Hanging The Stars by Rhys Ford

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

hanging-the-starsHanging The Stars: by Rhys Ford
Series:Half Moon Bay #2
Release Date: December 5th, 2016
Pages: 206 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Angel Daniels grew up hard, one step ahead of the law and always looking over his shoulder. A grifter’s son, he’d learned every con and trick in the book but ached for a normal life. Once out on his own, Angel returns to Half Moon Bay where he once found…and then lost…love.

Now, Angel’s life is a frantic mess of schedules and chaos. Between running his bakery and raising his troubled eleven-year-old half-brother, Roman, Angel has a hectic but happy life. Then West Harris returns to Half Moon Bay and threatens to break Angel all over again by taking away the only home he and Rome ever had.

When they were young, Angel taught West how to love and laugh but when Angel moved on, West locked his heart up and threw away the key. Older and hardened, West returns to Half Moon and finds himself face-to-face with the man he’d lost. Now, West is torn between killing Angel or holding him tight.

But rekindling their passionate relationship is jeopardized as someone wants one or both of them dead, and as the terrifying danger mounts, neither man knows if the menace will bring them together or forever tear them apart.

four-stars

I might be a teeny tiny tad biased. I love Rhys Ford, so I’m always going to fangirl over her writing and books. Hanging the Stars is book 2 in the Half Moon Bay series. This book started off with a bang, and definitely ended with one. I sometimes tell myself that I wish Rhys could write a straight contemporary story with no mystery heavy plot. Well, I do believe she did that with Fish Stick Fridays which I love. But to me Hanging the Stars is so much more contemporary then anything she’s every written in my opinion. I mean, I feel all gooey inside with these two. It was like BAM with the love, romance, and feelings. I’m not complaining, because it’s what I want constantly from her, but I’m shocked. West and Daniels start a relationships after not seeing each other for 10 years. They are each in different places in their lives, but past grievances seems to put them right back where they left off.

“What makes you think I’m not already in love, Just?” Angel whispered. “Because I’ve been in love with him before I even knew his damned name.”

Do you see what I’m saying? That quote was so romantic to me. Angel surprised me the most. I swear, when I started reading this that I didn’t expect him to be so warm & loving. I expected plenty of angst from these two based on how it ended. I mean of course West was a hard ass and didn’t disappoint. My opinion of his has definitely changed from book 1. He’s had years now to form some sort of relationship with Lang, Deacon and Zig. He seems to be a less bitter man. Angel is taking care of his younger brother and trying to show Rome that nothing or no one can come between them or take him away from him either.

It wouldn’t be a Rhys book without an explosion, shooting, or action packed car crash. This one didn’t disappoint. I kinda guessed who the bad guy was after a while. It was a pretty easy process of elimination. I mean, they both went through blood, sweat, and tears in this book. I did have a minor issue with after not seeing, or hearing from one another for so long that as soon as they are in direct contact with one another the passion ignites. I’m not bad at it, but it didn’t seem real. If I didn’t see my first love after ten years, or talk to them but seen them again. I think anger, tears and frustration would be my first reaction. Everyone is different so I digress on this point.

Ford is still able to produce the best side characters as well. Frank, Marzo, and Justin were amazing. I truly loved them, and liked what they were able to do for their respected counterparts. Justin definitely needs a novella or a book soon. I was crushing on him by the end of the story.

West and Angel decide to give this a relationship a go. It’s not the best of times, but waiting seems dumb when someone is trying to kill them obviously. Sure some of these events were a tad bit over the top. But it didn’t stop Angel & West from being together. There relationship moved fast on the page to me, but I do like how Angel & Rome made West a better person. They actually gave him a heart, or something similar that he’s never got. Also liked Lang & West brotherhood progressing. These two are different as night and day, but the love is still there. All in all, I thought this was a pretty enjoyable book. I find myself having super grabby hands when it comes to a Rhys Ford novel. I can never say no, she’s a favorite author of mine for a reason. It can be read as a standalone, but why would you? Fish Stick Fridays is awesome, and everything is better in pairs!

