Blog Tour & Review: Any Boy But You (North Pole, Minnesota #1) by Julie Hammerle

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ANY BOY BUT YOU (NORTH POLE, MINNESOTA #1) BY JULIEHAMMERLE

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Any Boy but You (North Pole, Minnesota #1) by Julie Hammerle
Publication Date: February 13, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Crush

Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.

The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.

When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.
four-stars

MY REVIEW
I really liked this young adult story that reminded me of those Shakespearian tragedies that featured families that had feuds lasting generations but had a romance entangled in it.

Elena Chestnut worked in her family’s sporting goods store which was struggling to keeping afloat thanks to the rival sporting goods store run by Oliver Prince’s family. Right from the beginning, the author set up the Chestnut versus Prince family feud. Thanks to the title, I already suspected how the story would conclude, but I was curious as to how the author would get the readers from loathing to love. I was really impressed by how the author wove the story around the Stash Grab app, which reminded me of the Pokémon Go that was all the rage this summer, and it really worked in keeping the story fresh.

I enjoyed the journey because it was not insta-love. The Chestnut – Prince feud was exasperating but betrayal is often the cause of long-lasting grudges. What I found thought-provoking was the parent’s indifference to the effects of their grudges on their children and the community. This self-centered attitude was evident in Elena and Oliver’s actions towards each other as well as their neighbors. I am glad that the main characters all grew as people and made better life choices. It was encouraging to witness characters develop as the story unfolded. I really ended up liking Oliver and Elena whereas in the beginning I didn’t really care for their attitudes.

The author’s writing was entertaining and the plot was laid out really well. I found the characters to be likable especially Elena, Oliver and Harper. The unsung heroes here were Harper and Oliver’s mom. The mother because her intervention caused Oliver to exist outside his computer and Harper because she was the link between Elena and Oliver. The second half of this story was a little more angst-filled and I was even more captivated by secrets that I could clearly see would blow up in people’s faces. I took pleasure in how Elena and Oliver got together and the effect on their families.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a light and charming read with a fresh twist on the enemy to lovers trope.
Ezi

About Julie Hammerle

Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which will be published by Entangled Teen on June 7, 2016. Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.

She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.

The Lawrence Browne Affair by Cat Sebastian

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

The Lawrence Browne Affair: by Cat Sebastian
Release Date: February 7th, 2017
Pages: 352 • Format: eARC
Published By: Avon Impulse
Purchase Links:
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An earl hiding from his future . . .

Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor, is mad. At least, that’s what he and most of the village believes. A brilliant scientist, he hides himself away in his family’s crumbling estate, unwilling to venture into the outside world. When an annoyingly handsome man arrives at Penkellis, claiming to be Lawrence’s new secretary, his carefully planned world is turned upside down.

A swindler haunted by his past . . .

Georgie Turner has made his life pretending to be anyone but himself. A swindler and con man, he can slip into an identity faster than he can change clothes. But when his long-dead conscience resurrects and a dangerous associate is out for blood, Georgie escapes to the wilds of Cornwall. Pretending to be a secretary should be easy, but he doesn’t expect that the only madness he finds is the one he has for the gorgeous earl.

Can they find forever in the wreckage of their lives?

Challenging each other at every turn, the two men soon give into the desire that threatens to overwhelm them. But with one man convinced he is at the very brink of madness and the other hiding his real identity, only true love can make this an affair to remember.

four-half-stars

Alright now, Cat this is 2 for 2 for me with your stories. I enjoyed the Soldier’s Scoundrel, but I really really liked this book. Georgie and Lawrence were hot like fire. The chemistry and adoration between these two were astounding. This book is in the same world as book one, but can be read as a standalone. Georgie is a con man but with a conscience. Lawrence is the mad Lord of the town who is scientific genius. They push each other buttons continuously, and I can feel the connection on page.

I really liked what the author did by having them be completely different towards each other, but have some of the same similarities of comfort with one another. Georgie needs to lay low for a while so he escapes to another town and poses as a secretary. Its not so far fetched since he knows how to do honest work, he just prefers conning. He is employed with Lord Radnor, and its frustrating, he’s infuriating, ungrateful, and downright mean at times. Well a little discomfort doesn’t hurt Georgie, in fact he is the ideal person to deal with the madman of the village. Georgie is falling and fighting his feelings on the same accord when it comes to Lawrence. He isn’t a bad guy per say, he is just prone to loud outbursts, and bouts of craziness according to Lawrence and the men in his family. The only way to be safe is to isolate himself from people, and his last living relatives. He stays coupe up in his family’s’ estate that he let go to hell. He things that if he stays away from people then they won’t have to deal with him. He lives on ham sandwiches, and apples from the only two servants that he allows to stay on at the house.

