Release Day Review: Bad Habit by K.A. Mitchell

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bad-habit-by-ka-mitchell-9957-b

Blurb

Life is always looking for ways to screw you over. Scott McDermott survived the foster care system and knows better than to let anyone close, but Liam Walsh is his one vulnerability.

Twice Scott let down his guard, and twice Liam vanished from Scott’s life.

So when Scott comes face-to-face with Liam for the first time in six years, he punches Liam in the nose. Only after Scott’s friend—and Baltimore County police officer—Jamie reads him the riot act does Scott discover that in the intervening years Liam has been to war and lost his leg.

Liam hasn’t had the easiest life either. He took care of his drug-addicted mom when she was unable to take care of herself. He’s fallen in love with Scott twice, but when Liam saw Scott going down the same path as his mother, he left. The lesson that he can’t save everyone has been a painful one for Liam to learn. Maybe what he and Scott had can’t ever be fixed.

Scott and Liam have never fallen out of love—which becomes obvious when they start working together—but what will make this time any different from all the others? Will the third time really be a charm?

Review

This is a grittier second chance at love story than I’m used to reading, and at first rather higher on hurt than comfort, but I enjoyed it very much. Love certainly isn’t for the faint of heart in this story, but I loved how these characters ultimately found their way back to each other. It’s not just about finding love though, but also very much about following your own path in life and finding friends and a community.

Scott and Liam have both had a difficult childhood, part of it spent (or misspent) in the foster care system. Outwardly, Scott is the tough guy and asocial misfit, whereas Liam seems all charm and affability, so at first glance these two seem a very unlikely pair. Liam and Scott both have fears and insecurities to overcome, but as we get to know them better, Scott seemed to me to be the more vulnerable of the two. I can certainly understand his initial angry reaction upon seeing Liam again after all those years.

The bond between Scott and Liam is incredible intense, but laced with the pain of past mistakes. Their connection is really strong, tinged with inevitability even, and comes across the pages very clearly and powerfully even when a HEA seems impossible. They are obviously meant to be together, but can’t seem to figure out how to make their relationship work, how to let their guard down (again) or how to take a chance on love and trust in the possibility of a future together.

There’s an amazing moment in the book where the author captures the essence of their relationship in the lyrics of a song. That scene really got to me. Beautifully written and very emotional.

Scott is very caring and considerate toward Liam, trying to help him regain his independence, no strings attached. He’s such a sweetheart, though one with a temper and a very short fuse.

This book can be read as a standalone, though I would recommend you read the other books in the series first. Quite a few of the main characters from the previous books come along to lend our current heroes a hand or weigh in with an opinion, so it’s more fun if you’ve read the other books as well. Though perhaps it is merely a case of meeting new friends instead of reconnecting with old ones. Either way Scott and Liam are in awesome company!

This is a great addition to a wonderful series!

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Recent Review: Lazy Sundays by K-lee Klein


Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41998052-lazy-sundays?from_search=true

Blurb
Scott Weston’s car is sensible, his suits are bland, and his job is stable but boring. Mundane routine helps keep his anxiety and obsessive tendencies under control. Socializing—especially dating—isn’t on his list of strong skills either, and, made worse with the echoes of his disapproving mother. So he’s content to stay at home with his lists and cleaning and wildlife documentaries, until a one-night stand goes unexpectedly right.

History has taught Devon DuCaine that dating can be uncomfortable, but there’s just something about Scott. He may be the opposite of Devon’s own long-haired, tattooed, free-wheeling spirit but he brings out the nurturer in Devon. Maybe it’s Scott’s surprising fascination with Devon’s motorcycle, or his shy surprise in moments of affection, but there’s more under those sensible suits than meets the eye. The most important person in Devon’s life, his mom, taught him love and compassion and that’s all he wants to share that with Scott.

Their one-night stand turns into a regular thing, but Scott doesn’t trust it to last. He’s pretty sure Devon is hiding something. He’s even more sure that once Devon gets to know him, the attraction will fade. And then there’s his mother. However many sparks fly between them, Devon will have his work cut out to convince Scott they can have their happily ever after.

