Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Back in Blacks by Rhys Ford

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/back-in-black-by-rhys-ford-11514-b

Blurb: McGinnis Investigations: Book One

There are eight million stories in the City of Angels but only one man can stumble upon the body of a former client while being chased by a pair of Dobermans and a deranged psycho dressed as a sheep.

That man is Cole McGinnis.
Since his last life-threatening case years ago, McGinnis has married the love of his life, Jae-Min Kim, consulted for the LAPD, and investigated cases as a private detective for hire. Yet nothing could have prepared him for the shocking discovery of a dead, grandmotherly woman at his feet and the cascade of murders that follows, even if he should have been used to it by now.

Now he’s back in the dark world of murder and intrigue where every bullet appears to have his name on it and every answer he digs up seems to only create more questions. Hired by the dead woman’s husband, McGinnis has to figure out who is behind the crime spree. As if the twisted case of a murdered grandmother isn’t complicated enough, Death is knocking on his door, and each time it opens, Death is wearing a new face, leaving McGinnis to wonder who he can actually trust.

Review: Cole’s back!!! And with him is the rest of the gang – Jae-Min, Bobby, Claudia, literally everyone. So happy to see a new story featuring one of my favourite PIs.
The story is vintage Rhys – lush descriptions of the area, lots of banter, sleuthing and dodging bullets – but also heralds a new look at Cole’s life, both personally and professionally.
I loved the murder/mystery aspect of Back in Black, especially as it kept me guessing, also was happy to know of the mentioned characters from another book (Murder and Mayhem series; not that you have to read said books).
So glad Cole is back; actually, he never left since I periodically reread and relisten to the first set of books.

I can safely say I’m going to enjoy this second ride with Cole and the Gang  (no 70’s band were harmed with that pun!).

5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Sticky Fingers by Davidson King

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50665726-sticky-fingers?from_search=true&qid=w97pllIB6p&rank=1

Blurb
When the desperate needs of his family must come before his dream of finishing his degree, Kyle, feeling both guilt ridden and heartbroken, knows what he needs to do. But when his help isn’t enough, a shady idea offered by his even shadier friend proves the only saving grace.
Mergers, acquisitions, and philanthropy consume Maddox’s days and nights prompting an overdue visit to his best friend’s luxury resort. Finally enjoying some R&R, he meets an adorable botanist working there for the summer. But a surprise visit from his ex and a shocking theft from his suite turn Maddox’s trip into chaos.
Trusting his gut, Maddox strikes a deal to help Kyle make up for his sticky fingers. But when his heart gets involved and his ex refuses to let go, Maddox’s plan starts to unravel. A summer of romance, deceit, and greed have both men navigating emotional waters, leaving them to wonder if true love and their happy ever after will come to pass.

Review

I felt like this book was really rushed, much of it was just too silly and the plot evolved fast with not enough believability to me. The beginning especially, felt to me like there was a need to get characters into a certain position in the plot and there was little care into how they got there. Kyle was too gullible in an annoying way, and the issue with his parents needing money felt like just a thing thrown in there. The story has a bit of Beauty and the Beast vibe, Kyle is indebted to Maddox who manipulates everything on a gut feeling to set Kyle up in his mansion to pay off his attempted theft. Maddox was very immature, at one point Kyle tells him “your acting like a 5 year old” and I couldn’t help but think how true that was, and not just that part of the story. There is also a bit of a thrilling twist, but it was very obvious to me what was going on and was a bit too cliché in my opinion.
I don’t know what it was about it, but towards the last 30% I was skimming most of the pages to just get it over with. Some parts where funny, but I am sad to say I was disappointed with this book.

