...Bookfanatic

 

Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book.

This one was sweet and I really enjoyed it....

Hipster Brothel - K.A. Merikan

I just didn't "LOVE" it. 'Hipster Brothel' is a cute story about two men...total opposites for all outward appearances. Mr. B, yes that is his name of choice. Mr. B 's relationship with his partner of several years on both a personal and professional level has recently ended so he's at a bit of a personal and professional crossroads. 

 

It's after spending an evening with his supposedly straight, best friend and secret crush...Jo, that Mr. B  and Jo decide that they're going into business together making boozie jams. This is all well and good except they need finances for said business and in a less than sober state of mind Mr. B decides that he should open a 'hipster brothel' to raise finances and expand his sexual experience by offering client's the lumbersexual experience.

 

From this admittedly questionable decision springs an avalanche of miscommunication between Mr. B and his bestie Jo. Who might also have a secret crush of his own. Jo is Asian and wears his long dark hair in a bun and his unique sense of fashion only adds to his appeal and if you ask Mr. B he's hot...seriously H-O-T! and s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t and therefore unavailable. Jo's never admitted his bisexuality to anyone because until Mr. B there's never been anyone worth doing it for.

 

One of the things that threw me off kilter was the whole Mr. A and Mr. B monikers. It just sounded weird and while I had thought it would eventually just seem like a character quirk and I'd be ok with it...this just never quite happened. I did like both Jo and Mr. B.  I just didn't click with them the way I have other characters. I did however really like that their friendship was solid and the biggest reason that they were able to work out their miscommunications and find their the relationship that they both really wanted. 

 

I liked the lack of family drama over both Mr. B and Jo's sexuality and enjoyed that Mr. A turned out to be not such a bad person at the end of it all and I developed a whole new appreciation for warm, woolly socks. But, I think my favorite part of the story though was Mr. B's living accommodations I've long been a fan of quirky and unusual homes and I admit to spending an extraordinary amount of time on my computer googling images of train cars that have been converted to homes (you should go peek at Ele's review on GR for a look at a really cute one). 

 

'Hipster Brothel' was definitely a light, cute, fun and enjoyable read and while I admittedly wasn't WOWed by it, I was certainly entertained and enjoyed the light hearted and unique quirkiness of this story.  

 

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An ARC of 'Hipster Brothel' was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Well the vamp may be dead or is that undead?...but...

Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary - Jordan Castillo Price, Gomez Pugh

The libido lives on and on...

 

So let's start this round  up with some full disclosure. While I do own the e-books. What I'm reviewing here are the audiobooks for what basically amounts to the first half of Jordan Castillo Price's series Channeling Morpheus. I was fortunate enough to attend GRL last October and it afforded me the opportunity to meet a number of authors among them were several whose writing I am particularly fond of and you guessed it JCP is on that list. So when I had the opportunity to listen to the first half of this series on audiobook...of course I grabbed it...I may be crazy but seriously...I'm not crazy enough to pass up an opportunity like this.

 

I'm an absolute Psycop addict but I've read and very much enjoyed other stories by this author. So I was definitely interested in this series...see ^^^above comment^^^ (I own the books). Now my only obligation here was to listen to the audiobook and I've done that, but I do apologize for having taken so long to get to them, I had certainly intended to listen to this much sooner, but as fate would have it or real life as it's otherwise known it did take me this long but Hey! Here I am!

 

I can't in all fairness say that I didn't enjoy the stories because...well...I did. I gave this series 3.5 stars for a rating and I'm going to say this was very much a subjective rating...there's a lot of sex it these stories...I mean seriously A LOT!!! and in all fairness I was warned of this by the author herself...thanks for that heads up by the way. I can't even say that I would have wanted less sex because honestly it was very much a part of Wild Bill and Michael's relationship dynamics...and there were some pretty steamy moments happening. But I would have really liked more story because this is one hella' interesting couple who manage to get themselves into some really interestingly bizarre situations. So yes, I will be reading the remainder of this series since to say the least I'm more than a little curious to see where the road leads these two.

 

Just a quick comment on the narrator Gomez Pugh. This was my first time listening to a book narrated by this particular narrator and I have to say I'm pretty damned impressed. I liked his interpretation of both Wild Bill and Michael...so much so that I have little doubt that when I read the remainder of the books Michael and Wild Bill's voices will somehow be very familiar to me.

 

So in summary what I got was a paranormal book with one hella' interesting vamp. I can't lie I really like Wild Bill and his considerably younger boyfriend who could probably give me some make-up tips. Some interesting and precarious situations that these two managed to get in and out of with their bodies...essentially in tact and some pretty hot and stress relieving bedroom activities that if you have younger or easily offended sensibilities in your home you might want to invest in some headphones before you listen to them. So that about sums it up...good times were had by all and I'm hoping to go back for more soon.

This...is not your average love story...

