Audio Tour: Deathless & Divided (Chicago War #1) by Bethany-Kris

(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: IndieSage PR

Deathless & Divided

by Bethany-Kris
Chicago War #1
Narrator: Roberto Scarlato
Publication Date: December 2016 (Audio Edition)
Genres: Audiobook, Mafia Romance, Organized Crime

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Amazon Audible: http://amzn.to/2jUBxum

Synopsis: Lies and love. This is how a war starts.A life for a life. That’s the mafia way. Damian Rossi owes his life to a man who is ready to collect. That payment comes in the form of an arranged marriage to the daughter of another leading family in the Chicago Outfit. He’s ready to follow through, even if that means making sure Lily knows she’s his.

Lily DeLuca isn’t being given a choice. Forced home to marry a man she doesn’t know and back into a life she’d rather forget, her world is full of half-truths, buried pain, and uncertainty. But Damian is nothing like she expects. His motives aren’t clear. Her beliefs are being tested.

When it comes to this world, no man can be trusted. Someone is ready to flip the Chicago Outfit on its side all for the promise of something better. But no one runs a clean game and these men play for keeps. When blood begins to paint Chicago red, four families will be divided by loyalty, hatred, and revenge. There is no hiding. There is no safety.

No one is deathless.

No one.

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REVIEW:

This was one of the lowest angst Mafia romance stories I’ve listened to in a while. The plot was just as front and center as the romance. Bethany-Kris did a really good at intertwining the character’s plight with the Outfit (the mafia) with the love story. The narrator Robert Scarlato did a great job with the various voices. His accent and intonation was authentic and entertaining. I felt eased into the story by the way he chronicled the character’s journey.

Lily DeLuca had been kept out of the mafia spotlight by her brothers Dino and Theo. Unfortunately, Lily was born into the family and eventually had to take her place as a mafia princess. Lily was so resentful when she discovered that her brother Dino has arranged for her to marry The Outfit’s enforcer Damian Rossi.

Damien was an orphan like Lily, but his allegiance was to the outfit. This marriage was just another task he was willing to accomplish for the outfit…or was it?
I liked Damian the most in the story. He worked and kept his head down. He wasn’t overly ambitious and he was loyal. Though he was a deadly assassin, he had a soft spot that was hidden to almost all. He was sexy, faithful and steadfast.

I love that the author allowed Damian to win Lily’s heart. He didn’t just go all alpha male and insist Lily will marry him to fulfill the contract. Bethany-Kris added a layer of cultivation to Damian by making him appear more compassionate about Lily’s reservations. They were a well-suited couple and I enjoyed how they were able to bond to each other outside of mafia politics and hidden agendas.

The mafia side of the plot was also very intriguing. This book had the usual crime, murder, takeovers and betrayals we have come to expect in such novels. I found myself trying to figure out the puppet master and their game. I am hoping audiobook 2 will be available soon.

AUDIO EXCERPT

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebook GoodreadsPinterestMailing ListAmazon Author Page

ABOUT ROBERTO SCARLATO (NARRATOR)

Scarlato grew up in a small suburb of Chicago. He has a deep, rich voice that is easily manipulated for multiple characters. He is married to his high school sweetheart. They have a three year old daughter.

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About Bethany-Kris

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

Audiobook Review: Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale

Audiobook Review: Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale(Website, Blog, 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: Let The Wrong Light In by Avon Gale
Release Date: August 25, 2016
Pages: 210 • Format:  Audiobook (8hr 32 mins)
Published By: Dreamspinner Press Audio
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press Publishing Amazon US Barnes & Noble

Avery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.

Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.

But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.

three-stars

The narrator of this audiobook had a pleasant voice to and the story was well written. I just didn’t connect with the main characters here so it was hard for me to feel invested with their love story.

Avery Hextall was a junior architect who seemed to have all his design proposals passed over by his project manager Malin Lacroix. What made Malin’s rejection of Avery’s ideas worse was that Avery found Malin so attractive but Malin seemed to barely notice Avery.

