Time to Comfort: Designs of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley Narrated by Max Lehnen

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18139107-designs-of-desire?from_search=tru

Blurb

Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.

As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.

James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?

Review
It seems like this is one of those stories you either enjoy or don’t. It’s an insta love kind of story. James was born with a genetic condition which affects his joints. James’s past relationships have been a disaster, with his last partner abusing him. It has taken him a long time to consider another relationship. Then along comes Seth. Not a person to take no for an answer. He is determined to show James BDSM is not abuse.
Whilst I liked the story James does seem to suffer or attract bad luck more than the average person. His fortunes turn when he meets Seth. The right man makes it all better! maybe it’s more the case that Seth builds James’s self belief and confidence back up so that he can show the world what a fantastic artist he is. This is the first book in a series, each one focuses on a different pair of characters, and can be read alone.
I’ve read this story and when you have a good narrator it can bring different aspects to the story and make it almost feel like the first time. Unfortunately not in this case. I couldn’t quite match the voices to either Seth or James, there isn’t any distinction between characters. Although not unpleasant to listen to. The story just felt like I was being read to by someone who wasn’t that interested. It was the story itself that kept me tuned in otherwise I might’ve zoned out. The narrator changes for the rest of the series series, not necessarily for the better.

3 of stars out of 5 for the story
2 of stars out of 5 for the narrator
overall 2.5 of 5 stars

Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

Recent Release: Sanctuary (Mercy Hills Pack #5.5) by Ann-Katrin Byrde

Good reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36395933-sanctuary?from_search=true

Blurb

“Omegas for alphas and betas for betas…”

Ori and Patton have been best friends since they were pups. But growing up changes everything—Ori must settle on an alpha to mate, while Patton takes on the beta’s work of maintaining the walled enclave their pack lives within. They try to make the best of it, until a wealthy suitor comes calling for Ori, and they realize neither of them can face a future without the other. And on a moonless night, Ori and Patton escape over the enclave walls, breaking both shifter and human law in their determination to reach the sanctuary of Mercy Hills.

Hunted by their own people and forced into a dangerous masquerade among the humans, their original plan–so simple and direct—turns into a twisted path toward a promise of freedom that might not even exist. Because Mercy Hills doesn’t know they’re coming, and the trouble they’re bringing to the enclave’s doorstep may be more than those already beset shifters are willing to bear.

Finding out Ori is pregnant makes their mission that much more urgent. Omegas never mate with betas, let alone have pups with them. If their pack finds the two lovers, they’ll be separated forever.

But the pack never reckoned with the determination of a beta in love, or the stubbornness of an omega determined to keep his mate and his baby.

Review

I like this series quite a bit but I do find some of the detail a bit too tedious. I’ve never been a huge fan of “dystopian” and I sort of lump these types of stories as dystopian. In this world, the knowledge of shifters is out there and they are subsequently treated very poorly and kept in enclaves.

I really hate this type of story but I so admire the love stories the author is capable of giving that I wade through the sadness and despair to find the happy and the sweet.

Our two MCs have a truck load of misery to over come in this book and I have to admit I skimmed the entire first half as it was entirely too “difficult” and way too long – for me – but I really enjoyed the part where they finally made it to the Mercy Hills Pack and found their beginning to be really touching as well.

I think this is another author who could benefit from a stiff editing ☺

I think this is good for fans of the author and the series but I wouldn’t start with this – I think they need to be read in order.

3 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Review: Running Blind (Havoc #2) by S.E. Jakes

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22094535-running-blind?from_search=true

Blurb

An ATF agent who lives for danger finds what he craves from an outlaw biker.

It’s impossible for a one-percenter motorcycle club member to simply walk away—and no one knows that better than undercover agent Bram, who’s almost killed for trying. His cover isn’t blown—yet—but it’s only a matter of time. The Heathens won’t be satisfied until he’s dead, so he decides to lay low and heal.

But when his younger brother’s disappearance throws a wrench into his plan, Bram ends up in Shades Run, a town ruled by the notorious Havoc MC. In less than twenty-four hours, Bram finds himself at the mercy of Sweet, Havoc’s president, as he throws himself into the undercover role of a lifetime: himself. A man who’s never belonged anywhere, and who will do anything to protect his younger brother.

When finding Linc seems impossible, Bram is torn between Sweet, Linc, and revealing his true identities . . . and there appears to be no way out. Once again, he risks it all trying to save it all. Only this time he’s got no backup to save him if he falls.

