Audioreview: Her Ruthless Russian (Karev Brothers #1) by Leslie North

Series:
Narrator: D.C. Cole
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Author: Leslie North

Narrator: D.C. Cole

Length: 3h 34m

Publisher: Relay Publishing

Series: Karev Brothers, Volume One

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Born into a Russian Mafia family, Vlad Karev is no stranger to violence…but this time it’s personal. Someone has murdered his father and Vlad can’t rest until he finds the killer. When the trail leads to an art gallery, Vlad wants to dig deeper, but he needs help from the owner’s daughter. The pretty redhead is far too innocent for a man like Vlad, but he’ll do what it takes to get the information he needs. His obligations are to the family, even if that means using the fiery woman.
Madison O’Connor works hard to keep her family’s gallery going, although secretly she has little interest in art. But when she discovers her father’s been laundering money for the Russian Mafia, she’ll do everything she can to keep him out of jail. She hates to lie, but she has a plan…seduce the Russian bad boy to learn the mob’s secrets. Never mind his dangerous exterior or icy blue eyes, Madison’s going to get her family free of the mob, even if she has to use Vlad Karev to do it.
As the killer gets closer, so do Vlad and Madison. But is their connection just the means to an end, or could their romance be real?

 


Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

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D.C. Cole, originally an actor from California, has spent the last dozen years wandering the globe in search of…something. Self-awareness? Eternal truth? Magic, perhaps? (Cheap beer, probably.)

Once, on a Tibetan mountain top, he spent an entire month in silence to better understand the sound of a whisper. He spent a year in a small village in the Shandong Province of China, learning the ancient art of erotic mumbling. And one week out of every year, D.C. travels to Sanchi Stupa Temple in Madhya Pradesh, India, to perform one hundred thousand pushups, using only his tongue. (Actually, none of that’s true, but it sounds better than “He spent twelve years getting drunk in strange places with strange people while wearing a backpack.”)

D. C. has recently settled down in Brazil, where he enjoys collecting tattoos and drinking caipirinhas.

When not telling tall tales, D. C. locks himself inside his closet-sized studio and reads romantic and erotic stories into a microphone. Some people seem to enjoy his voice.


Music Playlist

[Put your playlist here]

 

Madison O’Connor discovered that her father was using their family art gallery to launder money for the mafia family Karev. Madison didn’t want to indebted to the Karev family and she decided to use her charms on Vlad Karev to attain information she could use to either bargain with or blackmail the Karev family to leave the O’Connor family alone. Vlad Karev decided to play along with Madison’s seduction because he was physically attracted to her and he was trying to figure out who murdered his father.

Their little game quickly turned into more and Madison discovered she cared for Vlad. While Vlad’s feeling was changing towards Madison, he suspected her family was involved in his father’s murder so he still guarded his heart. But soon, even he couldn’t deny that they were in love with each other. Would they choose love over solving the problem plaguing their respective families?

The story is short so there wasn’t a lot of character or plot building. But the attraction and banter between Madison and Vlad was delightful. Everything happened pretty fast but I found the story interesting. The narrator is new to me but I can’t say that the narration added or detracted from the story. His voice was just okay. I did like the author’s writing. I found it was quick and to the point, even though left a couple of the subplots unfinished so I look forward to getting more answers in book 2.

 I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Leslie North. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Her Ruthless Russian Giveaway: $10 Amazon Gift Card

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About Leslie North

Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

The Layover by Roe Horvat

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.

The Layover: by Roe Horvat
Release Date: July 19th, 2017
Pages: 104 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Eight years ago, Ondro Smrek fled Slovakia and the bigotry that drove his first lover to take his own life. The demons proved impossible to outrun, though, and now, desperate for somewhere to belong, Ondro is returning to start over. During a layover in Basel, Switzerland, he meets Jamie, an American living in Scotland who is as brilliant as he is beautiful.

Jaded Ondro never would have guessed he could fall in love during a brief layover—until now. When he is put in a position to offer Jamie comfort without hope of recompense, Ondro doesn’t hesitate. Soon, he catches a glimpse of the home he longs for. But with their separation looming, confessing his feelings would only lead to pain and humiliation. Life has taught Ondro not to hope, but then, he never believed in love at first sight either….

