Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Once in a Lifetime by Cassie Decker

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb
All his life, astrophysicist Peter has dreamed of seeing the comet that last appeared on his birthday—and won’t be seen for another thirty-eight years. Since it could be his only chance, he travels to New Zealand. But his dream might be quashed after all when his rental car breaks down on the way to the observatory. He doesn’t even have a place to stay.

Fortunately a New Zealand native with a heart of gold offers assistance. But is kindness the only thing drawing the two men together?

Rangi can’t leave Peter stranded so close to Christmas, and his family has plenty of room—and love—to share. While Rangi is attracted to Peter, he’s seen too many of his friends get their hearts broken by tourists. Will they manage to see the comet on its decades-long journey across the sky… and take advantage of a rare opportunity that might never come again?

 

Review

 

This short was super sweet and I really enjoyed the addition of Maori culture with Rangi and his family. It was very interesting, me not being very familiar with New-Zealand and Maori culture. Peter was a very quiet kind of character and I found him very refreshing. He had the promise he made to his father to see the Comet, and his back story was sad but in a way gave him so much character depth, which was great in such a sort story where it’s often hard to achieve.
I enjoyed the chain of mishaps that brought Rangi and Peter together, and Peter was such a warm loving man it was very easy to fall in love with him, Peter and me both!

I also loved how well rounded the story felt, how there was almost a feeling of a full circle, a destiny that brought them to this place in time, together.
It was a very romantic, soft story full of character and love.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Counterpoint by Anna Zabo

release day review

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39675785-counterpoint?from_search=true

Blurb
Twisted Wishes lead guitarist Dominic “Domino” Bradley is an animal onstage. But behind his tight leather pants and skull-crusher boots lies a different man entirely, one who needs his stage persona not only to perform, but to have the anonymity he craves. A self-imposed exile makes it impossible to get close to anyone outside the band, so he’s forced to get his sexual fix through a few hot nights with a stranger.

When computer programmer Adrian Doran meets Dominic, he’s drawn to the other man’s quiet voice and shy smile. But after a few dirty, demanding nights exploring Dominic’s need to be dominated, Adrian wants more than a casual distraction. He has no idea he’s fallen for Domino Grinder—the outlandish, larger-than-life rock god.

Dominic is reluctant to trust Adrian with his true identity. But when the truth is revealed prematurely, Dominic is forced to reevaluate both his need for Adrian and everything he believes about himself.

Review
This was an amazingly tender love story, extremely well-paced and beautifully worded, crescendoing into a very intense, emotional conclusion. Very enjoyable read.

I completely fell in love with Dominic/Domino. What a wonderful idea to have a nerdy booklover, who struggles with anxiety, hide beneath the persona of a cocky, untouchable rockstar.
Dom hides in plain sight, changing his clothes and hairstyle when circumstances call for it, in true Clark Kent/Superman style.

He has a hard time reconciling these two aspects of his personality, and coming to terms with the fact that he doesn’t have to pick one over the other. Dominic is Domino and vice versa. He is still himself, regardless of how he dresses. Domino can only be strong and self-assured thanks to Dominic’s core of inner strength.
Domino Grinder is very important though, serving two purposes: he allows Dom to perform on stage without succumbing to a panic attack and he offers Dominic Bradley privacy and much-needed anonymity, enabling him to lead a “normal” life, unhindered by paparazzi or fans.

Still, Dom knows his true identity will be revealed sooner or later and then his carefully constructed house of cards will come tumbling down. When he meets and falls, hard, for Adrian Doran, that house of cards seems even more crucial to him, but also far more precariously balanced.

Adrian Doran is a great character. As soon as he meets Dominic, their connection seems inevitable in a meant-to-be, happily ever after way. They click immediately and have insanely intense chemistry together, to say nothing of how utterly sweet they are with each other.
I think Adrian has Dom from the second he shows him his magnificent library. Worked like a charm for Beauty and the Beast, and Dom is equally enchanted!
I adore Adrian for his patience and the care he takes with Dominic. He knows full well that Dom keeps secrets from him and is so respectful of his lover’s privacy, doing everything he can to show Dom that he can trust him.

I loved the camaraderie and playful yet caring dynamic between all the members of the rock band. Their friendship is so important to Dominic. Adrian, likewise, is incredibly fortunate with his friends, Jackson, and Janelle.

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Found Again (Fraser Lake Pack #3) by Lynn Tyler

Recent Release: Found Again (Fraser Lake Pack #3) by Lynn Tyler

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40618331-found-again

Blurb

From the author of the bestselling series, Pack Mates, comes the highly anticipated third book of the Fraser Lake Pack.

After his rescue from a prisoner of war compound in Russia, wolf shifter Lieutenant Colonel Mark Thompson doesn’t quite know what to do with the rest of his life. When an intriguing young man makes him an offer to recover more than a thousand miles away, he accepts.

