Saved by Darkness (Darkness #6) by Katie Reus

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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.

Title: Saved by Darkness by Katie Reus
Series: Darkness #6
Release Date:
Format: Audiobook (6 hrs and 29 mins)
Genre: PNR, UF, Dragons
Published by: KR Press LLC
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleBarnes & Noble

He thought he lost her decades ago.

Half-demon, half-dragon shifter Ian McCabe is hellbent on getting back the only woman he’s ever loved. When Fiona O’Riley kicked him out of her life decades ago, he thought she was gone for good. Now that she’s back, nothing will stop him from claiming her. But she wants nothing to do with him—or his family.

She’ll do anything to save him.

Fiona knows that Ian is the only male for her. The only way to keep him alive is to stay away from him. But when tragedy strikes and they discover a wicked agenda for the mass murder of humans, they must work together to take down the enemies that threaten everyone. But there’s so much more on the line. As their undeniable desire intensifies, they’re faced with an unbearable choice. If Fiona and Ian succumb to their temptation, mating could be the last thing they ever do.

four-half-stars

 I love this series, I love the writing, the plot and I love the narrator Jeffrey Kafer. His voice is just perfect for this series.
In this book six, we follow Ian McCabe, whom was first introduced in Hunted by Darkness
as one of Bo and Rory’s siblings (Book 4&5 heroes). Ian has always been ashamed of his heritage as half demon and half dragon. The demon side has been the cause of scorn but most painful loss was his mate Fiona O’Riley who married another to save him over fifty years ago.
A chance meeting revealed that she did not in fact marry another but lives within the Stavros’ wolf territory. Now he has to convince her that they finally belong together.
I love second chance romance tropes. They often allow the author to properly develop character’s past. The reader has a chance to get to know the main characters and properly empathize with their plight. Ian and Fiona didn’t disappoint. They were young lovers fighting against family obligation and expectation.
As with the prior books, Saved by Darkness was full of action and romance. In addition, there were humorous banter between Ian and his brothers. In fact, the reader met yet another half demon brother. I love how the author continues to link each story together by maintaining contact with the previous couples. The stories are not overly long and my attention is continually engaged.
I am a big fan of Jeffrey Kafer and the superb job he has done narrating this series. He has never caused me to be confused. He gives life to each character and I am able to follow very easily. I really recommend listening to this series in order so you can appreciate the journey each story undertook to get to this point. I love this series and I can’t wait until the next story.
If you love action packed, super sexy with really captivating characters, this is the series for you.

Ezi

About Katie Reus

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Darkness series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

Audiobook Review: Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Tantor Audio

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

Title: Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
Release Date: March 21st, 2017 (first published February 18th, 2015)
Format: Audiobook (8 hrs and 54 mins)
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Cult romance
Published By: Everafter Romance
Purchase Links: Tantor Audio Amazon US Barnes & Noble iBooks  Kobo

I enjoyed this story but it was a slow burner as the author set a foundation of this relationship between an abrasive guy and take no nonsense gal. The narrators Joe Arden and Maxine Mitchell definitely gave life to the chemistry between the main characters. Their voices blended well together and added to sexiness of the story.

Graham J. Morgan who accidentally left his cellphone on a train and the woman Soraya who returned it to him. When she brought it to him she decided he was a stuck up jerk and she let him know. Of course he was intrigued and began pursuing her.  I liked their journey as the other really took time to develop their back story. It was well written and interesting. It’s a book with flawed characters that were annoying and likable at the same time.
I did find Graham to be a jerk to all others except for a few people. There is no reason to have 42 secretaries in a under 4 years. Losing your mom is not an acceptable excuse to make treat others. But the way he treats his grandma and the women he loves was definitely loyal, Patrice the and endearing. So the jury is out on how I feel about him. I liked Soraya and her nonconformist ways. She was a good counterbalance to Graham’s life drama.

This story seemed like it would just be about sex but it author gave it more complexity by adding family drama coupled with broken friendships. While it explained some of Graham’s behavior, it didn’t excuse his piss poor treatment of people. Still, the story was an unexpected delight and the writing was entertaining. It flowed and kept my attention from beginning to the end. The only thing I missed was grandma’s introduction to the young. That would have been a powerful moment in their story. Maybe a 2nd epilogue will give us that part of the story.