 

four-half-stars

 

Stop. Whatever you are doing stop and go grab this book.

New Author Alert!!!! Roe Horvat is a bloody good writer.

We all know I’m a fickle reader. I’m loyal to my authors to a fault, even when they are write less then my expectations. Sadly, I’ve had a few of those happen in the last year and its only 2 authors at the #1 stop. Stop distracting me. Last year I read a book by a new author on the recommendation by Josh Lanyon, and loved it. If you haven’t picked up Dal Maclean’s Bitter Legacy then you’ve been sleeping under a damn rock or just stupid. Either option is fine with me. What I’m trying to state is this author came out of nowhere with a big recommendation by a really big named author in the genre for support, and her work was brilliant. When I requested this book I had no idea what I was getting. I had no idea what to expect, and honestly I was dreading reading it. I had all these thoughts in my head about how bad it would be. Well color me surprised when it was the EXACT opposites of those thoughts. It was beautiful, endearing, inspiring, and lovely. It was about pain, fear, real life and love. It was eloquent and I wish it would have been a full length novel. I mean you can’t give me this scrumptious morsel, and cut me off. I need more woman. Roe Horvat came so left field for me, that I was gobsmacked at how much I would like this book. I literally just finished and haven’t reviewed a book  in 2 weeks, and this got me back on the horse so pleasantly.

The first thing that I realized that I love was the setting. I don’t read too many books in this part of the world. I enjoyed the authenticity feeling  I get while reading this. I can close my eyes and picture parts of the book. I really liked the cultural difference that each guy has. Its easy to fall for someone in a similar situation, but from a different walk of life is hard. Its hard to compromise, to explain, to enjoy, and to try to mend worlds. Trust me, I’m married to an Irish man who morals & values are just as important as my African American Baptist roots. Its hard, its invigorating, and scary. 

I don’t know which character I’ve enjoyed more Ondro or Jamie. Both were really good, and I’m going to beg the author for another update with these two. 128 days later wasn’t enough. I’d like to see them 529 days later or more & more. Ondro, poor sweet Ondro. He’s kind, cynical, fearful and brave. He’s from Slovakia, a place that isn’t kind to him based on his sexuality. Not on the place but his family. Leaving at 22 was the one way that he thought he would gain some semblance of happiness. Years later he realizes that running has done nothing but let me win. Running has not helped in his love life, and some part of him wants to come to terms with his past there. Jamie is the sweetest ever. He’s fiery once meeting him, and I thought his stands & values were so endearing. Ending up together longer then their expected layover wasn’t in their plans but they made due with it. I don’t want to go to much into the plot, but I got this feeling while reading this book. It wasn’t about the physical aspect of the book, but all the emotions, tears, fears and hope. My favorite trope ever, realistic fiction is the best. The circumstances that they both go through can be someone you know, love, spouse, brother, father, or friend. Right now I feel like I’m rambling because I can’t put in words what made this book magical. It just felt raw, it felt real. It felt like people still have morals, dreams, and people don’t know the difference between lonesome or lonely. 

I’m going to end my review now, and say just buy the book. I’m looking forward to more writing from this author. If you want to try a new author, with a brilliant love story then try this. Try this for love, try this for Ondro & Jamie. Highly recommended!

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About Roe Horvat

Queer fiction author Roe Horvat was born in the post-communist wasteland of former Czechoslovakia. Equipped with a dark sense of sarcasm, Roe traveled Europe and finally settled in Sweden. They love Jane Austen, Douglas Adams, and daiquiri, with equal passion. When not hiding in the studio doing graphics, Roe can be found trolling cafés in Gothenburg, writing, and people-watching.

Mascara & Bandages by Brandon Witt

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

Mascara & Bandages: by Brandon Witt
Series: Mary’s Boys #3
Release Date: July 12th, 2017
Pages: 121 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Ariel Merman is a new drag queen who’s already finding a family at Hamburger Mary’s. After a performance as Ariel, Zachary Cooper walks home in his makeup and is assaulted by homophobes. Zachary’s worry that the attack has thrown a wrench in his good fortune is eased when he looks into the eyes of his doctor.

