Author Archives: Kara

5 and 4 Star Reviews for Whirlwind Romance by Kris Bryant #FF #Romance

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Title: Whirlwind Romance
Author Name & Publisher: Kris Bryant (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: February 16th 2016- 240 pages

Synopsis

For the past six seasons, Tristan Stark has been chasing storms throughout the Midwest for the University of Oklahoma. Teaching during the winters and hitting the road during the spring, Tristan has little time for herself, let alone time to have a solid relationship. Rival storm chaser Kate Brighten is just starting out and winds up riding along with Tristan for two weeks. It doesn’t take long for the two to begin a tumultuous love affair on the road. But the road can’t last forever and Kate isn’t everything she seems. Once trust is broken, it’s difficult to rebuild. Can Tristan accept Kate’s secrets? Or will their love be washed away in the spring storms?

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Review

FiveStars

I really loved this book. I wasn’t sure of the setting at first but Ms Bryant descriptions were written with such passion and colourful detail that you could feel the tension and the excitement along with the characters as a storm approached. The desolation and loss after a storm were also so well told that you could feel real emotions and empathy with the characters.
The characters themselves were three very different women and Ms Walsh gave them such powerful, believable and life like qualities that you felt you could actually understand and know them. Each woman was very different individuals and this brought great  depth to an already exciting and well written novel.
There were sexual encounters that added spice to the novel and enough variety of secondary characters that this novel just went full steam ahead from start to finish. Ms Bryant is an accomplished novelist and I can thoroughly recommend this scintillating novel.
Chris

 FourStars

Tris and Hunter are storm-chasers and each spring go out on the road chasing after tornadoes and recording data for their academic work.  They meet a rival crew from another university and end up taking Kate with them when her partner has to leave due to a family emergency.  Tris and Kate are hugely attracted to each other but both seem to be holding back.  Tris has trust issues stemming from a past relationship and Kate is an enigma.  She is reserved and reluctant to open up.  The descriptions of their work, following tornadoes around the midwest was fascinating and I enjoyed finding out about the subject.  I found the first person present tense a bit awkward at times though and I felt it took me a bit longer to get into the book because of it.  Once I was engrossed in the story I didn’t notice quite so much but I felt I didn’t get to know Kate as much as I would have liked because everything was from Tris’s point of view.
The story of their relationship was great and full of ups and downs.  It certainly kept my interest.  The steamy scenes were exceptionally well written and plentiful.  The intensity of their relationship came through in the writing.  I enjoyed the story a lot and by the end I was hooked.
Kitty Kat

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5, 3.5 and 3 Star Reviews for Love on Tap by Karis Walsh #F/F #Romance @KarisWalsh

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Title: Love On Tap
Author Name & Publisher: Karis Walsh (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: February 16th 2016- 240 pages

Synopsis

Lesbian Romance — Archaeologist Berit Katsaros travels the world in search of treasures from ancient times. A serious injury forces her to take a break from fieldwork and accept an interim teaching job at Whitman College. She finds nothing redeeming in her frustrating sabbatical…except her sexy landlord, Tace.

When Stacy “Tace” Lomond takes charge of her brother’s failing microbrewery, she discovers a passion and talent she never realized she possessed. After years of putting herself last and supporting others’ dreams, she’s ready to make a name for her artisanal beer among the academics and sophisticated wineries in Walla Walla, Washington. Berit might be a tempting distraction, but she’s only a temporary fixture in town and in Tace’s life.

Slow-crafted beer and time-worn artifacts. Both women recognize what’s important in their careers, but can they learn to appreciate the value of love?

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Review

FiveStars

This is the second book I have read by this author and it certainly won’t   be my last. Ms Walsh is one of the few authors who can write a truly great and interesting love story without the need of a secondary story line or plot.
Two very different main characters, both entrenched in the lives they lead. It is only after they meet that they begin to question what it is they want and need. Both woman are very strong but both hide a tender side. Their relationship grows slowly but Ms Walsh keeps the readers attention through portraying emotions we can all relate too.
A very ardent and at times amusing romance  that never fails to keep you turning the pages in anticipation and hope for a well deserved ending.
Ms Walsh has obviously done her research and this shows as we understand each characters profession with enough detail to maintain our attention without becoming boring. It’s done in such an engrossing way you feel as if you really understand the basics of beer making and the fundamental’s of archaeology not to mention the difficulties in teaching. All achieved while delivering a passionate and believable love story.
This is a novel I can thoroughly recommend to anyone who enjoys a well constructed and fluid love affair with some passionate love scenes thrown in for good measure.
Chris

