Time to get scared: Laurent and the Beast – Kings of Hell MC’s #1 – K.A. Merikan

Good Reads Link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33959435-laurent-and-the-beast?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself.

1805. Laurent: Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.
2017. Beast: Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse.

Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.

Review
Holy cow! There are so many different tropes involved in this book yet it all fits together seamlessly with the fantastic K.A. Merikan’s writing. They’ve created yet another book and series that draws you in right from the start with strong characters, a gripping story line and fantastic interactions.

Laurent is living in 1805 and working as a servant in a bookstore. A late night delivery leads him out to a house of what he thought was an admirer but turns out to be so much more. In order to escape, he makes a deal with a demon.
Beast exists in 2017, living in a crumbling Asylum with his father’s motorcycle club, the Kings of Hell. His own story keeps him pretty quiet and apart from the world after he was left with body and facial scarring which he covered in tattoos to protect himself from other’s pity. When he stumbles across Laurent late one night, he has no idea what he’s in for.

This story has so much and yet our focus remains on Laurent and Beast, and yes we do eventually discover his actual name. Laurent is looking to survive and save himself from certain death back in his time as well as trying to adapt and learn about where he suddenly finds himself as well as carrying out his deal with the demon. Of course, he never counted on Beast. Though scarred and tattooed, he is caring, gentle and endearing to Laurent. All Beast wants is somewhere better for the club than the health hazard that they currently reside in yet his father refuses to move for unknown reasons.

The two men together are frustrating, adorable, tense yet hot. It’s Beast’s acceptance of Laurent and the way he is that makes you like him even more. There are a few different sides we see to all of the characters but when you can imagine a 6ft 5″ man covered in tattoos taking a man like Laurent shopping, it’s completely adorable! These balance out the intense scenes that are the bread and butter of motorcycle club books. There’s not as much violence as you would think with a name such as Kings of Hell but there is a lot of debauchery and partying that goes on.

The story line about the demon and deals that have been made causes underlying tensions to run but with no one knowing the full truth until later on in the book, it’s interesting to read what the characters are doing to ensure their part is played.
There are many secondary characters with the series being set in a club, several we like with a couple we don’t. All make the book much more interesting offering support or trying to pull them apart.

I loved this book, pretty much everything about it drew me in and made me want to know more. I’m interested to see what other stories come with the other men in the club and what supernatural forces they get involved with. It’s great having these different elements come together in one book and these authors are fantastic in bringing the story and characters to life.

I received an ARC from the author and am happily giving a review.

Number of stars out of 5
5

Provided by author for review

 

 

Time to Get Paranormal:The Alpha’s Widower Audiobook by Susi Hawke Narrated by: Drew Bacca

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Alphas-Widower-Audiobook/B07F216KGY?qid=1535304112&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=03DB94DQSBSYGC0C7QPZ&

Blurb
Series: MacIntosh Meadows, Book 1

What’s a guy to do when his straight best friend proposes a fake marriage? Just say…yes!
Laurie Adams looked like he had it all, but his marriage was a sham, a Mr. Wrong chosen for all the wrong reasons. When his husband dies, Laurie has no time to mourn the cheating bastard, and his in-laws have decided Laurie isn’t fit to raise his children, and they’ll do anything to take them from him. He’s lost his husband and his faith in people, but he won’t lose his children, too. So he runs back home to the small farm town he’d left behind a decade ago.
Dean MacIntosh should be the perfect alpha for anyone, but all around town he’s known as Mr. Not-Quite-Right, the last man a woman dates before she finds her real Prince Charming. It should bother him, but it doesn’t. So when his childhood best friend comes running home for protection, Dean has no problem stepping in.
Except when Dean offered to fake marry Laurie, he never expected the wedding kiss to feel so sweet, and he begins to question the sexuality he once took for granted. From an awkward wedding night to an even more awkward honeymoon, Dean and Laurie find their affection runs deeper than either of them ever guessed. And maybe now is Dean’s chance to be somebody’s Mr. Right.
This audiobook contains mpreg, adults adulting in fun and sexy ways, and probably more potty-mouth language than should be used in an audiobook with kids underfoot. Eighteen-plus listeners only please.

