A Guest Review: Tramps and Thieves by Rhys Ford

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

Tramps and Thieves: by Rhys Ford
Series: Murder and Mayhem #2
Release Date: September 18th, 2017
Pages: 220 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.

Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder…and sleeping with Harold’s wife.

For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West L.A. detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in.

When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave.

 

three-stars

 

This story starts a bit down the road from the last book. Rook and Dante are still together and they’re a solid couple by the time this begins. Rook breaks in to his cousin’s home to pull a prank but instead finds a dead body and then finds himself neck deep in the middle of another investigation.

The investigation is fast paced and pretty entertaining. The who-done-it aspect keeps the reader guessing until the end.

The romance continues to develop and the guys are both sweet and steamy together. I like these two as a couple and I enjoyed watching Rook drop his guard for Dante.

The reason my rating wasn’t higher though had to do with writing style. There were so many parts that were overly descriptive and completely unnecessary in my opinion. There were a bunch of places that danced on the edge of being purple prose and it just didn’t work for me. I found myself being annoyed and skimming a lot of passages. It was so prevalent that it took away from my overall enjoyment of the book.

This book could be read as a standalone but you might enjoy it more if you’ve read book one. There are a lot of side characters of importance and it helps to know who they are in relation to Rook and Dante. Also, if you’re a fan of this author’s Cole McGinnis series you will see quite a few Easter Eggs in this. (Which is something I personally love for authors to do.)

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About Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

New Author Alert: Midlife Crisis by Audra North

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.

Midlife Crisis: by Audra North
Release Date: August 28th, 2017
Pages: 205 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Cam McGhee grew up like any other small-town Texas farm boy: he played football, went to church every Sunday, and married his high school sweetheart. But thirty-five years after he said “I do,” Cam finds himself nursing a beer in a gay bar, thinking about what might have been.

Dave Montoya is confident, self-assured, and cautiously single. But when he meets shy, uncertain, and clearly-still-not-out Cam in a coffee shop in Austin, his reservations about getting seriously involved again disappear. Cam is everything he’s looking for in a partner . . . almost, anyway.

No matter how much Dave wants him, and how good they are together, Cam can’t bring himself to fully embrace the life he was meant to live. After all, when his secret finally gets out, he faces the very real possibility of losing everything that kept him going for the first fifty years of his life, just like he’s feared for so long. But with a little faith—and a lot of love—his dream of living fully, truly, as himself might finally be within reach.

four-stars

Well, North certainly surprised me. I’ve never read anything by her before. After reading this, I saw she is a MF romance writer. I have skeptical feelings about them, but I don’t let it cloud too much of my judgment. More surprised at myself for finishing it. This was not only a slow burn, but the pacing was snail at best. I didn’t find myself bored so I guess its a win for me. Its very detailed, and everything is written in a way that molasses pours faster. I was really drawn to it because of the older mc’s. They are in their 50’s well off, and established wanting different things in their lives.  North’s writing was real, emotional, and such a sweet romance. It doesn’t focus on the physical side but more emotional. Cam was such a character that touched my spirit. I teared up at plenty of the hard facts that he had to face. Dave is such a sweetheart. Super understanding to the cause and patient.

Cam’s character made my feelings come out through this story. I don’t know what was happening at the time of my reading it, but he resonated so much to me. Maybe its because he’s a black man, and all his loyalties, duties, and reservations about his family is so common in the community, even more in the south. My family is from the south, so I could understand all his thoughts, dreams, fears, hurt when it came to being happy. Or lack thereof in his case. He sacrificed his happiness for the community, the way of life in Bitter, Texas. He was a drowning man, until his wife died. It was heartbreaking and I know it was emotional because it kept an egg shape size of despair in my throat. He tried to do right by what was expected of him, he tried to be the best father, and husband he could be. It only took 51 years of living to realize that he wanted something for himself. In walks Dave, in his biker workout clothes, and friends. With his smile, easy on the eyes, and friendly manner its no wonder Cam falls for him. Its not an easy romance. While Cam does come to terms about being gay, its another to act on it. Its something that he’s never thought of. Of course being happy with Dave, does nothing to dis spell all his responsibilities back home or with his children. No matter his orientation, his children are his. Cam shows so much vulnerability with his kids, Dave, and his knitting crew. Dave is trying to get back on the horse as well. Being single for a few years after being in a long term relationship, Dave has reservations about being with someone as closeted as Cam. Its something that he can’t help since he’s falling just as much as Cam.

