Categories
adult - 18+

Abstract Love by: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher and link to book (i.e. Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53977278-abstract-love

Blurb
Sam never expected to move back to Cleveland.
Donovan never expected to be attracted to a man.
Well, shit happens.

After high school, Sam Shelby moved to New York. Eight years later, he returns to Cleveland and lands a job at the best ad firm in town. It would be the perfect gig, if his boss weren’t such an ass.

After his wife leaves, Donovan Cooper questions everything. The arrival of a young, arrogant, gifted graphic designer at Donovan’s firm is the last straw.

Tempers flare over office gossip, and following a nasty argument and scathing kiss, Donovan flails away from heterosexuality while Sam struggles to keep his “no relationship” rule intact.

Despite ugly socks, fiery fights, and their best intentions to not fall in love, these bullheaded coworkers can’t deny their chemistry. Donovan seeks happiness while Sam seeks success, but is there room for more?

Review
I had no idea what I was getting into when I chose this book. The blurb intrigued me. I am so very happy I did. This book is going on my read again list. Both Donovan and Sam are such real characters. Each of them are going through their own problems and never expected to be drawn to each other. The push and pull between them was captivating. Donovan realises he is stuck in a rut, so stuck he doesn’t know how to get out until he meets Sam. Sam is fighting old demons. What I like about this book is that neither of them is the answer to each other’s problems but together they make coping with them more bearable. I admit in the beginning I wasn’t certain about the gay for you aspect of the story but it completely works. The secondary characters of Zen and Monica provide humour making the story less heavy.
This book impressed me enough that I’m now going to check out other works by Sara Dobie Bauer, can’t believe I haven’t found her work before.

Number of stars out of 5 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Shortbread and Shadows Author: Amy Lane

 Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/shortbread-and-shadows-by-amy-lane-11686-b

Blurb
Hedge Witches Lonely Hearts Club: Book One

When a coven of hedge witches casts a spell for their hearts’ desires, the world turns upside down.

Bartholomew Baker is afraid to hope for his heart’s true desire—the gregarious woodworker who sells his wares next to Bartholomew at the local craft fairs—so he writes the spell for his baking business to thrive and allow him to quit his office job. He’d rather pour his energy into emotionally gratifying pastry! But the magic won’t allow him to lie, even to himself, and the spellcasting has unexpected consequences.

For two years Lachlan has been flirting with Bartholomew, but the shy baker with the beautiful gray eyes runs away whenever their conversation turns personal. He’s about to give up hope… and then Bartholomew rushes into a convention in the midst of a spellcasting disaster of epic proportions.

Suddenly everybody wants a taste of Bartholomew’s baked goods—and Bartholomew himself. Lachlan gladly jumps on for the ride, enduring rioting crowds and supernatural birds for a chance with Bartholomew. Can Bartholomew overcome the shyness that has kept him from giving his heart to Lachlan?

Review
I don’t always know what I’m going to get with a book written by Amy
Lane but I know I am going to enjoy it. With this book Amy has given us love and magic, what a potent combination. I fell in love with timid, shy, naive Bartholomew who turns out to be a hero in this story. Lachlan is determined that Bartholomew will pay attention to him and realise how much he is attracted to Bartholomew. Here’s where love and magic get sticky because you can’t fool magic. Magic knows Bartholomew’s true hearts desire is Lachlan. Now the fun begins in the book. Such a wonderful comedy of errors occurs as
Bartholomew, his coven and Lachlan try to appease magic and put things right. True love blossoms in amongst the mayhem and Bartholomew realises he can rely on Lachlan to back him up and support him.
Whilst Bartholomew and Lachlan’s story comes to a wonderful happy for now ending there was a tiny cliffhanger. I do hope the next story is out soon this coven grabbed my heart with their spell and I don’t want to break free from them just yet.
Number of stars out 5 of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Retro Review: Once Bitten (Javier Coven #1) by Jayda Marx

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47834550-once-bitten?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=0XfmjksEtf&rank=1

Blurb

Dante

For over three hundred years, I’ve waited for Fate to deliver my soulmate; the person I’d love for the rest of my life; the one I was destined to protect, to treasure and to cherish. The one to complete me.