When a breakthrough at work leads Malin to choose Avery’s business proposal, it led to personal connection between the two men. Soon, Avery and Malin began having secret encounters. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy their hookups. Without being judgmental, their kinky sex life didn’t convey pleasure to me, but it obviously met a need for the both of them as they kept finding their way back to each other.

Avery was in his head way too much for me. He seemed like he had self confidence in the beginning, but he was a ball on insecurity. Of course, he had to fall for an emotionally aloof Malin. I liked Avery a little bit, but I never warmed up to Malin. Even there was an explanation for Malin’s attitude, Malin was just a closed off and robotic in action. I didn’t feel pulled into the story and I cringed during their sexual encounters. While I didn’t “feel the love”, the author was very descriptive and the pace was good. It didn’t resonate with me as I need more of an emotional connection in my love stories.

I am glad that I have read other works by this author so I know she is a great storyteller. The last 30% of the audiobook was much better but I never warmed to the characters.

Ezi

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.

Audiobook Review: Deathless & Divided (The Chicago War, #1) by Bethany-Kris

Audiobook Review: Deathless & Divided (The Chicago War, #1) by Bethany-Kris(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: IndieSage PR

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: Deathless & Divided by Bethany-Kris
Series: The Chicago War, #1
Release Date: September 7th, 2015
Pages: 245 • Format: Audiobook (10 hrs and 24 mins)
Published By: Bethany-Kris  
Purchase Links:  Amazon USAudibleBarnes & Noble Author’s Page

Lies and love. This is how a war starts.

A life for a life. That’s the mafia way. Damian Rossi owes his life to a man who is ready to collect. That payment comes in the form of an arranged marriage to the daughter of another leading family in the Chicago Outfit. He’s ready to follow through, even if that means making sure Lily knows she’s his.

Lily DeLuca isn’t being given a choice. Forced home to marry a man she doesn’t know and back into a life she’d rather forget, her world is full of half-truths, buried pain, and uncertainty. But Damian is nothing like she expects. His motives aren’t clear. Her beliefs are being tested.

When it comes to this world, no man can be trusted. Someone is ready to flip the Chicago Outfit on its side all for the promise of something better. But no one runs a clean game and these men play for keeps. When blood begins to paint Chicago red, four families will be divided by loyalty, hatred, and revenge. There is no hiding. There is no safety.

No one is deathless.

No one.

goodreads-badge-add-38pxfour-stars

This was one of the lowest angst Mafia romance stories I’ve listened to in a while. The plot was just as front and center as the romance. Bethany-Kris did a really good at intertwining the character’s plight with the Outfit (the mafia) with the love story. The narrator Robert Scarlato did a great job with the various voices. His accent and intonation was authentic and entertaining. I felt eased into the story by the way he chronicled the character’s journey.
Lily DeLuca had been kept out of the mafia spotlight by her brothers Dino and Theo. Unfortunately, Lily was born into the family and eventually had to take her place as a mafia princess. Lily was so resentful when she discovered that her brother Dino has arranged for her to marry The Outfit’s enforcer Damian Rossi.

Damien was an orphan like Lily, but his allegiance was to the outfit. This marriage was just another task he was willing to accomplish for the outfit…or was it?
I liked Damian the most in the story. He worked and kept his head down. He wasn’t overly ambitious and he was loyal. Though he was a deadly assassin, he had a soft spot that was hidden to almost all. He was sexy, faithful and steadfast.

I love that the author allowed Damian to win Lily’s heart. He didn’t just go all alpha male and insist Lily will marry him to fulfill the contract. Bethany-Kris added a layer of cultivation to Damian by making him appear more compassionate about Lily’s reservations. They were a well-suited couple and I enjoyed how they were able to bond to each other outside of mafia politics and hidden agendas.
The mafia side of the plot was also very intriguing. This book had the usual crime, murder, takeovers and betrayals we have come to expect in such novels. I found myself trying to figure out the puppet master and their game. I am hoping audiobook 2 will be available soon.