Review

(Some spoilery type info – not to ruin the plot though.)

Honestly I had thought SE Jakes had stopped writing.  It’s taken literally FOREVER for her to publish another book in this or her other series (m/m).  As a result I sure had some high expectations for this…

On the one hand – she delivers the rough love we’ve come to expect from her.  Very damaged people with questionable moral compasses doing what it takes to survive in their hard worlds.

We get to see a bit of some of our favorite MCs from previous books.

There is a LOT of very kinky sex.  A lot.  Kinky.  This absolutely lowered my rating.  At one point I’m not sure there was consent and it there was I wasn’t sure it was for multiple partners or fisting.  This didn’t sit well with me and as a result I won’t be buying the audio or reading this again.  I barely finished the first time.

I know that’s very person dependent so if that’s your thing – awesome!

I did love the HEA and how it came back around again to trust – it just never felt comfortable and I never felt the connection between these guys that I did the MCs from book 1.

Somewhat recommended – but read some reviews and read her other stuff before this.


Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Clutch (Forbidden Desires #1) by Piper Scott and Virginia Kelly

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42208487-clutch

Blurb

Bookish, snarky, and fiercely independent Nate Boudreaux leads a solitary life. Between teaching classes at the university and working toward his PhD, he doesn’t need a partner to occupy his time, and he certainly doesn’t need a man like Alistair Drake complicating his future.

Alistair Drake, black sheep of the tremendously wealthy Drake family, is more interested in adding another notch to his bedpost than another zero to his bank account. When a Grindr message brings him to Nate’s doorstep, then straight to his bed, he has no reason to believe that what they share will be more than a simple hookup, until, three months later, a tug on his soul informs him otherwise.

For the Drake family has a secret—one that will force Nate and Alistair together as much as it will demand that they be torn apart. One that Alistair and his brothers have carried all their lives… and one that Alistair and Nate’s future children will carry, too.

Bound to each other by the three precious impossibilities, Nate and Alistair have no choice—no matter the consequence, they will fight for their forbidden clutch.

Review

This book gives a different quirky twist to the usual mpreg alpha/omega story.
Both Nate and Alistair are likable characters who fit together well. The relationship between them moves along at a fast pace, with both snark and vulnerability balancing out the romance.
The comedy elements had me laughing out loud more than once through the story and the way Alistair takes off hand comments literally adds to the charm of the book.
The cast of secondary characters were a great addition, with an obvious set up for a following story that I look forward to reading.

4 stars out of 5

 

Purchased by the reviewer

 

Time to Comfort: A Chosen Man (The Men of Halfway House #6) by Jaime Reese

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41885577-a-chosen-man?from_search=true

Blurb

For Wall McCormack, actions speak louder than words. He’s giving and protective, loyal to his friends, and devoted to his job. While confident and powerful enough to conquer any challenge, his greatest strength lies in his calm nature. Until an unexpected assignment sends his world into a loud and colorful chaos he never could have anticipated.

Rejection. It’s something Dylan Vaughn has known his entire life. But he’s a tough nut to crack and refuses to break. Armed with a sharp tongue and brutal honesty, he pushes through life and at anyone who attempts to take him on. Except for the quiet guardian who piques his interest and dares him to want…more.

When Dylan’s past comes back with a vengeance and jeopardizes their growing connection, Wall will stop at nothing to protect the younger man and remain by his side. But convincing Dylan that someone accepts the real man behind the cocky facade might prove to be Wall’s greatest challenge yet.

With his freedom on the line, Dylan must trust the strength of their bond and confront the forces threatening their future. Only then will he realize the dream of acceptance is real and finally have a place to call home.

Review

This is such a lovely series. I totally respect the time the author takes in between books, because each story is so fully developed and rich. Just like her visual art, her written words are evocative and descriptive without being wordy or purple.

In this case, our guys are no less broken than the previous couples we’ve met – but these two are maybe a bit “lighter”. It’s a welcome reprieve and I enjoyed the humor, closeness and emotional times we got to share with these guys and Wall’s mother.

As in the other books in this series there is a crime to be solved and in this case some danger of life and limb. It doesn’t overshadow the romance and moves along easily.

I can’t say enough positive things about this – other than – you should read it! It’s best as part of the series but each is fine on it’s own.

5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Recent Review: Elemental Magick (The Donovan Coven #1) by Jacki James

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42189743-elemental-magick?from_search=true

Blurb

For most of Aaron’s life, things have been uninteresting, boring, safe–just the way he likes them. He makes his decisions based on logic and reason and he doesn’t believe in paranormal mumbo jumbo like crystals and tarot cards and witches.