I never expected to find him dancing like an angel in my nightclub. The moment my eyes gazed upon his beauty, my heart was gone. The most mesmerizing thing about him were his eyes; he had the biggest, roundest doe eyes I’d ever seen. They were an enchanting shade of blue; the exact color of the Mediterranean Sea. When I looked into those eyes, I was home.

The problem? Ben is human and knows nothing of vampires or our culture. His anxious nature and pure heart give me pause in divulging my true identity. Will he believe what I have to tell him? Can he ever accept what I’ve done; what I need to do? Can someone so sweet and innocent ever see me as anything but a monster?

Time is running out for me to claim my mate as I grow weaker every day. If he does accept me, can I keep him safe from the dangers that lurk around every corner?

Ben

The nightclub really isn’t my scene. I’m more of a book reading, star gazing nerd at heart. However, I allow my best friend to drag me out one night (at nine o’clock, I might add!) because I can’t resist his puppy dog expression and he knows it.

There, I find the sexiest man I’ve ever seen; tall, strong, and with a sultry Spanish accent that turns my insides to goo. We hit it off immediately, but I’m worried; how can this wealthy, powerful man be attracted to boring little me?

The most exciting thing about me is that I know how to ballroom dance, and that’s only because I took lessons with my grandma! I’ve got no experience with men, my best friend refers to me as “Papaw” because again, I’m boring, and a hundred different worries are always battling in my mind.

Can Dante accept me as I am and maybe bring a little excitement into my life?

*This M/M paranormal romance is for readers 18 and up! It has no cliffhangers or cheating and a very happy HEA. It contains a sexy Spaniard vampire, his anxious little love and a hilarious (if not insufferable) best friend. Look out for lurking dangers, heartwarming moments and steamy scenes!

**Author’s note: Thank you for your interest in my book! This paranormal romance features my take on some seriously sexy vampires. They share many attributes of vampires found in other fictional works, but not all. This book contains dark elements, fated mates, sweet moments and lots of laughs. My stories tend to be low angst because it hurts my heart; I like getting to the good stuff and live for fluff. If “instalove” isn’t your thing, my books may not be for you. I want my readers to finish my books with a smile on their face and a fierce case of the warm and fuzzies. Laughter is guaranteed, and each read delivers its own type of drama. Thanks again for taking a look and happy reading!

Review

I went looking for this author after finding her recent shifter story- Mine to Save- and found this beauty!

This is even more sappy than that book but just as indulgently wonderful, too.

If you’re in the mood for sweet and you like vampire insta love – give this a go!

(The editing is good, but the cover needs a lot of attention :). )
3.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Mine to Save (Pine Ridge Pack #1) by Jayda Marx

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49082896-mine-to-save

Blurb

hoenix – Though our beginning was marred by tragedy and our number is small, I couldn’t be prouder to be the alpha of the Pine Ridge Pack of wolf shifters. We protect each other and our land, where we reside in homes built by our own hands. Our job gives us pride and purpose, and we get everything we need from the land and the nearby town. Everything except one. Every shifter has one true soulmate granted to them by Fate; one person they are to love, protect and cherish for all time. Once we find our destined match, we dedicate our lives to protecting them, providing for them and ensuring their happiness. When I find mine, I’m captivated by his intoxicating scent and struck by his incomparable beauty. But his circumstances are dire, and I pray I’m not too late.
Rory – After being kicked out of my house for being gay, I moved to the city with my best friend Dax in search of a fresh start and acceptance. He’s my family and supports me in everything I do. He’s all I have in life; well, besides my crappy, low-paying job and my love of photography. That love pushed me to save every penny possible for months to purchase a new camera. I decide to take it into the forest to capture the beauty of nature, even though I have a terrible sense of direction. And a body that’s not built for hiking. And zero endurance. What could go wrong?
*This M/M paranormal romance is for readers 18 and up! It has no cliffhangers or cheating and a very happy HEA. It contains a sexy wolf shifter, his devoted pack and his lovable fated mate. Look out for lurking dangers, heartwarming moments and steamy scenes! My books are low angst and insta-love. They’re full of sexy moments, sweetness and a healthy dose of humor.

