Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Dragon CEO’s Assistant (Golden Kingdom #2) by Jenn Burke

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-dragon-ceos-assistant-by-jenn-burke-10855-b

Blurb
The heart remembers.

When Aidan Bishop staggers out of the woods, naked and suffering from amnesia, he needs to relearn who he is and where he fits in the world.

His boss, nearly five-hundred-year-old dragon Nassim, head of a successful tech company, hurries to claim his wayward assistant and guide him back into the life he disappeared from. As they get to know each other again, Aidan wonders if their relationship went deeper than employer and employee. But Nassim isn’t telling, and Aidan has a secret of his own… even if he doesn’t know it yet.

Review

I’ve always been a great fan of the amnesia trope, and this one was really well-written. The author had a couple of surprises up her sleeve and I really liked how she built up the mystery surrounding Aiden and Nassim. Aiden especially is quite the dark horse. There’s a trail of crumbs to (mis)direct the reader, which was a lot of fun to search out, trying to connect the dots. As the story built, so did unexpected outside threats to Aiden and Nassim, bringing a new level of tension and suspense to the story.

I’d have liked to have seen a bit more passion and romance between the main couple, but I still very much enjoyed their story. Both MC’s are complex, well-rounded characters and the strength of their bond and emotional connection shone through beautifully. Though this is a shifter story set within a fated mates universe, the mating here involves a degree of conscious choice that is usually lacking in this trope and that made for a nice change.

I loved the world and secondary characters the author created. The interactions between the MC’s and Nassim’s family and co-workers, as well as with the Gryphon court, were a delight and very heartwarming at times.

This was a great read that has definitely left me curious to see what’s next in this series.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Lucifer’s Litigator By: T.J. Nichols

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lucifers-litigator-by-tj-nichols-10820-b

Blurb
To save his soul, he’ll have to fix his one regret—the love that got away.

The summer between the end of school and the start of what came next was full of sun, surf, and sex. For Will McLeod, that meant Tom, his first male lover. He knew the romance had an expiration date and would end when Tom joined the Army, but that didn’t stop Will from falling in love.

Tired of being looked down upon for being poor, Will became a lawyer—but not just any lawyer. He litigates for the gods as they gamble with the lives of those desperate enough to make deals. His job is to make sure they don’t slip free. He has more money than he knows what to do with, but he’s fast running out of soul.

Twenty-five years haven’t dimmed the candle Will holds for Tom, and when they meet again, he has a chance to put things right. Back then, Tom wasn’t ready to fight for them. Now the decorated soldier is willing to get his hands dirty, but will he be a match for the forces trying to keep them apart

Review
What a great concept. With the title and the blurb I gathered that Will was trapped in a job he no longer wanted. What I wasn’t expecting was the role Lucifer plays in the story. Will’s one regret was Tom, his first love. The story hangs on what that regret was. Neither of them knows for certain and it can’t be spoken about. I liked the flashbacks giving the reader an insight that the characters were just starting to remember and whilst we reading the story may be able to identify the significance Will and Tom don’t always get it away. I got invested in both Will and Tom. Wanting both f them to succeed and beat the odds against all the obstacles put in their way. There is a happy ending although I would have loved an epilogue just to leave me feeling everything works out well for them.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Coming soon! Scott (Owatonna U Hockey #2) by R.J. Scott and VL Locey

March 27

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42108159-scott

Blurb
What happens when you try to fix the past and end up threatening your future?

Scott is struggling. Grieving the loss of his brother, carrying the weight of his father’s expectations, and getting his ass kicked in the rink, he’s in a downward spiral. He needs a solution and fast, but when his steroid use is exposed, he’s close to losing his place at Owatonna and more importantly, on the Eagles Hockey team. Thrown out of his house, with nowhere to go and no future in sight, he only has one choice; agree to mandatory counseling, random drug tests, and get his act together. Only then will he have a chance at normal. Meeting Hayne, a senior connected to the world through his art, is a shock to the system. Moving in with him is his only option, but falling for the shy artist leaves Scott in an impossible situation, and one he can’t escape.

Hayne has always been that quiet, creative kid who sat in the back of class drawing instead of listening to the teacher. A talented artist, the shy and sensitive young man is struggling with the loss of his childhood friend. Seeing his sadness reflected in his usually colorful paintings, he decides to attend grief counseling and meets Scott, a lost soul in desperate need of light and color in his life. Taking in a homeless hockey player certainly was never part of his carefully orchestrated ten-year plan. But now that Scott is in his life, he’s discovering the joy of this man’s loving smile and tender touch is one of the most beautiful palettes on earth.

Review

Ugh.

Sigh.

Sorry.

I loved book one SO MUCH! I love this spin off as a concept. I love the adjustment to YA/NA as far as theme and topics and steam. I love all of it.

Except … this mostly didn’t work for me.

