Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Happy Place (Rainbow Plave #5) by Jay Northcote

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52042563-happy-place

Blurb

A first kiss from a younger man leads to a sexual awakening…

George’s strict upbringing has left him ashamed of his sexuality. In his forties now, he’s yet to come out or even kiss a man—until he meets Quentin.

Quentin has had enough of bad relationships with men who won’t commit. Still raw from the last one, he’s not ready to try again. But George is sweet, and helping the older man get some experience might be a fun diversion.

Swept rapidly into a deeper connection than they bargained for, they face a dilemma. George isn’t ready to come out, and Quentin wants a boyfriend who isn’t afraid to be seen with him in public. Can they find a way to navigate the unpredictable waters of their new relationship and find happiness together?

Review

An amazing, well-written May-December romance with the perfect amount of angst, steam, starry-eyes and sweetness.

I loved the realness of this story, how everything wasn’t just perfect lust and connection from the first. This romance felt so genuine and authentic, like something that could happen to actual people, which made it a very appealing read to me. As a reader I got to cheer for Quentin and George as they stumbled, doubted or misspoke and sympathized with them as they struggled through some pretty awkward moments. And most importantly, I got to see them fall in love which was absolutely heartwarming.

George is a product of his upbringing, poor guy, and in some ways he’s in a prison of his own making because of that. He has carried around a big secret for most of his life and doesn’t appear to have any friends he can turn to in order to break free and be true to himself, which was pretty sad. I loved his bravery and how he handled his coming out though. Quentin is a wonderful character too. I could easily relate to his longing for a relationship, as well as his hesitancy to open himself up to heartbreak, again.

I loved how these two men fit into the Rainbow Place “community” and I especially liked Seb’s role in their story, though the glimpses we got of the other characters in the series were great fun as well.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Leopard’s Spots: Part Three: A Box Set by Bailey Bradford

Blurb

Leopard’s Spots: Part Three – a box set
9 – Nischal There are many ways a man can be held captive.
10 – Justice Recovering from his past might cost Paul Hardy his life.
11 – Sabin Sabin just wants his powdered sugar donuts, until he meets a man that tastes better than any sweets Sabin’s ever tried…
12 – Cliff Cliff thinks he’s too tough for love and too mean for a mate, but he has a lot to learn about the way the Fates work.
Snow leopards in Holton, Colorado-who’d have thought it? Yet on the large, sprawling acreage nestled between mountains, a family of snow leopard shifters not only lives but thrives. With little to no information about their past, how they came to be or what they are capable of, these shifters struggle to understand who and what they are.
Held together by the tough and loving matriarch, Grandma Marybeth, Levi and his siblings, along with their cousins, must find their way in the world.
Forgotten truths and familial ties are discovered as the snow leopard men find their mates.

Review

The final box set in the Leopard’s Spots series is all about saving the best for last. Emotions run even higher and the relationships & dynamics between the mates differ more than in the preceding stories, even with the continuing magic of the fated mate pull, which I really liked because it took away a little of the predictability of some of the storylines.

In book 9 we are introduced to two brothers, Nischal and Sabin, who are both imprisoned in their snow leopard form. Nischal is the first to be able to make his escape and he finds himself with a human mate who knows nothing about shifters. That introduction to a new reality was great fun to read. Preston is on a mission to revenge his own brother so he understands how important that bond is and goes all out to help Nischal. I really liked that Preston wasn’t your cliche specimen of physical perfection, but more of a regular Joe.

Book 10 continues in the hometown of our beloved snow leopard’s family with leopard shifter Justice and his human mate, Paul. Paul survived capture and abuse by shifters, and is understandably not overjoyed to find himself drawn to one. Their story holds more hurt/comfort than some of the others in the series, as Paul recovers from his ordeal and learns to trust his mate and newfound shifter family. Beautiful and heartwarming.

Book 11 is about Sabin, Nischal’s brother, who is treated like a helpless, younger brother by Nischal and Preston, in need of guidance and protection, even though he and Nischal are twins. When Sabin finds his mate, Emmett, who isn’t as outwardly cuddly and trustworthy as Nischal would like, tensions run high. Emmett is very much a dark horse and as he finds out more about himself, unexpected danger comes for him and brings a whole new level of challenging threats and ugly revelations.