Dr. Teegan Chau is a little lost after divorcing his wife and coming out of the closet, but he can’t deny the pull he feels toward the young man he patches up. Luckily, Zachary takes the initiative and asks Teegan out. But attraction is the easy part of their blossoming relationship—as they deal with an ex-wife and child, being a drag queen in a heteronormative culture, Zachary’s lingering trauma from his attack, and Teegan acclimating to life as part of an out-and-proud gay couple.

The challenges seem daunting at the start of a romance. Can Zachary and Teegan make it through the rough patches and take a chance on the love that’s been missing from both their lives?

three-half-stars

Left wanting more. That is my initial thought after reading this. I didn’t feel like it was finished at all. Felt like it left off in the middle of the story except it ended. I enjoyed this a little bit more then book 2 in the series. It starts off with a brutal attack. Both guys kinda deal with heavy life choices in this book. I do enjoy reading Witt’s writing because I always get the most vulnerable and realistic feelings while reading his work. I love that he puts so much emotion into his writing and character development. My only downfall is that this book ended about 50 pages to short.

Zachary is alone. He’s young, both parents are gone, and his own redemption is being Ariel Merman. While being Ariel Merman, Zachary’s insecurities and self-esteem is completely gone. He doesn’t have to think of his life, he doesn’t have to think of his future, he just has to let Ariel take over and enjoy it for the time being. He’s attacked and its left all his doubts, fears and insecurities come swimming to the surface. The only plus is meeting Dr. Teegan Chau. He’s a gay man, but not out and proud. Instead he’s swimming through murky waters since coming out to the people that matter a few years ago. The plus side is a boulder is lifted off his shoulders. He can live his truths and care for the people most important in his life.

I did like the two of them together. It was nice to see the relationship grown on page. I liked the nervous energy that each guy had. It is super new for the both of them, and I liked the realness of it. I could see these two being something in the future. I think with each other’s personality they work well together.

Its really no surprise that I liked this story. I do enjoy Witt’s writing alot. I love the series and can’t wait for more. I think if you love reading about real problems, guys persevering, and falling in love then picking up the Mary Boys books shouldn’t be an issue. Its a recommend for this series.

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About Brandon Witt

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

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

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

Infected: Epitaph by Andrea Speed

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.

o-infected-epitathInfected: Epitaph by Andrea Speed
Series: Infected, Book Seven
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Pages: 330 • Format: eARC
Published By: DSP Publications
Purchase Links:
DSPAmazon Kobo

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective solving crimes involving other infecteds.

Tiger strain infections start showing up all over Seattle, much to Roan’s dismay, and worse yet, they may have a personal connection. Meanwhile, Roan gets hired to look into the puzzling death of Dee’s former lover. Then the FBI wants him to investigate a new apocalypse cult of infecteds pushing for a violent revolution against normals. All around Roan, events are spiraling out of control.

Just when his singular abilities are needed most, Roan develops new symptoms that might signify dire consequences if he doesn’t stop shifting at will. Roan finds himself at a crossroads and must make a difficult decision about his future.

four-stars

 

You guys, I’ve made it to the end! I’m not celebrating because its over. I’m celebrating because I DID NOT CRY. Not once. I expected heart wrenching tears while reading this. I expected to be in pain by the end of this series. I was okay. It might have been because I waited 9 months between book 7 and this to read it. I couldn’t take the pain that I was feeling while reading this.I don’t know if I’m okay with everything overall. No scratch that, I’m okay with it. I just would have liked to see the ending spread out over 50 more pages. Its just me wanting more Roan.

