Imago by N.R. Walker

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.

Imago: by N.R. Walker
Series:Imago #1
Release Date: Febuary 21st, 2017
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By:BlueHeart Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.

Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.

But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bowties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.

Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books. They exist only in a touch, in a kiss, in a smile. He just has to let go first, so these butterflies can fly.

Imago is the story of finding love, bowties, and butterflies.

 

five-stars

This was really brillant. If I could give it heart eyes I would. Truly adorkable!

Imago is a low angst, happiness, heavy on the romance love story.

It was definitely on the cusp of Insta-love, but I think it was done rightly so. Lawson & Jack’s feelings about one another were very straight forward, open, and honest to see. I thought both guys were wonderful in their own way, but together they just made the highlight of my day. N.R. Walker does it again, with making me happy. I really appreciate the chemistry that she gave these two. It is definitely worth the read.

Lawson Gale is an adorable nerd. A genius in his world, and a complete loving guy. He hasn’t had the best of luck in the romance department, and a mistake on the rental company part leads him to Jack. Jack who is an outdoorsy dudebro it seems, but a very romantic one as well. Yeah he might look the part of a bully, but he is not one. In fact he is the sweetest guy ever. I really really loved Jack. Jack is a transplant of Tasmania, and he’s made it his home. His job as a wild life officer is there. The small state might seem slow compared to Melbourne, but it fits Jack and the residents there.

After the initial meeting of these two, you can see the sparks fly on page. It’s a certain chemistry that they have that seems like fate. They compliment one another well. The physical, emotional, and mental seems to be equally matched. I really liked how knowledgeable Walker seemed on these topics. It’s not something I’m familiar with, but I really enjoyed learning the different facts about each others area of work. I really want a Luca of my own. He was truly adorable, and he might have made me swoon more with the limit amount of screen time he had.

All in all, I think this was a great story. Very thought out, I thought both characters truly transformed at times, and was able to be with the other one needed. The physical side of the relationship was hot and passionate. Really good read from this author, and I so look forward to book 2. This was a definite recommend, and made my favorite list of 2017!

About N.R. Walker

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

Audiobook Review: Egomaniac by Vi Keeland

(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Title: Egomaniac by Vi Keeland
Release Date: January 14th 2017
Pages:  289 • Format: Audiobook (8 hrs and 8 mins)
Published By: C. Scott Publishing Corp.
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleBarnes & Noble

The night I met Drew Jagger, he’d just broken into my new Park Avenue office. I dialed 9-1-1 before proceeding to attack him with my fancy new Krav Maga skills. He quickly restrained me, then chuckled, finding my attempted assault amusing.

Of course, my intruder had to be arrogant.  Only, turned out, he wasn’t an intruder at all.

Drew was the rightful occupant of my new office. He’d been on vacation while his posh space was renovated. Which was how a scammer got away with leasing me office space that wasn’t really available for rent. I was swindled out of ten grand.

The next day, after hours at the police station, Drew took pity on me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. In exchange for answering his phones while his secretary was out, he’d let me stay until I found a new place. I probably should have acted grateful and kept my mouth shut when I overheard the advice he was spewing to his clients. But I couldn’t help giving him a piece of my mind.
I never expected my body to react every time we argued. Especially when that was all we seemed to be able to do.

The two of us were complete opposites. Drew was a bitter, angry, gorgeous-as-all-hell, destroyer of relationships. And my job was to help people save their marriages. The only thing the two of us had in common was the space we were sharing.  And an attraction that was getting harder to deny by the day.

five-starsAdd to Goodreads

Vi Keeland smashed this one out of park. I immediately dismissed this book when I saw the title but don’t make the mistake I did. This book was such a great read. The person who titled this book did it a great disservice. I mean, epic fail. I don’t know if it was an attempt to get attention and sell books but Drew Jagger was absolutely not an egomaniac. I looked up the definition and Egomaniac is “a person obsessed with their own importance.”
I don’t believe heroine Emerie Rose fit that bill either. This book was actually the opposite of that title. I think the two main characters didn’t take themselves that seriously, and that was part of the book’s charm.

