Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Hat Trick (Fake Boyfriend #5) by Eden Finley

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48717530-hat-trick?from_search=true&qid=5GalJqEHKu&rank=1

Blurb

Soren:

You know what’s not fun? Going on a Fiji vacation with four other couples. Especially when recently single.
What’s even worse is when a past hook-up arrives unannounced.
Not only do we have a history, but he’s ten years younger and a famous rock star. Most importantly, he’s my friend’s little brother.
Being trapped on an island with Jet Jackson is going to be sweet torture because all I want is another chance.
I just don’t think he’s going to give it to me.

Jet:

You know what’s not fun? Escaping one guy who broke my heart only to run into another.
Being on the road for three years has left me exhausted. The last thing I want is for Caleb ‘Soren’ Sorensen to try for round two.
I can’t fight my draw to him. I’ve never been able to.
I’m suddenly back to being the naïve kid who stupidly lusted after a hockey player.
All I can think is if I let Soren get close, I’ll walk away from this vacation with a double broken heart.

*Hat Trick is a full-length M/M romance with a guaranteed HEA. This is the final book in the Fake Boyfriend series and as such is not recommended to be read as a standalone. All main characters of the series feature heavily.*

Review

This is a great addition to the series.  It’s full of fun, rock music, hockey and loads of snark and sex.

 

If you’ve enjoyed the others in the series you’ll love this but you definitely can read this on it’s own.

 

It’s about second chances, being true to yourself, having faith in love and enjoying life.

 

Highly recommended!

 

 

4.5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Raze (Riven #3) by Roan Parrish Narrated by: Kirt Graves, Tor Thom

audiobookreview

Audible:
https://www.audible.com/pd/Raze-Audiobook/1541445473?qid=1564953992&sr=1-16&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=QA740D25TFCXJP2DZ4RA&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_16

Blurb

Sometimes the walls we build to save ourselves have to come tumbling down.

For the last ten years, Huey has built his life around his sobriety. If that means he doesn’t give a damn about finding love or companionship for himself, well, it’s probably better that way. After all, the last thing he wants is to hurt anyone else. Until Felix Rainey walks into his bar, fresh-faced, unbearably sweet—and, for some reason Huey can’t fathom, interested in him.

As the eldest of five kids, Felix Rainey spent his childhood cooking dinner, checking homework, and working after-school jobs. Now in his twenties, he’s still scrambling to make ends meet and wondering what the hell he’s doing with his life. When he meets Huey, he’s intimidated . . . and enamored. Huey’s strong and confident, he owns his own business—hell, he’s friends with rock stars. What could he ever see in Felix?

As Huey and Felix get closer, the spark catches and soon they can’t get enough of each other. But Huey’s worked hard to avoid intimacy, and Felix threatens his carefully constructed defenses. Huey realizes he needs to change if he wants to truly put his past behind him—and build a future with Felix.

Review

This was so, so good!
It took me awhile to get into this because I was really nervous about the entire “sobriety” thing that is a recurring theme in the series but – though it is definitely a main theme – it almost took a back seat to the really sweet and awkward romance between these two totally mismatched heroes.

I loved that Felix had to really dig deep and find his own happiness and how Huey had to admit his “patterns” were no longer helpful.

The heat is just right – a fair amount of steam but this is really more about the feels.

Highly recommended! I think it’s best when read as part of the series but it can absolutely stand on its own.

5 of 5 stars

Audio

I really enjoyed Kirt Graves’ part of this narration, he does a nice job as Felix – high strung and energetic. I wasn’t a huge fan of Tor Thom. On the one hand he did fit Huey but it was harder to listen to him because I felt like I wanted him to be less clunky in my ear and his breathing bothered me.

In any case, it’s a wonderful way to experience this story.

4 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Recent Release: Paint It Black by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/paint-it-black-by-amy-lane-10680-b

Blurb

Everybody thinks Mackey Sanders’s Outbreak Monkey is the last coming of Rock ’n’ Roll Jesus, but Cheever Sanders can’t wait to make a name for himself where nobody expects him to fill his famous brothers’ shoes. He’s tired of living in their shadow.

