Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Audiobook: Valor on the Move by Keira Andrews Narrated by Iggy Toma

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Valor-on-the-Move-Audiobook/1977348661?qid=1564954678&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=8QZBSEQYH702E6VXTSBX&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

He’d give his life to protect the president’s son. But he never expected to risk his heart.

Growing up gay in the White House hasn’t been easy for Rafael Castillo. Codenamed “Valor” by the Secret Service, Rafa feels anything but brave as he hides in the closet and tries to stay below the radar in his last year of college. His father’s presidency is almost over, and he just needs to stick to his carefully crafted plan. Once his family’s out of the spotlight, he can be honest with his conservative parents about his sexuality and his dream of being a chef.

It’s definitely not part of Rafa’s plan to get a new Secret Service agent who’s a walking wet dream, but he’s made it this long keeping his desires to himself. Besides, it’s not like Shane Kendrick would even look at him twice if it wasn’t his job.

Shane’s worked his way up through the Secret Service ranks, and while protecting the president’s shy, boring son isn’t his dream White House assignment, it’s an easy enough task since no one pays Rafa much attention. He discovers there’s a vibrant young man beneath the timid public shell, and while he knows Rafa has a crush on him, he assures himself it’s harmless. Shane’s never had room for romance in his life, and he’d certainly never cross that line with a protectee. Keeping Rafa safe at any cost is Shane’s mission.

But as Rafa gets under his skin, will they both put their hearts on the line?

Review

You know that feeling when you finish a book and want to turn around and start it all over again? Well, this book will give you that feeling – and how!

Rafa is the last kid at home, in the last year of a two-term presidency, son of the President of the U.S. He’s 21, in his last year at UVA, and desperate for the freedom January will bring when he can finally leave the White House.

He’s painfully shy and socially awkward, knows he’s gay but has never been able to act upon this with his Republican parents and living life in the spot-light. He has a girlfriend who is a lesbian and together they protect one another’s secrets until the time is right for them to come out of the closet together. In addition to hiding the secret about his sexuality, he also struggles with the expectation to follow his father into politics when all he wants to do is become a chef and learn to surf.

Shane is a secret-service agent who is excited to be moving up the ranks to the “Big Show” of presidential protection. He’s a loner: only child, no parents, few friends, no attachments romantically. He gets his needs met with f*ck buddies and the occasional hook-up and he has no desire to change that. He tells his friend that he’ll know it’s time for something more when he actually cares to wake up to the same person everyday.

Rafa falls into instant lust with his new secret service agent but knows it can’t ever be anything real. But… he can’t help but dream. When Shane shows a bit of kindness to him and allows himself to be a guinea pig for some of Rafa’s recipes, he can’t but help hope for something more.

Shane knows he can’t be distracted by the young man in his charge. It wouldn’t be right on so many levels. But he sees the open heart and obvious crush and can’t help but be caught up with the lonely man he’s protecting.

A stolen kiss, a kidnap attempt, and a night in a cave change the course of their relationship forever.

There’s drama surrounding the kidnap, Rafa’s family finds out he’s gay and Shane’s friend in the service has both professional and family struggles that will both tug at your heart string and make you super mad at the same time.
In the end, everyone involved has to do some serious re-considering of their life choices and has to decide just what is most important in life.

**

Oh. My. God. I LOVED this book so hard! Rafa had me in his hands right from the start. He was so, so lonely. Such a good guy who had practically nobody to turn to. He was overshadowed by his celebrity family and left to his own devices to hide who he really was from both family and the public.

Shane was a genuinely nice guy with only a bit of angst in his past, but still a strong person who was willing to see the best thing for him in a situation that looked impossible.

I know that there are a lot of “impossible things” that happened in this story, but it was believable enough that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I cried so many times – the sick kids, Rafa’s high school career, Shane’s parents, the kidnapping and the ending… God! Such an emotional roller-coaster.

I loved the chemistry between Shane and Rafa and thought it was a brilliant move to make Rafa just a bit kinky when his other self was so reserved. The May/December aspect was handled well and made to seem as the least of their problems.

