Recent Release: Beat Of Their Own Drum (Book 3 in the Replay series) by K.M. Neuhold

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42530502-beat-of-their-own-drum

Blurb
Jude
Every rock band needs their bad boy, right? That’s me. Hookers, drugs, DUIs— been there, done that. I’m in a Downward Spiral and proud of it (see what I did there?). When the band manager, Archer, hires Bennett to keep me from screwing up while the band is on hiatus, I may have finally met someone who won’t take my attitude lying down. With the three of us cooped up together for weeks on end, I have a feeling things might get interesting.

Archer
Downward Spiral is my baby. Not only am I the band manager, I discovered them ten years ago when they were nothing but a bunch of high school kids playing in a hole in the wall bar on the weekends. But it’s obvious I haven’t done a great job because they’re falling apart. If the lead singer isn’t trying to kill himself, it’s the bass player telling me he can’t write any new songs. And no one gets under my skin more than Jude, who seems determined to snort and drink himself into an early grave. There’s only one man I can think of who might be able to get Jude back on the right track, Bennett Schmitt. Unfortunately, he’s also the man I let get away sixteen years ago and haven’t gotten over since.

Bennett
If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s taking control of a situation. In fact, control is kind of my thing. Which is probably why I’m the best in the business when it comes to getting out of control celebrities back on track. When my ex calls and tells me he’s desperate for my help, I can’t turn him down. Between the infuriatingly sexy drummer with no idea what kind of trouble he’s asking for, and my ex looking better than ever, there’s no way this isn’t about to get messy.

Review

A kinky mmm romance with three wonderful and complex main characters, each one well-rounded and interesting. Together they were simply irresistible!

Bennet and Archer have a past together and still love each other despite having broken up years ago, so that could have put them on an uneven footing with Jude, but that doesn’t happen. The author makes sure that they are all equals in this relationship, every man bringing something unique to it and finding love and care with the other two in equal measure. There are several very moving moments in the story, and all three men have moments of weakness and vulnerability. It was great to see them learn to trust one another and give in to their growing feelings, or acknowledging feelings that were there all along.

The only thing that I would have liked to have seen developed a bit more fully is the emotional bond between Jude and Bennett. I’d have preferred them to get to know each other better before dropping the L-word, outside of their D/S connection, that is. I did really like the way the author incorporated the bdsm-aspect of Jude’s and Ben’s relationship into the story, as well as how she made Archer fit into it too. I think this is one of the best daddy kink stories I’ve read so far and I loved the way both Archer and Jude slowly discovered that part of themselves.

I found it a bit unrealistic that Jude shrugs off his drug addiction so easily. I’d have expected that part of him getting his act together would have been harder. It didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story one bit, however.

The occasional flashbacks were a great way to explain certain things and really brought home what these characters have been through.

We get glimpses of what’s happening with the other band members during their “vacation”, which was great. Not enough to distract us from the MC’s of this book, but still plenty to be able to fully appreciate the importance of the connection between the band members and how their rise to fame impacted their lives. For better and worse.

I was struck by the significance of the book’s title and really liked the play on words. Jude is the heart, the linchpin in the relationship between the three men, and they definitely have to follow their own path in order to find happiness.

I absolutely loved this story and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in this series!

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Found in Beaumont (Lone Star Brothers #1) by Susi Hawke

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40786688-found-in-beaumont?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Two broken omegas and one hard-edged alpha… three men who are stronger than they think… especially when they trust each other enough to be vulnerable.

A pair of omegas who are everything to each other…

Not only are they best friends, they’re also lovers. In all the years that they’ve been on the streets fighting to survive, they’ve had one end goal: to one day find an alpha strong enough to love both of them equally.

An alpha without a purpose…

Since his return to civilian life, Beaumont has yet to reconnect with society. Instead, he spends his nights running from nightmares and memories of war. While out on one of his nightly wanderings, the alpha catches sight of two of the prettiest angels he’s ever seen. Intrigued, he follows them home… only to find them taking refuge on a filthy, discarded mattress in an abandoned warehouse.

Three broken men who can heal each other’s wounds…

Beau goes from stalker to protector in the blink of an eye when his angels need him to intervene in a bad situation. Before he realizes it’s happening, life as he knows it changes to become something new and precious.

