Recent Release: Truth & Betrayal by KC Wells

Good Reads Link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40742519-truth-betrayal?from_search=tru

Blurb
All the light went out of Jake’s life when his older brother Caleb died in a traffic accident. Getting through the aftermath was always going to be the hardest thing he’d ever done, but finding out that the tall stranger at the graveside was the one driving the car? At least Jake now has a target for all the rage inside him. Because the man responsible for stealing Caleb’s light from the world has no right to intrude on their grief.

Liam had known deep down that it was a mistake to go to Tennessee, but he’d hoped saying goodbye to Caleb would ease the pain inside him. The hostile reception from Caleb’s family and friends comes as no surprise, and Liam flees before things get ugly. They obviously know nothing of Caleb’s life in Atlanta, and maybe it’s better that way. Caleb’s secrets can die with him.
When Jake turns up at Caleb’s apartment to collect his brother’s possessions, what he discovers is the first shock in what is to be a series of revelations, turning Jake’s world upside down. New knowledge brings fresh pain and anguish.

Jake isn’t the only one who’s hurting…

Review
This is such beautiful and powerful story. It’s taken me a while to read because life had other idea about the best use of my time! I have found that when I was not reading l was constantly pulled back to the book. Thinking about the characters when l’m not reading. But sometimes the best way to savour a book is slowly so that all the bubbling emotions can be processed. Grief is hard to deal with at the best of times but finding out that the brother you idolised had a whole other life is extremely hard. Not to mention that Jake is also dealing with his own sexuality at the same time as finding out your brother didn’t feel able to confide in you. Then accepting you were scared to confide in him is a hard journey to take. Jake is lucky he now has Liam to guide him and be his friend whilst both of them come to terms with losing Caleb and the emotions involved in loving each other. Bring into the mix the bigotry and prejudice and there seems to be so much going against them. For me this is a story of faith, trust and hope where love ultimately prevails. The emotions are so powerful There were times I was crying for Caleb, Jacob and Liam. That is a sign for me that already this will be one of the books I will read over and over again.

5 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Coming Soon! Won’t Feel a Thing by CF White

July 31!

Pride Publishing:

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/wont-feel-a-thin

Blurb
It takes more than a doctor to mend a broken heart.

Ollie Warne is fresh out of nursing school and working his dream job as a pediatric cardiology nurse at St. Cross Children’s Hospital. Wanting to start the year fresh from personal heartache and his track record of falling for the wrong man, Ollie’s New Year’s resolution is to rid himself of emotional baggage and live a life of carefree liaisons.

But before the resolution can even begin, Ollie is called to care for eight-year-old Daisy Monroe, who’s struggling after heart surgery. Her father, Jacob Monroe, never leaves her side, apart from the times her mother comes to visit.

The tempestuous and somewhat estranged relationship of her parents is cause for concern enough, but the father’s brooding nature has Ollie investing far more time than usual in his Room One patient. Striking up a friendship of sneaking takeaways into the ward, card playing until dawn and the occasional breaking up of domestic fights, Ollie finds himself drawn to Jacob and becomes a friendly ear for the man who’s harboring more guilt and past demons than even Ollie, which is saying something.

The growing attraction makes it hard for Ollie to keep his distance, though he has to—not only do the ethics of his profession demand it, but Ollie is still somewhat involved with another man. One who has a huge stake in Ollie’s life, both personal and professional.

Ollie is risking more than just his job by getting involved with a patient’s father—much more even than the success of his New Year’s resolution, something that was supposed to ensure that, this time, he won’t feel a thing.

Review
Ollie has got himself in a fine mess. He is in a toxic relationship with Elliott. Elliott is a controlling self centred closeted man who is making Ollie’s life miserable. This time Ollie is determined to walk away. He wants a relationship where he comes first and he knows how much he is loved. Elliott is definitely the villain in the story. Ollie then meets Jacob and common sense flys out the window. Jacob is a patient’s father and Elliott is in a position of power over Ollie both in aspects of his personal life and at work. Bring into the mix Jacob’s vitriolic ex wife who is determined to be as unreasonable and vile as possible to both Jacob and at times Ollie. This is a story that had me switching between frustrated, annoyed and sympathetic with each turn of the page. Not to mention poor Daisy who has enough to contend with without her parents fighting in her hospital room. I absolutely couldn’t see how this story could resolve itself. When it did I was surprised at Elliott and a little mystified at Jacob. He seemed to want to give his all to Ollie but pulled back. He has a lot going on with his daughter’s health and a looming custody battle. I am glad this is the start of a series. I would like to know how Ollie and Jacob’s relationship progresses and if Elliott finds the one he is meant to be with.