*Special Thanks to IndieSage PR for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.

Ezi

About Bethany-Kris

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

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

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

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

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

Step one, hide all sharp objects.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz

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.

Her Halloween Treat: by Tiffany Reisz
Series:Men at Work, #1
Release Date: October 1, 2016
Pages: 224 • Format: eARC
Published By: Harlequin Blaze
Purchase Links:
Amazon • KoboBarnes and NobleItunes US

Trick…or wicked treat!

It was a devastating dirty trick—Joey Silvia just found out her boyfriend of two years is married. What. A. Dick. Joey knows her best chance to get over one guy is to get under another. Of course, heading home to her family’s remote cabin in Oregon poses some challenges in the “available men” department…until she discovers this cabin comes with its own hot handyman!

Holy crap, Chris Steffensen. When did her brother’s best friend turn into a hard-bodied pile of blond-bearded hotness? He’s the perfect Halloween treat—and a surprisingly dirty rebound guy. For a couple of weeks, anyway. Except that Chris has other ideas…like proving to Joey that this blast from the past is a whole lot more than a naughty Halloween hookup.

four-stars

“I never once cheated on my wife. Ask her. It’s not cheating. But what you did–” “I didn’t cheat on you darling,” she said with a saccharine smile.”Didn’t you know? You and I were in an open relationship. I just didn’t tell you.” “Oh, very funny. Hilarious.”

Dude, I’m in shock at how much I enjoyed this book. I would never have read a Harlequin novel if it wasn’t for Tiffany Reisz. That’s how much I enjoy her work. It was smutty, funny, and a super cute read. I loved all the 80’s references and this book gave me the perfect Halloween costume choice! I loved the writing and the feeling of the story. Her Halloween Treat is the first book of this Holiday Trilogy from the queen Tiffany Reisz. She can’t write a bad character in my opinion. I might not love all of them, but I damn sure enjoy them. I enjoyed Chris a lot. He was super confident and cocky. Two things I see to be enjoying in a man. I fell in love with Joey!!! She was freaking amazing. She writes some strong and resilient woman. I love that so much about Reisz.

Even when the going got tough for Joey, she stood her ground and dictated her own life. Coming off a bad break – up Joey goes home to Oregon to recuperate and attend her big bro’s wedding. It happens to be on her birthday but she doesn’t care. She’s feeling broken down after being with a man for two years and him lying to her. I liked Joey spontaneity, and her reproach to life. She was super resilient when I would have still been in the anger and busting up his shit phase of things. Who better for her to bounce back with then Chris. Crush Chris, her brother’s best friend Chris. Chris with the wallet chain. Not attractive at all once it is said, but once she sees the sexy lumberjack then it’s over. The chemistry between the two was explosive. There were moments when I had to set the book down from the level of smutty goodness in this story. Every time they were on page together, it just worked.

I loved the humor of the story, and the realistic feeling it had to it. Sure Joey was dealing with heartbreak, but she found something in the midst of all this pain. She found someone she can be honest and open with. She basically found her other half. They both weren’t looking for love, but it slapped them hard in the face. Can, I say that I was totally gagging when Ben showed up. Never doubt my loves, Reisz gave Joey that BEST PART ever. She gave me life. I was literally gagging over her. It’s word for word what I would have done. Nothing different. The exact damn way.

Bish, I’m dead.

All in all I think this was a good book. Sure, some of the sex scenes were overwhelming, but that’s my only complaint. I can’t wait for more of this series. Hell at this point, I’d read a damn manual if she wrote it. I love her work. Always consistent and equally entertaining. Highly recommend this holiday gem.