Review

If you are in the mood for sap on a stick with so much sweetness you’ll get a toothache -this is for you! I TOTALLY needed a book like this and was super happy to have found this author!

It’s predictable and a bit formulaic, but who cares! It’s fun and the characters are sweet as pie.

I loved finding this new world and new author to explore and a chance to indulge my sweet tooth!

(I did have to subtract .5 stars for the cover – the editing is great but I’d highly recommend re-visiting the value added in a nice cover :). )

3.5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Prince and His Captivating Carpenter (Paranormal Princes #2) by Charlie Cochet

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51006577-the-prince-and-his-captivating-carpenter?from_search=true&qid=WttIFH5jnf&rank=2

Blurb

As Prince of the Bear Shifters, I knew the time would come for me to prove myself worthy of my crown. I expected my quest to be perilous. What I didn’t expect was for it to take me up into Espen Mountain, a place that’s brought me nothing but grief and terrible nightmares. Not only must I find the five magical ingredients, but I have to do so alongside Saer, a mysterious and charming shifter coyote summoned by the king to be my guide. But who is Saer, and why do I feel as if we’ve met before?

SAER

Crushing on Prince Bernd from afar was one thing. Being given the responsibility of saving the prince and his kingdom was a whole other story. Banished from my kingdom by my own prince years ago, I never imagined I would be summoned to help Bernd. What could I possibly offer a prince? How was I supposed to save him? I was no one. A shifter with no place to call home. What I did know was that I would do everything in my power to help Bernd succeed on his quest. All I had to do was stop crushing on the guy, find the magical ingredients hidden up a dangerous mountain, and save his heart. What could go wrong?

Review

I was so happy when I saw this had been released! I loved book 1 and was psyched to see the series continue!

These two face a similar journey to those in book 1 – just as funny, and touching, and magical and sweet. Add in a dash of smexy and you’ve got it all!

Super fun, great addition to the series. This is absolutely a stand alone and I CANNOT wait for the next book where it looks like our King gets his own story!!!!

5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote


Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48915871-a-boyfriend-for-christmas

Blurb

Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl–how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?

Closeted, innocent and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organised by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.

With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.

After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the ‘nice girl’ they’ve been hoping for?

Contains: A closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).

Review

This book left me feeling giddy and optimistic. It’s a hopeful and fun read, very heartwarming, and surprisingly naughty…

The author brilliantly captures those first nervous moments of falling for someone, wondering if they’ll like you back, the excitement as well as the awkwardness that can come with firsts of any kind, and most especially the passion and delicious rush you get when falling in love.

Archie and Cal are, at first glance, an unlikely, but utterly adorable pair. The posh rich kid and the tattooed, slightly older, biker… how can anyone resist reading this story 😉 I loved that despite the small age gap, Cal and Archie are always on an equal footing and feel incredibly at ease around each other, almost from their first meeting.

Jay Northcote has a knack for writing real-life characters who seem completely genuine and authentic, and he pulls it off here too. He always makes me feel as if I could meet his MC’s just by setting foot in a pub in England, or maybe during a hike in Wales. A Boyfriend For Christmas is a light-hearted holiday romance with a great set of secondary characters, even those that make a rather awful first impression, and a great epilogue. Loved the humor and the inspirational gag gifts!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Drawing the Prince (Stars from Peril #3) by Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/drawing-the-prince-by-kim-fielding-10806-b

Blurb

Painting themselves a life together will be a royal ordeal.

Small-town boy Cal Walters doesn’t know whether he owes his phenomenal success as an artist to talent or to his connections to famous people. Doubt leaves him secluded—until a lost bet lands him on yet another blind date. But this one is different.

To Teofilo Vabriga-Kastav, playboy prince of the tiny nation of Porvunia and passionate art lover, Cal’s paintings are as intriguing as Cal himself. When Teo invites Cal to his country for an art competition, a whirlwind romance sweeps them up. But it can’t last—loyalties and obligations bind them to lives that are worlds apart.<

Cal and Teo might’ve found their perfect complements in each other, but to hold on to their happiness, they’ll have to get creative.

Review
This was an easy, quick read where our artistic Cinderfella gets his prince, is not saddled up with a stepfamily, horrible or otherwise, and goes on to live the dream in a slightly oversweet HEA.