I recommend this story for those who enjoy a sexy edgier romance with mature characters. I will definitely be checking out other stories by this duo.

About Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is first and foremost a proud autism mom. She is also the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of Stepbrother Dearest, Sins of Sevin, Cocky Bastard (co-written with Vi Keeland), Jake Undone, My Skylar, Jake Understood and Gemini. She is currently working on her 8th novel.

About Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye #1) by Sarina Bowen

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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.

Title: Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen (originally In Front of God & Everyone (Pay It Forward #1))
Series: Hello Goodbye #1 (Pay It Forward #1)
Release Date: March 21st, 2017 (first published February 18th, 2015)
Format: e-ARC                Pages: 331
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Cult romance
Published By:
Purchase Links: Amazon US Barnes & Noble Kobo Google

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh & Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counterThis book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone. For more about its previous publication, you can read this blog post.

four-stars

This is one of those books that makes you believe in the young people’s resilient spirit and the kindness of strangers. It was sweet, hopeful and just encouraging that people can recover after horrifying childhoods peppered with traumatic experiences.

This story was told from both Caleb and Joshua’s POV as young people trapped in a cult where the elders usually kept 4-6 wives, some as young as fourteen. Consequently, boys over the age of 14 were considered a threat to their family structure and were sent to live the bachelor quarters. The young guys considered “weak” usually disappear from the compound after they are reach age of majority. Joshua and Caleb grew up together as best friends and live together in the bachelor quarters but it was generally understood that Joshua was a weak link. So, when Joshua was thrown out close to a bus station with $50, Caleb ran away to join Joshua.

From the beginning, it was clear that the bond between Joshua and Caleb was stronger than just mere friendship. It was ardent, devoted and passionate. It was as though their hearts were always bound together from day one but it had to be hidden. Once outside the confines of the religious cult, Joshua and Caleb had to learn how to deal with the feelings that they had been taught were sinful and perverse. Joshua struggled a lot harder than Caleb. I struggled with Caleb’s seamless transition from accepting his feelings to use of cuss words. I was expecting the guys to have some difficulty adjusting to the “outside” life as well as some language barriers since cult language seems to be more biblical and less informal/conversational in secular society. In addition, this story lacked the angst that I expected from boys tormented by the cult leaders. It’s almost like their past was forgotten. There was no mention to save those left behind or even rescue other boys who were sure to be discarded like Joshua.

Regardless of those issues, I found the love that blossomed between Caleb and Joshua to be so sweet and endearing. In Maggie and Daniel’s home, Caleb and Joshua found freedom, acceptance and finally, their talents. There were wonderful secondary characters that made this story richer. From Washington, Daniel, Maggie & Chloe, the supporting cast helped make this story heartwarming. Caleb and Joshua would have had a much harder and rougher time but for the continual support of the secondary characters. Most of all, I love that they all helped Joshua find his voice and gave him the strength to use it. Joshua was the one I rooted for the most because I am always drawn to the underdogs of the world. His development made this book for me.

If you want a super dramatic, angst-filled story, this isn’t it. This romance was a steady and emotionally even love story, not just between two guys, but a makeshift family.
Ezi

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

Hunted by Darkness (Darkness #4) by Katie Reus

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Title: Hunted by Darkness by Katie Reus
Series: Darkness #4
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Format: Audiobook (5 hrs and 50 mins)
Genre: PNR, UF, Dragons
Published by: KR Press LLC
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleBarnes & Noble

From two different worlds…

Now that she’s escaped her oppressive family, Nyx is enjoying her new life and friends—even if most of her friends don’t know who or what she is. As a rare demigod, she’s just learning how powerful she truly is, but family drama turns her world upside down, throwing the one man she cares about into danger.

He wasn’t supposed to fall for her…

Nyx is nothing like the females half-demon Bo Broussard has been with. Sweet and innocent, she’s not even remotely his type. But the moment she walks into his bar, he knows he’s not letting her go. Unfortunately someone from her past thinks they can force her into an arranged marriage.

He’s not letting her go…

Someone is targeting one of them, and Bo doesn’t know why. When they’re thrown into a hell realm together, he and Nyx will need to band together if they want to survive the perils of that world. No matter who was behind the attack, his choice is clear. Defend Nyx at all cost and make her his forever.