In the 12th and final book, secretive and scary Cliff finds himself in a vulnerable position, very much in need of help and coming across his own mate, none of which suits him. Opposites attract though and Cliff’s about to find out! I loved his mate so much!! Talk about unexpected! This is definitely my favorite pairing out of the entire series! The only thing I was a bit disappointed by, was that we didn’t get to see more of Emmett and some of the others in this story. I need more closure, or maybe just some more time in this shifter world.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Under the Covers By K.C. Wells

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/under-the-covers-by-kc-wells-11609-b

Blurb
Can they find their HEA in Romancelandia?

Chris Tyler loves his job. He photographs some of the hottest guys on the planet, but none stir him like Jase Mitchell. He’ll never let Jase know – he values their friendship too much to spoil it.

Jase is looking forward to the Under The Covers Romance convention. It’s a great opportunity to connect with readers who want to meet their favorite cover model, but more importantly, with agents who could advance his career. Too bad the only person he yearns to connect with is Chris.

What Chris wants is Jase in his life, but he’s afraid that’s sheer fantasy. What Jase desires is a Hollywood dream, but that will mean leaving Chris behind. What both crave is a real-life romance and their own Happily Ever After.

Review

Under the Covers was another great book by KC Wells.
Chris and Jase have worked with each other for years and end up going to a book convention together. There they discover and act on their mutual feelings for each other. Just when the guys relationship starts, Jace is given the opportunity that he has been waiting for and their relationship is put to the test.

This book has a little bit of everything…there’s some drama, a little angst, lots of lovey feelings and a whole lot of UST!!

4 stars

Reviewed by Aerielle

(Provided by Publisher)



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Leopard’s Spots: Part Two: A Box Set by Bailey Bradford

Blurb

Leopard’s Spots: Part Two – a box set
5 – Gilbert One sexy snow leopard shifter finds his mate and more, now Gilbert Trujillo just has to convince Jihu Warren to trust his instincts and give them a chance to be an unexpected family.
6 – Esau Sometimes what you don’t want is exactly what you need.
7 – Sullivan Sullivan Ward thought going away to college would be exciting, but he had no idea what adventure lay ahead for him.
8 – Wesley Letting go of the past is the hardest thing these two men have to learn to do.
Snow leopards in Holton, Colorado-who’d have thought it? Yet on the large, sprawling acreage nestled between mountains, a family of snow leopard shifters not only lives but thrives. With little to no information about their past, how they came to be or what they are capable of, these shifters struggle to understand who and what they are.
Held together by the tough and loving matriarch, Grandma Marybeth, Levi and his siblings, along with their cousins, must find their way in the world.
Forgotten truths and familial ties are discovered as the snow leopard men find their mates.

Review

This box set continues the Leopard’s Spots shifter series, bringing us new fated mates stories linked to the same snow leopard’s family as the first set. I still really like the suspense, the world-building, the twists in the mythology and the many intriguing secondary characters.

In book 5, Gilbert finds his mate Jihu, who turns out to be a half-brother of Bae, one of the MC’s from the previous box set (book 4 Isaiah). The story continues on with the same villain as in book 4, but we learn more about exactly how vicious Bae and Jihu’s grandfather truly is. Jihu is a young, single parent, who’s had to flee for his life and was horribly abused. Seeing him find safety and love with Gilbert made this a really sweet read, in between the more suspenseful action scenes. Gilbert is a total sweetheart, protective and caring, and

Book 6 continues with another of Bae and Jihu’s half-brothers, Ye-sun who also barely managed to escape his grandfather’s clutches. Esau, for reasons that at first remain a mystery, doesn’t want a mate and tries to keep a distance from Ye-sun, which is very hurtful for that vulnerable young man, as he already feels abandoned by others who were supposed to love him. Esau is possessive and short-tempered, a bit too violent for my taste and so over-protective of Ye-sun that he turns into a bit of a bully towards others. He’s my least favorite MC in this series.

In book 7, Bobby finally gets a mate of his own. Bobby, Josiah’s brother, has made a couple of appearances in the other books and got a bad rep because of his irreverent sense of humor. He doesn’t like others deciding for him, so the fated mates thing doesn’t sit well with him, and as the future alpha of his pack he has enough expectations and responsibilities already on his plate. He’s a handful, but a great character, definitely not boring! I liked down-to-earth Sullivan for Bobby. He’s very protective and loving towards his big strong alpha and they’re really sweet together.

