Recent Release: Inside Out (Road to Blissville #6) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43580798-inside-out?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Romeo Bradly and Julius Shepherd moved to Blissville for the same reason: a fresh start. Romeo was looking for a school district where he could make a real impact in the lives of students and faculty, and Julius was eager to teach one of his passions to the best and brightest at a school with a nationally ranked science program. But the sleepy little town offered them much more than they’d bargained for—quirky people, unlikely friendships, and an all-consuming attraction that turns them inside out.

When unexpected circumstances threaten to cancel the school play, Romeo’s theater background and Julius’s musical expertise make them the perfect pair to save the day. Working together so closely makes it harder for the men to ignore their growing feelings. After all, the heart knows what it wants and doesn’t care about age gaps, race, or professional conflict of interest. Romeo and Julius will learn that they have far more in common than they realize, and their differences will make them stronger if they give love a chance.

Their commitment to each other and the play will be tested when outside forces target them as a couple and exert pressure to cancel the production. Romeo and Julius vow to prove their love can conquer any challenge and will burn strong well beyond the curtain call.

Inside Out is a whimsical, May/December romance featuring a man learning to love again and a man falling in love for the first time. It is the sixth book in the Road to Blissville series and can be read as a standalone book or part of the series. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for adults 18 and older.

Review
Inside Out is the 6th book of the Blissville series. This one can easily be read as a standalone. This book is very light hearted, funny. Romeo and Julius are both well developed characters. The two men come together after fighting their attraction, to help a trio of kids bring their school musical to life. As a huge musical nerd, I thoroughly loved this plot line. Julius ends up composing the music and the scene when Romeo hears it for the first time is absolute magic. When word gets out about this musical, a homophobic faction arises to try and shut the production down. Even with the threat of a homophobic group on the rampage, this story has very little angst and still comes off as a very sweet and swoon worthy read.

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster, narrated by Seb Yarrick

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-missing-ingredient-by-brian-lancaster-9738-b

Blurb: It can take losing everything to realize what you had all along.
Up-and-coming London chef Marcus Vine is poised on the edge of success, but the only men courting him are investors. That leaves Marcus with some free time—which is fortunate, because his godchildren need him.

A year ago, a horrible accident killed Marcus’s best friend, Raine, leaving her children without a mother and her husband, Tom, without a partner. Consumed by grief, Tom has been going it alone, refusing help, but when Marcus sees him out with the children, it’s obvious that Tom and his two daughters need someone. His persistent caring finally wears Tom down, allowing him to accept the comfort Marcus offers. Soon Marcus is up to his elbows in homework, home-cooked meals, and after-school activities. Over time he helps them rebuild their world, until soon their lives are approaching normal.
Then the unexpected happens: Tom confesses he has romantic feelings for Marcus, and nothing can ever be the same.

Review:

Story 4 out of 5: Marcus, a successful chef is still reeling from the death of his best friend, Raine.
Raine left behind, Tom and their 2 children; all of whom are trying their best to cope with life without her when Marcus reconnects with the family. Marcus starts to help Tom with the day to day running of Tom’s house and his old attraction (to Tom) begins to grow again. Tom for his part, is beginning to see Marcus as more than a godfather/friend helping out; he’s beginning to feel an attraction as well.
This is the first time that Tom has non-platonic experienced feelings for any man and at first, he seems OK with it. Then he starts to second guess himself, he wonders what others will think, so he pushes Marcus away. The latter is understandably hurt, but he lets Tom figure it out and eventually, they do get their HEA.
The story is well written, with memorable characters – I really enjoyed the story, and hope to read more by this author.

Narration 4 out of 5: I quite enjoyed Seb Yarrick’s narration. He had a down to earth tone and he was good with the accents (I was pleased at how made Marcus’s Nigerian-born assistant sound ☺).
His pacing was good, giving a solid performance. I would definitely look for more of his narrations.

Overall: 4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Elias By Erin E. Keller

Good Reads

https://www.jms-books.com/erotic-romance-c-29_94/elias-p-2635.html?zenid=bt9b4JSEAEyjiUt7gDzs80

Blurb

Detective Thomas Doyle has been living a lonely, compartmentalized life ever since the death of his life partner, Aiden. He vowed never to let anybody get close to him again — the pain of losing a loved one is too much to bear. Despite his vow, Thomas is lonely, and has a number of one-night stands, sexual encounters with unnamed men he doesn’t care to remember. Then he meets Elias.

Elias Byrne knows the pain of abuse and rejection intimately. Unable to escape the clutches of his older brother, Elias dreams of someone to love, and of being loved in return. He admires Thomas, but the detective never pays him any notice. In a desperate attempt to get closer to him, Elias steals his wallet, then gives it back the next day.

Pretty soon, Thomas feels a strong attraction to the fiery, arrogant, younger man. Elias intrigues him, but he resists his growing feelings because he doesn’t want to get hurt again.