I’ll confess that I’d hoped for a bit more tension and emotional depth in the story. I liked the book fine until it neared its ending and the MC’s came to the final hurdle to overcome, where things went a little downhill for me. The obstacles Teo and Cal ultimately faced shouldn’t have been as insurmountable as they made them out to be, which made me feel at least one of them wasn’t completely committed. I wasn’t impressed with the solution the author came up with either, which felt more than a little implausible, even for a book with a made-up country and royal family. I also didn’t entirely understand what initially caused Teo and Cal to be so drawn to each other, with Teo especially going out of his way to win Cal over.

The story had its moments though and will certainly do great for someone in the mood for something romantic and mushy to dream away by.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Witchstone Amulet by Mason Thomas

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-witchstone-amulet-by-mason-thomas-10731-b

Blurb

Protect it at all costs.

That’s what rugby player Hunter Best’s mother told him before she died. But when Hunter surprises an intruder in his Chicago apartment, he discovers her amulet stolen. Hunter pursues the thief—all the way through a strange vortex. He wakes in a bizarre and violent world, a benighted realm on the threshold of civil war.

The queen has become a ruthless tyrant, punishing any who oppose her, weakening the kingdom’s defenses against the brutal Henerans. To survive, Hunter must depend on the man who robbed him, a handsome former spy named Dax, now a leader of the resistance that believes the queen is an imposter—a Heneran disguised by magic… who also looks identical to Hunter’s mother.

There’s no love lost between Hunter and Dax, and even if Hunter grudgingly agrees with the resistance, he just wants to reclaim his property and go home. But he might be the only one who can oppose the queen and end her reign of terror.

Review

This is first and foremost an adventure story, set in a dangerous medieval-like world full of magic and peril. The romance comes in a close second, very much a slow-burn, though it still carries a punch emotionally.

Dax is a very enigmatic character, trying hard to remain aloof and save the day all by himself, driven by guilt and loss. It’s great to see him, ever so slowly, open up to Hunter. What I love most about Hunter, is how persistent he is and how driven to make a place for himself, first in his rugby team and later on in a world he never could have imagined even existed. His longing for acceptance and his unwillingness to stand idly when faced with injustice make him incredibly endearing.

The world-building is great and the secondary characters are also very well written, some quite intriguing in their own right. The author keeps you guessing as to whom Hunter and Dax can trust or when (definitely not if) danger will strike. I really liked that some of the characters find themselves quite firmly in a gray area, instead of having everyone be stereotypically divided into good guys and bad guys.

Recommend.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Fire and Obsidian (Carlisle Deputies #4) by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-and-obsidian-by-andrew-grey-10431-b

Blurb
Can a couple be more opposite than a thief and a cop? Or do they have more in common than they think?
Mattias stole to survive. He was damn good at it. But there’s no such thing as a victimless crime, and when he saw how his theft hurt people, he resolved to change. Now he works as a consultant, and while helping to investigate a rash of burglaries, he crosses paths with James.
Police Officer James Levinson doesn’t trust thieves, and that includes Mattias. James’s father stole to support himself, and James knows firsthand how that can destroy lives—it inspired him to go into law enforcement. Mattias is no different, from what he can tell… at first.
As they work together, Mattias and James realize there’s something deeper between them than just the physical attraction neither can deny. Given time, they might even grow to trust each other—unless the case they’re working on dredges up pasts both would rather forget.

Review

I very much enjoyed this new book in the Carlisle Deputies series and I loved the connection between Mattias and James. They really bring the opposites attract magic! I loved the humor and chemistry the MC’s shared and I think it’s great that it wasn’t too easy for them to fall in love. The trust issues are real and don’t magically disappear after the first kiss. There’s also a very well-written, Big Misunderstanding, that really amps up the emotional intensity of the story. I’m not usually a fan of this type of thing, but the author made it work beautifully.

One thing I’ve come to expect in an Andrew Grey romance is for one or both of the MC’s to get a raw deal when it comes to their parents. Here it’s both. Poor guys. I especially felt bad for James, because his father puts him in an untenable situation, morally and emotionally.

This is a really well-written story, a wonderful combination of romance and suspense.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review