Strays by Garrett Leigh

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.

Strays: by Garrett Leigh
Series: Urban Soul #2
Release Date: March 27th, 2017
Pages: 249 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Work, sleep, work, repeat. Nero’s lonely life suits him just fine until his best friend, Cass, asks him to take on a new apprentice—a beautiful young man who’s never set foot in a professional kitchen. Despite his irritation and his lifelong ability to shut the world out, Nero is mesmerised by the vibrant stray, especially when he learns what drove him to seek sanctuary on Nero’s battered old couch.

Lenny Mitchell is living under a cloud of fear. Pursued by a stalker, he has nowhere left to run until Nero offers him a port in a storm—a job at the hottest restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush. Kitchen life proves heady and addictive, and it’s not long before he finds himself falling hard and fast for the man who has taken him in.

Fast-forward a month and a neither man can imagine life without the other, but one thing stands in their way: a lifetime of horrors Nero can’t bring himself to share with Lenny. Or can he? For the first time ever, happiness is there for the taking, and Nero must learn to embrace it before fate steps in and rips it away.

four-half-stars

 

 

Oh my goodness, this book was amazing!!!! I loved every single minute of it. Leigh packs a healthy punch of angst in her for those lovers, but it was non-angsty enough for me to enjoy it. I mean let’s be honest here who does flawed characters like Garrett Leigh? NOBODY! She is Reigning Queen and this book solidifies it. I thought I could pick it up to start reading to take my mind off things, but I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting. (NTS: go back and re-read Misfits)

Lenny & Nero were so good together. I can’t stop gushing about it. What is it about grumpy ass men? I’m so attached to them. At first grump glance, Nero was mine. He just wants to be in the shadows and maintain a kitchen, but he can’t. LOL. Well he can, but he realizes really late in life how amazing he is. He is the team of a-holes, but with his past its no wonder why. Realizing his sexuality and never acting on it is driving him part mad when in flounces Lenny. Pretty Lenny, who I adored and who adapted to this new situation. I really loved Lenny. He was going through a traumatic experience but was able to mold into something new for himself. The attraction to one another is pretty obvious. Its definitely a waiting game to see who is going to fold first. I didn’t care at this point. Feelings were being made, angst was being dropped, but when moves were made and action was had in this story. It was great seeing Cass, Tom & Jake from Misfits. Loved how they all fitted so well within this book.

Both guys have some sort of trauma that they are dealing with. Lenny’s is most recent, and Nero is in the past. How can he help Lenny, and still deal with his monsters in the dark? I like that Lenny kinda reinforced to Nero that the communicating is a 2 way street. If you want to know all of my flaws, and scares then give up yours. It was a lovely for me to have the emotions that I did have, but I think once again its why I like Leigh’s books. They are definitely realistic and very much you can know these characters off hand in one way or another.

Strays is a definite recommend for me. You can read it as a standalone, but why do that? If you are looking for great writing, and an equally amazing story then pick this book up. You will not be disappointed!

 

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About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzdesign.com

Who We Are by Nicola Haken

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.

Who We Are: by Nicola Haken
Release Date: March 9th, 2017
Pages: 271 • Format: eARC
Published By: Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Since putting his life on hold ten years ago, Oliver Clayton doesn’t know who he is anymore. To his clients at the hair salon, he’s the sassy and confident stylist. To the crowds who come to watch his drag act at the club, he’s the fierce and fabulous Miss Tique. He’s popular. Talented. Out, proud, and self-assured.

He’s also a good actor.

Sebastian Day is content with life’s easy, if not a little monotonous, routine. After several failed relationships, he likes the simplicity of being alone in his truck at his job as a heavy goods driver, spending the weekends with his teenage son, and putting the world to rights with his cat, Marv. He’s not lonely. He isn’t hiding.

At least…he doesn’t think he is until he meets the mesmerising stranger with the red hair and purple lips.

Can Oliver and Sebastian help each other embrace who they are? Or will a cruel twist of fate end their journey before it’s even begun?

four-half-stars

 

 

I did not expect this amount of emotions

 

Nicola!!!! Goodness, warn us! Would you??