Nathan “Hacker” Anderson has made a living by using his genius to carry out some not-so-legal jobs for whoever wants to hire him. Coming too close for comfort with being caught, Nathan fled to British Columbia, where he made his home in the middle of a forest. For the first time in his life, he’s happy and perfectly content with his lonely life.

Until…

…a chance meeting with the handsome Mark Thompson has him falling in love for the first time in his life. If he could only convince Mark that he was so much more than his career-ending injury, life would be perfect.

Mark has never been so taken with another shifter. Nathan brings out feelings he’s never experienced. But what could he ever offer the young eagle shifter? He doesn’t have a job, a role in his new pack, or even a working right hand.

Are their feelings strong enough or will the combination of Mark’s insecurities, Nathan’s inexperience, and pack instabilities tear them apart?

Review

This is the latest in her spin off the Fraser lake pack. Even though it is a spin off we still get to see all our old friends. Well a lot of our old friends.

This does a bit of back filling from the last two books and this is definitely best read in order. (I think you’d be able to figure things out if you started here, but the series in it’s entirety is pretty fun – so go ahead and start at the beginning!)

In this case we get a really sweet hacker who gets to fall for a broken down war hero. There’s not a lot of shifting and I miss that aspect but I appreciate the hurt/comfort that we get for both our guys.

This wasn’t as strong for me as the other books in this series or her first series (https://www.goodreads.com/series/106699-pack-mates) but it’s a great addition.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Coming Soon! Won’t Feel a Thing by CF White

July 31!

Pride Publishing:

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/wont-feel-a-thin

Blurb
It takes more than a doctor to mend a broken heart.

Ollie Warne is fresh out of nursing school and working his dream job as a pediatric cardiology nurse at St. Cross Children’s Hospital. Wanting to start the year fresh from personal heartache and his track record of falling for the wrong man, Ollie’s New Year’s resolution is to rid himself of emotional baggage and live a life of carefree liaisons.

But before the resolution can even begin, Ollie is called to care for eight-year-old Daisy Monroe, who’s struggling after heart surgery. Her father, Jacob Monroe, never leaves her side, apart from the times her mother comes to visit.

The tempestuous and somewhat estranged relationship of her parents is cause for concern enough, but the father’s brooding nature has Ollie investing far more time than usual in his Room One patient. Striking up a friendship of sneaking takeaways into the ward, card playing until dawn and the occasional breaking up of domestic fights, Ollie finds himself drawn to Jacob and becomes a friendly ear for the man who’s harboring more guilt and past demons than even Ollie, which is saying something.

The growing attraction makes it hard for Ollie to keep his distance, though he has to—not only do the ethics of his profession demand it, but Ollie is still somewhat involved with another man. One who has a huge stake in Ollie’s life, both personal and professional.

Ollie is risking more than just his job by getting involved with a patient’s father—much more even than the success of his New Year’s resolution, something that was supposed to ensure that, this time, he won’t feel a thing.

Review
Ollie has got himself in a fine mess. He is in a toxic relationship with Elliott. Elliott is a controlling self centred closeted man who is making Ollie’s life miserable. This time Ollie is determined to walk away. He wants a relationship where he comes first and he knows how much he is loved. Elliott is definitely the villain in the story. Ollie then meets Jacob and common sense flys out the window. Jacob is a patient’s father and Elliott is in a position of power over Ollie both in aspects of his personal life and at work. Bring into the mix Jacob’s vitriolic ex wife who is determined to be as unreasonable and vile as possible to both Jacob and at times Ollie. This is a story that had me switching between frustrated, annoyed and sympathetic with each turn of the page. Not to mention poor Daisy who has enough to contend with without her parents fighting in her hospital room. I absolutely couldn’t see how this story could resolve itself. When it did I was surprised at Elliott and a little mystified at Jacob. He seemed to want to give his all to Ollie but pulled back. He has a lot going on with his daughter’s health and a looming custody battle. I am glad this is the start of a series. I would like to know how Ollie and Jacob’s relationship progresses and if Elliott finds the one he is meant to be with.

3.5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Steamy Romance: The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles

Good Reads Link

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15708784-the-hot-floor?from_search=true

 

Blurb
Two plus one equals scorching hot fun.

Dumped by his boyfriend and reduced to living in a grotty bedsit, Josh Carpenter has gotten used to expecting the worst. Now he lives only for his job as a glassblower…and occasional glimpses of his sexy downstairs neighbors, Rai Nakamura and Evan Truman.

Every time he overhears the diminutive academic and the hunky plumber having loud and obviously kinky sex, Josh is overwhelmed with lust…and a longing for a fraction of what they have.

