Boy’s Don’t Cry by J.K. Hogan

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.

Boy’s Don’t Cry: by J.K. Hogan
Release Date: May 25th, 2017
Pages: 230 • Format: eARC
Published By: J.K. Hogan
Purchase Links:
J.K. HoganAmazon

Mackenzie Pratt is having the worst luck of his life. His apartment building is being torn down, and since he’s jobless and just weeks away from graduating college, he can’t find anywhere else he can afford to live that isn’t a critter-infested dump. As he’s lamenting the very real possibility of job hunting while couch-surfing, he gets an offer from the coworker of his best friend.

An in-demand mobile app developer and heir to his parents’ fortune, Laurent Beaudry is literally an eccentric billionaire. Even though Mackenzie realizes he’s basically living the plot of a cheesy romance novel, he takes the proffered room in Laurent’s Baltimore mansion. He finds his new housemate to be grumpy, brooding, and, at times, incredibly kind and endearing.

Raised by his brother after their father’s death, Mackenzie spent his formative years plowing headlong through school, focusing on little else beyond earning his teaching certification. He’s never taken the time to explore love and relationships, much less sexuality, so when he finds himself being courted by another man, he has no idea what to do. And when he realizes he might actually return those feelings, his life takes a whole new direction.

four-stars

I had mixed feelings for this throughout my reading journey. I mean it gave me the FSOG vibes at times. Sure that made me want to gag really hard. Other times, it was a fast paced insta-love story. I mean Mackenzie is a little over the place the entire story. Laurie is kinda boring.

Let me explain, we don’t get to see much of Laurie’s eccentricities. He’s suppose to be this broody billionaire, but besides the billionaire. He does not do much. I wanted to see his quirks or a little of his past. Yeah he’s closed off at times, and a down right asshole but other then that I don’t take much from him.

Mackenzie had so much going on with him, I don’t think he knew anything at all. He’s about to graduate college, his future career, his eviction, his family situation. Why not just throw his sexuality on top of it? From what I’ve read his sexuality never came into play. I didn’t really see the attraction between the two, but I did like what I saw by the end of the story.

It had its quirky parts, and even by the end I enjoyed it. Some parts moved fast, and I wish it was some expansion on certain topics, but overall I enjoyed it. I am looking forward to a potential River & Taylor book. That much UST needs to be written down. I like Hogan’s writing and look forward to more from her.

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About J.K. Hogan

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit the contact page.

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Boy’s Don’t Cry by J.K. Hogan

Title:  Boys Don’t Cry

Author: J.K. Hogan

Publisher:  J.K. Hogan

Release Date: May 25th 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 70,000 words

Genre: Romance

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Mackenzie Pratt is having the worst luck of his life. His apartment building is being torn down, and since he’s jobless and just weeks away from graduating college, he can’t find anywhere else he can afford to live that isn’t a critter-infested dump. As he’s lamenting the very real possibility of job hunting while couch-surfing, he gets an offer from the coworker of his best friend.
An in-demand mobile app developer and heir to his parents’ fortune, Laurent Beaudry is literally an eccentric billionaire. Even though Mackenzie realizes he’s basically living the plot of a cheesy romance novel, he takes the proffered room in Laurent’s Baltimore mansion. He finds his new housemate to be grumpy, brooding, and, at times, incredibly kind and endearing.
Raised by his brother after their father’s death, Mackenzie spent his formative years plowing headlong through school, focusing on little else beyond earning his teaching certification. He’s never taken the time to explore love and relationships, much less sexuality, so when he finds himself being courted by another man, he has no idea what to do. And when he realizes he might actually return those feelings, his life takes a whole new direction.

Excerpt

The house was dark so I couldn’t see much, but what I could see was immaculate, contrary to what Taylor had said. The hardwood floors gleamed in the moonlight, the furniture looked expensive and perfect, and there wasn’t a dirty dish or dust bunny in sight. “I thought you said it was a sty,” I whispered.

“Oh, this? Not this. He only uses a fraction of the house, the suite with his bedroom, living room, library, and office. All of this is just for show,” he said with a sweeping gesture toward the big empty parlor we were facing. “And why are you whispering? He knows I’m coming.”

“I don’t know. It seems so quiet and…undisturbed.”

