Saturday, August 18, 2018

Hudson's Luck by Lucy Lennox (audiobook)

Title:  Wilde Fire
Author: Lucy Lennox
My Rating: A-
Narrator: Michael Pauley

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Forever Wilde #4
Main Characters: Hudson and Charlie
Release Date: July 2018 (audiobook)
Publisher: 
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Listening Length: 9 hours and 8 minutes. 

Hudson: 

Don't ever accidentally propose to your girlfriend. In front of her family. Especially if her dad is your boss. Because when you make it clear you've made a mistake, he's likely to send you out of the country to get you as far away from his brokenhearted daughter as possible. 

It happened to me. Now I'm stuck in Ireland trying to redeem myself so I can get promoted and have the life I've planned for: successful career, loving wife and kids, a comfortable, financially secure home life in Texas. 

But all of that seems to evaporate the moment I walk into the historic pub and see the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Only, he's not a woman. 

Charlie Murray is most definitely a man - the kind of man who causes me to take a second look for the first time in my life. And a third look, and a fourth. I can't help but want to get to know him better...to get close to him, touch him, maybe even kiss him. But I'm straight. Or so I've always thought. Even if I'm not, how in the world could a feisty Irishman ever fit into the safe, predictable life for which I've always planned? 

Charlie: 

Don't ever accidentally fall for the straight guy. Especially when he's trying to pry your family's business right out from under you. I should know. Because when Hudson Wilde walks into my family's pub and begins babbling so adorably, I can't help but fall just a little bit in love. But I'm looking for Forever Man, and the sexy American is certainly not him. He's so confused about what he wants, even choosing something from the dinner menu throws him into a fuddle. But those eyes...how can I resist? 

So maybe I'll give in. One steamy night before he heads home and I go back to life at the pub. We'll never see each other again. 

Until, of course, his business deal sends me to Hobie, Texas, right into the middle of Hudson's steady life, more gay Wildes than can fit on a dance floor, and an ex-girlfriend who may or may not be content remaining an ex. 

But the more time I spend with Hudson, the more I think he might be my Forever Man after all. And I may be his. Is it possible we could both be so lucky?


My Review:
Overall: 4.25
Performance: 4.75
Story: 4.0

Hudson is the straight Wilde sibling...or is he? 

No one is more surprised than Hudson to find out that he's attracted to a man. In his mid-thirties, he's never been attracted to a man before and with all gay siblings, he's had plenty of opportunity. He gets dragged regularly to the gay clubs. He's just never been tempted...until Charlie. 

So, I'm thinking this is definitely a "gay for you" trope. And it definitely helps that Charlie is on the more femme side of the masc coin. In fact, when Hudson first meets Charlie, he has no doubt that "he's" a "she"...until he turns around. What's that saying about first impressions? Well, Charlie's first impression on Hudson definitely affects their every interaction because that initial attraction never dissipates. In fact, it just gets stronger and stronger. 

But there's a huge issue here...beyond Hudson being straight. These two guys live on opposite sides of the ocean and are very involved with their families...to the point where neither one can imagine a life where they aren't living nearby their family. But Charlie lives in Ireland and Hudson lives in Texas. 

There is a lot happening in this story. There's the pub (which belongs to Charlie's family) and all the controversy evolving with the business there. But both Charlie and Hudson have careers beyond that pub that are in a bit of upheaval throughout the story, too. Then there's obviously all the Wilde family drama happening in the background, too. 

Like every Lucy Lennox story, this was a fun and entertaining one. I didn't see how she was going to resolve everything, but she did...wonderfully. And I have to take a moment to gush over Michael Pauley's incredible narration of Charlie's Irish accent...it was gorgeously done!

Overall, it was just another GREAT installment to the Wilde saga. Now, I'm ready for Saint's story!!!

Friday, August 17, 2018

One Match Fire by Lissa Linden

Title: One Match Fire
Author: Lissa Linden
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series
Main Characters: Paul and Amy
Release Date: March 2018
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
When Amy left her beloved summer camp, heartbroken and ashamed, she swore she’d never return. Twelve years later, she’s desperate to unearth the person she was before turning into a workaholic. When her old camp advertises for a new director, Amy leaps at the chance to start over—only to find herself face-to-face with the very guy who broke her heart.