To his amazement, Rai and Evan find his embarrassing tendency to blush utterly charming, and the three men grow closer over the course of the long, hot summer. Despite Rai’s charming flirtation and Evan’s smoldering gaze, Josh is determined never to break his new friends’ loving bonds.

On the night a naked Josh falls—quite literally—into the middle of one of Rai and Evan’s marathon sex sessions, the force of their mutual attraction takes control. But just as Josh dares to hope, he senses a change. Leaving him to wonder if the winds of love are about to blow his way at last…or if history is about to repeat itself

Review
This hot story is told from shy insecure Josh’s point of view. We get a very brief glimpse into his history, an overbearing father, no other family and not much luck in love. This helped me to understand his reticence and why his first thought was always one of rejection. Rai and Evan live in the flat (apartment) below his and above his bossy friend Denise. I do like Myles writing. She is very British. The phrasing and descriptions she uses gives me a good sense of a crumbling Victorian or Georgian divided house they all live in and the type of people they are. Rai and Evan are in a long term relationship, they do however like to have a third join them from time to time. They are also a bit of exhibitions and love to explore anything kinky. This is where the hot fun comes in. Rai is certainly imaginative and they are all so randy. It’s very fun to read. Josh, is shy, never felt he’s entitled to ask for what he wants. Rai and Evan bring this out in him, get him to overcome his tongue tied reticence. I wouldn’t say Josh blossoms with them, it’s not in his nature to be forthright but he does find love and somewhere he belongs. Two men who love him back. I loved the mix of humour and serious relationship issues. Its not easy introducing another into an all ready established relationship or being the third coming in. That mixed with Josh’s insecurities made it all very credible to me.
I loved the bonus Christmas story at the end, made me laugh just picturing the scene.

4 of stars out of 5

 

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

Audiobook Month: Brandon Mills vs the V-card (Prescott College book 2) by Lisa Henry and JA Rock Narrated by Joel Leslie

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Brandon-Mills-versus-the-V-Card-Audiobook/B07DR66PNT?qid=1529726847&sr=sr_1_22&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_2_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=ACM179XN7HZ446WFQ544&

Blurb

Smart, shy Prescott sophomore Brandon Mills is working hard to overcome his troubled past and be normal. With the help of his friends Mark and Deacon, and his brothers at Phi Sigma Kappa, he’s slowly coming out of his shell. But when he accidentally drenches a freshman in orange soda, he faces something he’s not ready for: a boy crushing on him.

Alex Kekoa pledges Phi Sig because it has everything he wants: a house full of nerds who won’t tease him for being smart, a dog, and Brandon Mills. Brandon is just the type of guy Alex needs to help fulfill his college ambition: losing his virginity. Except Alex doesn’t know that Brandon can’t stand to touch or be touched.

When Alex and Brandon are drafted onto the Phi Sig Academic Challenge team, their mutual attraction grows. If there’s anyone who can help Brandon discover it feels good to touch and kiss, maybe it’s klutzy Alex with his cute glasses and his dinosaur obsession. But as the competition–and their relationship–heats up, Alex’s determination not to die a virgin clashes with Brandon’s vow of lifelong celibacy, forcing them to examine what’s truly important to each of them about love.

Review

Brandon Mills (best friend of Mark who we met in book one) is a shy, nerd, who loves dinosaurs, has an eidetic memory and a really, really crappy childhood.

Alex Kekoa is a giant nerd who also loves dinosaurs, has had a sunny childhood, is totally infatuated with Brandon, and is also a virgin (thus the title).

Alex joins Brandon’s frat just to be near him (and because it suits his style and brain). When he – in a fit of passion- kisses Brandon, it sets loose all sorts of thoughts and feelings in Brandon he didn’t know he had and definitely doesn’t know how to process.

First there’s the whole “gay” thing – which he doesn’t really identify as, but isn’t the biggest thing. The biggest thing is the touching. Brandon doesn’t touch anyone. Not even himself.

Most of the book takes place in Brandon’s head. Figuring things out. Trying to remember to forget. Trying to learn how to be new. Using the hair-brained but wonderful advice of his kooky and sometimes high friend, Mark.

Alex is the most gentle and unassuming soul you could meet, exactly what someone with Brandon’s history needs.

Add into the mix Blake and his contributions to the LGBTQ association as well as Mark and Deacon’s continued coupledom and you have a delightful mix of the quirky and funny with the sentimental, tender and sometimes painful.

**

I couldn’t put this book down! I only skimmed book one. And only after I read this. Book one has some elements that I am uncomfortable with… so I just got the highlights. But… I do love Mark and Deacon as a couple and I enjoyed reading about them before they were a couple.

Brandon is so heart-breaking in this story. Gah! He tries so hard and does everything right but sometimes that still isn’t enough, is it? Alex is a wonderful boyfriend and together, the two of them exploring their feelings – it was so sickly sweet and funny and most of the time it felt really REAL.

