Monday, July 24, 2017

Get A Grip by L.A. Witt

Title: Get A Grip
Author: L.A. Witt
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Bluewater Bay #19
Main Characters: Shane and Aaron
Release Date: July 2017
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
If a tree falls in Bluewater Bay . . . could it be fate?

A year after his divorce, Shane Andrews isn’t interested in dating—not that he has time, between three kids and a demanding job as a grip. When a windstorm knocks a tree onto one of the Wolf’s Landing soundstages, Shane’s there to help with the mess . . . and so is firefighter Aaron Tucker.

A former smoke jumper, Aaron’s an adrenaline junkie and way too restless and reckless to be relationship material. As far as he’s concerned, monogamy is for penguins, and he’d rather be alone than tied down. Signing up to be a stepparent? No, thank you.

But after a scorching-hot night together, they’re hooked. Aaron is a taste of the excitement Shane’s been lacking, and Shane’s pushing buttons Aaron didn’t know he had. The more they’re together, the less Aaron craves wild nights with other men . . . but the more Shane wants to play the field like he never got to in his twenties.

This could be the love neither man knew he needed, but only if Shane gets his feet back on the ground before Aaron walks away.

My Review:
I really enjoyed this book, although I read it during a crazy week, so it took me four days to get through it. It just made me enjoy the story more because I truly got to immerse myself into the details of the story. 

I liked these guys just because they are both older, although they don't really want to accept the reality of that. Aaron has lived the life of a single, go-lucky, adrenaline junkie. Shane got a girl pregnant at the age of eighteen, so he's always had the responsibility. He's never had the chance to be the happy go lucky guy that Aaron has had. But now that his kids are older and he has his second divorce under his belt, he no longer wants serious relationships. Been there, done that, sucks at that. He's just at a point where he wants to have fun. Aaron is willing to do that with him especially since the sex is so incredibly hot. 

The book was interesting. Shane is a monogamous guy. That's just his default, no matter that he doesn't want a serious relationship. He has to fight against that almost this entire book. That isn't the type of relationship these two guys have. Aaron sure isn't going to accept to being tied down to a guy with three kids. He's not a person who would be okay stepping into a ready-made family. 

So both guys are automatically rebelling against the idea of a relationship, although they settle into that in reality pretty quickly. These guys are just really in sync. They work together and their chemistry is fantastic. They balance one another out really well. 

Overall, I thought this book was a great addition to this series. I love this series so much and love that I can jump in and out of the series depending on how much the book appeals to me. This story was a definite recommend from me.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Cutie and the Beast by E.J. Russell

Title: Cutie and the Beast
Author: E.J. Russell
My Rating: B+

Genre: Paranormal Romance (m/m)
Series: Fae Out of Water #1
Main Characters: David and Alun
Release Date: July 2017
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.


My Review:
ooh, I really enjoyed this first book in the series and am now ready for the other two. hehe, but I guess I'm supposed to talk about this one first. 

David is a mess. He seems to be a bit of a jinx. Wherever he goes, chaos follows...to the point where's he's been banned from actually working in an office by his temp service. But an awful flu virus is going around which means he gets an assignment he was never meant to have...working in therapist, Alun's office. Oh, and he's a human...something that should never work in a therapists office who deals with troubled paranormals every day.

Alun is a fae, but he's been cursed. It looks like he has some sort of birth defect that deformed his face...into the face of a beast, but instead he'd dealing with a 200 year curse. But it works well for him as a therapist. His patients, who are also paranormal beings, see that everything in his world hasn't been perfect.

Poor Alun...my heart hurt for him. He truly feels he doesn't deserve love. And David with all his naturally helpful and caring ways is totally confusing to him. He has no idea what to make of him. David is awkward, but it's done in such a sweet way, and the thing is he knows he's awkward and has just learned to accept and embrace it. He only wants to help people, so he figures as long as he isn't hurting anyone, then it's okay to be awkward.

The book was fun and incredibly creative. It takes place in our world where no humans know that the supernaturals exist. Alun actually has a support group for humans who have been traumatized by their surprising interactions with supernatural beings. But there are all these supernaturals out there...fae, vampires, druids, and shifters. And David has a natural affinity to seeing new treatments for a lot of their maladies. 