“The truth is, Lang,” Angel whispered, ” your brother hangs the stars in my goddamn sky. It sounds stupid and maybe corny, but when he’s around me, it’s like the night’s full of light. So yeah, I love him. I love him pretty hard.”

About Rhys Ford

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Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

Krampus Hates Christmas by Andi Van

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

krampusKrampus Hates Christmas: by Andi Van
Series: 2016 Advent Calendar-Bah Humbug
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 104 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Karl Kringle hates the modern-day Christmas. He was born to be Krampus, but the Holiday Council refuses to let him help his brother Nick—aka Santa Claus—with the Naughty List until he finds his holiday spirit. To meet that challenge, he’s turned human and dumped in a strange apartment.

Lewis Weatherby loves the holidays and always has. Not only do his parents own a pumpkin patch and tree farm, he’s also inherited a Christmas-themed shop. All he wants from Santa is the man of his dreams, and the Big Guy might’ve just delivered. Lewis’s new neighbor Karl is gorgeous, sweet, and has a fantastic sense of humor—if his jokes about being Krampus are any indication.

Soon getting home is less important to Karl than what will happen when Lewis inevitably realizes the truth behind his jokes. He’s finally starting to understand the real joy of the season—now he just has to figure out how to hold on to it.

four-stars

Krampus was AMAZEBALLS!!!!

Definitely a top contender in my 2016 favorite Holiday Reads!

This was my first book by Andi Van, and I loved there quirky sense of humor, and writing. Krampus is a different take on the holiday romance aspect. He’s the twin to Saint Nick, opposite in every way, shape, size and form. In in my mind Krampus original form is a Minotaur. I couldn’t get that image out my mind. LOL. I found myself laughing at the antics of these characters, having the best cheese smile on my face, and tearing up at the end.

Krampus just wants to help his brother with Christmas, but the council decides he’s not ready and doesn’t have the right spirit for it. Noel (Santa’s Husband) decides to step in and help his brother in law out. He sends Krampus to California, to stay in a nice apartment and find his holiday cheer. He’s given an illusion to look like an attractive tall guy named Karl, and staying next door to sweet Lewis who owns a holiday shop.

I really liked Lewis, and adored his best friend Jerry. Lewis is smidge overweight in his 40’s and doesn’t feel so great about himself. Putting these two together just seemed right. They were super compatible from the first meeting. I liked how open they were with each other,( within reason on Karl’s side). I loved how Karl was to willing to do new things, but stay true to himself. I think their journey was really adorable and sweet. I loved NOEL!!! I wanted more parts with him and Nick. Andi Van if you do read this, please consider giving us another holiday treat with these two! I liked Lewis’s family alot. I think they were great and very accepting of Karl and his family history when everything came to the light.

This was super fun to read! Highly recommend it, and can’t stop smiling thinking about it!

About Andi Van

Andi Van is a foul-mouthed troublemaker who lives near San Diego with a small fluffy thing named Koi, a baseball bat that’s forever being used for things other than baseball, and a fondness for rum and caffeine (though not necessarily together).

Andi is fluent in three languages (English, sarcasm, and profanity), and takes pride in a highly developed — if somewhat bizarre — sense of humor.

Glass Tidings by Amy Jo Cousins

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

glass-tidingsGlass Tidings: by Amy Jo Cousins
Series: 2016 Holiday Charity Bundle
Release Date: December 5th, 2016
Pages: 226 • Format: eARC
Published By:
Purchase Links:
RiptideAmazon

Eddie Rodrigues doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get attached. The only time he broke that rule, things went south fast. Now he’s on the road again, with barely enough cash in his pocket to hop a bus south after his (sort-of-stolen) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Midwest, USA.

He’s fine. He’ll manage. Until he watches that girl get hit by a car and left to die.

Local shop owner Grayson Croft isn’t in the habit of doing people any favors. But even a recluse can’t avoid everyone in a town as small as Clear Lake. And when the cop who played Juliet to your Romeo in the high school play asks you to put up her key witness for the night, you say yes.

Now Gray’s got a grouchy glass artist stomping around his big, empty house, and it turns out that he . . . maybe . . . kind of . . . likes the company.

But Eddie Rodrigues never sticks around.