 ThreeandHalfStars

I have to admit to being predisposed to loving this book. I’ve really enjoyed all the other Karis Walsh books I’ve read. But this book was a bit of a disappointment for me. Her writing is just as stellar as usual, with rounded characters and a tight plot. I think the thing that I didn’t like was a feeling of distance from the two main characters. It almost seemed as if they themselves weren’t fully engaged in their own lives, like nothing was immediate. Tace seemed to almost disassociate from things, and Berit seemed like she was never actually there in the first place. It’s the way the characters are, so I don’t know if there’s any way to actually make me feel more involved, but I wish there were. I liked the story. I loved watching Tace find herself in her brewery, and loved that Berit helped her realize that she deserves her own dream. I’m not totally sure I buy in to Berit’s resolution. I know she was sabotaging the hiring committee, but I really needed to see something that would convince me that she would take the step she finally took. All in all, an enjoyable read, but not her best.

Amy P.

ThreeStar

Stacy feels inadequate due to her lack of education. She can’t stand the college kids and the college itself in her town. When she ends up renting some rooms to injured archaeologist, Berit, she begins to see life has more to offer her. When her flaky gambler of a brother lands her with the running of a brewery he won in a poker game she could never imagine the changes it would bring to her life. Berit is in a wheelchair while she recovers from an accident at a dig site. She agrees to teach for the year at Whitman College even though she knows she will hate it.
I found it really hard to get into this book and for the first few chapters I almost gave up. The characters described didn’t seem to be real people to me. I couldn’t get into it at all. Once the interaction between Tace and Berit got going it became more interesting as they really developed. I can’t say the same for all the other characters though. Tace certainly grew as a person as a result of being with Berit and saw that her life was her own and she shouldn’t be living it to suit her siblings. Berit changed too in that she began to see that a happy life wasn’t just about work. Their relationship took a while to get going but when it did it was extremely passionate and loving. I just wish there had been a lot less angst getting there.
By the end I found I was enjoying how the story was going but it took a bit of perseverance to keep with it. I’m glad I did keep reading though as Karis Walsh is a good writer and found an interesting set of circumstances to bring her characters together.
Kitty Kat

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4 Stars for KEEP (Men of the ESRB #2) by Hollis Shiloh #MM #Paranormal @thehollisshiloh

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Title: Keep (Men Of The ESRB #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Hollis Shiloh (Spare Words Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 23rd 2015- 219 pages

Synopsis

Pete might always know when people are lying, but that doesn’t make him a good judge of character. Will he ever find a man who wants to keep him?

Pete’s the kind of guy who gets on people’s nerves. He can’t sit still. He talks too much. He doesn’t know when to shut up. And he always knows when people are lying.

While his talent wasn’t strong enough to get an empath rating from the ESRB, he now has a second chance with the new testing system they’re using. If he makes it, he’ll have some well-paying job offers from people who actually appreciate his gifts.

Maybe this time things will work out. Maybe his life will finally take a turn for the better. With some hot guys in it, too.

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Review

fourstars

ESRB stands for Extra Sensory Regulatory Bureau. 
 
In this book, the world has a bureau that rates a persons abnormal abilities such as mind reading, future predicting, etc. Well Pete, the main character in book 2 has the ability to detect lies. He can’t read the people’s thoughts, but he can get strong impressions of what they’re thinking. Pretty cool…and pretty hellish.
I’m not sure if I like Pete. I think I do, but somewhere in the middle of reading, I started to not like him so much. I felt bad for him. His ability was supposed to take him places, FINALLY, after all those years of feeling useless, but he didn’t get what he hoped for. Working for the police as a lie detector was killing him. Plus his relationships sucked. I felt for the guy, but he was just too all over the place for me to find common ground with him.
Maybe it’s because the beginning threw me off. His personality did a 180. I guess I can blame that on his depression, but really, like the police chief or captain said…he wasn’t TRYING to get to know or get along with any of the other police force. And Pete knew that. At least he knew he was on the road to self destruction.
Oh, and I think I was more devastated than Pete when “Jeff’s” true self was revealed. Man, I really wanted them to be together. I wanted them to be the main pairing, but that didn’t happen. “Jeff” started off sexy, mysterious…then he became a total A-Hole. Maybe that’s the real reason why I don’t like this story by the end. The guy Pete ended up with felt all wrong for him. Meh.
Still, I’m giving this a 4 because the author was able to make me FEEL for Pete. The emotions were spot on and convincing. I kept reading straight through, a part of me hoping that “Jeff” would redeem himself. Lol. No such luck.
~Cookie