Paul hasn’t forgotten kissing Amy beneath a shooting star, or how she bolted from camp without saying goodbye. When she shows up to take the job he never thought he’d leave, Paul can hardly believe his luck. Amy is now a woman with killer curves and a sexual appetite to match. With serious vibes between them, and him nearly dead from the celibacy of life at camp, they strike a deal for a few days of sexy fun in the wilderness.

But when feelings that started long ago enter the mix and it becomes clear Amy will only trust him with her body—not her heart—Paul desperately wants to break through the armor she’s built to protect herself. And although Amy knows there’s something special about the way she reacts to Paul, something beyond skin on skin, the stakes are high enough to scare her.

With a past like theirs, they’ll either ignite a future…or burn out for good.

My Review:
I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book. I also didn't realize until I was about a quarter of the way into it that this was the author's debut book. Wow...bravo, Lissa Linden. This book is amazing!

This book is a second chance at love story for two characters who fell for one another throughout their growing up years while they attended summer camp. That all fell to pieces the summer of their 16th year when both of them got their hearts broken. 

But regardless of how it ended between the two of them, they both still desperately love this camp where everything made sense.

So, for Amy, when her world ceases to make sense, she searches out the camp online, only to discover they need a new director. She applies for the job and gets it. When she arrives at the camp, she finds out that she's replacing Paul, the guy for her best and worst memories from camp. 

Paul has been the director for 5 years. He loves the job and the camp. What he doesn't love is the loneliness of it. There's no way to meet anyone and he wants a family someday, too. So, he makes the gut-wrenching decision to quit the camp to see if he can find some fulfillment in the other areas of his life. 

He never knew what happened with Amy. He just knew that she completely disappeared without a trace or warning from his life just when things were getting interesting. So, he's really happy when it's Amy that shows up. But this isn't the same Amy he knew from before. She's harder and has very high walls around herself that he finds it almost impossible to breach, but he's not going to give up. They have two weeks together while he trains her. He fully plans to reach her in that time. 

I loved this book so, so much!! The camp is such an amazing setting for romance, especially since they're there alone for most of the book. I loved everything about it. The setup worked for me. Both Paul and Amy are great characters. I wanted them to make it together in the worst possible way.

And you should note...the cover of this book gives the impression that it's going to be a sweet, lighthearted read...which it is to a certain extent. BUT it is also incredibly hot...like hotter than most other contemporary romances out there. Although I wouldn't classify it as erotic, the amount of very hot sex in the book definitely takes it close to that ledge. Second note...the sexy times are all wonderfully, sensually written. It's HAWT!!

I definitely recommend this book. It was a GREAT read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It would be a great way for you to finish out the summer...take an imaginary adventure to summer camp! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book as a gift from the publisher.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Teaching Ben by Shae Connor

Title: Teaching Ben
Author: Shae Connor
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series
Main Characters: Ben and David
Release Date: February 2018
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Learning to love means a study in patience.

Fresh out of the military, Ben Cooper is ready for a new start. He’s away from his domineering father, making his own choices… and out of the closet. On his first day of college, he meets David Powell, who’s just the kind of gorgeous man Ben’s dreamed of. Too bad he’s the teaching assistant—which makes him off-limits in Ben’s eyes.

David is Ben’s age, but his life has taken a different path. He’s close with his family, who helped him deal with personal struggles after he came out. And while he’s staying away from any hint of scandal, Ben’s a kind of temptation he hasn’t faced in years. If only they’d met on more equal footing.

As the semester progresses and their lives become more entwined, keeping their relationship platonic becomes more difficult. They just have to hold out until the end of the semester….


My Review:
This book is exactly what I would expect from this line of romance. It was sweet and pretty light on depth of story, but it was very well written. It was entertaining and held my interest. 

In this story, David is a TA. After a rough start to his college career, he's pulled his life back together and is managing it. That is until Ben hits his class and for the first time, David finds himself tempting to get a little wild again. 

