Audiobook Review: Olive Juice by T.J Kline

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Title: Olive Juice
Author: TJ Klune
Narrator: Derrick McClain
Release Date: August 30, 2017
Category: Contemporary Gay Romance,
Length: 5 hours, 11 minutes

It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:
I want to see you.
He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.
David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.
Phillip offers redemption.

three-stars

Derrick McClain did an outstanding job in this one. He really embodied David’s inner turmoil and Philip’s cajoling voice.
I am thankful that the author tackled this very important subject. The narrator and the actual event at the heart of the couple’s hurt was the only saving grace in this melancholy read for me. I kept hoping the story would get on to actually dealing with the pain but it was slow trot to the end. The narrator bumped up my rating to a three stars.

In the beginning of the book, I thought the main character David was having a breakdown, a blurring of what was real and imaginary. Being privy to David’s thoughts and feelings for most of the book was depressing and miserable. I felt like I came into the middle of the book and the author would slowly drop crumbles leading me slowly through the stages of grief journey. David and Phillip had a traumatic event that created a rift between them. For most of the book I was trying to get a handle of what happened, what was said, and at the end when everything was out in the open, I was left still feeling unsatisfied. I felt sad for the couple but I didn’t really connect with their character. I did feel sad and I was hopeful that they would find comfort but I think I came in expecting romance and happiness. The constant flashbacks didn’t evoke feelings of love so I didn’t really feel the couple’s connection.

It is hard to say more without giving away the meat of the story. I will just say that I didn’t enjoy this book and felt unfulfilled after reading it.

Question for those who have read it: What was the point of the character Mateo (the bartender)?

Ezi

About TJ Klune

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

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

Gummy Bears & Grenades by Charlie Cochet

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.

Gummy Bears & Grenades: by Charlie Cochet
Series: THIRDS #9.5
Release Date: October 4th, 2017
Pages: 102 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley can’t wait to marry his fiancé, Team Leader Sloane Brodie, but first he’s looking forward to celebrating his bachelor party—which he intends to be a shenanigans-free evening of getting his groove on with family and friends.

Of course events don’t work out as planned, but for Dex that’s nothing new. One thing is for sure, dodging drug dealers and hired thugs amid booze, dancing—and even a bear costume—will guarantee it’s a night Dex will never forget. Now he just needs to survive all the fun.

***
Enjoy this bonus story from the THIRDS universe. These events occur between Darkest Hour Before Dawn and Tried & True in the series timeline. While reading this story would enhance your experience of the THIRDS series, it is not necessary to read before Tried & True.

 

three-half-stars

I can’t believe I read another Sex & Dlonae story. Yeah, that’s how I refer to them. I keep saying I’m going to stay away because its so much stuff happening that I can’t keep up at times. Well obviously, I didn’t keep my word and read it right away. I liked it enough. It had its funny moments, it had its smexy time moments big time, and about time I saw Austen & Zachary!!! I’m waiting on their story. It doesn’t seem to be coming fast enough. Dex is his usual annoying self, and Sloane has managed to turn into a neutered jaguar, but hey Wolf was totally in this one. I can’t wait to read more on him.

Pre-gaming for a wedding is definitely a necessity. I enjoyed all those festivities in my own, and can acknowledge that Dex wanted his own. I was a little leery on Sloane not having the same, but once you read it then you totally get it. Ummm, I’m trying to figure out who the mole is. I mean, Dex isn’t a celebrity so for these events to happen then it’ll have to be someone close to him giving up all the deets. I’m trying to step away from this series, but its addictive & aggravating all in the same sentence. 

I do like seeing all the couples come together and celebrate this union. I know we are near the ending of this series, and I’d like to see a few couples spotlights and maybe see Tony & Sparks really come together publicly. Yeah, I want pops happy. Fans of the Thirds Series will really enjoy this. Don’t read this series out of order, you really won’t understand.

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About Charlie Cochet

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.If you’d like to connect with Charlie, just drop her an email, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google Plus.

Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church

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.

Dragon’s Hoard: by M.A. Church
Release Date: October 1st, 2017
Series: Dreamspun Beyond #5
Pages: 234 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

To be loved by a dragon is to be treasured.

