Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Without Reservations (With or Without #1) by J.L. Langley

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/without-reservations-by-jl-langley-10791-b

Blurb

Sometimes love catches you by the tail.

Native American veterinarian—and werewolf—Chayton Wilson dreams of a fair-haired mate. However, he’s shocked to find his mate is a man. He’s not quite sure what to do with a male mate, but he’s more than willing to find out.

Keaton Reynolds wakes up in wolf form and finds himself with a mate. He’s instantly attracted, but not thrilled to find out the man is supposedly straight. A past relationship where his partner denied being gay left a bad taste in his mouth. Keaton wants to make a break for it and pretend he never set eyes on Chay—but Chay is not ready to let him go.

Together they work to battle prejudice and solidify their shaky relationship. Chay must deal with not only his mother’s preconceptions about gay men but also her hatred of white people. When a power struggle in Keaton’s pack threatens Keaton’s life, the two men must quickly learn whether they can depend on each other.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd., October 2006.

Review

A wonderful shifter GFY romance! I really liked the world-building and how the author wrote the whole fated mates angle. Chay has his work cut out for him, getting over his own shock at finding such an unexpected mate and persuading Keaton to give them a chance. Keaton is a firecracker, quick to jump to conclusions, easy to anger, but he grew on me as the story progressed.

There’s an element of suspense as well, which was very well written, with the author throwing the reader for a loop as to where the danger is actually coming from.
Despite this being a paranormal story, it still has elements of (sadly) real life prejudice and homophobia, which brought added depth to the story.

I enjoyed getting to know some of the secondary characters, especially Remi. I do love me a good redemption story and he definitely has potential for one of those.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Mud & Lace by Jay Northcote

Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44770380-mud-lace?from_search=true

Blurb

When Wicksy falls for drag queen Charlie, they discover that both sexuality and gender can be fluid.

Simon Wicks—Wicksy to his rugby teammates—has only ever been interested in women. But when he sets eyes on Lady Gogo, a drag queen who performs at Rainbow Place, he can’t stop thinking about her. He knows there’s a guy behind the fishnets and make-up, but he’s ready to explore his fantasies, and Lady Gogo is game for making them come true.

Charlie adores performing in drag. It allows him to indulge in his love of cross-dressing while earning some extra cash. Fooling around with a mostly straight guy in secret seems like a fun diversion, and gives him the chance to explore his feminine side. He feels safe wearing the mask of his confident alter ego, because the real Charlie is hidden from view.

When Wicksy sees more of the guy behind the make-up and glitter, his attraction to Charlie persists, and he realises he’s bisexual. In turn, Charlie begins to understand and accept his gender fluidity. As their mutual journey of self-discovery brings them closer, the secrecy becomes increasingly hard to deal with. If they’re going to have a future together, they both need to find the courage to show people who they really are.

Although this book is part of a linked series, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

Review

I was really into the couple in this book, and the dynamic between them was complex and interesting in many ways. Already realizing in the previous book that Wicksy had a crush on Lady GoGo, I was looking forward to their romance and in that sense I was not disappointed. The chemistry they share is explosive, and the development of the sexual relationship between them was smoking hot.
I liked how, much like in Jay’s other books, the dramatic moments are very easily solved, things that in other books make a big deal of small things are quickly talked over and dealt with. It kept the story real, and very relatable in my opinion, yet I was missing one thing.
I think throughout the book Wicksy and Charlie go through many stages in discovering and exploring their sexuality, they both have their ‘coming out’ to do both internally and externally. Yet most of the interaction between them was more on the physical side. The story flowed so well it didn’t bother me while reading but after I was done I could not help thinking that there was little emotional romance and connection between them- when compared to the sexual aspects. Again, I enjoyed the book very much, but in retrospect think there should be more emotional buildup to the relationship. In a way they end the book with just deciding they want to be together, being boyfriends, and then you get and Epilogue to show that they did get to the emotional connection and not just the physical in the passing months. So in a sense it’s not that the story was lacking something and was unbalanced, just that I wish we could see them talking more, sharing things that did not revolve around them being together, will Wicksy come out or not and so on.

I am very curious as to who the next couple in the series will be,

Number of stars out of 5
3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster, narrated by Seb Yarrick

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-missing-ingredient-by-brian-lancaster-9738-b

Blurb: It can take losing everything to realize what you had all along.
Up-and-coming London chef Marcus Vine is poised on the edge of success, but the only men courting him are investors. That leaves Marcus with some free time—which is fortunate, because his godchildren need him.

A year ago, a horrible accident killed Marcus’s best friend, Raine, leaving her children without a mother and her husband, Tom, without a partner. Consumed by grief, Tom has been going it alone, refusing help, but when Marcus sees him out with the children, it’s obvious that Tom and his two daughters need someone. His persistent caring finally wears Tom down, allowing him to accept the comfort Marcus offers. Soon Marcus is up to his elbows in homework, home-cooked meals, and after-school activities. Over time he helps them rebuild their world, until soon their lives are approaching normal.
Then the unexpected happens: Tom confesses he has romantic feelings for Marcus, and nothing can ever be the same.