3.5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Steamy Romance: The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles

Good Reads Link

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15708784-the-hot-floor?from_search=true

 

Blurb
Two plus one equals scorching hot fun.

Dumped by his boyfriend and reduced to living in a grotty bedsit, Josh Carpenter has gotten used to expecting the worst. Now he lives only for his job as a glassblower…and occasional glimpses of his sexy downstairs neighbors, Rai Nakamura and Evan Truman.

Every time he overhears the diminutive academic and the hunky plumber having loud and obviously kinky sex, Josh is overwhelmed with lust…and a longing for a fraction of what they have.

To his amazement, Rai and Evan find his embarrassing tendency to blush utterly charming, and the three men grow closer over the course of the long, hot summer. Despite Rai’s charming flirtation and Evan’s smoldering gaze, Josh is determined never to break his new friends’ loving bonds.

On the night a naked Josh falls—quite literally—into the middle of one of Rai and Evan’s marathon sex sessions, the force of their mutual attraction takes control. But just as Josh dares to hope, he senses a change. Leaving him to wonder if the winds of love are about to blow his way at last…or if history is about to repeat itself

Review
This hot story is told from shy insecure Josh’s point of view. We get a very brief glimpse into his history, an overbearing father, no other family and not much luck in love. This helped me to understand his reticence and why his first thought was always one of rejection. Rai and Evan live in the flat (apartment) below his and above his bossy friend Denise. I do like Myles writing. She is very British. The phrasing and descriptions she uses gives me a good sense of a crumbling Victorian or Georgian divided house they all live in and the type of people they are. Rai and Evan are in a long term relationship, they do however like to have a third join them from time to time. They are also a bit of exhibitions and love to explore anything kinky. This is where the hot fun comes in. Rai is certainly imaginative and they are all so randy. It’s very fun to read. Josh, is shy, never felt he’s entitled to ask for what he wants. Rai and Evan bring this out in him, get him to overcome his tongue tied reticence. I wouldn’t say Josh blossoms with them, it’s not in his nature to be forthright but he does find love and somewhere he belongs. Two men who love him back. I loved the mix of humour and serious relationship issues. Its not easy introducing another into an all ready established relationship or being the third coming in. That mixed with Josh’s insecurities made it all very credible to me.
I loved the bonus Christmas story at the end, made me laugh just picturing the scene.

4 of stars out of 5

 

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

Release Day Review: Twice Bitten by Rayna Vause 

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/twice-bitten-by-rayna-vause-9731-b

Blurb

With a new species of vampire stalking the streets, the stakes are high. But that’s not the only reason hearts are on the line.

Danny Reynolds thought Kieran McCade was the one—true love and hot lust forever—until Danny found out Kier’s bloody secret and ran away screaming. Months later, Danny is facing his own paranormal crisis, and he needs Kieran’s help, but are there enough ways to apologize for breaking a vampire’s heart?

Nothing about Danny’s transformation is normal—not the attack that led to it, and not the symptoms Danny’s plagued with—but being in close proximity to Kieran is even worse than becoming a thing that goes bump in the night. Danny and Kieran aren’t the only things threatening to bump each other off, though. Secret organizations and clashing vigilante agendas want to get their hands on Danny. His only hope is to find a fix for his problem before he’s either captured or his abnormal transition starves him to death.

Danny and Kieran might have a real chance to repair their broken romance… but only if they keep Danny alive!

Review

These are hard reviews for me to write… when a story really impacts me – one way or the other – I have an easy time expressing how I feel about it. If I loved it – I have much to gush about. If I hated it – I have much to rant upon. But when I simply didn’t feel moved by it… I don’t have much to say.

The writing isn’t bad. The characters seemed ok, but I didn’t feel any connection with them. Some of this is definitely personal preference: I don’t like when the paranormal is “known” and I don’t like “reconciliation” stories so that’s two strikes against this story without the author having done anything “wrong”. Those are just things that don’t appeal to me.

When I read the blurb I was looking for maybe… humor? Drama? Angst? Some of that is there, but there isn’t much humor and – for me – that might have edged this from a “meh” story to something that grabbed me.

However, I am not the author and this isn’t my story. So, all I can do is report on my feelings and let you know that it was an okay vampire story wherein society knows about the paranormal and two lovers are reunited after a vampire attack.

As always, I recommend reading other reviews, but this was a 2.75 star story for me. Not bad, just not gripping.

I’d definitely be willing to look for more from this author in the future, but maybe with a more specific look at the blurb next time.

Rounded to 3 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Like Breathing by: Tia Fielding

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
 https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/like-breathing-by-tia-fielding-9727-b

Blurb

A love as easy as breathing.