A hundred years ago, werewolf Alpha Montgomery took a risk driven by desperation—he borrowed money from the ancient dragon Warwick Ehecatl, putting up the pack lands as collateral. Now the debt is due, and dragons don’t forget—or forgive. Warwick demands Montgomery’s son, Avery, and three businesses as compensation. As an Omega, Avery knows he is basically useless to his pack, so he might as well agree. He soon has second thoughts, though. Warwick is fearsome, and he’s free to do as he likes with Avery.

Warwick knows his race’s reputation, and he even admits some of it is deserved. But he’d rather cut off his tail than let his innocent mate’s light go out. It won’t be easy, but buried deep, there’s something between them worth safeguarding.

 

 

four-stars

This hit all my creamy crack comfort reads!

√ Possessive-Aggressive Alpha Dudes

√ Virgin Guys

√ Shifters

√ Scorching Hot Foreplay

If this was a series book, then I’d be the first person in line to gobble these up. I’m addicted to alpha-omega stories, and don’t care if it isn’t wolf shifters. I really adored Church’s The Harvest series. This book was really good. It was sweet, fluffy, cheesiness, and scorching hot. I read it in one sitting from page 1 to the last end. As much as I enjoyed it, I felt the ending was to abrupt. It didn’t feel completed and I couldn’t get down with that. I would love to continue this as a series, so if that’s the route we’re going then its A-Okay with me.

Warwick is a total douchebag, but I love his reasoning as being a dragon. He is really old, and used to being on his own. Use to doing what he wants when he wants, and doesn’t let anyone step in his way. Avery is an omega passed his prime age, but he’s son to the Alpha who owns Warwick money. Coming to collect, sparks fly and both find their mates. Its not what each other expects, but its set in stone from there.

I love how Warwick’s demeanor instantly changes for Avery. He’s a softer and caring person around him. He’s patient, and Avery opens up as well. This totally worked for me. I’m hoping the author can write a series off these characters or possibly this world. I think if you would like a sugary sweet romance with a little paranormal influence then this is right up your alley.

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About M.A. Church

Hey and welcome to my M/M blog! My published name is M.A. Church, but I also wrote as nomoretears00. I’m a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now I spend my days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding my numerous shifters, or trying to tempt my country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it! When not writing, I’m exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching my beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if I’m not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we have two grown children.

Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z.

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.

Off the Beaten Path: by Cari Z.
Release Date: September 18th, 2017
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner

When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.

Henry Dormer is an alpha werewolf and an elite black ops soldier who failed his last mission. He returns home, hoping for some time to recuperate and help settle the pack’s newest member, a little pup named Ava who can’t shift back to her human form. Instead he meets Ward, who refuses to leave his daughter without a fight. The two men are as different as night and day, but their respect for each other strikes a spark of mutual interest that quickly grows into a flame. They might find something special together—love, passion, and even a family—if they can survive trigger-happy pack guardians, violent werewolf politics, and meddling government agencies that are just as likely to get their alpha soldiers killed as bring them home safely.

three-stars

Thanks Michelle Visage, even your face said it all.

Meh.

My favorite word to describe my feelings after reading this. It wasn’t bad, but it was nothing else. No spark, no connection, no feeling, and didn’t seem like it worked well together. Felt like it was 2 stories going on at once, and the disjointed feeling didn’t end at all. I have a couple questions about Ward. What happened to his life back in California? Did he have people to pack up and distribute his things? Was no one concerned about his abrupt leaving? This bothered me so much. Way more then the governmental use of werewolves to do their wet work. I mean werewolves are only stronger then humans, and I know they aren’t that many but the whole working for the government and being their bitch didn’t work for me. I finished it.

Ward’s 4 year old daughter shifted on her first day of preschool, and he wasn’t there to see her before the government sent her to a pack. He’s doing everything in his power to get her back, no matter that the rules say otherwise. He has an ally who helps him locate his daughter and makes it his mission to see her, and get her back. Henry is the alpha of the La Garita Pack, and he’s commissioned to the Army to do whatever they want. This last mission wasn’t something that he seemed to let roll off his shoulders, he comes back home to a trespasser and is determined to follow the laws. Having the guardian’s entire attitude changes keeps Henry on edge.