The Impossible Boy - Anna Martin

I had my reservations on this one because the first line in the blurb said 'This is not your average love story.' and of course my response to that was...but is it? It it really even a love story? So I read on and I became intrigued, curious and ultimately interested...so of course reading the book became inevitable. I needed to find out for myself...was this a love story and yes, we're going with my definition of 'love story' vs 'romance' because hey, it's my review.

 

I knew from the blurb that I wasn't getting your average couple. Stan is gender fluid and while he did indicate in the story that he essentially identified himself as 'male' it was also clearly and beautifully evident that he acknowledged and even embraced the side of himself that so obviously identified as 'female'. Stan is gender fluid and wonderfully so. While Stan's life has for so many reasons not been easy neither has he wallowed in pity over the hand he's been dealt. Stan has for all intents and purposes made the most of the opportunities that have come his way and turned himself into a fashion blogging success. His looks are stunning and he could easily rule the catwalks of Europe, but Stan's no fool either, he sees the pitfalls that the fashion industry holds and especially for someone who's already dealt with anorexia so he's quite happy with his life in fashion behind the scenes. 

 

His personal life though that's another story. He's never known anyone who loved all of him...

who could see the girl...

                                  and like her...

and touch the boy...

                            and like him too...

                                                     until he walked into a bar and met Ben.

Ben's a tattooed, badass, wanna-be rocker. Who gets on look at Stan and he's a goner. He just doesn't know it...yet.

 

As much as I wanted to give the story 5 stars, in the end, I settled for 4 because for a fair chunk of this book I had a disconnect...not from Stan or Ben but from the actual story itself. There were moments when for want of a better word I was 'bored' I'd put the book down and wander off to do other things but then I'd pick it back up and start reading and wonder 'why the hell I'd ever put it down? and after a while I'd put it down again and wonder off...so I'm really not sure if it was me or the book.  Maybe it was just my mindset at the time and if this had only happened once or twice I probably would have attributed it to that but it took me 3 days to get through a book that I easily should have read in considerably less time so I'm sticking with the 4 stars and I'm also unrepentantly happy that I stuck with the book...because in the end it was a beautiful story that I'm glad I read.

 

'The Impossible Boy' wasn't a story about tow people falling in love...well, ok it sort of was but the story also told so much more. Loving someone is just the beginning, it's the making it work and how you fit into each other's lives and how and when you make the compromises and how and when you can't or don't. There was so much depth to this story, so much more than a typical romance or even those rare love stories that make me sight so contentedly at the end because I'm left feeling like what I read was real and tangible and enduring.

 

For me the biggest difference...the only real difference between a romance and a love story is how the story makes me, as a reader, feel so you it's a very personal thing...subjective, if you will. There's no right or wrong or good or bad here. Just a simple matter of opinion and in this case 'The Impossible Boy' felt like a love story. A well told love story of two people surrounded by a cast of wonderful characters. 

 

There were so many beautiful moments in this story. Moments that spoke to the heart of how much Stand and Ben cared for each other without ever using the words 'I love you'. But the one that stayed with me was Ben's and ironically it did involve the word 'love', but it was the totality of what he said that brought home, to me, the depth of his feelings for Stan...

"There is no 'what if,'" Ben said, throwing his hands up in exasperation. "I love you. That has to be enough to make you want those things, Stan. I can't give you any more than that. I love you. Please. If you love me too, the only thing I want you to promise me is to never take the man I love away from me. Never take the man who made my life complete away. I would never be able to forgive you if you did that."

'The impossible Boy' is more than just a story about falling in love. It's about finding love, making it work, fitting it into your life...in the good times and the bad, it's about fighting for it and believing in it.  It's about the kind of love that gives meaning and not just the big moments but the little ones as well and it left me feeling like what I read was real, tangible and enduring.

 

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An ARC of 'The Impossible Boy' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Listening To Dust - Brandon Shire

This was another awesome buddy read with my equally awesome friends Josy, Christelle & Lisa. While this was actually a re-read for me, having read it for the first time almost 2 years ago, it turned out to be no less of an emotional read now than it was then. I definitely stand by my original review.

 

Book Review: Listening to Dust

 

While I loved re-reading this book. I have to admit I was grateful for its brevity and I honestly don't think it's something that I will do again. This is not a cute, light or fluffy story it is heart breaking and I'll be the little puddle of goo over in the corner hugging her teddy and trying to piece herself back together again. Thanks & hugs to my awesome friends for doing this with me. I'll see you in two weeks over at Josy's place for our next buddy read, right? Life After Joe by Harper Fox yes, there will be more tears but ladies I promise the ending is totally worth it.

I loved the book and listening to the audiobook...

What Remains - Garrett Leigh

has only reinforced how much and why I loved this book. I first read this book back in June 2016 when it was released and it simply amazed me. From start to finish I couldn't get enough so when the audiobook was available for release I got out my grabby hands, how could I not? The narrator was Craig Beck whom I became completely enamored with when I listened to 'Between Ghost'.

