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


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

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Without Reservations (With or Without #1) by J.L. Langley

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/without-reservations-by-jl-langley-10791-b

Blurb

Sometimes love catches you by the tail.

Native American veterinarian—and werewolf—Chayton Wilson dreams of a fair-haired mate. However, he’s shocked to find his mate is a man. He’s not quite sure what to do with a male mate, but he’s more than willing to find out.

Keaton Reynolds wakes up in wolf form and finds himself with a mate. He’s instantly attracted, but not thrilled to find out the man is supposedly straight. A past relationship where his partner denied being gay left a bad taste in his mouth. Keaton wants to make a break for it and pretend he never set eyes on Chay—but Chay is not ready to let him go.

Together they work to battle prejudice and solidify their shaky relationship. Chay must deal with not only his mother’s preconceptions about gay men but also her hatred of white people. When a power struggle in Keaton’s pack threatens Keaton’s life, the two men must quickly learn whether they can depend on each other.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd., October 2006.

Review

A wonderful shifter GFY romance! I really liked the world-building and how the author wrote the whole fated mates angle. Chay has his work cut out for him, getting over his own shock at finding such an unexpected mate and persuading Keaton to give them a chance. Keaton is a firecracker, quick to jump to conclusions, easy to anger, but he grew on me as the story progressed.

There’s an element of suspense as well, which was very well written, with the author throwing the reader for a loop as to where the danger is actually coming from.
Despite this being a paranormal story, it still has elements of (sadly) real life prejudice and homophobia, which brought added depth to the story.

I enjoyed getting to know some of the secondary characters, especially Remi. I do love me a good redemption story and he definitely has potential for one of those.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Time to Celebrate the Holidays: Stuck with You by Jay Northcote

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42930903-stuck-with-you?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Patrick has been single since he broke up with his cheating ex almost a year ago. With Christmas looming, he’s resigned to spending it alone with only memories of happier times for company. When a business trip with a co-worker leaves them stranded in the Lake District due to heavy snow, it seems Patrick will have company for Christmas after all. It’s a shame his companion is Kyle, who’s undeniably attractive, but annoying as hell.
Aware of Patrick’s reluctant admiration, Kyle basks in the attention even though Patrick isn’t the type of man he normally goes for. Averse to relationships after being hurt in the past, Kyle enjoys the occasional hook up, but has given up on seeking anything more meaningful.

Stuck together, their antagonism escalates along with a heavy dose of sexual tension until it finally ignites. What starts as a Christmas fling soon feels like something special; but will their tentative connection melt away as the snow thaws? If they’re going to take a chance on finding happiness together, they’ll have to put their differences aside and learn to trust one another.

Review: This is one of the few times I didn’t fully like or connect with a character, in this case, Kyle.
The two men, Patrick, (older, somewhat staid) and Kyle, (younger, bratty) do not get along at work. Their boss sends them on a business trip, telling them to work out their differences. They get stranded near a small village and have to cohabit while waiting out a snowstorm. During this time, all the two MCs do is snark and bicker back and forth, until they admit their attraction to each other. They go from enemies to intimate in 5 seconds flat, with a little spanking thrown in. I have to admit that I didn’t feel that there was much chemistry between the Patrick and Kyle, at least not until near the end. There were some nice moments when they weren’t being defensive – both men have been hiding past hurts – especially when they celebrated Xmas.
This is not my favourite by Jay Northcote, but the author is a master at his craft, making it an overall good story.

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Too Hot For Santa by Helena Stone

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

Jonah Walsh’s fledgling acting career in Dublin comes to an abrupt end when a video of him in a compromising position goes viral on social media. The offer of a part in a Christmas play in Sydney, Australia arrives at exactly the right time, although he isn’t sure about celebrating Christmas in the scorching heat. Nick Claseman isn’t happy that the actor he and his sister have hired will be occupying his granny flat. As for Jonah’s enthusiasm for Christmas, Nick doesn’t get it. He hasn’t decorated or celebrated in years. When Jonah turns out to be anything but a stuck-up starlet with delusions of grandeur, and Nick proves he’s not usually grumpy and borderline hostile, the two men gravitate toward each other. Their attraction morphs into something more when Jonah reacquaints Nick with the pleasures of Christmas and Nick shows Jonah the beauty of Australia. But Jonah is only Down Under for a few months. It would take a Christmas miracle for them to have a future together

Review: Another good story in the collection. For a short story, it reads more like a novella.
The story is aptly described in the blurb, but what it doesn’t tell you is how really good it is. It includes a transition from ‘enemies’ (one-sided really) to lovers, humour (especially with the language difference – Oz to UK English), attraction, a description of Sydney and an epilogue. I loved it!

4 stars out of 5

Copy generously provided by publisher