Time to Comfort: Love’s Tethered Heart by CL Etta


Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/loves-tethered-heart-by-cl-etta-7960-b

Blurb

Two years ago Mico and his partner suffered a savage gay bashing that left Mico a quadriplegic—and ended his dreams of traveling the world as an archeologist. Abandoned by the man he loved, he lives in isolation, tethered to his bed by the machines keeping him alive, with only his caretakers and immediate family as companions.

Assigned to interview Mico and uncover the story behind his assault and his refusal to identify his attackers, journalist Danny is unprepared for his reaction to the fragile, yet enigmatic man. Mico is afraid to let Danny into his life, and Danny is unsure how to change his mind. Mico is also keeping secrets, and he isn’t the only one. Danny is determined to protect Mico, and he’s determined to show Mico that their feelings for each other can thrive amidst the mechanics of Mico’s existence.

If you enjoy romantic tales of heartbreak turned to hope, the life-affirming story of Danny and Mico will make you believe in the possibility of love for everyone—no matter what obstacles they face.

Review
I’m in awe….This is how you write a story from different perspectives. Really amazingly done.
The buildup is stunning and the story beyond my expectations
At 30% I really broke down when Mico broke down my God it was heartbreaking.

As you can read in the blurb Mico was bashed two years earlier and left with quadriplegic, I’m not familiar with such circumstances as described in this story. But it’s all convincing and I’m very content when there is love, compassion, honesty and forgiveness involved.
And when this is done in a amazingly honest and caring way I’m sold.

Danny is interviewing Mico about what happened to him two years ago. Through these interviews we get to know the whole story. We will meet all his caretakers and we see the growing affection between Danny and Mico. I love them both <3

There are some hilarious parts (you must read them yourself)
The story was in balance and felt real and honest, despite the dark clouds you could feel the warmth of the sunshine.
There are some hideous parts where I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Some stupidities which were understandable.

It was a journey and a hard one. It touched me deep. I felt it in my burning chest.
When I have that feeling I know it’s real. Through reading every time i try to assure myself if this was holding Mico high because no way I want to read something that degenerate someone, that would bring someone down because of someones disability. In this case Mico who depends on others. Mico is not his disability he is a man with a big heart, humor, intelligent and caring….so exceptional, all his reflections felt real.

And Danny my God he is amazing, he sees a soul just how we all should. We see this story from his pov. We can see him grow and his love has no boundaries he is very dedicated.
Then there are Randy, Adrian their story will stun you. And there is Santi, Dad and other Dad and Mom
It was a circle of unconditional love.

All felt real and convincing.

You know….some sentences are so right….so straight to the heartstrings…you can only love them.
This book will make you laugh and cry and will amaze you about the strength of men kind.
It was beautiful solid written with unexpected turns.
An absolute mustread!!

5 stars out of 5


 

 

 

 

 

Copy provided for review

Release Day: Where Nerves End by L.A. Witt

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/where-nerves-end-by-la-witt-9935-b

Blurb

A Tucker Springs Novel

Welcome to Tucker Springs, Colorado, where you’ll enjoy beautiful mountain views and the opportunity to study at one of two prestigious universities—if you can afford to live there.

Jason Davis is in pain. Still smarting from a bad breakup, he struggles to pay both halves of an overwhelming mortgage and balance the books at his floundering business. As if the emotional and financial pain weren’t enough, the agony of a years-old shoulder injury keeps him up at night. When he faces a choice between medication and insomnia, he takes a friend’s advice and gives acupuncture a try.
Acupuncturist Michael Whitman is a single dad striving to make ends meet, and his landlord just hiked the rent. When new patient Jason, a referral from a mutual friend, suggests a roommate arrangement could benefit them both, Michael seizes the opportunity.

Getting a roommate might be the best idea Jason’s ever had—if it weren’t for his attraction to Michael, who seems to be allergic to wearing shirts in the house. Still, a little unresolved sexual tension is a small price to pay for pain and financial relief. He’ll keep his hands and feelings to himself since Michael is straight… isn’t he?

