Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45046567-the-house-in-the-cerulean-sea?from_search=true&qid=36eITXgQ3H&rank=1

Blurb
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours

Review

What an amazing story.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started this…was this going to be crazy and out there or angsty and drama filled……well it’s a delightful mixture of both.

This story takes place in a time when there are magic beings around us. For “their” safety they are segregated as children and raised in “orphanages”. Linus, the main character, is a somber, joyless character. He seems to only take enjoyment in knowing he does his job (making sure the orphanages are run properly and that the children aren’t being mistreated) to the best of his ability.

When he is tasked with checking on a super-secret orphanage, Linus doesn’t know what he’s in for.

The characters are so unique. I loved getting to know all the children and their caretakers. Linus absolutely steals the show though. He learns so much about himself and what he is capable thanks to a group of misfits.

This was a beautiful and heartfelt story that I cannot recommend enough!!!

6 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The Prince and His Bedeviled Bodyguard by Charlie Cochet; narrated by Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48122504-the-prince-and-his-bedeviled-bodyguard?from_search=true&qid=uiutP3y4e0&rank=9

Blurb:
Prince Owin

Being a fierce predator – not at all adorable, despite my graceful stature – the last thing I needed was a bodyguard. Especially a wolf shifter, whose presence alone was an insult to my princely principles.
As prince of the Ocelot Shifters, I prided myself on my infallible feline instincts, uncompromising dignity, and flawless fashion sense. If having a canine follow me around at all times wasn’t bad enough, I now faced the most important moment of my entire life.
The time had come to prove I was worthy of my crown. If only I could find a way to get rid of the pesky bodyguard…

Grimmwolf

When the king of All Shifters asked me to guard Prince Owin, I admit I had no idea what to expect. Cat shifters tend to be a little intense, not to mention kinda cranky. Owin was no exception, though he seemed crankier than most.
Being his bodyguard was proving to be one of the greatest challenges of my life, but not nearly as great as convincing him there was something special between us.
When Owin was tasked with a perilous quest to prove his worth, I was determined to keep him safe, even if the same couldn’t be said of my heart.

Review:
Story: A really amusing, fun story. Owin, as spoiled as he seemed, is really very sweet and caring; Grim, ever the protector, knows how to handle Owin. They make a nice couple. I love how Owin doesn’t change much (from being a bit of a brat), even when he pretty much gives up everything to be with Grim. I wasn’t ready for the story to end 
I can’t wait to see who greets matched next, and I’m dying to see the king get his arse in gear and realise his fate has been in front of him for ages! 

Narration: Greg Boudreaux is an excellent narrator in his own right and a great choice for the book. He’s got great comedic timing and he is great with character emotions. This is an excellent way to enjoy a really good story.
Definitely on my relisten list.

Story: 4.5 stars
Narration: 4.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Silver and Solstice by TJ Nichols

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/silver-and-solstice-by-tj-nichols-11569-b

Blurb
Calvin is good at two things: stealing and being the worst boyfriend
ever. He can’t help his sticky fingers, even though Rafe has pleaded with him
to stop. When a job goes horribly wrong, Calvin’s fate is in the hands of his
silversmith boyfriend.
Rafe has done everything he can to put distance between himself and the
restrictions of being a princeling. He has a craft, a shop, a shifter boyfriend,
and lives a completely disreputable life.
But to save Calvin from spending Solstice in a cage, Rafe will have to
step up and face his father, head of the city guard. Rafe’s father has had
enough of Calvin flouting the law. Shifters are supposed to be collared in the
city.
Calvin finally knows what to make for Rafe for solstice, though it breaks
the promise they made to each other….

Review

Calvin and Rafe have a special relationship but Rafe’s family is not pleased about the two men and how they are living. They believe that Calvin should know and stay in his place far away from Rafe. Yet the bond that Calvin and Rafe have cannot be broken or can it? Will one last job cost Calvin the love he shares with Rafe or will the two find a way to happiness?

This is a sweet and fast paced story. The characters are engaging, and I was pulled into the story right from the start. Love and trust is strong between Calvin and Rafe. Each man shows what a good man he truly is and is more than willing to sacrifice everything for the other man. The author has created a wonderous world full of magic and emotions. I wish it had been longer and that we got to see more form this couple.

3.5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Gentleman Wolf (Capital Wolves Duet book #1) by Joanna Chambers

Goodreads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47167640-gentleman-wolf?from_search=true

Blurb
An elegant werewolf in Edinburgh…

1788. When Lindsay Somerville, the most elegant werewolf in Paris, learns that the man who held him in abject captivity for decades is on his way to France, intent on recapturing him, he knows he must leave the Continent for his own safety. Lindsay cannot take the risk of being recaptured—he may have been free for a century but he can still feel the ghost of his old chains under his fine clothes.

