Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Knowing Me, Knowing You by Renae Kaye

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/knowing-me-knowing-you-by-renae-kaye-9931-b

Blurb

Loving You: Book Four

Can friends turned occasional lovers move beyond past mistakes and wrong assumptions to build something that can last?

Quiet bookworm Shane has a big secret—one he’s kept for fifteen years. AFL superstar Ambrose Jakoby grew up next door to Shane. They were close friends, and Shane supported Ambrose through school.

One night, everything changed.

Before Ambrose left Perth as a scared eighteen-year-old to head to Melbourne and take up his new footy career, Ambrose and Shane slept together.

For the next nine years, they continued a secret friends-with-benefits situation whenever Ambrose was in town. Shane never knew exactly where he stood or how to define Ambrose’s sexuality—and Ambrose didn’t know either. Then last Christmas, everything changed again, and a disagreement strained their friendship. Shane vowed to get over his unrequited love.

But Ambrose is back, recovering from an injury and hoping to make amends. He claims he’s ready for a real relationship. But Shane has to decide whether Ambrose means it and whether his Hufflepuff soul can take the chance.

Review by Aerielle

When I saw that Renae Kaye was writing another installment in the Loving You series I was very excited. While this book is a very good “friends-to-lovers” story it was lacking the pure joy and light heartedness that the first three books had.

Shane has always been in the background in the other stories, so coming into this book he was a complete blank page. He seems to have very little self-esteem and self-worth. He tends to calls himself “wallpaper Shane”.

Every few chapters there is an “Interview”, which is Shane asking his friends how long it took them to know they were in love. I really enjoyed getting these little insights.
By the end of the book I still felt like I didn’t really know much about Ambrose and only slightly more about Shane which is a real departure from all of Renae’s other books. This can be read as a stand-alone since there is a lot of explanation about the previous couples and their stories.

Overall this is a fairly decent story about two long-time friends who occasionally slept together coming to realize that they each mean the world to each other.

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review:  Jay and the gang are back! This time they make their appearances in Shane and Ambrose’s story.

I loved this addition to the series, especially 1 page ‘interviews’ with many of the cast from the previous stories.

Shane and Ambrose have been friends for years – Shane knows he in love, Ambrose appears to be straight. Until he’s about to leave for a professional football career in Melbourne (they live in Perth).

When Ambrose returns home to recover from an injury, the truth of his feelings for Shane comes out.

This ‘in the closet’ story could have been angsty and fraught with unnecessary misunderstandings; instead it is delightful, funny and warm.

As always, Renae Kaye writes warm personalities for her characters – Shane is the caring, self-deprecating (to a fault), snarky best friend. Ambrose is a bigger, but kind guy, looks out for his friends and still goes home to his mum.

This is a standalone story, but honestly, not reading the prior books would be a shame since they’re so good. There are references to 2 other characters from another author’s (Sean Kennedy) books which had me smiling, (I have the books).

 

Loved this story and I hope Hiram gets his own story.

 

4.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

I really enjoyed the first three books of the series but I have some reservations about this one. Mainly, I could not get over how much I disliked the way their relationship was manipulated by Ambrose. I felt like he put too many terms, and did not give enough back to Shane. Shane is a character that is sometimes hard to like, and he treats himself so poorly, despite Ambrose’s claims of his worth, that Ambrose’s treatment of him just grated on me more.

It was mainly the undefined friends-with-benefits situation going on, were it seemed like Ambrose was the only one really gaining anything out of it, and believing that Shane should be with him because he has undefined, but strong feeling towards him he never spoke about. And in the end Shane did what Ambrose needed, because it was good for Ambrose’s career at the time, and I could just not get over how much I felt it was not equal between them, and Ambrose taking what he needed when it was right for him. And Shane’s job is constantly treated as something he dislikes. Like it’s not worth anything, and so he can leave it and just be a kept man/do something else in Melbourne because he was not attached to it anyway. It was hard to care about a character that seemed to be designed to be rootless and motiveless, aside from pining after Ambrose and getting some action when he was around. I also felt like the author did not deal with the issue of Ambrose’s sexuality (him being Demi, perhaps) and the issue with is native roots. It felt like a side note when it should have been a bigger part of the story to me.

Their relationship felt off, more so when you realize the amount of time they hid this undefined thing between them. It hurt to read and was unsatisfying when Ambrose turned out to be the one who’s feelings and needs needed to be considered and not the other way around and heir HEA did not satisfy me at all.

The things I liked were mainly the other couples from previous books showing up and the friendship they share in their group.

Number of stars out of 5
2.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Dreamspinner Gay Gay Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Magic Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Part of a Series vampire

Retro Read: Blood and Rain(Book 1) by Shira Anthony

Blurb

Adrien Gilbert has spent several lifetimes searching for the love he lost. Born in the 1800s into a clan of fabled vampire hunters, Adrien once wanted nothing more than to tend his family’s vineyard in southern France or read a good book. But Adrien’s peaceful existence ends abruptly when his older brother, François, is murdered. Bound by his hunter’s oath, Adrien sets out on a path that will forever change his life when he agrees to execute his brother’s killer, the vampire Charles Duvalier.

After months chasing the elusive Charles, Adrien reluctantly makes a bargain with Nicolas Lambert, an ancient vampire. Adrien will escort Nicolas to Paris for his marriage to a rival clanswoman, and Nicolas will help Adrien find Charles. Nicolas’s quiet strength and gentle heart soon convince Adrien that Nicolas is nothing like the vampires he has sworn to destroy. As the wedding date draws nearer, a force intent on destroying the fragile peace between the vampire clans threatens to tear apart both the vampire realm and the world of the hunters. To secure both past and future for those he loves, Adrien must find a way to stop the looming war between hunters and vampires. But first he’ll have to let Nicolas go.

