Monthly Archives: January 2016

3.5 Stars for Four Alternative Christmas Presents (Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar) by Tam MacNeil #M/M #Holidays

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Title: Four Alternative Christmas Presents (Sleigh Ride-2015 Advent Calendar)
Author Name & Publisher: Tam Macneil (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 30th 2015- 24 pages

Synopsis

It’s Christmas Eve, and newly minted superhero Matt AKA “Strong Man” is in the middle of taking down one of Central City’s most notorious criminals, the mesmerist and villain Dr. Destructo. It’s Matt’s first mission, and he’s working with his idol and secret crush, Jake X-Ray. He doesn’t want anything to go wrong.

Unfortunately for him, everything goes wrong. Soon Matt finds himself racing through alternative presents, trying to capture Dr. Destructo and trying to figure out why all the Matts in these other scenarios have the one thing he really wants—a relationship with Jake.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This books was surprising good even though I not really into superheroes. It does make for an unusual Christmas story. There was a lot of mishap in this book reach made it very enjoyable. I loved Matt but just could seem to get into Jake. It was a fast paced story but I’m still not sure about the whole of this book. I never seem to have a problem with paranormal being believable but superheroes like this one I just could find it in me to believe.

Lynn

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Lynn, M/M, Review

4 Stars for The Bruise-Black Sky (More Heat Than the Sun, #5) by John Wiltshire #M/M #Dark @JohnWiltshireNZ

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Title: The Bruise-Black Sky (More Heat Than the Sun, #5)
Author Name & Publisher: John Wiltshire (MLR Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 20th 2015- 282 pages

Synopsis

Ben usually overlooks Nikolas’s occasionally jarring dissonance. Not this time. A deep rift, a terrible lie, separates them. Eleven thousand miles from Nikolas, in New Zealand, it’s bitter winter as Ben films the tragic story of a post-apocalyptic gladiator, a victim of his own personal darkness. But on receiving a death threat, Ben suspects the truth of actor Oliver Whitestone’s suicide. Someone doesn’t want this movie made. It’s fortunate for Ben, therefore, that dissonance is a state of unrest, a longing for completion. As if Nikolas would stay at home in disgrace while Ben Rider-Mikkelsen becomes the target of a crazed stalker…

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Review

fourstars

So while I really liked/loved every book in this series this one just fell a little flat for me.

You get to see more of Nikolas and Ben which I really loved but everything else was just okay I guess..
There really was not much going on in this book besides someone going after Ben when he starts playing a part in a movie, which resolved kind of quickly where you just can’t help thinking that was it….

You do get Ben and Nikolas who have their arguments, but they are also still growing as a couple. Of course I do not want to forget about the steam between these two men, which was so damn hot! There was also some action and angst in this book along with secrets. You also see some of the characters from the previous books in this series too.

Overall I did like this book, but it just did not grab me as much as the previous books had.

So I will leave this review with… I liked this book and would recommend this series!

Kara

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3.5 and 3 Stars for That Week in Acapulco by Gaëlle Cathy #FF #Romance @GCLehane

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Title: That Week in Acapulco
Author Name & Publisher: Gaëlle Cathy
Publication Date & Length: December 9th 2015- 241 pages

Synopsis

Charlene “Charlie” Campbell never used to believe in true love. The only time she did, it turned into a gigantic, life-altering mistake. So she decides to spend Christmas of 2014 in Acapulco, hoping to relive her younger days of carefree living and one-night-stands.

Alecia Moore, on the other hand, believes in true love because she found it once…and lost it. She flees another depressing Christmas in Seattle and the overwhelming attention of her close friends and family.

While the sun and sand can’t shake her blues away, a chance meeting with Charlie does, in unexpected ways.

Will it be enough for Alecia to open her heart again and for Charlie to bet once more on something she doesn’t believe in?

BONUS STORY : Happy New Life (aka Emma’s Story)

Find out what’s next for Emma…

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Review

ThreeStar

This short romance is filled with tender moments and it a loving and compassionate story with some very emotional episodes, all tenderly related by the author.
It handles sensitive relationships within the family with compassion and understanding. The author also covers  an emotive and delicate subject with empathy and tenderness.
I liked both characters and found them interesting and believable, their growing romance and the hurdles they had to surmount made a really interesting and enjoyable read.
If I was only reviewing this story I would have awarded it 5 stars, however, the novel came with the added extra of Happy New Life the ex’s story.
Unfortunately I found this very part disappointing. The bitterness felt by the ex I could understand but not the way it was handled by her family and loved ones. Her battle with addiction was handled with little real detail and her eventual new relationship happened so quickly it was not plausible.
I also felt the new relationships within the family were quickly glossed over and a little to contrived.
Although this second part of the novel did bring all loose ends together to me it just seemed a little too forced and inconceivable.
After a really great start, which I thoroughly recommend, and is definitely worth buying, the finale was sadly just a disappointment.
~Chris
ThreeandHalfStars

I’m a little at a loss with this book. I like the romance between Charlie and Alecia. Both are struggling with their last relationships. We learn quickly that Alecia is still trying to get over the death of her previous partner. There’s a combination here about it being the right time, and something indefinable about Charlie that draws Alecia into things she’s not sure she’s ready for. At the end of that week, they each go their separate ways, not expecting to see each other again. After all, they live on opposite sides of the country. But neither can stop thinking about the other. They start popping in on each other unexpectedly.