When Thomas rescues Elias from his abusive brother, can he also rescue them both from the loneliness that threatens to consume them? Can Elias conquer the detective’s hardened heart and find the love he always longed for? Or will Thomas stubbornly refuse to give himself another chance at love?

Review

Thomas has been nearly existing the past 2 years after the death of his partner Aiden. One day while on his way to work he feels a panic attack starting and ends up meeting a young man who ends up bringing him back to life. Elias has a hard life. He feels indebted to his older brother and because of this he allows his brother to prostitute him out. Elias see Thomas and becomes infatuated with him. He sees Thomas as a savior figure.
At first, I didn’t think I would like this book. I like for characters to be able to save themselves instead of waiting for someone to come do it for them. At first this is what the book seemed like but in the end, Thomas helped Elias become strong enough to help himself.
There are some difficult scenes in this book. Physical violence and an attempted rape scene so readers with triggers should be cautious. This story does end on a lighter note but hopefully there will be more to Thomas and Elias’ story down the road.
4 Stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Release Day Review: Saving Hannah by J.P. Barnaby

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/saving-hannah-by-jp-barnaby-10051-b

Blurb

Thomas Aberthol’s luck has run out. His daughter, Hannah, needs a miracle he can’t deliver. A hacker with a felony record, Thomas has little chance of finding work that will provide the care she needs. Out of money, out of options, and out of hope, he throws himself on the mercy of someone he never thought to see again.

Even after ten years, Aleksander Sanna still dreams of that drunken kiss. A perfect moment in time when Thomas wanted him. In his world of elegant code and high finance, the picture he holds of Thomas torments him in the dark of night.

Their worlds collide as Thomas interviews for the job he so desperately needs with the company Aleks inherited from his father. Thomas doesn’t get the position, but Aleks offers him a completely different kind of proposal, one suited to Thomas’s unique talents… one that will change the course of both their lives.

Review

This is a second chance at love story, with a little bit of out for you mixed in, though that’s not the focus of the book.

Our two main characters, Thomas and Aleks, used to be best friends in college and they developed deeper feelings for each other as well, though these were left unspoken. Thomas wasn’t ready to face that particular truth about himself and basically made a run for it. Things happen, not all of them good, and ten years pass before life throws them together again.

Aleks has never forgotten Thomas, and when he finds himself in a unique position to help Thomas and his little girl, who’s battling with leukemia, he grabs it with both hands. He needs Thomas’ expertise too, to help him find out what happened to his father, so they strike a mutually beneficial bargain. I very much liked what the author came up with here, and how she handled it.

Aleks and Thomas are a great pairing. I very much enjoyed watching them find their way back to each other. Aleks’ devotion and big heart instantly made me like him a great deal, and it hurt to see how alone he was “pre-Thomas”.
Thomas is a father first and foremost, but he’s not had it easy. He feels so guilty about his past and how that impacted his little girl. Hannah is always at the forefront of his mind. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place, but bravely soldiers on. I could really relate to his struggles.

This is very much a story about finding family, with Aleks embracing Hannah from the very first moment. Swoon. Way to go, Aleks!
Hannah’s a dear, such a brave young girl, and reading about her battle with her illness was heartbreaking. I think the author did a great job in describing the desperation and helplessness that Thomas and his mother have no choice but to endure, though those are luckily offset by the heartwarming moments the three of them, and later Aleks too, share and the support they find with each other.
Thomas’ mom is great, looking out for her son and understandably apprehensive about the risks he takes for both Hannah and Aleks.

As the story unfolds, this new little family is threatened from an unexpected corner, and we get more of an action-filled story, bringing suspense and tension that I hadn’t seen coming. So this book has a little bit of everything in it, combining a deeply emotional storyline with a crime/action subplot.

All in all, I found this to be a very enjoyable, surprising read.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Warren’s Peace by Emjay Haze

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

Blurb
The holidays are a time for second chances.

Warren Blessing lost his wife (two years ago), and his kids decide he’s been alone too long. They send him on a holiday singles cruise so he can meet someone new.

On the flight from Chicago to Miami, he sits next to an attractive man, but when the flight’s over, he doesn’t think he’ll see him again.

Fletcher Hammond is a professional mystery shopper for vacation destinations and travel. After a split from his unfaithful fiancé, he’s embarking on a singles cruise. He meets a lovely gentleman on the flight, whose conversation and cocktails help Fletcher through his fear of takeoffs, but he doesn’t expect to see him again.

As if by fate, a meeting in the ship’s dining room renews their mutual attraction. But can they build a relationship with distance and baggage working against them? Or will they part ways when they return to port?

Review
This is a cute and lighthearted read, low on angst or drama of any kind.

Our two MC’s, Warren and Fletcher, meet on a plane and reconnect on a cruise, spending almost all their time together having fun and living the VIP life, thanks to Fletcher’s mystery job. Reality has no chance to intrude, it’s all fun and games. I was a bit disappointed that little happened that would actually have enabled them to find a profound emotional connection. I’d have liked it better if they’d have shared some more meaningful conversations too (on page), or if there had been even the smallest problem to overcome.