I was a wreck after reading this. No scratch that I was a hot ass mess while reading this, and up until I finish. I mean, it’s a HFN in the contents of a realistic fiction. This was my second Nicola Haken book, and I’m rethinking why I haven’t read anything else by her. I love British stories, the humor, love, tears and the feelings that I’m able to convey with these characters. Can I say I’m not an animal lover at all, but I loved Marvin Daye. Oh my goodness it left me in tears every interaction between Sebastian & Marvin. The humor was such a great aspect to this love story.

I like being able to relate to characters I read about. In any way, shape or form it’s nice to see some comparisons between fiction and real life. I think Nicola has the perfect antidote on writing realistic fiction. Her characters can be you, your family, spouse, and friends. Its the same reactions through all the tears, joys, love and laughs. I knew next to nothing about this book when I requested it. I saw the cover and a little of the blurb and wanted to read it. Did I expect the read it in one sitting? Absolutely not, but I did. I might not have the best words to describe the story, but I really thought it was a love story between two guys who were each hiding something about themselves to the world. Sebastian has seem to given up on love when we meet him. He’s sure of himself and being bi-sexual but none of the past partners or future to him were able to be okay with it. It has left him cynical and not really looking for love. Oliver hasn’t been himself in years, his love life sucks. His personal life doesn’t seem to be much better. Left custody of his younger brother at a young age himself hasn’t left Olli time to experiment with dating and love. Every little minute is left is dedicated to his brother Tyler who is at the age when he’s a little shit. Oliver’s only freedom is when he’s able to turn into Miss Tique, his drag persona who he evolves into, and lets all his inhibitions a loose while performing. A chance meeting between these two guys turns into something magical. The physical attraction is right their on the page and its not hard to see the love grow & blossom. I love both of these guys for all their faults & flaws. Both guys are hesitant to tell each other about the children in their lives. For different reasons they are scared to show each other their true selves.

I really didn’t expect this book to pack so many emotions. I couldn’t believe where it went with the plot, it was times in the story that I had to stop because the tears were following so heavy. I fell in love more and more with Olli & Seb. I think people will appreciate Haken’s canny sense of realism. I thought the pacing, the length and gradual increases of tone were perfect for the tone of the story. I think fans of the M/M Genre will be surprised by how great this is. I think you should give it a try, and great job Nicola. I so look forward to more of your work. A definite recommend from me!

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About Nicola Haken

I live in not-so-sunny Rochdale, England (true northern girl!), and when I’m not playing with my imaginary friends I can usually be found being a slave to my four adorable (sometimes!) children (five if you include the dog, six if you include the hubby!) or binge watching Netflix.

All in all I’m just an ordinary gal with an addiction to reading about hot book guys, writing about hot book guys, tattoos, and Pepsi Max! Oh, and if my kids ever ask… I moonlight as the Pink Power Ranger 😉

The Mighty Have Fallen by Bonnie Dee

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 Mighty Have Fallen: by Bonnie Dee
Release Date: January 18, 2016
Pages: 112 • Format: e-book
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerBarnes & NobleKoboAmazon

Theatre headliner Trevor Rowland is at the peak of his career when disaster strikes. In one fell swoop, he loses his eyesight, his fame, and his boyfriend, who absconds with most of his money. Trevor must take on a flatmate, hardworking East Ender Jack Burrows, to afford the rent. Anger and bitterness have taken up residence in his heart—but Jack shines light into the shadowy corners with his relentlessly sunny disposition.

Jack introduces Trevor to a local drag club and convinces him he can enjoy the stage again. Trevor’s defences slowly come down as Jack becomes much more than a barely tolerated roommate.

But will Trevor’s fragile trust be destroyed when it appears he’s been manipulated yet again by a man he’s come to care for? Will he reclaim his life or crawl back into a shell of defeat? Trevor must learn to trust not only a man, but himself, once more.

two-stars.

Exactly my thoughts after reading this.

I’m not trying to be mean, but I don’t see the need for this story. I think my feelings would be a lot different if this was told from Jack’s pov as well because Trevor was dull and boring. Yeah, yeah, yeah, he’s blind now, and his ex also took all his money. I get that, but dude you are alive!!!! I felt like I started in the middle of the story instead of the beginning. No background information either guy. I truly only liked Jack and that was when I wasn’t trying to shot myself because of the way his accent came across the page. Yeah, I know his Cockney slag was needed, but this was to damn much. It just seemed like somebody couldn’t spell when everything else in the story was proper English.

