Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Digging Deeper (Interlocking Fragments #2) by Michele Notaro and Sammi Cee

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48846687-digging-deeper

Blurb

Hendrix~

One minute, I’m on patrol with my partner. The next, I’m waking up after being in a coma for weeks and my whole world has changed. On the bright side, my twin brother tells me he’s moving home after being gone for almost ten years, and I couldn’t be happier. Plus, I woke up. That’s definitely a positive. On the other hand, they don’t know if I’ll ever walk again, my brother’s dating my best friend, and I’m starting to obsess about my brother’s best friend … yeah, like that’s not a disaster waiting to happen. How’s my brother going to feel if I admit I’m bisexual after all these years? After watching him struggle alone?
And am I really thinking about Gavin, the man I’ve resented for keeping my brother away all these years? But I can’t take my eyes off of him, especially when his brown eyes seem so sad and haunted.

Gavin~

Following my best friend to Baltimore was an easy decision since he’s the only family I have, and finding a physical therapist job was a bonus. But now I’m afraid of being a burden to him and his new boyfriend, so I’ve been keeping to myself. The loneliness is seeping back in, and the person that’s been helping is the last one I’d expect. Hendrix has always hated me, but the more I help him recover, the more of him shines through, and I begin seeing him in a different light. He’s always been my best friend’s grumpy, twin brother, but now he’s the straight guy I can’t stop thinking about, the one I can’t stop checking out, and the one I can’t have. Not that I even want anyone after everything—my baggage is too heavy for even me to deal with, let alone someone else… but that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about him.

With Hendrix harboring family secrets, and Gavin’s painful past still bleeding like an open wound, can these two men find a way to help each other dig deeper? Or will they hide from their truths and forsake the potential staring them right in the face?

Digging Deeper is the second book in the Interlocking Fragments series, but is a standalone novel. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but the couples will show up throughout the whole series. This is a contemporary romance intended for 18+.

Review

I mostly agree that this is a standalone, however, you’d miss out on a LOT of back story if you only read this – and – since book one was so good – I’d recommend reading them both – in order!

This is a recovery story – for both our MCs. Mostly Hendrix, but Gavin has his healing to do as well.

I loved the way these two played off one another and their chemistry is scorching!

If you enjoyed book 1 you’ll love this and if you’re a fan of tough love and inspiring HEAs this is the story for you.

Highly recommended!

5 stars



Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Heartward by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/heartward-by-andrew-grey-10879-b

Blurb
He doesn’t know that home is where his heart will be….

Firefighter Tyler Banik has seen his share of adventure while working disaster relief with the Red Cross. But now that he’s adopted Abey, he’s ready to leave the danger behind and put down roots. That means returning to his hometown—where the last thing he anticipates is falling for his high school nemesis.

Alan Pettaprin isn’t the boy he used to be. As a business owner and council member, he’s working hard to improve life in Scottville for everyone. Nobody is more surprised than Alan when Tyler returns, but he’s glad. For him, it’s a chance to set things right. Little does he guess he and Tyler will find the missing pieces of themselves in each other. Old rivalries are left in the ashes, passion burns bright, and the possibility for a future together stretches in front of them….

But not everyone in town is glad to see Tyler return….

Review
Another winner by Andrew Grey!!!

Heartward is a wonderful story. I adored the characters in this story. Tyler has come back to town to try and make a home for his young son Abey. After taking his father’s position on the town council, Alan is determined to help improve life in town for all members of the community. Alan and Tyler weren’t friendly as kids but when they reunite as adults the attraction is mutual and luckily neither let their past hold them back. I absolutely loved the story surrounding Tyler’s son Abey. I was happy to see Geoff and Eli from the Love Means…series show up. There is a little drama in the background in the form of Tyler’s boss who may or may not be up to no good.

I highly recommend this heartwarming story!!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Interpretive Hearts by Amanda Meuwissen

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/interpretive-hearts-by-amanda-meuwissen-10886-b

Blurb
Love is easy once you learn the steps.
In the competitive world of dance, Teddy was a flawless performer and hardass choreographer who students feared and admired in equal measure. But hip surgery ended the glamour and drama, and now Teddy is recovering at his beach house, lost and listless.
Until he meets Finn, his neighbor, who is too perfect, gorgeous, and kind to exist—but very ill timed. In a seaside town as small as theirs, they can’t avoid each other, especially since Finn is also Teddy’s new physical therapist. But Teddy isn’t the man he used to be, and though Finn flirts shamelessly with him, Teddy can’t believe a has-been dancer is worthy of someone so young and full of life.
Finn’s sunny smile is also hiding heartache. Pursuing Teddy challenges both his professionalism and his self-preservation, but if he can convince Teddy to trust him, maybe they both can heal.
Review