Review:

Story 4 out of 5: Marcus, a successful chef is still reeling from the death of his best friend, Raine.
Raine left behind, Tom and their 2 children; all of whom are trying their best to cope with life without her when Marcus reconnects with the family. Marcus starts to help Tom with the day to day running of Tom’s house and his old attraction (to Tom) begins to grow again. Tom for his part, is beginning to see Marcus as more than a godfather/friend helping out; he’s beginning to feel an attraction as well.
This is the first time that Tom has non-platonic experienced feelings for any man and at first, he seems OK with it. Then he starts to second guess himself, he wonders what others will think, so he pushes Marcus away. The latter is understandably hurt, but he lets Tom figure it out and eventually, they do get their HEA.
The story is well written, with memorable characters – I really enjoyed the story, and hope to read more by this author.

Narration 4 out of 5: I quite enjoyed Seb Yarrick’s narration. He had a down to earth tone and he was good with the accents (I was pleased at how made Marcus’s Nigerian-born assistant sound ☺).
His pacing was good, giving a solid performance. I would definitely look for more of his narrations.

Overall: 4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Picking the Corners by Ashley K. Broome

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36675273-picking-the-corners?from_search=true

Blurb

Nate Cross of the Vancouver Vikings would do anything for his best friend Roman Orlyck, including taking him in after a devastating concussion. Until Roman moved in, Nate didn’t realize how much he cared about him.
With the season looming and his linemate forced to sit out, Nate struggles between friendship and wanting more from Roman. Days turn to weeks and their friendship deteriorates, leaving Nate to struggle with their relationship and his performance on the ice. The question looms heavy—how are they supposed to play together when they aren’t even speaking?

Review

I recently found this author and I’m pretty glad I did. I’ve now read 2 of the 3 of her hockey books and they’re pretty good.

She seems to know about hockey and is good at character development as well as giving us some wonderful sexual tension.

I’m not crazy about her writing style and sometimes her sex scenes leave a little to be desired in the heat/flow department.

However, I was able to fall into the story without much effort and I wanted to keep reading til the story ended – a sign of good book!

The plot in this story is predictable but still enjoyable and I’d recommend this to fans of m/m hockey romance.

3.75 (rounded to 4) of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Time to Comfort: A Chosen Man (The Men of Halfway House #6) by Jaime Reese

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41885577-a-chosen-man?from_search=true

Blurb

For Wall McCormack, actions speak louder than words. He’s giving and protective, loyal to his friends, and devoted to his job. While confident and powerful enough to conquer any challenge, his greatest strength lies in his calm nature. Until an unexpected assignment sends his world into a loud and colorful chaos he never could have anticipated.

Rejection. It’s something Dylan Vaughn has known his entire life. But he’s a tough nut to crack and refuses to break. Armed with a sharp tongue and brutal honesty, he pushes through life and at anyone who attempts to take him on. Except for the quiet guardian who piques his interest and dares him to want…more.

When Dylan’s past comes back with a vengeance and jeopardizes their growing connection, Wall will stop at nothing to protect the younger man and remain by his side. But convincing Dylan that someone accepts the real man behind the cocky facade might prove to be Wall’s greatest challenge yet.

With his freedom on the line, Dylan must trust the strength of their bond and confront the forces threatening their future. Only then will he realize the dream of acceptance is real and finally have a place to call home.

Review

This is such a lovely series. I totally respect the time the author takes in between books, because each story is so fully developed and rich. Just like her visual art, her written words are evocative and descriptive without being wordy or purple.

In this case, our guys are no less broken than the previous couples we’ve met – but these two are maybe a bit “lighter”. It’s a welcome reprieve and I enjoyed the humor, closeness and emotional times we got to share with these guys and Wall’s mother.

As in the other books in this series there is a crime to be solved and in this case some danger of life and limb. It doesn’t overshadow the romance and moves along easily.

I can’t say enough positive things about this – other than – you should read it! It’s best as part of the series but each is fine on it’s own.

5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+ Book Gay Mid level angst Part of a Series Scorching/high heat

Recent Release: A Deeper Blue (The Game #2) by S.E. Harmon

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-deeper-blue-by-se-harmon-9928-b

Blurb

A year ago, Kelly Cannon couldn’t imagine he’d end up with his formerly straight best friend. It’s hard to believe he can finally kiss Blue any time he wants… as long as they’re in private. And there’s the rub. Despite Kelly’s promise to wait until Blue is ready to come out, he’s tired of sneaking around. The cracks in their relationship are starting to show, and there might not be enough spackle in the world to fix them.

Britton “Blue” Montgomery may not be the physics brainiac his boyfriend is, but he’s not stupid. He knows Kelly isn’t completely happy. But he’s not ready to be the poster boy for bisexuals and gays in the NFL. He just wants to keep his head down, play the game he loves, and go home to the man he adores. Is that too much to ask?

With the truth slowly coming to the surface, Blue must make a choice. If it means losing Kelly, there’s no decision to make…. He has to find enough courage to face the music and hope they’ll survive the fallout.

Man. Happily-ever-afters may not be just for Disney princesses, but they sure are a lot of work.