Ben has had a rough life all the way around. He joined the military when he was basically given no choice by his homophobic father. He's spent his life hiding his true self and is excited to be at college where he can be who he was meant to be...he just has to figure out exactly who that is. 

Like I said, the story was entertaining and definitely caught my attention. There's a subplot with a character named Larry that I wish had been written either a little bit better, or not there at all. As it was in the story, it seemed to jolt the story a bit because it seemed almost contrived and maybe inserted into the story after the fact. If that had been smoothed just a bit more, I think I could have really loved this book. But as it is, it provided a nice day's worth of reading diversion.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher as a gift.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Cover Reveal...Pretty Series by M. Leighton




ALL THE PRETTY LIES

-->

Live, no regrets
Her…
Sloane Locke has led a sheltered life. However, with a history like hers, she can understand why her brothers and her father want so much to protect her. She has gone along with it for twenty long years, but those days are over. For the girl who never makes promises, Sloane has made a pact with herself that things will change on her twenty-first birthday. So when the clock strikes midnight, Sloane strikes out to spread her wings and break a few rules.


Him…
In addition to inking skin, Hemi Spencer possesses many talents. Controlling himself has never been one of them. It’s never had to be. He’s lived a life of indulgence for as long as he can remember. Right up until tragedy struck. Now, he’s nothing but controlled. He’s a man on a mission, one who will let nothing and no one stand in his way.

Them…
Nothing in their lives could’ve prepared Sloane and Hemi for what they’d find in each other—distraction and obsession, love and possession. But the one thing they can’t find is a future. Neither one has been totally honest. And they’ll soon learn that the devil is in the details. In the details and in the lies.

How far will two people go to live in the now when the now is all they’ve got?


ALL THE PRETTY POSES

He never wanted to be a hero…until she needed him to be.

Strength…
It took Kennedy Moore years to put her life back together after Reese Spencer shattered it. But she did. Now, years later, strong and independent, she is in pursuit of a single dream—to dance with the Altman American Dance Theater. Unfortunately, Kennedy is learning that a woman from nowhere with no money and no contacts might never be able to reach her goal.

That is, until Reese reappears, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Kennedy just can’t refuse. In exchange for working on his yacht for a few short weeks, he’ll get her an audition with the famous dance troupe. All Kennedy has to do is keep her head down, work hard and resist Reese. That sounds easy enough, right?

Weakness…
Reese doesn’t want to make it easy for Kennedy. Seeing her again has started a fire in his blood—an unwelcome one. It took him years to forget about her before, so this time he has a plan. It’s simple: Get Kennedy on his yacht, seduce her, get her out of his system, move on with his life. That sounds easy enough, right?

But the one thing Reese didn’t plan for was Kennedy herself—a woman so strong yet so broken, she makes him want to rescue her, to take care of her. To save her. Even if he has to save her from himself.




ALL THINGS PRETTY

Pretending to be something they’re not, afraid to trust anyone completely, destined to tear each other apart– this is the story of unlikely love and unbearable consequences.

Sig Locke is a cop. He was raised by a cop and all his brothers are cops. He bleeds blue, believes in right and wrong, and sees in black and white, never in shades of gray.

But that was before he met Tommi.

Tommi, with her long legs and bright green eyes, she captured Sig’s interest from the moment he saw her. Even after he discovered who she was–the girlfriend of a drug dealer, the beauty behind a criminal–he still found her utterly irresistible. What Sig doesn’t know, however, is that she has a secret even a cop can’t uncover.

Tommi Lawrence hasn’t had an easy life, and it only got more complicated the day she met Sig. She learned long ago that she can’t trust anyone. Her gut tells her that Sig is no exception; her heart tells her that he is. But that was before she found out his real identity.

Can love be forged in a fire of lies? Or will the truth destroy them both?





THE PRETTY SERIES SET

Follow the love and heartbreak of the Locke and Spencer families as only NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR M. Leighton can tell it. Enjoy all three full-length novels at one incredible price!

ALL THE PRETTY LIES: Sloane Locke is trying to break free of her past. When she meets tattoo artist, Hemi Spencer, she knows she’s found just the man to help her do it. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that Hemi has secrets that could tear her entire world apart.