It’s when Alecia makes a surprise visit to Charlie that things go off the rails for me. Finally we get the story of Charlie’s previous relationship and wow, it’s a doozy. I think that there should have been some mention or warning about this before I picked the book up, but at the same time I’m not sure that’s something you should put on the outside blurb. Because Charlie’s previous relationship involved incest. Charlie was adopted, and never knew her biological mother, and when an attractive vibrant woman walks into her factory, she falls for her. In the course of falling in love, Emma’s mother confesses to a secret – she’d been raped as a teenager and given away the baby, and never told anybody about it. Charlie and Emma are half-sisters.

It doesn’t bother me that they fell in love, and it doesn’t bother me that they got together before they knew. It bothered me a lot that they kept having a relationship after they knew they were related. It was something I just couldn’t get past. Logically, the taboo of incest was about not combining recessive genes that resulted in genetic flaws that affected the viability of offspring. Illogically, it has been so ingrained in society, and incidentally in me, that I have a very visceral reaction to the idea that they kept having a sexual relationship after they discovered the truth. And as for Alecia, I’m not sure that in her place, I could forgive walking in to the scene she walked in on.

Quite frankly, I liked the romance in this book, but the story was overshadowed for me by the crossing of the taboo. On the other hand, I certainly haven’t stopped thinking about it. There was an additional story in this book that looks like it tells Emma’s story, from after her break up with Charlie. I think I’m going to have to read it.

~Amy P

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Filed under 3 Star, 3.5 Stars, Amy P, Chris, F/F, Review

Two 4 Stars for Forsaken by Laydin Michaels #FF #Crime

1.5

Title: Forsaken
Author Name & Publisher: Laydin Michaels (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: December 15, 2015 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Blake Campbell has always struggled with anxiety and leads an isolated life. When she rents a beach house with her best friend, the last thing she expects is murder. Her connection to Lindsay Duvall forces her to confront her lifelong issues.

Lindsay Duvall has one goal, to be a Texas Ranger. She has worked hard for it and has never let anything get in her way. But when Blake Campbell falls into her life, she shakes Lindsay’s carefully constructed foundations.

Will the hunt for this killer be the catalyst that brings Blake out of her shell and alters Lindsay’s plans for the future? Or will the moment, and the killer, escape them?

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Review

FourStars

Shy, anxious Blake finds socialising very difficult but her friend Krystal does all she can to get her out and about.  They meet State Trooper, Lindsay, at a club and all hit it off immediately.  Blake and Lindsay are attracted to each other and Blake overcomes her social anxiety and agrees to a date.  Tragedy strikes the group of friends though when a vicious murder takes place.
The story develops at a great pace, with just the right amount of tension.  Lindsay wants to become a Texas Ranger and being involved in the case could help her to her goal.  As she becomes involved withy Blake her priorities begin to change, and she realises that career isn’t everything.  Her internal conflict is clear for all to see.
Blake is certainly put through the mill – will it be too much for her or will she find resources she didn’t know she had? I enjoyed reading about their relationship and it was inter-woven well with the increasingly disturbing and tension-filled murder case.
I would recommend this book and can see further developments for these characters, should the author decide to write another instalment.

Kitty Kat

fourstars

This was an interesting read, and I truly enjoyed it, but I wonder if it could have been just that little bit better if the focus hadn’t been so split. The book starts out like a contemporary romance, and it starts out sweet and makes you like the two main characters, and root for their budding romance. Then we get sucked in to this serial killer’s mind, and the book totally takes a turn. I will say that Michaels surprised me several times – in a good way – with the plot turns and twists. What I thought was going to happen was never what happened, and I liked that. Usually in a romantic suspense novel, the romance part takes more of a lower priority than the action. In this book, they’re more equal than I’m used to seeing. I think it’s because usually both characters are involved in the suspense part together for a longer time, but that wasn’t as possible in this story, so we have more scenes of the romance than you would usually see. Anyway, what I’m trying to say, rather poorly, is that if the book focused more on being either a suspense novel, or a romance novel, it wouldn’t feel so strangely like there were two books in one.

Regardless, I liked the plot. I liked the characters. And I liked the fact that it wasn’t predictable. I’ll definitely be looking for more by this author in the future.

Amy P.

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Filed under 4 Star, Amy P, F/F, Kitty Kat, New Release, Review

4.5 Stars for Elf on the Beach (Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar) by T.J. Nichols #M/M #Holidays

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Title: Elf On The Beach (Sleigh Ride-2015 Advent Calendar)
Author Name & Publisher: TJ Nichols (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 1st 2015- 41 pages

Synopsis

Roone Sorley is an elf on a mission. He has one year to live in the mortal world and experience everything it has to offer before deciding if he is going to return to the North Pole and immortality or stay and become human. Christmas in Australia is all sun, sand, and surf. For Kyle Morgan, that means lots of tourists wanting to learn how to surf, but he hates Christmas. This time of year always reminds him about the family he doesn’t have.