This story is not one of those billionaire romances. Its a story about common sense versus book smarts, personal growth and learning to open one’s eyes and heart. I really really enjoyed it. I am mega impressed with the writing. The comedic timing, the emotional touches, even Emerie’s naivete was touching. I loved the contrast between the more celebral and mild mannered therapist from Oklahoma and the playful, yet hard working New York attorney. The tone of the story was humorous, sweet and touching in parts. It was completely delightful. The author did a great job building the characters and making them relatable. Drew can be both a jerk and a sweetheart. Emerie was both clueless and yet perceptive. The character perfection lies in their flaws. They make you want to shake sense into them, laugh with them and give them comforting hugs.

What a fun audiobook. Joe Arden and Andi Arndt were awesome narrators. I found them so believable and I enjoyed every minute of this story. They really projected the chemistry and camaraderie between the characters. I couldn’t help but be sucked into Emerie and Drew’s banter. From the funny dialogue, to the sharing past pains and the building of solid relationship, I was all in this story. I have read The Baller by this same author and didn’t enjoy it half as much as this one. This is a book that will be on my re-read shelf for when I need a pick me up when I hit a reading funk. I will definitely be checking out more of Vi Keeland’s work.

If you want an entertaining romance that balances humor, chemistry and personal growth, this is the book for you.
Ezi

About Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote

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.

Watching and Wanting: by Jay Northcote
Series: Housemates #4
Release Date: January 20, 2017
Pages: 162 • Format: eARC
Published By: JayBird Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires Shawn’s always denied…

Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth—going nowhere.

Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction.

Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated—and kinky—fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.

five-stars

Good Lord. This book was so freaking steamy, sensual, exhilarating and a winner from beginning to end.

Jay Northcote has hit this book out of the park, baby. I mean from beginning to end I was enthralled, and damn turned on. Okay that was TMI, but yeah your loins get a working out on for sure. Really smutty goodness, and loved the chemistry between Shawn & Jude. It was almost electric, and I literally finished it at work, but needed a c:old water bottle on my forehead for a while. This was definitely my favorite out the series so far, and that’s hard for me seeing as I loved Dev & Ewan’s book. It was something so passionate about these two. When I say the chemistry was meant to be it was meant to be. I cannot think of any other way to explain it.

Shawn, Shawn, Shawn. I don’t know if I was waiting for your book, or wanting to destroy your homophobic arse. Well, not really homophobic, and more like in utter denial about his sexuality. Look how much lighter, and pleasant he is once he got the D. Haha. No that wasn’t it. I honestly think from the very beginning of the series Shawn was struggling with his sexuality, and his repressed emotions & feelings. He couldn’t fathom being attracted to a guy, but I think after screwing most of England and his latest breakup put things into perspective. He was left feeling like it was a hole inside him, and no matter what he did to try to feel it nothing worked. Well almost nothing, until walking in on Jude. 

Jude, Jude!!! Good Lord Man. You know how to leave a bish FLUSTERED!!!! That should have been my word of the day. I loved Jude. He was so amazingly hawt, and easy going. He was super understanding to everything Shawn was going through. I love how he kinda handled Shawn with kids gloves because he knew he was dealing with someone who could jump ship at any moment. I liked how he was able to set a boundary and even though it hurt for a while, it was much needed. Northcote really showed character growth in this one. Since when in love or the cusp of being in love means, you have to sacrifice your moral code for someone. I hate those books that force one character to forget about themselves for the greater good. Like do we forget that love is a two way street, and it’s okay to be a little selfish and have self preservation. 

I’m going to try to talk about these steamy scenes without prematurely combustion. **Wink Wink** The whole cam sex event is a brilliant idea. I’m telling you guys it leaves you flustered, and immediately turned the eff on. It took me a while to finish since I had to practice what I read. LOL. I’m having fun with this book, and I don’t know how to say it nicely that this book leaves you horny. There!!! It’s out there damnit. You made me say it. This is one of my favorite books by Jay. He did such a good job with these two. Loved the flow of the stories, and got to see some favorites of the series. I don’t know if we’ll get more, but I was positively happy with these two. I recommend this ish out of this book!