ALL THE PRETTY POSES: Exotic dancer Kennedy Moore found love fourteen years ago in the arms of the wealthy boy next door, Reese Spencer. She also found heartache that nearly destroyed her. She thought she’d finally managed to put him behind her until the day he shows up with an offer she can’t refuse.

ALL THINGS PRETTY: Sig Locke lives life by cop code. He sees things in black and white, never shades of gray. That is until he meets Tommi Lawrence. She’s the kind of woman who can make a man forget everything he thought he knew. But having her comes at a price.

****
In book one, take a ride on the wild side with Hemi and find out what it means to "live, no regrets." Grab your copy today: books2read.com/u/mV7j55
****

About M. Leighton...
New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, M. Leighton lives in the deep South with her super-hero husband and super-smart maltipoo.  She has a fondness for coffee and chocolate, loves the color red, laughs at almost anything, and often stares out her window, daydreaming of far-away places.  You can find out more about her by visiting her website at www.mleightonbooks.com

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill

Title: Wild Hunger 
Author: Chloe Neill
My Rating: A

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Heirs of Chicagoland #1
Main Characters: Lis and Connor
Release Date: August 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: mild


Story Overview:
In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill's spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she's a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he's prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

My Review:
I've made it no secret that the Chicagoland Vampires is one of my most favorite series ever. But even with that, I was surprised at how emotional I got when I started this book and started seeing all the familiar names from that series. Reading this book was like coming home and I was not disappointed by the homecoming.

So, what is the setup with this series? Elisa is Merit and Ethan's 23 yo daughter. She's been living in Paris for the last four years, but she's really been hiding from home and the secret that she's keeping from everyone. That secret is easier to control when she's not in Chicago. 

The only person who knows about the truth about her secret is Connor, the son of the shifter pack alpha...YES!! The two of them have always had a fairly contentious relationship and Elisa hates that Connor is the one who knows her secret. But she's only going to be in Chicago for a couple of weeks. She can keep everything contained during that time...at least that's what she thinks. 

OMG, did I mention how excited I am about this series? This first book set up all the relationships perfectly. There's so much underlying all the interactions between Connor and Elisa and it's so, so sexy. There's so much anticipation there. I cannot wait! But there's also Mallory's daughter who's still trying to overcome the blight that her mother's magic left in Chicago. As a result, she's turned her back on magic. These three friends have grown up together and as the story evolves, they become a team...OMG, I love that!!

Everything about this story made me happy and I can see that I'm going to love this series just as much (if not more) than I did the first. I love the dynamics and the chemistry and the wonderful friendship between these three. There's a new feel to Chicagoland and I can't wait to see where Chloe Neill takes the newest generation. 

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

Bishop by Sawyer Bennett

Title: Bishop
Author: Sawyer Bennett
My Rating: A

Genre: Sports Romance 
Series: Arizona Vengeance #1
Main Characters: Bishop and Brooke
Release Date: August 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Meet the Arizona Vengeance, hockey’s hottest new team. They’re burning up the ice—until a one-night-stand with the coach’s daughter freezes one player in his skates.

Bishop Scott, co-captain. Not too shabby, huh? It’s all part of my fresh start with the NHL’s latest expansion team, and that means new teammates, a new coach, a new city, and a big new contract. Basically, I cannot f***ing wait to show my old squad what they’re missing.

But first, I decide to check out the town before the grind begins. Turns out Arizona chicks are totally smokin’, and I’m fortunate enough to meet one who’s looking for the same thing I am: a night of anonymous, unforgettable, no-strings-attached sex.

Fast forward to the Vengeance arena. It’s the last place I expect to see her again—let alone in her own office. Then bells go off and I finally realize who this girl is: Brooke Perron. My new coach’s daughter. All of a sudden, we’re picking up right where we left off, which means our hands are all over each other. That’s when her dad—my boss—walks in. And before I can get a word out, Brooke’s introducing me as her fiancé.

Sure, she just saved my ass. So why do I get the feeling Brooke’s going to turn my world upside down? Maybe it’s because this fake relationship feels way too real. . . .
My Review:
Another hockey series from Sawyer Bennett? Yes, please. And yay...it was just as good as I expected it to be. In fact, it was fantastic!