I am not usually one for slow burns, but this was much needed. The slow burn added on top of all the copious amounts of attraction that Lawrence and Georgie had for one another. Another kudos to the author for keeping the authenicty and dialogue up to reflect the period of time.

I found myself laughing at times, and tearing up at other. I thought the author did another great job with these characters. I think I enjoyed this one better then the first. The chemistry between the two was real. I liked the pacing, plot, and overall feeling that this story had. I do love regency romances, and Cat Sebastian can add herself to my auto-buy list as of now. I can’t wait for the third book in this series. I did love him in this book. Highly recommend this series!

About Cat Sebastian

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

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

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

The Black Sheep & the Rotten Apple by K.A. Merikan

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

The Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple: by K.A. Merikan
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Pages: 471 • Format: eARC
Published By: Acerbi & Villani ltd
Purchase Links: Amazon

“How does one start a relationship with another man when it is forbidden?”
“One needs to decide that the other man is worth dying for.”

Cornwall, 1785

Sir Evan Penhart. Baronet. Highwayman. Scoundrel.

Julian Reece. Writer. Wastrel. Penniless.

No one forces Julian Reece to marry. Not his father, not his brother. No one.

When he is thrust into a carriage heading for London to meet his future bride, his way out comes in the form of an imposing highwayman, riding a horse as black as night. Julian makes a deal with the criminal, but what he doesn’t expect is that despite the title of baronet, the robber turns out to be no gentleman.

Sir Evan Penhart is pushed into crime out of desperation, but the pact with a pretty, young merchant’s son turns out to have disastrous consequences. Not only is Evan left broke, but worse yet, Julian opens up a Pandora’s box of passions that are dark, needy, and too wild to tame. With no way to lock them back in, rash decisions and greedy desire lead to a tide that wrecks everything in its way.

But Julian might actually like all the sinful, carnal passion unleashed on him. How can he admit this though, even to himself, when a taste of the forbidden fruit could have him end up with a noose around his neck? And with highway robbery being a hanging offense and the local constable on their back, Julian could lose Evan before he can decide anything about the nature of his desires.

four-stars

 

 

Whoa. This book was super freaking long. I mean it seemed like it was never going to end. It was a good story, but I think it could have been cut my at least 50 to 60 pages at least for me. In the middle of the story I feel like I stalled out a bit. It definitely changed the pacing of the story, and I got kinda bored an felt like the skimming bug was going to hit me. It didn’t, and I’m glad for that sake, but yeah that’s a warning to some folks that it does get slower in the middle of the story.

Now where to start? For a first time historical fiction from these two, I think they did very well. I really liked the authentic feeling to the time of the story. I really like when authors do their research and bring authenticity into the story. You can tell they did their research by the tone of the story, the elements, and the way the characters talk as well. This duo did a fantastic job on these two.

Sir Even Penhart and Julian Reece were good characters. Each bringing a difference of background into the story. Evan is the last surviving heir to his family’s home. While it is ruin, it’s something in his soul that won’t let him depart from it, out of a sense of duty more then loving memories I’d say. He has no money left due to his brother’s wastrel ways, and the only that he knows how to make some is by becoming a highwayman, a modern day robber. On one unforgettable night he approaches Julian’s carriage looking to make away with their money & trinkets. Julian is looking for a way out of an arranged marriage. He’s young, likes to drink & gamble, and fantasized about becoming a published author. His father is tired of supporting the young lad, so he waits until he’s incapacitated himself enough and ships him out, along with his older brother to his suspected bride. Long before Julian can understand the circumstances, a robber in all black and a pistol happens upon them.