Blake Manning has been one of Outbreak Monkey’s lead guitarists for ten years. He got this gig on luck and love, not talent. So hearing that Cheever is blowing through Outbreak Monkey’s hard-earned money in an epic stretch of partying pisses him off.

Blake shows up at Cheever’s nonstop orgy to enforce some rules, but instead of a jaded punk, he finds a lost boy as talented at painting as Mackey is at song-making, and terrified to let anybody see the real him. Childhood abuse and a suicide attempt left Cheever on the edge of survival—a place Blake knows all too well.

Both men have to make peace with being second banana in the public eye. Can they find the magic of coming absolute first with each other?

Review

Beneath the Stain is one of my all time favorite books, not just Amy book, but all time. I was ECSTATIC to find she’d written more! The story takes place several years and several kids later for the band and it’s members.

Just as Stain ripped our hearts out, so too does Paint it Black.

Poor Cheever. Gah. Remember how we hated him in Stain? Well, there was a HORRIBLE reason he was such a dick. That part of the story was very, very hard to read and it made Grant and Mackey seem only a little sad.

I loved the slight switch here where – once things are a little stabilized, Cheever is the one explaining life to Blake and helping him to see the Truth.

It was fantastic seeing the boys again and watching them with their kids and finding out how Briony keeps them all under control! I can’t wait for the audio and I can’t recommend the book highly enough!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Running With Scissors By LA Witt Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Running-with-Scissors-Audiobook/B07N7Y711Q?qid=1549302973&sr=1-5&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_5&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=G56K1FPHDPT38GMSD558&

Blurb

Eighteen months ago, drummer Jude Colburn made the biggest mistake of his life when he walked away from his band just as they were on the brink of success. Now, he’s got a second chance. The band’s bassist just quit, and Jude plays bass almost as well as he plays drums. The other band members aren’t thrilled, but they are desperate.

Running with Scissors needs him, but there’s one condition: no hooking up with bandmates. That’s what ruined things eighteen months ago, after all. Jude’s on board, but no one warned him about the drummer who replaced him. A.J. Palmer is shy and unassuming . . . until he hits the stage. He gets Jude’s attention from the first beat, and suddenly that “no hookups” rule isn’t so easy to follow.

Keeping secrets on a tour bus isn’t easy either, and it’s only a matter of time before the band catches on. When everything hits the fan, Jude has to choose: a second chance at the career he’s always regretted leaving, or a shot at the man of his dreams?

Review

So I will admit that I mostly skimmed this book.

I LOVE the idea. LOVE the author. LOVE the cover. But I didn’t love the outcome.

Jude left his band high and dry and when he returns he’s told absolutely no hook-ups will be tolerated with other band members. So of course… he and AJ find themselves having to hide their developing love for each other and that causes lots of strife and on again/off again angst. Turns out Jude had a “thing” with another band member and there are unresolved feelings between the two to this day.

I didn’t really like Jude all that much and kinda felt AJ was a bit wishy-washy. So their “passion” was just as uneventful for me. In fact, I thought the most passionate thing in the book was the violent reaction to the hook-up the other band members had rather than the love between our two MCs. (The women in particular were pretty screechy.)

I was kinda hoping for this “super shy on the tour bus” guy to become this totally “hot and madly passionate” guy with his beau but it was kinda luke-warm instead. Usually LA Witt is full of hawt and sexy love scenes sometimes a little on the kinky side, but this was pretty white bread.

I think, had I not had high expectations because of my fandom for the author I wouldn’t have felt as let down, because it is still a “good” book, just not as great as I’d come to expect. (As you can tell from my previous review of Static – I am a big fan of this author.)

So, with that… I give it a fair 3 of 5 stars.

Audio

I think Michael Ferraiuolo adds a LOT to this story. He gives it more depth and makes it more engaging. I really think this is the best way to enjoy this story and recommend it in this format the most.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Raze (Riven #3) by Roan Parrish

Good reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42274594-raze?from_search=true

Blurb

Sometimes the walls we build to save ourselves have to come tumbling down.