Review

This book has been a favorite of mine for years. It was one of the first novels I read in the MM genre. I have reread this book many times. I found myself relating a lot to Jason. He suffers from chronic shoulder pain due to an old injury, he is struggling to keep his bar afloat and stave off bankruptcy. To try and get some pain relief he finally ends up trying acupuncture based on a friend’s recommendation. There he meets Michael the acupuncturist. Jason finds himself attracted to the straight man. After striking up a tentative friendship, Jason mentions an idea about the two becoming roommates. Jason finds himself attracted to Michael but believes he is straight since he has an ex-wife and a son. Jason realizes Michael is also interested in men. Michael then struggles with the idea of coming out to his son and ex-wife. The characters are extremely well written. Jason’s internal dialogue does tend to be repetitive at times however his pain and debt are big issues so I have no doubt that if I were in the same position, that would be all I could think about as well. I wish this story was told from both characters point of view. I was hoping that with this re-release LA. Witt would have added an epilogue or changed the ending a bit because that has always been my least favorite part of the story but sadly it is the same as I remember.

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 Review
Jason’s shoulder is wrecked and will visits acupuncturist Michael, an advice from their mutual friend Seth.
Jason’s finance is wrecked and a solution to their mutual problem is when Michael will be his roommate. Problem solved… you think… only there are some things playing like…
Michael is a single dad… Jason is heavily attracted to Michael, Michael is in denial… work and private can’t combine… right?

“God. I’m going to live with this guy? He’ll be treating me for tennis elbow in a week.”

Their conversations are awesome, their connection strong. The tension is heavy and anticipation killing.

The story was educational, like most of this authors books. Well developed and the building up really good done. The story is told from Jason’s pov and that’s why I missed a bit of Michael internal struggles.
Both guys were engaging and the total story was entertaining.
Overall a good and smoothly written story

Number of stars out 4 of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Knowing Me, Knowing You by Renae Kaye

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/knowing-me-knowing-you-by-renae-kaye-9931-b

Blurb

Loving You: Book Four

Can friends turned occasional lovers move beyond past mistakes and wrong assumptions to build something that can last?

Quiet bookworm Shane has a big secret—one he’s kept for fifteen years. AFL superstar Ambrose Jakoby grew up next door to Shane. They were close friends, and Shane supported Ambrose through school.

One night, everything changed.

Before Ambrose left Perth as a scared eighteen-year-old to head to Melbourne and take up his new footy career, Ambrose and Shane slept together.

For the next nine years, they continued a secret friends-with-benefits situation whenever Ambrose was in town. Shane never knew exactly where he stood or how to define Ambrose’s sexuality—and Ambrose didn’t know either. Then last Christmas, everything changed again, and a disagreement strained their friendship. Shane vowed to get over his unrequited love.

But Ambrose is back, recovering from an injury and hoping to make amends. He claims he’s ready for a real relationship. But Shane has to decide whether Ambrose means it and whether his Hufflepuff soul can take the chance.

Review by Aerielle

When I saw that Renae Kaye was writing another installment in the Loving You series I was very excited. While this book is a very good “friends-to-lovers” story it was lacking the pure joy and light heartedness that the first three books had.

Shane has always been in the background in the other stories, so coming into this book he was a complete blank page. He seems to have very little self-esteem and self-worth. He tends to calls himself “wallpaper Shane”.

Every few chapters there is an “Interview”, which is Shane asking his friends how long it took them to know they were in love. I really enjoyed getting these little insights.
By the end of the book I still felt like I didn’t really know much about Ambrose and only slightly more about Shane which is a real departure from all of Renae’s other books. This can be read as a stand-alone since there is a lot of explanation about the previous couples and their stories.

Overall this is a fairly decent story about two long-time friends who occasionally slept together coming to realize that they each mean the world to each other.