When he sees an ad for an estate sale at the old house on the edge of town, he doesn’t see any harm in going and buying some things like an old book with odd symbols on the front for his antique shop. Who cares if the old woman who owned the house was rumored to be a witch; everyone knows witches aren’t real.

After accidentally raising a demon by goofing around with a spell from the book, Aaron realizes that there are things in this world that logic and reason can’t explain. That witches are indeed real, and that he just might be one too.

Malakai has been searching for the Coughlan Grimoire for years, knowing there are spells in the book that can be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands. Securing the book so his coven can protect it is of the utmost importance.

He isn’t prepared for the adorable rookie witch with the curly red hair and incredible latent power. But to his surprise, keeping Aaron safe and close by his side quickly becomes more important than the Grimoire. More important than anything.

Before Malakai and Aaron can be together they will have to battle vampires, wolf shifters, and one very powerful warlock. Malakai can’t do it alone; it will take, friends, family, and for Aaron to figure out just how powerful he is if the two of them are going to protect the book and make their new found bond last forever.

Review

This was a lot of fun. Insta love. Fated mate. LOTS of magic.  Great world building.  Fun characters.  I thought the conflict was nicely balanced with the romance but… My only complaint was the bad guys were SOOOO easy to kill.

Highly Recommended! Can’t wait for the next installment.

4.5 of 5 stars

Time to Get Paranormal: Soul Mate For Sale by Kian Rhodes Narrated by Alexander Collins

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Soul-Mate-for-Sale-Audiobook/B01LX4A6MK?qid=1535298054&sr=sr_1_5&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_5&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=SNZ9471D6FYNVBFQGYF1&

 

Blurb
Trevor
In most packs, an Omega, even one who couldn’t breed, was treasured and would be revered and protected, not cast aside. But our pack was not like most packs, and I was not like most Omegas. I was human, so I understood why I was being sent to the auction. I didn’t like it, but I understood it. Even if there had been affection for me, even if they had been willing to keep me as a pet (neither of these was the case, but an Omega could dream), Cal couldn’t afford not to sell me.
Clint
Omegas were hard to come by worldwide. While I would have preferred to mate for love, it didn’t seem that it was in the cards for me. I had taken over as pack Alpha five years earlier, and it was high time that I started adding to the pack population. Granted my pack is run less rigidly than some; the Betas in my pack are not just allowed to breed but actively encouraged to. Unfortunately, only a small number of Beta females are fertile enough to get pregnant, and I’ll be damned if I am going to hump my way through the pack until I find the ones who are – which brought me full circle to why I was standing in line to pick up the bidding paddle at the auction house.
Less even than a marriage of convenience, purchasing an Omega at the auction was more of a long-term service contract, a means to an end, so what was an Alpha to do when he found his soul mate on the auction block?

Review:

This is the first book that I’ve listened to or read by Kian Rhodes and I was pleasantly surprised that a book so short had almost everything I love about MM romance. Soul Mate for Sale is an alpha/omega shifter book with mpreg and knotting. There is talk about past abuse but not in any great detail. The story starts with Trevor our omega being nursed after sustaining a beating by his alpha for being barren. He finds out that he is being sent to the omega auctions. Clint is an alpha wolf shifter who goes to the auction in hopes of finding an omega to help with the breeding problems in his pack. He sees Trevor and is instantly drawn to the young man. Even after finding out that he is a rare human omega who can’t breed he ends up purchasing Trevor. Clint discovers how mistreated Trevor was by his old alpha and pack and sets out to show Trevor how pack life is really supposed to be and that an omega’s are meant to be treasured, revered and protected. Trevor ends up thriving with his new pack and finds out that they aren’t the typical group of wolf shifters but that they are werewolves.
The audiobook is only 2 hours and 9 minutes so it does have the instalove feel to it but hopefully we will be seeing more of Clint and Trevor in further books in the series.
I never heard of the narrator Alexander Collins but once I started listening I immediately recognized his voice and after some research confirmed that this is a pseudonym for Mark Westfield, who is one of my favorite narrators. He does an amazing job of portraying Clint’s softly authoritative demeanor and Trevor’s gentle countenance.
 4 of 5 stars for the story only because I wished it was longer
5 stars for the narration

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Steamy Romance: Protecting His Omega by Giovanna Reaves

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36358610-protecting-his-omega?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Phoenix Harcourt is a single father who was kicked out of his home when his parents found out that he was an omega. After losing his alpha mate, Phoenix turned his focus to his daughter and the successful company that was left in his care. With a threat to his life, Phoenix hires a bodyguard who wants to protect more than his body. He also want’s Phoenix’s heart.