Unless a Christmas shop owner who hates the season can show an orphan what it means to have family for the holidays.

 

three-stars

 

You guys, I really tried! So much angst, and I can’t live for this.

 

This was suppose to be my second take with Amy Jo Cousins, I have stayed CLEARED away from her since Off Campus. Off Campus was way too angsty for my taste. I’m a chicken. I don’t deal well with angst. Glass Tidings was so hard for me to get through. I kinda got defeated midpoint through the story. I LOATHED the non communication between these two. It was so much internal dialogue, and not enough dialogue between the characters. This is no way in shape form against Cousins, since its her style and people rock with it. It’s just me and my taste doesn’t sway that way.

Because of so much internal monologue going on, I don’t know if I really like Eddie & Gray. I mean, overall I think them enough, but it could be because I wanted the story to be over. Both guys are dealing with internal measures. Eddie is basically a grifter and meets Gray because of witnessing a accident. Gray is a loner, and is okay being a loner. Eddie is a products of the system and for him he doesn’t believe that people do anything for the goodness of their heart. Gray is still reeling from being left from a past lover.

This was definitely a slow burn romance. It took a long time for them to take any step towards romance. It was a lot of walking around each other in circles and the copious amount of internal monologue. It was a bit emotional and so freaking intense, but I think that has to do with the angst. I can’t recommend this for my reading pleasure, because I didn’t like it as much as I expected. It might be perfect for people who enjoy this writing style, and the way the author weaves a story.

About Amy Jo Cousins

Amy Jo Cousins lives in Chicago, where she writes contemporary romance, tweets more than she ought, and sometimes runs way too far. She loves her boy and the Cubs, who taught her that being awesome doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with winning.

Analog to Digital by Posy Roberts

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

analog-to-digitalAnalog to Digital: by Posy Roberts
Series:2016 Advent Calendar-Bah Humbug
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 39 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

For years, Ethan and Toby have said they’ll never marry, despite Ethan’s secret wishes. So leaving sunny California for snowy Minnesota to witness his sister’s vow renewal is not how he wants to spend his Christmas Eve. It’s the second time she’ll say “I do” in less than a year, when Ethan saying those words to Toby even once is hopeless.

In the run-up to the ceremony, Toby seems to avoid Ethan, and doubts grow in his absence. Ethan can’t help noticing Toby spends more time with Ethan’s family than with him. Little does Ethan know, Toby has desires of his own. But if Toby doesn’t find a way to reveal them, Ethan could leave for home without him.

 

three-stars

 

I enjoyed the overall of the story. What I had a hard time was Ethan’s behavior throughout the book. For someone in an established relationship of more then a year to act the way he did towards Toby & his family was super childish. Here we go with ADULTS not being able to communicate with one another. If my other half surprised me by bringing me home for the holidays when I live on the other side of the country; I’m going to be ecstatic and grateful. That is the one thing he didn’t do. I get it. I understood why he was angry, but he never asked anyone anything, and the few times he asked he was satisfied with the answers. Nope. Not me. I am going to investigate until I get to the bottom of this. He threw little tantrums that took away from the story to me. FFS, Toby was a sweetheart. I liked how he wanted to see the sights of where he better half came from. I don’t think Ethan realized he was a mini vacation for Toby as well. Now that I got that out of the way, I liked the story. Posy as usual writes Realistic Ficiton, and this was no different. Both guys were seemingly relatable. It was a nice holiday read!

About Posy Roberts

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Real life. Genuine men. True love.

Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.

Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep. Her daughter, a budding author and dedicated Whovian, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.

Private Truths by C.B. Lewis

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

private-truthsPrivate Truths: by C.B. Lewis
Release Date: December 2, 2016
Pages: 264 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

For two role models with their reputations on the line, privacy might be a luxury they can’t afford, and love might be impossible.

After returning from service, Army veteran Jack McCall fought his way back from addiction and joined a charity supporting homeless veterans in London, where he became an inspiration to others. He approaches Edward Marsden, Viscount Routhsley, a known playboy and philanthropist, about sponsorship for his charity. To his surprise, Edward isn’t the shallow pleasure-seeker everyone assumes, and he and Edward share many interests. Little by little, they are drawn together in spite of the different worlds they come from.