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review:  Jay and the gang are back! This time they make their appearances in Shane and Ambrose’s story.

I loved this addition to the series, especially 1 page ‘interviews’ with many of the cast from the previous stories.

Shane and Ambrose have been friends for years – Shane knows he in love, Ambrose appears to be straight. Until he’s about to leave for a professional football career in Melbourne (they live in Perth).

When Ambrose returns home to recover from an injury, the truth of his feelings for Shane comes out.

This ‘in the closet’ story could have been angsty and fraught with unnecessary misunderstandings; instead it is delightful, funny and warm.

As always, Renae Kaye writes warm personalities for her characters – Shane is the caring, self-deprecating (to a fault), snarky best friend. Ambrose is a bigger, but kind guy, looks out for his friends and still goes home to his mum.

This is a standalone story, but honestly, not reading the prior books would be a shame since they’re so good. There are references to 2 other characters from another author’s (Sean Kennedy) books which had me smiling, (I have the books).

 

Loved this story and I hope Hiram gets his own story.

 

4.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

I really enjoyed the first three books of the series but I have some reservations about this one. Mainly, I could not get over how much I disliked the way their relationship was manipulated by Ambrose. I felt like he put too many terms, and did not give enough back to Shane. Shane is a character that is sometimes hard to like, and he treats himself so poorly, despite Ambrose’s claims of his worth, that Ambrose’s treatment of him just grated on me more.

It was mainly the undefined friends-with-benefits situation going on, were it seemed like Ambrose was the only one really gaining anything out of it, and believing that Shane should be with him because he has undefined, but strong feeling towards him he never spoke about. And in the end Shane did what Ambrose needed, because it was good for Ambrose’s career at the time, and I could just not get over how much I felt it was not equal between them, and Ambrose taking what he needed when it was right for him. And Shane’s job is constantly treated as something he dislikes. Like it’s not worth anything, and so he can leave it and just be a kept man/do something else in Melbourne because he was not attached to it anyway. It was hard to care about a character that seemed to be designed to be rootless and motiveless, aside from pining after Ambrose and getting some action when he was around. I also felt like the author did not deal with the issue of Ambrose’s sexuality (him being Demi, perhaps) and the issue with is native roots. It felt like a side note when it should have been a bigger part of the story to me.

Their relationship felt off, more so when you realize the amount of time they hid this undefined thing between them. It hurt to read and was unsatisfying when Ambrose turned out to be the one who’s feelings and needs needed to be considered and not the other way around and heir HEA did not satisfy me at all.

The things I liked were mainly the other couples from previous books showing up and the friendship they share in their group.

Number of stars out of 5
2.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brook

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/gateway-to-love-by-sarah-hadley-brook-9915-b

Blurb:

Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers…. Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country. He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state. As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road? States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Review:
Another road trip story, this time it’s about two young men who want to see if they can define their feelings for one another, while taking in the sights of Missouri. All, before they go their separate ways after graduation.
Craig and Mitchell are best friends, recent college graduates. Unbeknownst to each other, each man is secretly in love with the other.
From the beginning you can see that these 2 have a great affection for one another – Craig only calls Mitch ‘Mitchell’; likewise Mitch only lets Craig get away with calling him ‘Mitchell’ (and he secretly loves it!).
As they travel together, layers of feelings are peeled away, slowly exposing how they feel about each other. And as the story develops, one also gets to sightsee with them.
When they finally figure out how they feel about each other, they still have to figure their future – they both have accepted jobs on opposite coasts. Hint: This is handled sweetly at the end and with the epilogue.
Overall, this a nice story with an undercurrent of humour and charm throughout, making it an easy, pleasant read with minimal angst.