Taylor’s chuckle had an evil ring to it. “You want disturbed? Follow me.” He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled. “Mr. Beaudry! It’s me, Taylor. Morrison. From Mindstream. The place you work.”

He made his way down a dark corridor with me dogging his heels. “He doesn’t remember who you are? Where he works?”

“Oh, he knows. But when he’s been staring at code for hours on end and not sleeping, sometimes basic stuff slips his mind. Details like that can be hard for geniuses like him.”

Genius? I didn’t think I’d ever heard that term used to sincerely describe someone. “What does he do again?”

“He’s a mobile app developer. Highly sought after, but right now he works exclusively for us. That was a huge coup for the company.” He stopped in front of a heavy, ornately carved door made of some kind of dark hardwood. He rapped his knuckles on it three times before barging on in, while I hovered in the doorway.

So this was the suite. Taylor had been right. What a mess. We stood in what I assumed was the living room, but it was hard to tell because every available surface was covered in wrinkled clothing, pizza boxes, and empty dishes. A huge fireplace was installed in the far wall, surrounded by shelves and shelves of books. More books than I’d ever seen in one place outside a library. The fire blazed in the hearth, and I was honestly surprised there wasn’t any garbage close enough to it to catch fire. As beautiful as the house was, the mess made my skin crawl. I usually lived in shitty apartments, so I was a bit of a neat freak to balance the universe.

“Beaudry? You in here?” Taylor called. There was no answer. “He must be in the bedroom suite.” He headed to a door on the left, like it was no big deal.

Wait! You’re just going to barge into the guy’s bedroom?”

Pausing in his tracks, Taylor looked over his shoulder. “This is no ordinary bedroom. Just because there’s a bed in the corner doesn’t mean it’s some intimate setting. It’s just a giant workspace.” With that parting shot, he burst through the door, once again calling the man’s name.

Trembling from too much alcohol and not enough nerve, I stepped inside the room. I was stunned speechless by the scene before me. Taylor had one thing right—it was no ordinary bedroom. It was the size of three average rooms lined up in a row and probably had double the square footage of the apartment I was getting booted out of. There was indeed a bed, a California king canopy bed off in one corner of the room. A fire was blazing in this suite as well, only I realized that it was the same fire in the same fireplace, which apparently connected the two rooms.

Taylor stood next to what had to be the man’s workspace. There was a giant U-shaped desk adorned with four widescreen computer monitors and various other gadgets typical of an office. However, on one leg of the U, there was a collection of what looked to be every tablet, PDA, smartphone, and any other mobile device known to man. I supposed he had to test his software on each gizmo that was likely to employ it.

Behind the office area was a ginormous TV screen—at least seventy inches—that looked like it would be more at home in a movie theater. Several fluffy couches were set up in a semicircle facing it. It would be amazing to have a movie marathon in this place. And of course, there was every gaming console imaginable to go along with the screen yardage. But…despite all the cool stuff, there was some very weird stuff about the place as well. Besides the office setup and the movie area, all the furniture in the suite looked like it had been bought from a garage sale at Versailles. It was expensive-looking, obviously, but very gilded and frilly. There were also several racks flanking the giant TV that displayed the man’s sword collection.

And then, the murals. The murals were creepy. On at least a couple of the walls above the wainscoting, there were huge, garish wall paintings of nudes in various scenes. Men and women, sometimes in sexual situations, sometimes just hanging out or whatever. But they weren’t like Renaissance or fine art nudes or anything; they seemed to be done by just some random modern artist. I had no idea how the guy could manage to look at them all day every day. Though if it weren’t for those, I’d never leave a place like this either. Speaking of the guy, though, there was no sign of him.

“Where is he?” I was whispering again. It just seemed like the thing to do when you snuck into someone’s bedroom at night. Not that we were really sneaking, but still.

As if in answer to my question, we heard a toilet flush, and a door to my right that I hadn’t even noticed swung open, startling me. The person who came through was pretty much just as unbelievable as the house he lived in. He was tall—very tall—and lanky, but with wide shoulders and well-defined musculature. His hair was just a little too long, like maybe he’d forgotten his last couple of haircuts, and very dark, shot through with a tiny bit of gray. It had to be premature because I doubted he was much more than ten years older than me. His facial features—though thrown in deep shadow because of the low light in the room—were chiseled and angular, too handsome to be fair to the rest of the world. Wire-rimmed glasses perched on the tip of his straight nose, slightly askew. Despite the handsomeness, he had dark circles under his eyes and frown lines around his mouth, as if he hadn’t slept in weeks. And he was wearing Angry Birds pajamas.

When he saw me, his deep-set blue eyes widened and he flinched like I’d snuck up on him. “Who the hell are you?”

I let out a squeaky gasp and backed away toward Taylor because the guy looked fucking scary when he turned on the full force of that scowl.

“Jesus Christ, Beaudry, relax,” Taylor said. He picked up his briefcase and pulled out a legal-size envelope. “This is my friend Mackenzie. I was driving him home, and I just popped in to drop off these contracts from Harrelson.”

Beaudry grunted and crossed the room to sit at his desk. He waved a hand in the vague direction of a stack of shelves. “Just put them in the inbox. I’ll deal with them later.”

“If you look them over now, I can take back any questions or return them…”

He glared at Taylor over his shoulder, and Taylor wisely shut his mouth. Then the man’s gaze settled on me. It wasn’t the scowl he’d given me earlier, but it wasn’t exactly a…nice expression either. It was more of an assessing glare than anything. “Welcome to Chatham House, Mackenzie. What do you think?” he asked.

I had no idea what he meant. What did I think of the house? The room? Him? “It’s…impressive. The artwork is…unusual.”

He let out a belting laugh that I hadn’t been expecting, so I jumped, but then the rich baritone of it made my toes curl. It was an odd reaction, as I wasn’t usually affected by such things.

“Unusual is a kind way of putting it. The artwork came with the house, along with much of the furniture. I just haven’t gotten around to redecorating.”

“Oh, that’s…” . “How long have you lived here, then?”

Beaudry turned back to his computer and began typing furiously. “About five years,” he answered without turning back around.

I choked on air, and Taylor snorted. “I think by ‘haven’t gotten around to it,’ you mean ‘just don’t give a shit,’” he muttered.

“Touché, Mr. Morrison. Is there anything else you need?”

Taylor sighed, probably realizing that the man was not going to look at whatever was in the envelope while we were still there to relay any messages back to Mindstream. He clamped a hand around my wrist and started dragging me toward the door. “All right, we’re going. Remember, drinks at the King’s Shield next Friday.”

“I don’t think I’m going to be—”

Taylor spoke right over Beaudry’s muttering. “You already said you would. No backsies. I can pick you up.”

“I think I’d enjoy driving my shiny Lotus instead, but thank you very much for the offer,” Beaudry growled. “Nice meeting you, Mack,” I heard him call through the open door.

“Nickname basis already?” I laughed to Taylor.

“That has nothing to do with nicknames and everything to do with your name being too long for him to remember.”

“I heard that, Morrison!”

Purchase

J.K. Hogan | Amazon

Meet the Author

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?
J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and two sons, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit www.jkhogan.com.

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Release Blitz & Giveaway: Road to the Sun by Keira Andrews

 



Buy Links: 


Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Length: 70,000 words


Blurb


A desperate father. A lonely ranger. Unexpected love that can’t be denied.


Jason Kellerman’s life revolves around his eight-year-old daughter. Teenage curiosity with his best friend led to Maggie’s birth, her mother tragically dying soon after. Insistent on raising his daughter himself, he was disowned by his wealthy family and has worked tirelessly to support Maggie—even bringing her west on a dream vacation. Only twenty-five, Jason hasn’t had time to even think about romance. So the last thing he expects is to question his sexuality after meeting an undeniably attractive park ranger.



Ben Hettler’s stuck. He loves working in the wild under Montana’s big sky, but at forty-one, his love life is non-existent, his ex-boyfriend just married and adopted, and Ben’s own dream of fatherhood feels impossibly out of reach. He’s attracted to Jason, but what’s the point? Besides the age difference and skittish Jason’s lack of experience, they live thousands of miles apart. Ben wants more than a meaningless fling.


Then a hunted criminal takes Maggie hostage, throwing Jason and Ben together in a desperate and dangerous search through endless miles of mountain forest. If they rescue Maggie against all odds, can they build a new family together and find a place to call home?


Road to the Sun is a May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring adventure, angst, coming out, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.
 
Author Bio

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:
“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

 

Giveaway

Goodreads Monday (5/22/17): An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To participate, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out her blog and link back to Lauren’s Page Turners and add your own links! 

My choice today is An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League #1) by Alyssa Cole.

BLURB: As the Civil War rages between the states, a courageous pair of spies plunge fearlessly into a maelstrom of ignorance, deceit, and danger, combining their unique skills to alter the course of history and break the chains of the past . . .

Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.

Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton’s Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.

Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy’s favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other . 

ADD TO GOODREADS 

Isn’t that cover beautiful? Alyssa Cole is an author I met at RT 16 in Las Vegas. She was so nice that I told myself when I see an audiobook by her, I’ll snag it. That I’ve done and I can’t wait to listen to it.  This choice is a historical fiction which I enjoy and it is also a series. I will add a review as soon as I’m done. Have you read anything by Alyssa Cole?

What are you reading today from your Goodreads TBR shelf? 

What Matters by Gracie Leigh

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.

What Matters by Gracie Leigh
Release Date: May 2nd, 2017
Pages: 192 • Format: eARC
Published By: Fox Love Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon

“It’s a good fear, Sam. I’d miss it if it wasn’t there…”

Musical prodigy Eddie Dean gets everything she wants. The best violin, the best boyfriend, and a place at the best music school in London are hers until her father goes bankrupt. Once the financial facade comes tumbling down, Eddie’s broke and her boyfriend couldn’t care less.

The doorstep of Jimmy’s Café is the last place she expects to wash up.

Scrubbing dishes and serving fried breakfasts to pay her rent is as hellish as she imagined, and her new life is made worse by the distain of her boss’s sneering grandson. Sam Novak is arrogant, rude, and gorgeous, and if Eddie never sees him again, it will be too soon. Shame she can’t stop thinking about him. Dreaming about him. Craving him.

And then there’s his best friend Dylan.

Dylan is as light as Sam is dark, and Eddie wants him too. She can have him too—according to Sam—but when Sam reveals a vulnerability that could cost him his life, it’s time for Eddie to face the music. Does she still need to get everything she wants, or should she choose what matters?

two-stars

I could not be more disappointed in this book. This author also writes under a different name in the m/m romance genre and in that she is one of my favorite authors. I was SO excited when I saw that she was writing a m/f romance. I expected great things. What I got was a book I barely finished.

The plot is in the blurb (obviously) and the first 15% or so of the book was pretty good. I liked Eddie (the heroine) at the beginning and it seemed like a great set up. The book went bad for me pretty early on because Sam (the “hero”) was an absolute, unmitigated asshole. He was dreadful to Eddie when they first began to work together at his family restaurant but I thought as he fell for her he would show her his tender side and start to be kind and loving to her. Nope. He continued to be rude and disrespectful to her throughout. He insults her every chance he gets. I hated him as much at the end of the book as I did at the beginning. Some examples of Sam talking to Eddie:

“I want you to piss off, but as that’s unlikely to happen, you can go round and fill up the sauce bottles.”

“You think I owe you a conversation, or some shit? Just because I fucked you the other night?”

“You want to feel special? Is that all this is, Eddie? You want the whole world to revolve around you?
“No! That’s not what I meant.”
“Great, ’cause I don’t actually give a shit what you meant.”

“How many times do you need telling before it sinks into your entitled brain?”

“You know what, Eddie? Fuck you.”

Soooo……..as you can tell, Sam’s a prince among men. I guess this is all a matter of perception. Some people may not have an issue with someone talking to them like this but it doesn’t work me at all. I don’t call it romance. I don’t call it a broody hero. I call it verbal
abuse.

I mentioned that I liked Eddie at the beginning and I did. That didn’t last though. While she wasn’t as horrible as Sam was for me, she still wasn’t a very nice person. She treats the people around her poorly, she’s rude and disrespectful to Sam (two wrongs don’t make a right & all that) and she’s dreadful to her mother. Her mother, also not a nice person, is still her mother and I’m not a fan of telling her to “Get the fuck out of my apartment”.

This also contains my least favorite plot devise and that is “The Giant Misunderstanding That Could Have Been Avoided With Communication”. There’s a few instances of it here and both characters are immature and fly off the handle and refuse to speak to each other, say mean things, send mean texts, blah, blah, blah. I’m completely befuddled as to why it’s in this book. I know it’s common in a lot of m/f NA (which is why I avoid them) but I’ve never seen this author use this plot device so I was completely shocked to see it here.

The sex. Some readers will think this next complaint is petty but it really irked me. They’re together for the first time and he asks if she’s on the pill and she says “yes” so they don’t use a condom. They’ve just met and she’s been sleeping with another guy. This drives me insane. Yes, she won’t get pregnant but she or he could get any number of sexually transmitted diseases. Then there is this really odd threesome with Sam’s friend Dylan. It was hot, I’m not gonna lie, but it didn’t fit in the story. I don’t understand why it was there. It really served no point as far as the plot went. And…..for some reason Dylan had to wear a condom??? **best Scooby Doo confused shrug here** Also, the sex was super unrealistic. Eddie’s only had boring, bad sex with her ex before and has never had an orgasm. She’s also never given a blow job. So jump forward to the second or third time she’s had sex with Sam. She’s deep throating him (it mentions his dick hitting the back of her throat more than once) and then she’s doing both him and his best friend, deep throating them both and taking both of their dicks at once. Now I appreciate a girl who throws herself into things but I feel she really jumped ahead of the learning curve. I actually thought at this point that I had misunderstood and this wasn’t supposed to be a romance but was in fact an erotica story. And I was happy. But then sadly, this threesome ended, Dylan just weirdly disappeared from the book as fast as he’d shown up and we were back to the romance portion.

By the end of the book they were all “I’ll love you forever and ever”. I have ZERO idea how they got there. There was no relationship development, no scenes of them being tender with each other, no communication, no feelings whatsoever. This was a huge case of “telling” the reader rather than “showing” them.

It makes me sad to say this cuz I’m usually such fan girl for this author but I really disliked this. A lot.

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Standalone Sunday (5/21/17): Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

Standalone Sunday is a fun feature created by Megan at Bookslayerreads where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend. There’s so much focus on books that are part of a series… she thought it’d be nice to focus on some standalone novels, too!

Feel free to join in on this weekly feature by creating your own Standalone Sunday post! And be sure to check out Megan’s very creative blog and leave a link in her Standalone Sunday comments section so she can add your blog to the list

My Standalone Pick this week is: Wait For It by Mariana Zapata

  

BLURB: If anyone ever said being an adult was easy, they hadn’t been one long enough.

Diana Casillas can admit it: she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing half the time. How she’s made it through the last two years of her life without killing anyone is nothing short of a miracle. Being a grown-up wasn’t supposed to be so hard.

With a new house, two little boys she inherited the most painful possible way, a giant dog, a job she usually loves, more than enough family, and friends, she has almost everything she could ever ask for.

Except for a boyfriend.
Or a husband.

But who needs either one of those?

Kindle Edition: 670 pages

Audiobook
: 15hrs, 52 mins

Published:
December 7th 2016 by Amazon Digital Services LLC

ADD TO GOODREADS 

I’m currently listening to this audiobook narrated by Callie Dalton. I chose this book because I read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by the same author a week and a half ago and loved that book. So I purchased this book. I plan to also get the Audiobooks Under Locke and Kulti by Mariana Zapata. This author’s writing was that gripping and entertaining to me.

Have you read or listened to this book or any book by Mariana Zapata? Did you enjoy it? Happy First Day of the Week!

Blog Tour: Beast by A. Zavarelli

(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Enticing Journey Book Promotions
Title: Beast
Series: Twisted Ever After #1
Author: A. Zavarelli
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: May 17, 2017

 

Once upon a time, I believed in fairytales.

But then he took me. And he taught me that life isn’t a fairytale.

He is scarred. Broken. A dark and wild thing. His beauty is violent and his words are cruel. His heart is a shadowed landscape where nothing can grow. He tells me he could never care for me, and he proves it every day. He’s destroyed my life. Tortured me. And worse…

He’s trained me to beg for his affection. This prison is a place where sunlight doesn’t reach. He taught me that hate is born in darkness. And then he taught me that sometimes love is too.
A. Zavarelli is a book junkie, cat lover, and traveler when plagued by intense cases of wanderlust. She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell. 
Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.
She is slightly obsessed with Theo James and funny animal memes. If you don’t mind these things, you should add her on facebook.

HOSTED BY:

About A. Zavarelli

A. Zavarelli is a book junkie, cat lover, and traveler when plagued by intense cases of wanderlust. She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell.

Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.

She is slightly obsessed with Theo James and funny animal memes. If you don’t mind these things, you should add her on facebook. Even better, make sure you don’t miss a new release by signing up for the newsletter below.

Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy, #1) by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy, #1) by Jacqueline CareySeries: Kushiel's Legacy #1
on 2002-03-15
Pages: 704
AmazonNarrator: Anne Flosnik
A nation born of angels, vast and intricate and surrounded by danger... a woman born to servitude, unknowingly given access to the secrets of the realm...Born with a scarlet mote in her left eye, Phédre nó Delaunay is sold into indentured servitude as a child. When her bond is purchased by an enigmatic nobleman, she is trained in history, theology, politics, foreign languages, the arts of pleasure. And above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Exquisite courtesan, talented spy... and unlikely heroine. But when Phédre stumbles upon a plot that threatens her homeland, Terre d'Ange, she has no choice.Betrayed into captivity in the barbarous northland of Skaldia and accompanied only by a disdainful young warrior-priest, Phédre makes a harrowing escape and an even more harrowing journey to return to her people and deliver a warning of the impending invasion. And that proves only the first step in a quest that will take her to the edge of despair and beyond.Phédre nó Delaunay is the woman who holds the keys to her realm's deadly secrets, and whose courage will decide the very future of her world. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel's Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age and the birth of a new. It is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. A world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, deposed rulers and a besieged Queen, a warrior-priest, the Prince of Travelers, barbarian warlords, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess... all seen through the unflinching eyes of an unforgettable heroine.

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: Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
Series: Phèdre’s Trilogy, #1
Release Date: March 15, 2002
Format: e-book (929 pages); Audiobook (31 hrs and 6 mins)
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Erotica,
Published By: Tantor Audio
Purchase Links: Amazon US
 
The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good…and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission…and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one. Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair…and beyond.

Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel’s Dart – a massive tale about the violent death of an old age and the birth of a new.

three-stars
4-stars for the plot, writing and characters, but 2-stars for my enjoyment. Thus a 3-star rating.

Holy cow. I felt every bit of this 31 hour book. It was slowly and methodically developed as all really good fantasy novels are. I will say that the writing was really well done and the characters were developed with care. The author wrote an interesting story but I was just too long.

At the heart of this story was a young girl discarded from her family because she had a flaw ~ birth defect in her eye. Her parents eloped after her mother fell in love with a man below her station. They had hoped their child would mend those fences and restore them to their respective families.

Unfortunately Phaedre was not born flawless. The disappointed parents gave her away to a group that rehomes (sells) the unwanted. The glorified brothel is where Phaedre met Lord Anafiel and began to learn about her own sexuality. Basically she needed pain with her pleasure.

Instead of the options she got, Phaedre wanted to be trained as the best courtesan/hooker ever. On some level I get that she felt empowered and like she controlled her own destiny. But I felt she devalued herself just as her parents did.

Many more things happened but I lost interest early on. The story brought it more characters who impacted Phaedre’s life, and a few events really tugged on my heart strings. The ending was a cliffhanger, but I wasn’t moved to continue right away. I have to be in the mood for such a big epic fantasy to pick up the sequel.

Ezi

Review: Lethal Lies (Blood Brothers #2) by Rebecca Zanetti

Series:
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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: Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Blood Brothers #2
Release Date: May 16th 2017 by
Format: Paperback (ARC) 417 pages; Audiobook (13hrs)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published By: Forever; Hatchette Audio
Purchase Links: Amazon US • AudibleBarnes & Noble

A deadly secret can’t stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It’s the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars-even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can’t do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones’s job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it’s personal. He knew the Copper Killer’s latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he’s all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath’s identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath’s every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they’ll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

four-half-stars
And Rebecca Zanetti Slays Again!

Rebecca Zanetti is a master of weaving thrilling stories full of suspense, romance and mystery. When you begin her books, be prepared to get caught up in a sexy romantic suspense with an incredibly developed storyline. She is an auto-buy for me because her books have everything I love, family, romance, suspense, mystery, and most importantly, a happy ending. My favorite thing in her stories is the unshakable bond of family loyalty. It is really the glue that makes the characters lovable. They have this all for one, one for all attitude that is so endearing.