Review
Originally this book consisted of two short stories, but the author re-wrote them into one book and added a lot of content. I never read the short stories, but as far as I can tell the added content serves mostly to make the story longer but not better, per se. Some scenes just felt too drawn out to me (how long can a Valentine’s day date drag on?) and the author also repeats certain points so much that it got on my nerves. I understand that Devon had a really good mother and that they were very close, however, I didn’t need to read it quite that many times. And yes, Scott has very low self-esteem, but Devon was constantly there to give him all the validation he could want, so when he continued putting himself down and doubting their relationship I felt he short-changed Devon with his negative attitude.

The story starts when the relationship has been going on for a couple of months, although they haven’t truly put a label or expectations on it yet. There’s something mysterious about Devon who is obviously hiding something, but Scott is slow to catch on. Once that particular cat is out of the bag, though, everyone they meet seems to know about Devon, so it’s a bit odd that Scott was oblivious for so long.

The best part of the book, for me, was when everything seemed to go to pieces because of the “big reveal”. Those scenes are, thankfully, very intense. Up until that time I didn’t feel very emotionally invested in this couple, maybe because everything was going almost too smoothly…uneventfully.

The scenes that deal with Scott’s anxiety and his panic attacks are well-written and feel very real. There is also a lot of playful banter between Scott and Devon, as well as good times with family and friends, which was fun to read.
As far as their relationship goes very little actually happens. I didn’t understand what they saw in each other. Not that they both weren’t likable characters, because they were, I just didn’t feel the magic between them.

So this was definitely not my cup of tea, but it might just be the perfect book for readers who like their romance easy-going, mellow and sweet. An easy read for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

This is a short story about Scott and Devon. Scott is a geek with low self worth, anxiety, and OCD. Devon is a sensual Alpha male with tattoos and versatile in the bedroom. Scott likes routine in his life and is thrown off by how someone like Devon would be with him. Little things get to Scott a lot. Having a child with OCD similar to Scott, I know how affected you can be when the routine is thrown off. Devon does seem to try to work with Scott’s routines instead of ignoring or being counterproductive. There is great chemistry. Heart clenching how Scott works himself into a panic over Devon. There was a good mix of angst and cute moments. Worth reading. There are moments of panic attacks, trigger warning.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

On the whole I did enjoy this book, although in some ways it didn’t quite work for me.

Devon is a rock star and a nice guy, I just wasn’t convinced with his rock star status. It all seemed far too convenient and not totally realistic.

Scott is an accountant with anxiety issues. Again, I liked this character, but having read other books with similar themes, it felt the author had skimmed the surface rather than truly commit to the issues. Even the storyline with his parents was not totally explained and I still felt the situation with his mother was unresolved at the end of the book.

The banter between the two main characters was fun, and the relationship very sweet. I did find myself caring about both Devon and Scott, but I just feel that everything could have of had a little more depth to it.

Number of stars out of 3.5


Purchased copy

Time to Get Scared: A Hymn In The Silence by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40517607-a-hymn-in-the-silence

Blurb
Since graduating from Whisperwood School for Boys, William has found a sense of normalcy in his life with James. He has a steady (albeit secret) relationship, a home, and a job—even if it doesn’t pay the greatest. Nevermind that he lacks James’ reckless bravery when it comes to dealing with spirits; he does his best and it hasn’t killed him thus far.

When a new client calls on their expertise in solving a grisly multiple homicide, William resists. They’re spirit hunters, not detectives. But the money is too much to pass up when they don’t know when their next meal will be, and soon they’re arriving at Evenbury Manor, nestled in a close-knit rural community, ready to investigate.

They’re in over their heads, but in very different ways than William could have anticipated. The hills are filled with creatures far more dangerous than any they’ve ever encountered, and their usual tactics aren’t working. On top of his renewed struggles with his addiction, William is left to fend for himself against the dead to protect not only the community, but the person in the world that’s most important to him.