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Love You so Madly by Tara Lain Narrated by Ry Forest

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-madly-by-tara-lain-9634-b

Blurb
A Love You So story.
Ben Shane has it all…and he’d like to give some of it back. While he loves his job heading a foundation that funds worthy causes around the world, his engagement to one of America’s wealthiest men leaves him feeling more like a trophy wife than a valued partner. The first warning that his relationship might not be designed to last is his irresistible lust for Dusty Kincaid, the golden-haired, bright-eyed handyman for his company.
Though Dusty is odd for a 23-year-old – no liquor, no sugar, and he can’t even drive – the more Ben gets to know Dusty, the more he admires him. But is Ben going to give up a guy who drives a Ferrari for one who takes the bus?
He must be mad. Dusty knows he and Ben can never work. After all, Ben’s perfect…and Dusty isn’t. But Ben might surprise everyone with proof that he’s only mad in love.

Review

Story-Love You So Madly is the second book in the Love You So Stories but can easily be read as a standalone. This is a pretty short read/listen about a guy, Ben who works hard for a charitable foundation. He seems to have the perfect life. Rich, attentive fiancée Alan, who wants to give him the world. A job, that even though it requires long hours, he gets to help people, which he loves. But underneath the surface Ben isn’t as happy as he seems. He doesn’t want to be a trophy husband to his rich boyfriend, he wants to make a difference in the world. Ben has noticed the office handyman, the stunningly attractive Dusty for a while but has hardly ever talked to him. Eventually that all changed and Dusty starts to help Ben out with some renovation problems he’s been having. Ben starts to notice some weird quirks about Dusty as the two get to know each other. As the two men grow closer to each other Ben struggles with his attraction to Dusty and his failing relationship Alan. After Dusty has a health scare Ben finally realizes what he wants and goes about making the changes in his life.

I found this to be a very light, fast paced book. The two main characters were sweet and funny. I did at some points find Dusty’s mother to be a bit over bearing but after finding out about past issues I could kind of get why she was like that. The one thing I didn’t like was towards the end, when Dusty and Ben finally get together, they had sex after their “first” date. I don’t think it needed to be in the story. It felt rather rushed and out of place. I would have been just as happy not to have it there. Other than that I found this to be a delightful book and series so far.

Story-4 stars

Narration-Ry Forest seems to be a fairly new narrator. I have only listened to one other book he has narrated, and I have the same issue with both books. Ry has a very attractive voice that kept me enthralled. He puts a lot of enthusiasm in his narrations but at times this can be very over the top (like when he “voices” a moan or laugh). He keeps the story going and I didn’t have any other issues, except the moaning/laughing parts, but I will most like still pick up an audio narrated by him in the future.

Narration-4 stars

Overall 4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Time to get Scared: Abercrombie Zombie by KZ Snow

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11719825-abercrombie-zombie?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Dead folks are the best friends of Quinn McConnell and Hunter Janz. Dead folks pay the bills for this team of psychic mediums . . . but just barely. To make it into the financial comfort zone, they need to outshine their competition.

Quinn needs even more than that. He’s been infatuated with his partner for the nearly three years they’ve been together, and if he can’t either get over his crush or make something happen with Hunter, they’ll have to split up. Sexual tension and unrequited love can wreak havoc with a psychic’s reception.

Salvation comes hobbling along in the form of a well-dressed but ravaged-looking man who can clearly see and converse with the dearly departed. Why? Because, he claims, he has something in common with them: He’s also been dead. The zombie who calls himself Dustin DeWind needs the psychics’ help in finding the man who made him what he is. In return, he promises to steer them toward the often elusive spirits that are their stock in trade.
But something more goes on when Quinn and Hunter forge an uneasy alliance with Dustin DeWind. It seems he’s also nudging them toward each other.