Listen up here authors, when you decide to throw the drag element into your story, let it at-least be something the character has thought about. Just because Trevor is a gay man, a performing artist, and is able to adapt to different elements doesn’t mean he could do drag. Nope! Do not do it at all. Again I feel like it was no point of that in the story. It wasn’t something he was going to continue on doing. Hell why do all these work for one performance and just be lackadaisical about it at the end of they day. It wasn’t his passion, so why do it? That bothered me a lot, and kinda turned me off.

Besides the common miscommunication trope that I really fecking hate, there was nothing else going on. I disliked Jack’s accent, and would have liked to see his friends, background, just something of substance with him. I liked him as a character. There wasn’t much else going on in the story for me. I didn’t really connect with them as a couple. I could see it coming from a mile away.

This was not my cup of tea, and I just can’t recommend it.

About Bonnie Dee

I began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, I was the designated ghost tale teller. I still have a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat.

I enjoy dabbling in many genres. Whether you’re a fan of contemporary historical or fantasy romance, you’ll find something to enjoy among my books. I’m interested in flawed, often damaged, people who find the fulfillment they seek in one another. To stay informed about new releases, please sign up for my newsletter. You can join my street team at FB. Learn more about my backlist at http://bonniedee.com and find me on FB and Twitter @Bonnie_Dee.

Private Truths by C.B. Lewis

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

private-truthsPrivate Truths: by C.B. Lewis
Release Date: December 2, 2016
Pages: 264 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

For two role models with their reputations on the line, privacy might be a luxury they can’t afford, and love might be impossible.

After returning from service, Army veteran Jack McCall fought his way back from addiction and joined a charity supporting homeless veterans in London, where he became an inspiration to others. He approaches Edward Marsden, Viscount Routhsley, a known playboy and philanthropist, about sponsorship for his charity. To his surprise, Edward isn’t the shallow pleasure-seeker everyone assumes, and he and Edward share many interests. Little by little, they are drawn together in spite of the different worlds they come from.

But for two men in the public eye, happiness won’t be so easily achieved. Edward fears coming out as gay will shift attention from his charity work, and Jack worries his relationship with the aristocrat will undermine the integrity of his foundation. They come under intense scrutiny, leading to an inevitable clash between Jack and the press who won’t stop harassing them. As what they’ve built comes crashing down, Jack and Edward must make a choice: continue presenting the facade the public expects, or expose the private truths in their hearts so they can be together.

four-half-stars

Okay C.B. Lewis this is 3 for 3 from you. I am in love with your writing and stories. You are so close to being a favorite author for me. Definitely an auto-buy for me. Time Lost is on my Best Books of 2016.

Private Truths is a contemporary romance novel set England. It’s slow paced and methodical in plot. I’ve been dreaming of you writing a contemporary novel and you have blown my expectations. This romance was steady paced with an actual plot. I loved the Nobelman and the Ex-Army guy falling in love. You can see the moment both guys start falling in love. Their relationship was purely sex at a point, but after an unfortunate event they care thrust together and the love, trust and devotion gradually makes an interest. Told from Jack’s pov and brilliant done, I really got to see the starting point of Jack’s interest in Edward and his love for his job.

Jack works at Those Returned a charity for veterans. Jack is uber passionate about his job. He loves making the nightly runs whether its feeding his brother in arms, or clothing them, or just checking up on them. Jack talks about his past sparingly. We know he suffered injuries while in the military. Certain incidents happen when events from 5 years ago becomes public. He’s closed himself off to his best friend because of an accident. I would call him a loner. Outside of his job and co-workers he doesn’t do much. That’s until he meets Viscount Routhsley. A blond bombshell with enough money to sponsor Those Returned. Jack makes it his mission to get Edward to invest into his charity. What starts as shameless flirting leads to other things.

I think Edward surprised me the most. When we read about Nobelman or people of nobility its always seem like they are bourgeois type, high handed type, or the looking down on folks kind. Edward and his parents were the opposite of all of this. I think he might be my favorite Nobelman. He was super down to earth, sweet, compassion and generally cared about Jack’s well being. I loved the chemistry that they both had with one another. The joking, laughing, gentleness was so much needed in my reading. I needed a real romance and I think this fit the bill on anything that I can ever ask for.

