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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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Embracing His Syn by A.E Via; narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=embracing+syn&ref=

Blurb:
Sergeant Corbin ‘Syn’ Sydney had dedicated his life to becoming the best detective. So when he heard there was an opening on the notorious Atlanta Narcotics Task Force, he jumped at the chance. But, what he wasn’t ready for was realizing just how lonely he’d made himself, when he observed the loving and dedicated relationship between the two men he served under: Lieutenant Cashel ‘God’ Godfrey and Lieutenant Leonidis Day.
Syn prepared himself to accept his lonely fate until he walked into a small pub and met the long-haired, tattooed bartender, Furious Barkley. Before Syn can even understand why, he’s overcome with feelings he barely recognizes: passion, yearning, craving. And if the dark, lustful gazes are anything to go by, Furious might be feeling the same things for him.
Just two thing needs to happen before Syn and Furi can give each other what’s been missing from their lives for so long… Syn needs to find the evidence that proves Furi’s innocence of murder, as well as protect him from a past that refuses to let go.

God, Day, Ronowski, and Johnson are still as entertaining as ever…

Review:
Story: I read this story a while back – I liked it, a lot but it wasn’t my favourite in the series. It’s an interesting story – Syn transferred to God and Day’s team to forge his own path, separate from his family of policemen. Because he’s always been focused on his career, he has never been in a relationship, let alone with a man, but when he meets Furi, his feelings change. Syn is bent on becoming a part of Furi’s life, meanwhile, Furi is intent on keeping a low profile after escaping from an abusive relationship. There is a lot of heat and chemistry between the 2 men, and it was interesting to see how their romance developed. It was fun to see God and Day; Ro and Johnson and some new faces in their alpha and sometimes hilarious element ☺

Narration: Aiden Snow made me love the book! 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, but the story is well written enough that you always know which character is talking.

Story: 4 stars
Narration: 4.5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Spark in the Stars by Foster Bridget Cassidy

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/spark-in-the-stars-by-foster-bridget-cassidy-10559-b

Blurb:
A case of mistaken identity could lead to love for an aloof starship captain and a brilliant if underappreciated mechanic from the sticks—if they can survive the dangerous mission assigned to them.

Ginnovi Oshwald just needs someone to give him a chance. He can keep anything running, despite the “spark” his body produces that sometimes wreaks havoc with electronics. Gin gets his chance when Captain Lian Hartford comes to Tallahassee in search of a mechanic. The trouble is, he’s looking for Gin’s sister. But since he only has a name to go by, Gin tells a little white lie. What could go wrong?
Lian loves his ship and his work as a diplomat but has difficulty connecting with others—only partly because of his mixed human and alien heritage. Something about the eccentric mechanic intrigues him, though, and their easy friendship could become more… if they live long enough to broker peace between humanity and a hostile race while pacifying a crew that thinks Gin belongs in prison.

Review:
It’s an interesting read at the start especially when Gin is mistaken for his sister and the dialogue switches between his and his sister’s name – I liked that, once I got used to it ☺
However, the story got to be a little confusing to me; how did Temina know what ship her brother was on? Then there were the secondary characters, they had been introduced but I had a hard time keeping track of many of them – Doc was also called Mother, but I wasn’t sure if she was really Lian’s mum and Pip turned out to be a deity.
Gin and Lian were likeable characters, but I didn’t feel that they any chemistry together.
It’s a good story, just not for me.

3 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Come Back Around by BA Tortuga

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/come-back-around-by-ba-tortuga-10588-b

Blurb:
Can two divorced dads get a second chance at a redneck wedding?

When Reid Porter agrees to be his best friend’s man of honor, he never considers that his ex, Mateo, will be there too. Which is ridiculous, because Jennifer is marrying Mat’s brother. Reid would never let Jen down, though, so he finds himself at the Leaning N Ranch with his two daughters and a whole lot of baggage about seeing Mat again.
Mat loves his baby brother and would do anything for him, including face the love of his life, whom he’s sure has moved on. When he and Reid come face-to-face after more than two years apart, they realize they’ve never let go. Now they have to do what they never could before—balance work, home, and children, while finding a way to come back around to each other’s love.

Review:
This was a comfort read – it gave me the warm fuzzies reading how a divorced couple found their way back to each other. One of the things I enjoy about Ms. Tortuga’s stories is how there is a cast of characters that make the story larger than life – in this case – Mat’s mum and dad, Mat and Reid’s daughters, even the groomsmen. There are characters from a previous Leaning N book (Stoney and Ford) – but one doesn’t have to have read their story to enjoy this one.
As the blurb says, both men are going to have to bury their differences as their sibling (Mat’s) and best friend (Reid) are getting married. As soon as they see each other again, the love they never lost rekindles. Sure there are some doubts and yes, they need to hash out why they got a divorce, but they are sure that their love for each other and their kids will see them through this time.
A sweet story!

3.5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Larry Boots, Exterminator by John Inman

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/larry-boots-exterminator-by-john-inman-10514-b

Blurb:
Kenny Long is living a new life. Blinded in an accident, he has taken control of his unexpected reality the best way he can, and it’s working out better than he hoped. Of course Larry Boots doesn’t know any of that. All he sees is a beautiful man sitting on a park bench. Larry has a few problems of his own: His mother. His job. The lack of romance in his life. His job. In the course of that job, Larry strikes up a friendship with Kenny. The next thing he knows, he’s so head over heels in love, even his mother doesn’t seem so bad. Of course his career is still a problem, but he’s working on that. Hopefully he’ll have the problem resolved before the man he’s being paid to murder succeeds in murdering him first. And before the man he loves finds out he’s a cold-blooded killer.

Review: This is a fun story, despite some of the darker elements related to Larry’s line of ‘work’ ☺
Larry, as the title suggests, gets rid of unsavoury things. Unsavoury people, if one is to be accurate. He stumbled into this line of work by accident, but as long as he’s needed, he’ll do it. That is, until he finds a reason to quit, in the form of Kenny.
Kenny is blind, but that doesn’t stop Larry from falling for him. When the two men strike up a conversation, Larry is intrigued by how self-sufficient Kenny is. As they get to know one another, Kenny has to navigate meeting Larry’s mum (she’s a hoot), his 2 dogs and Larry’s odd hours. When one of Larry’s marks hits a little close to home, Larry has to decide what is more important to him.
There were some dark/sad aspects as to why Larry is an exterminator, but these were deftly interwoven with the humour and romance of the story. I really enjoyed it. It’s a good, lighthearted story that I enjoyed a lot.

4 stars out of 5


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