I really liked the mysteries in both parts of the book. I think everything came full circle with Roan. It has been an emotional journey with these characters. It bothered me when I started reading it that it was no physical sex on page. After book 2 trust me, you won’t even need it. I’ve had a range of emotions and I can say Roan is one of my most favorite characters ever. He is flawed, loyal, funny, smart, and heart breakingly sacrificial. That last one might not my a pro for more, but for me it is. He’s real in every sense of the word. At best he’s amazing with the skill set and life he is given, at worst he is an idiot. That’s the easiest way for me to put it. I hated those moments of the pain for everyone around him. Everyone around him suffers and is in pain because of his pain. It takes him a long time to realize that people love and care for him. I mean only Roan can find a bunch of misfits and they move the earth for him.

I guess feeling melancholy is normal after reading this. I don’t know quite how to review this. So many thoughts and feelings are swirling in my head. I can say, Dylan has definitely grown on me. I was one of those fans who didn’t want him in the picture. Not because he wasn’t a good person, but because Paris left such a huge impact on my heart. For the short time he was here, he was amazing in the very short time that I’ve read about him. Its not me not wanting Roan to be happy, but the departure of such a character stings for quite a while. Dylan doesn’t compare. Its not something I want to do, but Dylan paves the way for himself. He creates his own lane, he requires his own respect and is flayed open just as much as the rest of us when it comes to Roan.

Its so nice to see a lot of people show up in the final book. I’m happy with Roan’s peace. I can say that without reservations. I’d like to point out that I wanted to see Kevin. Yes, his minor role was missed to me. Hopefully I’ll see him in spin offs or such. I don’t know about Holden. We all know his issues. I’m trying to figure out if I can read a series featuring Holden without Roan. I feel like with all his cynicism, I’d be able to.  This series should be read in order, and favored. One of the best urban fantasy series ever!

 

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About Andrea Speed

Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)
In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!

Force of Nature 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.

Force of Nature: by J.K. Hogan
Series: Coming About #4
Release Date: July 4th, 2017
Pages: 276 • Format: eARC
Published By: Euphoria Press
Purchase Links:
Euphoria Press
Amazon

Everyone knows that bonds formed under extreme circumstances never last.

Harbor Patrol officer Neal Hesse has had his life turned upside down by a sudden break-up with his partner of ten years. After sleeping his way through Seattle failed to take his mind off his broken heart, he decides to take a leave of absence from work to find himself again. He hires a professional wilderness guide to take him up into the mountains, so he can get away from everything and live off the grid for a few days.

Travis “Rock” McCreary, ex-Army Ranger turned survivalist, hates doing guided excursions, but it’s his primary source of income while he’s working towards getting his own survival show. Working in such a testosterone-fueled profession has forced him so deep into the closet, he feels like he might never see the light of day again, which makes it even harder to put on a friendly face for his happy, normal clients.

When Rock is hired by clumsy city-boy Neal to take him up into the North Cascades for a survival adventure, his patience and his resolve are tested at every turn. He has to teach Neal to survive in the wilderness while fighting an attraction he can’t allow himself to act on. When their trip doesn’t go as planned, Neal’s getaway turns into a true survival situation, and he and Rock are forced to rely on each other to stay alive. If they make it out of the wilderness, can their newfound connection survive in the real world?

two-half-stars

This was a disappointment for me. I really enjoy reading this series and seeing real people connect and fall in love despite their past histories. It is stated in the blurb about dubious consent. I for one am okay with it. Or I thought I was, but when the scene came out of nowhere I was about perturbed. See, I didn’t see ANY kind of connection between the two guys, and it seemed so out of Neal’s character that I was blown away. No it isn’t the reason for the low rating, the characters played that part all on their own.

I did not connect and see any connection between the two. I’m really surprised because all the rest in the series have featured some heavy topics and I was able to deal. My issue is even at the end of the story I still didn’t see it. I didn’t think I was one of the girls who needed a HEA, hell I’m okay with a HFN and I truly am. What I’m not okay with is forcing the two together for the sake of a story. I just didn’t buy it. Rock is so far in the closet he’s damn near in Narnia. Its not a bad thing per-say, everyone has to live their own truths at their own time. For me, Rock was an even harder person to like. How can he fall for someone when the reader can’t seem to like him. I know in my head that there are people like him in everyday life, but when reading and trying to escape I tend to want the guys romanticism to be real for a bit. Neal doesn’t seem in the correct head space in even of the story. I understand why he took the trip, but from the beginning to the end Neal doesn’t seem like Neal. I feel like everything physical that they did together was way outside of Neal’s energy and comfort zone. In my head, everything about them seemed forced. Its not how I like my characters or story.