Mika Out.

About Jay Northcote

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with his husband, two children, and two cats. He comes from a family of writers, but he always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, he decided to try and write a short story—just to see if she could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary gay romance about men who fall in love with other men, usually set in or near her home town of Bristol. He enjoys the challenge of bringing the men in his head to life through his words. Jay has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and he also publishes his own titles under the imprint Jaybird Press. Some of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is a transgender man and was formerly known as she/her.

So This is Christmas by Josh Lanyon

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.

So This is Christmas: by Josh Lanyon
Series: The Adrien English Mysteries, #5.5
Release Date: December 30, 2016
Pages: 127 • Format: eARC
Published By: Just Joshin Publishing, Inc
Purchase Links:
AmazonSmashwords

God Help You Merry Gentlemen…

Arriving home early after spending Christmas in jolly old England, sometimes amateur sleuth Adrien English discovers alarming developments at Cloak and Dagger Books–and an old acquaintance seeking help in finding his missing boyfriend.

Fortunately, Adrien just happens to know a really good private eye…

 

 

 

five-stars

It took me a couple of days to try to figure out what words to describe this story, but I still have no words because this book has been one of my happiest book pleasures ever. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we would see Adrien & Jake again. They are in my Book Royalty. I love the Adrien & Jake story. It isn’t nice, easy, or sweet. These two have fought extremely hard to get where they are and it’s PERFECT.

This picks up right after book 5. Jake & Adrien are returning from a holiday in London. We see the old gang, some familiar faces and the love between these two. I don’t think we’ve ever see Adrien this content and happy before, and its a beautiful thing. It wouldn’t be an Adrien English story without someone contacting him directly or sometimes indirectly for help. This time it’s Kevin, the cute hottie from book 2 needs some help. Reading this I often found myself smiling for no apparent reason then it feels great to revisit these two. I truly love Josh Lanyon’s style, and felt like this was the most contemporary story we’ve seen from her ever in my opinion.

Ask anyone and they will tell you I wasn’t team Jake ever in a day. I re-read the series prior to reading this and sometimes I forgot why I was so angry at him, but book 4 and seeing him change was something else. I forgive all the tears, anger, and pain that he put Adrien in. We see Jake grow as much as Adrien did in the years since the first book. You can see the personal growth that Jake obtained because in this last book he was so carefree, open and loving. It was like seeing a new Jake, but I firmly believe he just grew up.

With all the happiness and that ending, I couldn’t ask for a better ending to these two. I am forever grateful that Lanyon decided to bless us with this happiness. I loved it, and it’s highly recommendable to fans of this series.

About Josh Lanyon

Bestselling author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance, JOSH LANYON has been called “arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today.” Granted, that was yesterday.

Today Josh’s work has been translated into nine languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondari, the largest romance publisher in Italy. The Adrien English series was awarded the 2nd Annual All Time Favorite Male Male Couple by the Goodreads M/M Group. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery, and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

on October 11th 2016
Small Great Things Book Cover Small Great Things
Jodi Picoult
Historical Fiction
Ballantine Books
October 11th, 2016
audiobook
480

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

I found this book very moving and very thought provoking. I applaud the author for tacking such a topic. Racism in a professional environment is something that many people deal with but often find very little allies when a major situation arises. I don’t want to rehash the blurb because it was clear on the book subject.

I couldn’t put this book down once I started because it was so real especially in this current racially charged environment. I just hope that readers don’t get caught up in the minutiae of the author’s race and really let the message penetrate.
What made the story so powerful was that each character had major flaws and had opportunities to make different choices. I found myself saying “Why did he do that? Why did she say that? What was the point of going over there?” and so on. The insidiousness of racism and the far-reaching consequences to all involved. I found this book painful at times but it is a very necessary read because the problems in the book are still present in society today. I both liked and disliked Ruth and her attorney throughout the book. I mostly despised Turk but I realize that his behavior had been instilled in him at such a young and impressionable age. I have little tolerance for racists so empathy towards Turk is something I didn’t have much of. White privilege is something that many people refuse to acknowledge and that was at the heart of this story.
I wish the twists weren’t so convoluted and dramatic. Even with those extreme leaps in the story, I highly recommend this book to all who are willing to examine their own hearts about race relations in our world today.