Review: This is an enjoyable ‘friends to fake marriage to real marriage’ story! Laurie and Dean were such sweethearts and the supporting characters were great, especially Kade, whose story is now on my list to read.
Laurie goes back to his childhood home to get away from the memory of his unfaithful husband and horrid in-laws. He falls back into the friendship he shared with Dean, even though he’s always had a crush on Dean. Dean, for his part, has always considered himself straight, but when issues arise where Laurie’s kids could be taken away, Dean steps in to marry him. The way the 2 men explore their feelings for each other is sweet and funny, with the right amount of mild misunderstanding. There’s even a bit of a mystery which adds to the story.

The narration is very good – Drew Bacca is new to me. I liked his work so much that I got the next audiobook in the series (also very good).
He had different voices for the characters, had good pacing and projected the humour, sweetness and other emotions of the characters well. I was entertained!
I’m still a newbie to this trope, (mpreg, non shifting shifters), but I really like it so far.
This is another one of those stories that the audiobook is a really great way to experience the story. I loved it!

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy provided for review

 

 

 

Time to Get Paranormal: Grabbed (Team A.L.P.H.A. #1) by Susi Hawke and Crista Crown

 

Good reads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39857782-grabbed?from_search=true

Blurb

Team: A.L.P.H.A.:Six battle-hardened alphas with one goal—to save any omega in peril

Preston Tierney, the omega son of a prominent senator, has been taken by a secret group with an ax to grind. Party boy Preston was just out looking for a good time until he was grabbed—plucked right from a party in the middle of a crowd. When he wakes up, he finds himself caged like an animal in a remote cabin far from home.

Noah Perkins is a strong alpha who leads his unit with a strong hand—and a great sense of humor. The last thing he expected when he went to free the sassy little thing in the cage was to scent his own fated mate.

Noah and his crazy crew must free Preston from captivity—from his kidnappers, and again from a source much closer to home than they would’ve imagined—while Noah tries to figure out how to tame his bristly omega and truly embrace the team’s motto: Accept, Love, Protect, Honor—Always.

This is the first in a new series, but can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel. You can expect to find naughty, knotty scenes of steamy passion, along with a lot of potty-mouth language and some violence. No jackals were harmed in the writing of this book—unless they kinda deserved it. HEA definitely included, intended for 18+ readers only. Seriously, would you expect anything less from Susi Hawke and Crista Crown?

An MM Mpreg Romance

Review: I really enjoyed reading the book – the story line was interesting, unique even. Party boy omega, Preston, is kidnapped and rescued by Noah, an alpha and his team, also called Team A.L.P.H.A. The team consists of 5 members of closely knit alphas. The insta-love and misunderstanding tropes are well represented, but not long drawn out.
Even though it’s a fated mate, mpreg trope, it’s a unique story. The banter between the characters is fun and the supporting cast well fleshed out. Definitely will be reading the rest of the series.?

I don’t think I’ve listened to Peter B. Brooke before, but I’d likely listen to him if he narrates the rest of the series (hoping for more audio :)) I’d rate the narration a 3.5/5.
He does a really good job distinguishing the characters, but his cadence was a little ‘off’, (to me), on the non-narrative parts. I got used to it, helped along by an interesting story. There were some points where I thought the narration didn’t convey the emotion of the characters – when one MC was surprised, the narration tone didn’t reflect that.
Overall, I really liked the book and the narration was OK.

Story 4; Narration: 3.5 stars out of 5

Copy provided for honest review

 

Audiobook: Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton Narrated by Matthew Shaw

audiobookreview

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Robby-Riverton-Mail-Order-Bride-Audiobook/B07G2RGB3Y?qid=1533353429&sr=sr_1_3&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_3&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=W1E89REAYVSSRC54DJ64&

Blurb

Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run–all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn’t ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his “intended”, Robby’s only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is — and can’t resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.

Damn, what a kerfuffle. If only Trace can get rid of the fugitive while hanging on to his own stupid heart.

Review

First, let me tell you how psyched I was for this. So psyched! Because Eli is one of my favs, this looks hysterical and one of my fav f/m tropes is the “mail order bride/forced marriage” scenarios.

Second, this surpassed my expectations by also being ridiculously touching – more on this in a bit.

I was wondering how the heck Eli could pull this off. Who would be fooled for long enough for this to work out and what would the long term game be. Well – she came up with a great plot and it totally made sense and kept me rooting for Robby. (If I have any complaints is that there is maybe too much lead in to the story and not enough post time with our couple as a couple… however that is a lot on taste.)

Trace is also another perfect MC for his role and plays it well. His family and their “secret” kept me laughing out loud! I don’t think it’s a spoiler to tell you that Robby likes to control things and has no problem brining Pa to hand – and it was one of my favorite parts of this story!