We can see that I’m upset that it didn’t go out the others did. The one reason that I like this series is because of the realistic feeling I get while reading it. I like that every book had to deal with something from each guy’s past. Yeah they had issues as well, but between the missed connection and the ABUNDANCE of wilderness information it was no way to learn about each other deeply, or grow into something for the future. I can’t recommend it in good conscience.

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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.

The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

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.

The Ruin of a Rake: by Cat Sebastian
Release Date: July 4th, 2017
Pages: 352 • Format: eARC
Published By: Avon Impulse
Purchase Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboItunes

Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.

Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.

five-stars

 

Bloody Brilliant. Loved every single minute of this.

Cat Sebastian, where have you been all my life? I fall in love with your writing more and more with each book. I seriously would like you to lock yourself up and just churn out historical romances! You are fantabulous!

I seriously want to swoony sigh all over the place. Courtenay and Julian gave me so much feelz. Along with the feelz, and steamy goodness you gave an amazing plot as well. So different then the other two, but amazingly good as well as the other. I loved the whole enemies to lovers trope, and these two played it well.

Julian Medlock is a meticulous mad. He is a gentleman, thinker, always plotting his next move. Never one to be surprised, but boy was he in for it was Lord Courtenay. Lord Courtenay is a rake, a wastrel, whose reputation is shot. Neither guy is who they really are deep down. I will not spoil it for you guys, but it is a must read. I loved the development of the relationship between the two, as well as the side character development and the plot. It was endearing to see them go circles over how they were feeling for one another. A few surprises that I truly enjoyed.

He remembered what Courtenay had told him, that love required trust, letting your heart be exposed and vulnerable.”

I really want to pick it up again and re-read it. Its that good. I loved Julian’s clever mind, and Courtenay devilishly handsome ways. He’s so honest, its heartbreaking to see at times especially when his reputation doesn’t account for the man he is. Julian is so protective over him, that its a shame everyone else could see the love but it took some hurt for them to figure it out. I really loved seeing the other couples make an appearance. I would love to see a novella featuring all the couple together at Carrington Hall. You can’t go wrong with this series, and so far Sebastian has gone above and beyond my wildest imagination on what this series could be. I really love her writing, and she’s become an auto-read and buy author. Highly recommend this book, and it’s definitely going on my Best Books of 2017 List!

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About Cat Sebastian

Cat writes steamy, upbeat historical romances. They usually take place in the Regency, generally have at least one LGBTQ+ main character, and always have happy endings.

Before writing, Cat was a lawyer and a teacher. She enjoys crossword puzzles, geeking out over birds, gardening badly, and–of course–reading. In high school, her parents went away for a week, and instead of throwing raucous parties, Cat read Middlemarch. Even worse, Cat remembers little of a trip through Europe because she was busy reading Mansfield Park. Her proudest moment was when she realized her kids were shaping up to be hopeless bookworms too. Currently, her favorite genres are romance, mystery and fantasy.

Cat lives with her husband, three kids, and dog in an improbably small house. After growing up in the northeast, she now lives in a part of the south where every body of water seems to contain alligators or sharks, and every restaurant serves biscuits and gravy. She likes the biscuits, but not so much the alligators.

A Destiny of Dragons by T.J. Klune

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.

A Destiny of Dragons: by T.J. Klune
Series: Tales from Verania #2
Release Date: June 30th, 2017
Pages: 400 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Once upon a time, the wizard’s apprentice Sam of Wilds got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam’s been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Justin they will be best friends forever.

Life is good.

Until it’s not.

Because Vadoma, the leader of the Gypsy clan and Sam’s grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side.

And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv.

Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam’s true cornerstone.

(The first book in the DESTINY FUCK YEAH! Trilogy (because sometimes, having a destiny is the stupidest thing ever).