The chemistry between the two were just right from the beginning. Both skeptical of one another, and not knowing where to go from there. They do come up with a plan to ransom Julian by hoping his father cares from him enough to send money. They both learn things from each other. They are different in a lot of ways. We see Julian loves words, poetry, writing, his wine, and he’s a easy going guy. Evan is more reserved, believes himself to live a life of destitute. Sparks fly in the most inopportune time it seems. While they seem to have a different of a opinion on the matter of the physical attraction, it’s not something you can deny. This duo does have a way with pulling on your heartstrings. There was plenty of times where I found myself really connecting with these guys. I like how expressive Julian was. I liked how he thought out so many things, and thought about his emotions as well. Evan is so used to not winning in life, that small things brighten his day. It’s been a long time since he was able to feel something for someone, so he was willing to go above and beyond for Julian.

I will say the plot got to be a long winded journey for me. I get we needed it, but because the book was so long when the plot settled into something at the end it left me frustrated. I had doubts on the end for these two. I hated Pascoe with a passion, but someone needed to be a villain.

All in all I think this was a good, solid historical romance. It felt authentic for the time period. I loved the development of the relationship. That didn’t feel rushed at all, and I appreciated the authors letting the characters find themselves together in their own way. A definite recommend from me.

About K.A. Merikan

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

Embers by Kate Sherwood

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.

Embers: by Kate Sherwood
Series: Common Law, #2
Release Date: Febuary 6th, 2017
Pages: 197 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
RiptideBarnes & Noble

Small town—big problems. Jericho Crewe is back in Mosely, Montana, trying to deal with police corruption, interfering feds, his newly discovered family members, and, of course, Wade Granger.

He doesn’t really need a biker war on top of it all, but as the bodies start to pile up, it becomes pretty clear that’s what he’s got. Not only that, but Wade’s involved somehow, and as soon as Wade is a part of something, things that seemed clear become cloudy.

With the feds breathing down his neck, Jericho has to find his way through Wade’s maze of half truths and manipulations. It would all be so much easier if Jericho could think straight in the other man’s presence. So much easier if their passionate past could be forgotten, and if he could be sure he’s strong enough to resist the temptation of a passionate present.

four-stars

 

Romantic Suspense gives me a damn headache. I know the “suspense, mystery” aspect of the story takes precedent but the romance is harder to find then common sense in this series. I’m being very patience but if this is the formula to romantic suspense then it’s no wonder why I don’t read it.

Now to the story at hand!! Something’s ain’t right. In my heart of hearts I believe Wade is something bigger that what we know. He just seems so fishy to me. I’m not necessarily saying he’s bad, but I believe that he’s going to be on the good side at the end of the day. I’m crossing my fingers on it.

Jericho buddy, what are you getting yourself into? This book picks up a few months after one. Jericho has came home to help the sheriff find corruption. That’s what he thinks, but he always seems to end up at the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s into 4 threads in this book, and wondering what he is doing. On top of dealing with the feds, Kayla, Wade, the other countless possibilities, he’s dealing with Nikki and her shenanigans. I don’t like her at all. She’s nothing but a user, and I understand why he won’t walk away. Those kids, they a little cray cray, but they are his siblings.

Wade has found his way into the middle of this situation yet again. This time he did everything for the benefit of himself. He’s a business man, and kinda reptile like as well. Whatever love Wade & Jericho had, I’m not sure if I trust it enough for the outcome to turn out well.

Hockley may have turned a corner with me, but I don’t put much stock in it just yet. Good thing I have book 3 and 4 from Netgalley to read in the new few weeks. I think this was a good continuation to the series, and I look forward to more!

About Kate Sherwood

Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.

Working It by Christine D’Abo

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.

Working It: by Christine D’Abo
Series: Ringside Romance #1
Release Date: February 6, 2017
Pages: 247 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Links:
RiptideKobo

Nolan Carmichael is getting a fresh start—new career, new company, new life. The only problem is, he liked his old life just fine . . . until an accident robbed him of his health, his job, his self-confidence, and his ability to go out in public without having anxiety attacks.

Zack Anderson has scared away his last four administrative assistants. So when he hires Nolan on a whim, he’s not too worried, since Nolan will be gone within the week anyway. Two weeks later, Nolan has made himself indispensable, completely reforming Zack’s schedule, life . . . and libido.