Review
This is an amazing ghost story! A great mix of suspense, adventure, friendship and romance!

The change in pov with regards to A Light Amongst Shadows, from James to William, serves as a lovely way to gain more insight into William’s thoughts and feelings this time. His anxiety comes across far more, same for his opium addiction and how it effectively holds him hostage, it’s a crutch but a dangerous one.

William and James are hired to solve a mystery that may or may not involve supernatural culprits. Either way, they soon have reason to fear they are in over their head. Time to call in reinforcements! We get to reconnect with Virgil and meet a wonderfully brave and intelligent new character, Adelia! Loved her!

William and James are marvelous together as always. It was wonderful to see how they have come along since their time spent at Whisperwood. Their banter is fun to read, but their more emotional moments will tug at your heartstrings something fierce.

I loved how they included so many historical details, in the subtlest of ways, sometimes by using certain quaint words and other times by casually mentioning everyday facts of life of the 19th century. Going from the more banal stuff like fashion choices and horse-drawn “cabs’, to the more peculiar practice of taking memento mori photographs, which seems a rather morbid custom from a 21st century perspective.

This is a beautifully written story and a joy to read thanks to the authors’ eloquent and expressive writing style. I also very much enjoyed the quirky humor that they incorporated throughout the story with, among other things, the never-ending quest for a “company name” for these two fearless spirit slayers.

Kelley York and Rowan Altwood really understand how to tell a tale in a way that’s so clear and compelling that as a reader you are completely sucked into the story. It almost seems to play out before you like a (scary) movie. So it wasn’t always the most relaxing read… things have a way of going bump in the night in ghost stories, after all. I swear I almost jumped right out of my seat a couple of times. Don’t read this book in bed, you’ll be scared to death imagining what might come crawling out from under it…

I also loved the mystery, or rather mysteries, that needed solving. It was exciting to try and figure it out ahead of the characters. Emphasis on try. The plot was well-thought out and there was plenty of suspense and danger, with ghosts and other threats lurking in the most unexpected of places.

So recommend this!!

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Release Day Review: Truth Will Out by KC Wells

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/truth-will-out-by-kc-wells-9933-

Blurb

Jonathon de Mountford’s visit to Merrychurch village to stay with his uncle Dominic gets off to a bad start when Dominic fails to appear at the railway station. But when Jonathon finds him dead in his study, apparently as the result of a fall, everything changes. For one thing, Jonathon is the next in line to inherit the manor house. For another, he’s not so sure it was an accident, and with the help of Mike Tattersall, the owner of the village pub, Jonathon sets out to prove his theory—if he can concentrate long enough without getting distracted by the handsome Mike.

They discover an increasingly long list of people who had reason to want Dominic dead. And when events take an unexpected turn, the amateur sleuths are left bewildered. It doesn’t help that the police inspector brought in to solve the case is the last person Mike wants to see, especially when they are told to keep their noses out of police business.

In Jonathon’s case, that’s like a red rag to a bull…

Review
This is a wonderful cosy whodunnit mystery set in an English village. Full of classic armature sleuthing and village secrets. Lord of the manor is found dead but despite what it looks like it wasn’t an accident. Now the question is who done it. The two main characters are the heir, Jonathan de Mountford and Mike Tattersall, a former London Police Detective, now retired to the countryside. I found this to be a very easy going book to read. Despite the subject there was very little angst. I had an inkling who the murderer was earlier on but loved the way events played out. The story reminds me of tv murder mystery shows like Midsummer murders or Murder she wrote, with the gentle yet intriguing way events unfold. Where we see underneath the respectability of village life and all the secrets come scurrying out. I’m hoping there’s more books with Mike and Jonathan’s sleuthing exploits. They make a great pair. The way they slowly got together and any action is off the page which completely fits with this type of story. With this book KC Wells has shown what a range of talent she has.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
This is a very enjoyable whodunit, set in the English countryside and with a hint of romance, though the focus is very much on the murder mystery.