Book 8 brings us Wesley and Armando. Wesley is not as seemingly picture-perfect as most of the previous MC’s in the series. He’s made some mistakes and now he’s trying very hard to redeem himself and find his way again. Armando’s a human, not a shifter, who has been hurt very badly by a wolf shifter and as a result is quite aware, and wary, of shifters in general, so Wes and Armando have a lot to overcome together to reach their HEA. Theirs is very much a hurt/comfort story.

We get a couple of tantalizing glimpses of possible future MC’s in these books, there’s more still to come and I’m definitely there for it.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4

 


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Leopard’s Spots: Part One: A Box Set by Bailey Bradford

Blurb

Leopard’s Spots: Part One – a box set
1 – Levi A run through the woods turned anything but typical when Levi found the one thing he never expected to find-his mate.
2 – Oscar One sexy wolf is determined to show a grouchy kitty just how perfect they are for each other.
3 – Timothy Tim Trujillo is about to learn a whole lot more than a few facts about his heritage as a snow leopard shifter.
4 – Isaiah Snow leopard shifter Isaiah Trujillo isn’t a doctor like his brother Tim, but he’s a good guy and when he meets Bae Allen Warren, he knows he’s found the one man to make his life complete.
Snow leopards in Holton, Colorado-who’d have thought it? Yet on the large, sprawling acreage nestled between mountains, a family of snow leopard shifters not only lives but thrives. With little to no information about their past, how they came to be or what they are capable of, these shifters struggle to understand who and what they are.
Held together by the tough and loving matriarch, Grandma Marybeth, Levi and his siblings, along with their cousins, must find their way in the world.
Forgotten truths and familial ties are discovered as the snow leopard men find their mates.

Review

Enjoyable start to a 12-book long series that focuses mainly on leopard shifters, though other shifters also have a role to play along the way.
I liked the world-building and the way the author wrote the fated mates angle, keeping a perfect balance between the powerful insta-lust/-love that almost overwhelms the characters and the actual building of trust and a relationship that is very much needed in any good romance.
Action and suspense are also a very important part of these stories, with threats and dangerous villains aplenty for the MC’s to overcome in order to reach their HEA. Several interesting, though sometimes quite flawed, secondary characters are introduced as well and I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to see more of them. It would have been great to see some of them make peace with the MC’s, have that final heart-to-heart or find their own promising future.
Every couple stands very well on his own, but I’d have liked them to have less similar tastes in bed. It got a bit predictable with almost everyone enjoying the same things and being equally versatile.

I liked the set-up with a family of shifters who have very little knowledge of their own kind, due to a traumatic event in the life of the family matriarch, Grandma Marybeth. In every book the snow leopards find out more about their heritage and the other shifters out in the wide world.

Book 1, Levi, sets the stage for the series and the reader can join Levi as he learns more about his heritage. He is in for a big surprise when Lyndon comes into his life unexpectedly and brings with him a host of troubles. I loved the emotional intensity of their connection in their story. Lyndon find his mate but also finds himself an entire new family who’ll stand beside him when danger comes calling.

In book 2, Oscar, we get to see Levi’s little brother fall in love. Oscar has quite a chip on his shoulders but he is a fascinating character and is more troubled than Levi. He’s known more pain and has had to make some hard choices to protect others. Josiah and Oscar are a great match, even though Oscar isn’t immediately onboard with the whole mates thing which did great things for the emotional intensity of their story. We also get a closer look at Henry, Oscar’s father, who is a loving and wonderful parent, I really liked what he brought to the story. One of the other memorable secondary characters is Bobby, who is awesome, even though he easily aggravates others.

Book 3 is about Timothy, a cousin of the MC’s from the first two books. He travels to Mongolia to study snow leopards and falls in love with Otto. There’s a bit more of an ominous feel to their story, because even though there’s a threat “out there”, it takes a while to become clear where the threat is coming from exactly and why.