But in a company already torn by internal politics, one wrong step could ruin both their careers. And not only are they working to reopen Ringside Gym, Zack’s retreat when he was a troubled teen, but they also can’t help themselves falling for each other. If only the rest of their lives could go as smoothly as things do when they’re alone together.

three-half-stars

 

Dude!!! What happened???? The first half of the story was going extremely well, and then it declined rapidly. Hmm no. That’s not how it was suppose to happen at all. Working it was going well as enemies to lovers story. I recall stating in previous reviews that I don’t like clingy, needy, or PUSHOVERS as characters. I know realistically they are out there, but I really hate it. Nolan was going well as a character, but then at some point, he decided to be a pushover. It’s nothing wrong with it in a committed relationship, but someone like Zach will always be able to pushover a potential lover because he doesn’t have to own up to anything. FFS, it wasn’t that serious, and a day could have waited. I’m just a strong willed woman, and I refuse to accept certain behaviors from people.

Nolan is trying to get a fresh start again in life. After a life altering accident he is willing himself to get back into the world. Dealing with anxiety and panic attacks doesn’t make it easy. He decides to take a job where his skills exceed his skills. Sure he’s skittish at first, but something in him calls to Zach. Difficult Zach, who is super abrasive, demanding, and not a people person at all. Zach seems to have all this pent up frustration and anger inside of him. He’s super demanding, and doesn’t seem to have a heart. With all these qualities, I had to stop to think what about Nolan called to him. Why, Nolan? He was on the cusp of an anxiety attack during their first meeting. It couldn’t be attraction, because both stated numerous times how they weren’t each other types. Not knowing each of Zach’s backstory I can only presume that besides Nolan being the opposite of him, he’s always never cared for someone. This is something that I wish the author would have wrote about. I would have loved to see a backstory on Zach. I can definitely see when the chemistry between the two started, sure it moved fairly quickly. I do think professional wise that they work wonders together. It shows a glimpse of how they could be personally. I really loved seeing the difference between Zach and his careers. The CTO job is just a stepping stone to something he loves. The Boxing gym that saved his life is something that he is putting his blood, sweat, and tears into. I think seeing more of this in a potential epilogue would have garnered a higher rating from me. 

I didn’t like the Miranda obstacle in the story. That sentence seems a little mean, but that story line did nothing for the story. I don’t like filler information, and I didn’t gain anything from it. Zach’s reaction to the situation was spot on. I’m still confused on what the author was trying to show with it. It didn’t help at all. **Sigh**, the L word was used at the end. Do I think it was to early? Yes, these two have a lot to work on, and we didn’t get to see them grow at all. All in all, I thought it started off really well, but declined around the 50% part of the story. I will read book two. This was an ok read for me.

About Christine D’Abo

A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.

My thoughts on any of my Goodreads reviews are only my opinion as a reader. I don’t post anything here that I’d give less than three stars to.

Any Time, Any Place (Billionaire Builders #2) by Jennifer Probst

(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: InkSlinger 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: Any Time, Any Place by Jennifer Probst
Series: Billionaire Builders #2
Release Date: January 24th 2017
Pages: • Format: 400 pages (e-arc)
Published By: Pocket Gallery Books
Purchase Links: Amazon USBarnes & Noble Google PlayKoboiBooks
HGTV’s Property Brothers meets The Marriage Bargain in this second volume in the Billionaire Builders series, an all-new heart-wrenching and sexy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

When she was a teen, Raven Bella Stratton’s father was killed in a horrible car crash. The bigger shock was the discovery of a woman with him—Diana Pierce—and their two fully packed suitcases with airline tickets to Paris. Devastated by her father’s betrayal, Raven went to live with her aunt, never truly overcoming the traumatic event. When she discovers that the mysterious woman had a family with a husband and three boys, Raven vows to leave the memory of her father behind.

Until Dalton Pierce visits one night and suddenly her past challenges her future…

Leaving his life in California behind to run Pierce Construction with his two older brothers, Dalton Pierce has enjoyed returning home and studying his passion of woodworking. But when he visits the local bar with his brothers one evening, he’s immediately drawn to the smart-mouthed, badass, sexy bartender who sets his body on fire. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem as intrigued by him, and his multiple advances are met with rejection. When he offers to restore the bar back to its original glory, he begins to work with her on a daily basis, and falls harder. His plan of seduction slowly weaves a web around them both, until they are caught up in the spell. But Dalton doesn’t know the secret that can either destroy them both…or finally mend two broken hearts.

four-stars

Dalton Pierce is the youngest and still trying to prove himself in the family business Pierce Brother’s Construction. He doesn’t believe in permanence when it comes to his love-life, preferring casual hookups with no attachments. As fate would have it, the owner of a popular bar, Raven Hawthorne appears immune to his charms and isn’t interested in a casual hookup. The more she rebuffs his advances, the more intrigued he is. When Raven hires Pierce Brother’s Construction to renovate her bar, Dalton sees it as his opportunity to show her that he isn’t the shallow ladies’ man she believes him to be.