About Tiffany Reisz

Tiffany Reisz is the author of the highly acclaimed series The Original Sinners. Her first novel, The Siren, won the RT Book Reviews Editor’s Choice Award for Best Erotic Romance of 2012. Slightly shameless, Tiffany dropped out of a conservative Southern seminary in order to pursue a career as a writer. This move, while possibly putting her eternal salvation in peril, has worked out better than she anticipated. She lives in Oregon with her husband, author Andrew Shaffer.

Sale Blitz: By My Side by Theresa Troutman (9/28 to 10/4)

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“Maybe it’s not what you’re running from, but what you’re running toward.”
Alicia travels to an exotic land, with hopes to reinvent herself. She moves to Auckland, New Zealand, to heal and escape her unhappy past in America.
Hunter works in a bar to distract himself from the memory of a tragic past. Playing in a local band and resorting to one night stands are his only means for an escape from his reality.
Brought together by circumstance, an unexpected romance blossoms between these two tortured souls.
Can being by each other’s side bring them the happiness they are desperate to discover? Or will being together break their fragile trust and lead to more heartache?
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Normal Enough by Marie Sexton

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.

normal-enoughNormal Enough by Marie Sexton 
Series: Wrench Wars, Book Two
Release Date: August 3, 2016
Pages: 82 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

A Wrench Wars Story

What is “normal”?

When Brandon Kenner shows up at Kasey Ralston’s garage with a 1970 Chevelle SS 454, Kasey is smitten by both the man and his car. But Kasey is hiding an embarrassing secret: his love for old muscle cars goes beyond what most would consider normal. His unusual fetish has kept Kasey isolated—estranged from his family and even distant from his coworkers.

But when Brandon figures out the hot mechanic’s secret, he’s not repulsed. In fact, he finds Kasey intriguing, and he’s determined to have him for himself.

Everything about Brandon revs Kasey’s engine, and he’s more than willing to get down and dirty with the charming man. What worries Kasey is what will happen after. Is there any chance of a future for them? In the past, expecting anything long-term has only led to heartbreak. But Kasey can’t help hoping that, despite Kasey’s fetish, Brandon will be the exception.

First Edition published by Amber Allure, 2014.

three-half-stars

ARGH!!!! I was well on my way of rating this 4 stars!!! It was surprisingly good for such a short book. I even had a moment of tears. I felt a little cheated. It’s a short book already but then you cut it off to get me an excerpt/first chapter of book one. I think not people!!! I want my car fetish porn.

All jokes aside, I really liked this. Introverted Kasey has a kinky side that no one knew about. Enter Brandon with his classic cars and swagger. I definitely loved the chemistry between the two. I thought both guys were disgustingly hot and would have loved to see this as a full length novel. With Kasey opening up and not wanting to be lonely anymore. FFS he’s 24 years old and Bandit seems to be his only companion. It’s sad when your dog is it for you, but his older brother the good one out of the bunch is reaching out to try to mend their broken relationship. I did enjoy seeing Kasey opening up about his family, and realizing that even if Brandon and him don’t work that his brother is ready to step up and be family.

Damn, these boys were super hot. I mean, they were some dirty talkers. Just the right amount of heat and fire for this length of novel. I thought the coupling was spot on, and that both guys were equally good for one another. Now I’m interested enough to go back and read book one. The covers are definitely gorgeous for this series.

About Marie Sexton

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Dinner for One by Meg Harding

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.

dinner-for-oneDinner for One by Meg Harding
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe  B&N

Bastien isn’t used to bad reviews. His French restaurant is the toast of the town, and when a well-known critic insults it, he’s left off-kilter. Luckily for him he’s found a distraction. He’s just met an attractive writer at his niece’s school bake sale. He’s into food, into Bastien and the touch of kink they share, and there’s a chemistry between them that might make the perfect recipe.