For the last ten years, Huey has built his life around his sobriety. If that means he doesn’t give a damn about finding love or companionship for himself, well, it’s probably better that way. After all, the last thing he wants is to hurt anyone else. Until Felix Rainey walks into his bar, fresh-faced, unbearably sweet—and, for some reason Huey can’t fathom, interested in him.

As the eldest of five kids, Felix Rainey spent his childhood cooking dinner, checking homework, and working after-school jobs. Now in his twenties, he’s still scrambling to make ends meet and wondering what the hell he’s doing with his life. When he meets Huey, he’s intimidated . . . and enamored. Huey’s strong and confident, he owns his own business—hell, he’s friends with rock stars. What could he ever see in Felix?

As Huey and Felix get closer, the spark catches and soon they can’t get enough of each other. But Huey’s worked hard to avoid intimacy, and Felix threatens his carefully constructed defenses. Huey realizes he needs to change if he wants to truly put his past behind him—and build a future with Felix.

Review

This was so, so good!
It took me awhile to get into this because I was really nervous about the entire “sobriety” thing that is a recurring theme in the series but – though it is definitely a main theme – it almost took a back seat to the really sweet and awkward romance between these two totally mismatched heroes.

I loved that Felix had to really dig deep and find his own happiness and how Huey had to admit his “patterns” were no longer helpful.

The heat is just right – a fair amount of steam but this is really more about the feels.

Highly recommended! I think it’s best when read as part of the series but it can absolutely stand on its own.

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Coming Soon: String Boys by Amy Lane

May 28

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/string-boys-by-amy-lane-10521-

Blurb

Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento.

Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain.

Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands.

Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.

Review

From the moment I started this book I knew it’s going to be an Amy Lane classic. Full of feels and emotional highs and lows. I felt like I was privileged to be an onlooker on Seth and Kelly’s life. The turbulence that the Cruz family goes through broke my heart. The story pulledon my heart strings. Growing up along sideSeth, Kelly and Mattie being with them as they struggled through life and learned what loving that special person is all about.In this story we get the whole journey of friends to lovers, the hate and family rife as well as unconditional love. Seth has a unique talent for the violin and Kelly wants that to grow. There are a lot of times when school and other circumstances mean Seth and Kelly can’t be together but friends and family are there to get them through and hold on tight. I cried and cheered within moments of each other many times when reading this book and probably will again when I reread it. If you like angsty stories that also fill your heart with joy I can’t recommend this book high enough. If you are still unsure about this book I would suggest that if you are a fan of Amy Lane’s Bonfires and Crocus books then this one would suit you as well.

 

6 of stars out of 5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

This was – has for me to review. I love Amy so much but this did not inspire me.

I was prepared for angst central and there was a bit – but I honestly was never attached to the characters in such a way that I felt it.

Perhaps it was just my frame of mind when I was reading it, but I just didn’t see these guys in the same light as some of her other couples.

First, they spend a ton of time away from one another but still visit so it was kinda – meh – on that front.

The family is both hard to love and so full of pain that I didn’t really get roped in to their drama.

The romance ends on a very bland note and I didn’t get the sense of relief that I usually do with her angsty stories.

It was good and interesting but not my favorite.

3.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Love You So Special (Love You So Stories #3) by Tara Lain Narrated by Ry Forest

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-special-by-tara-lain-9894-b

Blurb

Can a man’s secret yearnings be revealed in a tank full of fish?

Artie Haynes knows he’s nothing special, with just-your-regular-brown hair, a solid plumber’s job, not much education, and a family that can barely get off the couch. But Artie has quirks—like his love of tropical fish, a landlord who’s a professor of existentialism, a passion for the amazing piano music he hears at a concert hall while he’s fixing the bathrooms—and the fact that he’s never come out as gay and probably never will. But when he’s hired to build a guesthouse for the pianist whose music enchanted him, Artie is swept up into an unimaginable world.