Review:

A totally different take on zombies – well, this zombie anyway.
The blurb gives the bones of the story, but it doesn’t prepare you for the murder/mystery, subtle humour, some pop culture references or the life lessons you get out of the story.
The humour and some of the pop culture are intertwined; the zombie is called Dustin DeWind – I didn’t know it was the name of a song, instead I thought it a tongue-in-cheek reference to zombies being dead (dust to dust …). Still thought it was amusing☺.
The way Dustin became a zombie is different, which makes him a different type of zombie – one that doesn’t eat brains – for starters ☺
When Dustin meets up with Quinn and Hunter, Dustin inadvertently stirs up a mini drama between the 2 psychics, especially with Quinn who’s been in love with Hunter for some time. Quinn has managed to keep it to himself until circumstances change to bring those feelings up front. The way the unrequited love angle is handled really well – hardly any angst, but you feel Quinn’s hurt.

When all 3 men get better acquainted, it turns out they all need each other – and this is the meat of the story. I was pleasantly surprised by the way the story evolved, and because the story is so unique, it’s best you read it to see how it progresses and ends.

I really enjoyed it.

4 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Release: Honeymoon For One by Keira Andrews

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41823691-honeymoon-for-one?from_search=true

Blurb

The wedding is off, but the love story is just beginning.

Betrayed the night before his wedding by the supposed boy of his dreams, Ethan Robinson escapes the devastating fallout by going on his honeymoon alone to the other side of the world. Hard of hearing and still struggling with the repercussions of being late-deafened, traveling by himself leaves him feeling painfully isolated with his raw, broken heart.

Clay Kelly never expected to be starting life over in his forties. He got hitched young, but now his wife has divorced him and remarried, his kids are grown, and he’s left his rural Outback town. In a new career driving a tour bus on Australia’s East Coast, Clay reckons he’s happy enough. He enjoys his cricket, a few beers, and a quiet life. If he’s a bit lonely, it’s not the end of the world.

Clay befriends Ethan, hoping he can cheer up the sad-eyed young man, and a crush on an unattainable straight guy is exactly the safe distraction Ethan needs. Yet as the days pass and their connection grows, long-repressed desires surface in Clay, and they are shocked to discover romance sparking. Clay is the sexy, rugged man of Ethan’s dreams, and as the clock counts down on their time together, neither wants this honeymoon to end.

Review

From the moment we are first introduced to Ethan as he is heading home on a New York train on the eve of his wedding, I was pulled in by his vulnerability. Hard of hearing and trying to cope in the noisy city environment, showed me in the first few pages here was a man that had faced personal heartbreaks and was doing his best to overcome them. But when he arrives home everything blows up in his face, the wedding is cancelled and he decideds to take the honeymoon trip alone.

As someone who grew up in the 80’s, on a screen diet of Neighbours and Crocodile Dundee (its still my husbands all time favourite film) Clay Kelly hit every one of my teenage nostalgia buttons. His Aussie slang made me laugh out loud more than once as did his love of cricket (which personally I find only second to golf in the boring sports stakes) and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the emotional, self-realization journey he took.

This book is a sweet, slow burn romance of two characters who take the time to get to know each other rather than insta-love, insta-sex of some stories. We, the reader also get time to understand how the characters think and how their life experiences have defined them into the men they are now. Both these men are truly likable and had me rooting for them (snigger) right from the start.

This book has in my mind all the elements that a good story should, allowing me to both laugh and cry over the tale as it unfolded.

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

Release Day: Three Bears By A. Nybo

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/three-bears-by-a-nybo-9881-b

Blurb

At Three Bears surf break, the attraction between a group of friends is anything but “Luke warm….”
Dan goes to stay with his best friend Josh in Margaret River, the surfing capital of Western Australia, to sort out his sexual confusion. But his best friend is the source of that confusion. Having never been attracted to a man other than Josh, Dan fears risking their friendship just to discover men aren’t his thing.
Within the first few days, Dan meets Luke, a local barista who offers him surf lessons. Dan soon finds himself emotionally coveting not one, but two men. When they go to Three Bears, his hidden desires begin to emerge. As the ambiguity of Dan’s mixed signals clears, it becomes apparent both of his surfing companions want him—badly.
It is only when Luke and Josh hook up that they formulate “Operation Three Bears,” an adventurous plan that might lead to a satisfying outcome for all of them.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

Review by Aerielle

Three Bears is a surf spot with 3 different grades of waves, a Papa, a Mama and a Baby, so don’t let the title full you into thinking its about three burly, hairy guys. This is a story about three men coming together in a beautiful story about self-discovery and self-acceptance.