James isn’t expecting to meet a good-looking French chef at a bake sale, but he’s not going to let the chance slide. It comes as a surprise when the chef turns out to be the owner of a place he knows—and has reviewed—and it puts James in a sticky situation. So he might have to omit some pertinent information to make it work… at least for now.

four-half-stars

I think Meg Harding is in my brain at times and it’s the coolest thing I can think to have happen to me though she doesn’t know she is in my brain. I just think she is there because each time I read a new book from her, every one of my likes is checked off and she just nails it. She has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

So this book. It was really good and super full of sexy times mixed with a whole lot of food porn. Food porn is never a bad thing and the way the men in this book use food it oh so delectable.

So, to make a quick note of the set up: So, James is an important food critic for the New York Times and he gives a rather unfavorable review to L’amour Dans La Ville that Bastien owns. When James attends a bake sale with his brother and sister in law and formally meets Bastien the attraction to the fair skinned curly haired ginger with blue eyes is instatnt. When James learns the restaurant Basiten owns the doubt of anything happening sets in as James knows there is no way Bastien would give him a chance if he knew who James was.   Goodness. I want to smack James a bit for listening to his family on what to do about Bastien and keeping his job from him and yet, I want to just sit back and let it all play out because what is life without a bit of drama? BORING… am I right?

He doesn’t know what he can do. If there even is anything to do. How would he feel if he were in Bastien’s place? He’d be pretty mad, probably. Wouldn’t ever want to talk to him again. This, he thinks, is all stuff he should have considered before he started this stupid farce.

When Bastien offers James a chance to dine at his restaurant, he doesn’t think he’ll take him up on the offer but then he shows up. He shows up and not only gives Bastien a chance, he gives his food a second chance and realizes that he made a mistake with his review.

Reviews… let me just take a moment and say reviewing this book makes me a bit anxious. I am a little odd with my reviews as I know I ramble and they are more of me talking than formally reviewing.  You see, I mean, the whole story is based on a less than favorable review and how that plays into both men’s lives and relationships and while I know I loved this book, that I am not going to meet the author and fall in love, it’s still odd to find the words.

BUT… this was so damn good my anxiety can take a back seat. I adored the instant attraction between James and Bastien. I adored how much time they spent together and how their chemistry fly of the page and made me blush. Yeah, these two were hella sexy in and out of bed and when you add all the food into the mix? I am one satisfied ginger over here.

Yes, this relationship begins on an omission of career and yet, I am totally okay with that. I know that some have a firm line drawn in the sand when it comes to lies in romance but in real life, there are things you do keep from those you care about to not hurt them. Some you never let be known and others, you finally spill your guts for one reason or another so for me, James not telling Bastien what he does for his day job was okay and handled more than satisfactorily down the road.

I think it’s great you’re happy. I think it sucks it’s going to fall apart because you’re a moron.

The family interaction on the book just made me smile. Both men have amazing families and from what I have learned, this is the first book in a series based on James’ brothers… I wonder who we are gonna get next?

Now, there is some kink in this book and boy howdy did it heat up the pages. Yeah, it’s totally hot. I love that Bastien wants to capitulate to James and that James is more than willing to be all toppy. I loved that the kink was there but that it wasn’t overplayed and didn’t overwhelm the contemporary romance, more like it was the perfect seasoning to the perfect dish. Goodness, I promised myself I wouldn’t use food references in this but I just had to.

Dinner for One was a sweet, sexy and succulent romance. I adored the hell out of both men but have to give a hug to my fellow ginger Bastien for making James fall head over heels with all his wonderful ginger traits. I loved everything about this and hope that if you give it a try, you’ll love it too.

About Meg Harding

Meg Harding is a graduate student, currently studying MA Publishing in the UK. She plans to continue on to become an editor, all while continuing to write. When she isn’t writing she enjoys the theatre, concerts, and lazing about in front of the TV.

Dirtiest Secret (S.I.N. #1) by J. Kenner

Dirtiest Secret (S.I.N. #1) by J. Kenneron 2016-04-19
Pages: 320
Amazon
The memory of Dallas Sykes burns inside of me.