Number of stars out of 5
2.5



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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Wrenches, Regret and Reality Checks by LA Witt narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Wrenches-Regrets-Reality-Checks-Audiobook/B08173XHCY?qid=1579556007&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=0N9GDPZP0FKSXD260VE4&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

When Reggie’s garage became part of a popular reality show, business went through the roof. And he supposes having his shop in the black is a fair trade for jumping through the network’s hoops.
As the show’s lowest-ranking producer, Wes is tasked with proposing a new spin-off show to Reggie. The sexy mechanic makes him sweat on a normal day, but this time, Wes is holding cards he can’t show. With execs breathing down his neck, he’s expected to pitch a show Reggie will never agree to do, even if his rejection puts his existing show on the line.
The network is counting on Reggie refusing to sign. But they’re not counting on their messenger falling for the man they’re trying to fire.

Review

I haven’t read book one in this series, but I did read book two and I’m a big LA Witt fan. I love blue collar MCs and mechanics especially turn my key. (Look what I did there!) The cover is really hot and while I was a bit leery of the reality TV, I was really hoping that the mechanic part of this story would negate the Hollywood drama. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

I admit to a definite bias against reality TV and Hollywood storylines. The fakeness of Hollywood and actors and the BS they do for their work make them unappealing as characters, so I avoid those storylines. If those are things you like, then please take my review with a big grain of salt, because it might just be up your alley. The takeaway feeling I got by the end, was a temporary fix to the central problem and a tepid HFN. I don’t want to give away any plot points, but even at the end of the story I was still worried about the garage and it’s future, I was uncertain what sort of career Wes was going to have, and most importantly, I was worried that our MCs weren’t really going to go the distance– both in terms of geography and personal life plans. Perhaps if the story had been longer I might have been convinced, but given the story’s brevity – where we’re left is still on pretty shaky ground.

The writing was good, the smexy times were smokin’ hot, but the feels just weren’t there for me. I was left kind of anxious at the end of this story and I don’t like that feeling! I admit to wanting it all wrapped up in a pretty package (or at least looking like it’s pretty certain to be all wrapped up in a pretty package) and this just didn’t convince me. If you’re a fan of the series (I think there’s a lot of book one referenced in this), a fan of reality TV/Hollywood angst, if you don’t mind a romance with less “feels” in it but plenty of “sweaty, hot, blue collar meets white collar man on man” sex – this is the book for you!

2.75 of 5 stars

Audio

Nick is awesome – as always. He really brought a lot to this story and made it more enjoyable than simply reading it.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote narrated by Hamish Long

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Rainbow-Place-Audiobook/B081ZD89V5?qid=1579551980&sr=1-3&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=P8PQKF7EMEC73VWM05P2&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_3

Blurb

Can Jason find the courage he needs to be the man Seb deserves?

When Seb Radcliffe relocates to a seaside town in Cornwall, he feels like a fish out of water. He misses queer spaces and the sense of community he enjoyed when he was living in the city, and decides to open an LGBT-friendly cafe-bar.

Jason Dunn is the builder Seb hires to help renovate the rundown space where the cafe will be housed. Jason is also gay, but unlike Seb, he’s deep in the closet. He’s never had a relationship with another man–only allowing himself the occasional hook up with guys who are prepared to be discreet.

The attraction between the two men is instant and impossible to ignore. But while Seb is out and proud, Jason is terrified of being exposed. With the grand opening of Rainbow Place approaching, tension is growing among some locals who object to Seb’s plans. When things escalate, Jason is forced to choose whether to hide in the shadows and let Seb down, or to openly support the man he’s fallen so hard for.

Although this book is part of a series, it has a satisfying happy ending and can be read as a standalone.

Review

Jay writes lovely characters with just the right mix of humor, smexy times and angst. This is maybe a little more angsty that some of his earlier stories but not too heavy.

This is a great start to a new series with a lot of compelling characters and some deep emotions.

Hamish Long is a new to me narrator and I really enjoyed his narration!

4 of 5 stars for both story and narration!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Fighter Survivor, Book 3 By: T.M. Smith Narrated by: Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fighter-Audiobook/B08287DS1L?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=Z5DDAPSHSPWA0FAQEAEA&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_B08287DS1L

Blurb
Fighter – A Survivor Story

Dedication and smarts have given Blair Cummings a leg up in the Bureau. His job is all-consuming but rewarding. It doesn’t leave much time for a love life though, not that Blair believes in love. In his early 30s, he’s only ever been in one long-term relationship due to his inability to commit to anything other than his job and his family.