When they finally give into the sexual tension, Dalton and Raven realize they may have something special. But Raven knows things about Dalton and his family. In fact, Raven targeted the Pierce family for revenge. Will the past hurts keep Dalton and Raven from embracing a future together or have they built enough to overcome the secrets?
I enjoyed this story and the characters. I felt drawn to the story and the people in it. The author Jennifer Probst did a great job of creating characters that the readers could empathize with and root for. Both Dalton and Raven were good people being held back from love because of the way they lost their parents. Their inability to find out the circumstances of car accident left them unable to trust people as well as the institution of love. Their slow crawl to a relationship allowed them to chip away at their respective walls. They laughed together, they had fun together and they eventually found out they were compatible together. I struggled with the fact that the man who didn’t believe in marriage or forever said such romantic and poetic words. In fact, Dalton did and said a lot of forever-ish things. I also don’t believe for a second that Dalton and his siblings wouldn’t have wanted to know everything there was to know the man who was in the accident with their mother including his child. That part seemed unrealistic to me. The chemistry though was tangible and the connection intense. With all that happened, the author kept the character’s authentic to themselves and I enjoyed the continual restoration of Dalton’s relationship with his brothers. What I do love about Jennifer Probst is she writes serious matter but without angst and you always leave her books feeling good about the conclusion. Her writing makes you smile, sigh, feel sad and later hopeful and happy. I definitely recommend this contemporary romance to those who love a good story about family, love and forgiveness. I look forward to book 3.

About Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

Nachos & Hash 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.

Nachos & Hash: by Brandon Witt
Series: Mary’s Boys #1
Release Date: January 25th, 2017
Pages: 105 • Format:eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

four-stars

 

Nachos & Hash is a really good start to a series. Feel like this is one of Witt’s more lighter reads, but the tears were still there. He didn’t go to far. It was light-hearted I guess because of the MC’s being so young. 21 & 24 and trying to navigate what they both want out of one another. Nachos & Hash brings both guys from small Midwestern cities together at place in their life when they need someone.

Darwin & Cody were really adorable together. I really liked them a lot. Cody!!! I just want to re-brain him. Show him what love looks like, feels like, and what it means to be cared for. His parents did him no favors in life. They didn’t show him any love, care, or compassion. I really just wanted to hug him, and take him refugee into my home. Well, I didn’t really need to. Darwin did a great job with his patience, his teachings, and his love for Cody.

Of course its hardships in this book, it wouldn’t be a Witt book without be blubbering crying somewhere. Instead, it was as real as it can be. Darwin wants to settle down, and he’s young but he’s ready. Cody doesn’t have any idea what a relationship is or pertains. His entire sexual experience is one-offs, cars, trucks, rest stops. He has no idea about intimacy, cuddling, and just being around someone for the heck of it.

At the worst of times when his happiness is threaten he does a bad thing. It was heartbreaking to see that that was his only way out. It was hard to see him hurt like that, and instead of reaching out to the family that he has made for himself in Denver he decided to let his inner thoughts and demons get the best of him. It hit me harder then I expected it. I mean throughout the book it was kinda carefree, and sweet that Cody needed all this reassuring on what to expect out of a relationship. His self esteem was basically low, and he put on this facade to other people so they won’t notice the pain. Here’s where Witt’s talent truly comes into play. He knows how to craft a scene and evoke these emotions out of us. I loved the cast of characters in this story, I love the outcome of the story. I would have really liked to see Darwin’s family make a visit or some epilogue with them just so Cody can realize what he had wasn’t normal.

It was rapid them falling in love, but when you are that age it’s easy. Trust me, your inhibitions are lowered, and its easy to fall super hard and super fast. Nothing wrong with wanting forever at this age. Just make sure you put forward your best effort if you expect the same to you. The characters were great, and loved seeing Mandonna again. Ooh wait until Vahin’s book is up. I truly Brandon’s work and he’s a super sweet person. Definitely a recommend!

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.

Hipster Brothel by K.A. Merikan

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.