Book 4 is about Isaiah, Tim’s brother, and is set in the US again. The other MC, Bae, grew up in a harsh, cult-like environment with pretty awful, warped “customs”. Bae is nice, but maybe a bit too hung-up on some of his fears and in the beginning he’s a little brainwashed still about the goings-on in his lepe/family. Isaiah is a great guy, shy though and lacking a little in self-confidence. It was lovely to see him grow and learn his own worth.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4

 


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Hither, Page by Cat Sebastian; narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Hither-Page-Audiobook/B084GNPV8X?qid=1582647931&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=P882H6ARJ66YZ3J3P4TY&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb:
A jaded spy and a shell shocked country doctor team up to solve a murder in postwar England.

James Sommers returned from the war with his nerves in tatters. All he wants is to retreat to the quiet village of his childhood and enjoy the boring, predictable life of a country doctor. The last thing in the world he needs is a handsome stranger who seems to be mixed up with the first violent death the village has seen in years. It certainly doesn’t help that this stranger is the first person James has wanted to touch since before the war.
The war may be over for the rest of the world, but Leo Page is still busy doing the dirty work for one of the more disreputable branches of the intelligence service. When his boss orders him to cover up a murder, Leo isn’t expecting to be sent to a sleepy village. After a week of helping old ladies wind balls of yarn and flirting with a handsome doctor, Leo is in danger of forgetting what he really is and why he’s there. He’s in danger of feeling things he has no business feeling. A person who burns his identity after every job can’t set down roots.

As he starts to untangle the mess of secrets and lies that lurk behind the lace curtains of even the most peaceful-seeming of villages, Leo realizes that the truths he’s about to uncover will affect his future and those of the man he’s growing to care about.

Review:
Story
A cozy mystery that kept me guessing to the end!
Cat Sebastian is a fantastic historical romance writer in her own right, so I mean no disrespect when I say that she channeled Agatha Christie with this story – in a good way 
I loved the different characters and the setting of a quiet little village with an undercurrent of secrets, crime and murder.
The MCs – James, a doctor who served during WWII and Leo, a spy who has so many secrets – are perfectly suited. Each man a little broken, needing someone to belong to and to trust in. Really looking forward to the next book.
Definitely recommend!

Narration
Joel Leslie brings the atmosphere of this cozy mystery. I felt like I was watching a Ms. Marple mystery alà Masterpiece Theatre. This is a narration that showcases Joel Leslie’s skill with English accents as well as his skill in creating distinct character voices. He’s an excellent choice for English historical romances 
This is an excellent way to enjoy this book!

Great story (4 stars) with excellent narration (5 stars)!

 

Overall 4.5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45046567-the-house-in-the-cerulean-sea?from_search=true&qid=36eITXgQ3H&rank=1

Blurb
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours

Review

What an amazing story.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started this…was this going to be crazy and out there or angsty and drama filled……well it’s a delightful mixture of both.

This story takes place in a time when there are magic beings around us. For “their” safety they are segregated as children and raised in “orphanages”. Linus, the main character, is a somber, joyless character. He seems to only take enjoyment in knowing he does his job (making sure the orphanages are run properly and that the children aren’t being mistreated) to the best of his ability.

When he is tasked with checking on a super-secret orphanage, Linus doesn’t know what he’s in for.

The characters are so unique. I loved getting to know all the children and their caretakers. Linus absolutely steals the show though. He learns so much about himself and what he is capable thanks to a group of misfits.

This was a beautiful and heartfelt story that I cannot recommend enough!!!

6 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Professor’s Green Card Marriage by Heidi Cullinan

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-professors-green-card-marriage-by-heidi-cullinan-11542-b

Blurb

I’ll marry you.

Professor Valentyn Shevchenko isn’t sure how to react when, after months of ineffective flirting, the cute barista’s first words to him are a proposal. In many ways, Peter Grunberg is the solution to all his problems. With his work visa inexplicably denied, Valentyn is running out of options to keep from being deported. But is a green card marriage really the answer? Is it still a marriage of convenience when he’s this attracted to his potential spouse?

Peter came to his uncle’s coffee shop in Boulder, Colorado, to reset his life after his struggles with selective mutism returned with a vengeance. He never meant his first words to the handsome ecology professor to be an offer of marriage, but he’s not backing out now. It doesn’t matter that Peter struggles to find words. He can say everything he needs to with his body.

Though this relationship may have started out back-to-front, Valentyn and Peter are determined to make their fake marriage real. But one misstep in their immigration interview could bring everything crashing down. They’ll have to hope that their love is enough to overcome all their obstacles and give them the prize they’ve both been dreaming of: a certified happy ever after.