The author leaves around clues and plenty of misdirection for the reader, and the two MC’s, to sort through. Always with a light touch, nothing too obvious or easy.
We meet a lot of secondary characters, all milling about and muddying the waters for Jonathon de Mountford, wannabe sleuth and nephew of the victim. Jonathon is lucky enough to get help from Mike Tattersall, now a pub owner, but formerly a policeman and a very useful Sherlock to Jonathan’s Watson. His connections sure come in handy!
There are a lot of viable suspects, some very unexpected ones even. But nothing seems to pans out…
And of course, we also have the typical incompetent “copper”, an arrogant Detective Inspector, bumbling about in the story, who is more of a hindrance to the investigation than anything else. DI Gorland isn’t in town to make friends. Mission accomplished, I say.

I love the subtlety with which K.C. Wells brings the romance into the story. Nothing much happens on page, but the small things that do, make the budding relationship very believable and help the reader get a better feel for who the two MC’s are. Their connection and trust in each other is important to the development of the detective plot. I also really liked the storyline centering around Mike’s sister, Sue.

The story continues along smoothly, almost cozily, without too much suspense or danger, but that suddenly changes when Jonathon and Mike get too close to the truth … and the murderer.
The denouement is tense and surprising, with an added element of tragedy. Very well-written!

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook Month: Finley by Ella Frank, narrated by J.F Harding

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Long-Way-Home-Audiobook/B01MQGGZ71?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4GVDMJXBB991JR8MT96Z&

Blurb:

It’s time to come home, Finn.

It’s been seven years since Daniel Finley left his hometown in Florida for the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s city life.
Since then, he’s worked hard for his position at the prestigious law firm Leighton & Associates, even when it’s caused distance and isolation from his family and friends. But that’s all about to change.

On his 30th birthday, he receives the one thing he never dared hope for. Something that was promised to him years earlier – a note. One simple sentence from the man he’s never been able to forget.

Six words will forever change the course of their lives.

Brantley Hayes has it all. Or so he thinks. When he first made the decision to take a job down in Florida, his family thought he was crazy. But, after years of living in the quiet beach town, he finally feels a sense of community. He’s surrounded himself with friends who are like family, has a job he loves, and owns a spectacular beachfront property that is his sanctuary.
Yet he still feels unfulfilled, as if a piece of the puzzle is missing, and he knows exactly which piece it is. On an impulse, he follows through with a promise he made years earlier. A promise to call home the one he sent away.

Nothing is as simple as it seems.

After years of separation, the former lovers are reunited, but Brantley wasn’t expecting to encounter the high walls now guarding Daniel’s heart.
Daniel may not be the same person he was when he left, but he knows that the first step to healing is the note in his hand..

Review:

I loved the story and its link to the Temptation series (one of my all-time faves to listen to).
Daniel Finley (Fin) is the cocky lawyer who helps Tate get a big settlement after an accident case. But before he became a cocky lawyer, he was a cocky law student who had his eye of one of his professors – Brantley Hayes. The story goes back and forth between the past and present, starting with Daniel coming home to face the man who sent him away. It was fun to see how the relationship between Fin and Brantley developed and grew over time while he (Fin) was still a student.
Note: The teacher/student aspect is quite well done – I didn’t once think that the relationship may not have been appropriate.
When Brantley decides that Fin would be better off finishing his degree at a better university, Fin doesn’t take the advice well, but leaves anyway. Fast forward to the present – he’s grown up and is prepared to ‘love’ Brantley and leave him. Happily their past chemistry makes it hard for them to walk away from each other. Like I said, I loved the story.

5 of 5 stars

Audio 
Charlie David narrates and while he is quite good, I wasn’t overly fond of his performance here. One of my issues is that there was very little distinction between the 2 MCs. There was slightly more of a difference with the 2 secondary characters- Derek and Jordan. Overall, it wasn’t a bad performance, just not one of my favourites, (it didn’t stop me from buying the audio for Derek and Jordan’s story).