I enjoyed the book and can't wait for the next two, featuring Alun's brothers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for honest review.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Jumping Jude by Lucy Lennox (audiobook)

Title:  Jumping Jude
Author: Lucy Lennox
My Rating: A
Narrator: Michael Pauley

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Made Marian #3
Main Characters: Jude and Derek
Release Date: February 2017 (audiobook)
Publisher: -
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Listening Length: 7 hours and 30 minutes
Jude: Reaching the top of the country music charts brings out the crazy, and there’s no one crazier than my ex. Unfortunately, his threats to out me are escalating. Enter the bodyguard of my dreams. 

I’d probably chafe under his constant presence if his attention to my body wasn’t so… ah… thorough. Now I have to worry about outing myself to millions of fans if I can’t keep my hands off him in public. 

Derek: Now I’m an ex-Marine turned babysitter. If I have to hear Jude sing his mega-hit Bluebells one more time, I might murder him myself, and after 6 years in special ops, I know my way around a weapon. Unfortunately, so does he. Except his arsenal includes washboard abs and a killer set of pipes. 

I’ve faced guns, knives, explosives and yet it’s Jude Marian who may end up bringing me to my knees. 

Fair warning: Jude and Derek's story contains frequent detailed scenes of man parts touching, little old ladies being inappropriate, and two lonely hearts coming together in perfect harmony. 


While it can also be read on its own, Jumping Jude is the third in the Made Marian series. Each book tells the story of one of the Marian brothers' search for true love. The first in the series, Borrowing Blue, is available now on Amazon. 
My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.5
Story: 4.5

Ooh, this entire series has been great so far, but I think this has been my favorite book of the series so far. 

Both the guys in this story are in the closet. For Jude, he's a country music star...a career with a fan base that isn't exactly known for it's lgbtqa acceptance. On the other hand, Derek is his bodyguard and comes from a very alpha military family...also not known for its acceptance. And at the beginning of the book, neither guy is aware that the other is gay. I liked that...a lot. 

This story covers several months in time as these two develop in their relationship. There is a lot of stress, both from Jude's high pressure job, the crazy fans, and keeping their growing feelings secret from one another. 

These two guys are very different. I like that Jude is artistic and a small guy. He's an introvert who simply puts on a different persona to interact with fans. But he loves sitting around and cuddling with Derek. I loved those evenings at home when the two of them were together and just snuggling on the couch. Derek is a big ex-army guy, but he also really loves snuggling in with Jude. Seriously, these were my favorites scenes in this book. 

I enjoyed this audiobook. In fact, I'm enjoying the entire series. I want to just sit around and listen to the next two books that are available right now. I love the Marian clan...and this author's writing. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Bonfires by Amy Lane (audiobook)

Title:  Bonfires
Author: Amy Lane
My Rating: A
Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series
Main Characters: Aaron and Larx
Release Date: June 2017 (audiobook)
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Listening Time: 9 hrs 34 min

Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.

Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.

It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.
 

My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.5
Story: 4.75

OMG, I loved this book so, so much. This story is about two older men. Larx is the high school principal. Aaron is the deputy sheriff. Their romance begins when Aaron stops to warn Larx about running on a road with no shoulder. It would be a shame if Larx and his very distracting bare torso became road-pancake. That ends up with them becoming running partners. 

They also both have teenagers at the school and as a situation arises with a couple of the football players, they become partners in trying to make the school safe for all the kids. 

Seriously, I loved this book so much. Larx works with high schoolers everyday and they love him. He's a great guy who truly cares about his students and they know that about him. 

At issue though, for both men, is that their small town isn't all that progressive. If they come out their jobs could be in jeopardy. The entire story worked brilliantly for me. I loved the various teenagers...from the two heroes three kids to the football players, especially the one who was floundering with his family. My heart broke for him. 

The book was brilliant. The audio was amazing. I think this will probably be one of those books that I'll listen to again. I do know I need to order it in print, too, because I definitely want it on my keeper shelf. 

I loved this book and HIGHLY recommend it! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Promo Post: Found at the Bookstore by Christi Snow


It's release day for FOUND AT THE BOOKSTORE!!


