Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Bite (Anthology) by Clare London, Ruby Moone, Sue Brown, Joanna Chambers

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48272713-bite?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Vampires old and new, strong and sensual, with desires both predatory and protective. Their attraction is fierce and fascinating, and their love is eternal. We believe they deserve a very special kind of man—and their own happily ever after.
Four best-selling authors bring you their own take on the vampire lover’s story.

In Out of Time by Clare London, the ancient vampire Ambrus tries to protect Edward, a newly-turned young man, hoping to bring him comfort, acceptance of his fate, and eventually love.

In Christmas for a Vampire by Ruby Moone, grief-stricken vampire, Ellis Davenport, faces a miserable, lonely life when it seems the love of his life prefers death to eternity with him.

In A Tale Told in Darkness by Sue Brown, Lee comforts his lover with the tale of Brook, a vampire who falls for his neighbour Michael. When the young man is pursued by someone far more dangerous, only Brook can save him.

In Lamb to the Slaughter by Joanna Chambers, there is very little Lucien St. Villiers enjoys more than hunting for beautiful young men who are eager to learn all that Lucien has to teach them.

Review: Four well written, vampire-themed novellas in one collection.
Here are my thoughts about each story (in no particular order).

A Tale Told in Darkness (Sue Brown)
This is a story in a story. The main story, (with Lord Brook and Michael), has a bit of suspense, but a satisfying end. Brook, the vampire, meets his neighbour, Michael (human and is his fated mate). However, someone seems to be stalking Michael, and when he disappears, Brook has to find out who and why.
Nice little mystery here.

Lamb to the Slaughter (Joanna Chambers)
This was definitely a tale of the hunter being the hunted ☺
Lucien, our undead person, is a love/feed them and leave them creature. Until he meets Marcus, who gives him a run for his money. I enjoyed the twists in this story.

Christmas for a Vampire (Ruby Moone)
This story was a bit sad. Set during the winter holidays, Ellis is heartbroken that his lover, Quinn doesn’t want the same things he does. The holidays remind Ellis of his lost love. Liked the story overall.

Out of Time (Clare London)
Younger Edward as not had an easy life (or afterlife after being turned). Ambrus, an older vampire offers to help Edward. Ambrus travels through time, not forming any connections with anyone … until Edward. The story of how Ambrus helps Edward overcomes his resentment against his situation, (as a reluctant vamp), spans several decades. Sweet story with a touch of angst.

All 4 stories were enjoyable, there were a couple I wished had been a bit longer, but all were entertaining.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Troubled Water by: HJ Welch narrated by Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Troubled-Waters-Audiobook/B07YY7VRL2?qid=1571592234&sr=1-3&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=ECNKBEQF2EWH204J6ZFM&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_3

Blurb
Scout Duffy doesn’t know what’s worse. The fact that his scorching one-night stand is his bratty new client, or the fact that he doesn’t even remember Scout. But beneath all the bravado, Scout can see Emery is terrified, and he’ll do anything to protect him from his attacker. If only he would lower his walls and let Scout into his heart as easily as he lets him dominate in the bedroom…

Being out and proud his whole life means Emery Klein has never been safe. But now, his charity work and social media fame have put a target on his back from bigots, and his friends force him to hire a private bodyguard. Emery doesn’t need to be judged by some straight former boxer, but his attraction to the gorgeous hunk is insatiable. When Emery finally recognizes Scout, they can’t keep their damn hands off one another, if only for as long as Scout’s in town.

There’s a reason Emery never looks too closely at the men he sleeps with, just like there’s a reason Scout lives out of a suitcase in motel rooms. Will two men hiding from hurt realize the love that could heal them both is right in front of them? Or will Emery’s attacker take everything before they have the chance?

Review
There is wealth and depth of stories weaving together in this book. insert have an enemy to lover, employer to employee not to mention the mystery of who was out to get Emery. In the beginning I found Emery so annoying and frivolous. He felt like a character that didn’t care about anything that didn’t affect him. I was firmly on Scout’s side, he’s such a sweetheart. Except it started to become tangled. Neither would give ground and I could see that fault lay on both sides. I found it to be a very good twist between the two very different characters. Scout has ethical work decisions to make and Emery has his own reasons for being an absolute princess. In amongst this intriguing will they won’t they romance there is the mystery of who is after Emery. This aspect was in the background but it was never forgotten. I never had a clue who the perpetrator could be.
As always Nick J. Russo gave the characters life and spirit. He brings their personalities to the forefront giving us another dimension.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Audiobook: Rule Breaker by Lily Morton Audiobook narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Rule-Breaker-Audiobook/B07QMZ1Y9Q?qid=1571523000&sr=1-24&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=H2E2R942ZY1VXR844X5T&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_2_4

Blurb

Is it really wrong to want to murder your boss?