 

four-stars

In this installment, Nyx works at Bo’s bar, while hiding from her family for reasons unbeknownst to her employer. Nyx is simply tired of being a pawn in her family’s pursuit of power and so she wears glamour and works as a waitress while nursing an attraction to her boss.

Bo, half demon, half human bar owner, also nurses an attraction to Nyx but they both fight it for different reasons. When Nyx’s family finally try to bring her home, Bo steps in to protect her which leads them to give in to their passion.

Bo and Nyx’s story was a bit angsty, which I loved but it was truly entertaining. There was great chemistry, and a passionate love story. I was surprised to learn the full extent of Nyx’s heritage. I was happy to know that Bo had half siblings. I love that the author keeps the prior couples integral to the story and everyone is connected is some way. It is action-packed, sexy and full of all kinds of supernaturals. There were unexpected twists and turns, but the end was satisfying. This series is the best dragon shifter series I’ve listened to and one of the best PNR series out there. I look forward to the next book.

About Katie Reus

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Darkness series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

Fair Catch (Players of LA #2) by Leigh Carman

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.

Title: Fair Catch by Leigh Carman
Series: Players of LA
Release Date: March 20, 2017
Pages: 200• Format: e-ARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links: • •

 

Here For Us (Us #1) by A.M. Arthur

(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: IndiGo Marketing & Design

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.

Title: Here For Us by A.M. Arthur
Series: Us #1
Release Date: 3/17/17
Pages: • Format: 94k words
Genre: Romance (Male/Male Menage)
Published By: Briggs-King Books
Purchase Links: Amazon US
ADD TO GOODREADS

four-half-stars

Cris Sable doesn’t walk into popular gay bar Big Dick’s expecting to find more than a casual hookup, so he’s surprised by his instant attraction and intense chemistry with go-go dancer Jake. Jake’s sexy as hell and a firecracker in bed. The sparks between them are undeniable, and what starts as a hookup evolves into something deeper, possibly permanent—until Jake dumps Cris flat on his ass for no good reason.

Angry and confused, Cris finds comfort with his longtime friend and employer Charles “Chet” Greenwood. Cris’s emotional state stirs up Charles’s long-buried feelings for Cris. Feelings he’s denied for eight years, because Cris is his employee and therefore off limits—not to mention two decades younger than Charles. Cris admits he has feelings for Charles, too, but he’s still getting over Jake and both men agree nothing can happen between them while Charles is still Cris’s boss.

Jake Bowden knows he doesn’t have anything to offer a guy. He’s a go-go dancer with no degree and no real career aspirations. He’s also used to everyone who loves him leaving, so it makes sense to cut Cris loose before things get too serious. Cris is kind, passionate and totally deserves a guy like Charles—wealthy, owns a home, successful businessman. Jake can’t compete so why bother? They’re better off together. But when Jake has a serious personal crisis, Cris and Charles unite to pull him back together, and the three men discover it’s possible—maybe even inevitable—to fall in love with more than one person at a time.
Man, I loved this one. It had all the things I love in a love story except little kids. It had damaged characters, a love story not overshadowed by sex, and growth by the main characters. This was a story of some guys that found refuge in each other as their various life journey converged into one lane.  It felt like going through a storm and coming out on the other side to basking in sunshine.

I really liked Cristian “Cris” Sable. I wasn’t sure what he found so intriguing about Jake Bowden, but I suppose a sexy and unpredictable guy is just too much sauce to for a stable guy like Cris to pass up. Cris and Charles “Chet” Greenwood is one of those relationships where the time was never right, until it was. Cris and Chet felt like the joy I get while unwrapping a Christmas present. The author laid a proper foundation and that relationship felt like it was rooted in much more than physical attraction and curiosity. Cris and Chet had an enduring respect, affection and trust created from years of working together. These two really made the book for me because they were both caretakers and selfless men. That’s probably what drew them to Jake because he definitely need taking care of.

I’ll admit that I didn’t care for Jake. He alternated between abrasive and sharp-tongued to overly emotional and dramatic. I am glad he got counseling for all he had been through but at times I kept thinking he wasn’t worth the effort Cris and Chet were putting forth. In caring for Jake, Chet and Cris showed the depth of their loyalty and their capacity for patience and love. It made me love them that much more.