 

four-half-stars

 

Highly anticipated sequel to one of the funniest books ever! I swear I will see a page count for Klune at times and groan really loudly. He’s that best friend in my head who is extremely long winded and never knows how to get to the moral of the story quickly. Ha ha! Its Klune, I know with him that I’m going to be put through the ringer before any amount of happiness is warranted. This book was no exception. A lot more emotional then the first. A lot of details about the future of the series is brought up, and yeah that stupid word destiny is here. Sam totally should have been at Hogwarts. He would have killed it. Pay me no mind, its my wishful thinking. Here’s what I had to say!

Its almost a year later and Sam & Ryan are happy. Everyone is well, and the people of Verania are seemingly safe. Its all we can hope for with this crew of misfits. Sam realizes not everything is what it seems. He’s heartbroken by his mentor. Someone he worships, loves and trust. He’s devastated but Sam won’t allow anyone to tell him Ryan isn’t his cornerstone or use that stupid word Destiny against him. Of course, Gary, Tiggy, Ryan and Kevin won’t allow Sam to wallow. They decide that Sam is going to be just fine and surround him with love. I don’t know if I trust Vadoma or Ruv. I’m keeping my eyes open on those two. I like the gathering of the 5 dragons and determining if Sam is going to stay on the righteous path. Very Lord of the Rings and that’s a plus. With Kevin being, Kevin I didn’t know what to kind of dragon to expect.

ZERO!!! Oh my goodness. I loved him and wanted to cry at the same damn time. I must do emo people justice because he was such a breathe of fresh depressing air. I really enjoyed him as a character and those moments when it was just Sam and him were some of my absolute favorite. For all the joy, happiness, and laughter at times it does feel out of place. He created this wonderful character in Zero and I cannot wait for the next book to see more of him.

This journey is a lonely one for Sam. Sure he has his people with him, but so many secrets he is keeping and I’m wondering what is his boiling point going to be. He is sure to explode and most likely do some damage to the folks around him, but it wouldn’t be a me against the world trope if it was. Klune’s way with words gets better and better as I read them. Yes its humor, and jokes. Its more then that in this book. It is putting the joys of all before the love of one person. They can never say Sam isn’t about his country. Even if said country is lead by a bunch of idiots and that heifer Tina DeSilva!

If I’ve said it once, then I’ll say it again Klune is a wizard at his craft. He is able to gather all these emotions within his readers and I don’t think it has anything to do with the genre. Its his pen game as simple as that. I’m a fan for life. I cannot wait for more writing this year, and equally dreading the last BOatK book 4! Its not about that right now! Highly recommend, and go read the book people!

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About TJ Klune

When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.

He lives with a neurotic cat in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. It’s hot there, but he doesn’t mind. He dreams about one day standing at Stonehenge, just so he can say he did.

Guest Review: Skin After Skin by Jordan Castillo Price

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.

Skin After Skin: by Jordan Castillo Price
Series: PsyCop #8
Release Date: June 23rd, 2017
Pages: 387 • Format: eARC
Published By: JCP Books
Purchase Links:
Amazon • Kobo • Smashwords • Barnes & Noble

A Crash Prequel

Fierce. Audacious. Independent. Curtis Ash can’t be bothered to settle down. He’s too busy enjoying his cushy job as a high-paid stylist, caught in a whirlwind of hookups, parties, and obscenely priced cocktails.

The only snarl in an otherwise charmed life is the salon’s hotshot colorist, Red Turner. Not only does Red put the whammy on customers and rake in all the big tips, he’s oblivious to Crash’s flirtation. But there will be plenty of time to win him over…so Crash thinks.

Thanks to his refusal to trust his gut, Crash not only tanks his career—he allows the one man who truly holds his interest to slip away. While he insists he doesn’t need a relationship to complete him, would sharing his life with someone really be so bad?