An enjoyable and easy read, well written, with interesting MC’s and a likable cast of secondary characters. I liked the hurt/comfort aspect in the story and the atypical dynamic, with the younger man being the one to help his more mature love interest heal, physically that is.
I wasn’t entirely swept off my feet though. The emotional connection between Teddy and Finn was certainly there, but the push and pull, hot & cold routine on both sides didn’t help matters any in creating that “meant to be” magic that I tend to look for in a romance. I’d also have liked more scenes with them in a relationship and growing closer, whereas now the story mostly focused on their will they/won’t they dance.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Hard Hart by: E. Davies Narration: Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Hard-Hart-Audiobook/B07YN8N2CS?qid=1571593358&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=HW41X56SQN82VGNBW430&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb
Jesse Stone is rebuilding his life. He’s ditched his no-good ex, sworn off men, moved to a new town with his four best friends, and started the pottery business of his dreams. And then he slept with his hunky new neighbor. Oops. Jesse needs to focus on work, but all he can think about is getting Finn between his hands like a perfectly-shaped work of clay.

Trouble just blew into town, and his name is Jesse. Finn Hart knows that pursuing Jesse will ignite old family tensions, but he can’t stay away. The construction foreman has never built a lasting relationship. He’s too busy keeping the peace in a town that was founded by one Hart, but is slowly being strangled by another—Finn’s grandfather.

Finn and Jesse are on the same page: they want to save Hart’s Bay, and it starts by bringing tourists in with Jesse’s new art gallery. But their hearts are bruised, and taking a chance comes with a price. Not everyone in Hart’s Bay wants change. For a few narrow minds, nothing good should come to Finn’s branch of the Harts, and that includes love.

Can love wash away twenty years of bad blood and bring a new dawn for Jesse, Finn, and all of Hart’s Bay

Review
So many possibilities in this series. New town and a new start for Jesse and his friends. Add in a family feud they unwittingly get caught in and explosions are bound to happen. I felt sorry for the residents of Hart’s bay. They have given up and are just existing. Jesse has plans to bring some life back to the Town. Along the way he meets Finn. Finn is a Hart. And he is caught up in a family feud which is harming the town as much as it has split the family.
Fin and Jesse’s story is wonderfully positive and it’s great to feel that the whole town is embracing a new start just like the main characters are. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.
Greg Boudreaux’s dulcet tones are perfect. He gave Finn a lovely sexy voice and Jesse had a touch of hesitancy and vulnerability which made him so endearing.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Wolf Lost (The Wolves of Kismet #1) by Sam Burns

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47637443-wolf-lost

Blurb
An omega on the run.

An alpha fractured.

Sawyer Holt can’t go home. The Alpha who has replaced his father wants to use him as a tool to cement his political power, and Sawyer isn’t interested in marrying his father’s murderer.

Dez Sullivan’s leg may never heal from his last mission in Afghanistan, but he’s getting used to that. What he can’t adapt to are the nightmares and the tremor in his hand that the doctors insist is all in his head. Next to that, being a brand new werewolf seems easy, until Sawyer Holt blows into his life. The omega activates his burgeoning wolf instincts in a new way, and they threaten to overwhelm his common sense.

Both men are in Colorado searching for a new start, a new pack, and the safety they’ve lost. Their meeting is pure Kismet.

Review

I found this to be delightful! I loved the unique take on shifters and the fact that none of these men is typical but yet are all alpha in their own right.

I am excited to read more from this series, the author did a great job of hooking me into their stories as well as those of the MCs.

Recommended!

4.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Recent Release: Running From My Heart (Rock Bottom #3) by Felice Stevens

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48390823-running-from-my-heart