I guess that reality is what makes me knock this down from a perfect 5 star book to a 4.5. I wanted and really hoped for Brandon and Alex to remain a couple – FOREVER and we get hints that they might… but no guarantees. In fact, I could honestly say that I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t… just by the way their relationship to this point was handled. (When they do finally make it to boyfriend status, I never quite got the feeling from Brandon that he was as invested as Alex… but that could just be me.)

Anyhow – I loved how the first-time-sex scene was handled and thought it felt really authentic. Messy, imperfect and wonderful. I loved how Brandon grew, but not in a “fairy tale it all goes away” way. Again, that felt very authentic.

Blake is my absolute hero. I lurves him so much! He was so genuine and wonderful and such a tremendous ALLY! What a great way to view the world and what a nice way to open that discussion – gays in sports.

All in all this was a fun (sometimes), heartbreaking (sometimes), full of feels (all the times) and very well written book.

This writing duo makes for awesome character development and I can’t wait to see what they come up with for book three (which Lisa Henry has said is currently in the works!)

So… I highly recommend this to lovers of the v-card, college boy fans, anyone who loves a hard-childhood story and lovers of dinosaurs everywhere!

Audio

Joel Leslie is Frickin’ awesome! I’m so glad the authors chose him since he can do such a wide array of characters! There are so many unique voices and accents and Joel does them all – so wonderfully!

I adored this and his narration and … him!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook Month : Leaning into Love by Lane Hayes Narrated by Seth Clayton

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Leaning-into-Love-Audiobook/B074SVHHMH?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=QWBECWC9QJKP4ETXVAS8&

Blurb
Eric Schuster is a successful guy. He’s part owner of a highly successful tech firm, he has a supportive family and a great group of close friends. But something is missing. Or maybe he’s reacting to his business partner and ex’s wedding news. He knows his former lover is making a big mistake but he also knows it’s time to move on. And hopefully avoid falling for another friend.

Zane Richards is an avid sailor and surfer with a laid-back approach to life. He firmly believes there’s a time and place for everything if you’re willing to take a chance. Like letting his best friend know he’s interested in being much more than friends. Eric has always been half in love with Zane but going from friends to lovers isn’t an easy sell for someone protecting his heart. Eric will have to decide if he’s willing to risk it all by leaning into love.

Review
This first novella and the next one, Leaning into Always, are about the same couple, Eric and Zane. I love a good friends to lovers story especially when they’ve known each other along time. It’s that moment of realisation that their friendship is much more than that. This moment comes for Eric and Zane when Zane is helping Eric sort out his feelings for former lover and current business partner Nick. Eric is wary at first he doesn’t want to risk their friendship but Zane convinces him otherwise. Zane is perfect for Eric, so laid back and calming. Nick is one frustrating character in this story he just doesn’t know what he wants and his actions just cause more problems. The story is told from Eric’s point of view but there is a bonus chapter from Zane’s POV which made me smile. I was so glad the next book continues their story.
I must confess I didn’t take to Seth Clayton’s narration. There was nothing wrong with it per se I just wasn’t gripped by it. I ended up starting the story over again because I realised I hadn’t been listening to it. There just wasn’t a spark which kept my interest. It might be because Eric and Zane sounded very similar to me. It didn’t spoil the actual content of the story just my connection to it.

3 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Recent Release: Hacking the Consequences (Shifter’s Regime #1) by Charlie Richards

Extasy Presents

http://www.extasybooks.com/charlie-richards/hacking-the-consequences/

Blurb

Keeping the Peace: When a lion shifter finds a stranger hacking his systems, he discovers a kindred spirit in the most unlikely of places.

Thirty years before, Vincentius Goldstein agreed to join the council with the express intention of bringing their technology into the twenty-first century. After all, he’d had fun hacking into it. He’s done that, and now finds the almost daily meetings and constant infighting stretching his patience. Vincentius prefers the seclusion of his computer room. When he discovers someone hacking into his system, his excitement is stirred for the first time in decades.

After figuring out where the hacker is located, Vincentius sends a council investigator after him. To his shock, when the investigator returns with the hacker, a small guinea fowl shifter named Cho, Vincentius realizes the man is his mate. Even with the mate-pull, Cho fears him. After all, Vincentius had ordered Cho captured and taken away from the safety of his flock and friends.

Can Vincentius figure out how to win the favor of his captive, or will he lose the best thing to happen to him in over three hundred years?

Review

This falls back to the Charlie Richards we all know and love! It follows that lovely fated mate trope with a bit of quirky humor and some mellow smexy times.

We get to see a newly developing branch of the shifter world – the flock of odd birds who briefly resided with Declan’s wolves, is now branching out! Some of the council men we’ve met before return and we get a new series as a result!

This is the kind of Charlie story I love and I know fans of hers will as well.

4.25 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review