Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Fated Hearts by Garrett Leigh, narrated by Dan Calley

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fated-Hearts-Audiobook/B087CC3PL4?ref=a_library_t_c5_libItem_&pf_rd_p=13bed4e9-e83d-4210-8510-a695400e0d63&pf_rd_r=0KCH2687J8CNATEV6XYK

Blurb
“He’s not a wolf.”

Devastated by the death of his best friend, Zio is a soldier with one thing on his mind: revenge. Consumed by a conflict that’s raged as long as he’s been alive, he’s had little time or inclination to learn the legends of the shifter world he was raised in. And he certainly doesn’t have time to deal with a shifter of a different kind, even if it’s for the good of the war effort. For the good of his pack. The fact that he’s already crossed paths with the new face in his unit is almost irrelevant.

Almost.

Do no harm. Give life not death: it’s the oath Devan was reborn to live by, so when he’s sent abroad to embed with a wolf pack as their resident healer, he doesn’t hesitate. In the supernatural world, some bonds are instant—soldiers become brothers, pack become family. But others run deeper and before long, Devan’s at the mercy of instincts he can’t control.

Zio’s inner wolf is desperate to be with Devan, while Devan struggles to keep the pack safe. But as the war escalates, and new love is tainted by anguish and pain, the battles within might prove the toughest of them all.

“I won’t let him die.”

Review

There are a lot of shifter stories out there, and standing out isn’t always easy, but Garrett Leigh managed it effortlessly with Fated Hearts. I loved the detailed world-building, the action and danger in this dystopian society and the combination of magic and science.

All the characters were intriguing and complex, making this the perfect basis for a very promising series. I so hope there’ll be more to come.

I loved the angst in this story, and the incredible pull between the MC’s. Zio and Devan are wonderful together, when they get there, because obstacles abound.

Narration: Dan Calley did an amazing job with his performance of this story, the pacing and emotional intensity were great and he brought a wonderful array of voices for all the different characters. Is it just me or are British accents just absolutely yummie? I also really loved the accent he did for Devan.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


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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
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


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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Dare to Hope (All Coks #4) by T.M. Smith

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Dare-to-Hope-Audiobook/B06XRZWV6V?qid=1559575491&sr=1-8&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_8&pf_rd_p=849b576c-9f69-40b2-8d4a-6288ddffc02f&pf_rd_r=A5YMBGXEFDKSS3PFC66B

Blurb
Tristan is the second oldest of the Brennan brothers and the odd man out. Most of the Brennan men have careers in law enforcement, but as a psychiatrist, Tristan chooses to help people in a different way. Quiet and restrained, he is content to hover in the background of his more gregarious brothers. Then he meets two men, each broken and damaged from losses beyond their control.

Gabriel Simenson is mourning his lover’s death. The random act of violence that took Gio’s life has left everyone at All Cocks reeling. The only thing keeping Gabe from drowning in misery is the friendship he’s forged with Micah, the newest model at All Cocks. He continues to struggle, and at the urging of his All Cocks family Gabe agrees to counseling with Tristan under one condition: Micah must go with him.

Micah Solo can relate to unbearable loss, having lost his leg and so much more in Iraq. The past two years he has been alone, adrift and vulnerable — the memories of war haunting his dreams, spilling over into his daily life. At All Cocks, Micah has found the acceptance he craves and the family he lost, but still he yearns for happiness and peace within.

The friendship between the three is instant, the mutual attraction evident. They circle each other, wanting more, yet unsure if it is truly possible. Is life the mundane reality they’ve each come to accept for themselves or do they dare to hope?

The All Cocks Stories is a series set within the world of online gay porn.

Review

Story:
This was a very convincing, heartwarming m/m/m romance with enough love to go around for all three MC’s. I really liked that it built very slowly from friendship to love and that none of the MC’s issues, Micah’s PTSD and Gabe’s mourning of his partner Gio, were quickly swept under the rug but instead were handled with care and sensitivity, laying the groundwork for an enduring, loving relationship.

Throughout the story, we get a good feel for who Tristan, Micah and Gabe are and how they fit together. There’s some angst and insecurities to overcome and the potential of their bond dawns on all of them at different speeds, which to me made everything seem even more realistic. I loved that Gabe got to have a moment of closure, of sorts, with Gio, and that it helped him move forward with Micah and Tristan.