I am still kinda shocked at how much I’ve enjoyed this. I look forward to North writing more gay romance if its going to be real like this. If you like older guys, interracial romance, hurt comfort, out for you, tears, and extremely slow burns then this book is for you. I quite like the pacing, and writing myself. I would recommend this read.

 

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About Audra North

Audra North is a contemporary romance author of more than twenty romances, including the Stanton Family series from Entangled Publishing, the Hard Driving series from St. Martin’s Press, and the Pushing the Boundaries series from Samhain Publishing. She is the owner and publisher of Pink Kayak Press, which focuses on the publication of diverse romance works. Winter Rain, a Pink Kayak Press anthology, won a gold medal in the 2015 Independent Publisher Awards.

Audra enjoys speaking to writing groups and at industry conferences. She is also an avid jogger and loves running marathons. She has three children and lives with her family outside of Boston.

How To Save A Life by Eli Easton

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.

How To Save A Life: by Eli Easton
Series: Howl at the Moon #4
Release Date: August 28th, 2017
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By:Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Rav Miller looked into the terrified, intelligent eyes of the chocolate Labrador on death row, and knew he’d do anything to save him. When the dog, Sammy, escapes and heads to Mad Creek, Rav follows. Mad Creek. The town had become legendary in Rav’s mind after he’d met that bizarre group last year. Rav dismissed his crazy suspicions back then, but when he arrives in Mad Creek, he knows it’s true. Dog shifters exist, and apparently they all live in the California mountains. It’s enough to blow a bad boy’s mind.

Sammy has something in common with Rav—neither one of them trusts people. After Sammy’s abuse as a dog, he particularly dislikes tough-looking men like Rav. But when Sammy gets a chance to work with rescued dogs at the new Mad Creek shelter, his deep compulsion to help others overcomes his fear. Rav and Sammy bond over saving strays. If they can each find the courage to let someone else in, they might find their way to love.

Sheriff Lance Beaufort doesn’t like humans moving into Mad Creek, especially not the tattooed and defiant Rav. When Rav starts a rescue shelter, the town thinks he’s wonderful! But Lance isn’t fooled. He doesn’t buy Rav’s innocent act for one second. How much does Rav know about the quickened? What is his game? And why did he have to show up now, when Lance and the other town leaders are overwhelmed by all the new quickened pouring in?

Rav knows how to save a life. But can he save an entire town? Can he rescue Mad Creek?

 

four-stars

I really enjoy this series! I’m not an animal person at all, but I would love to have all these dogs with me. Easton’s, Howl At The Moon series is one of my favorite shifter series! Each book has something different in it. This book had me tearing up in the first 10%. I couldn’t believe it. I really enjoyed Rav’s characters and Sammy’s earnest personality.

Rav is a biker, with a heart of gold. Running a no-kill shelter and taking in dogs when he doesn’t have enough room. Sammy is such a sweet doggy. He’s a sweeter human. He’s had a tough life up until getting to Mad Creek, but he pushed through and made it work. This was a relatively slow burn on the romance, and it wasn’t bad persay. Not the steamiest, but I can always understand it isn’t needed. I liked how Rav stuck to his guns with the town. Loved all his reservations, fears, and hopes being played out on the page. In each book, Eli defintiely distinguished each personality with their dog’s counterparts. I really liked Rav and his knowledge on how each dog is. Love how he was able to be patient with Sammy. Allowing Sammy to learn on his own, about what he wants and doesn’t.

