Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Slow Pitch by Amy Lane

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51578714-slow-pitch?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=wiXkeuq7Pa&rank=1

Blurb: Tenner Gibson has a job he enjoys, a prickly ex-wife, and an adorable daughter he wouldn’t trade for the world. With no romance, no sex life, and no other hobbies, a rec league softball team is as close as he gets to hedonism.

But life throws him a curveball when cocky Ross McTierney sets his sights on getting under Tenner’s skin.
One explosion of lust later, Tenner wonders what possessed him to have a quickie with Ross, and Ross wonders how to do it again.

Tenner has eight weeks to convince his tiny modern family that Ross is what’s best for him. Ross has eight weeks to get used to the idea that complicated doesn’t always mean bad. Their sex life is moving at the speed of light, and everything in their relationship is coming at them too fast….
But together, they might make a connection and knock it out of the park.

Review: I loved this story! This is one of the few times I wish I could be more eloquent when reviewing a book.
Where to start: Tenner. Such a lovely guy, family man, still wants to be friends with his ex-wife, loves his daughter and baseball. Has a wonderful boss, a bit of a temper and a wry sense of humour. Ross: A bit of an over confident, fun guy who cares for the environment. Also brother in law to ‘wonderful’ boss and has never stayed in one place for long.
When both men meet they think it’s a one off (lust) thing, but somehow, they decide to meet again (against Tenner’s better judgement). As they get to know each other, their lives intertwine – Ross meets the daughter, Tenner realises that Ross is the BIL to his boss, they both love baseball and they’re both willing to believe in their budding relationship, all the while slowly falling in love. This is such a sweet, sometimes humourous (lots of dry wit  ), no angst story. Though sweet, it manages to lightly touch on some serious themes: bigoted parents, an angry ex-wife (she comes around) and how to broach the subject of sexuality to one’s kid or parent. Other characters include 2 lovely families – Ross’s sister’s and Piper (Ten’s daughter) all make up a truly lovely story!
Definitely going to be reread often!

5 stars out of 5


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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


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Back in Blacks by Rhys Ford

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/back-in-black-by-rhys-ford-11514-b

Blurb: McGinnis Investigations: Book One

There are eight million stories in the City of Angels but only one man can stumble upon the body of a former client while being chased by a pair of Dobermans and a deranged psycho dressed as a sheep.

That man is Cole McGinnis.
Since his last life-threatening case years ago, McGinnis has married the love of his life, Jae-Min Kim, consulted for the LAPD, and investigated cases as a private detective for hire. Yet nothing could have prepared him for the shocking discovery of a dead, grandmotherly woman at his feet and the cascade of murders that follows, even if he should have been used to it by now.

Now he’s back in the dark world of murder and intrigue where every bullet appears to have his name on it and every answer he digs up seems to only create more questions. Hired by the dead woman’s husband, McGinnis has to figure out who is behind the crime spree. As if the twisted case of a murdered grandmother isn’t complicated enough, Death is knocking on his door, and each time it opens, Death is wearing a new face, leaving McGinnis to wonder who he can actually trust.

Review: Cole’s back!!! And with him is the rest of the gang – Jae-Min, Bobby, Claudia, literally everyone. So happy to see a new story featuring one of my favourite PIs.
The story is vintage Rhys – lush descriptions of the area, lots of banter, sleuthing and dodging bullets – but also heralds a new look at Cole’s life, both personally and professionally.
I loved the murder/mystery aspect of Back in Black, especially as it kept me guessing, also was happy to know of the mentioned characters from another book (Murder and Mayhem series; not that you have to read said books).
So glad Cole is back; actually, he never left since I periodically reread and relisten to the first set of books.

I can safely say I’m going to enjoy this second ride with Cole and the Gang  (no 70’s band were harmed with that pun!).

5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Socks for an Otter by Posy Roberts

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/review/new/50238860-socks-for-an-otter

Blurb: He fell from his ivory tower and landed in the gutter.
But Sebastian would rather be homeless and hungry than clueless.
On his way to the food pantry, a guy on his cell phone runs into him and triggers his prickly side. As a sign of goodwill, Louis offers to cook for him. But all Sebastian sees is the privilege he used to have.