Jeez, this is what I asked for. Now, I’m sitting here thinking on what next can C.B. right for me. Idk. I love her science fiction, and obviously her contemporary novels. I don’t care at this point, I just want her to write and produce a novel every 3 months for me. I need more from her. I highly recommend this book. I highly recommend her Out of Time Series. You will not be disappointed in any of these books.

About C.B. Lewis

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

A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote

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

afamilyforchristmasA Family for Christmas: by Jay Northcote
Release Date: November 16, 2016
Pages: 136 • Format: eARC
Published By: JayBird Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Zac never had a family of his own, but Rudy has enough to share.

Shy, inexperienced Rudy has a crush on Zac from the moment his new colleague walks through the door. On an office night out before Christmas, Rudy finds the courage to make a move, and they form a tentative bond. When he discovers Zac will be alone at Christmas, he invites Zac to come home with him.

Zac prefers to keep people at arm’s length. Yet when Rudy offers him a family Christmas it’s impossible to resist. With no parents of his own, Zac is pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by Rudy’s. The only drawback is that everyone assumes they’re a couple. Unwilling to disappoint Rudy’s mum and make Christmas awkward, they decide not to deny it.

It’s not a chore for Zac to pose as Rudy’s boyfriend, but the pretense makes him want things that scare him—things like a real relationship with Rudy. Zac’s suffered enough rejection in his life already and is afraid to risk his heart. If he can get over his past rejection and let Rudy inside his armour, he might get more for Christmas than he ever imagined.

four-stars

YAY, the perfect book to get me into the holiday mood!

This was a really solid Holiday read! Its really one of my favorite seasons to read. I love Holiday stories, and this had the perfect combination of sweet, heat, and yearning that I needed! Really enjoyed the characters in this book alot. Rudy & Zac were definitely opposites attract, but I think being able to communicate with each other is what won this book over for me. Rudy is this sweet, awkward, inexperienced guy who has the biggest crush ever on his co-worker Zac. Rudy is a hopeless romantic in his head, and he fantasizes about all the ways that Zac will treat him. I thought it was adorable of Rudy. He showed some vulnerability when all of his co-workers went out, and expressed his feelings to Zac.

Zac is jaded about relationships of any kind. I can see that, when he has no one who’s ever cared or loved him. He’s a loner by default and I think he liked being that way. Being lonely has forced him to not open up to anyone about his past or force him to want to fall for someone outside of the parameters that he has set. Thrown away as a a infant, and living in group homes and foster care has left him close-off from people. He prefers the solidarity life, but once he starts working at the same company as Rudy then he’s left with no chance but to interact with people.

Really loved Rudy’s family. I love how welcoming they were to Zac. The connection between two steadily progress as the book goes. I think Jay did a really good job with the authentic feelings that were in this book. Both guys were able to benefit from being together. Deciding to start things slowly and progress worked just fine with me. I’m so excited to get to the rest of my holiday reads, but this goes on the Holiday 2016 shelf. Recommendable for sure!

About Jay Northcote

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

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

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

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

Romancing the Wrong Twin by Clare London

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.

clRomancing the Wrong Twin: by Clare London
Series: Dreamspun Desires
Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Pages: 256 • Format: eARC
Published By:Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner

How tangled can a romantic web get?

When gruff mountaineer Dominic Hartington-George seeks sponsorship for his latest expedition, his London PA insists on a more media-friendly profile—like dating celebrity supermodel Zeb Z.

Zeb can’t make the date, so he asks his identical twin, Aidan, to stand in for just one evening. Aidan, a struggling playwright, shuns the limelight to the extent people don’t even know Zeb has a sibling, but he reluctantly agrees.

When the deception has to continue beyond the first date, Aidan fights to keep up the pretense. Dominic likes his sassy, intelligent companion, and Aidan starts falling for the forthright explorer. But how long can Aidan’s conscience cope as confusion abounds? Will coming clean as “the other twin” destroy the trust they’ve built?

four-half-stars


**ZOMG** This is my gush face!

I loved every second of this sugary fluff. Loved the age-gap, the fieriness, fluff, and the British Boys.