 

While there was one tiny niggle with this book, for me, it wasn't enough to spoil the listening experience and maybe it's a case of it's me but I have to admit when I was reading the book I liked Rupert's daughter, Indie. She struck me as a sweet and precocious little thing who adored her dad and his boyfriend in spite of living with a spiteful, witch of a mother who liked to spew venom at every opportunity. Unfortunately, I found that rather sweet and precocious Indie's voice was a little irritating and I was glad that she didn't have a larger role in the story than she did.

 

I've only encountered children's voices in  one or two other stories and they were with different narrators and I found them just as irritating if not more...so you see...maybe it's me and in defense of all book narrators everywhere I really can't imagine doing the voice of a child to be anything less than challenging.

 

Children's voices aside I loved the audiobook for 'What Remains' and once again I was totally enamored by the narrator's voice. 

 

If you want to see my original review for the book (it's a long one) here's the link...

Book Review: What Remains

 

Whether listening to the audiobook or reading for me 'What Remains' was a 5 star experience worth having.

 

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An audio ARC of 'What Remains' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

There's something rotten in Denmark...

The Battle of Iron Gulch (The Town of Superstition Book 3) - Thomas G.R. Bower

Ok, I'm not sure about Denmark but you might want to avoid the town of Iron Gulch because things are definitely not good there.

 

'The Battle of Iron Gulch' is the third and final installment in R. G. Thomas's 'Town of Superstition' series and what an incredibly awesome way to wrap up a series. This one kept me turning the pages into the wee hours of the night as I traveled with Thaddeus & Co. on their quest to find Thaddeus's mother and have a final confrontation with Isadora. 

 

At the end of 'The Well of Tears' our group had decided to split into two with part of the group remaining in Superstition to take care of some things there and the other group would press on to Iron Gulch in search of Isadora and the dragon. As the second group approaches Iron Gulch they are tired and hungry and in need of shelter so they can rest before completing their trek up the mountain on the final leg of their journey.

 

Entering what at first glance appears to be a quaint little town, our weary travelers notice that upon closer inspection it is apparent that all is not as it seems in the little slice of Americana known as Iron Gulch. What was only suppose to be  a few days soon becomes more and the longer that our group is in Iron Gulch the more things they discover that just don't add up and they soon realize that Isadora isn't the only danger they have to contend with.

 

Strange things are happening in Iron Gulch and not everyone is who or what they seem to be. It's going to take all they've got for Thaddeus & Co. to get out of this alive...let alone win any battles.

 

if 'The Midnight Gardener' and 'The Well of Tears' were the cake 'The Battle of Iron Gulch' was definitely the icing and I personally have enjoyed every bite. If action and adventure is you thing this book has it in spades. If it's relationships your looking for you can stop here too. Thaddeus and Teofil are growing closer and while there's no hot and steamy sex...jeez, it is YA after all. There's hand holding and sweet kisses by moonlight and there might even be a few 'I love yous' thrown in between battles. There's even a bit of relationship drama...but it might not be quite what you're expecting and there are secrets revealed...some are a bit more surprising than others.

 

This series was like reading a modern day fairy tale. There's an evil witch and all her dastardly and honestly ugly minions, there's a damsel or two in distress, there's more than one hero there are witches, wizards, gnomes, goblins, shapeshiftes and most important of all ladies and gentlemen THERE'S A DRAGON!!! See modern day fairy tale and if that's not enough there's a happily ever after that's...just right.

 

Seriously can we talk about that perfect ending for a moment...no, I'm not going to tell you what happened. I'm going to tell you that the ending of this story for me was so well planned, it worked, it was perfect in an 'I can believe this' way and not in an 'over the top hearts and flowers, sunshine and lollipops' way.  

 

 

Also before I forget can we just take a moment to admire this cover...while I did like all 3 covers for this series, I have to admit this one is my favorite because...DRAGON!!! Sorry, I couldn't resist :)

 

Part of me is sad that this journey seems to have reached it's conclusion another part of me definitely applauds the author for it. 'Superstition' is a series that started out on a strong note, it continued on a strong note and it has ended on that same strong noted. I'm not an expert in the field of YA but I know what I like and I really, really liked this.

 

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An ARC of 'The Battle of Iron Gulch' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

It's time for the Gentlemen Brothers to take a final bow...

Broken, Collared and Ready for Revenge - James D. Cox

'Broken, Collared and Ready for Revenge' was the third and final story in 'The Gentlemen Brothers' trilogy by James Cox and that's why I decided to finish this in style with my first buddy read of the year. It was just me and Christelle this time around...apparently we were alone in our addiction to these Steampunk siblings...we're waiting for all our friends to discover this trio of steampunk hotness...and trust me...they are hot.