With the clock ticking and only days left, Roone plans on making the most of the heat and the beach and his hot surfing instructor. Beyond that he has no idea what he wants. However with a little magic, he might be able to give Kyle exactly what he needs.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

I am totally amazed what some authors can do in just a 41 pages or less. This is my first book by this author and they are in a really good place with me because I loved this book and really loved the characters. I highly disappointed that this author does not have any other books out yet (cries softly). This was a very slow-burn type of read and it was amazing that the author was able to pull this off in 41 pages. I will definitely be watching for more books by this author.

Lynn

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Lynn, M/M, Review, Uncategorized

4 Stars for Haffling (Haffling #1) by Caleb James #M/M #YoungAdult

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Title: Haffling  (Haffling #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Caleb James (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 11th 2013- 274 pages

Synopsis

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

All sixteen-year-old Alex Nevus wants is to be two years older and become his sister Alice’s legal guardian. That, and he’d like his first kiss, preferably with Jerod Haynes, the straight boy with the beautiful girlfriend and the perfect life. Sadly, wanting something and getting it are very different. Strapped with a mentally ill mother, Alex fears for his own sanity. Having a fairy on his shoulder only he can see doesn’t help, and his mom’s schizophrenia places him and Alice in constant jeopardy of being carted back into foster care.

When Alex’s mother goes missing, everything falls apart. Frantic, he tracks her to a remote corner of Manhattan and is transported to another dimension—the land of the Unsee, the realm of the Fey. There he finds his mother held captive by the power-mad Queen May and learns he is half-human and half-fey—a Haffling.

As Alex’s human world is being destroyed, the Unsee is being devoured by a ravenous mist. Fey is vanishing, and May needs to cross into the human world. She needs something only Alex can provide, and she will stop at nothing to possess it… to possess him.

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Review

fourstars

This book made me feel a gambit of emotions. At first the story was really good and I loved it, then I got frustrated cause I was confused, I wanted to stop reading it but I just couldn’t, I like this book now, I couldn’t stop reading it, then it got better and then I was surprised due to twists in the story.

The concept of the story is great. I love stories about fairies and mortals who are half fey or something. That’s what drew me to this book.

The beginning of the book starts out great. I’m understanding it and it really draws me in. After Alex enters the park it gets complicated and confusing. I was wishing for an explanation of what was happening. After this, the story goes back and forth between understanding what was happening and being confused. About halfway through the book, that levels out and I’m understanding it and it gets smoother and better. A few surprises arise, but they are good. The ending I had a problem with, though.

Also, the cast of characters are wonderful and well developed.

Overall, the story is really great and written in such a way that it’s like I’m watching a movie. The confusing bits are a little bit difficult, but if you press in and continue the wrinkles press out and it becomes smooth.

Ariel

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3.5 Stars for Captain Kate (Galaxy Elite Fleet #1) by Sophie Angmering #Menage #Fantasy

1.5

Title: Captain Kate (Galaxy Elite Fleet #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Sophie Angmering (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: July 4, 2011 – 66pgs

Synopsis

Captain Kate Thorn makes a habit of bending the rules to suit her purposes, but then she meets two men who simply break them to get what they want.

Captain Katherine Thorn has one of the toughest reputations in the Galaxy Elite Fleet. Her problems start when she mistakes two powerful diplomats for Rim pirates, and attempts to ensure their silence regarding their rescue by using sexual blackmail. But Kate has never come across anyone like these two men before, two men who are prepared to use every method at their disposal to ensure payback, and they want to get her back in their power and in their bed.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of M/M intimacy, spanking, and questionable consent.

Publisher’s Note: This story has been previously released as part of the Seeing Stars anthology by Total-E-Bound

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

Sci-fi erotica. Seems like it would be something right up my alley. And to be sure, I found parts of the story great. I love sci-fi, and it did seem like some effort was put into the world-building. And I love erotica and some of the scenes were hot. The problem I had was that the characters themselves seemed a bit flat. Not so much the men, but definitely Captain Kate. In the beginning, she seemed extremely interesting and resourceful. She thought outside the box, and seemed to be an independent, determined woman, with an indomitable will. And apparently no ability to have good sex with anyone else, so she gave up on the idea.

Until she captures two men who she’s sure aren’t what they seem. The problem is, after all of this, she becomes a placeholder. She’s their sexual toy/slave, which is great if all you’re doing is scenes of erotica. But if you’re going to give me a plot, I want actual characters to inhabit it. After her capture, Captain Kate becomes someone who simply goes with the flow of whatever happens to her. She doesn’t interact with the two men in any way but a sexual one, which is a letdown from how promising her character started out. During her captivity, the men don’t converse with her to engage her intellect, they don’t give her anything to do, they don’t do anything but wage a subtle sexual war on her until she gives in.

I don’t want to say there’s something wrong with the situation. It could be very hot. But I feel like the story could have been more, and there was some lost potential in here. It just missed being great.

Amy P.

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Amy P, Menage, Review