Dylan has worked for Gabe for two years. Two long years of sarcastic comments. Two long years of insults, and having to redo the coffee pot four times in the mornings to meet his exacting standards.

Not surprisingly he has devoted a lot of time to increasingly inventive ways to murder Gabe. From stabbing him with a cake fork, to garrotting him with his expensive tie, Dylan has thought of everything.

However, a chance encounter opens his eyes to the attraction that has always lain between them, concealed by the layers of antipathy. There are only two problems – Gabe is still a bastard, and he makes wedding planners look like hardened pessimists.

But what happens when Dylan starts to see the real Gabe? What happens when he starts to fall in love with the warm, wary man that he sees glimpses of as the days pass?

Because Gabe is still the same commitment shy, cold man that he’s always been, or is he? Has Dylan had the same effect on Gabe, and has his solid gold rule of no commitment finally been broken? With his heart taken Dylan desperately needs to know, but will he get hurt trying to find the answers?

From the author of ‘The Summer of Us’ comes another scorchingly hot romantic comedy, showing what happens between two men when rules get broken.

Review

This book was very funny, the banter between the characters witty and addicting. The attraction between Gabe and Dylan ran deep and I liked the build of it as well as the e-mail correspondence that started every chapter that really showed their humor. When I was reading this book in e-book format I had a hard time liking it about halfway through, and in the audio I liked it much better.
I think my one main issue is Gabe, even though I understand why he is the way he is its too hard for me to like him. In the end, despite the romance and sweet ending I feel like Gabe went too far and lost my affection.
Dylan on the other hand, is so likable, and caring. I really enjoyed his character and the way he evolved in the book. His family is funny, and have that ‘real’ feel of authenticity I like in books- with each member being quirky and unique.
The narration by Joel Leslie is fantastic, it’s as if Dylan was tailored to fit him, I can easily imagine him as Dylan. He does great accent work, making each character shine and ramped up the humor. He was a great choice to narrate this book and, like I said, the audio was a much better reading experience for me then the printed version.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Bishop: A True Lover’s Story by A.E. Via

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48195130-bishop?from_search=true

Blurb

At only thirty-two, Bishop Stockley has lived a hard-knock life. His gang was his family, the streets his home. Until the crew he’d always called his brothers betrayed him. After doing five years in a federal prison, Bishop is back at his dad’s trailer and working for his landscaping company, thrust into a legit world where he’s no longer the alpha—a world where a criminal record is the least of his disadvantages, because Bishop can’t read or write. Illiteracy had never been an obstacle for him on the streets, he didn’t need to know how to read Moby Dick to survive, he needed to know how to read people… and that was a hustle he’d learned hard and fast. Now, he had to change his life.

Bishop’s only support system was a young, inexperienced dad who’d insisted he call him Mike all their life—since they looked more like brothers than father and son. And his hot-tempered, childhood, best friend from ’juvie, Trent. Bishop already had the deck stacked against him, but he wasn’t afraid of hard work to change his situation, and he did want to change. Especially after he encountered Edison Scala, a kind-spirited office manager who didn’t hesitate to come to his defense… a man that saw past Bishop’s grass-stained coveralls. A man who wasn’t intimidated by his stern features and his silence.

Edison hadn’t grown up the way most of his peers had. He’d been raised by a single father who’d owned an old-fashioned barber shop where Edison was taught how to not only shave with a straight razor, and shine shoes, but also how to treat others, to not judge, to be a gentleman, to be respectful and speak without profanity. But, the biggest lesson he’d learned, was to always be himself. His lack of friends and a social life wasn’t his fault. No matter how much weight he gained, no matter how many times his staff called him a square, Edison did not need to change.

Bishop knew Edison was off-limits. He’d made personal vows to himself when he was released from prison, ones that he never intended to break. But, when Edison asked him about providing landscaping services at his home, there was no way he could refuse. He hadn’t expected Edison to feed him, praise him, encourage him, and look at him the way he did—as if Bishop was somebody. Mike and Trent warned him not to mix business with pleasure and he didn’t intend to.

No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a very, very HFN. Warning:
This book is a M/M contemporary romance, a hardened man’s struggle to find real love. There are no police chases or doors being kicked in, in this one. But, don’t worry. Bishop is still intense enough to keep you on the edge.

Review

Man I love AE Via!  I LOVED Bishop and his relationship with his dad.  I super loved how the author handled Bishop’s learning disorder and I adored the relationship between Bishop and Edison.

While I’m not sure I really saw the creepy stalker co-worker thing working out quite like it did, I was psyched to see Edison begin to stand up for himself and I loved how Bishop was there for him.