Francois Desmarais may be famous, rich, and revered as one of the world’s great classical composers and pianists, but he’s soothed and challenged by the inquisitive, stalwart, protective man in his back yard. When Francois’s terrible fear of crowds turns into a dangerous plot, Artie can stay in the closet or prove just how special he is.

Review

This was so awesome! The story is very sweet and very touching. I’m not always crazy about Tara’s dialog – her characters sometimes feel really old fashioned in their speech – but it didn’t bother me much with this one. She is really good at giving us the Blue collar meets white collar guy and this one reminded me a lot of her “Knight of Ocean Avenue” – which is one of my favorites!

I loved the music and color imagery as well as the surprising way everyone acted and turned out. It was a bit sugary sweet at the end with Artie’s family – but you know what? I loved it!

The narrator for this is new to me and I wasn’t super impressed. He did ok but his accent wasn’t great and 50% of the dialog is supposed to be French accent.

The non French parts were good – so I’d give him another chance in the future.

It wasn’t a hardship to listen to but I don’t know that he added a lot.

I’d give the story 4.5 stars
Narrator 3 stars

And overall 4 stars – recommended!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Don’t let Go by Andrew Grey; Narrated by Jeff Gelder

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dont-let-go-by-andrew-grey-9792-

Blurb
Avery Rivers is a country music sensation, selling records by the millions and playing to sold-out crowds. But behind that persona is Robert, a burned-out musician cracking under the pressure. He’s unable to write any new songs, and he wants out of the business—at least for a while. He changes his appearance and finds honest, hard work in Jackson, Wyoming. Maybe getting to be a regular guy for a while will get him past his block.

Hy Whitely was a championship bull rider until he watched his best friend thrown in the arena and decided the rodeo circuit was no longer the place for him. He wants to be plain old Zeke for a while, and when he returns to his family ranch, he bumps right into Robert—a one-night stand from his last rodeo appearance who is now working there as a ranch hand.

The heat between the men could sear the grass off the range, but each one is hiding a secret. Robert and Zeke, the men behind the public images, fall in love, but can they hold on when Avery and Hy are pulled back into the spotlight

Review
I remember reviewing the book when it came out and saying how much I enjoyed it. Well that hasn’t diminished at all. I love the concept of two people who both had secret identities, neither realising the other is someone famous. Both of them living in the moment enjoying each other’s company. Both Zeke (Hy) and Robert (Avery) have reached a turning point in their life and need to make a decision. Although it does seem in their heart they already knew what they wanted it just took meeting each other to make it happen. Their idyllic life is put in jeopardy when Robert is identified as Avery but the family and friends rally round to protect him.
I’m not completely sold on Jeff Gelder’s narration. To me it sounds flat and not paced very well. He does provide some level of characterisation that suits the characters making them distinct. The story kept me listening though.

4 of stars out of 5 for the story
3 of stars out of 5 for the narration
Overall 3.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Audiobook: A Fool and his Manny by Amy Lane Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-fool-and-his-manny-by-amy-lane-9714-b

Blurb

Seeing the truth and falling in love.
Dustin Robbins-Grayson was a surly adolescent when Quinlan Gregory started the nanny gig. After a rocky start, he grew into Quinlan’s friend and confidant—and a damned sexy man.
At twenty-one, Dusty sees how Quinlan sacrificed his own life and desires to care for Dusty’s family. He’s ready to claim Quinlan—he’s never met a kinder, more capable, more lovable man. Or a lonelier one. Quinlan has spent his life as the stranger on the edge of the photograph, but Dusty wants Quinlan to be the center of his world. First he has to convince Quinlan he’s an adult, their love is real, and Quinlan can be more than a friend and caregiver. Can he show Quin that he deserves to be both a man and a lover, and that in Dusty’s eyes, he’s never been “just the manny?”

Review

I adored this couple! I loved the idea of the younger guy who falls for his “nanny” but ends up getting him! He was just the right amount of contrite and then bossy to really flip all my switches and he felt authentic to me.

The romance moved at a very low angst, steady pace and I loved seeing all the familiar faces. While this is definitely a good standalone, it’s better if you’ve read the others before it.