Hipster Brothel: by K.A. Merikan
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Pages: 162 • Format: eARC
Published By: Acerbi & Villani ltd
Purchase Links:
AmazonAmazon UK

— The lumberjack of his dreams is now available for rent. —

Mr. B has always been a safe guy for Jo to crush on. He’s the cutest bearded lumber-god to salivate over. Add to that his friendly, outgoing personality, and Mr. B might just be the first guy Jo would be willing to kiss. Fortunately, Mr. B has been in a relationship for years, and Jo is no home-wrecker.

But when Mr. B breaks up with his partner and all of a sudden is single, available, and talks about his plans to be sexually adventurous, Jo isn’t so sure anymore if he has the guts to come out as bisexual.

After a sour breakup, Mr. B wants to show his ex that he’s independent, exciting, and can do very well without him. His best friend Jo is there to the rescue, and they come up with a great new business venture. One thing they lack to start their own line of artisanal boozy jams – money for the investment.

After a drunken brainstorming session, Mr. B finds a way to both gather the cash and show the middle finger to his ex. He will create a one of a kind Hipster Brothel – The Lumbersexual Experience – offering wood chopping lessons, pipe smoking, and a reclaimed wood bed where the magic happens. It’s bound to be a success… if only Mr. B can go through with it, because the mixed signals from Jo are making him wonder if his best friend is as straight as he always seemed.

four-stars

Am I the only one who got an chessy evil villain vibe from the names in this story? I literally was waiting on one of them to give a speech on how good will always prevail evil! LOL. It is a Merikan book after all. Nonetheless, I really did enjoy this story. It was a steamy hot friends to lovers story with some hipsters. I adore the hipsters and beards!

**Groans**, here goes with the names.

Mr. B is recently broken up with his partner of a subsequent amount of years. He moves to his brother’s land and resides in a train car, and now think of ways to reinvents himself. He is told that’s he to clingy in a relationship and mostly bored. I refuse to call them by initial any longer in this review. Bernard is broken-hearted, and calls his best friend Jo. Not knowing that Jo has been crushing on him for the last 2 years. Unbeknownst to Bernard, Jo is accepting his bi-curious and really wanting Bernard. He doesn’t want to over step his boundaries because it is his friend, and he is not in the right frame of mind. Well a night of artisanal food, and homemade moonshine opens up to new possibilities between the two.

From there on out feelings get put on blast, and steamy sex scenes ensue. The exes show up in the picture, and I did enjoy seeing each ex. I think that part of the story was able to bring more realism to the story. Its a friends to lover story, which I also found myself laughing. Really entertaining. I did find myself wanting to slap Arnold a bunch of times. He was kinda rude, but I think him breaking up with Bernard was the best thing for both of them.

I enjoyed that it was dual pov, and really liked seeing Jo not only come to terms with his sexuality, but figure out his ish and what he was going to do about it now. I liked Jo’s mom, and wish we could have gotten that Sunday brunch meeting. I think it would have been lovely. Whatever you say about the Merikan ladies, you can’t say they don’t know how to write a steamy sex scene. They know how to produce some heat in your loins for sure. LOL. I really liked it, and definitely one of the lighter books they’ve ever written. Really recommend this book, and look forward to more.

About K.A. Merikan

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

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.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight: by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #11
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Pages: 352 • Format: eARC
Published By: St. Martin’s Press
Purchase Links:
AmazonBarnes & Noble

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

three-stars


Utterly Frustrated.

As a fan it hurts me that every freaking book is now a cliffhanger. I use to be the biggest advocate for this series, and honestly I just feel letdown as a fan of the series. I get so sick and tired of little info being put out each book that pertains to the big showdown at the end of whenever and then bam cliffhanger. It’s now book 11, what are we waiting for? It’s super convoluted, and I just find myself frustrated at best to describe it. I put in my time, money, energy and love into this series. I think about how the series started, and yeah nothing was set in stone, but so much information is being put out at each book that I’ve lost focus on what the end game was. It seems like a lot of filler information, and nothing set in stone for a finale of epic proportion and what I feel like we were lead to believe. I mean at this points, it just seems like it’s never going to end. I don’t see the ending in sight. I know it’s bad for me when it’s not even funny anymore, and I just want the book to end. Trust me, I’m mad.

**Sighs**
Charley and Reyes continue to do the back and forth not talking, talking, not trusting, trusting each other. It’s annoying. It’s also annoying that Charley has to continuously ask what she can do, and never try anything first. She never attempts things on her own when it comes to her powers. I know Reyes is the know how when it comes to this stuff, but damn Charley the foolishness has to stop.