Everyone knows him as a notorious playboy, a man for whom women and money are no object. But to me, he’s still the one man I desperately crave—yet the one I can never have.

Dallas knows me better than anyone else. We bear the same scars, the same darkness in our past. I thought I could move on by staying away, but now that we’re drawn together once more, I can’t fight the force of our attraction or the temptation to make him mine.

We’ve tried to maintain control, not letting ourselves give in to desire. And for so long we’ve told ourselves no—but now it’s finally time to say yes.

Dirtiest Secret is intended for mature audiences.
three-half-stars

3.5 stars
An intriguing taboo love story but it was mired in a kidnaping subplot as well as a bdsm subplot.
It was well written but the pace was slower than I would have liked. There wasn’t really romance, it was more like dark and erotic passion. I suspect more romance will come in book 2.
bdsm photo:  images16_zps5a3ddec1.jpg
Dallas Sykes is known to the general public as “The King of F**k”, the billionaire and uber playboy who has and will sleep with anyone. But behind the mask lies a lonely man who desperately longs for only one woman. He uses his time, money and influence to fight behind the scenes as the founder of Deliverance. A mercenary group dedicated to rescuing kidnapping victims and returning them to their loved ones.

Jane Martin has been working for ten years to exorcise the demons from her traumatic kidnapping where she was held for ransom with her brother Dallas. Now she is taking up fighting vigilante groups that focus on the reward money as opposed to the actual kidnapping victim.

Dallas and Jane are doing their best to keep busy because they feel bereft without the person their heart desires the most. The angst of the situation kept it suspenseful. I was hopeful because it was clear there would be healing once Dallas and Jane surrendered. To deal with their yearning, Dallas and Jane begin sexual play that is both erotic and very sensual.
bdsm photo: BDSM utcfultxc.jpg
I felt like a voyeur but I also really wanted some resolution for Dallas and Jane after their traumatic experience ten years ago. This coping mechanism would be bad press for the family’s business if it were to be exposed but it was just what the two of them needed.

What I didn’t like the build of the forbidden issue perhaps because I didn’t find it so unthinkable. Such emphasis was placed on it when it was clear that the hero and heroine were undeniably drawn to each other. The story flowed much smoother when they gave in to their feelings.
I also didn’t like the relationship with the parents as there seemed to be full acceptance and love without strings.

I look forward to the resolution of the mastermind of the devious kidnapping as I have my suspicions. I also look forward to Dallas and Jane finally coming to grips with all they have been running from.

What About Now by Grace R. Duncan

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.

WhatAboutNowLGWhat About Now by Grace R. Duncan
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Pages: 284 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner Press • Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance eBooks  • iTunes   kobo

Five years ago, everything went wrong. Braden Kirk and Rafe Jessen’s long-term relationship started unraveling. They stopped talking, fears mounted, then Braden walked in on Rafe and another man, completely misreading the situation. Without giving Rafe a chance to explain, Braden walks out. Out of their home, their relationship, and the game development company they started together in college.

After months of therapy to deal with the attempted rape Braden walked in on, Rafe begins to understand that his dominant tendencies in the bedroom aren’t a bad thing and that Braden’s submission is likely what scared his partner into silence. But Rafe isn’t ready to let go of the man he loves more than life itself. He arranges for himself and Braden to end up on the same charity cruise, knowing Braden won’t let his phobia—terror of vast, deep waters—rule him.

With a plan and twenty-eight days, Rafe is determined to get Braden back, make him see there’s nothing wrong with being submissive, and find a way to get Braden to stay with him when they get home to LA.

four-half-stars

This is my kind of book! Full of angst and second chance romance all while finding out who you really are.

Romances of established couples and second chances are among my top favorites. The thought that you can screw up something so bad and yet be able to reconnect again and have the possibility of being happy with the one who got away is something I simply adore and this story delivered for me.