Born into a family that’s as successful as they are hateful, Howard Manning Tullor Junior ran so far away from his last name that he wound up in the arms of Satan himself. Freedom comes at a high price but it’s one Mannie is willing to pay, setting him on a path that leads him to a quiet, laid-back FBI agent.

Their attraction is unexpected, and yet, welcomed. Blair seems to have finally found something worth fighting for, but Mannie, still haunted by ghosts of the past, wonders if he’ll ever be able to move on. The two are working toward their future, but can a budding romance survive when past and present collide?
©2019 TTC Publishing (P)2019 TTC Publishing

Review
I admit it’s been awhile since I’ve read/listened to the first books in this series. As a result it took me quite awhile to get back into the groove of this story as it leans heavily on prior information in those books being remembered by the reader.
This is a great series of hurt/comfort and recovery and growth. I was glad to see all the stories wrap up and to revisit some of our MCs from previous books.
This wasn’t my favorite – but that doesn’t mean it was bad – it just didn’t grab my heart as strongly as the others in the series.
I always love Nick Russo’s narration and he was wonderful as I expect him to be.
Recommended for fans of the series – not a standalone!

Story 3.5 of 5 stars
Narration 5 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47795450-tough-guy

Blurb

They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

Review

This took me FOREVER to get into. I just wasn’t as compelled as I had been with books 1 and 2. I’m not sure exactly why – but I didn’t gel with the couple as much as I had with the others. The chemistry was just off for me I guess.

I do enjoy a good hockey player book and Rachel Reid is a great author – so if you enjoyed books 1 and 2 I’d take a look at this – but it wasn’t my favorite.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Family Ties (The Family Novak #1) by Susi Hawke, Crista Crown

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49513647-family-ties?from_search=true&qid=X00t6oFRRh&rank=1

Blurb

In a world where the rules are gray and the Don’s word is a law unto itself, only one thing is sacred… family.

A Team A.L.P.H.A. and Alphabits spin-off series

River Erikson is a man on the run. After scenting his true mate, he’s done everything in his power to escape. Just because he was born an omega doesn’t mean he needs to answer fate’s call and drop to his knees for some alpha. Especially not a smug mafioso who thinks way too much of himself. Luckily, his job at STAHP—the vicious vigilante organization that works to police shifters when law enforcement can’t—keeps him busy enough that he can try to forget how his traitorous body reacts whenever a certain muscled Russian is around.

Vasily Novak is stunned when he scents his mate, but powerless to chase him when he flees. How can he? His focus is entirely centered on the precocious five-year-old he recently learned was his child. All he can do is trust the fates to bring his mate back when the time is right. Vasily is confident that River will be his eventually… he just needs to be patient.

When Vasily’s son is taken, River comes to help retrieve the boy who melted his heart the first time Petey called him “pretty kitty.” As the pair leave a bloody trail through the city on their search, will the fates give them a second chance at finding a forever in each other?

This is the first book in a new mpreg mafia series. Get ready for a world ruled by the Don’s iron fist, unique interrogation tactics, and a family that stands together… no matter what. You can expect to find naughty, knotty scenes of steamy passion, along with a lot of potty-mouth language and more violence than you’re used to from us. But at its heart, you’ll still find all the fluffy mpreg feels and crazy antics you’d look for from Susi Hawke and Crista Crown.

Review

This was fun! Predictable for the most part, but the characters drew me in enough that the storyline was engaging anyway. I am definitely going to look for the second book in the series!