Lukas is the protector. He’s tough, snarky, and would happily give his own life if necessary to protect his Gid. Time and time again, he’s proven his strength by rescuing Gideon from would-be attackers. Now he needs to find the courage to let go and trust Beau to protect them all.

Sweet, angelic Gideon is used to being protected and adored. None of the horrible things in his life seem to affect him, because at the end of the day, he’s always had Lukas… and that’s all that matters. When the chips are down, can Gid discover his inner strength and step up to be an equal partner in this fragile new triad?

This mmm book contains mpreg, and intended for 18+ readers. Possible triggers for attempted sexual assault, violence, and breath play kink. Parts of this book are a little darker than you’re used to from Susi Hawke, but an HEA and all the laughs and shmoopy feels that you’d expect are definitely included!

Review

This was about what you’d expect it to be. There is a lot of sex. The two omegas balk at finding their “alpha” while the “alpha” doesn’t seem to have much personality or any fears/doubts etc.

I think – though I enjoyed it well enough – that the lack of any real bonding between the alpha and the two omegas as anything other than his ability to knot them made this less than romantic.

While I usually like/enjoy ménage – this felt like the two omegas were bonded and they needed a father figure/savior/alpha to knot them and make them daddies.

This wasn’t my favorite by this author.

I’m still looking forward to more from this series.

2.75 (rounded to 3) of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Volley Balls (Balls to the Wall Book 1) by Tara Lain Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/volley-balls-by-tara-lain-8014-b

Blurb

2nd Edition

A Balls to the Wall Romance

A double dose of alpha male might be better than one.

Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lovers’ lives miserable.

For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation—and his attraction—from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male–or two?

A “pumped up” version of the Volley Balls story, twice as long as the original.

First Edition published by Etopia Press, 2011.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

I read the original edition and though this says it’s twice as long as the original, I can’t say that I noticed a heck of a lot of difference.

I love this series and though this wasn’t my favorite of the bunch, it’s still a lot of fun!
(I’m not sure if she’s redoing the entire series, but I see that there’s at least a new cover for book two so…) In any case, FAST Balls is my favorite of the series, reviewed here https://openskyebookreviews.com/fast-balls-balls-to-the-wall-5-by-tara-lain/) and I think that, though it’s not necessary, reading them in order helps to introduce the characters in a really nice way.

David is the owner of an art gallery who’s recently left an ex who abused him. He’s not really looking to date, but open minded when opportunity comes along. Edge and Gareth are Australian Volleyball players who are in town during a tournament. Gareth knows he’s gay but he’s deeply in the closet, Edge has some secrets of his own and some self-examination in his future.

To me, you have to just accept a lot on faith with this story. Don’t try to look at it too deeply- there are a lot of plot holes and amazing insta-love moments that aren’t terribly realistic. We don’t get a lot of relationship building here, as Gareth sees David once and is pretty smitten and makes some important life decisions with only a little bit of encouragement from David to go on.

The relationship between Edge and Gareth actually makes the most sense – given their history – and I guess the triad kinda makes sense – given that David is the only one with any real relationship experience at all. (This was the hardest for me to swallow. I could buy David and Gareth, Gareth and Edge and even David and Edge, but the three of them, coming together, and agreeing that this would work for them? I had a hard time seeing this given the brevity of their time together and the situation with Edge and… Well, it was a hard sell. The other thing that bothered me was the dialog – sometimes David and Gareth spoke in ways that didn’t always feel authentic. “Shall I …” etc. I just reminded myself this is fiction and kept reading. )

The sexy times are plentiful. Gareth’s mom is awesome. The art sounds fun. Seeing Edge switch gears and share with Gareth and David – super, scorching, hot and at times sweet, too. I didn’t really buy the triad, but found the guys fun to read about anyway, and I really enjoyed the other books in the series so…

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Nick is one of my favorites. Is his Australian accent good? Not the best. Is it good enough. You bet! I still loved this even though it wasn’t my favorite by this narrator. He’s still easy to listen to and fun. He’s great with the comedic timing and the smexy times and that makes this worth the money!

4.5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review