The Arizona Vengeance are the newest expansion hockey team. The entire team is coming from all over and no one really knows who anyone is yet.

Bishop arrives in town and is open to a one night stand. He just doesn't think about the fact that he doesn't know who all the personnel for the team are yet...or who they might be related to. So, he's thrilled when he arrives at work the next day after the hottest night of his life to discover that his one night stand works for the team. He's a little less excited about the fact that she's the head coach's daughter.

Brooke is just trying to protect Bishop from making an enemy of her father when she lies about who he is. She doesn't want her dad to think Bishop was using her so she tells her dad that they've been secretly dating for months and that they're close to engaged. Because Brooke is simply worried about her dad and Bishop is truly a good guy, he goes along with the lie, even if he is pretty sure it's going to come back and bite him in the butt. 

I liked the way this relationship evolved. Neither Brooke nor Bishop are thinking anything remotely about seriously seeking a relationship. As a result, I don't think their relationship ever would have developed without this deception. It definitely made the romance work and I liked that about it. 

And we can't talk about this book without talking about just how hot it is. One of the reasons both Brooke and Bishop are willing to go along with the lie is because the sex is just simply so hot. It gives them a good excuse to keep at it...and that made for a very sexy story. These two truly enjoy each other in the bedroom. I liked it...a lot. 

The best thing about sports romance stories is that there tends to be some great bromantic moments between the guys on the team. That definitely held true for the start of this series, too. Sawyer Bennett has set up some great characters on this team. I can't wait to read all their stories. It was a fabulous start.

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

Monday, August 13, 2018

To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen

Title: To See the Sun
Author: Kelly Jensen
My Rating: A

Genre: SciFi Romance (m/m)
Series
Main Characters: Gael and Bram
Release Date: August 2018
Publisher: Riptide
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Survival is hard enough in the outer colonies—what chance does love have?

Life can be harsh and lonely in the outer colonies, but miner-turned-farmer Abraham Bauer is living his dream, cultivating crops that will one day turn the unforgiving world of Alkirak into paradise. He wants more, though. A companion—someone quiet like him. Someone to share his days, his bed, and his heart.

Gael Sonnen has never seen the sky, let alone the sun. He’s spent his whole life locked in the undercity beneath Zhemosen, running from one desperate situation to another. For a chance to get out, he’ll do just about anything—even travel to the far end of the galaxy as a mail-order husband. But no plan of Gael’s has ever gone smoothly, and his new start on Alkirak is no exception. Things go wrong from the moment he steps off the shuttle.

Although Gael arrives with unexpected complications, Abraham is prepared to make their relationship work—until Gael’s past catches up with them, threatening Abraham’s livelihood, the freedom Gael gave everything for, and the love neither man ever hoped to find.
 


My Review:
So creative...every time I finish reading a Kelly Jensen book, that's the phrase that continually runs through my head. She's an amazing story teller and this book is just another amazing example of that. 

In this book, the world is very different from the one we currently live in. Gael and Aavi grew up in the underworld of an overcrowded planet. That place is overrun with poverty and crime...and no sun or hope. They've both grown up in squalor and the very real fact that their lives are not their own. 

Gael sees a way out when he answers Bram's ad for a companion. He's basically a mail-order bride willing to relocate to a VERY foreign world. 

The world that Bram lives on is not an easy one. They're in the process of cultivating it which is slowly making it habitable, but in the meantime, the planet can easily kill a person. It's certainly not everything that Gael had hoped for and his hopes hadn't been particularly high. He just wanted to live someplace where he could see the sun...once in his life.

As it turns out, Gael finds his sun in a very unlikely place. 

Gah, I loved this book so much. On the surface, these three people shouldn't work, but they do and they grow into so much more than any of them expected. This is a beautiful love story about family and companionship and what makes up a family, a home, a place to belong. 

I loved reading this one. There are so many tiny little moments that make it a truly satisfying, happy read. I loved getting to watch these three people bond. The world is incredible, the visuals stunning, and the action non-stop. I didn't want to stop reading the whole time my kindle was on to the story. I loved it...and definitely recommend it. 

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