I thought the kidnapping part of the story was brilliant. I won’t give anything away, but I was totally on the fence between complete anger and total understanding. Brilliantly done!

My only wish was that we could have seen Shane and Rafa as a couple once the whole White House thing was over. I would have loved to see them together in Australia!

I can’t recommend this book enough. Keira is an amazing author who continually wows me with the width and breadth of the subjects she is able to master, from and Amish love affair to Zombies, she handles them all so effortlessly!

If I could give it more stars I would!

Audio

I enjoyed this so much! I think Iggy Toma did a great job with both the younger and older voices – and carried the emotional intensity very well.

He’s so easy to listen to and I think it made a great way to experience this amazing story.

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The Dragon Boss by Anna Wineheart ; Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Blurb

What happens when you send an accidental dick pic with your resume?
On the run from dark-web criminals, Lucian Bolt has given up on a permanent safe place – all he needs is a temporary one, so he can earn some quick cash and run again. Better to flee than linger in the truth: Because of his electronic whispering abilities, his family has been murdered. A person like him doesn’t deserve happiness.
Then Lucian meets Knox, and things change.
As the boss of Whole Fish Seafoods, Knox has everything – except a family. Fifty years ago, wolf-shifters murdered his mate and child. Believing himself a failure, Knox has sworn off taking another mate…until he meets the job applicant that stumbles into his office.
Lucian smells like wolves. Suspicious, Knox frisks him and plants his seed in Lucian. Only to find out a week later that Lucian’s not the non-magic human he claimed to be. And that Lucian is now pregnant… with a dragon child.
With Knox, Lucian glimpses what a happy future could be like. And with Lucian, Knox has someone to protect again. As the sparks between them grow, and as the dark tendrils of their pasts coil ever closer, can Lucian and Knox find their way to a future together?
The Dragon Boss is a stand-alone dragon-shifter novel with sentient shopping carts, a kraken, and a dragon who will not fail his mate. No cheating, no cliff-hangers, but there definitely is a happily ever after.

Review

On one hand this was really creative with a sort of “normalized” magic in society setting but there are still plenty of secrets.  I really thought the computer whisperer idea was fantastic and the “alive” shopping carts interesting.

On the other hand there some pretty big plot holes that kept me from loving this more.  The computer whisperer can’t figure out a way to get his dick pic back and he sent it in the first place.  Then the Dragon Boss doesn’t take precautions even though he knows the guy is magic.  And they sleep together right away and often despite not really liking one another and being in constant danger.  Then there is the kidnapping… that plot line made me crazy.

So… I did read all of it and was happy for the HEA – but I was bothered by these plot issues that kept this from being unique and well crafted.  I’d definitely take a look at the next book in the series.  Dragons are awesome and Lucian’s magic was cool.

Audio

John Solo is just not my favorite. He’s fine. He’s acceptable but I don’t enjoy him like I do some of the others. It might be just a personal thing.  He does a fair job of telling the story and it’s a nice way to enjoy this if you can’t read it.

Overall for both the story and the audio 3 of 5 stars.

 


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Bullying Dark Romance/ Bad Boys Dee Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Stalker/Abusive Ex Standalone

Time to Go Dark: Snow Falling by Davidson King

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36515977-snow-falling?from_search=true

Blurb

After running from a past destined to kill him, Snow has been hiding on the streets.

Tell nobody your name.
Tell nobody your secrets.
Trust nobody!
These are the rules of the streets.
His entire life changes when he saves an eight-year-old boy from a violent end. Christopher Manos is one of the most powerful crime bosses in the country.

Don’t ask anyone to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself.
Secrets can get you killed.
Trust nobody!
These are the rules he lives by.
When his eight-year-old nephew disappears, he never expects the boy’s savior to end up being his own. A man with a dangerous past and a man with a dangerous future find love amidst murder and mayhem. But with Snow’s life being threatened at every turn, will Christopher’s best be enough to prevent Snow Falling?