(All in all this was a wonderful “period” story from the old west that felt authentic and plausible in what should have been totally implausible. While I am eternally grateful for not living during those times, I believe she portrayed them accurately.)

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Audio

Matthew Shaw does a nice enough job. I wasn’t super wowed, but he is really easy to listen to and manages to keep all the various players separate.

This was a fine way to experience this really fun story.

4 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: The Bureau by Kim Fielding narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Bureau-Audiobook/B07FB87WNZ?qid=1533351357&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=ZB9XMTGMAM0FQQVEZ38X&

Blurb:

This collection contains the first three Bureau novellas:

Corruption

Once a proud demon of the night sky who carried nightmares to humans, Tenrael has spent decades in captivity as the star attraction of a traveling carnival. He exists in miserable servitude to men who plunk down ten dollars to fulfill their dark desires.
Charles Grimes is half human, half…something else. For 15 years he’s worked for the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs, ridding the country of dangerous monsters. When his boss sends him to Kansas to chase a rumor about a captive demon, Charles figures it’s just another assignment. Until he meets Tenrael.

Clay White

Someone – or something – is murdering young men in San Francisco. Clay White has been fired from the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs, but he’s determined to track down the killer. When he comes across a vampire named Marek, Clay assumes he’s caught the perp. But the encounter with Marek turns out to be more complicated than Clay expected, and it forces him to deal with his own troubled past and murky psyche.
As Clay discovers, sometimes the truth doesn’t come easy – and the monsters are not who we expect.

Creature

Alone in a cell and lacking memories of his past, John has no idea who – or what – he is. Alone on the streets of 1950s Los Angeles, Harry has far too many memories of his painful past and feels simply resignation in facing his empty future.

When Harry is given a chance to achieve his only dream – to become an agent with the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs – all he has to do is prove his worth. Yet nothing has ever come easy for him.
Now he must offer himself and John as bait, enticing a man who wants to conquer death. But first he and John must learn what distinguishes a monster from a man – and what a monster truly wants.

Review

Book reviewed here previously

This is a collection of stories that introduce the Bureau of Tran Species Affairs.
The stories are a little dark, somewhat film noir-ish, but interesting. I read and enjoyed Creature, (my favourite of the 3), as a standalone, so when I saw that Joel Leslie was narrating the trio of stories, I was more than happy to experience the collection. The stories connect, but are definitely self-contained standalones.

What can I say about ‘a Joel Leslie performance’ that hasn’t been said before? He brings life, character and a wealth of acting experience to the stories he narrates; so much so, that one becomes personally invested in the characters. In this case, he made me want to take Tenrael (Corruption) home to care for. And John (Creature), you could almost ‘see’ how he bloomed under Harry’s care – I could feel the affection and emotion he felt for Harry, life (such as it was) in general.
Joel Leslie, simply put, is a pleasure to listen to.

5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Audiobook Month: The Bone Orchard by Abigail Roux, narrated by Nick J Russo

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Bone-Orchard-Audiobook/B076HCC2S9?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_13&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=5DJ273RTFPQ44P0Q23A7&

Blurb: After leaving a trail of terror and death in his wake, the notorious “Missouri” Boone Jennings finally meets his match in San Francisco when US marshal Ambrose Shaw catches up to him. The story of his capture, and the marshal’s bravery, has already become legend back east by the time Pinkerton inspector Ezra Johns gets off the train from New York City to testify in the murderer’s trial.

When Ambrose is unable to give witness to the evils he’s seen, Ezra becomes their lone hope for putting Jennings in a noose. But if Ezra thinks that’s his biggest problem, he’s got plenty to learn about life – and the afterlife – in the spirited West.

Fortunately, Ambrose is there to assist, and more than happy to oblige Ezra – in the courtroom or the bedroom. He spent his life bringing justice to the Wild West, and if he has a say in it, that’s how he’ll be spending his death too.

Review: A romantic ghost story with a bit of a twist; very well narrated by Nick Russo.
I enjoyed listening to Nick Russo’s characterisation of Ambrose as a gruff, older lawman and Ezra, as the younger inspector. Mr. Russo has a way of making an ordinary person or scene seem larger than life – I really forgot that I was not actually watching a western on the telly. He brought the characters to life, making a short story very enjoyable.
The story itself is engaging and the link to the present day, with some members of the Sidewinder team, was a treat.