This isn’t a fairytale. Louis isn’t Prince Charming. And Sebastian can make it on his own.
But it’s been days since he’s had a hot meal. And a blizzard is coming.
Will Sebastian’s pride be his appetizer?

Review: I loved this story! It is a touching story, but not maudlin. The plight of the homeless is told in a simple but impactful way.
Seb and Louis make a great couple. Seb reads older than his age (23) – not in a bad way – showing that life on the street can and will make you grow up real fast. Louis is a caretaker – always needing to be needed. The one time he failed to be there for his loved one resulted in tragedy. With Seb, he has a chance to feel needed again, though Seb wasn’t very accepting of what he thought of as charity. This makes for some prickly interactions between both men, but their simmering attraction and willingness to listen to each other helps them forge a relationship.
Lovely story!

5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: His Hart’s Command by A.E Via; narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audiobooks.com/audiobook/nothing-special-vi-his-harts-command/392780

Blurb:
Lennox Freeman (Free) is one of the best hackers in the world which has caused him to spend most of his life on the run. Never able to put down roots, he couldn’t trust anyone not to take advantage of him, even his own family.

Ivan Hart has lived and bled one creed all of his life: To Serve and Protect. His intense focus and determination in law enforcement has led him to finally commanding his own team. He’d worked hard to put together a squad of badasses capable of backing up a very dangerous team of detectives. Being God and Day’s last line of defense came with a lot of responsibility that he took very seriously.

After his divorce was final Hart turned right around and remarried his job. He had his good friends there in the office with him every day, so it was easier to ignore the few quiet hours he spent at home alone each night. He’d settled well into his new routine and was comfortable with it. Then God decided to disrupt everything by hiring another tech specialist for his department. A man whose brains, trendy looks, and voice would leave Hart tongue-tied and captivated at their first introduction.

Review:

I love this series in audio! Aiden Snow has been the perfect narrator for this series.
This is Free’s story (we first meet him in NS V). He’s a former hacker (with a heart of gold) who’s had a difficult childhood, so he’s a bit skittish around really big, burly men. But for some reason, he’s enamoured with Ivan Hart. Ivan, for all his big size, is a gentle soul. Both these men were made for each other.
Their journey to being a couple is so sweet, both men dancing around each other, but when the do get together – damn! They are so hot *phew*.
As mentioned before, Aiden Snow does a great job with the narration. He has a gorgeous voice, so well suited for the growly, alpha men that dominate the story. He has been great for the series so far . The only (minor) observation is that there is not that much distinction between most of the men –except for God, Day, Tech and Free, but the story is well written enough that you always know which character is talking. His accent for Free was great! As a Brit, I had been a little wary that he wouldn’t get it right, but it sounded great, especially since it was supposed to be a slight accent.
Great story (4 stars) with excellent narration (5 stars)!

Overall: 4.5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: The Great Aerodynamcist by A. Nybo

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-great-aerodynamicist-by-a-nybo-11535-b

Blurb:

Thinking he’s up to the task, droll Irishman Donnell, who is new to Australia, has almost completed assembling a model steampunk flying machine for his nephew’s Christmas present. Then an accident involving a parachute, some superglue, and his mouth lands Donnell in the emergency room with two of his fantasy men… only one of whom is real.

Review:

Such a fun, short story! It managed to pack in quite a bit of humour and a bit of heat in fewer than 40 pages 🙂
Donnell and Charlie are wonderful men, both sweet with great senses of humour. I loved that there was a bit of a crush going on before they actually meet, it gave a bit of depth to their subsequent romance.
My only complaint is that I wish this could have been a longer story, as the couple were a delight.