The pacing and gentle progression of this love story are what kept me captivated and wanting to just keep reading.

This was awesome and 5 stars aren’t enough!

Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars


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Categories
Uncategorized

Recent Release: Running From My Heart (Rock Bottom #3) by Felice Stevens

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48390823-running-from-my-heart

Blurb

“Holding onto the past can hurt more than letting it go.” People say six years is long enough to mourn the death of his husband but for Ross Miller, the pain is as fresh as if it happened yesterday. He’s left his glittering Hollywood life behind, yet guilt still dogs his steps, no matter how far he runs. Trapped by his past and needing to escape his well-meaning friends, he rents a cabin in the secluded Adirondack mountains. A reclusive man moves in next door and piques Ross’s interest, but his persistent attempts at friendship are rebuffed. That doesn’t stop him because the one rule Ross Miller has always lived by is to never take no for an answer.Novelist Arden Wainwright has given up. He can’t pretend a happiness he knows he’ll never find again. Solitary days turn into years, and he remains frozen, unable to take a breath. At his wit’s end, he retreats to the mountains, but it does little to stir his creativity. He continues to hide from life and avoids his overly nosy neighbor, who insists on planting himself at Arden’s doorstep at every turn. Making friends is the last thing Arden wants, but annoying or not, he can’t get the damn man out of his mind.Finding peace in their isolated surroundings, the two lonely men forge an unlikely friendship where they realize they’re more alike than different and better together than apart. With Ross’s help, Arden begins to rebuild the shattered pieces of his life, while Arden gives Ross the strength to face his fears and find his way home. When love comes calling you can choose to hide from hurt, loss, and pain, but if you take a chance and open the door, you might discover that running from your heart is the last thing you’ll want to do.
This book can be read as a stand alone but you may remember Ross, Foster’s best friend from Broken Silence, Book One of the Rock Bottom series.

Review

Undoubtedly one of the most moving love stories I’ve read this year. Ross and Arden’s journey is all about love, love lost and new love found, and it really resonated with me. Arden’s loss especially hit me very hard. The sorrow and grief both MC’s are struggling to overcome is almost palpable and seeing them find the strength to live and love again after such heartbreaking loss was incredibly touching and inspiring. I liked that the author didn’t rush the healing process and that Ross and Arden became friends before becoming lovers, after a bit of a rocky start. The trust that gradually built between them was a wonderful thing to read.

I loved the writing style, its imagery but also its realism, and of course the well-rounded secondary characters. Note to self: must read Julian and Foster’s story asap. I also very much enjoyed how the author described the nature and wildlife surrounding the cabins in the Adirondack mountains, the ospreys first and foremost, and their importance to Ross and Arden’s journey.


Number of stars out of 5: 5


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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


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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+

Recent Release: Romancing the Rough Diamond by: Clare London

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/romancing-the-rough-diamond-by-clare-london-10775-

Blurb
Trust is the most precious jewel of all.

When Mayfair jewelers Starsmith Stones wins the commission for a gay royal wedding, CEO Joel Sterling is recommended to the brilliant young designer Matt Barth—only to discover Matt’s the man with whom he shared an anonymous and passionate kiss on the celebration night.

Disenchanted with the commercial jewelry industry, Matt nowadays prefers muddy archaeological digs to designing. Openly resentful of Starsmith’s hostile takeover of his family’s firm, he is horrified at the realization he’ll be working with the man who engineered that deal—but the opportunity to create something fabulous and unique for the royal couple is too tempting to refuse.

Working as a team reignites the spark between Joel and Matt. But when betrayal from within Starsmith threatens both the project and Joel’s confidence, will they have built enough trust to keep their newfound love as precious as the royal jewels?

Review
I liked the premise of this story that enemies become co-workers and then lovers. Despite his animosity towards what Matt sees a soulless corporation taking over his family business he can’t miss this opportunity to be involved in something so special. Joel is not the heartless business man Matt thinks he is. I love how their shared passion for creating beautiful jewellery brings them together. This is a heartwarming book. Full of wonderfully British characters. Matt is so pig headed in the beginning you know that when he falls for Joel it’ll be with his heart and soul. And so it is. He makes a brilliantly daft gesture. Made me laugh at the situation he got himself in. So happy that Joel and Matt get their happy ending in this feel good story.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Hellion (415 Ink series – #3) by Rhys Ford

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hellion-by-rhys-ford-10757-b

Blurb

From the moment SFPD Detective Ruan Nicholls meets Ivo Rogers, he knew the tattoo artist was going to bring chaos to his neat orderly life. A hellion down to the bone, Ivo is someone Ruan not only doesn’t understand but isn’t even sure he needs to. Everything about Ivo is vibrant, brash, cocky and arrogant and Ruan wants no part of him.