 

Joshua, Logan and Alex the Gentlemen brothers live in a steampunk world filled with danger and it's at the tender age of 11 that Alex quickly discovers how fast that danger can alter your reality. When their dirigible is raided, their father killed, Joshua falls to his death, or so his brothers are left to believe and Logan is rescued by the leader of the rebel force known as the Hinders it's in 'Broken, Collared and Ready for Revenge' that we get Alex's story and his is the darkest of all. Less fortunate than his brothers, Alex is taken to the mines where he's forced to dig for metals and fed barely enough to sustain himself. He and the other children there come to now hunger, abuse and deprivation as intimately as a mother's touch. Then when he's too big to dig in the tunnels he's collared and trained to be a mindless killing machine and he's raped.

 

The whole time right up until the torture that is the collar Alex believes that his brothers will find him and rightfully so because neither brother has ever given up looking for their siblings and when Joshua and Logan find each other they become even more determined to bring Alex home to them where he belongs. But it's not Joshua or Logan who give Alex the peace of mind that he needs to begin healing it's a quirky little inventor named 'one nut' Nigel, who brings peace to Alex's mind and passion to his soul.

 

I loved this series from start to finish and while the first book was admittedly my favorite I thoroughly loved the last two as well. Yes, I would have enjoyed this one had there been a little more page time dedicated to Alex and Nigel's relationship. These two men were adorable and I so enjoyed the romance as Alex discovered both his feelings and his undeniable attraction to Nigel...sweet, timid Nigel who was far more comfortable with his nose buried in a book than anywhere else until Alex came along. Their growing relationship was sweet and awkward and at times just so damned laugh-out-loud amusing. Who wouldn't want more?

 

The story of how these three brothers came to be separated and then reunited ran throughout this trilogy and while the ending was complete and nothing felt left out or missing for me it also had a tiny bit of a rushed tone to it, but that could just be me being greedy for more of something that I was enjoying...so sue me, I don't like to give up a good thing.

 

So at the end of it all...if you like steampunk, sex, damaged men, hot, fun sexy times and a solid HEA. Check this out because I think 'The Gentlemen Brothers' may be just what you're looking for.

 

Thanks for another awesome buddy read Christelle. It was definitely the right way to kick of a new year.

Things are heating up in the kitchen...again...

Embers - Kate Sherwood

Things are definitely heating up between Jericho and Wade and we were back in the kitchen again. Apparently these boys like to cook more than dinner ;)

 

I'm really, really loving this series. In 'Long Shadows' we watched as Jericho Crewe came back to Mosley to look after what he thought was a seriously injured father and it turned out it was a seriously dead father and now he's still there and this time it looks like there's a gang war brewing and once again Jericho isn't sure where he fits into all this much less what role Wade plays in things.

 

Ironically Jericho's intentions are good but he's definitely creating stress between himself and Kayla, his boss; his use to be lover and  friend, Wade; the DEA, possibly one of the local motorcycle clubs, his 'step-mom, Nikki and I think he's pretty sure that his half brother & sister are in fact the spawn of...oh, no wait, that's me who's sure of that...anyways, you get the picture right...the road to hell is paved with good intentions and Jericho's on it.

 

Add to all that the fact that Wade...the man Jericho's suppose to stay away from or at least he was apparently now the DEA want's him to make nice with Wade but the issue is that...Jericho want's to make nicer with Wade than even he thinks is a good idea.

 

So while this one still doesn't get 5 stars from me it's definitely getting 4.5 steamy, give me more, right now!!! stars. 'Dark Horse' was my first venture in reading this author and all I can say is it was good and I enjoyed it but with this one Ms Sherwood is definitely hitting her stride and I'm loving it.

 

Seriously this is good stuff right here. My only and biggest complaint is that I now have to wait until March for the next book, thankfully it's early March because I really wanted it yesterday.

 

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An ARC of 'Embers' was graciously provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

 

and once again I'm left wanting more...

Outside the Lines - Caitlin Ricci

'Outside the Lines' is the story of Alex, a young college student who is doing his internship at a shelter for homeless LGBTQ kids and Socks the young gender fluid teen who enters his life.

 

It's on his way to this work one day that Alex meets someone desperately in need of the safety and shelter offered by Trinity House. Alex has always wanted to help disadvantaged youths and Trinity House is where he hopes to start. Not really sure of what he's doing but knowing that the young person before him desperately needs help he finally convinces them to accompany him to Trinity House and this is where their friendship begins. Unwilling and fearful of revealing their name when Alex teasingly says he's going to call them Socks, they accept the sobriquet.

 

At first Socks intentions are just to spend the night but one night turns into 4 years and it's during these four years that Socks and Alex become friends. When Socks turns 18 they change their name to Trinity and go off to college giving us a 6 year gap in which there is essentially no communication between Alex and Trinity (Socks).