Narration 3.75 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Time to Laugh: Stay with Me (The PI Guys, #1) by S.E. Harmon

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stay-with-me-by-se-harmon-2808-b

Blurb:

The PI Guys: Book One
Private investigator Mackenzie Williams’s newest client is everything he’s looking for in a guy—charming, beautiful, intelligent, and successful. There’s only one itty bitty problem—the guy’s not exactly gay. In fact, Jordan Channing is looking for a PI to follow his fiancée. The smart thing would be to thank Jordan for his time, turn Mr. Perfect away (don’t let the door hit you on the rump, thank you very much), and forget he exists.
Of course, Mackenzie has never been accused of doing the smart thing. Being a smart aleck is more his MO. Relationships aren’t up his alley, never have been. So why’s he so inexplicably drawn to his new client?

Jordan has always been the high achiever, a man who lives in a focused, controlled, and carefully constructed manner. But for the first time in his life, he has to admit the impossible—another man is getting his engine running on all cylinders. Despite Jordan’s denial, it’s not long before he can no longer resist the strong undercurrents pulling them together. Now Jordan must decide if he can go against everything he’s ever known to have the only love he’s ever wanted.

Review:

I loved the overall story – GFY done right, but I didn’t like Mac much until half way in. He just seemed a bit childish … but I did like his snark. Mac eventually grew on me, (I ended up really liking him when he popped up in ‘So into You’).
Mac is a PI who is still hurting from being dumped from a long-term relationship. To make matters worse, his ex decided to be with a woman AND the he took the dog. (This creates a funny secondary storyline as Mac schemes to get the dog back.)
Jordan hires Mac to watch his girlfriend for signs of cheating. Mac is immediately attracted to the straight man but knows nothing can come of it. Yet, as they spend time together, Jordan becomes attracted to Mac (and conflicted about his feelings for another man). Mac doesn’t make it easy either and is not without faults – he tends to push people away, he doesn’t believe love is for him and he hides behind his sarcasm. However, they manage to start a relationship but it’s not plain sailing. They have a big fight (both men are to blame), but in the end, they get it together and work it out.
It’s a really good story, once it gets going and by the end, I had a good sized smile on my face ☺

4 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for Review

 

Release Day Review: A Dom and His Artist by Xenia Melzer

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-dom-and-his-artist-by-xenia-melzer-9503-

Blurb

Sometimes the perfect man can be found in the most unexpected place….

Martin Carmichael owns a security firm and is part owner of Club Whisper. He’s a Dom in search of the right guy, and when his car breaks down on a lonely stretch of road, he thinks he might have found him.

Artist Collin Malloy is talented, easygoing, but somewhat insecure. Still, he has a big heart and is quick to offer help when he sees Martin in need. To thank him, Martin invites Collin to dinner, where the attraction between them becomes harder to resist.

But what will become of their budding relationship when Martin reveals that he likes his men bound, submissive, and in pain? Is it something Collin can accept… and possibly enjoy exploring? Even if he can, Collin has a secret of his own—a secret he doesn’t even realize he’s keeping

Review
Another winner from Xenia Melzer. I started this book on Sunday morning and finished it that evening, well I had to stop to cook lunch. I was hooked. Martin has to revise everything he had thought about being a Dom after meeting Collin. I really liked that through his guidance of Collin in BDSM and learning about submission Martin learns more about himself. He had been very strict but now it didn’t feel right. Collin is a wonderful character. A free thinker that lets ideas grab him and Martin has to adjust to his new sub. The evolving relationship is the main thrust of the story but running in the background is the betrayal of Collin’s friend and Agent. This shakes Collin’s world as he understands it and needs Martin’s support. The scenes between them are gentle and loving. Martin introduces him to different things taking it very slowly given Collin’s inexperience with sex let alone BDSM. these scenes were lovely to read so romantic and caring. We also get to meet Richard and Dean from book 1 again. It was great catching up with their lives but they are not central and this book can be read on it’s own. Another book in the series is planned and I am looking forward to it.