Hired to protect an omega, Lucius Payne had one goal: do his job and nothing else. He was never one to mix business with pleasure. Moreover, finding an omega mate was not in his plans, especially when it is the man he is supposed to protect. Then his job becomes more complicated than he was expecting.

Can Lucius convince Phoenix to trust him with his heart as well as his body?

Review: So, I’m late to the party for non-shifter, mpreg stories, but this is a good one to get started with.
Phoenix was kicked out of his home at 16 because he was an omega and gay. After being taken in by Maxwell, a rich businessman (father/son relationship), Phoenix thrives and eventually takes over Maxwell’s business when he dies. Phoenix was mated once and has a little girl, Jasmine from the relationship.
Not everyone at Phoenix’s company is happy that he is the new owner, so when he starts receiving threatening letters Phoenix is forced to contact a private security company. This is how he meets Lucius, his mate.
What I liked about the story is that Phoenix is not a typical omega – yes, he knows he will submit to his alpha’s will – but he has a backbone and wouldn’t give in to the natural instinct to rollover for his alpha mate. Lucius is a patient alpha, who wants to care for his omega. There is a lot of sexual tension between the 2 men before they finally get together – mid book- but it’s worth the wait! Both men were a delight to read and Jasmine was realistically cute.
There is a surprise twist towards the end that also adds to the story (quite unique).

Luckily, I got my first taste with a good story and will likely continue to dip my toes in the sub-genre.

4 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for review

 

 

 

Audiobook Month: Luke’s Present by Sue Brown Narrated by Aaron Pickering

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/morning-report-series-6498-

Blurb
Lost Cow Ranch foreman Simon Bryan is worried about Luke, his boss and possessive partner of twelve years. Reeling from the flood that took his horse, Luke has postponed surgery on his knee, and his nightmares have been escalating. Worse, he is pulling away from Simon emotionally. Desperate to help his lover cope, Simon plans a special Christmas gift, but it is Luke’s present that changes their relationship foreve
.

Review
Luke’s Present is a lovely short catch up with Luke and Simon. It’s about two years after the events in Morning Report, not much after the ending of Papa’s Boy. The story provides answers to loose ends such as wether Luke has the operation on his knee (injured in book two) as well as small parts for Noah & Tommy, Ray & Zeke. I love the strength of Luke and Simon’s relationship in this book. Simon knows there’s a problem and sees through the defensive behaviour Luke puts up to find the truth. Luke’s reaction is beautiful and provides the perfect wrap up for the contemporary part of the series.
I liked Aaron Pickering’s narration in this book. He has settled into the characters and i found him easy to listen to. This might also be that I am used to his style now. Although I can’t find any other books still available narrated by him.

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Audiobook Month: The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield, 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:
Ever since the accident that cost him his job on the Seattle police force, Kevin Quinn has been living with psychic abilities he refers to as the ‘gift that keeps on taking’. His attempts to use his talents to help the police have been met with limited success. Yet, when teenage boys start going missing from the beach cities of Southern California, Kevin gets on a plane.
Connor Dougal has every reason to believe all psychics are fakes and charlatans. He’s still numb from the disappearance of his first love, a boy who went missing 10 years earlier. Everything he aspires to is a direct result of that tragedy, even the acquisition of his detective shield. The irony of having to babysit Kevin Quinn is not lost on him.
These two suspicious men must develop trust and respect for one another to solve the case and, on the way, maybe fall in love.

Review:

A good story with great narration.
Kevin is a reluctant psychic (the ‘gift’ manifests after an accident). He’s asked to work on a missing persons case where he meets Connor. Connor is assigned to assist Kevin in the investigation; at first they don’t get along, but very quickly they develop a rapport which leads to a mutual attraction. As they grow closer, the mystery of the disappearances unfolds. There is quite a bit of wit and humour in the story that kept me engaged throughout.

Story: 4 of 5 stars

Narration:JF Harding was really good! This was my first time listening to him after which I bought a couple more books that he’s narrated. His pacing, inflections and timing was spot on for the characters. The subtle humour and wit of the prose was nicely voiced and he portrayed the dynamics and chemistry of the 2 MC’s very well.
Definitely a story I will listen to again.

 

5 of 5 stars

 

Overall: 4.5 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review