Skin After Skin is a sweeping saga that begins two years before “Among the Living” and ends just after “Spook Squad”. Experience PsyCop like you’ve never seen it before, through Crash’s eyes. Discover new facets of characters and events from the span of the entire series and beyond, all from the viewpoint of an extroverted empath.

four-half-stars

I’ve been a big fan of the PysCop series for years now. While I adore both Vic and Jacob, Crash has always been my favorite character. I’m happy every time he’s in a scene and I’ve read all his short stories. I was eagerly awaiting the day he got his own book so I went into this with great excitement. I’m so glad to be able to say that this was as good as I was hoping it would be. In fact in was better.

The book is told in parts and covers a lot of time in Crash’s life. When the book starts he is a stylist at an upscale salon. It’s during this time that he meets Red. It’s also the time he meets Caroline and starts getting drawn into the Psy world. As the book goes on we watch as Crash starts to learn more about his ability, we see his relationship with Jacob, we see him become a business owner and we see the Psy world from his perspective.

The Crash we see here is both different and the same. I think the fact that we see him in more depth helps but I think we also see how Vic’s view of Crash is slightly skewed. (But I think we all know Vic may not be the most reliable historian). If I thought I loved Crash before it was nothing compared to how I felt when I finished this book. I also wasn’t sold on Red from when we had seen him in the previous book. I really adored him in this though. He was a super interesting character and the connection between the two men jumped off of the pages.

As usual for this author, the writing was top notch. The story just flowed and the pacing was really well done, especially since it covered a lot of events and a long time period. The characters were so well done. We’ve seen them all before and we thought we knew them well but seeing them from Crash’s point of view rather than Vic’s gives us different impressions and different perspectives of each of them. I’ve read other series where author’s do books on side characters but it’s usually a completely different story. This was so creatively done by combining both new events and then events we’d seen before but now from a different point of view.

I don’t have any complaints about this and I think it is a must read for fans of the series. I think this could be read as a standalone but I’m not sure I’d recommend that. Part of the magic for me was having preconceived ideas of all the characters from the previous books but then having all that slightly turned around when I read this. Either way, it’s a book I’d definitely recommend.

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About Jordan Castillo Price

Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price writes paranormal sci-fi thrillers colored by her time in the midwest, from inner city Chicago, to various cities across southern Wisconsin. She’s recently settled in a 1910 Cape Cod near Lake Michigan with tons of character and a plethora of bizarre spiders. Her influences include Ouija boards, Return of the Living Dead, “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” girls with tattoos and boys in eyeliner.

Jordan is best known as the author of the PsyCop series, an unfolding tale of paranormal mystery and suspense starring Victor Bayne, a gay medium who’s plagued by ghostly visitations. Also check out her mind-bending trilogy Mnevermind, where memories are made…one client at a time.

Coach’s Challenge by Avon Gale

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.

Coach’s Challenge: by Avon Gale
Series: Scoring Chances #5
Release Date: June 26th, 2017
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

It’s been decades since blackmail forced Troy Callahan to retire from playing professional hockey, and he’s built a successful career behind the bench. When he’s offered the opportunity to coach the Asheville Ravens—the most hated team in the ECHL—he’s convinced that his no-nonsense attitude is just what the team needs to put their focus back on hockey. But Troy is disheartened when he finds out the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression—especially when Shane’s rough good looks have Troy thinking inappropriate thoughts about a player, even if he’s set to retire at the end of the season.

Shane’s career in the majors never quite took off. Wanting to quit on his own terms, Shane agrees to a one-year contract with the Ravens and finds himself playing for a coach who thinks he’s an aging goon, and with a team that doesn’t trust him, Troy, or each other. Despite his determination not to get involved, Shane unwillingly becomes part of the team… and is just as unwillingly drawn to the gruff, out-and-proud coach. As the Ravens struggle to build a new identity, Shane and Troy succumb to the passion that might cost them everything.

four-stars

I really enjoy this series, and for a time while reading this book I wasn’t certain on how I felt about it. Took me longer to get involved and invested into this installment. I had to warm up to Troy, and ended up liking the relationship between him and Shane. It didn’t help that the dirty talk was so much above board with these two. Good Lord, we needed a fan, and a spray bottle at times. Their quirky, dominating relationship worked well for me. It didn’t have the formula of the past 4 books, but I was okay with it. To be honest, I enjoyed most of the series but Power Play will always be my favorite. 