Story Description:
After suffering a traumatic brain injury the final football game his senior year in high school, Ryder Garrett’s life was never normal again. Most days he’s happy when he can remember the way home. There’s no room in his life for romance or love, which means he’s destined to die a virgin.

Stig Minton doesn’t remember what virginity felt like. Twelve years older than Ryder, he’s been around the block too many times to count and has the scars to prove it...both physically and mentally.

But as these two men come together to help with a wedding, they forge a friendship, a friendship they both desperately need. As their relationship evolves, feelings go deeper. But is it stupid to risk this new—and, yes necessary—bond in pursuit of something that’s doomed to fail?

They both think they’re too broken to make this work. But what if they’re wrong?

Two broken souls may just be able to find reparation in one another... 

Book #2 in the Found Series.


*****
Found at the Bookstore works as a standalone. 

But if you want to check out book #1 first, Found at the Library is on sale this week for only $.99.
(This week only.)


Story Description:
His entire life, Tommy Garrett has dealt with self-doubts. He thought he’d conquered the majority of them until a chance meeting with an author brought his illiteracy to the forefront...again. Growing up with un-diagnosed dyslexia has left Tommy barely able to read, but books are his Nirvana. Now he spends his life creating art dedicated to the love of those “untouchable” items.

Robert McIntyre, Mac, is a best-selling, highly celebrated author. But his point of view has become a little bit too narrow...until Tommy opens his eyes. That chance meeting has changed everything about his world. He has no idea how to find the beautiful man he met, and offended, at the library book sale. But when he does, Tommy’s life is in crisis-mode. It’s the holidays and Mac can’t just standby when Tommy needs help, whether Tommy wants it or not.

Two artistic men. One shared passion for books.

Life is hard, and sometimes when conflict arises you have to write your own plot twist to pull yourself out of the fray.



For Forester by J. Nathan

Title: For Forester
Author: J. Nathan
My Rating: A-

Genre: New Adult Romance
Series: For You #2
Main Characters: Trace and Marin
Release Date: July 2017
Publisher: 
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
A Standalone New Adult Sports Romance in the For You series. Each book follows a new couple.

Trace
I'm Alabama's star wide receiver. I've got mad skills on and off the field, and it's no secret I'm heading into the draft after the upcoming season. But I'm home for the summer to make some cash before my senior year. Being back under my parents' roof isn't the ideal situation, but the moment I see Marin, the star of my adolescent fantasies, I know it's about to get interesting. She may not have noticed me back then, but I've got a feeling it's just a matter of time before she lets me turn those fantasies into reality.

Marin
The last time I saw Trace Forester he was just a kid tearing up the neighborhood on his skateboard. That was when I was foolish enough to think I had the perfect husband and the perfect life. But now my life is in shambles and Trace is back, all grown up, hot as hell, and exuding major confidence. It would be so easy to fall for his good looks and undeniable charm. So easy to let him into my life. Too bad I learned the hard way that nothing worth having ever comes easy.

My Review:
Overall, this was a really good book. Normally, I'm a big fan of cougar stories, but...eeps...nineteen just felt wrong. I would have rathered that Trace was 21 and Marin was 31. That wouldn't have felt so...wrong...so completely taboo. Seriously...19 is soooo young. BUT that was really my only issue with this story. Other than that it was really good. 

The one thing that made up for Trace's young age is just his pure bravado and self-confidence. His ego knew no bounds and he's unapologetic about that. His one-line come-ons kept me laughing and smiling throughout the entire book. 

Marin, on the other hand, has been deal such a crappy hand in life. She made one mistake...granted it was a big one in that she married a total jerk, but...and this is where things get sticky. She made that completely wrong choice because she made it so young...and...um, she was two years older than Trace was in this book when she met her husband. So, you can kind of see my dilemma here. But beyond that, she's in the middle of a divorce from her narcissistic husband. Needless to say he doesn't take her dating a hot, young jock very well at all. 

The story is good. I loved the relationship that built between CJ, Marin's 5 yo son, and Trace. And of course, the addition of hot Alabama football is never a bad thing.