Dan meets Luke at a coffee shop and strikes up a conversation which leads to Luke offering to teach Dan how to surf. Dan is in town visiting his best friend Josh. Dan has always felt an attraction towards Josh and wants to spend this time to try and sort out his feelings. After hearing Dan talk about Luke, Josh eventually goes to the coffee shop to meet him too. This leads up to all three going to Three Bears to surf. All three guys feel an attraction towards each other, but no one voices this. Luke becomes aware of Dan’s attraction towards Josh and Josh sees Dan checking out Luke. Luke and Josh eventually start a relationship and try to figure out how to include Dan. When all three finally come together the chemistry is off the charts!!

My only real issue with this book was the authors writing style. I have never read anything by A. Nybo before. I found that some scenes tended to end too abruptly. I do enjoy MMM as long as it is done right. This book was borderline for me, with Josh and Luke plotting ways to get Dan to join them but in the end they both had real strong feelings for him and they felt incomplete without him. Three Bears is apart of Dreamspinner Press’s World of Love series but it is a standalone novella.

4 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Karen

This is a quick and at times amusing read, but I didn’t really feel very invested in this throuple’s road to bliss. 

It just didn’t click for me. The author takes the time to set the stage, so to speak, introducing the three MC’s to the reader and each other, but as far as the actual relationship between the three men is concerned, everything feels very rushed to me.

Once they’re on the same page, they all jump into the physical side of things very quickly, especially considering Dan is still in the closet for nearly half the book. This bothered me, I’m more of a slow-burn kind of girl. I’m also not a fan of fade-outs, so that ruined the more sensual scenes for me. 
A missed opportunity to explore the connection between the three men some more and raise the emotional stakes. 

The connection between the MC’s feels lacking in intensity for me and I just don’t see where or how they actually fell in love with each other. Josh and Dan have a shared history and years of friendship between them to build on, but Luke is a recent addition and they don’t really know him all that well. 

In an mmm romance good communication and a solid emotional connection between all the MC’s is crucial, and I just didn’t feel like that was the case here.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 2.5

 

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Truus

Short sweet read. It’s all about three guys with their friendship and love.
Dan is confused about his sexuality… to figure out all his feelings he goes to his best friend Josh… even though his feelings for Josh are the reason why he is confused.
On his way to Josh he meets Luke… Luke will teach Dan how to surf.
Dan is more confused because now he is attracted to two guys.

He doesn’t know those same guys have strong feelings for Dan.

I found it an amusing read, not strong developed but that didn’t bother me. It was a sexy entertaining read, it had a lot of tension… it was funny, light and fresh. All three had nice friendly caring personalities. A threesome can be tricky in a story, the dynamic can be awkward but in this short one it was convincing and they fit perfect.

Number of stars 3,5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: At Your Service by Ariel Tachna Narrated by Jeff Gelder

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/at-your-service-by-ariel-tachna-3471-b

Blurb
When Anthony Mercer walked into Au cœur du terroir, he was looking for good food and a pleasant evening spent with a friend. He never expected to meet–and sleep with–Paul Delescluse, a waiter at the restaurant. After spending a magical week together in Paris, Anthony must return to his life in North Carolina, while Paul remains in France.
Despite the distance and the lack of promises between them–Paul wants sex, not a relationship–Paul and Anthony forge a solid friendship. Then Anthony’s job takes him back to Paris, this time to stay. Paul is thrilled to have him back, but Anthony has a harder choice: be another of Paul’s conquests or fight for the relationship he knows they could have, if only Paul would believe it.

Review
I have been a big fan of Ariel Tachna since I read her Langs Down series, but I wasn’t sure if I would like this one since I am not a big fan of long-distance love affairs. I ended up enjoying this one for the most part.