I’m almost certain that this is my first Clare London book, I will definitely be reading more from her. This Dreamspun Desires series seems to be going one of two ways for me. Either I dislike them or love them. Ha, this is a good one. I do okay with fake relationship aspect. I think the author did a fabulous job on making the twins as nigh and day as she could. I mean they were two completely different people but I loved Zeb & Aidan as equally good. Maybe Aidan a little bit more since he brought out this side of Dominic that no one wasn’t able to see. I love the dry humor in this story. I also like that they both had two difference of opinions a lot of times. For all of Dominic’s abrasiveness he surely opened up and fell in love unapologetically with Aidan. Even Aidan becoming his brother who is famous and completely different then Aidan was a prize to see. I loved Aidan’s vulnerability at times, and loved how when the same feelings were reciprocated within Dominic he did everything he could to pick Dominic’s spirit up.

Dominic!! You big grouchy bear. He’s a commitmentphobe who lives life on the edge or on adrenaline. Dominic is a man of few words, and with the look of my favorite face. The RBF (Resting Bitch Face)!! He is a mountaineer and he won’t be anything else. It’s his passion and every man in his family is the same. He comes from a legacy of excellence where he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps. Only one teeny tiny problem. His ass is broke. No money for excursions, so he sucks it up and tries to get sponsors. HA!!!! I loved his initial reaction to having a sponsor. I loved the relationship he has between his self and his PA’s. He literally seemed like the Grinch most of the book. Here’s where the author excelled for me. I like that he has these feelings and recognized what they were. He didn’t immediately push Aidan away for fear of rejection. Sure he never talked about it, but I think for H-G just being able to converse with someone else was enough for him to fall in love. That’s the message I atleast got from it. I don’t think he was so hung up on Aidan’s looks more as being able to be himself with Aidan.

Aidan was great as well. Talk about taking the bull by the horns and going for it. When Zeb brought him this proposition sure he was scared but the excelled at the subterfuge of it all. I can see where he was falling for H-G and having the hardship of lying to him as well. Yes, he lied about who he was. You get that in the blurb, it shouldn’t be a surprised. I really enjoyed seeing him with his friends. Titus is the best ever!! He had my favorite line out the entire story. I loved seeing them together. I’m a huge sucker for age-gap and this one worked perfectly to me. I wouldn’t mind seeing these two in the future or revisiting this world some time.

This is a high recommend for me. It was just a good reading day I presume. It’s low-angst, heavy on the attraction, witty, and really good. I definitely enjoyed it and can’t wait to read more by this author!

About Clare London

Hi, I’m Clare London, a published author of gay romantic fiction, often erotic, usually contemporary, but sometimes in other worlds entirely. I publish with several publishers, in print and ebook, and I also offer free fiction on my website www.clarelondon.com. Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters. Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

All Hallows’ Eve by Annabelle Jacobs

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.

ajAll Hallows’ Eve: by Annabelle Jacobs
Release Date: Ocotber 5, 2016
Pages: 248 • Format: eARC
Published By: Annabelle Jacobs
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Will a centuries-old broken heart ruin the promise of new love?

Dominic Ashworth is descended from a long line of witches, although the family practice of witchcraft died out generations ago. Forever connected to a dark history, the house he grew up in remained in the Ashworth family for generations until his estranged father sold it.

On a mission to check out the new owners, Dominic runs into Caleb Jones and gives the gorgeous man his phone number—but getting a date should be the last thing on Dominic’s agenda.

Caleb and his best friend, Zach Briceworth, are oblivious to the heartache and magic tied to the foundations of their new home. When strange things start to happen, the truth emerges and surprises them both, especially as everything revolves around Caleb’s new love interest.

After a shaky start, Caleb and Dominic settle into an easy relationship, falling faster than either of them expected. But with Halloween approaching, the possibility of danger increases. The past is not always as it seems, and the ripples of a tragic event threaten to put an end to everything between them.

three-half-stars

First thing first, I really love the cover. Liked the colors and the feel to the story just from the cover. This was a lot milder then I expected it to be. It wasn’t Lisa Henry scarey, and I’m okay with that. It was mixture of two stories that didn’t intertwine that well to me. We have the romance between present day Dominic & Caleb, and the paranormal side from Dominic’s descendants. I enjoyed the history of the house, the ghost story and Dominic’s family tree. It was tragedy with what happened between Alexander & Liam, but it did feel real in the sense that Dominic & his family have dedicated their entire lives to protect this secret.