And I loved who Marin became around Trace. He flat out was good for her. He challenged her norms and made her see herself as worthy. I loved that. He truly cares for her and that comes through in all her actions. She's brave and self-confident around him. 

I did love every minute of reading this book. It was highly entertaining and the story riveting. It's an easy read. This author has a great writing style that I really love. Overall, I definitely recommend this one...and the first in the series, too...For Finlay.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lucky Charmed by Sharla Lovelace

Title: Lucky Charmed
Author: Sharla Lovelace
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Charmed in Texas #2
Main Characters: Carmen and Sully
Release Date: July 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Charmed, Texas, is as warm and welcoming as it sounds. But even in a small town, when it comes to love, sometimes you’ve got to take the bitter with the sweet . . . 

Carmen Frost hates honey. And bees. And in her hometown of Charmed, Texas, which practically invented the stuff, that’s a problem. The good news is that the summer Honey Festival is finally over. Even better, so is the annual Lucky Hart carnival, a road show that made off with her dreams years ago—including the boy she loved. Now she’s got a divorce behind her, and a successful law career in front of her, but in a tiny town, big memories die hard. Or they don’t die at all—as Carmen discovers when she runs into an all too familiar pair of eyes—older, wiser, and just as heart-melting as ever . . .

Sully Hart has had enough of the nomad lifestyle. Travelling with his father’s carnival gave him adventures, but it cost him much more. Now he’s home to stay, contracted to create an entertainment complex in Charmed. He wants roots, a house with a yard and all the mundane pleasures that go with it. But the girl he loved has become a woman who still wants freedom. Can she still want him? It seems he and Carmen are at each other’s throats one minute—and on each other’s lips the next. Someone’s gotta give . . .


My Review:
It's no secret that I love the way Sharla Lovelace writes her stories. This one was no exception. This book was so good...a second chance at love story...which I love.

When she was 18, Carmen was ready to run off and join the carnival to be with Sully. They were together 21 days and she was sure that he was The One. She had no doubts. He obviously did, though, because he left town without a word to her. 

Ever since that summer, she's avoided him when the carnival came to town. She even got married and divorced since then. She's good with never running into Sully again. 

So, it's a shock when the carnival leaves and Sully doesn't. He's in her town, in her grocery store...and she is not happy to know that this time he doesn't plan on leaving. 

Sully is through with the carnival. He spent his life touring with it, but now that it's time for him to settle somewhere, he can't imagine doing it anywhere but the place where he fell in love with Carmen. He just doesn't count on the small town mentality. He was the man who ruined their hometown girl. They don't forgive or forget easily. 

The irony is that Sully is finally ready to stop moving and stay in Charmed just as Carmen is ready to finally leave. She says she's going on vacation, but she's really not planning on coming back. She's always wanted to travel and her small town is slowly smothering her...something that's even worse now with Sully in town. 

I loved this book. Carmen is smart and self deprecating. She doesn't let people beat her down. I loved her for that. Her ex-husband is the mayor and is still in love with her. Sully obviously still has feelings for her and she's quite honestly fed up with it all. She's tired of being alone and judged in this small town. She wants out. 

The book is told entirely from Carmen's point of view, but this author does an amazing job revealing the heroes thoughts and motivation even though you aren't in his pov. My heart broke for him...especially as details started to come out. I actually felt really bad for her ex-husband, too. Yeah, he's not the greatest guy, but he's obviously still in love with Carmen. In the end I felt bad for him. 

There's a lot of angst and emotion to this story, but there are also lots of light-hearted moments. I loved the fact that the entire town is built around honey and Carmen hates the food. There's also a seriously poignant moment that I loved with a diner cook in the West. 

Just a great book. I highly recommend and cannot wait for the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Monday, July 17, 2017

House of Cards by Garrett Leigh

Title: House of Cards
Author: Garrett Leigh
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Porthkennack #4
Main Characters: Calum and Brix
Release Date: July 2017
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Calum Hardy’s life has unravelled. Reeling from the betrayal of a man he once loved, he boards a train heading south, with no real idea where he’s going except a world away from London.