But for two men in the public eye, happiness won’t be so easily achieved. Edward fears coming out as gay will shift attention from his charity work, and Jack worries his relationship with the aristocrat will undermine the integrity of his foundation. They come under intense scrutiny, leading to an inevitable clash between Jack and the press who won’t stop harassing them. As what they’ve built comes crashing down, Jack and Edward must make a choice: continue presenting the facade the public expects, or expose the private truths in their hearts so they can be together.

four-half-stars

Okay C.B. Lewis this is 3 for 3 from you. I am in love with your writing and stories. You are so close to being a favorite author for me. Definitely an auto-buy for me. Time Lost is on my Best Books of 2016.

Private Truths is a contemporary romance novel set England. It’s slow paced and methodical in plot. I’ve been dreaming of you writing a contemporary novel and you have blown my expectations. This romance was steady paced with an actual plot. I loved the Nobelman and the Ex-Army guy falling in love. You can see the moment both guys start falling in love. Their relationship was purely sex at a point, but after an unfortunate event they care thrust together and the love, trust and devotion gradually makes an interest. Told from Jack’s pov and brilliant done, I really got to see the starting point of Jack’s interest in Edward and his love for his job.

Jack works at Those Returned a charity for veterans. Jack is uber passionate about his job. He loves making the nightly runs whether its feeding his brother in arms, or clothing them, or just checking up on them. Jack talks about his past sparingly. We know he suffered injuries while in the military. Certain incidents happen when events from 5 years ago becomes public. He’s closed himself off to his best friend because of an accident. I would call him a loner. Outside of his job and co-workers he doesn’t do much. That’s until he meets Viscount Routhsley. A blond bombshell with enough money to sponsor Those Returned. Jack makes it his mission to get Edward to invest into his charity. What starts as shameless flirting leads to other things.

I think Edward surprised me the most. When we read about Nobelman or people of nobility its always seem like they are bourgeois type, high handed type, or the looking down on folks kind. Edward and his parents were the opposite of all of this. I think he might be my favorite Nobelman. He was super down to earth, sweet, compassion and generally cared about Jack’s well being. I loved the chemistry that they both had with one another. The joking, laughing, gentleness was so much needed in my reading. I needed a real romance and I think this fit the bill on anything that I can ever ask for.

Jeez, this is what I asked for. Now, I’m sitting here thinking on what next can C.B. right for me. Idk. I love her science fiction, and obviously her contemporary novels. I don’t care at this point, I just want her to write and produce a novel every 3 months for me. I need more from her. I highly recommend this book. I highly recommend her Out of Time Series. You will not be disappointed in any of these books.

About C.B. Lewis

A book-lover from infancy, C.B. has been writing and telling stories for as long as she can remember. Based in Edinburgh, she has diverse tastes and will quite happily attempt to write any genre, but always come back to history, fantasy, and sci-fi like an old friend. C. B. Lewis is small and Scottish and can often be spotted perched around historical monuments with her notepad and pen. She has been writing and telling tales for almost as long as she can remember, and has a brain that constantly fizzes with an abundance of ideas. If she’s not working on half a dozen things at once, it should be considered a slow day. She loves to travel and just has one continent left to complete her travel bingo card. A lot of the travel has also been research-based, and if pointed at any historical event, she will research it vociferously, just because she can. Normally, she is based in Edinburgh, where she tends toward the hermit-lifestyle, needing nothing but a kettle, a constant supply of tea, and – of course – the internet. There are no cats, no puppies, no significant others, only a lot of ideas, and an awful lot of typing. And occasionally, cake. Never forget the cake.

Teddy Bears by Brandon Witt

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

teddy-bearsTeddy Bears: by Brandon Witt
Series: 2016 Advent Calendar-Bah Humbug
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 47 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Other than working the front desk of a gay bathhouse in Denver, Brian McKay is a bit of a recluse. At the best of times, his social life consists of work, role-playing games at a local toyshop, and making YouTube videos with his Teddy Bear hamsters. The arrival of the holidays—with the annoying music, Christmas shopping, and all the reminders of how he disappointed his father—just reinforces his reclusive nature.