I’ll start off with the romance. Like most relationships or when you generally meet someone new you don’t start off in a lie. Dominic didn’t think he’d fall for Caleb, but it’s to late to do anything when you wasn’t exactly honest about the arrangement. If we put that aside I did like them together. I wanted a little bit more steam from these two. I do think they were cute together and definitely have the potential to be greater as the story progressed. I am going to be honest Dominic and his sister got on my nerves. I get it, it’s the family business at stake, but bloody hell can the romance be the focal point for a while. Zach didn’t even annoy me that much. Aside from those little feelings regarding the coupledom, I liked them a lot. We have a couple obvious scenarios but I am not picky and they factored in okay.

As for the paranormal, it was fairly easy to see where this was going. I liked the little twist at the end. The mystery gets resolved pretty quickly. I wouldn’t dare want to be from these descendants I tell you that much. I think Liam & Alexander’s story is a big part of this. Without these two then Caleb & Dominic story doesn’t get told. When the big showdown happened, I’d like the think of it as a Hocus Pocus moment. It is my favorite Halloween movie after all.

All in all, I think it was an okay read. Kinda low steam, and low angst. Okay romance and paranormal aspect. I’d recommend to people who don’t really like horror but a little mystery and boo is what they want. I do appreciate it more because these boys are British and they went as two of my favorite people for Halloween!

About Annabelle Jacobs

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her three rowdy children, and two cats.

An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Bitter Legacy by Dal MacLean

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

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

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

five-stars

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

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

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

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

About Dal MacLean

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

Bear Among the Books by T. J. Masters

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.

Bear Among the Books: by T.J. Masters
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Pages: 230 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspiner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Forty-eight-year-old Ben Thompson is a librarian, a passionate book lover, and a man who embodies the definition of a bear. He’s also lonely after the loss of his long-term partner. Young ex-gymnast Jason Barnes piques his interest, but Ben quickly realizes there’s more to Jason than his good looks. While Jason visits the library almost every day, he never checks out a book.

With gentle persistence, Ben befriends Jason and learns the nineteen-year-old’s tragic secrets. After years of abuse at his father’s hands, Jason was kicked out of his family home for being gay. And despite his apparent love of books, Jason never learned to read. Ben offers to teach him, and the two men bond over their lessons. Ben can’t deny his attraction to Jason, but he wonders if Jason is too young and too handsome to return his interest. With the help of the close-knit library team and Jason’s growing self-confidence, they move beyond the books and into the bedroom, where their own story is just beginning.

three-stars

Yeah Angie, that’s how I felt. Ummm. My first reaction is that I think the subject of the story had the greatest potential ever!!! Ideally this was a huge Age-Gap. Seriously, it was a 29 year age difference. Like holy f****. This was a big deal, and I didn’t know what to think of it. I’m trying to convey my issues with Ben personally. I mean, he’s Jason teacher, lover, and employer. It was to fast and too many boundaries being crossed. I’m all for love, and everything but the way the story was written, Jason seems to naive. He’s been through A LOT. I don’t know why no one mentioned him getting any therapy for his situation, and maybe gardening is his own therapeutic way. But the love seemed so one – sided because Jason is so out of depth on everything.

It’s like ALL of Ben’s reservations about Jason were coming true. I’m not saying that he couldn’t love Jason, but let’s be real the trauma that Jason has been through in his life, and his lack of education should have been front and center for me. I would have liked Jason decisions to not have been made on the cusp of him not wanting to be along. He is literally floundering his way around. He has no self-confidence, and no reassurance of his abilities. This was to easy, and I would have preferred the angst and some sort of emotion with this story. It was monotone and everybody was so damn cheery, and nice.

Call me a Grinch, but this would have been the perfect story for uncontrollable crying, and in my head I would have liked after all the ANGST that is possible for them to part ways. I would have liked Jason & Ben to come to terms that they’ve loved each other for this small amount of time. I would have liked for them to realize that they are better with one another, and Jason goes on to someone else. Ben has given him love, and the tools he needs to survive. I would have liked Ben to realize that Jason needs someone else. I just didn’t want them together in the end. This needed some tears, emotions, and mental instability on my part. Hell I might just need to write a story. I would have preferred to feel like this at the end.

Instead I’m left feeling nothing.