I always love books with a strong supporting cast and this book definitely has that, thanks to all the friends from All Cocks and Tristan’s family.

Narration:
Joel Leslie’s narration was amazing as always. He truly is incredible with accents and I loved his interpretation of the voices of all three MC’s. The emotion he brings to his performance is pure and so convincing, really bringing these three men to life. I was especially moved by his performance of Micah and Gabe’s anguish at certain points in the story, when dealing with the tragic events in their past.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Strike a Chord (Replay #4) by K.M. Neuhold

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45708987-strike-a-chord?from_search=true

Blurb

“You want to fake date me?”

Music is my life, my band is my heart and soul, and it’s all falling apart before my eyes.

A plan hatched from desperation as we both watch our careers burn down around us. Dating my best friend’s twin brother, Paris, who just so happens to be a gay icon at the moment seems like the perfect plan. And if we have a little fun along the way, where’s the harm in that? The band is spiraling, his football career is going up in flames, and the more the world falls down around us, the easier it is to get lost in each other.

But are stolen moments during our own busy schedules and hurried kisses hidden behind social media posts the basis for a real relationship, or is this just another thing that’s going to turn to dust in our hands?

Review

Both MC’s have been pining for each other since high school, but circumstances and misunderstandings made it so neither of them acted on their feelings and they have no clue that their feelings are reciprocated. Luckily, they kind of tumble into a fake relationship and discover that there is something real beneath the surface, after all. The vulnerability and angst that accompanied this realization was beautifully written and made this a very gripping story. Watching them slowly give in to their feelings was absolutely lovely. Benji and Paris do the long distance thing, which is far from ideal, and I loved how the author solved that for these two amazing MC’s, ending the book on a super romantic, and suitably hot, high note.

I loved how this story was written, with one the hand the growing connection between Paris and Benji, and on the other, the story of the band itself and how all the members find personal happiness and a way to turn things around for their band too. Throughout this series, the importance of their music and the joy the band members find in performing is brilliantly described.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Wisdom’s Allegiance (The Shifter Chronicles #13) by M.D. Grimm

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wisdoms-allegiance-by-md-grimm-10511-b

Blurb
Can a loyal and sensual owl shifter couple woo a human mate who’s convinced he’s an ugly duckling?

When socially awkward Dexter Fortis rescues an elf owl blown off course by a storm, he has no idea the bird is a shifter named Orion. Or that his life is about to change.

Orion falls in love with the kind custodian, but he must convince his long-term partner, Talon, that Dexter is just who they’ve been searching for to establish a permanent ménage. Even if they can gently break down Dexter’s walls, they’ll have to contend with a dangerous cult rising in the shifter community and a hidden enemy determined to keep Dexter from them.

Review
Loved this one! So much!

It felt a bit strange to have a story about owl shifters, rather than the more typical bad-ass wolf or big cat shifter, but the author really made it work. I loved how the owls’ characteristics were also present in the MC’s, both in their personalities and mannerisms. Very intriguing and different.

Orion and Talon are an amazing, devoted couple and bringing Dexter into the mix never threatened their feelings for each other, which was lovely. Dexter is very insecure and definitely in need of some love and acceptance. Seeing him blossom and find his place with Orion and Talon was wonderful. I loved every scene between these characters.

Throughout the entire book there’s also a building sense of unease and even danger, with threats coming our heroes’ way on multiple fronts. I really enjoyed the resulting, more action-filled scenes and how they played out.
The world-building was really well done and touches on very current issues, hiding behind the paranormal setting of this story.

This book is part of a series, but can be read perfectly as a standalone.

Definitely recommend!

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review

I really enjoyed this!  The original couple is one of the first times I can remember in a long time that actually seemed to be doing ok on their own but so clearly benefited from a third that it really felt like a unique “falling in love” for all the parties involved.

In a lot of triad stories I feel like one party is just added in for more “fun” or the original couple is doing terribly and the third is required to “fix” them.  But in this case Talon and Orion were perfectly fine but absolutely benefited from Dexter’s additions to their couple.  