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4.5 and 4 Star Reviews for Just Physical (The Hollywood Series #3) by Jae #FF #Romance

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Title: Just Physical  (The Hollywood Series #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Jae (Ylva Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: December 2nd 2015- 368 pages

Synopsis

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, twenty-five-year-old Jill Corrigan takes herself off the romantic market. Not wanting to become a burden to a potential partner, she focuses on her career as an actress instead. On the set of a disaster movie, she meets stunt woman Kristine “Crash” Patterson, whose easy smile instantly makes Jill wish things were different.

Meanwhile, Crash is trained to fall, but she didn’t count on falling in love. Despite their growing feelings for each other, Jill resolves to let Crash into her bed, but not her heart. As they start to play with fire on and off camera, will they really be able to keep things just physical?

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Review
FourandHalfStars

This was an interesting read. First of all, Jae writes so well that there isn’t much I don’t like of her work. The characters have depth, and personality, making the reader become invested in how they handle the conflicts in their lives. Jae makes us care about the characters’ trials and tribulations. And all the while, she entrances us with the building romance that twines around Jill and Crash, despite Jill’s efforts to push it away. And that is really what this book is about. Jill was diagnosed with MS and decided to stop living. She still struggles to prove that she can do everything she used to professionally. But in her personal life, she’s decided that she can’t put anybody else through what might happen to her, so she’s sworn off intimate, romantic relationships. Suddenly, a sexy stuntwoman crashes into her life and can’t let her go. At its most basic, this is a story about fear, and perhaps about finding someone who either makes us feel safe, or able to push past the fear in order to get to a better place. I really liked the look into the life of someone living with MS, and I liked that both characters end up taking advantage of support groups that give them insight into what they might be facing. I like getting information in this way because I think it opens me up to diversity in a way that allows me to identify with what they’re going through. This, in turn, allows me to view those differences in a way that allows me to respect and appreciate them. The MS and how Jill feels about it was the major obstacle to the relationship developing between her and Crash. But there was so much more to this story. The scenes of the movie set were intriguing, as were the glimpses into what goes into making movie stunts. Crash’s previous experiences were an integral part of Jill’s ability to feel like an equal partner in the relationship between the two. The one thing I didn’t like in this book was that Jill’s stubbornness passes a point not of credibility, but of tolerance. It’s difficult to like that part of her personality, so it’s even more difficult to see how Crash can not only tolerate it, but keep coming back for more, like a puppy who’s been kicked coming back for a nice pat on the head. Otherwise, I loved the story. And I missed Damage Control, so now I’m going to have to go back and pick that one up too. Can’t wait for more.

Amy P.

FourStars

Jill is a Hollywood actress with MS. She has sworn off relationships as it would be unfair to burden a partner with a life of caregiving if her MS got worse. She keeps working when she gets the chance but roles aren’t easy to come by when the casting directors know you have a chronic illness. When Crash is cast as her stunt double in a movie written by a friend, they don’t hit if off at all in the beginning as Jill’s aloof behaviour makes crash think she a diva. Things change and they begin to get friendly and then a whole lot more. Jill still insists that a proper relationship is not on – keep it’ just physical’.
I really warmed to this story and the characters in it. Jill obviously had trouble accepting her illness and she was so vulnerable and afraid. I could see why she wouldn’t want to burden Crash but felt so frustrated with her when she kept pushing her away. The writer really went into depth on the issue of relationships between the able bodied and those with disabilities. Crash was a wonderful, thoughtful and loving character. She was there whatever happened and I wanted her to have her happily ever after. The love scenes between the two were sizzling and loving at the same time.
The other characters, who I believe Jae wrote about in previous books, were so integral to the story. I now want to go and read their stories as there were hints of how interesting they could be. The Hollywood setting was fascinating and I wanted to know more about it all.
A really thought provoking read.
Kitty Kat

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4 Stars for Blue Moon Rising (Coyote’s Call Book 3) by Bailey Bradford #M/M #Shifter @BaileyBFun4Me

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Title: Blue Moon Rising (Coyote’s Call Book 3)
Author Name & Publisher: Bailey Bradford (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: February 9th 2016- 168 pages

Synopsis

Book three in the Coyote’s Call series

Love can conquer all, if he’ll only believe…

Roman Jonas has spent years recovering from a violent assault when he was just a teenager. He’s worked hard, and finally found his place in the world. Now, if he could only get his coyote to agree. As a medicine man for his pack, he isn’t able to shift. It’s frustrating to say the least, but not as frustrating—or confusing—as the feelings he has for former Ranger Abraham Evans.