I didn’t really gain anything by this book. A few scenes satisfied me, and of course I love seeing the gang together, but it’s the second book since Beep was born that we still don’t see them interacting with her. I KNOW they aren’t suppose to but, the Charley from books 1-5 would have moved heaven and hell to see her child. Atleast it’s what I think. I’m getting tired of Reyes doing the same posturing he does every book. Ya’ll know I love me some Reyes Alexander Farrow, but I think him and I are almost at our end. As I type this, I know I’m not mentally strong enough to quit the series until I know it’s over.

I miss the old formula to this series, and sometimes I feel like it’s this long because it’s a money train. That’s the angry side of me, and I hope it’s not the case. I really wish we can get back to the investigating and an end game. I feel like this group of people has been through enough, and nothing else needs to shake them. What I didn’t need was another cliffhanger. Yet we can’t get everything we ask for.

About Darynda Jones

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a Rebecca, two Hold Medallions, a RITA ®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and she has received stellar reviews from dozens of publications including starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the Library Journal. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that tradition. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found at www.daryndajones.com.

Dearly Stalked by Allison Cassatta

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.

Dearly Stalked: by Allison Cassatta
Release Date: January 23, 2017
Pages: 266 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonBarnes & Noble

Writing crime novels catapulted Memphis native Silas Cooper to fame and fortune, but when his words backfire and he becomes trapped in what could be one of his books, he needs a hero of his own.

Silas’s publicist insists he hire a personal assistant, and Silas chooses Scott Kramer. But before Scott starts, he already has a round of steamy phone sex to hold over Silas’s head, and his interest in his boss isn’t decreasing.

Benjamin Logan joined the Army to see the world, and while deployed he read every one of Silas’s books. With his military career over, Ben is back in Memphis working for the police department—and attempting a deeply closeted relationship with fellow cop Morgan Brown.

Over coffee, Silas and Ben become friends who support each other as relationships fall apart, and the attraction between them slowly emerges. When a dangerous stalker threatens Silas, it’s up to Ben to stop him.

If Ben fails, Silas might not live to tell this story… and Ben might not be able to live with himself.

 

DNF @ 54%

 

That face up above is my confused face. Call it disbelief, disdain, speechless. Call it whatever you would like, but I’m outta here on this book.

I knew way before 54% that it wasn’t going to end well for me and this book. None of the characters connected with me. I literally am in disbelief by Silas’s behavior and stupidity so early in the book. I get almost hulk rage mad when Ben seems to open his mouth to disregard Morgan’s feelings or his own. I get hulk rage mad when Ben has all these accusations against Morgan in his mind, but never puts forth any effort to be a better “boyfriend”. I use that term loosely since he’s in the closet and afraid to come out. He is scared of what people are going to say and a past experience left him scared. I’m all for coming out on your own terms. Big believer in a person’s space and acceptance of their own sexuality. What I have a problem with is Ben’s almost disregard for any kind of a relationship, words, but instead almost shaming Morgan to stay and be quiet. I know, I can’t put all the blame on Ben. Silas and and Scott is just a big disaster waiting to happen. It doesn’t take long for that dumb situation to implode on itself. I mean, Silas is suppose to be this super smart person, and write mystery stories, but he’s blind to the situation right in front of him? Does not make any freaking sense.

I feel like up to the point that I’ve read that I missed certain things. Was I suppose to read between the lines? I’m not sure, but I couldn’t take this story any longer, and I had to bow out. I didn’t like the guys, or story line. The potential for Silas and Ben to get together took to long and was pointless. I wish, I could have liked it, but I was happy to close the book on this for good.

About Allison Cassatta

I am a married, 33 year old, female, with no children. By trade I am a network engineer with far too many years under my belt. My first book was published in 2010 by Kerlak Publishing, followed by a short story in 2011 through Dreamspinner Press. I don’t have any formal training, I simply write what I feel. I have a vivid imagination and love building dream worlds for my readers to escape to.

I recently discovered that I am a hopeless romantic and that usually makes for some very turbulent stories. As most know, love is a mountain and at its peak there’s infinite beauty, but it’s best appreciated after a difficult climb… that’s how I write. The world would be a boring place if we didn’t have to fight a little for what we wanted, now wouldn’t it.