The chemistry between the three was palpable though I liked Cris as the connection, not Jake. I didn’t feel the attraction between Chet and Jake as strong because it felt more like compassion than passion.

My only complaint in this book was that the author introduced so many characters. Some of the secondary characters were necessary as it was clear they would be getting their own books in the future. But it was too many new people and I got annoyed trying to remember them as I didn’t know what role they would play in the threesome’s relationship down the road.

Despite that, I really enjoyed this book. I was so impressed with the way the author layered this romance. It wasn’t quick and insta-love, but it wasn’t so slow that I felt bored. It was just a steady pace of attraction, friendship and love. I can’t wait for the next book which I really hope is Taro and Dell.

Ezi

About A.M. Arthur

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and SMP Swerve.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

The Beginning of Us by Christina Emery

(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

 

the beginning of us available now

 

MwB_2_TBoU_Amz_FinalThe people we love are often those who could cost us everything.

For Detective Chase Guilliot, coveting a gangster’s girlfriend might just cost him his life. After months of staring at surveillance photos, Chase feels like he knows Shelby Brignac, the breathtaking beauty who’s found herself in his target’s bed. From everything he’s seen, Shelby doesn’t look like a stupid woman, but when she walks into his precinct to sell out a career criminal, Chase has to wonder. She’s either going to be the key to his case or the end of his career. Not that it matters since he’s tasked with keeping her alive.

Whether she wants him to or not.

The Beginning of Us (originally titled The Switch) is the second book in the Men with Badges series about sweet and sexy alphas who know what they want and go after it.

ADD TO GOODREADS

CHASE

Shelby gives me the out I need to end this. I’m not delusional or stupid. It’s not like I think I’m in love with the girl or that I want to marry her. I’m infatuated, sure, but that was bound to happen after spending so much time watching her every move. She’s hot and she keeps throwing out the signals, and normally I’d be all over it. She’s got this smoking bod—I’m talking from her head down to the chipped nail polish on her toes, but she’s also a hot mess who might be facing serious time in a federal prison. Shelby Brignac is exactly the kind girl I’d meet in a bar, hook up with, and maybe even take out on a date. But we didn’t meet in a bar. No, we met when I was undercover and she was committing a fucking felony. And at one point, before I became a cop, that might have sounded exciting.
Now, though, I have bills to pay, and at some point I’d like to even be able to buy a house. Maybe even get a dog or two. Getting kicked off the force and blowing my chances at Quantico because I couldn’t keep it in my pants is going to land me working mall security. And no matter how hot she is, how naked, and how bad I want to yank that blanket off her smooth skin, it’s not bad enough to fuck up the future I just barely got a taste of.
“Why do you want this?” My voice sounds foreign to my own ears—rough and gravelly, with a slight pitch. I practically sound desperate. Maybe I am. Maybe I do want her enough to risk my future for her.
I trust this woman more than I should. I have to remind myself that I don’t know her the way I feel like I do. Watching her the past few months has been some of the best and worst times of my life. She’s beautiful and smart and loving. She gives people the benefit of the doubt and cares more about what people think than she should. How she convinced herself a guy like Victor Abraham was good enough for her, I’ll never know. Still, I don’t really know her. And she was dating a man who’s wanted by literally every federal agency in the US and is slick enough to have a clean record. I’ve been on the force long enough to know that people can be loving and thoughtful and still be ruthless criminals. No matter the face this woman is showing me now, I have to keep my guard up and not let myself confuse the fantasy I’ve built up in my head with the reality of who she might very well be.
I use my free hand to find a place to put my ass on the edge of the couch and I sit down. I keep my face close to Shelby’s, my hand ensuring she doesn’t create a distance between us, and I stroke my thumb just below the line of her jaw. She sucks in a breath, which excites me. I’ve been wanting to do this for months. Ever since she first turned up in the investigation. The thought that my simple touch sends shivers down her spine and sends her heart racing has me at half-mast. Seeing her reaction to my touch weakens my resolve, and for a split second, I let myself get sucked in.
“You’re good,” she whispers after a long pause. She speaks so quietly I can barely hear the words. “I’m not used to good, but I like it. I want more of it.”
I’ve given this woman more of myself than I had intended, and she’s given me practically nothing. Sure, I know things about her, but I don’t want to know them because I was watching her. I want to know them because she wants to share them with me. I need her to trust me enough to share things with me, especially because I suspect she’s in deeper with Abraham’s organization than she’s let on. The feds are looking to make an example out of her, despite the fact that her father’s the one who tipped them off to what she was doing. The only way I can save her and keep her out of jail is if she tells me how deep she’s really in this. Unfortunately, judging by the stubborn set of her jaw, I don’t think she’s just going to offer up what I want to know. All I want to do is save this stupid, beautiful girl and I already know that she’s not going to let me.