… on a mission…

While he’s in Edinburgh, Lindsay has been tasked with acquiring the “Naismith Papers”, the writings of a long-dead witchfinder. It should be a straightforward mission—all Lindsay has to do is charm an elderly book collector, Hector Cruikshank. But Cruikshank may not be all he seems, and there are others who want the papers.

… meets his match

As if that were not enough, while tracking down the Naismith Papers, Lindsay meets stubborn architect Drew Nicol. Although the attraction between them is intense, Nicol seems frustratingly determined to resist Lindsay’s advances. Somehow though, Lindsay can’t seem to accept Nicol’s rejection. Is he just moonstruck, or is Nicol bonded to him in ways he doesn’t yet understand?

Note: this is the first book of a duology – the story continues and will complete in the second book, Master Wolf

Review

Chambers skillfully and masterfully weaves a story of fantasy in a delightful historical setting. This is one of two books and has a HFN/Open ending that is not a cliffhanger but you would have to wait for January 2020 for the second installment in the series.

Much like in her Enlightenment series, the research put into this book is meticulous and her language rich. This is one of the things I like most about historical romance, and when done well it can pull you centuries back in time. Chambers paints a vivid picture of 18th century Scotland, alongside a werewolf tale that feels both mainstream and uniquely different. Her choice of cover art is by the fabulous artist Felix d’Eon, who does lgbtq+ art in his unique old school, humorist style and representation of ALL the letters (check his out, you will not regret it). An artist I have been following for a few years and admire, just goes to show how meticulous Chambers is in her world building and authenticity.

I rather enjoy shifters when they are well written, and I find there are so many that follow the same well-worn path I have to be very picky about what I choose to read. This story has all the classical elements yet keeps it fresh and intriguing. Lindsey is a very relatable, yet surprising character, and I was rather fond of him from the start. His miserable beginning at the hands of a cruel master is contrasted by the happy, almost vain man he became a 100 years later. His meeting with Drew Nicol is a perfect clashing of wills and passions and the opposites attract in an almost painful way. They are raw and sensual, extremely HOT together, and Drew is the most soulful character you just want to sooth and hug. They both fight against their most secret wants and instincts, and ultimately have to make some very hard decisions.

Lindsey is on the run from a dangerous individual, and in their game of cat and mouse Drew inevitably gets tangled up. Nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted, they have to face the consequences of Lindsey’s actions, and I cannot wait for the second book to bring this story to its conclusion.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: An Uncommon Whore By Belinda McBride

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/an-uncommon-whore-by-belinda-mcbride-10735-b

Blurb
An Uncommon Whore Story

Pasha is a slave, whoring for travelers at the most treacherous bar on Warlan. The day Pasha spots the dangerous pirate in the bar, he knows he mustn’t let the stranger slip away, no matter what he must do to draw his attention.

Captain Griffin Hawke spent the better part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find Helios Dayspring crouched between his legs, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore. Though he is appalled by the downfall of his king, Grif falls for the sensual creature who has taken his place. After a brutal invasion stripped his people of nearly everything, they desperately need Helios to lead them. But returning him to throne means smuggling him off the planet, disabling the chip that keeps him submissive and forgetful. They will face old enemies, traitors, and greedy opportunists who’d like to strip their new planet of its wealth.

It might mean Grif losing his lover… and they’ve both lost too much already.

Second Edition

First Edition published by Loose Id LLC, January 2010.

Review
This book started off strong with a good amount of action and reveals. Pasha, the whore is discovered to be Helios a missing king and the Captain who finds him happens to be his long time find and companion. The pace slows a little towards the middle of the book as the couple trys to figure a way to get Helios’ memories back. The ending, which had been built up as Helios having to fight to get his throne back was a bit lackluster (but there looks to be a sequel so maybe the fight takes place there).

Occasionally, there comes a book that completely floors you. This was that book for me. Based on the title and blurb I already had an idea that I was going to have to force myself to finish this book.

Man was I wrong!!

I stayed up all night just to finish this one.

I really like the world that Belinda McBride has created. This book was scorching hot while still being romantic. The characters, Griffin and Helios were both very well written, you can just feel the longing, pain and hope that these two shares. Like I said above, my biggest criticism was the ending. It was a pretty big let down for me.
I strongly recommend this book!!
4.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Anhaga by Lisa Henry

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/anhaga-by-lisa-henry-10641-

Blurb
Aramin Decourcey—Min to his few friends—might be the best thief in Amberwich, and he might have a secret that helps him survive the cutthroat world of aristocratic families and their powerful magic users, but he does have one weakness: his affection for his adopted nephew, Harry.

