person he was up to the point he met vale. That part with Xander, moved me to tears, it was intense, and so very realistically emotional. Xander is the one character that touched me the most. He is, without a doubt, the most miserable, sweet, twisted character I had the pleasure of reading and his part in this story was one of the best in my opinion.
I also loved Jason’s parents, and his Pater in particular, his story was so heartbreaking and really emphasized the difficult reality of their lives. Vale, too is such an interesting character, struggling to be independent in a culture that does everything to deprive him of said independence.

I enjoyed the laws and proceedings Leta created in this world when dealing with a possibility of bonding, both contracted and Erosgape’. It made the world real and gave it a cruel edge that I find so engaging in Leta’s writing. In this very fantastical setting, a make-believe reality that seems so far from our own there is an unmistakable thread of humanity and real, painful struggles. This is the undeniable reason for my complete infatuation with this book, these wonderful characters, this world that is both beautiful as it is ugly.

Number of stars out of 5
6 stars

 

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

Time to Get Paranormal: Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch

 

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40722060-salt-magic-skin-magic?from_search=true

Blurb:
Lord Thornby has been trapped on his father’s isolated Yorkshire estate for a year. There are no bars or chains; he simply can’t leave. His sanity is starting to fray.

When industrial magician John Blake arrives to investigate a case of witchcraft, he finds the peculiar, arrogant Thornby as alarming as he is attractive. John soon finds himself caught up in a dark fairytale, where all the rules of magic—and love—are changed.

To set Thornby free, both men must face life-changing truths—and John must accept that the brave, witty man who’s winning his heart may also be about to break it. Can they escape a web of magic that’s as perilous as love?

Review:

From the very first chapter of this book I was caught up in the intense atmosphere of desperation and mystery that just oozed from its pages. Poor Soren, trapped on his father’s estate by powers unseen and with no way out of his predicament!

Reading this story was a bit like walking through a haunted house, always a certain tension and urgency in the air. You daren’t put the book down, because who knows what might happen if you look away! And you just need the characters to hurry the hell up before something goes really wrong.

I loved it!
It read like a Gothic novel of yore, though luckily faster-paced than let’s say the good old Mysteries of Udolpho. The Victorian setting with the broken down manor and romantic moors lends itself perfectly for this type of story. Technical advancements are on the rise, but at the same time it’s far enough into the past to make legends and superstitious tales, even magic, seem plausible.

The writing was beautiful, fluent, gripping and evocative.
I loved the attention to historical details, that touch of realism to contrast so wonderfully with the very original magical setting of the story. I adored the references to the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace especially! How awful indeed for Soren to have missed out on that experience.

John and Soren seemed an unlikely match at first, because of the differences in their characters, their station in life and the trust issues they needed to overcome. But they are really great together!
They have amazing chemistry. However, it was the yearning and the tender, vulnerable moments they shared that truly made them stand out to me.
What struck me too is that Soren, in large part, is drawn to John because of how kind the other man is. Swoon!

I can’t wait to see what this author has in store for us next!

5 stars

Copy Generously Provided for Review