5 of stars out of 5

5-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

o BDSM
▪ Pain
o Exploration
o Gay
o Virgin

• Themes
o artists
o protection/security

• Time Period
o Contemporary

• Trope
o Billionaire Dom
o Cinderella/Cinderfella
o Hurt/comfort
o Secret Identity

Recent Release: Switching Places by Morticia Knight

Pride Publishing

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/switching-places

Blurb
Tai wishes Master Lucas wasn’t such an adamant Top, but he’s also crushing on the sweetly submissive Elliot. Could he have it both ways?
Tai has hit a wall in life. From all outward appearances, he’s the guy who has everything—looks, personality and money. But the modeling gigs are drying up and he still hasn’t found that special someone to call his own. The part-time work at Kiss of Leather is quickly becoming full-time to prevent the drain on his dream-business savings.
Elliot fell for the stunning Tai from almost the moment he met him. If he wasn’t so self-conscious about the weight he’s recently put on, maybe he could work up the nerve to make a move. However, not only is he a virgin who’s never done a scene before working in a BDSM club, but he’s also sure that Tai has a thing for Master Lucas. There’s no way he could ever compete with the handsome silver fox.
When Master Lucas confesses to Tai that he doesn’t only see him as a hookup and offers him a contract, there are a ton of considerations. They both realize that serious compromises would have to be made for them to have a relationship. But what if they found a third, a sub who could bottom for Tai and also do TPE with Master Lucas? Once the idea takes hold, Tai knows just the perfect boy for them both. Even better? He’s right there at Kiss of Leather, and Tai can’t wait for Elliot to turn them all into a throuple.

Review
Tai is the spark between Lucas and Elliott. He is written so well, snarky, vocal and flamboyant. Lucas is solid, dominant and reserved. Elliott is shy, quiet and awkward. This story shows how the three men need each other to balance out a relationship that won’t work unless all three are in it.

Morticia Knight has brought character development and storytelling to a great level. She leads us through the 3 men learning to live and love together and does it in a way that keeps you turning the pages. All 3 men grow into the relationship as the story progresses and as a reader I was totally on board with how it all fit together.

The playroom scenes were hot and definitely keep your interest. But the emotional connections are what I really enjoyed.

4 of 5 stars

4-stars-small

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Bad Seed by Gareth Vaughn

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38901778-bad-seed?from_search=true

Blurb
Dane’s a Decrypter down on his luck — after accidentally dispatching the wrong creature, he’s sent to a small town where the cryptids he hunts are sparse. Crypt Coffee becomes his business front, but instead of a thrilling new mission on the side, he’s stuck sending ghosts back to where they came from. Dane can annoy customers, at least, and tries to scare off Professor Sean Sanderson when he starts poking around too much. But Sean isn’t about to stay away. Not when he hears about the murder of a former student, and definitely not if young, exciting Dane has information about it. But the more he allows himself to get dragged into this supernatural world of monsters and ghosts, the more the danger escalates. And if Sean and Dane aren’t careful, tracking down a murderer who can use magic might just get them killed

Review
I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this book. I love the idea of a kind of supernatural enforcer keeping rogue elements in line. But this book just didn’t settle with me. Both Dane and Sean start with an antagonist type relationship and it pretty much stays that way. Dane is very prickly, bitchy and short tempered. I’m not sure if that’s because he doesn’t want to be in bleu falls (he was sent there as a Decrypter) or he is always that way. Sean keeps coming back. If this is a start of a series featuring them that might explain it, they’ll have time to grow. There were also a few loose ends. Sean was initially looking into a student death by what he thought was a werewolf. This is never mentioned again. The investigation diverted on to another who it turns out was poisoned. Another is the all powerful Order Dane works for. We are left wondering if they do come to wipe Sean’s mind because he’s seen to much or not. Is this the start of an investigative/ supernatural peacekeeping partnership? I don’t know but this book hasn’t gripped me enough to want to know.

2.5 of stars out of 5

2.5-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review