When the formidable Sabadine family curses Harry, Min must accept a suicide mission to save his life: retrieve Kazimir Stone, a low-level Sabadine hedgewitch who refuses to come home after completing his apprenticeship… and who is in Anhaga, a seaside village under the control of the terrifying Hidden Lord of the fae. If that wasn’t enough, Kaz is far from the simple hedgewitch he seems.

With the Sabadines on one side and the fae on the other, Min doesn’t have time to deal with a crisis of conscience—or the growing attraction between him and Kaz. He needs to get Kaz back to Amberwich and get Harry’s curse lifted before it kills him. Saving Harry means handing Kaz over to his ruthless family. Saving Kaz means letting Harry die. Min might pride himself on his cleverness, but he can’t see his way out of this one.

The Hidden Lord might see that he never gets the choice

Review
When is a hero not a hero? Well Aramin (Min) is the perfect example. He is the lovable rogue who despite what he wants you to believe looks out for the innocent and tries, within reason, to do the right thing. But a person has to make a living and if the rich are willing to pay for his skills all the better. Unfortunately his adopted nephew tangles them into a mess that Min can’t easily get them out of. This story has all the ingredients o a wonderful tale. Heroes, thwarted love, danger and daring feats. I loved that Min wasn’t one of those hero’s that had the answers to everything, he just muddled through with skill and luck. Harry has some surprises as well. So does Kas, who is the Cinderella of the story.
Wonderful world building, very evocative description and a good pace. There is enough humour in the story to prevent it becoming too dark. With enough action to keep me engaged. I wouldn’t call this a romance more a fantasy with romantic elements. In this respect there is not very much sex in the story, but in my opinion it doesn’t need it. The story is strong enough on its own.

5 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Prince of Death (Lords of the Underworld #1) by Sam Burns, W.M. Fawkes

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44224267-prince-of-death

Blurb

Gifted power over life and death, Lysandros has spent millennia in the underworld, listless and alone. The youngest child of Hades and Persephone, he’s been sheltered from the threats in the world above.

Theo Ward hasn’t been so lucky. After watching his mother wither away, he’d do almost anything to have her back. When a messenger appears at the Banneker College of Magic and offers the young professor a chance to save her, Theo can’t pass it up, even if it means going straight into the underworld and dragging her home. But Theo gets more than he bargained for when he crosses paths with the prince of Hades.

Set against the king of Olympus, they must shed their past burdens and learn to trust in each other, so they can face down a storm that threatens to wipe the nation’s capital off the map.

Review
I had a lot of fun reading this story. I have loved Greek mythology since childhood and I loved the unique take on these legends. There are a lot of secondary characters in this story but lucky there is a glossary at the end of the book. The relationship and romance between the two main characters, Theo and Lysandros, while hot and steamy, it did feel a bit rushed. The characters and story were very well written so I can forgive the fast-paced romance. This book was very entertaining and enjoyable.

I highly recommend to all who are fans of mythology!!

4.5 Stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

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


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Categories
adult - 18+

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


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Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Coming Soon! Prince of Air and Darkness (The Darkest Court #1) by M.A. Grant

February 25!

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41550787-prince-of-air-and-darkness?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Blurb

Phineas Smith has been cursed with a power no one could control.

Roark Lyne is his worst enemy and his only hope.

The only human student at Mather’s School of Magick, Phineas Smith has a target on his back. Born with the rare ability to tap into unlimited magick, he finds both Faerie Courts want his allegiance—and will do anything to get it.

They don’t realize he can’t levitate a feather, much less defend the Faerie Realm as it slips into civil war.

Unseelie Prince Roark Lyne, Phineas’s roommate—and self-proclaimed arch nemesis—is beautiful and brave and a pain in the ass. Phineas can’t begin to sort through their six years of sexual tension masquerading as mutual dislike. But Roark is also the only one able to help Finn tame his magick.

Trusting Roark’s mysterious motives may be foolish; not accepting his temporary protection would be deadly.

Caught in the middle of the impending war, Phineas and Roark forge a dangerous alliance. And as the walls between them crumble, Phineas realizes that Roark isn’t the monster he’d imagined. But their growing intimacy threatens to expose a secret that could either turn the tide of the war…or destroy them both.

Review

Many people have liked this – I’m not one of them.

It just didn’t hit me right and I found myself only half-heartedly reading along. I’m not super big on fantasy to begin with and maybe this is too much for a “light” fantasy reader.

I didn’t feel the connection between Roark and Phineas like I wanted and the opposites attract/enemies to lovers thing was the only thing I liked about this.

3 stars


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