Abraham lost the ability to do his job effectively when he was shot. His right arm and hand are close to useless, and he’s had a hell of a time not dying over the past month. Sometimes it seemed like it’d be so much easier to just give up, but a certain hazel-eyed man had captured his heart, and it wouldn’t stop beating.

When Abraham is released from the hospital, he moves to Del Rey to be closer to Roman, and because he has no one else in his life who truly cares about him.

Slowly, he and Roman begin a tentative friendship that turns into something more enduring than they’d ever dreamed of, but enemies from the past threaten everything and everyone Roman and Abraham love.

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Review

fourstars

I was really looking forward to Roman’s story after reading the other books and I’m glad I did. He found his mate in Abraham, the ranger that had been wounded after saving him. Poor Roman felt guilty, but he felt a connection with his savior.
Abraham felt it too, maybe that’s why he didn’t die from his injuries. They had to bring him back to life 3 times before he was finally stable. From then on, it was kinda fast paste, but I didn’t mind. After being abused and surviving, Roman deserved his happiness and Abraham was such a sweetheart. Oh, he’s a shifter too, though he didn’t know it. I was hoping he was something special, lol, but he turned out to be a….(gotta read the book) 😉
The bad guys weren’t in the story much. It wasn’t until the end that something bad had happened. Two things actually. Good thing Abraham is rich.
~Cookie
 ThreeandHalfStars
Let me start by saying that I have not read previous stories in this series.  That being said, I did feel a little lost and would recommend reading previous stories so that you’re able to know all of the players in this one.  I had no idea why there was conflict, was lost as to who was paired with whom and who were friends – there was just a lot going on in this story and I might have known more going in had I read the previous books.

Abraham is injured, somewhat lost, has horrible parents who are after his wealth and pines for Roman, a medicine man who he has come to care for – due to their shared history.  Abraham is a steady heartbeat throughout the story.  He is calm, strong, understanding and eventually, he finds things out about his own past that help him feel a sense of belonging.  I think that he was missing that while in the hospital and even might have when he was a park ranger.

Then you have Roman – the pack medicine man who is so innocent.  He doesn’t understand his feelings that he has when he’s around Abraham – when he does realize what he’s feeling, it’s so foreign that he’s kind of scared of the feelings.

You have so many secondary characters in this story that they were hard to track.  Then you also have the “bad guys” who might be shifters, but that was never really that clear to me.

There were also a few editing issues – misspellings, duplicated words, etc.

Overall, this was a good story, but not one that I would read again.

AvidReader

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TWO 5 and 4.5 Star Reviews for Bondage Rescue (Kiss of Leather, #3) by Morticia Knight #M/M #BDSM @MorticiaKnight

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Title: Bondage Rescue (Kiss of Leather, #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Morticia Knight (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: February 16th 2016- 187 pages

Synopsis

Kyle’s best friend Marshall resurfaces and he’s in a lot of trouble. Can the men at Kiss of Leather convince a former Dom to take on the mouthy sub?

Master Derek and his new sub Corey have signed a contract and enjoy their first scene together. The love between them is strong and Derek is as protective of his boy as ever. The only thing left that would make their world perfect would be to bring Corey’s ex-Dom and abuser to justice.

The legal firm that represents Kiss of Leather is charged with hiring a private investigator to flush out the man who orchestrated Corey’s gang rape. Stone Manning is hesitant to take the job, though. He was once wrongly accused in the death of a sub and swore never to enter a BDSM club again. But he owes attorney Glen Sharp his life after the lawyer got him acquitted.

Their meeting is disrupted when Kyle’s missing friend Marshall calls for help. Master Josh promises to help the mouthy Marshall get back on his feet under one condition—Marshall must sign a six month D/s contract as a full-time sub and prove he can fully submit to a man as well as learn to respect those around him.

