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

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Hellion (415 Ink series – #3) by Rhys Ford

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hellion-by-rhys-ford-10757-b

Blurb

From the moment SFPD Detective Ruan Nicholls meets Ivo Rogers, he knew the tattoo artist was going to bring chaos to his neat orderly life. A hellion down to the bone, Ivo is someone Ruan not only doesn’t understand but isn’t even sure he needs to. Everything about Ivo is vibrant, brash, cocky and arrogant and Ruan wants no part of him.

Or at least that’s the lie he tells himself when he damps down his desire for the social wild child life tosses into his path.

For Ivo Rogers, his life revolves around two things; his family and 415 Ink, the tattoo shop he co-owns with his four brothers. His family might be stitched together by their battle scars from growing up in foster care but their brotherhood was tight—and strong enough to hold Ivo together during the times when he fell apart.

Now Ivo faces a new challenge when he falls for a cop with an old-school mentality on what a man looks and acts like. Ruan is the promise of a life Ivo thought he’d never have but their thunderous clashes threaten any chance of a relationship. Being the family’s hellion makes it easy to be misunderstood yet Ivo has faith Ruan will not only embrace who he is but love him as well.

Review

This had all the makings of a very promising opposites attract story with a bit of an age gap for extra piquancy, but I was a little disappointed in how it was written. The sentences are rather long and have a rambling quality to them that slows down the pacing of the narrative too much and makes it harder to feel the intensity of what the MC’s are going through and really get that connection to them.

Both MC’s are fascinating characters though and the character development was well written. Ivo’s had a truly heartbreaking childhood and went through some very dark periods, which makes it so important for him to finally be able to unapologetically be himself. Ruan is great for him, steady and loyal, but has to overcome his own fears about what it means to be out, and stand out. After a rocky start things go quite fast, and for me the commitment and I-love-you’s followed too hastily after the brief amount of time they actually spent together.

There’s a heartwarming cast of secondary characters, what with Ivo’s meddlesome, slightly overbearing and extremely protective brothers and I’ll admit to being curious about the stories of the others even if this book wasn’t totally my cup of tea.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


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 enjoyed this book for the most part however It did leave me unsatisfied in a few areas. We are missing a lot of backstory, especially with the 3 alpha’s of the Kismet pack. We get a little with the omega, Sawyer but not much. Most of the story was the new pack trying to figure out their dynamics, while preparing to open a coffee shop. The villain of the story was very disappointing once he finally showed up. The grand “I love you” scene was very rushed and lackluster. In my opinion this wasn’t one of Sam Burn’s best stories. Hopefully the next story in this series will be better.

3.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Arrangement – A Homestead Legacy Story By: Alex Jane

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47326511-the-arrangement?from_search=tru

Blurb
Gabriel Webster’s pack is in trouble. His father’s failing health and his mother’s untimely death mean that the vultures are circling. It won’t be long before his family’s assets are stripped and his pack disbanded. When an offer of help arrives in the form of a marriage of convenience, he has little choice but to accept.

The arrangement would be the perfect solution, if not for one thing. Gabriel is to marry Nathaniel Hayward, the Alpha who was badly injured in the accident that killed his brother ten years before—and the man Gabriel has been in love with for as long as he can remember.

Trapped in a business arrangement masquerading as a marriage—in a strange, empty house with a damaged husband who barely tolerates him — isn’t what Gabriel expected from life.

But sometimes the last thing we want is the beginning of something more.
And an ending can be the start of something beautiful

Review: This is an enjoyable story with likeable characters and a good story line.
My only complaints are that there is not made of the shifter life and very little description of the century (19th) in which the story occurs (these are my personal peeves and they don’t detract from the overall story).
Gabriel is ‘heir’ to a failing pack when he receives unexpected help from his late brother’s best friend, Nathaniel. Nathaniel, an alpha who was injured in the same accident that killed Gabriel’s brother, carries both emotional and physical scars. He proposes a marriage of convenience with Gabriel, who agrees (he has harboured a crush on Nate for a while).
The ‘arrangement’ starts off with Nathaniel keeping his distance, being generally aloof and cold towards Gabriel. But Gabriel perseveres, drawing the stubborn man out of his shell. The men grow closer and things start to work well between them, but there a still few things that need to settled before the men get their HEA.
An enjoyable story!

 



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
What a wonderful addition to the world Alex Jane created with the Homestead series. An arranged marriage to save the Pack it’s not what Gabriel wants but it must be done. I love how the story slowly weaves in reconciliation and emotional healing for both Gabriel and Nathaniel. A second chance at love for them. It takes time for Gabriel to begin to understand Nathaniel and why he behaves the way he does. There is a gentle sweetness about the Homestead series which has been carried on in this book. I love that there is a small cameo part for Thaddeus and Samuel. The world Alex Jane creates is so vivid. a pleasure to read

5 stars out of 5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review