Ezi

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)five-stars
From Sand and Ash Book Cover From Sand and Ash
Amy Harmon
Historical Fiction; Historical Romance
Lake Union Publishing
December 1st, 2016
audibook; e-book
386

Italy, 1943—Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II.

As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood.

Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church.

But Eva can’t quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.

This book was a lyrical work of art.

Definitely Amy Harmon’s finest work and I have enjoyed all of her books thus far. There were so many things I loved about this book but writing stands out the most. Amy Harmon’s storytelling was so intense, visceral and poignant. This story was set in Italy starting before the German invasion and lasted for the Nazi occupation of the Italy. It was such a dark and depressing historical period, but the author managed weave a tale of love, hope, faith and loyalty.

Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were childhood best friends despite being her being Jewish and him being Catholic. Despite their affection for each other, Angelo decided that he could best serve God as a priest.

“God makes me strong. He gives me courage. He gives me peace. He gives me purpose.”

As Angelo joined the priesthood, Eva began navigating life in Italy where Jews were stripped of every conceivable right of citizenship despite the Jews “making up 1% of the countries population”. At her darkest hour, Angelo took in Eva and some other family friends to hid them, but it endangered all the priests around.

Angelo was forced to consider what his life would be like if the Nazi’s were to find Eva and the other Jews that the priests were protecting. While Eva struggles to survive, she was also forced to deal with the fact that the man she loved chose to be a priest over a life with her.

This story was both inspiring, enlightening and emotionally POWERFUL. Every time I felt despondent, a gestured or an event occurred that contributed some reason for hope and encouragement.

“Hope is the only thing resistant to the fear, and it is the hope that makes the next breath possible, the next step, the next tiny act of rebellion, even if that rebellion is simply staying alive.”

The author didn’t mislead the readers by painting a rosy picture of war times. But those tendrils of devotion and faithfulness kept me optimistic as I listened to tale. The narrator Cassandra Campbell was excellent in her various accented voices. She was a great choice for this book.

I loved both Eva and Angelo for different reasons. Both were strong characters, loving, honest and altruistic. Eva though just stole my heart. She had a clarity about almost everything. She was decisive and even stubborn. Angelo was so endearing because he truly tried to honor his faith even if he had to sacrifice his own heart. I admired his commitment and his perseverance. The author did an amazing job developing these characters as well as the overall plot. I never felt that the author sacrificed the historical plight of the people in favor of a love story. It made everything feel so much more authentic and genuine. I am always amazed at the blessings that occurred despite immense suffering during the tragedies of war. This story was one of the best written historical fiction novels I have ever read.

 **Special Thanks to Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley for the e-book given in exchange for an honest review.

About Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in thirteen languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Levan, Utah.

Amy Harmon has written ten novels – including the USA Today Bestsellers, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as The Law of Moses, Infinity + One and the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue. Her recent release, The Bird and the Sword, is a Goodreads Choice finalist in Fantasy.

Bitter Legacy by Dal MacLean

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.

bitter-legacyBitter Legacy: by Dal MacLean
Release Date:October 4, 2016
Pages:350 • Format: eARC
Published By: Blind Eye Books
Purchase Links:
Blind Eye Books  •  Amazon

Detective Sergeant James Henderson of London’s Metropolitan Police Murder Investigation Team is no ordinary police officer. His remarkable gut instincts and relentless detective work have put him on a three-year fast track to becoming an inspector. When the murder of barrister Maria Curzon-Whyte lands in his lap, he finds himself drawn back into the insidious world of London’s privileged elite where men like James’s father possess wealth and power enough to hold the law in contempt. As James navigates the promiscuous, secretive and corrupt spheres of the rich, the murderer strikes again. Soon James begins to fear that these crimes lead dangerously close to his own heart and home. And now, he risks losing everything he’s made of his life unless he can expose the sordid truths that have bred this bitter legacy.