 

There was so much about this story that I really liked the overall premise and how it was handled really appealed to me. I liked that during Socks time as a resident of Trinity House their relationship with Alex is strictly a friendship and there are no lines crossed. Alex knows he's in love with Socks by the time Socks leave for college but he's not going to be that guy...the one who takes advantage of Socks because he'd promised Socks when he first brought them to Trinity House that he would make sure they were always safe. Even if keeping that promise meant ending their friendship by refusing to have Trinity (Socks) live with him when they aged out of Trinity House.

 

While I actually liked that there was a clean break between Alex and Trinity or Trin as they are often called, I would have enjoyed a bit of background on Trin's college years as opposed to a total time jump. There were small bits of info on their college years in the part of the story that took place after they had finished college but no actual page time for the college years.

 

I also liked the story that picked up 6 years later, however, it felt a bit abrupt and maybe even a little rushed. Once again, for me, the story would have benefited from a bit more detail and I know that this can be a slippery slope for a story when are the details too much and when aren't they enough. I seriously wish I had the magic answer for that one, sadly I do not and in this case the lack of detail seemed to keep me from feeling the strong emotional attachment that I honestly felt should have existed between Alex and Trin.

 

I know I've said it before and I'll probably say this again but I'm not a big fan of age gaps but in this case the age gap was 9 years which while hedging towards the high end of my comfort zone is still a gap that I'm ok with. Especially given the manner in which the author handled this particular situation for me it was definitely well done.

 

'Between the Lines' is probably one of the first books that I've read about someone who is gender fluid and from that perspective I found it interesting and was really impressed with the attention to detail that the author showed in regards to the use of personal pronouns and last but not least I'd like to give a nod to a cover that honestly was what initially grabbed my attention with the simplicity of it's beauty. While covers don't factor into my rating of books whenever I see one that truly captures my attention as this one did I do like to make a point of acknowledging it.

 

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An ARC of 'Outside the Lines' was graciously provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

This one wasn't easy but it was worth it...

Between Ghosts - Garrett Leigh

'Between Ghosts' makes the fourth book that I've ever read which was set during a war. Two of those books were written by Greg Iles and anyone who knows me, knows he could write a recipe book and I'd read it cover to cover, the third book was by Amy Lane and it was set during WWII as were the Greg Iles book so this book is even more unique in that it's set in modern times and that's something I really would rather avoid in my stories because the fact that men and women are still fighting and dying in wars is a reality that I don't want crossing over into my reading. I read to escape from what can often be a harsh and unfair world so it's rare that I intentionally choose something that's going to slam home the facts of what I maybe want to forget about for  a while.

 

Ok, so now you know why I choose to avoid war stories. So what made me break my rule for this one...a number of reasons not the least of which was that it got really good reviews from a number of my friends, whose opinions I trust and respect. it was written by an author who, even though, I've only read a couple of their books so far has impressed the hell outta' me and then even though I own the book and could have just read it I was presented with the opportunity to listen to the audio book and after listening to the sample, well, all I could say was sign me up because "Holy Hell!!! Craig Beck's voice just does it for me." He's British...ok? I have a weak spot for British accents...so sue me.

 

Now about the story...let me start by saying this is not what I would typically call a 'romance'. It was for a lot of intent and purpose a war story but it also contained a story about love and not just a romance, although that is there too. Ironically there were a lot of different forms of love in this story. There was the love that one has for their family, their country, the love that bonds people together, specifically soldiers, to form a family of their own during trying times and beyond and yes there was a love story as well not a grand epic romantic type of love but one that grows and endures and it's built on trials and hardships, a love that makes one person put their life on the line for another without hesitation, without second thought for their own safety and well being. It's a quiet love, soft and subtle but still filled with a passion all it's own. That was how I saw Connor and Nat's love.

 

I'm not going to go into the details of this story because I think it's a story best appreciated between the individual reader and the author's words. What I'm going to say is how I felt as I read this story...as I journeyed with Connor to find out what really happened to his brother. I felt his frustrations of not knowing the details. How could I not? I have four brothers and you can be damned sure if something happened to one of them I'd want to know the hows and whys of what happened. I felt his frustration at how he was treated by the men in the unit that he was assigned to. At feeling like he didn't quite measure up. I shared his fear and worry at being in such a volatile climate and so many other emotions. Even if I didn't truly feel them I could see and understand why they were happening because I was there in that moment with him. 

 

Garret Leigh drew me into this story with her words, Craig Beck surrounded me with it, with his narration and in the end I cried...so many tears, some were happy tears, some were sad, many were a bit of both and I think maybe not all of them were for this book so much as what it represented...the reality that I imagine gave birth to the idea because fact is stranger than fiction and it is also colder and harsher. 

 

"Between Ghost" is a story about war but it is also a reminder of the fact that even in the middle of war, that with strength and courage there can exist love and hope. For me this was an incredibly powerful story and a wonderful way to start off a new year.

