Recent Release: Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake

 

Good Reads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41733251-any-given-lifetime?from_search=true

 

Blurb

Neil isn’t a ghost, but he feels like one. Reincarnated with all his memories from his prior life, he spent twenty years trapped in a child’s body, wanting nothing more than to grow up and reclaim the love of his life.
As an adult, Neil finds there’s more than lost time separating them. Joshua has built a beautiful life since Neil’s death, and how exactly is Neil supposed to introduce himself? As Joshua’s long-dead lover in a new body? Heartbroken and hopeless, Neil takes refuge in his work, developing microscopic robots called nanites that can produce medical miracles.
When Joshua meets a young scientist working on a medical project, his soul senses something his rational mind can’t believe. Has Neil truly come back to him after twenty years? And if the impossible is real, can they be together at long last?

 

Review by Karen

One of the most original love stories I’ve ever read! A great twist on the popular May/December trope and an incredibly unique second chance at love story. It nearly broke my heart, but luckily the author stitched it back together!

 

Leta Blake has an incredible gift with words and shows true excellence in weaving together Neil and Joshua’s almost epic tale. The emotions in this story soar to great heights, but there is also a lot of sadness and loss to overcome. And it’s all written in such a beautiful and moving way, as if she’s writing on our hearts instead of on the pages of the book.

I don’t think anyone could read this story and not feel touched by it.  

I love the way she uses dreams and their symbolism to help the characters deal with everything that happens, and also gives them a way to connect with each other when that doesn’t seem possible in real life.

Neil is a strange and complex character, in both his lifetimes. He doesn’t make friends easily, so I was glad to see him form a friendship with Derek. Neil’s so intense and focused, so dedicated to his research, and to Joshua’s happiness. Absolutely amazing guy. I was so impatient for him to grow up so he could finally reconnect with Joshua. But the author knew better than to rush that, and she builds up the tension and emotion very skillfully.

Joshua has built a life for himself, though he never really stopped loving Neil or grieving for him.

I loved how the author gave him a way to be (mostly) happy during the years it takes Neil to grow up, again. A bittersweet interlude, that afterwards connects with Neil in the most wonderful way. Can’t say more about that, but absolutely loved it.

Alice, Neil’s “second” mother, is amazing. She loves her little boy with all her heart, knowing and accepting who he truly is, however far-fetched it must have seemed. She struck me as really special and precious, and I was glad to be given a glimpse of her HEA as well. I simply adored that we got scenes from her perspective too.

This is a truly extraordinary love story.

Number of stars out of 5: 5

 

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Neta

I was ready for some heart ache reading when I started this book, but like any other Leta Novel I read to date I was grossly unprepared for the emotional weight of it.
Neil and Joshua’s story is a heart wrenching tale of humanity and love, and I was overcome with emotions about life in general while reading.
First, you start out with Joshua in pain after losing Neil, missing out so many things they never did together because of fear. And the way he slowly built his life, picked himself up and met Lee a few years after that was awe-inspiring. I loved how Leta wrote his emotions, his love for both men, how their lives were interwoven and connected through Neil and because of his death, or should I say his life. This book really got me thinking ABOUT life and what the near future might hold for me and my loved ones, because it dealt with all that in Joshua’s life. Also, through the advancement of the nanite technology in the years 2019-2032 (the future of our present-day the book takes place in) Leta also talks about how technology evolved in our lives. Some of it is amazing and saves lives, other parts of it are too rushed and end up doing more bad then good, or changing how we live irrevocably. It is a very relevant topic in our time today, I think, and I liked that this book, despite it being a Romance, managed to enfold so many real emotions and feeling/fears readers face now or might face in the future.

The non-linear timelines are interesting, and really emphasized the convoluted nature of their lives, of Neil’s very existence. They show glimpses into the past and expose the nature of the characters, not just details from their past.

Second, the reincarnation theme has been written about, and the concept of finding yourself stuck in a too-young body is often referred in a humoristic way in books and film. Not here, Leta brought the truest- most painful depiction of a reincarnated reality in Neil. Having been born with the full knowledge and most of his memories he is in a constant state of loss and longing for the Joshua. And his mother, god bless her soul, is such a wonderful character, a true image of motherhood and limitless love. Neither one asked to be in this situation, her expecting her dead boyfriend’s baby, and Neil to simply die and not be stuck in a child’s body, desperate to grow and meet Joshua again. It was such a twisted way to live, and you can’t help but want them to be together while liking Lee and Joshua as a couple too. And they are also surrounded by mazing friends, Derek and Chris who are accepting and supporting through thick and thin.

When Neil, now aged 20 again, and Joshua meet for the first time in this lifetime, it is an explosive, erotic expression of love and longing. They ARE meant to be together, and the strength of their love is incredible. Especially as Joshua keeps talking about Neil’s faults when he remembers him, Neil is not an ideal, a sweetened memory made better by time. He is as much alive in Joshua’s heart as he is in the future Neil’s soul.

This book is about life, in all its forms, and love, of the purest kind. It deals with humanity, is about setting up your goals in life, about the journey as much as the ending. About taking chances, knowing what you need and want, and I found myself grateful for friends and family, thinking about the years to come while reading. Only Leta can take you through such a journey while you read about two men in love longing to be together. I kinda wanted to re-read it straight away, but my heart needs some room to expand before I can do that again. An amazing book by an author I admire, go read it if you like May/December, Second Chance and are just plain looking for a book unlike any other. You won’t be disappointed.