This is the first read from me by the author and I fell instantly in love with the story and the ease of her writing. From the first page I was engaged with Braden and couldn’t wait until Rafe showed up and then he did and I couldn’t stop reading. Normally when I read, I often check the percentage to see how much longer the book is but with this, I just read and ignored everything else but the words on the page.

So, Braden is talked into going on a cruise by his mother and his boss to take a much needed vacation and to support Jacob’s Place with is an LGBT charity. When he gets on the ship and attends the first function, he learns he is to be part of an auction for a date and when the person who “won” him shows up, Braden is shocked. That person is his ex-partner, Rafe, who he hasn’t seen in five long years and from there, we begin to get their story.

We know from the blurb that something happened to keep Rafe and Braden apart for five years and while that seems extreme, matters of the heart can often be and when you need to walk away to save yourself, you do what you have to. Put this “something” brought on a lot of angst between the two men and me, being a self-proclaimed angst whore, could not get enough though I was dying to know what happened.

I won’t go into detail about the incident that caused the separation but for me, I can see why Braden did what he did and why it hurt so much to realize what had really happened. They say hindsight is a bitch and when you add regret to it, it can become crippling but having Rafe go through what he did and do the work to get through it that adds more than I could have hoped for. Was it screwed up what happened? Yes. Were either of the men at fault for it? No. There is a fine line we walk with the ones we love and love itself, it not always rational.

Rafe really grabbed my heart with how grew so much during the five years apart from Braden and once he realized what he wanted, he did everything he could to try and get it back. Not everyone would have the courage to try what he did, and honestly knowing that it could hurt more if Braden rejected him but he does it anyway because he found the one for him and that is worth fighting for.

Braden was beyond lovely and endearing from the start. Knowing how much he’s thrown himself in to work to not deal with what happened with Rafe was heartbreaking. I am sure it seems overkill to walk away like he did and I did like that he questioned if he knew what really happened before Rafe told him the details of that day. The relationship between Rafe and Braden was crumbling and the blame was on them both for not communicating.

I know there are readers who hate miscommunication in books but I am one who kinda digs it. I never thought I would until I was married for a few years and talked to other married couples and realized, it happens. Even the best communicators can get so lost in their own head that they forget to let the other person in on the solo conversation they have in their grey matter… but I digress.

Back to the book.

I loved that the story was told from dual POV’s and how we got glimpses into the men’s pasts with memories from them both as a couple and during their time apart. I think for a story like this, you need to know what each man is thinking and the details that led up to their current situation. Getting the bits of Rafe and Braden when they first met as college roommates to their first kiss owned my hopeless romantic heart. Knowing that they both haven’t lost the love they shared during their separation and how quickly they fell into old patterns, well that could be typical because it’s easy to fall back in to the comfort zone of what we know

But even though endearments and sentiments were exchanged early the men knew there were issues they had to deal with and they were big one but the biggest one was communication and I really enjoyed how it was played out.

Not everyone gets the chance to figure out who they are at a young age and even if you do, there are always new things to learn. For Rafe, that thing was learning that he is a Dominant, that he craves the dominance in bed and from a relationship. He goes about his journey so thoughtful in his research and they why of it all; he knows what he desires and he knows that Braden is the one for him but how does he bring this honestly in the relationship without losing Braden.

When the men finally talk about what was tearing them apart five years ago, it was enlightening. I liked that the author didn’t take it to the extremes and that Braden had been doing a lot of what Rafe wanted without putting a name to his submission and that Rafe was there to guide him through it. Sure, it may seem fast but once again, these two had been a couple previously and had done a few things, they just didn’t realize their roles had names and could have rules/boundaries etc.

Wow. I have rambled, haven’t I?

What About Now really is a story about second chances. It’s a romance about two men who don’t want to be without them man they love and though a misunderstanding led to drastic action and a long term separation, they have a chance at their love again. It’s a story about accepting your needs, communicating them with your partner and hoping the second time around, is even better than the first.

About Grace R. Duncan

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.