When James Olsen, a gorgeous daddy bear who frequents the bathhouse, notices him, Brian is at a loss. He’s not proud of his own bear status or his struggle with weight. The idea that James has interest in him beyond an easy hookup is more than Brian can fathom. But with a little bit of holiday magic, James might help Brian learn to accept Christmas again—and himself.

four-stars

I think this sums up what James means to Brian.

I really adored this story. I love the feeling you get when reading this story. Teddy Bears is such an adorable, feel good story. Acceptance plays a major theme in this story. I love how quirky Brian is. I love how unapologetic James wants him to be. It was really good. I also love that they are both over 40!!! I wouldn’t mind re-visiting these two in the future. I definitely need to see what shenanigans is Phillip up to. The whole bathhouse madness, bathhouse Santa, Angel & Spike plus whatever else is going on in town needs to be shared with the masses.

Brian McKay isn’t a grouch per say, but he doesn’t like Christmas. It stems from parents who didn’t listen to a thing their children wanted or was like for Christmas. Sure it’s not about the presents, but Brian just wanted something that would show his personality. Fast forward all these years later and he’s doing things he wants to do. He and his hamster star in their own web series! I freaking love this. He works at a Bathhouse where he meets a sexy Daddy Bear named James Alan Olsen. I really liked James. I think his confidence was able to slither onto Brian. Brian isn’t so secure with his body and things, and James likes him for who he is helps him a lot. I thought the pacing of the story was good, and the writing was spot on. It was a little teary eyed from me a time or two.  I would definitely recommend this Holiday story to people. It’s very sweet, comforting, and relatable as well. Brandon does an amazing job!

About Brandon Witt

Witt-0025

Brandon Witt is many things. Above all, he is living the dream. After years of writing and reaching for the stars, he is a published author through Dreamspinner Press. Thus far, his novels include The Shattered Door, Then the Stars Fall, and three installments of the Men of Myth series. Also, he has short stories published in various anthologies.

For the first eighteen years of life, Brandon lived in a small Ozark town, El Dorado Springs, Missouri before moving with his family to Colorado. There he got degrees in Youth Ministry and Special Education and worked as a counselor and special education teacher for fifteen years.

The tension of his religious upbringing and being a gay man finds its way onto nearly every page in his novels, as does experiences that over a decade of loving children who have faced much abuse and many struggles. Reflecting what he has discovered to be true in life, Brandon’s writing does not shy away from challenges and conflict but also revels in the joy that can only happen when truly embracing and loving all that life has to offer.

#ChristmasHatesYouToo by E.F. Mulder

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

christmashatesyoutoo#ChristmasHatesYouToo: by E.F. Mulder
Series: 2016 Advent Calendar-Bah Humbug
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 66 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Born December 25, Noel Beebe is tired of having his birthday overshadowed by all things Christmas. While looking for love on social media, he comes across a prospective new beau just in time to celebrate the Big 3-0, someone who encourages him to take back his day and say thumbs down to Christmas! On a trip to the Big Apple, Noel does just that, flipping off the Rockefeller Center tree and demanding his coffee in a nondecorative paper cup as a fun birthday prank. His act of defiance is caught on video and soon goes viral, leading to a backlash all over the Twitterverse, Internet, and TV. Suddenly what Noel thought would be his best birthday—and even Christmas—yet is shaping up to be his worst. Can his family and his potential boyfriend prove to the world that Noel isn’t the Scrooge he’s been labeled?

one-star

It’s the holiday season so I’ve decided to not go on my usual rant. This is exactly how I felt at the beginning, middle and end.  I mean, it’s only 66 pages and it couldn’t have been that bad. Right?