4 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Mastering the Flames (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer Book 4) by SJ Himes

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42974635-mastering-the-flames?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Guilt-ridden after the massacre of his family, Isaac Salvatore turned to binge drinking to escape the pain. Now twenty-four years old, Isaac is a recovering alcoholic woefully out of practice in the magical arts, leaving his fire affinity hanging on the edge of disaster. After a month of rehab, he returns to Beacon Hill and his family, determined to remain sober, learn to control his magic, and figure out a plan for his life that doesn’t involve drinking.

Constantine Batiste is the oldest, most powerful vampire in the city. Born in ancient Gaul, the bastard son of a Celtic king, his long life has been shrouded in tragedy and horrors. Recent mistakes have left him wary and determined to guard his clan from all foes. When two of his clan members fall victim to an ancient evil, he summons the Necromancer of Boston for aid. Accompanying his older brother to the Tower is the handsome young fire mage once wounded by Constantine’s arrogance, and their encounter reignites an attraction that burns within both Constantine and Isaac.

The answer to who is targeting the vampires of Boston is buried in the dark, early days of Constantine’s transition to an immortal life. Isaac finds himself saddled with a painful insight into the evil cutting a swath through the supernatural population of Boston. While his brother, Angel, takes over the hunt to find and stop the threat to the city, Isaac struggles to find a balance between helping his brother and finding his own purpose and place in the world, free from his brother’s shadow.

Falling in love wasn’t part of his plan, but mastering the flames that burn between him and Constantine soon becomes the most important thing in his life, even as an ancient evil seeks to destroy them.

Review: There are some series that are worth waiting for as long as it takes for the next story. This is one of those series and this book was worth waiting for!
This is not a standalone (and is not meant to be).
The excellent world-building continues – Isaac, Angel’s alcoholic brother, has finished with rehab. He’s still trying to find his purpose and relearning how to use his power – he’s a fire mage – but lack of confidence, self-blame and regret seem to be holding him back. One person he hasn’t forgotten is Constantine, the Boston vampire Master.
Ms. Himes gives us more of Constans, (as he was known in the BCE time period), background and how he became what he is. Constantine’s past is cleverly tied into the current mystery of the present day murders makes the story all the more interesting.
The romance between Isaac and Constantine develops naturally (they had kissed in the previous book), much to Angels’ annoyance. Both Constantine and Isaac work well together, and it’s nice to see them work their way to being a couple.
The story is well researched, well written and an excellent addition to the series; (it may tie as my favourite with book 1). Old friends/family like Angel, Simeon, Eroch, Daniel, Ruari all have prominent roles in the story, without overshadowing the main couple ☺
There is a hint that there may be another Salvatore making an appearance! I can’t wait!!!

4.5 stars out of 5
Reviewer Name: Dee


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: I’ve Got This by Louisa Masters

Dreamspinner

Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ive-got-this-by-louisa-masters-10788-b

Blurb:
A Joy Universe Novel

Derek Bryer loves his life. His job as an assistant director at Joy Universe, the second-largest theme park complex on the planet, makes him indirectly responsible for bringing joy (pun intended) to millions of people. So what if none of his relationships are that close? Everyone he meets loves him.
Except Trav Jones. For some reason, the visiting Broadway performer would rather Derek just go away. He appreciates Derek’s work ethic, though, and after Trav steps up when Derek desperately needs someone to fill in for his sick staff, Derek seizes the chance to convince Trav he’s not such a bad guy.

Falling in love while distracted by a murder at the park, food poisoning, and colleagues placing bets on their relationship won’t be easy, but between the two of them and with the magic of Joy Universe, they’ve got this.

Review: I loved Derek and his running commentary on things going on in his life and around him. He had a slyly snarky tone which made the overall story fun to read. The story is also told from Trav’s POV, so we get to understand why he’s the way he is.
Derek is somewhat of a workaholic, driven to excel at his job. He’s well-liked by all, so he’s pretty shocked when he meets one person who doesn’t (like him). On top of that, there’s a murder to solve and half the entertainment at the resort have fallen ill.
Trav is not impressed by Derek –at all ☺ But when Derek needs help, he offers his services and helps Derek out of a bind. As both men work together, they get to know each other – Derek loosens up about being work-driven and Trav learns to trust Derek.