Warren’s a bit ambiguous about his marriage and sexual identity, which made me feel sorry for his late wife. The kids are a nice touch, adding some extra merry fluff to the story as they cheer their dad on from the sidelines.

Number of stars out of 5: 3

 

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

Time to Get Paranormal:The Alpha’s Widower Audiobook by Susi Hawke Narrated by: Drew Bacca

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Alphas-Widower-Audiobook/B07F216KGY?qid=1535304112&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=03DB94DQSBSYGC0C7QPZ&

Blurb
Series: MacIntosh Meadows, Book 1

What’s a guy to do when his straight best friend proposes a fake marriage? Just say…yes!
Laurie Adams looked like he had it all, but his marriage was a sham, a Mr. Wrong chosen for all the wrong reasons. When his husband dies, Laurie has no time to mourn the cheating bastard, and his in-laws have decided Laurie isn’t fit to raise his children, and they’ll do anything to take them from him. He’s lost his husband and his faith in people, but he won’t lose his children, too. So he runs back home to the small farm town he’d left behind a decade ago.
Dean MacIntosh should be the perfect alpha for anyone, but all around town he’s known as Mr. Not-Quite-Right, the last man a woman dates before she finds her real Prince Charming. It should bother him, but it doesn’t. So when his childhood best friend comes running home for protection, Dean has no problem stepping in.
Except when Dean offered to fake marry Laurie, he never expected the wedding kiss to feel so sweet, and he begins to question the sexuality he once took for granted. From an awkward wedding night to an even more awkward honeymoon, Dean and Laurie find their affection runs deeper than either of them ever guessed. And maybe now is Dean’s chance to be somebody’s Mr. Right.
This audiobook contains mpreg, adults adulting in fun and sexy ways, and probably more potty-mouth language than should be used in an audiobook with kids underfoot. Eighteen-plus listeners only please.

Review: This is an enjoyable ‘friends to fake marriage to real marriage’ story! Laurie and Dean were such sweethearts and the supporting characters were great, especially Kade, whose story is now on my list to read.
Laurie goes back to his childhood home to get away from the memory of his unfaithful husband and horrid in-laws. He falls back into the friendship he shared with Dean, even though he’s always had a crush on Dean. Dean, for his part, has always considered himself straight, but when issues arise where Laurie’s kids could be taken away, Dean steps in to marry him. The way the 2 men explore their feelings for each other is sweet and funny, with the right amount of mild misunderstanding. There’s even a bit of a mystery which adds to the story.

The narration is very good – Drew Bacca is new to me. I liked his work so much that I got the next audiobook in the series (also very good).
He had different voices for the characters, had good pacing and projected the humour, sweetness and other emotions of the characters well. I was entertained!
I’m still a newbie to this trope, (mpreg, non shifting shifters), but I really like it so far.
This is another one of those stories that the audiobook is a really great way to experience the story. I loved it!

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy provided for review

 

 

 

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! Somebody to Die For Series: Requiem Inc.: Book 3 Author: Kris T. Bethke

 

 

Release Date: September 4, 2018

 

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/somebody-to-die-for-by-kris-t-bethke-9839-b

 

Blurb

Dying is easy. New love is terrifying.
Avery Wagner quit ghostwalking when he lost his beloved anchor to cancer. Now teaching others who have the ability, he’s beginning to live again—but he’s not looking for another lover, not now, maybe not ever.
But then he meets Jameson… younger, talented, dedicated, almost perfect, even though his mouth sometimes opens ahead of his brain. And Jameson wants Avery desperately, though he’ll settle for friendship if he can’t have more.
When an emergency demands they work together in the field, Avery discovers just how perfect Jameson is. But he had a perfect love once before, and he’s scared to even consider that he might have a chance at another. Can he trust Jameson with his newly healing heart?

Review

I love this series so much! This is hard for me to differentiate – because I can’t help but compare this to the previous two books, which I really loved…
On the one hand: I loved the world Bethke has given us – the ghosts, the afterlife, the alternate way of thinking… I was so PSYCHED that Avery gets a happy ending… I loved the idea of May/December – especially in this long lived world…

In the end – I didn’t like Avery. Ugh. He bothered me the entire time. I appreciated that he loved Luke and that was a big deal but man – Jameson is soooo awesome and I’m not sure Avery appreciated him like he should have.

That’s absolutely my humble opinion – obviously – but I kept wanting a grand gesture that proved Avery got what a treat Jameson was. The power balance in this couple felt off and I didn’t feel like it got it’s own footing by the end. Maybe if it’d been a bit longer…

Anyhow, I loved seeing the guys from books 1 and 2 – especially Derek – *sigh…

Fans of this series will want to read this and you don’t have to have read the others to enjoy this one but it won’t mean as much to you if you start with this one.

For the writing and the world building I’d give this a 5 for the romance a 3 – so 4 of 5 stars overall.

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest 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

 

 

 

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