About T. J. Masters

T.J. Masters is a fifty-six-year-old author and life coach living in Hertfordshire just to the north of London, England. T.J. has shared thirty years of suburban life with his civil partner Ian, and they enjoy the love and support of T.J’s large Irish family who all live nearby. In 2009 T.J. took early retirement from a thirty-three-year school teaching career and decided to follow a new path. After qualifying as a life coach, T.J. found that he was coaching a couple of authors who were going through the process of giving birth to the book which “had always been inside them.” This rekindled T.J’s long-held desire to write and get published.

With a lifelong passion for books, learning, and the sharing of knowledge, T.J. woke up to the realization that he had stories to tell, books to write, and less than half a lifetime left to do it in. As for the kind of books he is writing… well, let’s just say that he decided to channel over thirty years of experience in the gay BDSM lifestyle into a genre where it would be most appreciated!

Alongside this passion for books and writing, T.J. also found an outlet for his inner geek and has become a great advocate for social media in various forms. Blogging has become a great outlet for T.J’s many interests including the writerly ones. The author has a website where he blogs regularly and he loves to interact with his readers and followers a

His Royal Favorite by Lilah Pace

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.

His Royal Favorite: by Lilah Pace
Series: His Royal Secret #2 
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Pages: 245 • Format: eARC
Published By: InterMix
Purchase Links:
Amazon

The conclusion of Lilah Pace’s racy, romantic male/male duology following His Royal Secret…

James, Prince of Wales, is making history. He’s decided to come out to his subjects—and the world. However, telling the truth means exposing his relationship with lone-wolf reporter Benjamin Dahan. Although Ben never wanted commitment, the unexpected depth of his feelings leads him to join James in the media’s harsh spotlight.

When the news story explodes across the globe, Ben can endure the mockery and dirty jokes. But after his tragic past is cruelly revealed, his life begins to implode. Can even his love for James be worth this?

James has it no easier. His revelation divides the country and sparks turmoil within the royal family. He must struggle to defend not only himself and Ben, but also his younger sister, who hovers on the brink of a breakdown that could endanger her life.

Is Ben strong enough to survive the onslaught and stand by James’ side? And will James have to make a choice between Ben and the crown?

four-stars

Book two was not for the lighthearted at all!!! It was super emotional and way more angsty!!! GAH. I dislike angst and reading this is why. In my head Ben would have got over himself 20% into the story. I get it, and understand ALL his reservations but I totally was being #TeamJames over here and wanted him to sacrifice his freedom for James. It didn’t work like that, and man this book did wonders to my emotions. I feel like I need a palate cleanser and need to read a comfort read or some fluff afterwards.

This picks up immediately after book two. I almost want it to be a trilogy because I like these two characters so much. I think the author handled this wonderfully. Nothing was easy to any of the characters to me. Both guys were constantly tested, it really made them put their future in perspective. I couldn’t imagine living like that, and too see Ben trying should have been enough for me. I really like Ben alot, he’s independent, career-orientated, and self reliant. To see him part ways with the pieces that he feels makes him about did me in. I’d understood the resentment and the falling apart from one another.I think James was one of the realistic guys ever. Yeah he lived in a bubble, and doesn’t have a debit card, but he constantly gave Ben an out. He was willing to allow the love of his life, a life instead of being in the media spotlight constantly.

On top of those two, Indigo’s mental health status has reached a boiling point. I felt for James, because he’s rolling solo on this. He has no help, he has no training and he’s trying to do what he thinks is the best of her. Bravo Ben!!! Thank you for saying what I’m sure everyone reading is thinking. We can’t help Indigo without professionals, and it’s time to allow someone else to take over the reigns for a little while.

I did find myself less enamored with this then book one. It was tamer in the physical acts, it was way angstier I ever would have expected. It didn’t have the same magic as book one, but I guess you could say it was the honeymoon period for those guys and they needed a break. I’m looking forward to more from this author. This series is one I’d definitely recommend!

About Lilah Pace

Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author, so she can’t give away too much about herself here, but she has lived everywhere from Italy to the United Kingdom before putting down roots in the American South.

She’s addicted to Diet Coke, loves her dog, and daydreams about several British movie stars (though usually no more than two at a time).

And while it took her a long while to get up the courage to write books, now she hopes she’ll never stop.