This is a really good story with nicely developed characters, the humour (Derek ‘talks’ to the reader, breaking the 4th or 5th wall (I forget!)) and some description of the inner workings of a theme park. I would have like a bit more about the murder as an ongoing thread through the story, but as a romance, this was a really good story! I hope Dimi, (the PA), gets a story – I liked him ☺

4.5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Evolution of Love by Phillip William Stover

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-evolution-of-love-by-philip-william-stover-10763-b

Blurb:
When a charming but misguided account manager gets stuck on a cruise to the Galapagos Islands with his hunky zoologist ex, he might rediscover his true passion—in and out of the bedroom.
After art school, Mike Davis gave up on his dream in favor of a stable job. But when he gets an opportunity to teach wealthy travelers how to paint stunning sunsets, it seems like the perfect break. Until he finds out he’ll be sharing a suite with his ex, charismatic Benton Aldridge—a British scientist cuter than the baby animals he studies. Mike makes it clear he has no intention of getting back together with Benton, but sharing a suite makes it almost impossible keep his distance.

As they climb over volcanic peaks and swim with manatees through sparkling jade-colored water, can they also heal past wounds and take the next step in the evolution of love?

Review: Mike has pretty much given up his dream of being an artist – he has a ‘proper’ job and this was one of the main reasons he and his then boyfriend, (Benton), broke up. When a chance arises for Mike to visit the Galapagos as the cruise artist, he jumps at the chance. Little does he know that his aunt Penny has a surprise – in the form of Benton being the resident scientist!
I really liked this second chance at love story. Benton was still trying to push Mike to be an artist, which still hurt Mike, but in the end, Mike realised that was where his true passion lay, (as well as with Benton ☺).
There’s not a lot of steam to the story, but it wasn’t really wasn’t needed. The story is fun, humourous and sweet, with fun characters like Penny, as well as some of the passengers.
I enjoyed the story and will look for more from this author.

3.5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Milo (Finding Home #2) by Lily Morton

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43971325-milo?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Once upon a time a brave knight rescued a young man. Unfortunately, he then spent the next few years bossing the young man around and treating him like a child.
Milo has been burying himself at Chi an Mor, hiding from the wreckage of his once promising career and running from a bad relationship that destroyed what little confidence he had. Niall, his big brother’s best friend, has been there for him that entire time. An arrogant and funny man, Niall couldn’t be any more different from the shy and occasionally stuttering Milo, which has never stopped Milo from crushing wildly on the man who saved him.

However, just as Milo makes the decision to move on from his hopeless crush, he and Niall are thrown into close contact, and for the first time ever Niall seems to be returning his interest. But it can never work. How can it when Milo always needs rescuing?
From the bestselling author of the Mixed Messages series comes a story about a man who needs to write his own happily ever after.

Review:
This is another Lily Morton story that ticked all my boxes: snark/banter, engaging characters Niall and Milo and seeing friends like Silas, Oz (although kind of hard not to see the latter seeing as both MCs work for Silas ☺ )

But this story has a bit more of a hurt/comfort theme, although still quite funny.
Milo was always seen as a shy type, especially because he had a speech impediment as a child. Being in an abusive relationship also compounded that. Once he was able to escape that – Niall to the rescue – he started to show his true self; a sassy/pert, quick-witted and stronger-than-given-credit-for young man.
Niall is Milo’s older brother’s (Gideon) friend and occasional hook-up. At first, all Niall sees is the little brother that needs rescuing, but as Milo grows in confidence and snark (the latter thanks to Oz), he starts to notice that Milo is all man, grown up man, at that!
My heart stuttered for Milo when Gideon showed up unannounced, but they start to resolve their somewhat strained relationship and Niall makes it clear that his hookup arrangement is over. Niall learns that in order to have Milo, he has to let him go on to be independent.
Overall, I loved this addition to the series ☺
I highly recommend this story.


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