Review

I loved this book! I was very surprised to find that it’s the authors 1st novel. It was so well done. The characters were well developed, and I even found myself rooting for Chris, a crime boss who doesn’t hide what he is. I loved Snow, he is strong, despite all that he’s gone through. I worried a bit that the story would be dark and depressing, especially with a crime boss that does not change … much. But my fears were groundless – while there is some crime, (hello crime boss!), it was in keeping with the story. Christopher does have a heart as evidenced by his love for Simon (his nephew) and Snow.
It’s a fun, well crafted book – highly recommend ☺

5 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for review

 

Categories
4.5 stars Actor/Theatre adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Author Provided Book Contemporary DA Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan Music/Rock Star Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Review Copies

GRL Author: Strong Medicine by JK Hogan

grl2

 

51VdAcWF-FL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_Blurb

Two men who meet in a psychiatric institution couldn’t possibly find happiness together—could they?

The world seemed to be telling disgraced former child star and singer Cameron Fox that he would never be happy again. A drunken car accident gets him sentenced to a work release program at Riverbend Behavioral Health Facility.

Reclusive, traumatized writer Jonah Radley has an entire graveyard of skeletons in his closet. Jonah regularly hospitalizes himself for psychotic episodes caused by a horrific childhood trauma, his biggest secret—one he refuses to speak about in therapy.

Jonah and Cameron form a bond inside the hospital, forged in mutual pain and hope for a better life. Once they leave the hospital, they must decide if they are brave enough to explore the intricacies of living with mental illness—and find a new normal together.

Review

Cameron is what I would call a “B” list celebrity. He WAS a child star and now he’s in a band with his family and they are fairly popular but not “big stars”.   When he gets a DUI the judge gives him a year of working at Riverbend, a psychiatric home as work release (at his father’s request). To make matters worse, Cameron’s dad kicks him out of the band for having a “bad image” and Cameron suspects that this image is not the DUI but the being gay.

Jonah is a voluntary resident at Riverbend twice a year. He has a past that is horrifying and it every once in awhile rises up to make him unable to cope with life on his own. The therapists there want him to go on medications, but he refuses and as such they feel he “doesn’t want to get better”.

When Jonah sees Cameron he remembers the character Cameron played on TV as a child and remembers that character as being special to him when Jonah was a child, too. This helps them to form an instantaneous bond that they build on from there.

Cameron’s life is in major flux right now, he sees by being at Riverbend that there’s more to his life that was wrong than right and now he wants to make things right. Jonah can’t keep doing what he’s doing and he certainly can’t keep doing it if he wants to be in a relationship with Cameron. The two men will have to decide what they want from life and what they’re willing to do to get it.

**

This book surprised me! I’d read the blurb, read a couple reviews and was expecting a very angsty and dark read. And it is BUT it’s also a very sweet and tremendously touching love story that (to me) really overshadows the dark.

I have to admit that I skimmed most of the spots where Jonah is trapped in his mind and “remembering” the horrors of his past. I just didn’t want those images in my mind.   I skimmed them and got the idea, but I didn’t need the specific details haunting me! Hogan is a great writer and she does a fantastic job of putting the reader in Jonah’s mind space and that can be an awful place – so be warned – it is a dark read.

However, Cameron, for all his fucked-upness – is a really wonderful counterpart for Jonah in that he’s like a naïve new man looking at the world with fresh eyes. His life hasn’t been bad but it hasn’t been good but it hasn’t ever been as bad as most of the people’s lives at Riverbend. He’s smart enough to realize that really quick (no spoiled super star here!) and that really helps him do good things for himself and the residents of Riverbend. Since he’s in such a better place (mentally) he can be the support Jonah needs and yet Jonah helps Cameron make decisions about his own life, too. As a result they were a really well balanced couple by the end.

This is a fairly low steam story. There’s a couple hot and heavy scenes toward the end but most of this story is about Jonah and Cameron finding their way and finding one another. The smexy times were just icing on the cake!

I enjoyed this book and thought it was really interesting. I’d recommend it only if you’re prepared for dark and angsty but I’ll also say you get rewarded with a lot of warm and fuzzy – so it’s worth it!

4.25 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Amazon Link

(Coming out May 18th 2016)

https://www.amazon.com/Strong-Medicine-J-K-Hogan-ebook/dp/B01FEH1GL0/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1463063692&sr=1-3&keywords=strong+medicine