Or at least that’s the lie he tells himself when he damps down his desire for the social wild child life tosses into his path.

For Ivo Rogers, his life revolves around two things; his family and 415 Ink, the tattoo shop he co-owns with his four brothers. His family might be stitched together by their battle scars from growing up in foster care but their brotherhood was tight—and strong enough to hold Ivo together during the times when he fell apart.

Now Ivo faces a new challenge when he falls for a cop with an old-school mentality on what a man looks and acts like. Ruan is the promise of a life Ivo thought he’d never have but their thunderous clashes threaten any chance of a relationship. Being the family’s hellion makes it easy to be misunderstood yet Ivo has faith Ruan will not only embrace who he is but love him as well.

Review

This had all the makings of a very promising opposites attract story with a bit of an age gap for extra piquancy, but I was a little disappointed in how it was written. The sentences are rather long and have a rambling quality to them that slows down the pacing of the narrative too much and makes it harder to feel the intensity of what the MC’s are going through and really get that connection to them.

Both MC’s are fascinating characters though and the character development was well written. Ivo’s had a truly heartbreaking childhood and went through some very dark periods, which makes it so important for him to finally be able to unapologetically be himself. Ruan is great for him, steady and loyal, but has to overcome his own fears about what it means to be out, and stand out. After a rocky start things go quite fast, and for me the commitment and I-love-you’s followed too hastily after the brief amount of time they actually spent together.

There’s a heartwarming cast of secondary characters, what with Ivo’s meddlesome, slightly overbearing and extremely protective brothers and I’ll admit to being curious about the stories of the others even if this book wasn’t totally my cup of tea.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Gentleman Wolf (Capital Wolves Duet book #1) by Joanna Chambers

Goodreads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47167640-gentleman-wolf?from_search=true

Blurb
An elegant werewolf in Edinburgh…

1788. When Lindsay Somerville, the most elegant werewolf in Paris, learns that the man who held him in abject captivity for decades is on his way to France, intent on recapturing him, he knows he must leave the Continent for his own safety. Lindsay cannot take the risk of being recaptured—he may have been free for a century but he can still feel the ghost of his old chains under his fine clothes.

… on a mission…

While he’s in Edinburgh, Lindsay has been tasked with acquiring the “Naismith Papers”, the writings of a long-dead witchfinder. It should be a straightforward mission—all Lindsay has to do is charm an elderly book collector, Hector Cruikshank. But Cruikshank may not be all he seems, and there are others who want the papers.

… meets his match

As if that were not enough, while tracking down the Naismith Papers, Lindsay meets stubborn architect Drew Nicol. Although the attraction between them is intense, Nicol seems frustratingly determined to resist Lindsay’s advances. Somehow though, Lindsay can’t seem to accept Nicol’s rejection. Is he just moonstruck, or is Nicol bonded to him in ways he doesn’t yet understand?

Note: this is the first book of a duology – the story continues and will complete in the second book, Master Wolf

Review

Chambers skillfully and masterfully weaves a story of fantasy in a delightful historical setting. This is one of two books and has a HFN/Open ending that is not a cliffhanger but you would have to wait for January 2020 for the second installment in the series.

Much like in her Enlightenment series, the research put into this book is meticulous and her language rich. This is one of the things I like most about historical romance, and when done well it can pull you centuries back in time. Chambers paints a vivid picture of 18th century Scotland, alongside a werewolf tale that feels both mainstream and uniquely different. Her choice of cover art is by the fabulous artist Felix d’Eon, who does lgbtq+ art in his unique old school, humorist style and representation of ALL the letters (check his out, you will not regret it). An artist I have been following for a few years and admire, just goes to show how meticulous Chambers is in her world building and authenticity.

I rather enjoy shifters when they are well written, and I find there are so many that follow the same well-worn path I have to be very picky about what I choose to read. This story has all the classical elements yet keeps it fresh and intriguing. Lindsey is a very relatable, yet surprising character, and I was rather fond of him from the start. His miserable beginning at the hands of a cruel master is contrasted by the happy, almost vain man he became a 100 years later. His meeting with Drew Nicol is a perfect clashing of wills and passions and the opposites attract in an almost painful way. They are raw and sensual, extremely HOT together, and Drew is the most soulful character you just want to sooth and hug. They both fight against their most secret wants and instincts, and ultimately have to make some very hard decisions.

Lindsey is on the run from a dangerous individual, and in their game of cat and mouse Drew inevitably gets tangled up. Nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted, they have to face the consequences of Lindsey’s actions, and I cannot wait for the second book to bring this story to its conclusion.

Number of stars out of 5
5


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