4 out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Time to go Dark: Verified Kill Audiobook by Patricia Logan narrated by Rusty Topsfield

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Erotica-Sexuality/Verified-Kill-Audiobook/B00ZSYA7TM?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_19&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=35SRNT8TCC9854SQMTG9&

Blurb:

Walker Easton has chosen a life of solitude, and it’s always suited him well. When a young lover is viciously taken from him, he begins to reevaluate his connection with Emilio. Could he have saved the young man had he resisted the deep-seated desire to belong to someone? Lost and uncertain for the first time in his life, his bravado is slipping away.

When he’s given his next filthy assignment, he remembers Emilio’s final words to him…”Who will grieve for you when you are gone, Walker?” His next choices set him on a dangerous path where there is no turning back, and when an old friend gets in the way, he has an impossible decision to make.

Callum Tryst is a dangerous man in his own right. Young and cocky and undeniably one of the finest assassins alive, he goes after a target not knowing that there is one painted on his own back. When he crosses paths with a career sniper, he finally meets his match…or does he? Callum learns the hard way that perhaps the best weapon against his enemy is another enemy. He finds himself asking the question, “If I’ve never ever cared about anyone, did I ever really matter?”

Join the pair as they mete out justice as only they know how, in a desperate fight to the finish…and the discovery that the fight is not as they always assumed it to be. Assumptions get you killed…and dead men cannot love.

Review: I had listened to one of Rusty Topsfield’s narration a while ago and was not overly impressed with the performance, at least where he tried to sound English. But, I couldn’t find the time to read the ebook, so I took a chance and got the audiobook. I am so glad I did!
The story is about an assassin bent on revenge for his dead lover who meets another assassin. Unbeknownst to either of them, they have the same target in their sights. The story is a little convoluted, with a target that may be innocent, a hateful parent and characters from the Silver (BDSM) series, (although not necessary to have read said series). There is some D/D (not a lot); however I’m not a BDSM fan, so the story was just OK for me.
Rusty Topsfield was better (to me) this time around. I never had a problem knowing who was talking and he made both MC’s sound like the alpha men that they were. My only gripe is that during the non-narrative bits, he sort of had little to no inflection, so it sounded like some of the sentences ran without punctuation. But honestly, his narration definitely made it easier to enjoy the story, (sorry Ms. Logan!).
Based on his narration, I will probably get the rest of the series in audio format ☺

4 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased For Review

Time to Laugh: Agent Bayne (PsyCop #9) Audiobook by Jordan Castillo Price Narrated by Gomez Pugh

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Agent-Bayne-Audiobook/B079YXBLPG

Blurb

Victor Bayne is through with the Chicago PD. Can he handle the FPMP?
After years of frustration as a PsyCop, Victor Bayne reports for duty at the Federal Psychic Monitoring Program. As a fledgeling agent, he’s ready to smoke out a few ghosts and be home each night in time for dinner. But is he prepared to add a professional dimension to his romantic partnership with Jacob Marks?
Jacob has already established his territory in the Program—he’s competent, he’s respected, and he’s pretty much fearless. The last thing Vic wants to do is screw up in front of him.
When fellow agents start turning up dead, Vic is expected to do more than just lay their ghosts to rest. But what if his psychic talent isn’t quite enough? As the death toll rises, he and Jacob scramble to determine who’s in danger, and who’s a killer.
Using all the resources at their disposal, they close in on their suspect. But as they do, their past comes back to haunt them…and even Jacob worries they’ve tampered with forces they should have left alone. Are their combined talents enough to protect them from enemies both living and dead?

Review

(Book Reviewed Here Previously)

This book made me ridiculously happy!

First, it gives us more Jacob and Vic and even some Crash! We get to solve another mystery and just when we think we know all there is to know about Vic’s talent… there’s more to know!

Aaaand – it seems like there could be many of these with Vic as FPMP. I wouldn’t be sad if these went on for – I don’t know – EVER!

Aaaand – I love his new phone! So funny and realistic!

Aaaand- Jacob and Vic are still rock solid. They are such a great couple and I love watching their relationship evolve over time.

If you’re a fan, you’ve already read this and if you haven’t started this series – go do it!

I cannot wait for the audio!

Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars

 

Audio

OMG so hysterical!  Gomez IS Victor Bayne to me – and I thought this was some of his best work!  His “phone” voice cracked me up so hard I laughed out loud.  He does accents and “characters” and handles the dry wit of this to perfection.  Absolutely wonderful – something fans of the series won’t want to miss and anyone new to the series will find entrancing!

 
6 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review