Review

I wasn’t sure if I would like this book since the fake relationship/marriage trope is probably one of my least favorites. However, since this was written by one of my all-time favorite authors, I gave it a go.

This book was AMAZING!!!! The characters were great. Each one is dealing with very different problems. Val (no way am I trying to spell his full name) is scared of having to return to his home country. He comes off as almost paranoid a few times, thinking the government is reading his emails and listening to his conversations. Peter seems to be this quiet, shy guy but you find out that he is this passionate rabble rouser but due to his selective mutism he is stuck only being able to voice his opinions online or to those very close to him. This was a very fast pace story. Peter and Val were spouting “I love you’s” very early on in the story, which isn’t typical for a Heidi book. The two have crazy chemistry and it’s fascinating to see how they work out their relationship.
Highly recommend!!!!
5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Caulky (Four Bears Construction #1) by K.M. Neuhold

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50715079-caulky?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=1NWX3e2bSK&rank=1

Blurb
Ren is in desperate need of a rebound fling. Lucky for him, the smoking hot contractor he hired has just the tool for the job.

The last thing I want is another relationship or another broken heart.

All I need are my bees and the occasional hookup to scratch the itch.

Okay, maybe meeting up with my hot contractor weekly is a little more than occasional. And maybe the way I’m starting to feel about the guy I’ve been anonymously chatting with online should concern me.

But CaulkyAF doesn’t want to meet, and Cole doesn’t want anything serious, so what’s the worst that could happen?

**** Caulky is book 1 in the Four Bears Construction Series and can be read as a stand-alone. This is a funny, steamy MM story guaranteed to make you laugh and swoon. Absolutely NO cheating and NO love triangle. This series does NOT contain shifters, it’s the OTHER kind of bears.

Review

Brilliantly written, hilariously funny romance. The humor is incredibly strong with this one. I just had so much fun reading this! Can’t remember the last time a book had me laughing and giggling this much. Neither of the MC’s is looking for a true connection or meaningful relationship, and seeing them fall for each other, ever so gradually and unexpectedly, was the sweetest! And also very hot! I loved how Ren and CaulkyAF built up a connection through chats and how Ren reaches back to that medium even later on in the story.

I really like the set-up for this series and am very excited to find out what the author has planned for the other bears from Four Bears Construction! The secondary characters are just perfect, well-written and intriguing, and absolutely left me wanting more.

 

Number of stars out of 5:5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Captain and the Squire (The Captivating Captains #5) by Catherine Curzon, Eleanor Harkstead

Pride Publishing

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/the-captain-and-the-squire

Blurb

A sexy city boy and a country squire will set the countryside alight!

Tarquin Bough is a tweedy squire with an ambitious fiancée who controls his every move. He’s also the owner of the finest collection of saucy artefacts in the world. From Christine Keeler’s eyelash to the Virgin Queen’s dildo, they’re all safe in Tarquin’s care.

Christopher Hardacre is a city-slicker with the tighest jodhpurs and the most smackable bottom in London. He’s given up the ratrace for a country life as captain of the village rowing team. The only trouble is, he’s lost his money to a ruthless scam and Bough Bottoms is his last hope of a home.

But Chris hasn’t reckoned on his late uncle’s will. The house comes with a sitting porcine tenant and if Chris can’t look after his newly-acquired pet pig, he’ll lose his inheritance and his last chance at happiness.

When Tarquin sees Chris it’s lust at first sight, but dare he be honest about his feelings in a village where being gay is bound to be a hot topic? As soon as Chris and Tarquin get together, it’s the hottest summer this little corner of England has ever known.

With a scheming local hotshot out to turn the beloved pig into sausages, can the captain and the squire save everybody’s bacon?

Review

The Captain and the Squire is the fifth installment of the Captivating Captains series. Each book is a delightful standalone story.
This book is extremely well written. It is full of humorous banter and witty characters. I admit it took a bit for me to get into the story. It reads very much like an old historical romance. Tarquin, who comes off as a very eccentric character, talks like he belongs in Victorian England. Christopher, the other main character, has come to collect his inheritance but gets thrown for a loop when he finds out that he has become a caretaker to one very spoiled pig!!
This was a very fun read!

4.5 star


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