I promised no rant, and gifs are the only way possible for this right now. So I feel like I needed medication to understand and read this. I’m sorry if that sounds mean, but its my truth. Love the hashtag, and the situation surrounding it. Other then that I’m at a lost at what the holy hell happened here. Somebody did not BETA this story. I know its short, but that doesn’t mean it needs to skip that process because it is much needed. It was some of the most discombobulated writing I ever read. Super choppy sentences, it would leave off one subject and jump into another. I swear this book should have been on Ritalin. This does not make for a happy Mika. I want holiday cheesy cheer, and this just left a nasty taste in my mouth. I’ve never read the author before either so I can’t critique his/her writing style. I didn’t care to much for Noel, Bart, Hung or Ethan. Goodness none of them except for little Emily because she was a bright spot in the dull book. I cannot recommend this book at all.

About E.F. Mulder

E.F. Mulder has been an avid reader and storyteller since childhood. Whenever a book was assigned for class, E.F. would be thrilled, even as other students grumbled. Soon, that love of a good story expanded to creating them herself. E.F.’s mother received a ton of catalogs in the mail and E.F. would spend many a lazy summer afternoon or quiet Sunday envisioning the goings on of the men and women—or men and men—in pretty clothes or decorating their Christmas trees when the holiday books showed up in late fall. This creativity also came in handy when playing Barbie with her sister and sometimes her brother. Since E.F.’s mother was a soap opera fan, sitting down for half of Another World and General Hospital daily after work, E.F. came to appreciate that sort of storytelling as well, where love could be a struggle, but also a miracle that conquered all. This sort of yarn spinning led to E.F.’s Barbie and her beaus going through some very interesting plotlines and later came in handy writing romance novels where the road to happiness has plenty of bumps. To this day, E.F. and her writing partner, David, love to throw romantic soapy twists into their tales.

E.F. also enjoys rainy days, crisp autumns, Christmas decorations, her four kitty cats, Molly, Speckles, Tuxedo, and Mama Bear, and working on a virtual farm when not writing. It’s so much easier to clean under the fingernails when done digitally. A love of QVC means the kitties have a fresh rotation of new boxes to play in and the cute UPS man gets to visit often. Maybe there’s a story there….

Audiobook Review: Pack Challenge (Magnus Pack #1) by Shelly Laurenston

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Pack Challenge Book Cover Pack Challenge
Magnus Pack #1
Shelly Laurenston
Paranormal Romance; Urban Fantasy
Samhain Publishing; Tantor Audio
July 4th 2006
audiobook
213 pages

What's an Alpha Male to do when he meets the Alpha Female of his dreams?

Step one, hide all sharp objects.

All Zach Sheridan ever wanted was to become Alpha Male of his Pack and be left alone. What he definitely didn't need in his life was some needy female demanding his attention. What he never saw coming was the vicious, scarred female who not only demanded his attention but knew exactly how to get it.

Sara Morrighan knew this was the best she could expect from her life. Good friends. A nice place to live. And a safe job. But when Zach rode into her small Texas town with his motorcycle club, Sara knew she wanted more. She knew she wanted him. But after one sexy encounter with her dream biker, everything is starting to change. Her body. Her strength. That new thing she's doing with the snarling.

Even her best friends are starting to wonder what's going on with her. But this is only the beginning. Sara's about to find out her life was meant for so much more. And Zach's about to find true love with the one woman who makes him absolutely insane.

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, and strong violence.

The reader meets the very feisty Sara Morrighan with her girlfriends at a bar, where Zach Sheridan, Beta of the Magnus Pack, has ends up saving her from an attack. Sara has facial and physical scarring from an attack by a Pride that left her parents dead, so Sara has learned to make due with Mr. Right Now rather than hold out hope of some happily ever after.

But there is an attraction between Zach and Sara, and when they become intimate, it begins to reveal things about Sara’s true nature. The more time they spent together, the more Sara became stronger until those who meant her harm decide to finish what they started all those years ago.

This audiobook was entertaining. It was fully of aggressive women and aggressive men (shifters). This story alternated POV between the hero Zach and the heroine Sara so it gave us just a little insight into both. Sara used her snarky mouth to hide her pain and vulnerability. After all her secret pain and the scars was something even her best friends could protect her from. It was in Sara’s unity with Zach that allowed her maturation into who she was supposed to be. Since this story was short, there wasn’t a lot of character development but there was a small introduction for the series to build upon. I plan on continuing with the series.