It was certain aspects that I liked. I liked Sam’s character. I felt like alot of this was under-developed. Tennyson, for example could have had more use. I don’t know if I liked how the culture was set-up. Everything felt to complicated. If Henry was the big Alpha dude with a case of heroism, he didn’t seem like it at most times. The romance was soooo subpar! Blah, Blah, Blah. That’s how I felt. I didn’t like them together, probably because it was ZERO connection. I mean, they basically were lumped together because no one else was around. Then Sam having this convenient set-up at the end. It didn’t work for me.

Personally, I didn’t care for it much, but others might enjoy it. I haven’t read many book by Cari Z, so I don’t know if this is her formula or not. If you like PNR, then this might be for you. It wasn’t the worst, and I’ve read worst, but I didn’t really care for it.

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About Cari Z.

Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She has a wonderful relationship with her husband, a complex relationship with the characters in her head and a sadomasochistic relationship with her exercise routine. She feels like Halloween should happen every month, which is why you get this picture of her, and hopes that you enjoy reading what she’s put out there as much as she enjoyed writing it in the first place.

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.

Family Man by Heidi Cullinan & Marie Sexton

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

Family Man: by Heidi Cullinan & Marie Sexton
Release Date: September 11th, 2017
Pages: 206 • Format:eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner

Sometimes family chooses you.

At forty, Vincent “Vinnie” Fierro is still afraid to admit he might be gay—even to himself. It’ll be a problem for his big, fat Italian family. Still, after three failed marriages, it’s getting harder to ignore what he really wants.

Vinnie attempts some self-exploration in Chicago’s Boystown bars, far from anyone who knows him. Naturally, he runs smack into someone from the neighborhood.

Between working two jobs, going to school, taking care of his grandmother, and dealing with his mother’s ongoing substance abuse, Trey Giles has little time for fun, let alone dating someone who swears he’s straight. Yet after one night of dancing cheek-to-cheek, Trey agrees to let Vinnie court him and see if he truly belongs on this side of the fence—though Trey intends to keep his virginity intact.

It seems like a solid plan, but nothing is simple when family is involved. When Vinnie’s family finds out about their relationship, the situation is sticky enough, but when Trey’s mother goes critical, Vinnie and Trey must decide whose happiness is most important—their families’ or their own.

four-stars

 

This was my first read of this book, and I”m shocked that I haven’t read it before. I really enjoyed this story. I love the setting, the family, the people in it, and Trey & Vince. This was realistically done! Love the big families, and how the family trope was done so well. Cullinan and Sexton need to write more books together if this is what came out!

Vince is 40 years old, and now accepting that he’s gay. Not only has he been married 3 times to women, but his greatest fear is being without his big Italian Family. With only his sister being his support system he ventures out into the world to see what being gay can offer him. Trey is gay, but school and his family is what is most important to him right now. He can’t think about being in a relationship while dealing with his mom’s alcoholism, being the breadwinner in his family, and oh yeah he’s a virgin. Not because he is a prude or something. He just wants it to mean something. Trey & Vinnie know each other, living in the same neighborhood, and being Italian of course they know one another.

Loved how patient Trey was with Vinnie. They both have personal things going on within themselves that they try letting it stay in the background to see where this No-Sex rule goes between the both of them. Vinnie is hard case to crack sometimes, but he’s interested in Trey. He’s a gentleman, and shows a side of dating to Trey that Trey hasn’t seen before. Trey can offer Vinnie things and views on being Gay. What it means to fall for the same sex. This was a learning experience for both guys. It was extremely sweet at times, and other times extremely vulnerable.

I laughed, had some tears, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’m so happy I decided to read this. I wish it was a follow-up seeing as its a second edition being published and its had years being out. I would have liked to a “Where are they now?”, moment from the authors. No matter, because I’m happy and I definitely recommend this.

 

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About Heidi Cullinan

Heidi grew up in love with story. She fell asleep listening to Disney long-playing records and read her Little House On The Prairie books until they fell apart. She ran through the woods inventing stories of witches and fairies and enchanted trees and spent hours beneath the lilac bush imagining the lives of the settlers who had inhabited the homestead log cabin and two-story late 1800s home on her family farm. She created epic storylines for her Barbies until it wasn’t satisfying enough to do so any longer (age ten), and then she started writing them down. Her first novel, The Life and Times of Michelle Matthews, was published when she was twelve in the school anthology and took up nearly half of it.