Watching Dusty move from kid through to adult was just right, too. Enough of the kid stuff for him to feel “real” but not so much that it was weird seeing him as an adult.

If you’re a fan of the author, the series or “mannies” this is for you! If you’re in the mood for a sweet “coming of age” book – I think this is wonderful for that purpose, too.

As for the upcoming audio: I don’t want this to sound like John Solo isn’t good – he is! – but I sure do wish we could have Nick Russo or Gomez for this series as well – I’d love that so much!

5 of 5 stars

Audio

I guess Dreamspinner must have a contract for this series because Amy’s usual taste in audiobook narrators doesn’t seem to be able to continue here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Kenneth Obi does a perfectly fine job – I just love her choices for her other books a lot more.

In the end, he was easy to listen to and does a nice job with timing, characters and emphasis.

3.5 of 5 for the audio

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Beat Of Their Own Drum (Book 3 in the Replay series) by K.M. Neuhold

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42530502-beat-of-their-own-drum

Blurb
Jude
Every rock band needs their bad boy, right? That’s me. Hookers, drugs, DUIs— been there, done that. I’m in a Downward Spiral and proud of it (see what I did there?). When the band manager, Archer, hires Bennett to keep me from screwing up while the band is on hiatus, I may have finally met someone who won’t take my attitude lying down. With the three of us cooped up together for weeks on end, I have a feeling things might get interesting.

Archer
Downward Spiral is my baby. Not only am I the band manager, I discovered them ten years ago when they were nothing but a bunch of high school kids playing in a hole in the wall bar on the weekends. But it’s obvious I haven’t done a great job because they’re falling apart. If the lead singer isn’t trying to kill himself, it’s the bass player telling me he can’t write any new songs. And no one gets under my skin more than Jude, who seems determined to snort and drink himself into an early grave. There’s only one man I can think of who might be able to get Jude back on the right track, Bennett Schmitt. Unfortunately, he’s also the man I let get away sixteen years ago and haven’t gotten over since.

Bennett
If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s taking control of a situation. In fact, control is kind of my thing. Which is probably why I’m the best in the business when it comes to getting out of control celebrities back on track. When my ex calls and tells me he’s desperate for my help, I can’t turn him down. Between the infuriatingly sexy drummer with no idea what kind of trouble he’s asking for, and my ex looking better than ever, there’s no way this isn’t about to get messy.

Review

A kinky mmm romance with three wonderful and complex main characters, each one well-rounded and interesting. Together they were simply irresistible!

Bennet and Archer have a past together and still love each other despite having broken up years ago, so that could have put them on an uneven footing with Jude, but that doesn’t happen. The author makes sure that they are all equals in this relationship, every man bringing something unique to it and finding love and care with the other two in equal measure. There are several very moving moments in the story, and all three men have moments of weakness and vulnerability. It was great to see them learn to trust one another and give in to their growing feelings, or acknowledging feelings that were there all along.

The only thing that I would have liked to have seen developed a bit more fully is the emotional bond between Jude and Bennett. I’d have preferred them to get to know each other better before dropping the L-word, outside of their D/S connection, that is. I did really like the way the author incorporated the bdsm-aspect of Jude’s and Ben’s relationship into the story, as well as how she made Archer fit into it too. I think this is one of the best daddy kink stories I’ve read so far and I loved the way both Archer and Jude slowly discovered that part of themselves.

I found it a bit unrealistic that Jude shrugs off his drug addiction so easily. I’d have expected that part of him getting his act together would have been harder. It didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story one bit, however.

The occasional flashbacks were a great way to explain certain things and really brought home what these characters have been through.

We get glimpses of what’s happening with the other band members during their “vacation”, which was great. Not enough to distract us from the MC’s of this book, but still plenty to be able to fully appreciate the importance of the connection between the band members and how their rise to fame impacted their lives. For better and worse.

I was struck by the significance of the book’s title and really liked the play on words. Jude is the heart, the linchpin in the relationship between the three men, and they definitely have to follow their own path in order to find happiness.

I absolutely loved this story and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in this series!

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review