The owl characteristics were wonderful and I loved Orion as a character!  I thought the drama was a bit predictable and not nearly as enjoyable as the love story but it didn’t detract much attention overall.

This was fun, a bit sexy and highly recommended to fans of shifter romance.

 

4.5 of 5 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Coming Up for Air by Amanda Meuwissen

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/coming-up-for-air-by-amanda-meuwissen-10421-b

Blurb

It’s not easy being someone’s fairy tale.

Leigh Hurley is making a name for himself among thieves and criminals, even if it isn’t the life he would’ve chosen. He shouldn’t have screwed over the Moretti brothers, though. It landed him in the river with weights on his feet. But somehow he’s escaped certain death. The last thing he remembers before waking on the riverbank is a beautiful face and a soft kiss.

Then, Tolomeo turns up naked at Leigh’s apartment.

Tolly comes from a race of killers—merfolk who drown humans for fun. But Tolly is different, and when he sees a human in trouble, he offers a kiss, granting the man the ability to breathe underwater… and himself the ability to walk on land, at least until the next full moon. The ancient laws state that if he is given a vow of love by the one he kissed, he will be able to keep his legs. If not, he will be put to death when he returns to the water.

But love is not something Leigh offers easily… and Tolly has a secret of his own.

Review

This was a wonderful fairytale retelling! There were some unique twists on the original that gave added depth to the story as well as a really delicious dose of angst.

Instead of a prince we get a low-level criminal trying to survive a conflict between two gangs, while also attempting to stay on the right side of the law, or rather, out of sight of the law. This gives the story a grittiness and complexity it otherwise wouldn’t have had and really ratchets up the tension level. Leigh is so kind and obviously meant for better things than thieving or worse, but he doesn’t see a way out of that kind of life.

Tolly saves Leigh from drowning and firmly believes Leigh is the one for him, risking his life on the strength of that conviction. I loved Tolly’s quaint way of interpreting certain words or expressions. He’s super endearing, sweet, protective, self-effacing… and he has a secret.

True love never did run smooth, and it doesn’t for Tolly and Leigh either. At one very low, low point, the emotional anguish and despair of the MC’s actually brought tears to my eyes and I started to panic about their chances of getting to their HEA. Cruel author!

This was an amazing, well-written story. The secondary characters were great and really helped build a world around the MC’s, especially Alvin and Cary, but also all of Leigh’s friends from his apartment building.

I hope Amanda Meuwissen will try her hand at other fairytale retellings, because this one was incredible!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5

5 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Devil Next Door – Criminal Delights: Obsession by Alex Jane

Dreamspinner

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42628785-devil-next-door—criminal-delights

Blurb
All Remy Harker wants is a fresh start.
Well, maybe that’s what he tells himself as he rolls up to his nice new house, in the nice little neighborhood, in a town where nobody knows his name.
He’s surrounded by friendly neighbors and a white picket fence. The ugly pink carpet might drive him to insanity, and he can’t stop wondering where the old lady who lived there before him died—but it’s nice.
And if he puts his mind to it, he can be anything—or anyone—he wants to be. He can be nice too.
At least, he thinks he can until he lays eyes on his next-door neighbor.

Luke Boucher is nice.
And quiet.
And perfect.

It doesn’t take long for Remy to insinuate himself into Luke’s life. A camera here, a break-in there.
—It’s not really stalking if you love someone, is it?—

But when Remy’s plan to make a good impression goes to hell, he ends up over his head in more ways than one. Then things aren’t quite so nice anymore.
—It’s not really murder if you love someone, is it?—

Loving your neighbor isn’t so easy when you’re the devil next door.

Review
Phew, this one was certainly very different. And quite dark… as advertised. There’s a very unsettling, creepy vibe throughout the book, absolutely befitting its theme and cover.

This is a well-written story and it holds quite a few surprises for the reader that I for one didn’t see coming. The author did a great job at building up the tension and changing the game quite unexpectedly.

For me personally though, the second half of the story things got to be a little too disturbingly dark and gruesome, and I found it difficult to keep rooting for the MC’s. I disconnected from the story. My advice: definitely read the warnings and take them seriously.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3.5


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