After reading 5 books, you’d think I would know something about Hockey. Nope, still clueless. Its okay though I just substituted it with other sports in my head. LOL. I really liked the idea of the guys being in their late 30’s, early 40’s. I like mature guys, and it doesn’t help that its their first relationship ever at this age. I really <3Troy. Not saying Shane was bad, I liked him alot. Dirty filthy Shane, but lordy he was freaking hot. Troy though comes off as this brash, careless, dictator. Well dictator was the last dude, but he’s very demanding and I guess him being so blunt takes people by surprise, but that caring side of him will win you over every time. Troy has his reasons and methods for being the way he is. Being a ex-pro hockey player and having dealt with the St.Savoy it only felt right for him being the head coach to take over the Ashville Ravens. They are the most hated team, and Troy is trying to do everything in his power to overcome that negative. When Shane is late his first day of practice, it doesn’t look to good for these two. We see right away their issues, but I seen the UST a mile away. Dude!! I had to fan myself. These two were so freaking explosive together! I will never look at another jigsaw puzzle with innocence again in life. I won’t spoil it for you guys! Avon did us justice!

Once I got involved in reading it, I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed seeing these two together, and liked that they were so different from the other couples in previous books. I do hope Xavier gets him a gentleman. He needs one, or maybe a bad boy for his sweet self. I wouldn’t mind reading a Ben & River book. Didn’t see much of those two but the short instances definitely were impact. Fans of this series will truly enjoy this book. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

 

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About Avon Gale

Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

The Palisade by Rosalind Abel

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.

The Palisade: by Rosalind Abel
Series:Lavender Shores
Release Date: June 20th, 2017
Pages: 243 • Format: eARC
Published By: Wings of Ink Publication, LLC
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business opportunity and a final stepping stone to the position he’s been working toward his entire life. It was supposed to be just one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun.

Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so that the only thing missing is someone to share it with. Going to bed with a tourist was never meant to be the answer to his dreams, just a beautiful distraction. He could get back to looking for Mr. Right the next day.
Both Andrew’s and Joel’s worlds are turned upside down when a few hours of pleasure get extended to a couple of days. Even that shouldn’t have been a big deal. You can’t fall in love in that amount of time. That isn’t how it works. However, if destinies collide, a few short days may be all it takes to find your soul mate. Even so, when secrets and motivations get tangled, fate may do nothing more than leave two hearts in pieces.

 

four-stars

Reading this book felt like one big celebration! It was sugary sweet overload for me, but surprisingly I didn’t end up in a diabetic coma. YAY!!!! I think this book caught me at the right time. I like cheesy stories, and appreciate the insta-love from time to time. BUT, with this amount of fluff be warned! It can cause an insane amount of eye-rolling. I did it alot, but still managed to enjoy it. It was steamy hot, can’t take that away from the author. Andrew and Joel definitely set the pages on fire. I really enjoyed the side characters. They were phenomenal, and I loved Andrew’s father!

Lavender Shores, is a closed knit community. Everyone knows everyone. Picture Mystic Falls from the Vampire Diaries without the supernatural element, and a lot of Caroline’s in this place. Founding Families, one shop only businesses, friendly open minded folks and we have a really nice place to land. Joel is on a business trip to show his father he can be what he needs him to be to lead their family’s business in the right direction. Andrew is Lavender Shores offspring. Born and raised in this place, he couldn’t be more happy with the endless support of the family and friends he has here. He has everything he could ever want, minus the picket fence, children, animals, and oh the husband. I loved the opening scene. It was funny and drew me into the characters.

This series is so angst free that angst wouldn’t even know what to do at this point. Its all about the romance. Romance is front and center, and it doesn’t deviate from the plan. I look forward to more of this series, and I might have my shield for the next one in the book. I can’t wait for book 2, the characters I’ve been waiting on seems to be the next focus. So, if you are in the mood for romance, hot love making, witty banter and all around crazy characters then this is definitely the series for you!

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