Tantor Audio *** Amazon US *** Barnes & Noble ***

Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.

You Are Not Me by Leta Blake

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

you-are-not-me-coverYou Are Not Me: by Leta Blake
Series:’90s Coming of Age, #2
Release Date: November 29, 2016
Pages:328 • Format: eARC
Published By: Leta Blake Books
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Follow Peter into the summer following his senior year to face new beginnings, new friends, and old baggage.

After a tumultuous final year of high school, Peter Mandel needs a break. It’s the summer of 1991, and his secret relationship with his ‘best friend’ Adam Algedi is put on hold as Adam goes away to Italy for the summer. On the cusp of adulthood, Peter has a couple of months to explore who he is without Adam at his side.

Enter Daniel McPeak, a slightly older, out, responsible college guy with a posse of gay friends and an attraction for Peter. Drawn into the brave new world of the local gay club, Peter embarks on a whirlwind of experiences—good and bad—which culminate in a hotel room where he has to make the ultimate choice.

But Adam will come back eventually, and there are promises that have to be kept. As autumn draws near and college awaits, can Peter break free of the binds of twisted first love? And what exactly is Daniel’s role in his life – a brief temptation, or something more?

Join Peter in the second book of this four-part coming of age series as he struggles to love and be loved, and grow into a gay man worthy of his own respect.

five-stars

This was my Zhush!!!! Leta Blake is am Auto-buy author for me. This book just highlights everything I love about her words and characters.

Definitely a favorite of 2016. I think I tried to read it in one sitting, but work got in the way! Leta Blake’s pen game is sickening. She damn near had me using an entire box of Kleenex! Okay, I used about 3/4 of the box. By the end, I just wanted it to be over for everyone. This damn cliffy is going to kill me.

I loved everything about this! Here’s some checkpoints on the awesomeness that was book 2 in this amazing series so far.

√ I am uber in love with Daniel.
√ Minty should be my new best friend.
√ Mike is amazaeballs.
√ Peter is Peter.
√ Minty, Antonio, Windy, Barry, Robert is my life.
√ I loved Peter’s ideal of love and hope.
√ Daniel better get an HEA after all of this.
√ I’m never sad to see Adam go.
√  His selfishness new no bounds.
√ Jeremy should die a painful death.
√ I liked Bobby.
√ I cried for Harry.
√ I might conisder buying a tutu in honor of Minty.
√ I totally wanted to hulk rage on Adam by the end of this book.

I am so in love with everything that happened in this book. I cried so many times during it, and I wasn’t as mad at Peter unlike book one. I think Peter did a lot of growing this book. He’s on his own for the summer while Adam is away in Rome. Peter is deciding to take his life into his own hands. He wants to experience things as a Gay man. I think it was hard for me to not want to get angry at all his mistakes but they were his to make. I adore his father so much. I am even at  a little bit of peace with his mother. I am happy at the progress that they were able to make as a family. I don’t think Peter realizes how he lucked out on parents and being okay with his sexuality. I loved seeing Peter’s vulnerabilities in this book. In book one, he showed them alot, but since this was from Peter’s pov entirely I think we got to see inside his head way more.

You Are Not Me is an emotional rollercoaster. It picks up immediately after book one. Peter is alone with his thoughts for the summer. Adam is still Adam. In  book one, I was kinda rooting for him, but by the end of this book he’s still the manipulating P.O.S that he always is. He doesn’t know what he’s doing mentally and emotionally to Peter. Yeah, Adam isn’t to blame for everything, but he’s played such a major part of his own demise that his shamefulness and guilt ways heavy on his mind! I get Peter wanting to stick with Adam to show him that their love can overcome anything, it made me so mad at times because Peter has this grandiose love mindset that he wasn’t able to see that he can be this guy for someone that’s more deserving. Leta does a wonderful job at creating these flawed characters who we all can relate to in some way.

This was  a more transitional story for Peter. He’s on the cusp of being an Adult and starting school. He’s ventured out of all of his comfort zones. He’s gone after things he wants, and explained in absolute detail on why he wants the things that he does. I don’t know if this is the end to Adam. Adam is that guy who’s going to be married with children and a secret profile on Grindr. It sickens me that he doesn’t think about destroying the two people he’s involved with. I won’t go into spoilery details on the plot. Just know that this book is definitely A+ material. I am so looking forward to book three, and more tears. I really hope a few of my guys get an Hea, or a book about them. Highly recommend this series!