five-stars

Oh my goodness, this book kept me reading it from beginning to end. I literally spent all day Sunday on my couch laying down and reading this. It was the perfect split between romance and mystery thriller. I loved every bit of it. This debut novel from Dal MacLean was so good, I immediately added it to my Best of 2016 list. It was a really good mystery that intertwined the life of Jamie. It’s his first case as lead detective, he takes his job super serious. I liked the relationship he had between his boss and partner. He was such a well developed character. Steggie is my favorite as well. I truly liked him. He was flawed but he honestly cared about Jamie’s ware fare. I have mixed feelings on Ben Morgan. Honestly, I understand him the most, but truly hated him at times. I wanted to eviscerate him for leading poor Jamie on, but Jamie is a grown man who had so much naivety. It was on the isnta-love side of the story, but trust me you won’t even care once you start reading this story.

Jamie, oh my goodness. I loved him. At times, I seriously wanted to strangle the air out of him. He was super flawed, lonely, and very naïve. I blame his father, but I’m so happy with the outcome of that. Jamie is on the accelerated course at work. He’s very young for a Detective Sergeant, but he’s been put lead on a high provide murder. In the midst of the murder, he’s looking for somewhere to stay, he’s on the oust with his father, and dealing with his sexuality. I loved this doe eyed guy. He literally made me want to chuck my kindle a few times, I felt like some of the obvious answers to him and Ben were right in his face. Then I had to realize, he’s never felt like this, and this is what people in love do. They are stupidly in love, and blind to the hurt right in front of them.

“Is that a good motive for murder in your world, Chief Inspector? Because I’ve found unrequited love just makes you sad and miserable and tired.”

I love how this story made me feel. I really liked how the author made all the characters in this story human. It was raw and unfiltered when it came to love. It was brutally honest and sometimes hurtful to read, but that is what made it so real. It literally kept me on my toes. I loved the mystery of the story. I love the emotions that I felt while reading this story. MacLean is definitely someone to look forward to. I know someone is going to read this review, and ask “what’s it about?” Well, I won’t spoil it. It was mind-blowing, vulnerable and super good. Kudos to Dal MacLean. I can see this on someone’s debut author list. It is so worth it.

About Dal MacLean

Dal Maclean comes from the North of Scotland. Her background is in journalism, and she has an undying passion for history, the more gossipy and scandalous the better. Dal has lived in Asia and worked all over the world, but home is now the UK. She dislikes the Tragic Gay trope, but loves imperfect characters and genuine emotional conflict in romantic fiction. As an author, and a reader, she believes it’s worth a bit of work to reach a happy ending. Agatha Christie, English gardens and ill-advised cocktails are three fatal weaknesses, though not usually at the same time.

Defenseless by A.J. Rose

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.

Defenseless: by A.J. Rose
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Pages: 438 • Format: eARC
Published By: The Grim Writer Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon • ARe

From Rainbow Award-winning author AJ Rose, Defenseless is a gut-wrenching, heart-stopping story of love through adversity.
——

Kyle Decker knew dating Jesse McGovern would change his life. Young and in love, and with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, the world is theirs to conquer.

But their victorious Pride celebration ends in a savage attack, brutally demonstrating they’re far from equal. Instead of wedding planning, Jesse and Kyle face an arduous recovery and a shattered sense of their place in the world, their once-promising future suddenly something to survive.

While Jesse struggles with a permanent injury and its emotional aftermath, Kyle’s single-minded focus on Jesse’s recovery is the only thing keeping his demons at bay…for now. What was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love is now full of lies and resentment.

With their dreams tattered and forever changed, trusting anyone—even each other—is daunting. So how can they have faith in twelve strangers on a jury? They’ve already learned the hard way it only takes a moment to become truly defenseless.

four-half-stars

I don’t even remember the last time that I cried throughout an entire book. This book had me crying non-stop. Certain areas of the story was super heartbreaking and wonderfully written, that I had no choice but to email Rose at 1 a.m. telling her how I felt. I live in Chicago so this story was extra special to me. I’ve been to a couple of these places, and I could close my eyes and just picture everything that happened. When I say one of the best realistic stories I’ve ever read. It was brilliant. Now the book is not without it’s faults. It’s long, over 400 pages. Certain aspects of the legal issue I could have done without but, I had to realize that they made the story way more authentic.