Life started out rocky for Devin Rice, but it’s turned out pretty well. He has adoptive parents and a brother who love him, and he works as a coder for his dad’s video game company. Romance is scarce, but a chance encounter leads to more than he ever expected.

While dropping off an assignment for his sick brother, Dev meets his mentor. Art history professor Seth Kent is brilliant and gorgeous, just what Dev has been looking for. Except that he’s in a long-term committed relationship.

Seth’s partner, Leaf, is older and sees the world differently due to his unusual upbringing. To him, the clear attraction between Seth and Dev isn’t a problem, it’s an unexpected gift. After all, Leaf is often on the road, going wherever rescue dogs need rehabilitation.

When Leaf meets Dev, all the missing pieces fall into place, and three men from different worlds and at different points in life fill each other’s empty spaces. For them, building a future together is the most natural thing in the world. But their unconventional love causes waves in their careers and family dynamics, and each man has his own doubts and fears to overcome

Review
This is one of the best MMM books I have read. I absolutely loved the story of how these three complex men came together. Each met a particular need of the others, even finding new aspects that they didn’t realise were missing until now. There is also an age difference between the characters which is a very important aspect. This was one story I just didn’t want to end, I wanted to stay in their world. There is no angst even though each of them are dealing with very heavy issues from their past. These also play a part in how their relationship unfolds. The key here is communication, being very open with what they are feeling and any other problems. In this way they build a strength between them enabling them to deal with issues and support each other. I might be making this sound like a utopia but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a three way relationship that clicked and wasn’t just about sex, although that is there as well.
This is a story I will definitely be reading again (and listen to if it comes out on audiobook)

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Home Skillet by Cate Ashwood and Sandra Damien

Goodreads Link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40215810-home-skillet?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Sometimes the only way to move forward… is to go back.

JAMES
I don’t know what’s more shocking—the sudden end to my marriage, or the fact that I’d married a woman at all. But now I’m broke and homeless, kicked out of my Upper West Side apartment while my ex-wife walks away with everything we’ve ever worked for.
So what’s an executive chef stripped of his dignity gonna do?
Go back to Jersey with his tail between his legs, that’s what.
BEN
I can’t say that spending a decade pining after my best friend was the best use of my time. While I’d pretty much become an expert at the whole unrequited love thing, I’d resigned myself to the fact that Jimmy and I were never gonna happen. But when Jimmy turned up on my doorstep in his hour of need, I jumped at the chance to offer him my bed—er, couch. I mean, what are friends for, right?
Now that he’s released from the shackles of matrimony, I can’t wait to show him exactly what he’s been missing out on all these years.
What I didn’t anticipate was him showing me that maybe I’d been missing out too.

Review: I liked this friends-to-lovers, slow burn story, despite the few issues I had with James (Jimmy).
Jimmy and Ben had been friends with benefits whilst in college, when out of the blue, Jimmy announces (to Ben) that he’s getting married (issue #1); to a woman (issue #2). The marriage, in name only (issue #3), is to further his culinary career (issue #4). When said marriage fails, Jimmy heads back to his bestie, Ben who offers him a place to stay. Of course their feelings for each other are rekindled (Ben’s feelings never really went away), and they find their way to being back together. However, Jimmy is still in the closet and plans to stay in it for the foreseeable future (#5). I was not a fan of Jimmy.
Eventually Jimmy is outed. He and Ben work through the issues resulting from the outing and Jimmy’s divorce settlement to get to their HEA.
A nice story set in the 90’s; good for a sweet, uncomplicated read.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Recent Release: Leaning into Forever by Lane Hayes


Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40238840-leaning-into-forever?from_search=true

Blurb
Geordie de la Rosa is a legend among wine lovers in Napa Valley. His ultra-fabulous style paired with a penchant for leading impromptu sing-a-longs has made him a star attraction at Conrad Winery. Co-owning a well-respected winery was never Geordie’s aspiration but he likes the niche he’s made for himself. He won’t deny that his job and his friends have helped ease his heartache and grief after the death of his longtime partner.