Blurb

“Holding onto the past can hurt more than letting it go.” People say six years is long enough to mourn the death of his husband but for Ross Miller, the pain is as fresh as if it happened yesterday. He’s left his glittering Hollywood life behind, yet guilt still dogs his steps, no matter how far he runs. Trapped by his past and needing to escape his well-meaning friends, he rents a cabin in the secluded Adirondack mountains. A reclusive man moves in next door and piques Ross’s interest, but his persistent attempts at friendship are rebuffed. That doesn’t stop him because the one rule Ross Miller has always lived by is to never take no for an answer.Novelist Arden Wainwright has given up. He can’t pretend a happiness he knows he’ll never find again. Solitary days turn into years, and he remains frozen, unable to take a breath. At his wit’s end, he retreats to the mountains, but it does little to stir his creativity. He continues to hide from life and avoids his overly nosy neighbor, who insists on planting himself at Arden’s doorstep at every turn. Making friends is the last thing Arden wants, but annoying or not, he can’t get the damn man out of his mind.Finding peace in their isolated surroundings, the two lonely men forge an unlikely friendship where they realize they’re more alike than different and better together than apart. With Ross’s help, Arden begins to rebuild the shattered pieces of his life, while Arden gives Ross the strength to face his fears and find his way home. When love comes calling you can choose to hide from hurt, loss, and pain, but if you take a chance and open the door, you might discover that running from your heart is the last thing you’ll want to do.
This book can be read as a stand alone but you may remember Ross, Foster’s best friend from Broken Silence, Book One of the Rock Bottom series.

Review

Undoubtedly one of the most moving love stories I’ve read this year. Ross and Arden’s journey is all about love, love lost and new love found, and it really resonated with me. Arden’s loss especially hit me very hard. The sorrow and grief both MC’s are struggling to overcome is almost palpable and seeing them find the strength to live and love again after such heartbreaking loss was incredibly touching and inspiring. I liked that the author didn’t rush the healing process and that Ross and Arden became friends before becoming lovers, after a bit of a rocky start. The trust that gradually built between them was a wonderful thing to read.

I loved the writing style, its imagery but also its realism, and of course the well-rounded secondary characters. Note to self: must read Julian and Foster’s story asap. I also very much enjoyed how the author described the nature and wildlife surrounding the cabins in the Adirondack mountains, the ospreys first and foremost, and their importance to Ross and Arden’s journey.


Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Nova Praetorian by N.R Walker; narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Nova-Praetorian-Audiobook/B07WS2N77M?qid=1569968539&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=Q1QT0RJF87DG33HJCM8E&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb: Quintus Furius Varus is one of the best lanistas in Rome. Tall and strong in build, fearsome in manner, and sharp of wit, he trains the best gladiators bound for the arenas of Rome. When Senator Servius Augendus seeks personal guards, he attends the Ludus Varus for purchase of the very best. He puts to Quintus an offer he cannot refuse, and Quintus finds himself in Neapolis, contracted as a trainer of guards instead of gladiators.
Kaeso Agorix was taken from his homelands of Iberia and delivered to Rome as a slave. Bought by a senator to be trained as a guard, his fate is handed to the man who would train him. Absent free will, Kaeso knows his life is no longer his own, though he soon realizes the gods have favored him when he learns his new master has a kind heart.
Quintus and Kaeso forge a bond that far exceeds the collar at Kaeso’s neck, and together, they discover the senator’s move for promotion has an ulterior motive. Thrown into a world of politics and conspiracy, of keeping enemies close, they move against time to save Rome before traitors and the gods themselves see to their end.

And in doing so, see the dawn of the nova praetorian – the new guard – rise.

Review:
Story already review previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/?s=nova+praetorian

A historical romance from one of my favourite historical periods – Roman times, coupled with an absolutely epic performance by Joel Leslie! What’s not to love?? ☺
This story is a product of is time – one of the MC’s is a slave, there is blackmail, political back-stabbing and political villainy; but there are shining moments, like the fairness of Quintus, the affection and bond between Quintus and Kaeso and the backdrop of general Roman life (which appealed to my inner history geek ☺

The narration was nothing short glorious! Joel Leslie is one of the best audiobook performers in the business. He has the knack of knowing how to channel the characters, first by getting the right accent, then their personalities and then their emotions. This is all tied together in the overall tone of the story – in this case, a more somber tone – since some of the topics are serious.
Throughout Joel Leslie’s performance I could visualise the gladiator training area, I could ‘see’ the villas of the senators, feel the decadence of the time. I could also feel the treachery, and the love and affection between the 2 MCs.
This is a well crafted story, with a tour de force performance by Joel Leslie!

Narration: 6 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Ground Zero (Zero Hour #1) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48217288-ground-zero

Blurb
Ground zero, noun: the center or origin of rapid, intense, or violent activity or change.

Heat, humidity, and homicide are things veteran detective Sawyer Key expects to encounter on his first day with the Savannah Police Department, but the hostile reception from his new partner catches him by surprise. Sawyer isn’t a stranger to heartache and recognizes that Royce Locke is a wounded man who’s reeling from a devastating loss. Relentless and patient in all things, Sawyer is determined to make the new partnership work.