I read the blurb, but I don’t think I was ready for how impact the story was going to be. With books usually like these, I’m either fuming by the end. I end up being upset about how one of the mc’s acted or how the dialogue went. In this I can say, every response, every tear, every argument, and everything else is exactly how I would react. I can say the guys reactions to the crime were spot on, and very real. Kyle and Jesse are just starting their lives together. And while at the moment the biggest issue is Kyle coming out to his parents about him being bi-sexual. We see how it is eating him up inside. We see Jesse being the supportive boyfriend by not rushing him. Jesse is everything to me. I love how he has a no holds barred talk with Kyle several times in the story. Jesse is very supportive, and he lets Kyle know constantly that sure his parents might be support him but everyone else will.

While this is the biggest flaw, nothing they can ever expect happens to them. They are the victims of a hate crime. They are attacked where LGTBQIA people are suppose to be safe. Boystown/ Pride in Chicago is fabulous. I literally was at Spin every Friday, Saturday night in undergrad. It was my hangout spot with my friends. I’ve never had a bad experience or was subjective to any form of discrimination. Jesse and Kyle are celebrating, and at the end of the day 4 heterosexual guys didn’t love themselves enough to leave them alone. This changed their lives drastically. Kyle & Jesse are no longer who they were in the beginning of the book. They go through a lot. It’s heartbreaking and I loved every minute of it.

From here on out it’s a struggle for the guys to be outside, to be alone, to talk to one another. This is where the author’s writing skills excel big time! I found myself crying for them, and with them. I loved the pacing of the story. The gradual uphill of their struggle. I loved reading from both guys pov’s. It showed the decline of their relationship. Even with the decline, I understood it. I get it. I couldn’t imagine going through this. They were happy and in the cusp of 4 minutes their lives changed drastically. I really liked this story. It’s one of my favorites of 2016. I look forward to more from Rose, and I applaud her for writing such an awesome story.

About A.J. Rose

I talk to imaginary people, speak of events that didn’t happen. I tell lies. Also known as fiction, of the gay erotic variety.

Fallow by Jordan L. Hawk

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

FallowFallow by Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin, Book Eight
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Pages:  197 • Format: eARC
Published By: Jordan L. Hawk
Purchase Links:
AmazonARe • B&N • Kobo 

When Griffin’s past collides with his present, will it cost the lives of everyone he loves?

Between the threat of a world-ending invasion from the Outside and unwelcome revelations about his own nature, Percival Endicott Whyborne is under a great deal of strain. His husband, Griffin Flaherty, wants to help—but how can he, when Whyborne won’t tell him what’s wrong?

When a man from Griffin’s past murders a sorcerer, the situation grows even more dire. Once a simple farmer from Griffin’s hometown of Fallow, the assassin now bears a terrifying magical corruption, one whose nature even Whyborne can’t explain.

To keep Griffin’s estranged mother safe, they must travel to a dying town in Kansas. But as drought withers the crops of Fallow, a sinister cult sinks its roots deep into the arid soil. And if the cult’s foul harvest isn’t stopped in time, Fallow will be only the first city to fall.

Fallow is the eighth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.

five-stars

I honestly feel like, after every book JLH finishes she gives herself one of these.

I don’t know what her method is, but keep doing it. Did we really expect anything else from her? This book was so freaking good. The gang is back to help save the inhabitants of Fallow, Kansas this time. Every time I read a JLH book it’s like going on a vivid journey that you never want to end. It’s how I feel after all her books. I always look at the percentage hoping and pleading that it never makes it to 100%

This installment was no different. Still reeling from the catastrophe of book #7, Whyborne is adamant about keeping his revelations to himself. He’s trying to protect the people of Widdershins, and doing it by keeping himself closed off. Of course Griffin notices his Ival’s problems. He wouldn’t be a good husband if he didn’t notice. This was a perfect setup to a story revolving around Griffin’s past. His family issues never were resolved enough for him, and when dastardly things come to play in Kansas the gang makes their way there.