Anthony is an American in Paris for a week for work and ends up having a week-long affair with sexy French waiter Paul. He keeps reiterating that this affair will end once he leaves and goes back home which is fine with Paul who has been scorned by love in the past. When the last night rolls around Paul, especially seems reluctant for their time to end, which was surprising to me since he comes off as a bit of a man ho, but that gets addressed later in the story. They part ways but continue to communicate first via email then later through Skype. Both men go on with their lives while encouraging each other to see other people.

Paul gets jealous when Anthony starts seeing another man and ends up having many one-night stands. Anthony ends up getting an opportunity to start up a branch of his work in Paris and Paul invites him to stay with him until he finds a new place to live. They both tell their loved ones that their friendship is more important than jumping back into bed with each other. They have one slip up, but both agree that they should remain platonic friends. Paul really struggles with his feelings for Anthony until he finally bears all and tells him that he wants to try a relationship with Anthony. Anthony, who is afraid of getting hurt again agrees to think about it if Paul can provide that he is really ready for a monogamous relationship.

Paul is determined to prove that he’s trustworthy but eventually Anthony’s rules start to run him ragged and neither men really see it until Paul’s brother brings it to light. Paul uses sex as a way to combat loneliness and Anthony tries to find ways for him to cope when he can’t be there. Eventually they get their acts together and some really good scenes happen from there. The story ends rather abruptly. I really wish that there was an epilogue showing how the guys are doing 6 month or so down the line.

Narration:
I have listened to quite a few books that Jeff Gelder has narrated and while he isn’t a favorite of mine his does an adequate job. My issue with him is he doesn’t tend to change the tone of his voice much to inflect certain emotions. During certain sexy scenes it almost sounds like a character is laughing. I do have to say that I loved his voice for Paul. Super sexy French accent!

4 stars for story and 3.5 stars for narration

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Time to get Paranormal: A Time To Rise by Tal Bauer

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40526865-a-time-to-rise

Blurb

History says the Knights Templar were destroyed in 1307.
History is wrong.

Vampires haunt the sewers beneath Rome, revenants desecrate graveyards, ghouls devour helpless passersby, and incubi stalk dark alleys and seedy nightclubs in Italy’s capital. Deep in the Vatican, a brotherhood exists, sworn protectors of the earth, and they stand against the darkness. Operating in secret and silence, they protect our world from the sinister, the etheric, and the evils that exist beyond the Veil.

But it’s a lonely life, and Alain Autenburg knows that more than most. His lover was ripped from him years ago, and he vowed never to get close to another soul again. Even when the loneliness presses down on him, and his empty heart cries out for something more.

Something more comes in Cristoph Hasse, a new soldier arriving in Rome to serve in the Pontifical Swiss Guard. Young, brash, and fitting in at right angles everywhere he goes, Cristoph struggles in the murky, deceptive labyrinth of the Vatican. Propelled forward by a past he can’t understand, Cristoph collides with Alain as both men crash headfirst into the darkest secret of the Vatican… and of the world.

Review

A Time To Rise is Bauer’s first steps into the paranormal world, but don’t expect romantic “vegetarian” vampires with a bit of sparkle, because that isn’t how he writes. The vampires in this story are ugly, evil and they smell. Really, really bad.

As with everything he writes, Bauer’s level of research and attention to the small detail is second to none and sets him far above, in my opinion, most other authors out there.

As always, this book is character led, but with the romance taking a backseat to the drama and mystery of the story.
Both Alain and Cristoph are interesting personalities, who help drive the story along at its fast pace. They are helped by a whole host of great secondary characters not least of which is Father Lotario, a cigarette smoking, vodka drinking priest who I would love to sit and chat with in a bar one evening.

The twists and turns of this book will leave you gasping for breath and worried what you will find at the next turn of the page. Its a lot darker than most paranormal romances out there, but worth every bitten nail.

5 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review