Don’t know how I feel about some of the other characters getting page time. It felt rushed in a sense that no other story offered it, and felt like the author didn’t have much to say with these characters. I also couldn’t understand making Rav’s background so heavy for it to dull off at the end, and nothing to come from it. The ending didn’t feel like an ending. More like a middle. It didn’t feel like a proper ending like the rest. I don’t know whats to come for Rav & Sammy. Even these problems to me, wouldn’t make me change my rating. I did like it. I really would like to see Rex & Simon get a book, of course not together but seperately. Its a lot more quickeneds in Mad Creek that need their stories told!

 

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About Eli Easton

Having been, at various times, and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of metaphysical thrillers, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest writing.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Absolutely, Almost Perfect by Lissa Reed

Oh My Shelves welcomes Lissa Reed to the blog today! Asked her some questions and she is nice enough to chat with Oh My Shelves. She comes baring excerpts, giveaways, and a sequel to two wonderful guys! Absolutely Almost Perfect released on August 3rd, 2017 is a 4 star read from our Mika! Please give a big shout out to Lissa, and make sure you follow along the blog tour so you won’t miss out a really good giveaway and a chance to win the e-book! Check it out!

Q&A with Lissa Reed, author of Absolutely, Almost, Perfect.

Hi Lissa, thanks for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi there! I am a writer, knitter, baker, and cat fancier living in Dallas. I do tech work by day, but my free time is spent engaged in the art of making up entertaining lies, a pastime that’s been close to my heart since I was a small child. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is my third book.

How do you feel about e-books vs print books?

Honestly, I love both. Owning a Kindle means I can carry dozens of books in my purse and not break the straps. It means I can easily get books in different languages and not have to pay horrible shipping charges. I love the search within a book option.

But you know, there’s something about a print book, about the smell of paper and ink. About the heft of it in your hand, and the way it sounds to ruffle the pages. There are some books I just want in print form, too, like the Harry Potter books or cookbooks or old books from my childhood. Ultimately, the important thing is that I have books of some kind around me at all times.

What process did you go through to get your first book published?

Interlude Press found me through my friend Mimsy Hale, who is also published with them. Up until then, I had only written fanfiction. It was quite an adjustment, mostly in the editing stages – I had some stringent betas in the fanfic world, but our editing team at Interlude is, as you would expect, a whole new level. I had to – am still having to – get a better handle on the grammar things I mostly ignored in school. I was a big coaster in English class, I got through on the strength of my written essays and term papers, and boy, am I feeling it now!

How do you find or make time to write?

I work during the day, so I have to, by default, write at night and on weekends. Right now I am only writing on Sundays, because I am working on a new project that’s pretty intense and I need to just have the one day a week to fully sit down and concentrate on it.

That said, I do constantly take notes on my phone. I have been known to write entire chapters in the Notes app or in the Google Docs app. I saw a thread on Twitter the other day about a writer who was taking a flight and he watched a fellow passenger – a teenage girl – whip out her phone and fly through typing what he estimated to be about four thousand words of solid fiction. And he was just in awe of her, and it was awesome, because so frequently that’s how I work! Not to the tune of 4k in a few hours, I only wish, but yeah, on my phone. People have kind of given me grief sometimes for being on my phone a lot, but honestly, apart from being a lifeline to friends around the world, it is also my main writing tool next to my laptop. Frankly, it’s easier on my wrists, too.

Name one person who you feel supported you outside of your family members?

So many! But I am going to shout out my friend Alana here. She’s been cheering me on with the Sucre Coeur series from day one, from the earliest drafts. I named a restaurant after her in book two and just flat out dedicated this third book to her. She’s been a friend since my fandom days and I am so lucky to have had someone so upbeat and encouraging with me on this little journey.

Tell us about a book you’re reading now.

Oh, man. I am reading The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker. Her Compass series was recommended to me last year, and when I found out she was writing a book focused on the character of Reyes Walter, I flipped. Could not wait for it! Rey is sort of the driving force behind the Compass books, a real BDSM puppet master pulling strings in the name of helping people, so I’ve been very, very eager to see who Tamsen finds for him. I love a good story about a lone wolf meeting their match. I am making this one last, let me tell you. I don’t want it to end!