Savannah, Georgia is known for her quirky people, oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and antebellum architecture. Beneath the Southern charm and hospitality, festering hatred and violence is soaring with the summer temperatures. Locke and Key find themselves at the epicenter when their first case involves the death of a former shock jock who appears to be the victim of vigilante justice.

Opposites in nearly every way, the two detectives set aside their differences to take back their city and restore law and order. From this reluctant truce, an intense attraction grows that will either tighten or shatter their tenuous bond. Falling for his partner spells inevitable disaster, but Sawyer’s always been a sucker for wounded things. Sawyer could be the key to the life Royce has always wanted, if he’s brave enough to trust him. The fuse is lit, the clock is running, and the zero hour is upon them. Tick tock.

Ground Zero is the first book in the Zero Hour series, which follows Locke and Key’s investigations and evolving relationship. Ground Zero has a happy-for-now ending with no cliffhanger. It contains mature language and sexual content intended for adults 18 and older.

Review
What an amazing read!!! I adored everything about this book. It’s a bit more somber than what I’m used to from Aimee’s books, although there are some humorous moments. Both of the main characters are dealing with loss…Sawyer(Key) is dealing with the death of his husband and Locke(Royce) is dealing with the death of his partner. Locke is confusing at times, his past and issues remain a mystery for most of this book, although there is some light shed towards the end. I enjoyed the investigations that went on during the story. I was a little disappointed with the end of the big conflict though. This is a great slow burn story. Highly recommend this one!
5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Tallowwood by N.R. Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47997473-tallowwood?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Cold cases, murder, lies, and an unimaginable truth.

Sydney detective August Shaw has spent the last decade of work solving cold cases. Since the death of his boyfriend eight years ago, August works alone, lives alone, is alone — and that’s exactly how he likes it. His work is his entire life, and he’s convinced a string of unsolved cold-case suicides are linked to what could be Australia’s worst ever serial killer. Problem is, no one believes him.

Senior Constable Jacob Porter loves his life in the small town of Tallowwood in the middle of the rainforests in northern New South Wales. He runs summer camps for the local Indigenous kids, plays rugby with his mates, has a close family, and he’s the local LGBTQIA+ Liaison and the Indigenous Liaison Officer.

When human remains are found in the camping grounds at Tallowwood Reserve, Jake’s new case turns out to be linked to August’s cold cases, and Jake agrees they’re not suicides at all. With Jacob now firmly in August’s corner, they face one hurdle after another, even when more remains are found, they still can’t seem to gain ground.

But when the body of a fellow police officer turns up under the same MO, it can’t be ignored anymore. August and Jake must trace the untraceable before the killer takes his next victim or before he stops one of them, permanently.

Review
Tallowwood is one of those rare books that completely sucked me in! Once I started this book I could not stop! Like most of NR Walker’s stories, you never really know what you are getting into.
After the loss of his boyfriend, August has shut himself off from the rest of the world. He immerses himself in solving cold cases. Jake, on the other hand is almost the complete opposite. Jake and August come together to try to prove a string of suicides are actually murders. The slowly unfolding case matches the pace of the budding relationship between Jake and August. Both men end up learning a lot from each other.
The mystery part of this story was fantastic. After reading hundreds of mysteries, I can usually figure out the “bad guy” before the big reveal but this one had me guessing until the end.
This was an intense story full of mystery, life, death and romance. I recommend this to everyone!!!
5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Secrets We Keep by Rick R. Reed

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-secrets-we-keep-by-rick-r-reed-10761-b

Blurb
Jasper Warren is a happy-go-lucky young man in spite of the tragedy that’s marred his life. He’s on a road to nowhere with his roommate, Lacy, whom he adores, and a dead-end retail job in Chicago.

And then everything changes in a single night. Though Jasper doesn’t know it, his road is going somewhere after all. This time when tragedy strikes, it brings with it Lacy’s older, wealthy, sexy uncle Rob. Despite the heart-wrenching circumstances, an immediate connection forms between the two men.

But the secrets between them test their attraction. Will their revelations destroy the bloom of new love… or encourage it to grow?

Review

Warning…There is a suicide in this book so that may be a trigger for some….

Just from reading the blurb I had a feeling this was going to be an emotional read. Jasper and Rob meeting happens during a dark time. They spark is there between them but Rob lives in Palm Springs and Jasper is in Chicago. The two strike up a pen pal relationship where the attraction between the two grow even more. Both men have secrets in their past that eventually come to light. I enjoyed this book a lot. I’ve always thought that romances that bloom from tragedy were special. The issue I had with this book was the last few chapters felt rushed and the big reunion fell a little flat. Regardless, I still recommend this book. It was a beautiful read!

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review