jcemeryBrave heroes. Bold heroines. Extraordinary loves.

Christina Emery is the real-life alter-ego of dark contemporary romance author, JC Emery. While JC geeks out researching blood splatter patterns and assault rifles, Christina is a die-heard romantic who gets choked up while watching commercials, but sshhh– that’s a secret. Still searching for her very own hero, Christina spends her time creating men she wishes were real and heroines she envies. A Northern California native, Christina has an impressive collection of flip flops, but shelves them in the winter so she can build as many snowmen as possible from her home in Southwestern Illinois. Christina is the author of the Men with Badges series– standalone contemporary romances about sexy lawmen who know what they want and go after it.

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About J.C. Emery/Christina Emery

Brave heroes. Bold heroines. Extraordinary loves.

Christina Emery is the real-life alter-ego of dark contemporary romance author, JC Emery. While JC geeks out researching blood splatter patterns and assault rifles, Christina is a die-heard romantic who gets choked up while watching commercials, but sshhh– that’s a secret. Still searching for her very own hero, Christina spends her time creating men she wishes were real and heroines she envies. A Northern California native, Christina has an impressive collection of flip flops, but shelves them in the winter so she can build as many snowmen as possible from her home in Southwestern Illinois. Christina is the author of the Men with Badges series– standalone contemporary romances about sexy lawmen who know what they want and go after it.

Take Me Back By Meghan March

(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: InkSlinger PR

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TakeMeBack_FrontCoverWe fell in love on a beach, got married in paradise, and I carried her off into the sunset. It should have been perfect, but saying “I do” doesn’t guarantee a happily-ever-after.

Two years later, I barely recognize either of us behind the walls we’ve built.

It’s time to bring it full circle. Back to a tropical paradise. Back to find out if we can still make this work.

I’m not willing to give her up, but to save us, I have to risk everything.

Two damaged people.

Countless secrets.

The fight of our lives.

We might be broken, but we’re not done.

Add to Goodreads

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take me back 7

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meghanmarchpic

Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | TWITTER | PINTEREST

About Meghan March

Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

There’s This Guy 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.

Title:There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford
Release Date: March 17th, 2017
Pages: 220 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

How do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?

Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.

It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued Art Deco building on the WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the artistic, sweet man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.

When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.

three-stars

 

 

This was extremely difficult for me to read, get through and wait two months to review. Let’s review here: In my head I have a really close relationship with Rhys Ford, and this rating or review won’t seem like it. In fact, I’ve dreaded writing this review since I finish reading it. I haven’t felt this letdown in a long time. She’s one of my favorite authors, and I couldn’t understand why I didn’t like it.  I was finding it hard to get my words out without stabbing myself in the heart during the first place. If this was Rhys idea of a contemporary romance, then I prefer her murder mystery books. This was angsty, slow burn on the romance, and difficult to read for me.  The relationship was completely one – sided for me, and it never felt like a romance. Hell, the story felt like I was wading through quick mud while reading it. While I did like Jake & Dallas as characters, I still didn’t quite like the story as much as I would have liked.

Jake comes from a super abusive childhood. The abuse is so deeply twined into his soul, that he is not able to see the good in people. He’s so scarred from his childhood, and even worst that his tormentor is his father. A father is who sick, but still is able to keep his hooks into Jake. Dallas is the complete opposite, yeah he knows what love lost is, but he is more free spirited and able to open up at love. Their careers is what leads them to a chance meeting. Soon after it’s like fate stepped in and interceded.