 

5 magnificent stars.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Coming Soon! Loving a Warrior by Melanie Hansen

NOV 26!

Carina Press:

https://www.carinapress.com/shop/books/9781488036194_loving-a-warrior.html

Blurb

BUD/S: six months of the most intense training there is. It’s survival of the toughest, and Matt Knytych is determined to come out the other side a navy SEAL.

Distraction is life or death. And just the sight of former marine Shane Hovland is enough to shake Matt’s concentration.

Shane came to BUD/S training ready to prove himself—again. Semper Fi is forever, but he needs a new start. Not this dangerous heat with a man he barely knows.

Everything they’ve ever wanted is riding on a thin, punishing line. And they’ll have to fight for more than just each other if they want to make it through intact.

After all, the only easy day was yesterday.

Review

First I need to warn you that this is a HFN and that this is a book one. I didn’t know that and had I known I’d have waited for the series – just because that’s how I am.

It doesn’t diminish how much I liked this but it does make me want to warn people.

Melanie Hansen’s stories are FULL of ANGST with a capital A – I knew that going in. However, this was less about the Angst and more about the slow burn and – really – the completely untenable situation.

I don’t know how these two are going to make it last – and I’ve finished book 1. I know they want to but I’m concerned about what it’s going to take to make this happen.

The other thing you should know about this is that it is VERY detailed in it’s description of BUDs training. Very.

If you are not interested in what it takes to become a SEAL – you might want to skip this – as it (easily) takes over most of the story. I found it interesting and it definitely helped shape these guys and their relationship so I can’t say it wasn’t needed for the story.

One thing I really liked was that neither of these guys is perfect. Even by the end. They are still making mistakes, not popular, full of ego and bravado… just what you’d expect from the military. That felt really authentic.

I also really loved their chemistry together because it was so antagonistic and based on competition. It was very HOT. But… they did have their moments of feelz – they were just… less often.

All in all I am bummed I have to wait til NEXT SPRING!@#$% for the next book but I’ll happily read it when it comes out.

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Steamy Romance: Curious by R.G. Alexander

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25030645-curious?from_search=true

Blurb: Are you Curious?

 

Jeremy Porter is. Though the bisexual comic book artist has known Owen Finn for most of his life—long enough to know that he is terminally straight—he can’t help but imagine what things would be like if he weren’t.

Owen is far from vanilla—as a dominant in the local fetish community, he sees as much action as Jeremy does. Lately even more.
Since Jeremy isn’t into collars and Owen isn’t into men, it seems like his fantasies will remain just that forever…until one night when Owen gets curious.

Review: This is one is one of my favourite ‘friends to lovers’ story. Both men are somewhat strong willed, alpha types who have been best friends since childhood. Owen is straight and in the D/S lifestyle while Jeremy is bi and crushing on his friend.
After witnessing a threesome involving Jeremy, Owen decides to explore his curiosity about what it’s like to be with a man. He and Jeremy explore together – Owen shows Jeremy the ropes, so to speak (smile), and Jeremy shows him that loving a man is beautiful.
The steamy scenes between the 2 men are really hot!
There is a large, supportive family (Owen’s), who have always welcomed Jeremy – they round out a really good story and start to a really good series.

4 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for 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

 

 

 

Release Day Review: Speed Dating the Boss by Sue Brown. Cowboys and Angels: Book One

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/speed-dating-the-boss-by-sue-brown-9705-b

Blurb: Will a mix of privilege and blue collar be a recipe for love… or disaster?

Dan’s pretty satisfied with his job at the working-class bar Cowboys and Angels. He enjoys his simple life, his apartment, and his cat, but he could do without the fights that break out in the bar, his boss’s meddling daughter, Ariel… oh, and a brutal, unrequited crush on his straight alpha boss, Gideon.

When Dan’s friend prepares to tie the knot, everyone insists that Dan needs a date for the wedding. Before he can protest, Ariel arranges a gay speed-dating event at the bar with Gideon as a participant. The unforeseen revelation that Gideon is bisexual raises Dan’s hopes, especially when Gideon announces that he wants to accompany Dan to the wedding. Could Gideon really be interested in Dan?

When Dan needs someone most, Gideon offers his unconditional support, and with genuine commitment, he shows Dan the kind of man he really is. Teaming up to save the wedding from a hungover groom and intolerant parents, can Gideon convince Dan they’re the best match since beer and pizza?

Review: I liked this simple, low drama and somewhat slow burn romance.
Dan has been crushing on his boss, Gideon, ever since he started working for him.
Gideon is a widower with a college age daughter. Dan assumes his boss is off limits and works on trying to get his business degree to become a manager.
I liked how clueless he was when Gideon hints that he may actually like Dan more than the normal boss/employee relationship – it made the slow burn romance a bit more realistic. Gideon was such a nice guy – he didn’t push, just continued to take care of Dan in little ways that eventually, even Dan had to admit that there could be the beginnings of a relationship.
It’s a good story, likeable secondary characters, except for Ariel – she needed to grow up.
Good story, I am looking forward to reading the next book.

3.75 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review