3.5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Love has no direction by Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-has-no-direction-by-kim-fielding-11492-b

Blurb

A Love Can’t Novel
Yet another series of poor decisions lands Parker Levin back in his mother’s house, working at her coffee shop, and feeling like a failure. Then he learns his ex-boyfriend has died by suicide and things go from bad to worse. When he meets a handsome stranger, he doesn’t have much left to lose.
Ten years ago Wesley Anker made a grave mistake. Since then he’s lived in near isolation, supporting himself by making custom furniture and only rarely connecting with other people. When he attempts to make amends, he encounters Parker, a beautiful and colorful young man, and he agrees to Parker’s impulsive request to join him.
Together, Parker and Wes find quick friendship and fierce attraction. But Wes’s past demons haunt his footsteps, and Parker’s struggle to plan a future has him stumbling through life. Then they uncover evidence that suggests Parker’s ex’s death might not have been a straightforward suicide, and every path seems to lead to dead ends and destruction. Can Parker and Wes find their way to lasting love when the route is hidden?

Review

I loved book one in this series. In general, I love Kim’s characters and her ability to tug at our heart strings – especially since she uses “regular joes” instead of billionaires, or rock stars, etc.

I didn’t love this. I was frustrated by the fast way the two hooked up and was really frustrated by the ending.

I wanted there to be MORE – something more profound and something more concrete. Instead I felt like this was a very watered down story which more or less ambled along until it stumbled to the end.

I’m sure some of my bias is that I didn’t really like the ambiguity we’re left with surrounding the future – but even with that aside – the romance just fell a bit flat for me and I was never quite convinced of it’s longevity.

In any case, Kim is a great writer and the story itself is well written – I just wasn’t so sure of the overall impact it left behind.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Fire and Onyx (Carlisle Deputies #5) by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-and-onyx-by-andrew-grey-11481-b

Blurb

A Carlisle Deputies Novel

Undercover sheriff’s deputy Evan Whittaker is close to infiltrating a vicious local gang. He just needs to find an opening. Instead, he finds Wes Douglas, a web designer who is raising his irresponsible brother’s son. Wes agrees to help with a stakeout, but he pays the price when his home is destroyed in a shootout.

Evan’s always been a loner, but when he invites Wes into his home, living together feels right, and the two men only grow closer as they adapt to each other’s lives and rhythms. A future as a family looks brighter by the day, but all of that could collapse when Wes’s brother—and his connection to the drug dealers—crashes into the life they’re carefully building.

Review
Fire and Onyx is the fifth book in Andrew Grey’s Carlisle Deputies series. This can be read as a stand alone but there are a lot of secondary characters that show up in this book and you may feel lost with all the different couples.

Like most of the stories in this series, there is bad guys needing to be caught and amidst all the drama a sweet romance brews. I really enjoyed Evan and Wes and Wes’ son Grayson. The romance between Evan and Wes does seem to take a backseat throughout most of the story. Despite the interesting plot I also found it to be pretty slow, my attention was easily pulled from this story, which is not normal for me, especially with an Andrew Grey story.
I would still recommend this to all who have enjoyed Andrew’s previous work but if you are new to him do yourself a favor and start at the beginning of the series with Fire and Flint.

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Socks for an Otter by Posy Roberts

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/review/new/50238860-socks-for-an-otter

Blurb: He fell from his ivory tower and landed in the gutter.
But Sebastian would rather be homeless and hungry than clueless.
On his way to the food pantry, a guy on his cell phone runs into him and triggers his prickly side. As a sign of goodwill, Louis offers to cook for him. But all Sebastian sees is the privilege he used to have.

This isn’t a fairytale. Louis isn’t Prince Charming. And Sebastian can make it on his own.
But it’s been days since he’s had a hot meal. And a blizzard is coming.
Will Sebastian’s pride be his appetizer?

Review: I loved this story! It is a touching story, but not maudlin. The plight of the homeless is told in a simple but impactful way.
Seb and Louis make a great couple. Seb reads older than his age (23) – not in a bad way – showing that life on the street can and will make you grow up real fast. Louis is a caretaker – always needing to be needed. The one time he failed to be there for his loved one resulted in tragedy. With Seb, he has a chance to feel needed again, though Seb wasn’t very accepting of what he thought of as charity. This makes for some prickly interactions between both men, but their simmering attraction and willingness to listen to each other helps them forge a relationship.
Lovely story!

5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest