Release Day Review: Building Forever (The Rebuilding Year #2.5) by Kaje Harper

(Website, Facebook, Goodreads)

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: Building Forever by Kaje Harper
Series: The Rebuilding Year #2.5
Release Date: October 15. 2017
Format: e-ARC (80 pages)
Genre: novella, gay contemporary romance
Published By:

Four years ago, Ryan and John decided they’d wait to get married until it came with full legal equality. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court, that historic moment has finally arrived. But two hundred miles separate Ryan’s hectic residency from John’s busy campus job. With a son in college, a daughter choosing her future, and a rambunctious Irish Setter needing attention, planning a wedding isn’t simple.

Of course, even the most perfect ceremony can’t solve all their problems. What does it take to build forever?
three-half-stars

It’s time for John Ward and Ryan Barrett to be married legally

See my review of Book 1: Rebuilding Year. I was really giddy that John and Ryan were finally at this point. After all, the state courts have cleared the way for same-sex couples to be have equal rights and protection under the law. But the week of their exciting and life changing event, the highest court in Wisconsin put a halt/injunction to same sex marriages. Now gay couples everywhere sat on pins and needles while the biggest fight was being waging behind within Supreme Court. This book chronicled this couple’s inner musings and fears as they wondered if they would ever get to call each other husband legally.

My feelings regarding this novella are torn because there are aspects I really enjoyed parts and there are instances that I didn’t enjoy. There was a happy ending, but it was an emotionally bumpy ride to the altar. I love John and Ryan and thus I found all the drama in this book unnecessary. Here was a passionate couple who had overcome a lot, including their current long-distance relationship arrangement. As Ryan said “we learned together…love was just love, and when it was this real, this true, then fighting it was like a crime against the heart.” They were still so sweet on each other and the love was strong as ever. But the mood or tone of the book just felt gloomy. Their inner musings were a tad disheartening.

It was sad to me that their life together was still wrought with uncertainty and ambiguity. Can they get married, where to leave etc? I wanted to be excited and ecstatic for John and Ryan, but the series of unfortunate events just left me feeling fatigued.

The injustice of their story is well chronicled so the continual expounding on the unfairness of our justice system felt like more preaching to the choir. I didn’t think John and Ryan had to go through the trials of Job in order to have a wedding day. I kept thinking, what else will go wrong? I was just ready for a little bit of a smoother sailing. But the most heartwarming  gestures like John bring soup and taking care of a fatigued Ryan made my heart melt. They made think of the scripture “Love is patient, love is kind” because John and Ryan had that kind of commitment to each other.

Ezi

About Kaje Harper

I live in Minnesota, where the two seasons are Snow-removal and Road-repair, the mosquito is the state bird, and where sometimes in winter it can be breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, the deepfreeze chill contributes to the breath-taking, but Minnesota’s a kindly, quiet place and it’s home to me now. I’ve been writing for far longer than I care to admit (*whispers – forty years*), mostly for my own entertainment, and currently am focused on M/M romance (with added mystery, fantasy, history, SciFi…) I also have a few Young Adult stories released under the pen name Kira Harp.

My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out from MLR Press in May 2011. My husband finally convinced me that after all that time writing, I really should submit something, somewhere. I was thrilled when it was accepted. I have a weakness for closeted cops with honest hearts, and teachers who speak their minds, and I had fun writing the four novels and three freebie short stories in the series. I’ve been just delighted by the reception Mac and Tony have received.

My first free book became the first story that I actually released – I put it up a month before Life Lessons just for the fun of getting it out there. Lies and Consequences began as a reaction to the November 2010 election. It looked like the repeal of DADT might be derailed by the political shift and I put the insanity of that law into the book. Then as I was finishing the first draft in mid-December the repeal passed. Which was great, but prompted a rewrite to a lighter and more action/romance book. This was a solo effort and I learned a lot from writing and releasing it and from the reviews. Check Smashwords for that one and many of my other freebies.

I now have a decent backlist in ebooks and print, both free and professionally published. A complete list with links can be found on my Books page. This writing thing is addictive. So read, comment, tell me what you like and what you don’t, and help me make the upcoming books even better. I have an author page on Goodreads where I do a lot of book reviews, and this blog is reposted there.

You can find me to chat on my author page on Goodreads most easily – I hang out on Goodreads a lot because I moderate the Goodreads YA LGBT Books group there. I also post free short YA stories on that group, more than 50 of them so far.

You can also email me : kajeharper ~at~ yahoo ~dot~ com or find me on Facebook –

Hexslayer by Jordan L. Hawk

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.

Hexslayer: by Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Hexworld #3
Release Date: October 6th, 2017
Pages:344 • Format: eARC
Published By: Jordan L. Hawk
Purchase Links:
Amazon 

Horse shifter Nick has one rule: never trust a witch.

Nick has devoted his life to making his saloon a safe haven for the feral familiars of New York. So when a brutal killer slaughters a feral under his protection, Nick has no choice but to try and catch the murderer. Even if that means bonding with a handsome Irish witch.

Officer Jamie MacDougal came back from the war in Cuba missing part of a leg and most of his heart. After his former lover becomes one of the killer’s victims, Jamie will do anything to solve the case.

Nick comes to Jamie with a proposal: after making a temporary bond, they will work together to stop the murders. Once the killer is caught, they walk away and never see one another again.

It sounds simple enough. But the passion that flares between the two men won’t be so easily extinguished. And if Nick can’t learn to trust his witch, he stands to lose everything—including his life.

 

four-stars

 

This book!!!! It was everything. Hawk never disappoints. I mean the story was so heavily featured with an actual plot plot for this series. Not that the other ones haven’t been, but this one had alot of grit in it. Nick finally gets his love and book. Ornery stubborn as this horse, Nick. He finds his match in the last person he’d ever want. Jamie MacDogual, MWP policeman and witch. Two things Nick abhors the most. This is definitely a longer book in the series compared to the others. A lot of things took place. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. My only issue was the ending. Bit abrupt in the Nick & Jamie sense. I mean, the fight the good fight and we get maybe 3 pages of them at the end. I’m not looking for full chapters of what’s to come, but I definitely wanted more.

I admire Nick and everything he’s stood for. He has his personal beliefs and the reasons for all his reservations with the police and witches. His past plays a big part of how he moves in & out the world. Nick is up against the wall in his crusade for the familiars in his world. He’s a major play in the Familiar world in New York. He’s also a major pain for the cops and the bad guys in this book. He has to bite the bullet and do something he didn’t think he’d ever do. Bond with a witch. Not any witch, but his mate. The one person that is going to unlock his magic together through their bond. Jamie MacDogual is his mate. Jamie has his own reservations. He’s trying to live up to the war hero. It isn’t that he doesn’t want to be it, but the truth and who he is now is different. I loved that Jamie was a listener. He was really adamant about seeing both sides since he’s involved so much.

Their progression together isn’t easy. Nick fights his attraction every step of the way. Jamie realizes his feelings for Nick is only about Nick. I thought the story was really well thought out. It was written amazingly. Oh my goodness, I got to see some of my favorites like Rook, Cicero & Mal. Issac, I cannot wait for his book. Hawk’s work is always impressive and really well written. She continues to execute her work as amazing as ever.

 

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About Jordan L. Hawk

Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.

Tender with a Twist by Annabeth Albert

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.

Tender with a Twist: by Annabeth Albert
Series: Rainbow Cove #2
Release Date: October 2nd, 2017
Pages:264 • Format: eARC
Published By: Self Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

One kinky wood carver. One younger chef looking to try new things. A series of lessons that bring both men more than they bargained for…

Curtis Hunt has made a name for himself as a chainsaw wood carver, winning national competitions and operating a small business in Rainbow Cove, Oregon. As winter whittles away his tourist traffic, his goal is just to survive the season and try to not get lost in grief for his dead lover. It’s been two years, but he’s sure he’ll never be over the love of a lifetime. However, his body has a certain restlessness that he doesn’t quite know how to calm.

Logan Rosner knows a thing or two about restlessness. It’s what drove him to Rainbow Cove to be a chef at a bar and grill run by his friends. And it’s what drives him to a single sizzling encounter with the local legendary lumberjack. Both men get far more than they expected and learn that first impressions aren’t always accurate…

But when Logan proposes a series of sexy lessons, Curtis must decide how much he’s willing to risk. He knows he can’t afford to get attached to Logan’s good cooking, his easy smiles, or his caretaking, but he keeps going back for more, even as deeper emotions become involved. Soon, Curtis must decide whether to risk his heart again or risk losing Logan for good.

 

four-stars

 

I enjoyed book one alot, but this one had the KINK and the EMOTIONS!!!! #Winning.

From the beginning, I truly enjoyed reading from both guys point of views. It had all my favorite tropes age gap, kink, big muscly tattooed guys, prim and proper slimmer guys, emotional roller coasters and foodgasms.  Albert is such an amazing story teller. I love her writing process, and everything she puts into her characters. The differences in personalities are such a big thing. I love that not one of her characters are the same. The dilemmas that each guy found themselves had brought them to each other for different reasons. Logan wanting to be someone he’s always dreamed of and Curtis trying to fight what he secretly craves.

Curtis, Curtis, Curtis dude its like pulling teeth with you. Argh, I wanted to scream and understand all at the same damn time. Curtis is a grouchy vegan, wood carver with a kink out of this world. Curtis is grieving for his husband, friend, and family. His ex was all that wrapped into one person. Kink is something that he wants and needs. Not really feeling Logan “The Kid”, Curtis continuously blows him off. His perceptions of Logan are well off, and he does things that makes him open his eyes. Logan has wants and desires. Things that he felt he couldn’t have back in Portland. Well Rainbow Cove, has been good to him. In coming here and finding his niche, he’s found his counterpart in Curtis. Total opposites attract story as well.

I won’t go into the plot. That’s never any fun. This story is a roller coaster. Its fun, sweet, painful, sexy, and tears all at once. Fans of Albert’s writing will fawn over this. She delivers a powerful punch of emotions, and I’m never disappointed. Cannot wait for the third book. The writing was good overall, the pacing was steady, and the kink side of the book was very powerful. A sweet HEA at the end of the day. Wouldn’t mind seeing these two in the future.

 

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About Annabeth Albert

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Gummy Bears & Grenades by Charlie Cochet

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.

Gummy Bears & Grenades: by Charlie Cochet
Series: THIRDS #9.5
Release Date: October 4th, 2017
Pages: 102 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley can’t wait to marry his fiancé, Team Leader Sloane Brodie, but first he’s looking forward to celebrating his bachelor party—which he intends to be a shenanigans-free evening of getting his groove on with family and friends.

Of course events don’t work out as planned, but for Dex that’s nothing new. One thing is for sure, dodging drug dealers and hired thugs amid booze, dancing—and even a bear costume—will guarantee it’s a night Dex will never forget. Now he just needs to survive all the fun.

***
Enjoy this bonus story from the THIRDS universe. These events occur between Darkest Hour Before Dawn and Tried & True in the series timeline. While reading this story would enhance your experience of the THIRDS series, it is not necessary to read before Tried & True.

 

three-half-stars

I can’t believe I read another Sex & Dlonae story. Yeah, that’s how I refer to them. I keep saying I’m going to stay away because its so much stuff happening that I can’t keep up at times. Well obviously, I didn’t keep my word and read it right away. I liked it enough. It had its funny moments, it had its smexy time moments big time, and about time I saw Austen & Zachary!!! I’m waiting on their story. It doesn’t seem to be coming fast enough. Dex is his usual annoying self, and Sloane has managed to turn into a neutered jaguar, but hey Wolf was totally in this one. I can’t wait to read more on him.

Pre-gaming for a wedding is definitely a necessity. I enjoyed all those festivities in my own, and can acknowledge that Dex wanted his own. I was a little leery on Sloane not having the same, but once you read it then you totally get it. Ummm, I’m trying to figure out who the mole is. I mean, Dex isn’t a celebrity so for these events to happen then it’ll have to be someone close to him giving up all the deets. I’m trying to step away from this series, but its addictive & aggravating all in the same sentence. 

I do like seeing all the couples come together and celebrate this union. I know we are near the ending of this series, and I’d like to see a few couples spotlights and maybe see Tony & Sparks really come together publicly. Yeah, I want pops happy. Fans of the Thirds Series will really enjoy this. Don’t read this series out of order, you really won’t understand.

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About Charlie Cochet

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.If you’d like to connect with Charlie, just drop her an email, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google Plus.

Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church

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.

Dragon’s Hoard: by M.A. Church
Release Date: October 1st, 2017
Series: Dreamspun Beyond #5
Pages: 234 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

To be loved by a dragon is to be treasured.

A hundred years ago, werewolf Alpha Montgomery took a risk driven by desperation—he borrowed money from the ancient dragon Warwick Ehecatl, putting up the pack lands as collateral. Now the debt is due, and dragons don’t forget—or forgive. Warwick demands Montgomery’s son, Avery, and three businesses as compensation. As an Omega, Avery knows he is basically useless to his pack, so he might as well agree. He soon has second thoughts, though. Warwick is fearsome, and he’s free to do as he likes with Avery.

Warwick knows his race’s reputation, and he even admits some of it is deserved. But he’d rather cut off his tail than let his innocent mate’s light go out. It won’t be easy, but buried deep, there’s something between them worth safeguarding.

 

 

four-stars

This hit all my creamy crack comfort reads!

√ Possessive-Aggressive Alpha Dudes

√ Virgin Guys

√ Shifters

√ Scorching Hot Foreplay

If this was a series book, then I’d be the first person in line to gobble these up. I’m addicted to alpha-omega stories, and don’t care if it isn’t wolf shifters. I really adored Church’s The Harvest series. This book was really good. It was sweet, fluffy, cheesiness, and scorching hot. I read it in one sitting from page 1 to the last end. As much as I enjoyed it, I felt the ending was to abrupt. It didn’t feel completed and I couldn’t get down with that. I would love to continue this as a series, so if that’s the route we’re going then its A-Okay with me.

Warwick is a total douchebag, but I love his reasoning as being a dragon. He is really old, and used to being on his own. Use to doing what he wants when he wants, and doesn’t let anyone step in his way. Avery is an omega passed his prime age, but he’s son to the Alpha who owns Warwick money. Coming to collect, sparks fly and both find their mates. Its not what each other expects, but its set in stone from there.

I love how Warwick’s demeanor instantly changes for Avery. He’s a softer and caring person around him. He’s patient, and Avery opens up as well. This totally worked for me. I’m hoping the author can write a series off these characters or possibly this world. I think if you would like a sugary sweet romance with a little paranormal influence then this is right up your alley.

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About M.A. Church

Hey and welcome to my M/M blog! My published name is M.A. Church, but I also wrote as nomoretears00. I’m a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now I spend my days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding my numerous shifters, or trying to tempt my country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it! When not writing, I’m exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching my beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if I’m not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we have two grown children.

Audio Review with Giveaway: Texas Family (Texas Series, Book 4) by R.J. Scott

Narrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Narrator: Sean Crisden
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Length: 4hrs 19 mins
Texas Series
The Heart of Texas (Book #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK

Texas Winter (Book #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Blurb:

Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes begin a journey that will change their lives forever.

Set against the backdrop of the Double D, the cast of the Texas audiobooks face changes that won’t leave a single one of them untouched.

Jack and Riley want to extend their small family of three. Their first choice is surrogacy with Jack as the father, and when all this begins smoothly both men can’t help but contemplate at what point would things go wrong. After all, their lives are far from normal, and nothing is ever smooth.

Add a small four-year-old boy in foster care into the mix, and suddenly things become a whole lot more complicated.

four-stars

I really enjoyed this one as much as book 1. It is book four and I am still shipping Riley and Jack Campbell Hayes. These two continue to be a great place in their relationship and we got more emotional moments in this installment. I love what the author R.J. Scott did in this book, adding to the foundation of the main couple and expanding their family. I also love that author writes realistic relationship and family dynamics, nothing over the top and ridiculous. The narrator Sean Crisden did a great job delineating the various characters. I was able to follow each story with no mix-ups.

Riley and Jack are at a point in their marriage where they decided to expand their family. This story takes us through the process as the couple finds a surrogate, deal with their individual as well as collective fears as a gay couple having a child in Texas.

My favorite part of this story was how the surrogate really made it a seamless process. She was communicative and kind as Riley and Jack navigated this new terrain. I was both excited, happy and full of angst for the couple. the new children will definitely make the next book very interesting because the Campbell-Hayes family really grew in size. I was hoping for more clarity with Eden and Sean. This couple has been struggling for some time and I thought this book would deal with it but it wasn’t really resolved. I still found this journey endearing and entertaining.

If you want a romance that revolves around family with a western feel, you will love this story.

Ezi

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

Texas Heat (Texas Series, Book 3) by R.J. Scott

Series:
Narrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Signal Boost Promotions

Title: Texas Heat by R.J. Scott
Series: Texas Series, Book 3
Release Date: May 4, 2017
Format: Audiobook (4 hrs and 18 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western
Published By: Love Lane Books Limited

Against the backdrop of 20 half-naked models on DD land, and in the midst of fighting the oil establishment that just won’t give Riley a chance, Texas Heat is the story of one hot summer in Texas with a Gay Rodeo, humor, angst, and a love between two men that just grows stronger every day.

Jack hires Robbie, a man recovering from a great loss, to be his right hand man. Meanwhile, Riley’s mischievous photographer friend, Eli, decides the DD is the perfect backdrop for a cowboy themed model shoot. Eli has secrets not even Riley knows about but despite what he is hiding he falls in lust with Robbie at first sight. Everyone except Robbie can see how perfect Eli would be for him.

What happens when secrets spill and lies are discovered? And just how far will Riley and Jack go to play matchmaker?

three-half-stars

Honestly, I don’t enjoy the narrator Sean Crisden’s work in this series. His voice makes the characters sound like early twenties college dudes and not like the mature men I picture in my head. Thankful, the writing and plot remains very solid so I enjoy the story because Jack and Riley love was a gift that touched all those around them.

Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes are settling into family life with their daughter Hayley and their extended family are finding their own way to love. The Double D Ranch is growing with new employees and Riley is trying to find a way to expand their oil exploration endeavors. The main couple is still crazy about each other and then of course, we get a blast from Riley’s wild past in the form of a man named Eli. Eli was a photographer who had been a prankster/irresponsible work, but now Eli is trying to clean up his work image. In order to secure his “comeback”, he asked to use the Double D Ranch for his photo shoot.

While Eli is taking pictures at the Ranch, he meets one of the ranch hands Robbie, a hurt soul who came to the Double D to heal from a past of abuse. For the first time in this series, the reader is taken on a journey to couple-dom featuring people not bearing the Hayes or Campbell last names. From Jack’s sister Eden and her boyfriend Sean to Riley’s mom getting married to her vet fiancée, it just feels like Jack and Riley’s relationship balanced the people around them. It is clear that they still are trying to find ways to make time for romance and putting their relationship first, but as a couple, they still make me smile. I’m thankful that the author doesn’t make them have those unnecessary relationship miscommunications and issues. Jack and Riley are the reason I love this series but I am looking forward to finding out what’s wrong with Eden’s boyfriend and having them back on solid ground.

About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

Audioreview: Lingus by Mariana Zapata

Narrator: Callie Dalton

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: Lingus by Mariana Zapata
Release Date: October 26, 2016
Format: Audiobook (10 hrs and 49 mins)
Genre: Romance
Published By: Tantor Audio

Blurb: Most people would describe Katherine Berger as a responsible girl with a big heart, a loyal friend who takes care of those close to her, and the possessor of a wicked sense of humor. There was something about her that most people didn’t know.

“My name is Kat Berger, and I love porn.”

When 25-year-old Kat is dragged to a porn convention by her best friend, she’s both embarrassed and nervous. The last thing she ever expects is to meet someone who makes her laugh like no other. This is a story about acceptance and friendship and a love born out of the most unexpected of places.

four-stars

The blurb/synopsis doesn’t accurately describe the heart of this novel nor does it do the love story justice. The porn convention was a backdrop to a friends to lover trope.

Katherine Berger goes to a porn convention with her bestie and while she was attempting to discretely pick her panties out of her butt, a guy named Tristan saw her. Tristan began teasing her and it was a beginning of a friendship and later romance. If you have listened to a Mariana Zapata book, you know that the journey to love tends to be longer and slower than the norm. Usually I enjoy the ride but this book felt longer than the previous books by the author. I liked the friendship but it was always clear that Kat wanted more than his friendship and was waiting around for Tristan to want her back. I loved the humor, I also loved the friendship but I found Tristan underdeveloped. We never really got to know him as Robby Lingus and I didn’t believe people in law school or law firms wouldn’t find out his job. Tristan seemed a tad antisocial but I would have liked to get to know his layers more. I know an ex-girlfriend led him into porn, and he was using it to pay for school. He clearly didn’t care for it but he never really talked about it. Kat, her dad, and their bond was explored along with her loving relationship with her girlfriends showed with care and precision. Tristan was really the unknown in this equation.

With that said, I laughed listening to this audiobook.  Mariana Zapata has a gift in building realistic relationships. This story was special because the friendships were authentic. The friendship between Kat and her girlfriends as well as Kat and Tristan was so real to me. I felt elated and satisfied when Kat and Tristan finally took the leap together.  I will read any and everything this author releases. I enjoy her work that much and I always know the journey to the happy ending will be worth it.

Ezi

Release Day Review: A World Apart by Mel Gough

Source: NineStar Press

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: A World Apart by Mel Gough
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Pages: • Format: Kindle e-arc (196 pages)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published By: NineStar Press
Purchase Links: •NineStar Press Amazon US

Synopsis: Ben Griers is the darling of Corinth Georgia’s Police Department—intelligent, handsome, and hardworking. Thanks to his beautiful wife and clever daughter, Ben’s family is the envy of the town. Yet desperate unhappiness is hiding just below the surface.

When Donnie Saunders, a deadbeat redneck with a temper, is brought to the Corinth PD as a suspect in a hit-and-run, Ben finds himself surprisingly intrigued by the man. He quickly establishes Donnie’s innocence but can’t shake the feeling that Donnie is hiding something. When they unexpectedly encounter each other again at an AA meeting in Atlanta, sparks begin to fly.

With his marriage on the verge of collapse, Ben is grateful for the other man’s affection. But he is soon struggling to help an increasingly vulnerable Donnie, while at the same time having to deal with the upheaval in his own life. Ben eventually realizes that they cannot achieve happiness together unless they confront their darkest secrets.

two-half-stars

I would describe reading this book as getting into a vehicle where the author took me on a high-speed car chase where I was hoping it would end well but my heart was in my stomach a lot.

It started with a very dramatic courtroom scene. The entire book, I kept waiting for the courtroom scene to tie in, but it didn’t really impact the story as I thought it would. There was such potential but it wasn’t realized here as there was no real foundation laid for this romance nor real chemistry between the characters.

The main characters met when Police Officer Ben Griers saw his best friend and fellow officer Jason being overly aggressive with a suspect. Ben stepped in and insisted that Jason release the suspect Donnie Saunders since Jason had no evidence connecting Donnie to an alleged hit-and-run accident. Donnie was grateful and went on his way. It seemed that something passed between them although it felt like sympathy, a bit of pity and gratitude.

Later at an AA meeting, Ben ran into Donnie and there was a recognition of sorts. Two struggling people trying to find their way out of their predicaments. Ben was having problems in his marriage so the reader was supposed to understand why and how Donnie evoked feelings that seemed dead in Ben. Other than having substance abuse issues that they were working through, I don’t see anything these two had in common. The author didn’t really set a foundation of loneliness for Ben, though it was clear that Donnie had a very troubled past and no real support system. Ben quickly stepped into Donnie’s life and started helping him with his illness with no hesitation. Considering he has a daughter and a wife, it was unbelievable that he didn’t even give a second thought to how this would affect their lives. Ben’s wife seemed like a reasonable person. I am not entirely sure what was the real problems in their marriage and why it couldn’t be addressed via counseling and effort.

There was a very heavy subject with serious issues all around, but they weren’t worked in carefully. The subjects of bisexuality, addiction and severe health condition should have made for a great hurt-comfort read but unfortunately, it didn’t deliver. Ben’s wife, daughter and even best friend Jason were all relationships that I didn’t really comprehend because there was no real depth to the dialogue nor real expression of emotion amongst these characters. They all seemed to be good people at heart, but seomthing just wasn’t right so they were glossed over. The writing was so uneven that it felt like I was holding on for dear life through this rather shallow journey of the character’s lives.

  I had high hopes for the book based on the enticing blurb but I was disappointed.

Resurrection (Redemption Harbor #1) by Katie Reus

Series:
Narrator: Sophie Eastlake
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

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: Resurrection by Katie Reus
Series: Redemption Harbor #1
Release Date: July 7th 2017
Pages: 6 hrs and 24 mins
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published By: KR Press, LLC

Blurb: She faked her own death…

Skye Arévalo left the CIA and faked her death to protect Colt Stuart, the only man she ever loved. Months later, a brutal kidnapping draws her to quietly infiltrate a dangerous cartel. Just when she thinks she’s home free, things go horribly wrong and she escapes with bloodthirsty enemies on her heels…only to find herself face to face with a bewildered and angry Colt.

He’ll cross every line to save her…

When Colt, a former Marine, finds out the woman he loved betrayed him, he’s shocked and hurt, but it doesn’t stop him from breaking every law on the books to keep her alive. Unfortunately, it might not be enough to stop a powerful enemy who will do anything to see the world burn and Skye dead.

three-half-stars

I love Katie Reus because her writing style just evokes a range of emotion because her characters are so multi-faceted. The combination of good writing with one of my favorite narrators, Sophie Eastlake, was clearly a winning duo. The narrator shined at the task of bringing these characters to life and I finished this audiobook in one day.

In this series beginner, we have two couples intertwined as the two male leads are former marines, CIA operatives and friends for years. Off the bat, there was action, adventure and love on the table. Two men grieving for the loss of the lady loves. Colt Stuart is silently mourning the death of his partner and love Skye Arevalo who died in a warehouse explosion in the line of duty. Meanwhile one of his best friend Mercer was not handling the loss of his wife Mary Grace well at all. Even though he didn’t share his suspicious, Colt suspected that Mary Grace was still alive somewhere and he decide to mount a rescue off the books (unsanctioned by the CIA) before he said anything to Mercer.

During the course of mission, Colt found that Mary Grace was indeed alive and had been rescued by a rogue agent, his “dead” lover Skye. This revelation led to examination of two couples that loved each other desperately but operated very differently. I must admit that I gravitated more towards Mercer and Mary Grace than the actual lead Colt and Skye. They were more emotionally connected and sappy where Skye and Colt were more physically aggressive and passionate. They weren’t as verbal and open about their feelings, but it is clear their devotion was a strong as Mercer and Mary Grace’s.

The underlying story was a familiar theme and the villain was an obvious one, but I enjoyed the unfolding of the story nonetheless. This story was intriguing, suspenseful and romantic. Katie Reus is just one of best in this genre. I know that second book is going to be even better.

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.