Stone Manning suddenly finds himself charged with taming the brattiest sub ever. In truth, the bigger the brat, the more his heart races with excitement. Marshall promises to be just the type of challenge to inspire Stone to be a Master again. As Stone learns more about him, he sees the pain that Marshall has always tried to numb with drugs and alcohol. Stone also sees a man he could love—if he can ever reach him.

In the meantime, Stone and his investigative partner, Chuck, continue to search for Corey’s attacker. The abusive Dom appears to have gone underground. But what they don’t realize is that the closer they get to their prey, the more dangerous he becomes.

Reader Advisory: This book contains references to drug and alcohol abuse.

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Review

FiveStars

You can read this as a standalone but if you read the series in order it gives you backstory and gives you the full picture. I just love bratty subs and Marshall sure is bratty! We get to see several characters from previous books; in fact this book is partly about finding Corey’s attacker from a previous book. I love Stone and Marshall; they are so good together, even if it was a rocky start. This series is so good, I can’t wait for the next book and hopefully someday we might even see Stone’s partner at his PI firm in a book

Angie

FiveStars

This book was such a awesome addition to this series!

Kyle’s best friend Marshall resurfaces and is in a lot of trouble. Will Master Derek take on a mouthy sub.

To start of this review I have to say I loved these two men together. Marshall and his snarkiness and Derek and his calmness and his protectiveness.

There was steam in this book and action too when the Dom’s must save two of their Subs. You get to see a lot of the characters in this from the previous books in this series, which I loved!
I loved how this author wrote this story and these characters in this book! The way these men were together was just so sweet and beautiful especially how Derek was there for Marshall through everything and would not let Marshall push him away.

So I will leave this review with… I 100% loved this book and would recommend this series!

Kara

FourandHalfStars

I want to begin by saying that I love this series and this book didn’t disappoint.  Knight was able to write two very different characters who need each other for balance.

Marshall is in need of help – he is struggling in his life and needs some direction.  What he doesn’t know and couldn’t know is that he will help Stone just as much as Stone will help him.  Marshall has a very sarcastic, snarky demeanor and that’s what I love most about him.  And, while he never fully loses that personality, it does diminish a little throughout the story, which I was kind of sad about.  I would want his personality to shine through -it is what makes him so lovable.

Then you have the serious Stone.  Once a sought after Dom, wrongfully accused of harming a sub, he was never quite able to put himself back out there with another sub.  I hated that he had gone through that and wished that I had known more about the back story.  However, what he does to help both Marshall and Corey is so far beyond the realm of what I thought – I loved him in this story.  He was always calm, never angry and so very patient with Marshall.

The couple was outstanding in their patience with each other.  I liked that it was not an insta-love story – it built and built until finally, they developed a real relationship.

I love this series and can’t wait for more!

AvidReader

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, 5 Star, Angie, AvidReader, Kara, M/M, Review

4 Star Review for Heat of the Day by Lily Harlem #MMF #Romance @lily_harlem

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Title: Heat of the Day
Author Name & Publisher: Lily Harlem (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: January 16th 2016- 47 pages

Synopsis

When three become two with no explanation, emotions run high, passions flare and hearts are ripped apart.

Everyone can remember a perfect summer—one with endless blue skies, a heart brimming with true love and nights full of hot, sweaty lust. Well we’ve just had a summer like that, Piper and I, and it was spent in Spain with a man who had that certain je ne sais quoi that we couldn’t resist.

Seraphim came into our lives and blinded us with his beauty, his charisma and his exotic charm. His generosity with his mind, his affection and his body blew us away and the three of us became a joyously tangled trio who needed nothing more than to be together.

So when he left, when we had no way of tracing him, the despair was black, the pain raw and our only comfort was each other. But why did Sera leave? What would make a man walk away from his lovers? And if he showed up again on the doorstep, what the hell would happen after so much angst? One thing’s for sure, it would be an explosive reunion in many ways. Absence might make the heart grow fonder, but it can make the rest of the body highly volatile as need wars with hurt, and pain collides with desire.

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Review
FourStars

This book started out slow for me, although I understand the need for illustrating the connection that was between our trio. However, once things got rolling, it was a great little story that was quite sultry. I loved that it was a threesome, not just a twosome and that we got to see that sometimes two isn’t enough.
I liked that even though it was a short story, there was a plot line and the characters had to go to work and talk about things like moving and exploring as normal people would.
Another great story by Lily Harlem.
Renee

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Filed under 4 Star, M/M/F, Renee, Review