Brix Lusmoore can hardly believe his eyes when he spots one of his oldest friends outside Truro station. He hasn’t seen Calum since he fled the capital himself four years ago, harbouring a life-changing secret. But despite the years of silence, their old bond remains, warm and true—and layered with simmering heat they’ve never forgotten.

Calum takes refuge with Brix and a job at his Porthkennack tattoo shop. Bit by bit, he rebuilds his life, but both men carry the ghosts of the past, and it will take more than a rekindled friendship and the magic of the Cornish coast to chase them away.

My Review:
This was a great book. I liked where it began and how these two guys used to be best friends until one day Brix disappeared. Fate is an awesome thing...because it led Calum to Porthkennack, which was exactly where he needed to be to find the healing he needed because Calum is a mess. Brix is a mess, too, but he covers it better. 

This is one of those stories that made me happy to read it because the two guys needed one another so much. By the end of the story, I was smiling because they were so good together. But this is a Garrett Leigh book...so it took quite a bit of angst for the two of them to get at that good point (and honestly is why she's one of my favorite authors).

There were so many things beyond the incredible romance that made this book magical...the chickens, the tattooing, the pirating, Brix's crazy family. And each one of those things just made this book that much better. I truly enjoyed it, and most definitely recommend it. It's a fabulous friends to lovers story with some great heartbroken heroes that managed to steal my heart for the day.

RECOMMEND!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Royally Romanov by Teri Wilson

Title: Royally Romanov
Author: Teri Wilson
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Royals #2
Main Characters: Finley and Maxim
Release Date: July 2017
Publisher: Pocket Star
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
In this charming modern day retelling of the 1956 classic Anastasia, a museum curator falls for a mysterious man who may or may not be a long lost heir to Russia’s imperial Romanov dynasty.

Finley Abbot is organizing the most prestigious art exhibit of her career at the Louvre museum—a retrospective of art from the House of Romanov. But the sudden appearance of Maxim Romanov threatens to turn her into the biggest laughingstock of the art world. When she finds herself falling in love, she realizes there’s even more at stake than her career. How can she trust a man with her whole world when he can’t remember a thing about his past?

After suffering a violent blow to the head, Maxim’s only clue to his identity is a notebook containing carefully researched documentation in his own handwriting indicating that he is the sole surviving descendant of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, previously thought dead in the murder of her family during Russia’s Bolshevik revolution. His struggle to put the mysterious pieces of his past back together leads him to Finley. At first, she’s convinced Maxim is nothing but a con artist. But there’s something undeniably captivating about the beautiful, brooding man who claims to be searching for his identity—something Finley can’t quite bring herself to resist. When he reveals a secret about one of the imperial FabergĂ© eggs in the collection, she accepts he may actually be telling the truth. But as soon as Finley and Maxim act on their feelings for one another, Maxim is confronted with evidence that calls into question everything he’s begun to believe about himself.


My Review:
Wow, I'll admit I'm surprised by just how much I adored this book. I've always been fascinated with the possibilities of Anastasia's story and while this was definitely a new (wonderful) twist on that, it was even better because this book was an incredible love story to Paris, too. After reading the book, I felt like I'd made a quick trip to Paris...and fell in love with it all over again. 
Okay...so the story. The hero is Maxim and the story begins with him in the hospital after he's been attacked in Paris. Now, he has no recollection of just exactly who he is, so he has to follow the clues, which quickly lead him to believe that he's Anastasia's grandson. 


The clues, and the one memory he has of a gorgeous woman, lead him to Finley, an assistant curator at the Louvre who just released a book about the Romanov's.

The book is a romance, but even more than that, it's a huge mystery built in some of the more interesting parts of Paris. I had no idea how the story would work out and that suspense kept me reading long past when I should have put my kindle down. The story was addicting. 

It was also...gorgeous. The mental visuals of this book were fantastic. From the bookstore and the ideas of the tumbleweeds to the romantic idea that one of the Romanov line could have survived...I loved every minute of reading this story. 

I completely enjoyed the romance and the conflict between Finley and Maxim. Indulging his ideas could cost her the dream job she has at the Louvre and every time she sees him, she plans it to be her last, but then they just get more and more drawn to one another. 

The book was the perfect mix of romance, mystery, and intrigue...and I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend it!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.