Levi Yeager excels at the art of reinventing himself. He’s been a minor league baseball player, a college coach and now a restaurant owner. The problem is he doesn’t know anything about the food business. And when his chef quits unexpectedly, he’s afraid his new venture is doomed. But Levi isn’t a quitter. It may be the only thing he has in common with the beautiful, sassy man from the neighboring winery who agrees to help get his new business up and running. Neither man counts on their fast friendship or the wild attraction they feel for each other. However, they know they won’t stand a chance until they let go of the past and lean into forever

Review
I’ve been waiting for Geordie’s story and I love it just as I knew I would. Geordie has been grieving over the loss of his long time love Mike for four years. Hers never considered that there could be anyone else to capture his heart until Levi. Levi is completely different from Mike. He is drawn towards Geordie. This is such a beautifully sweet romance about patience and learning to starting again. The way Geordie’s grief is so sensitively portrayed touched my heart. I truly believe that a loved one never truly leaves us but neither would they want to see us pining away forever. It was good to see Geordie’s vitality fierceness and humour come alive with Levi’s care and attention. Lane Hayes has written a book that’ll stay with me for a long time. The story takes you on highs and lows of emotions before giving you a happy ever after.

5 of stars out of 5


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

 

Release Day Review: All That Glitters by Kate Sherwood

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/all-that-glitters-by-kate-sherwood-9696-

Blurb
No matter what he tells himself, wealthy NYC architect Liam has never been able to forget his first love, Ben. But as he approaches midlife and realizes something is missing, can he forgive himself for the worst mistake he ever made—the one that left a hole no amount of career success can fill? Or will fear keep him from the full life he really wants?

Liam and Ben were childhood sweethearts, then college boyfriends. But when Liam cheated on Ben, Ben forced himself to cut ties and move on. He’s still living in the small town where they grew up, teaching, but it’s not the life he imagined for himself as a younger man. Still, when Liam returns, he can’t risk his heart again. He certainly can’t allow himself to love Liam again after fighting so hard to get over him.

Neither man wants to let go of the past and face their apprehension at starting over. They don’t want to fall in love a second time—but sometimes love happens whether it’s wanted or not

Review
Essentially this story is about Liam who in all intents and purposes is pining after Ben. It’s not really spelt out like that in the story, more my impression of it. Liam has everything rising career, money, mixes with the rich and famous but no one to share it with or any good solid friends. Liam can’t understand (or doesn’t want to try) why he is drawn back to his childhood town. Except Ben still lives there and so does his other friend Seth. When he messed up his relationship with Ben he also lost Seth‘s respect and friendship. Equally Ben is resisting his attraction and the pull towards Liam. He doesn’t want to get hurt again. This is a well written story. There was enough going on in the mild emotional turmoil and the machiavellian antics of Ben’s Uncle Calvin to keep me glued to the story. Anything less and I would’ve been shouting get on with it already. But that never happened. Liam is quite a self centred character whilst Ben is a caring soul. It has taken Liam a long time to realise all that glitters is not gold and he left to golden opportunity far behind chasing dreams and ambition. How they fare in the future I don’t know but they seem to be soulmates, so I’ll hope for the best. The epilogue feels more like a happy for now ending but they have good family and friends around them.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker

release day review

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40489440-galaxies-and-oceans?from_search=true

Blurb
Seizing his one chance to escape, Ethan Hosking leaves his violent ex-boyfriend, leaves his entire life, and walks into the path of a raging bushfire. Desperate to start over, a new man named Aubrey Hobbs walks out of the fire-ravaged forest, alive and alone. With no ID and no money, nothing but his grandfather’s telescope, he goes where the Southern Cross leads him.

Patrick Carney is the resident lighthouse keeper in Hadley Cove, a small town on the remote Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. After the tragic death of his lover four years ago, he lives a solitary life; just him, a tabby cat, the Indian and Southern Oceans, and a whole lot of loneliness. He’s content with his life until a stranger shows up in town and turns Patrick’s head.

Patrick never expected to be interested in anyone else.

Aubrey never expected to be happy.

Between Aubrey’s love of the stars and Patrick’s love of the ocean, these two fragile hearts must navigate new waters. If they can weather the storm of their pasts, they could very well have a love that eclipses everything.

Review
One of the romantic books I’ve read about two people and how their love heals one another. N.R Walker does it again. Her books contain so much more that I always get swept up in the story. Following the journey to a satisfying end. Seizing an opportunity Ethan grabs a chance to escape his abusive boyfriend. He becomes a new man Aubrey Hobbs. Aubrey remembers the advice from his beloved grandfather and follows the Southern Cross as far as he can. He reaches Kangaroo Island where he meets Patrick. Patrick is still grieving the loss of his partner four years ago. But he is drawn to this lonely enigmatic newcomer. He wants to protect and care for him. For Aubrey Patrick is the first friend he has had in along time and the first person he has been comfortable with. This is a beautiful love story. Two people slo getting to know and trust each other. Letting their guards down and seeing a possible future. One looking to the stars and the other to the Ocean. As it always does the past catches up. How they deal with it shows the strength of their new relationship. A beautiful story. One I’ll absolutely read again and again.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review