Absolutely Almost Perfect: by Lissa Reed
Series: Sucre Coeur #3
Release Date: August 3rd, 2017
Pages: • Format: e-book
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
Interlude PressAmazonSmashwords

Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.

As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.

 

Excerpt

Deftly, she ducks out of his arms with a sly grin that doesn’t exactly fill Craig with joy. “Right. Avoiding that topic in the interests of maintaining peace?”
Uh-oh.

“Let’s talk about your wedding plans!” She takes back her towel and tucks it into place, smiling at him all the while. “Hmm?”
No. No, there’s not one thing about that question that he likes, not even a little. “Don’t quite get what you mean,” he lies. Of course, he knows exactly what she means. He’s been tense while waiting for her to find an opportunity to bring it up again and damn if he didn’t just hand it to her himself. Still. Four days, one almost had to admire her restraint.
But he doesn’t want to think about it. The ring has been a pulsing beacon from its new hiding place, fraying his nerves with its very presence as everything goes pear-shaped.

“You do too,” Chloe retorts, her eyes narrowed. “Assuming you find a good time to propose and Alex accepts, you’ll have your own wedding to plan. Any luck figuring out when you’ll pop The Big Question?”
“Ah, well, I had in mind perhaps the thirty-fifth of Septembruary, at the High Noon of Absolutely Never.” This is a conversation Craig wants to have even less than any with or about Duncan. Proposing to Alex seemed like such a no-brainer when he first picked up the ring. Even when he was making sure it was still securely hidden in his bag, he had nothing but confidence in his decision.

Then they came here. And everything went madder than Craig could have expected. He winces. How can he even consider proposing after this?

Craig crosses back to his bowls of ingredients. He rests his full weight on the counter, and the sigh that comes out of him could send a paper boat across a pond. The guilt that propels it could sink the boat. “Chloe.”

“No, no, no,” she says as she scampers over to stand next him. With pursed lips, she sticks a finger in front of his face and waves it around. “No second thoughts. You bought the ring, he’s lovely, no second thoughts.”

Craig laughs in disbelief. “I’m not having second thoughts about him, Cee.” Not even remotely. Almost two years they’ve been inseparable now and Craig loves Alex so much it could steal his breath and he’d count the loss as negligible. “Never about him.”

Chloe manages an entire ten seconds of staring before she raises her hands and asks, “So, what then?”

He snorts and gives her a sidelong glance. “You spent Tuesday night combing buttercream out of your hair and you have to ask?”

Giveaway
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Hold // Five winners receive Absolutely, Almost, Perfect eBook

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About the Author

Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her first composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary fiction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.
Get to know Lissa Reed at lissareed.com; on Twitter @lissareedbooks; and on on Instagram at lissa_angeline.

 

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect by Lissa Reed

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.

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect: by Lissa Reed
Series: Sucre Coeur #3
Release Date: August 3rd, 2017
Pages: • Format: e-ARC
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
Interlude PressAmazonSmashwords

Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.

As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.

 

four-stars

I really don’t know where to start. I honestly read book 1 yesterday just to get a feel of these guys again, and I still enjoyed it. I really enjoy the realistic feeling of Reed’s writing. It seems so easily written, but that might not be how to describe it. 2 souls who couldn’t be more good for each other than these two. You can see the love between Craig & Alex.

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is a great follow up to Craig & Alex. I really adored Craig in book one. He was the essential gentleman. Everything about him was amazing, and still is. Its the first time he’s flustered to this extend. I was weary about Alex. Weary enough that I didn’t think he was good enough for Craig. That’s me wanting Craig to be with someone easier to deal with. Alex has a lot of hangups, and they don’t get fixed over night, but this book shows what a year can do for a person. He’s grown tremendously, and he’s learned to love and trust Craig.