I’m a fan. I’m following the stories including the supplementals and sometimes I was confused about what happened. I think a bit more surrounding the steroid crisis itself would have helped. Then I really wanted to see more of Scott’s recovery rather than hearing about it off page. I also didn’t buy the family turn around – it didn’t feel authentic and though I can totally get behind shiny happy HEAs – it didn’t resonate. These authors aren’t shy about giving us angst and drama – so own it! Let his family continue to be as they are – maybe give us some glimmers of hope? But it felt too cleanly tied up given the amount of fuckery they’d engaged in for the last 4 or so years.

I super loved Hayne’s family and I somehow wanted to know more about them at the beginning. I was having a hell of a time picturing him until the family came to town and gave me a more solid picture.

The evil roommates. I think we needed to either make this more of the story’s central theme or get rid of them. They were a distraction and OTT. (I hope they were OTT – sheesh!) I really wanted Craig to get a lot more smack down then he got as it is. What a Douche Bag!

Finally – I don’t know where these boys are going. I love that Ten et al are able to help them out – but I kinda wanted them to have a more concrete plan of their own.

As it stands we have this sort of mix of “reality” like situation meets total fairy land and it was conflicted and hard to follow at times.

I’m not sure how much of this comes from the 2 authors collaborative efforts or just because the story itself lacked cohesion but I felt it here more than in their other works together.

I’m still a fan and I still can’t wait for Benoit but I was disappointed.

2.75 rounded to 3 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult young adult

Time to Comfort the Hurt: Boy Shattered by Eli Easton


Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42272771-boy-shattered?from_search=true

Blurb

Brian
You’ll make it out of here, Brian. I swear.
I had everything—school quarterback, popular with girls, and my dad was proud of me. I told myself it didn’t matter no one knew the real me. And then I nearly died. Landon saved my life. He’s the bravest guy I know. He came out a few years ago, proud and fierce, and he ran into gunfire to help others. Me, I’m a mess. Can’t even stand to be in a room with the curtains open. But here’s the thing about losing it all: You get a chance to start over and be someone new. Only how can I move on when the two shooters who attacked our school were never caught? And why do I feel like I’m still in the crosshairs?

Landon
Will you kiss me?
When I came across Brian Marshall,the hottest guy in school, dying on the cafeteria floor, I did what anyone would do. I tried to save him. His request surprised me, but I figured he needed comfort, so I kissed him on the forehead. When he survived and came back to school, he was broken in body and mind. He still needed me, and soon we were unlikely besties. But what I saw at school that day woke me up. I want to demand action on gun control, lead protests, raise my fist. I’ll tear the world down if I have to. And if I can get the man of my dreams and save the world at the same time? I’ll take it. Only I didn’t understand that the horror at Jefferson Waller High wasn’t over.

Review by Karen
This is a book that really got under my skin. An amazing story of loss and grief, but also of love, friendship, hope, perseverance and unity in the face of senseless violence and ignorant hatred.

I think Eli Easton did an outstanding job, taking her characters and readers alike on a very intense, sadly realistic, and emotional journey. The lines between fiction and reality get blurred, making this a very powerful story.

Landon and Brian are so clearly meant to be. The way they connect during the shooting was incredibly moving. Such a great scene, terrifying and heartbreaking though it was.

Brian is an wonderful MC and so utterly shattered by the horror of what happened to him. It was devastating to read. I hate that there are actual Brian’s out there. And Jake’s that are no longer with us…
Brian had a hard time coping with his fears when he returns to school and doesn’t get a ton of support at home. Landon is his rock.
I was so happy, though, that in the end, Brian found a way to be a savior to Landon as well.

I loved Brian’s poems and the way they gave us more insight into his feelings. The Lion poem and 18 Chairs were especially poignant.

I think this is a story that needed to be written. I’m very thankful to Eli Easton for sharing it with us.
Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

 

I think Eli was pretty gutsy writing this.  I bet that she gets some flack for this but what’s ironic – is the way she portrayed Brian’s family is so realistic and the hypocrisy we see regarding “life” and “guns” is absolutely amazing.  I myself cannot see their side of the story and I’m glad I don’t have to try.

 This was a hard story to read but so good and such a page turner! My only complaint was Landon’s folks and how they handled themselves as well as Brian’s mother – both seemed not as plausible as the rest of the story.

 The other thing I really wanted for Brian was a direct path to a psychiatrist and do not pass go.  I think his level of PTSD would have needed some more intervention than he got.

 

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Review: Sekani’s Stinky Escapade (Wolves of Stone Ridge #44.5) by Charlie Richards

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40676135-sekani-s-stinky-escapade?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Out of the Cage: When a flight of fun goes awry, a bat shifter plays the damsel in distress.

Sekani just planned to stretch his Egyptian fruit bat’s wings a little while his vampire lover, Master Borscht Kuznetsov, sat through a conference call. Unfortunately, his short flight takes an unexpected turn when he runs into another bat…of the non-shifter variety. Sekani’s headlong rush puts him in unexpected peril. While Sekani can speak telepathically with Borscht, will it be enough for his vampire to find and rescue him?

Review

This was pretty silly and fun! Sekani and Borscht (not my favorite name ever) are one of my favorite couples in Charlie’s series. Sekani is pretty sweet and innocent still and Borscht is still his hunky savior.

Don’t expect anything to substantial, just a bit of fun.

4 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review