Review

First, I think anyone interested in this series should be PSYCHED to know that all 3 books are finally released. I didn’t touch this because I didn’t want to be in cliff-hanger torture while waiting for the series to finish. So…. Once I saw book 3 released I said – at last! – I can begin this series!

Second, this is Shira Anthony. So… you know you best be prepared for in depth world building, complex characters, lots of angst, and pain, and maybe some not-so perfect MCs.

I think, as someone who has enjoyed her other series – Blue Note and Mermen of Ea – that this (so far) seems to follow in their footsteps. Book one is all about the back story and world building and introducing us to all the myriad characters. Right now my interest in piqued with Charles and Francois more than Adrien – but time will tell…

I’m not a big fan – ok I hate – cliff hangers, and I’m actually more attracted to short stories than I am to epic multi book series – but – I’m looking forward to starting book 2. I do love Shira’s writing style and though I’m not loving the flashbacks and there was a lot of the time that I was really confused as to who was where and when but… – I love me some biting and vamps who like biting and all the magic – so….

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book Extasy Books Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild/low level heat Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter Standalone Virgin

Recent Release: Hacking the Consequences (Shifter’s Regime #1) by Charlie Richards

Extasy Presents

http://www.extasybooks.com/charlie-richards/hacking-the-consequences/

Blurb

Keeping the Peace: When a lion shifter finds a stranger hacking his systems, he discovers a kindred spirit in the most unlikely of places.

Thirty years before, Vincentius Goldstein agreed to join the council with the express intention of bringing their technology into the twenty-first century. After all, he’d had fun hacking into it. He’s done that, and now finds the almost daily meetings and constant infighting stretching his patience. Vincentius prefers the seclusion of his computer room. When he discovers someone hacking into his system, his excitement is stirred for the first time in decades.

After figuring out where the hacker is located, Vincentius sends a council investigator after him. To his shock, when the investigator returns with the hacker, a small guinea fowl shifter named Cho, Vincentius realizes the man is his mate. Even with the mate-pull, Cho fears him. After all, Vincentius had ordered Cho captured and taken away from the safety of his flock and friends.

Can Vincentius figure out how to win the favor of his captive, or will he lose the best thing to happen to him in over three hundred years?

Review

This falls back to the Charlie Richards we all know and love! It follows that lovely fated mate trope with a bit of quirky humor and some mellow smexy times.

We get to see a newly developing branch of the shifter world – the flock of odd birds who briefly resided with Declan’s wolves, is now branching out! Some of the council men we’ve met before return and we get a new series as a result!

This is the kind of Charlie story I love and I know fans of hers will as well.

4.25 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Book DA Dreamspinner Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Standalone Time to Laugh

Time to Laugh: The Blinding Light Audiobook by Renae Kaye Narrated by Jonathan Young

Dreamspinner Press
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5211

Blurb

Jake Manning’s smart mouth frequently gets him into trouble. Because of it, he can’t hold a job. Combined with some bad luck, it’s prevented him from keeping steady employment. A huge debt looms over him, and alone he shoulders the care of his alcoholic mother and three younger sisters. When a housekeeping position opens, Jake’s so desperate he leaps at the opportunity. On landing, he finds his new boss, Patrick Stanford, a fussy, arrogant, rude… and blind man.

Born without sight, Patrick is used to being accommodated, but he’s met his match with Jake, who doesn’t take any of his crap and threatens to swap all the braille labels on his groceries and run off with his guide dog unless he behaves.

Jake gets a kick out of Patrick. Things are looking up: the girls are starting their own lives and his mum’s sobriety might stick this time. He’s sacrificed everything for his family; maybe it’s time for him to live his life and start a relationship with Patrick. When his mother needs him, guilt makes his choice between family and Patrick difficult, and Jake must realize he’s not alone anymore.

Review

Renae Kaye has that amazing ability to make you laugh while she tugs at your heart strings.
She’s very “australian” and I love that aspect of her writing, you definitely feel immersed.

I’ve read/listened to this several times by now and I’m always touched by the ending. It’s so perfect. I think Jake’s mom is both OTT and absolutely a real person. We all have those family members who are … atypical… and who march to their own drum. That’s her. While Jake might be a bit too perfect for words – in the end – he gets a Cinderella type reward worthy of his goodness.

Patrick is fantastic. Curmudgeonly and surly at first, only to be completely turned around when his sh*t is thrown back in his face by the mouthy Jake.

Jake’s friends and family are funny and well rounded as characters who add to the story without really detracting from the main thread – and whom later get their own stories! – most of them.

There was an appropriate amount of smexy scenes, not overwhelming and those that were there were definitely hot.

I also liked how the two resolved the issue of money between the two of them. It might not be the most romantic way to do it, but it’s a realistic approach to a sensitive, relationship-breaking subject.

Overall just a really touching, sweet and funny romance.

Audio

On the one hand I think Jonathan Young did a great job with this. I’m not sure what his background is but if I had to guess I’d say he’s American doing an Australian accent? This is based on listening to some of his other audiobooks as well as this one. I wish he’d stuck with the accent throughout instead of going back and forth – but it worked and I bought his accent as used in dialog.

This is a fantastic way to enjoy this story.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review