Review

So here’s the thing. If you loved book one, if you love this author and their style of writing, you will love this sequel.

It’s full of SE Harmon’s sense of humor, flair with sexual chemistry and attention to minutia (I mean detail- ahem.)

One thing I’ve felt about each SE Harmon title was that it was good but too long and needed a fierce hand with an editor and it’d be tight and wonderful. As it is, though there is a lot of interesting stuff happening, it isn’t needed IMHO. I felt like I understood the importance of Kelly’s career without having to go step by step with him through his teaching process. I get that the foot ball guys are jerks without having to sit through each moment of practice.

So, for me, I found myself wanting to skim a lot and though I found the sex hot – it got skimmed as well.

I definitely needed this book to close up what we started in book 1 and so – to that extent – I was happy to have read this – but I’m still left with that feeling of wishing it’d been shorter and more to the point.

I think fans of the author will disagree but I give this 3.5 stars.

3.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent (re) Release: Not Just Friends by Jay Northcote

Goodreads link

Blurb

Leaving home for university has it’s struggles: meeting new people, classes, taking care of yourself and dealing with roommates how might not have the same views as you about dishes (that is, actually cleaning them) just to name a few. But what Lewis really isn’t prepared for the powerful crush he develops on his gay roommate Max. Because Lewis had always thought he was straight.

Lewis cannot keep his jealousy over Max’s new relationship hidden and forces him to confront his newfound sexuality. When Max’s relationship falls apart painfully, Lewis is there for him as a friend, one thing leads to another and even though Lewis is ready to take the next step, Max prefers them to stay as friends only.

Lewis tries to move on, keeping their friendship despite his feeling for Max. When the tables turn and Lewis is the one who needs Max’s support he learns maybe there is a future for them after all, if only he can risk his heart a second time.

Review

This is a re-release with no new content, and I enjoyed reading it the second time as much as the first one, which was on audio a while back. Jay’s stories always have that touch of realness to them, especially in the collage age stories, like his Housemates series for example. Relationships are not usually perfect from the start, sexuality isn’t either, and he manages to capture the small bumps in the roads and the physical exploration of sexuality so well. He also creates a true sense of group of friends, with all he small day to day issues of living together, collage lifestyle and all the side characters really shine in his books, here included.

This is a pretty typical coming out story, when Lewis suddenly comes face to face with an out and proud man, Max, he finds he is instantly attracted to, in close quarters no less. What follows are the very real struggles of a confused young man trying to figure out his sexuality, when he assumed he was straight and had a long term girlfriend before. All this while he is navigating collage life, new friends and awkward social situations, his roommate’s baking and attempts at matchmaking.

Max has no place for a relationship in his life, and after their tumble between the sheets he prefers to stay friends, but the friendship they share is so strong they cannot ignore their feelings anymore, and they both need the other for support. I like how they don’t have a clear path, Lewis figures out his sexuality it’s not the only thing in his way to a relationship with Max and they keep hitting walls and having to find ways to overcome them. They form a true friendship and bond that is so much stronger than having them fall into bed, and love, and face the difficulty of Lewis coming out like other romances of this troupe tend to do. This is a great romance that shows the not so perfect sides of romance and how, despite many odds against them, when two people are meant to be they can find a way to make it work if they are willing to take a risk.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book Dee Gay Gay Ghost Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Psychic Purchased Standalone Time to get scared zombie

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

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
4.5 stars Bi-Sexual Book Bullying Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Magic Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Morgan New Adult Nine Star Press Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Re-Release TIme to get Paranormal

Time to get paranormal: Equilibrium (Superpowered Love #1) by Katey Hawthorne

 

Less than three press

https://lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=123&products_id=1640

Blurb

Hansen has been hot for Sam since they first bonded over their secret superpowers—literally hot, since Hansen can produce fire from thin air. But Sam is always covered in girls, so Hansen keeps his feelings deeply buried and settles for being Sam’s best friend.

Then Sam’s electrical powers go haywire in public, and in the fallout a mutual attraction is forced to the surface—but bisexuality is new to Sam, and Hansen is afraid to admit he’s in love. And in the midst of trying to figure out themselves and each other, they have to face—and survive—the unfriendly witness to Sam’s explosion.

 

Review

This was really good! There is some amazing world building with really cool powers- the meet cute is absolutely wonderful! Our two MCs are at school when clueless Sam meets in the know Hansen but it’s Sam who is the jock and the popular kid – so Hansen having the upper hand is a lovely switch. This follows them throughout their lives and into exploring things sexually when it’s decided that they are more than friends.

There’s some frustrating “misunderstandings” that should go away with just some talking – but since these are two college-age-ish guys – it makes a bit of sense that they aren’t great at communication. (It’s still frustrating tho…)

I wasn’t super comfortable with Sam and the girlfriend and her family and all that transpired there. It kind of made things less authentic and more soap opera-y and I could have done without that.

Thus 4 of 5 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed it but it did have some areas that made it a bit less than perfect.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Author Provided Book Dee Domestic Abuse Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Monthly Theme mpreg non-shifter alpha/omega Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Stalker/Abusive Ex Standalone TIme to get Paranormal

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