“The Most fundamental truth of his life is that Craig is home, Craig is refuge, Craig is a place for Alex to catch his breath.”

This was by far my favorite line in the book. Going back home to Craig is a double edged sword. He wants to see him family and support a close friend, but Craig has all the reservations in the world. His older brother whom he’s never gotten along with is marrying said close friend. As much as he tries to run away from this problem once home, he can’t get far. Alex for all intentions and purposes is right there holding Craig up. He’s there adulting, and being the support system that he never thought he could be. It was a breath of fresh air reading about these two. I loved Craig’s family a lot. I loved the ending, the compromises, the laughter and tears. Goodness, that scene at 90% had me looking towards the ceiling because I didn’t want my tears to fall.

This series is so eloquently written. I feel like I can close my eyes, and picture Lissa’s words in my head. I don’t do audios very much, but this is a series I’m looking forward to listening to. If you haven’t read book 1 then you don’t know what you are missing. This is a true love story. It doesn’t have the physical steam that I like, but I love reading about the coupling of them together more then the act itself. Its a definite recommend from me, and I look forward to more from this author.

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About Lissa Reed

Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her first composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary fiction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.

Menace (Scarlet Scars #1) by J.M. Darhower

Series:
Narrator: Iggy Toma, Kasha Kensington
Source: Tantor Audio

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: Menace by J.M. Darhower
Series: Scarlet Scars #1
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Format: Audiobook (11 hrs and 51 mins)
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia Romance
Published By: Tantor Audio
Purchase Links: • Tantor Audio
 

three-stars

J.M. Darhower is my one of my favorite writers when it comes to Mob stories so I was so stoked when this audiobook was released. I may have had Sempre in the back of my mind, or something similar in plot. This was far from it and this one didn’t grip me like that story. J.M Darhower is a great storyteller so I knew if I hung in there, I would be rewarded.
The story starts with dancer/hooker Scarlet (Morgan Myer) selling herself for protection and information from powerful underworld bosses. I couldn’t figure out the significance of the information other than she was hiding from another boss. But it was clear most of her actions were motivated out of an extreme amount of fear.
The hero Lorenzo Gambino vacillated between being a sociopath to a moody/angry mobster. You can’t be unfeeling if you are in a constant state of rage. Just sayin’. Anyway, I am unclear of Scarlet really sought him out as a protector or just picked the pocket of the wrong dude. But that moment seemed to bind them and despite several attempts to pull away from each other, they always drawn back to the other. The sex scenes were definitely the best part of this book because they were steamy, fascinating and provocative.
I couldn’t decide if Lorenzo’s curiosity was based on the great sex or the Russian monster that scared Scarlet more than him. It was like a pissing contest because Lorenzo wanted to meet the Russian who thought he was thought his game was gangsta than Lorenzo’s.
Honestly, the author took her time in getting to the heart of the plot. I prefer faster paced stories or at least great character development to compensate for slower paced yet suspenseful accounts. I didn’t feel that the characters were fleshed out that well but the author did enough to get me to like them.
I was hoping the book would get better and the last two chapters were probably the best in the book and made everything make more sense. It made Scarlet make more sense to me and then I felt empathy for her plight. Lorenzo remains an enigma for me so the jury is out on his character. The writing and the narrators kept my attention and I really need book 2 to be released as this one ended on a cliff hanger.

Ezi

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.

Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

Narrator: Callie Dalton
Source: Tantor Audio

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: Wait for It by Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Callie Dalton
Release Date: March 8, 20117
Format: Audiobook (15 hrs and 52 mins)
Genre: Romance
Published By: Tantor Audio

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

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

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

Except for a boyfriend Or a husband. But who needs either one of those?

four-half-stars

This was another winner from Mariana Zapata. I was a little scared that my second audiobook by her will succumb to the sophomore jinx. No such worries because this book had my favorite trope, the single parent who finds love. This story focused more on the family aspect than the romance and I loved that. Callie Dalton definitely fits Zapata’s characters because her voice added to my enjoyment.