 

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An audio ARC of 'Between Ghost' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I'm holding back that one star for just the right moment...

Long Shadows (Common Law Book 1) - Kate Sherwood

It's been a while since I read anything by Kate Sherwood but when I saw this one and then read the blurb I knew my Kate Sherwood dry spell had ended. 

 

'Long Shadows' is book one in a new series entitled 'Common Law' and Holy Hell!!! has this one gotten off to a good start. There's action, intrigue, mystery, suspense, hot men with sexual tension so thick you can cut it with a buzz saw and it's just going to keep getting thicker because seriously guys nothing happens...I mean zip, zilch, zero, nadda, nothing. Not even a little peck on the cheek. These guys are killing me here, but damned if I don't mind because some things are just worth the wait. 

 

It's been 15 years since Jericho Crewe last saw Wade Granger and neither man has really gotten over the other but it wasn't Wade that brought Jericho back to town. It was a phone call from an unknown person telling him his father had been badly hurt and that's just the beginning of the nightmare that becomes Jericho's life as he returns to Mosley the last place on earth that he really wants to be.

 

And this is why I'm good with the fact that nothing has happened between these two men. They've been apart for 15 years and there's been no communication. Not to mention that when Jericho left it created a rift between them that's going to take a while to fix if it ever happens at all. A lot's changed in 15 years. Jericho now wears a badge and Wade seems to have drifted further and further away from what's legal. Chances are if something illegal is happening in Mosley...Wade Granger's got a hand in it. In  spite of this the attraction between Wade and Jericho is as strong as ever.

 

The problem is Jericho's very determination to deny his attraction to Wade still exist and while Wade is just as drawn to Jericho, he seems equally determined to hang on to his anger at being left behind. Not to mention that on top of all this Jericho discovers that his 'badly injured' father is 'dead' and has left a wife and 2 children behind...that's right Jericho has a set of half siblings that have suddenly gone missing...and things just keep getting more and more complicated, so really...steamy sex? Who has the time to even think about it much less do anything. Certainly not Jericho or Wade. Both of whom seem to be firmly planted in the middle of things...and neither of which are having an inappropriate thoughts about the other...nope, nope, nope...not happening...sure it's not.

 

I won't say that this story ends on a cliff hanger exactly it's more of a 'more to come' ledge. I'd love for these two to get together but I'm honestly willing to wait because when it happens I'm pretty sure it's going to be a barn burner and my e-reader's going to go up in flames.

 

So if you need your smexy times from the word go...maybe not the series for you or wait until all 4 books have been released, which isn't that far off since the last one is scheduled for release at the beginning of April and you can power through them, but if you like a story with strong plot development and a couple of vary, vary sexy MCs and some intriguing secondary characters and goings on...I think you've come to the right place....Oh yeah, book 2 starts off every bit as good as this one did...I'll let you know how it ends...soon...probably tomorrow. Happy reading.

 

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An ARC of 'Long Shadows' was graciously provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this second installment in 'The Gentlemen Brothers', but...

Sex, Emergency Exits and Plan B's - James D. Cox

...this one only gets 4.5 Steampunk stars from me because...

 

while I loved this second installment in 'The Gentlemen Brothers'. I "LOVED" the first book so I felt that I needed to distinguish the difference somehow and this just seemed like the easiest way.

 

In the first book we found out how 'The Gentlemen Brothers' got separated and what happened to Joshua as a result and were left at the point where he was reunited with his brother, Logan.

 

Now, in 'Sex, Emergency Exits and Plan B's' we find out what has become of Logan and how he was rescued by Lucius the leader of the rebellion who is trying to figure out where all the children have gone.

 

As Joshua and Logan become reacquainted and realize that they are far from being on opposite sides of events. Logan and Lucius are discovering that their attraction to each other is not one sided for either of them and that maybe having someone to love in such uncertain times isn't the worst thing that could happen to a person.

 

Logan is one tough cookie and he's come through a lot, I'm glad he's got Lucius because I don't think either he or his brother Joshua have been through the worst of it yet. Things may seem crazy now, but the closer that 'The Gentlemen Brothers' get to finding Alex, their still missing brother the more things from the past are coming back causing disturbing facts to be revealed.

 

I'm totally loving this series it literally has it all for me. Action, adventure, romance, intrigue, sexy men, awesome world building and on and on...I can't wait to see what book 3 holds for us. We know it's about Alex and Nigel and from what we've seen of Alex so far I can't imagine that there won't be tears and rage.

 

Luckily for me book 3, 'Broken, Collared and Ready for Revenge' is loaded on my e-reader and ready for me to to enjoy...on Saturday, with a friend for my first buddy read of the new year.

 

I loved this second installment in 'The Gentlemen Brothers' but...

...this one only gets 4.5 Steampunk stars from me because...

 

while I loved this second installment in 'The Gentlemen Brothers'. I "LOVED" the first book so I felt that I needed to distinguish the difference somehow and this just seemed like the easiest way.