The game is on. As soon as they reach Fallow things take off. As usual Hawk weaves a fabulous tale, I’m excited happy with all the outcomes in this book. It’s book 8 and the magic of Whyborne and Griffin is still new and joyous to me as a reader. I love Hawk’s diversity as usual. Her pen game is amazing, and I don’t think I’ve read a better thought out series then this. I won’t go into the plot and spoil it for people, but this was close on so many levels to breaking my heart. I love seeing the gang turn things up and come to the rescue. I loved this book, and look forward to more from her!

About Jordan L. Hawk

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

Time Lost by C.B. Lewis

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.

time-lostTime Lost by C.B. Lewis
Series: Out of Time, Book Two
Release Date: July 29, 2016
Pages:  350 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

What began with a dead intruder and a missing scientist quickly becomes the most perplexing case of Detective Inspector Jacob Ofori’s career. Nothing about it makes sense, from the incredibly advanced technology found on the intruder to the scientist’s mysterious workplace, the Temporal Research Institute. Jacob’s gut tells him the TRI is hiding something, and the questions keep piling up: Who would abduct Sanders? What is the strange gate in his basement laboratory? How does it connect to similar gates in the TRI?

TRI engineer Kit Rafferty only wanted one night with the sexy older policeman, but Kit’s mouth tends to run away with him when he gets excited, and nothing gets him more excited than cutting-edge tech—like the intruder’s cybernetic eye. Suddenly Kit is pulled into the investigation—and into a relationship that could jeopardize both of their lives. Kit hates lying to Jacob, but he cannot reveal what really goes on at the TRI—time travel. Faced with time-jumping criminals but unable to share that knowledge with Jacob, Kit turns to a man who knows time travel firsthand: Janos Nagy.

 

five-stars

 

Mind Completely Blown

This is how you write a sequel!!! It’s not even the main couple from book one, but I am blown away by how good this was. I literally could close my eyes and picture everything that is happening in the story. I think I was 25% in maybe when I realized that it was a 5 star read. I am going to need C.B. Lewis to write more!!! I need it. I liked Dieter & Janos. Their story was wicked good. Jacob & Kit’s story was mind blogging effective. That’s the highest praise from me.

I won’t say much about how good the plot is. Even writing this review is making me want to re-read it. I really enjoyed Kit as a character. To be so young, I was scared that he was going to come off just naive, and clueless. He proved himself time and time again. Jacob who didn’t want anything to do with Kit because he was investigating his company had so many different facets about himself. I loved the age-gap trope between the two. I loved seeing their relationship blossom on page. You can definitely see on page where the hookup turned into something else. The moment when you when want to comfort them and just cuddle let’s us in on how both guys were feeling.

I am getting use to Science Fiction stories, but if they are all like this, then definitely sign me up. The cast of characters were equally good. I find no faults no where in this story. I just wanted more. Lewis did a wonderful job on her knowledge of all the subjects involved here. I am excited that their will be a book three. I have no idea who is the main couple, but please can I get a novella featuring Kit & Jacob. Super excited, and giddily excited on how much I loved this. Definitely made it to my favorites of 2016 shelf.

About C.B. Lewis

A book-lover from infancy, C.B. has been writing and telling stories for as long as she can remember. Based in Edinburgh, she has diverse tastes and will quite happily attempt to write any genre, but always come back to history, fantasy, and sci-fi like an old friend. C. B. Lewis is small and Scottish and can often be spotted perched around historical monuments with her notepad and pen. She has been writing and telling tales for almost as long as she can remember, and has a brain that constantly fizzes with an abundance of ideas. If she’s not working on half a dozen things at once, it should be considered a slow day. She loves to travel and just has one continent left to complete her travel bingo card. A lot of the travel has also been research-based, and if pointed at any historical event, she will research it vociferously, just because she can. Normally, she is based in Edinburgh, where she tends toward the hermit-lifestyle, needing nothing but a kettle, a constant supply of tea, and – of course – the internet. There are no cats, no puppies, no significant others, only a lot of ideas, and an awful lot of typing. And occasionally, cake. Never forget the cake.