Diana Casillas (yes, related to Sal Casillas from Kulti) is raising her two nephews, Josh and Louie at the ripe ole age of 29 years old. Events led her to meeting her neighbor Dallas Walker. As a parent myself, I appreciated hearing Diana’s inner musings as I have similar thoughts going on in my head. I also loved how much she just loved those boys and did her best with what hand life dealt her. I knew Dallas was a good guy even though we didn’t know his situation with his ex. He was trying to look out for his brother as well as looking after his grandmother.

There was moments of sadness, angst, humor and romance. The author just took her time to outline the plot, form the characters and unfold the story. I loved what each character brought to the narrative. I also loved how the narrator’s voice brought this story to life. The ending was just so AAAHHHHHH! I just exhaled with pleasure. Bravo to the author. I can’t wait to get to the other books Mariana Zapata has written because these are the kinds of books I want to listen to.

Ezi

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.

Guest Review: A Kind of Home by Lane Hayes

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 Kind of Home: by Lane Hayes
Series: A Kind of Stories #4
Release Date: June 23rd, 2017
Pages: 224 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

A Kind Of Story

Isaac Dalton is the guitarist for Spiral, arguably the biggest rock band in the world. The band’s meteoric rise to superstardom has its perks, but fame and fortune aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Nonstop touring and performing exhaust him, and when an overzealous fan makes it imperative that Isaac travel with a clingy bodyguard, he is ready for a break from the madness. More so when his newly single first crush shows up on his doorstep. The man is strictly off-limits. He’s a memory from a place Isaac would rather leave behind. And he’s straight.

Fun-loving former athlete slash construction worker Adam McBride desperately needs a new beginning. And New York City is the perfect place to start over and think about how to rebuild his life. A short stint as roommates with his brother’s best friend from high school seems like a mutually beneficial arrangement. However, when friendship gives way to fierce attraction, both men find themselves in uncharted and possibly dangerous territory. Isaac has to decide if he’s willing to take the ultimate risk for a kind of love and a kind of home he never dreamed possible.

four-stars

In previous books of this series we have gotten to know the guys from the rock band Spiral. By the time this book begins the band is huge. They’re one of the most famous bands in the world and the long hours, traveling and lack of privacy has begun to wear on guitarist Isaac. He loves the music but he’s growing weary of everything else. What he wants most is to be left alone. Unfortunately for Isaac he’s picked up an odd fan who seems like they might be obsessed with him. As a result he has also picked up a body guard he doesn’t want.

Imagine Isaac’s shock when he gets home from a tour to find that the old friend he said could use his apartment for a week or so is still there a few months later. Adam is the older brother of Isaac’s best friend from high school. Isaac always had a crush on the older boy and hasn’t seen him since his wedding a few years earlier. Despite his annoyance at finding Adam at his place he agrees to let him stay a bit longer. Adam is getting divorced and is looking to make some changes in his life.

As the two men begin to get reacquainted Isaac finds that all the things that attracted him to Adam in the past are still there but now there are even more things to like about him. Adam is in New York to make big changes in his life and apparently he’s not as straight as Isaac always thought he was. The two can’t deny their chemistry and soon friendship turns into something more.

I liked both of these MC’s individually and I really loved them together. They were a perfect compliment to each other. Their chemistry jumped off the pages and the book was filled with both sweet, romantic scenes and some super hot bedroom scenes. The grand gesture at the end was especially lovely.

Extra kudos to the author for not making the ex wife the stereotypical shrew and for not making Adam’s bisexuality an issue or problem within the marriage. I thought the entire divorce part of the plot line was well thought out and executed perfectly.

This book can be read as a standalone. Because of both band work and their friendships we see a lot of some of the previous characters (especially Rand) so if you’ve read the others you’ll probably appreciate that. So whether you’re an existing fan of the series or new to it, this is a book I would definitely recommend.

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About Lane Hayes

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions in the 2014 and 2015 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow Lab ever in an almost empty nest.