This point on their was an excessive about of literary things happening that my brain wasn’t able to understand. Plenty of times, I had to step back and think why?? We all know how I feel about angst. A little is okay, I like people to work for it, but too much throws the story completely off. I really wanted the book to end at those points, I didn’t care if they did or did not get together. Dallas had these grand gestures for Jake about love, and friendship, but they were NEVER reciprocated. I literally hate with a passion, a one-sided relationship. I’m all for being someone’s backbone, but I was really waiting on Jake to open his eyes and realize what he wasn’t doing. How do we get this grandiose love story where I didn’t feel anything. At best a friendship is started and Jake can start healing, at worst nothing. I felt Nada, zip, zilch, NOTHING. In fact by the 75% I was waffling on calling it quite. Its something that I never felt while reading a Rhys Ford book. After reading it, I was straddling the fence on my rating.

The only thing that saved me was Celeste. She was a fun character, and the writing. Ford knows how to write, but the overall product was not something that I enjoyed personally. It had its moments, but they were very small and far in few in the story. I think fans of slow burn romance, angst, and heartbreaks will most likely like this.

 

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About Rhys Ford

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.

Sophie by J.P. Barnaby

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.

Sophie: by J.P. Barnaby
Series:Survivor Series #5
Release Date: March 15th, 2017
Pages: 108 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

It’s amazing how a single word from a tiny girl can change your life.

Spencer Thomas’s world turns upside down when his beloved Nell dies and leaves custody of her three-year-old daughter to him. Her “Spenna” comes when Sophie needs him most, but his boyfriend, Aaron, can’t be a parent. He just can’t. Neither of them expected a baby to fall into the lives they’d finally just settled.

When Nell’s ex comes to claim Sophie, Aaron needs to make a decision: man up or walk away as Spencer faces the fight of his life.

 

 

four-stars

 

I don’t want to say goodbye to Spencer or this series. I am smitten with the man that Spencer has become. From the very beginning in Aaron’s book I adored this series. I fell in love with the writing, the trauma, the characters, and the will to overcome everything that has been thrown at the Downing & Thomas family. It’s bittersweet that I’m writing this, because while its the end of a great series (minus book 2, sorry that’s how I feel) its also the end of J.P. Barnaby’s writing career. I don’t know what she’s going to do, but I want her to know readers will definitely miss her voice, her talent, and her characters. Thank you for writing so many books, but for me this series resonate so clearly within myself.

I thought book 4 was a dozy in the emotions department, but I was not ready for this short book to hammer at me so hard. We see all of the characters come together to help Aaron & Spencer at their most critical time. Told from both guys pov’s, but I feel like Spencer didn’t have enough page time to me. I really enjoyed seeing Anthony, and his family. We have followed this family from the hardest of times to the joyous of occasions. Spencer has a huge responsibility now that he has custody of his 3 year old cousin Sophie. He didn’t realize until it was there in his face how much he wanted kids.  Of course a dilemma occurs between Aaron & Spencer. One wants kids, and the other doesn’t. They don’t really have time to talk this through because an accident happens and leaves Sophie with Spencer. There is happiness in the story between the two guys, we see them come full circle and its a beautiful thing.

If I had to talk about the downside is that it felt rushed. It didn’t seem like Spencer got enough screen time for me. I want issues and things to be talked through on page, and instead it shoots to another scene. I’m left feeling unsettled because it doesn’t seem complete. Listen if it was up to me, I’d have a Spencer book each year. I love him that much.

All in all it’s still a really good story. An okay conclusion for me, but fans of this series will definitely be happy regardless. I wish JP all the best in her next journey in life, and thank her from the bottom of my heart for this incredible series. A definite recommend from me.

 

 

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About J.P. Barnaby

JP Barnaby, an award-winning gay romance novelist, is the author of over two dozen books, including Aaron and the Little Boy Lost Series. She recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta to appease her Camaro who didn’t like the blustery winters. JP specializes in recovery romance, but slips in a few erotic or comedic stories to spice things up. When she’s not hanging out with hot guys in leather, she binge watches superheroes and crime dramas on Netflix. A physics geek, she likes the science side of Sci-Fi, and wants to grow up to be Reed Richards.