Book 2 in the explosive Blood Brother series, was no exception. Remember, this series is the spin-off from the Sin Brother series and contrary to what some say, this series SHOULD be read in order to truly appreciate the character’s journey as well as the underlying plot because the same villains have been plaguing the various main characters.
The prior book, Deadly Silence, introduced a serial killer dubbed the Copper Killer because he hunted red heads and the Lost Bastards Detective Agency (Ryker, Heath and Denver) were on his tail. Also, investigating the case was a profiler, Anya Best, a professor in criminal psychology. The serial killer has been sending her letters showing that he was fixated on her but Anya has no clue who he could be.  Heath Jones was working with FBI agent Loretta Best, Anya’s older sister, who became the killer’s latest victim. So, Heath decided he would protect Anya and avenge Loretta. It was clear the author was setting the stage for this book’s main couple.

I really enjoyed Anya because she was strong, smart and capable. She didn’t let her fear stop her from trying to figure out the killer. It also amused me that she was trying to shrink the Heath because those brothers have so many issues and secrets. Heath is an alpha male with a tender heart. He saves animals for crying out loud. How can you not love a strong, capable man who is so conscious of the pain and suffering of those who are wounded? Heath and Anya worked as a couple because they had this simmering chemistry.

Their relationship was an insta-attraction, not necessarily insta-love because Heath fought himself because of the past monsters (Dr. Madison and Sheriff Cobb). The danger, intrigue, suspense and being on the run certainly created an atmosphere that would be sexually charged. Plus, Ryker, Denver all approved so we got another addition to the family.

Rebecca Zanetti delivered an intense romance with lots of moving parts. That’s why I think it’s really imperative to start with Forgotten Sins (Sin Brother #1). Thats the best way to truly enjoy this quilted novel’s family theme as well as the super villains.  If you enjoy series like Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalkers series, you will love this one as well. I can’t wait to continue with Book 3, Twisted Truths, which will finally address Denver and Noni’s story.

Ezi

About Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti wrote her first story when she was six – a romance between a princess and neighboring prince. The princess fell out of her castle and the prince rescued her. A happily ever after was had by all.

This theme of romance has been carried through Rebecca’s works until present time. While today’s heroine may have a medical degree, black belt in Karate and her own 401K, she’s still after that happy ending. And today’s prince may have fangs and wear a black hat, but hey, a modern princess likes a guy who bites.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides there with her husband, children and extended family who inspire her every day.

Sparrow by L.J. Shen

Title: Sparrow by L.J Shen
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Format: Audiobook (9 hrs and 23 mins)
Genre: Mafia Romance, Dark Romance

Troy Brennan

Every southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart throb with steel blue eyes. “The Fixer” who can make or break you in this city.

Oh, and my new husband.

Sparrow Raynes

That’s me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life.
But then he caged me.
Kidnapped me.
And killed every chance I had to runaway from the place where we grew up.
Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings.

I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he’d ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he’d decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.

Sparrow is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.

three-stars


I never quite clicked with Troy Brennan and Sparrow Raynes. I liked Sparrow because she dealt with the world on her own terms. Troy was kind of a dirty dog and I guess he did Sparrow a solid by handling an issue on her past that cause her a lot of pain. But Troy still toyed with her. He had been watching her for a long time and knew stuff about her. Plus, I can’t get over that he gave her a weding gift picked out by his mistress, brought his mistress into their home and had relations with that crackhead whore, and he let Sparrow wear a dress he knew belong to his mistress to a public outing. That was so foul. Plus he kept that housekeeper. When a man lets his mistress get one up on his wife, I cannot ride with you.

The wife should never be blindsided by the sidepiece. So Troy got two middle fingers from me.

I never felt their attraction was anything other than a physical itch that each needed to scratch. It didn’t feel like love or passion. It just didn’t work for me like i was expecting. How the fixer just shared his business with that guy who took something that belong to him was also weak to me. I enjoyed the twist about bad guy more than anything. The bad guy laid his plan down so properly that it was a tad sad it didn’t work.

The writing was okay but I wasn’t feeling the couple’s chemistry. I will try another book by this author to see if its the writing or just this story.

Ezi