 

In the first book we found out how 'The Gentlemen Brothers' got separated and what happened to Joshua as a result and were left at the point where he was reunited with his brother, Logan.

 

Now, in 'Sex, Emergency Exits and Plan B's' we find out what has become of Logan and how he was rescued by Lucius the leader of the rebellion who is trying to figure out where all the children have gone.

 

As Joshua and Logan become reacquainted and realize that they are far from being on opposite sides of events. Logan and Lucius are discovering that their attraction to each other is not one sided for either of them and that maybe having someone to love in such uncertain times isn't the worst thing that could happen to a person.

 

Logan is one tough cookie and he's come through a lot, I'm glad he's got Lucius because I don't think either he or his brother Joshua have been through the worst of it yet. Things may seem crazy now, but the closer that 'The Gentlemen Brothers' get to finding Alex, their still missing brother the more things from the past are coming back causing disturbing facts to be revealed.

 

I'm totally loving this series it literally has it all for me. Action, adventure, romance, intrigue, sexy men, awesome world building and on and on...I can't wait to see what book 3 holds for us. We know it's about Alex and Nigel and from what we've seen of Alex so far I can't imagine that there won't be tears and rage.

 

Luckily for me book 3, 'Broken, Collared and Ready for Revenge' is loaded on my e-reader and ready for me to to enjoy...on Saturday, with a friend for my first buddy read of the new year.

This one had me at the cover...dragons!!!

Joshua (Faeted Book 1) - Caitlin Ricci

I love dragons. Of all the creatures in mythology they are the ones that hold my total fascination. So needless to say I love seeing how others interpret them.

 

'Joshua' is the first book in Caitlin Ricci's series 'Faeted'. The series title is in reference to 'The Faeted Matchmaking Agency' a place that specializes in helping the 'Fae' and other magical beings from the realm of fantasy/mythology find their partner(s).

 

Joshua's running out of time to find a partner, someone to help him transition to independence from his family. This doesn't need to be a love match, it could just be a long time trusted friend...if Joshua had any of these. Since a romantic relationship is preferable and Joshua is open to the idea his parents send him off to the 'Faeted Matchmaking Agency' and the staff at 'Faeted' send Joshua off to play a game of 'capture the virgin'...come on dragons and other mythological creatures, tell me this is a surprise? And it's here that Joshua meets his match in the form of Rex an eagle shifter.

 

I've only read one other book by this author and sadly this one suffers from the same condition as the previous book 'better in theory than execution', happily I did find the execution on this one to be slightly better...hence, the higher rating. In concept this book was looking at a solid 3 or more stars from me, sadly when it came time to read it the best I could muster up was 2.5 stars and some definite appreciation for the cover...it's very shiny and pretty (I might have ogled it for a few minutes).

 

I enjoyed the humor in this story and the way that the author rolled in a lot of stereotypical beliefs about dragons...liking fire, hoarding wealth (read shiny things), their love of flying, bar-b-que, virgins, etc. much of it was presented in a bit of a tongue in cheek manner that I found entertaining. I loved that while Joshua wanted someone who wasn't afraid of fire or flying, he didn't necessarily want another dragon to share his life with. This made for some interesting possibilities in the life partner department.

 

So back to why my potential 3+ star story ended up being 2.5 rounded up to a weak 3. I needed more story, I really wanted the possibilities in this story to be explored with a little more depth. Truthfully with only 27 pages I was just starting to really get into this story.

 

I liked Joshua and I think Rex and he could have produced a story that was fun and entertaining if it had just gone a little further. I would have loved to share in some of the adventures that I'm sure would have ensued as Rex helped Joshua learn the things he needed to know in order to gain independence from his family and as their own relationship grew into something based on more than their initial 'lust-at-first-site' and believe me it was lust...totally hawt! off the charts...but still it just felt like lust and I wanted them to see them find that connection that made me feel like there was more than a really strong physical attraction between these two shifters.

 

I'm not really sure where this series is going or whether or not I'll continue to read it but I'm willing to check it out when the next book is released and I'll decide from there.

 

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An ARC of "Joshua' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Where else besides Paris can you find good food, sexy men and steamy romance...

Service with a Smirk (At Your Service Book 2) - Ariel Tachna

MONTREAL!!! Of course. As you've probably guessed if you didn't already know this. I'm Canadian and I love Montreal...actually, I love Quebec in general it's a beautiful province.

 

I'm going to start with what I didn't like...or more accurately what I thought I wouldn't like about this book...the age difference...that's right, I'm not a fan of this and in this story it was considerable, but please notice I said 'I thought I wouldn't like it'. Admittedly I'm still not a fan of stories with a big age difference but if it's handled right I can still enjoy the story and I was good with how the author handled this. I felt that for as much as Mathias appreciated Pascal's maturity and experience, Pascal appreciated Mathias's vibrancy and enthusiasm for life.