Though Heidi continued to write novels through high school (and still has the Rubbermaid tub full in her bedroom), she stopped in college, deciding it was time to grow up and do something meaningful with her life. When the specifics of that didn’t pan out, Heidi ended up in grad school to become a teacher, and through one of the courses rediscovered her love of romance novels. She began to write again on the side, continued to do so while she taught seventh grade language arts and reading, and when she quit teaching to have her daughter, she took up writing with more seriousness, both as a stress relief and as a potential means of bringing in money.

Many million pages later, Heidi has learned a lot about writing, more than she ever wanted to know about publishing, and most importantly, finally figured out that writing IS the meaningful something she wants to do with her life. A passionate advocate for LGBT rights, Heidi volunteered for One Iowa during the fight for marriage equality and donates with her husband as a monthly partner to the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal. She encourages you to support your own local and national LGBT rights groups, too

Heidi enjoys reading, watching movies and TV with her family, and listening all kinds of music. She has a husband, a daughter, and too many cats. Heidi is an active social networker, and of course has good old-fashioned email.

About Marie Sexton

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

The Long and Winding Road by TJ Klune

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

The Long and Winding Road: by T.J. Klune
Series: Bear, Otter and the Kid #4
Release Date: August 11th, 2017
Pages: 346 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.

And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.

There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.

There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.

There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.

As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.

Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid, and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.

five-stars

 

 

Its been 2 days since finishing this book, and I’m trying to figure out how to conjure Otter out of this alternate universe. With no luck, or help it isn’t happening. I’m a huge fan of Klune, and everyone knows I like his more serious books without the comedy. I enjoy the comedy don’t get me wrong, but the realistic fiction calls to my soul more. When I first laid eyes on this series, I stayed away! Yikes the cover was HIDEOUS for book one. I don’t even recall what I first thought about it. My very first read was Into This River I Drowned and it destroyed me. It broke me into a billions pieces, and I had to reconsider on what covers mean to me. At this point, 2 books in the series were out and three was a few months out. I decided to give it a chance, and its the best thing I’ve ever had to do. Falling in love with this family felt so right. Falling in love with Otter felt so normal Crying, and laughing felt like home. I just re-read the first 3 books leading up to me reading this. Its a series that I know I can’t re-read often for fear of losing that spark that I felt the very first time. I won’t go on and long with poetry about how amazing Klune is. After all he gave me Otter, Gus & Ox. His characters are real, flawed, amazing, and seep so deep down inside you, that you can’t help but to love them.

Reading this book was hard because as much as I loved it, seeing me get close to the 100% was way harder. It was emotional, it was funny, and it made me feel melancholy for a while. Unlike most, I’m happy with the end of this series. I love where they are at. I feel like Bear & Kid have finally found peace and I’m happy with everything they’ve had to go through to get where they are. No part of this journey has been easy. If I could have had any of the support in my life that these two have had, then I’d be happy and content.

The Long and Winding Road is broken up into 3 different parts. Each part literally tears me down. I might love the future part, but the past part definitely affected me more. Seeing the Kid’s situation was so devastating, but it was brilliantly done. It was honest, and truthful. No easy fix, no rainbows or sprinkles. Really gritty, and something that needed to be approached. Love that the overall message is about family. Whether it comes from blood relatives, or people you’ve woven together it only matters that you love one another and look out for the people who’ve always mattered.

Its bittersweet saying goodbye, but I thank T.J. for welcoming these people in my life for the betterment of it. I can peacefully say goodbye to Bear, Otter, Kid, Dominic, Mrs. Paquinn, Creed, Anna and the Rents! I can say goodbye to the future Thompson’s and Millers. I can say goodbye to the earthquakes, laughter, and that little patch of beach. It might not be really goodbye for me, but I’m happy with the ending. So thank you T.J. I totally loved this book and Otter ever more!

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About TJ Klune

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

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

The Layover by Roe Horvat

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

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

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

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

 

four-half-stars

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Roe Horvat

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

Mascara & Bandages by Brandon Witt

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

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

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

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

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

three-half-stars

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

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

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

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

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About Brandon Witt

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

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

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

Infected: Epitaph by Andrea Speed

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

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

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

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

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

four-stars

 

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

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

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

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

 

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About Andrea Speed

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