About Leta Blake

Leta Blake

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan

favorite Training Season, Leta Blake's educational and professional background is in psychology

and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting

romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S.,

Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

When Forever Ended by Cara Dee

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

when-forever-endedWhen Forever Ended: by Cara Dee
Series: Camassia Cove #2
Release Date: November 30, 2016
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By: Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

At ten years old, Kelly and I were two rambunctious boys who carved our initials into a tree in the forest. We promised to be best friends forever and bumped our fists to seal the deal. I never should’ve kissed him that summer before college. It was a day that buried me in shame, a day I spent the next twenty-four years regretting, a day I never told anyone about.

At forty-three, depression was suffocating me. Not even my wife and two children could lift the heavy fog. I was riddled with guilt and self-hatred, and I was starting to realize that I would slowly fade away until nothing remained. Then one day, Kelly was back in town.

10% of the proceeds will be donated to Hope For Depression.

(All novels taking place in Camassia Cove are standalone.)
four-stars

I literally need to tip my hat off to Cara Dee. I really am a fan of her writing style. I don’t want to use the word plain, but maybe it’s more homey and realistic. I am always able to connect with her characters. I don’t necessarily have to be in their shoes, but she makes it to easy to relate to their struggles. I do like the way Cara tackled depression. I think we all know someone living with depression, and this book was such an eye opener for me. Its so easy for me to tell someone to get over things, but I’m not in their shoes and I don’t feel like they do. This book was completely different then book one. I loved book, and I really enjoyed this one as well. I do feel slighted in the sense that I would have liked to see more with Will & Kelly. It was nice for the two different p.o.v’s but because the focus on the story was for them more then anything I would have like them to have more screen time together. This wasn’t some quick fix for Will, he had to want it, and adjust to life differently then what he is used to.

Cara has written some of my favorite comfort read books, and this series is definitely gaining group to add to the list. I really like the simplistic way of life that her characters have. For me, I feel like they are relatable is so many ways. I adored Kelly. Oh my gosh, did I? I looked how he treated Will, and was so forthcoming with his past history with depression. It must have been really hard to walk away from someone that you love because of your fears. Kelly doesn’t have it easy. He’s adjusting to life with his sexuality and accepting it.

Will is 43, married with two kids, and severely depressed. The one thing that I would have liked was some prologue and a glimpse in the life of Will before Kelly came back into his life. I don’t think it was real clear on his reason for depression. I believe so many things that can have caused his depression, but its certain things that the characters speak on a past event that I felt like maybe it should have been included in the story. It was emotional to say the least, I felt all Will’s vulnerabilities, and his heartbreak.

Word to the wise for all those HEA people, there is cheating in this book. Don’t lose sleep over it, cheating happens in real life here folks. This series is realistic fiction so real life situations happen here. I really would be so much happier if this book had 100 more pages. I never wanted it to end. I wanted to see the progress of everyone by the end of the story. Was Will’s depression cured? Hell no, it is manageable by the end of the story. That’s all I can ask for. This definitely made me want to go back and re-read book 1 and this again. I love this writing, and can’t wait for the next in the series!

About Cara Dee

Cara Dee

here aren’t many things better than picking up my Kindle and getting completely sucked into a whole new world—where words morph into images and characters’ moods suddenly reflect my own. Aside from good plot and writing, for me, it boils down to relatable characters.

As a writer, I’m not finished until the men and women in my books come to life, until I can see them as real people, until I can connect with them. Which means I write what I want to read: everyday heroes and heroines who have the same struggles we all do. They evolve, have flaws, make mistakes and amends, learn, and find the endings they fight for.

Those are the characters who take the readers on a journey away from work, laundry, grocery shopping, and to-do lists.

When I’m not writing, researching, or brainstorming, I’m either planning my next trip (never-ending bucket list!), reading, watching hockey, or spending time with family and friends