 

So, now we move onto the rest of what I liked...

 

Pascal is a waiter at a high end restaurant and he likes his job. He takes pride in what he does and he does it well. So I'm going to just stop here and say this alone made me a fan of Pascal. I loved reading a story where it was ok that one of the MCs was just an average guy doing a job that is so often overlooked and undervalued. Honestly that was what attracted me to this series in the first place the fact that for me it felt like a tribute to a part of the workforce that is highly under appreciated.

 

Mathias is in banking he's on the fast track training for a management position but in the mean time he's got bills to pay so he works as a waiter at a local gay bar to enable himself to live in on rue Sainte-Catherine because like it or not when you're in a profession such as banking 'image matters'.

 

As coincidence would have it these two men live in the same apartment building. Two men, with a considerable age gap between them, at different stages in their lives and yet both wanting the same thing...someone to share their lives with.

 

Pascal had that once and then he lost it when the man he loved died. He's learned to be content with life as it is or he was until Mathias came along. Watching as these two juggled their conflicting schedules and maneuvered their own insecurities and that of the other was quite the challenge. I loved that they talked and yes, there was some miscommunication so they talked some more because in life that's what can happen. Things get said that seem clear to you and are clear as mud to the other person...so you keep talking and eventually you get to the make up sex...hot, steamy make up sex. Ironically though the best part of this romance was in their conversations. Seeing them get to know each other and find out about each other. I loved that it never felt like Pascal had an attitude of always being right because he was the older one in the relationship and if Mathias made a mistake that came from his youth or lack of experience Pascal neither embarrassed nor chastised him for it he simply acknowledged that when we are young we all make such mistakes and moved on.

 

Oops, I almost forgot one of the other things I really, really loved about this book the friends. Both of these men had friends who wanted them to be happy, who saw that they made each other happy and encouraged them to pursue the relationship because that's what friends do. When they see that something is good for you the support you and encourage you to pursue it because they're your friend and they want you to be happy.

 

'Service With A Smirk' for me was so much better than the first book in this series and both of these books can very easily be read as a standalone.

 

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An ARC of 'Service With A Smirk' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Paris the city of love...

At Your Service - Ariel Tachna

 

I've had this book a while and keep squirreling off to other things so when book 2 came out I was motivated.

 

'At Your Service' started out really well for me. It was Paris, a book conference, dinner with the boss/friend, a hot waiter and some hot sex in the city of love...how could this not end with love? Maybe if at the end of it all there's an ocean between the two people in question?

 

Anthony lives in North Carolina and he's only in Paris for a few days to attend a book fair on business. When he and his boss enter Au coeur du terroir looking for good food and a relaxing environment to enjoy their meal in, meeting Paul Delescluse is not on his list of expectations and having sex with him and waking up in his bedroom isn't even on his radar much less an expectation but that's exactly what happens again and again and again until 5 days have passed and Anthony needs to return to his real life an ocean away.

 

Paul's just looking for sex, hot steamy, take him out of his head sex and the man who enters his family restaurant where he works and who just happens to be sitting at a table in his section pushes all the right buttons for him and if his instincts are right and he's sure they are, he's not only interesting, he's interested in what Paul has to offer. So no harm no foul, right? A little bit of steamy sex, a few days of enjoying each other's company and then everyone walks away happy, right?

 

But what happens when feelings get involved? A long distance friendship, of course. Anthony's been burned once by a long distance relationship and ironically one of the things that he and Paul agree on is the fact that Paul's probably not the best candidate for relationship material much less a long distance relationship.

 

I loved the way this relationship developed. What was suppose to just be a one or two or five night stand became a long distance friendship as neither Anthony nor Paul really wanted to give up the relationship that started in Paris, but neither was willing to ask for more than friendship. It's during the building of their friendship that both men begin to realize that their attraction to each other goes beyond the boundaries of mere friendship. When Anthony is sent back to Paris on business both men continue to remain determined to keep things on a friends only basis...or at least they try.

 

Where this story lost me was when Anthony returned to Paris. I felt like Paul had a personality change at this point. He seemed to be needy and even clingy in his own way. Suddenly he was someone who couldn't seem to survive spending a night alone without it becoming a traumatic event and maintaining a monogamous relationship became a herculean task for him. Honestly I never really got this part of the story. I was ok with the fact that Paul didn't have relationships so much as hook-ups before Anthony came along. That he suddenly became this clingy, needy person was just more drama than I felt was needed. I can handle a bit of insecurity on the part of one or both partners but this seemed like it was a permanent, forever thing that was never going to go away and no matter how long they're together it's something that they're always going to be dealing with and that just didn't work for me. In the end what started out as easily being a 4 or even 5 star read for me became 3 slightly lackluster stars of neediness.

 

But to end this on a positive note I love this cover. It totally has the feel of Paris and romance about it.

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