Texas Heat (Texas Series, Book 3) by R.J. Scott

Series:
Narrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Signal Boost Promotions

Title: Texas Heat by R.J. Scott
Series: Texas Series, Book 3
Release Date: May 4, 2017
Format: Audiobook (4 hrs and 18 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western
Published By: Love Lane Books Limited

Against the backdrop of 20 half-naked models on DD land, and in the midst of fighting the oil establishment that just won’t give Riley a chance, Texas Heat is the story of one hot summer in Texas with a Gay Rodeo, humor, angst, and a love between two men that just grows stronger every day.

Jack hires Robbie, a man recovering from a great loss, to be his right hand man. Meanwhile, Riley’s mischievous photographer friend, Eli, decides the DD is the perfect backdrop for a cowboy themed model shoot. Eli has secrets not even Riley knows about but despite what he is hiding he falls in lust with Robbie at first sight. Everyone except Robbie can see how perfect Eli would be for him.

What happens when secrets spill and lies are discovered? And just how far will Riley and Jack go to play matchmaker?

three-half-stars

Honestly, I don’t enjoy the narrator Sean Crisden’s work in this series. His voice makes the characters sound like early twenties college dudes and not like the mature men I picture in my head. Thankful, the writing and plot remains very solid so I enjoy the story because Jack and Riley love was a gift that touched all those around them.

Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes are settling into family life with their daughter Hayley and their extended family are finding their own way to love. The Double D Ranch is growing with new employees and Riley is trying to find a way to expand their oil exploration endeavors. The main couple is still crazy about each other and then of course, we get a blast from Riley’s wild past in the form of a man named Eli. Eli was a photographer who had been a prankster/irresponsible work, but now Eli is trying to clean up his work image. In order to secure his “comeback”, he asked to use the Double D Ranch for his photo shoot.

While Eli is taking pictures at the Ranch, he meets one of the ranch hands Robbie, a hurt soul who came to the Double D to heal from a past of abuse. For the first time in this series, the reader is taken on a journey to couple-dom featuring people not bearing the Hayes or Campbell last names. From Jack’s sister Eden and her boyfriend Sean to Riley’s mom getting married to her vet fiancée, it just feels like Jack and Riley’s relationship balanced the people around them. It is clear that they still are trying to find ways to make time for romance and putting their relationship first, but as a couple, they still make me smile. I’m thankful that the author doesn’t make them have those unnecessary relationship miscommunications and issues. Jack and Riley are the reason I love this series but I am looking forward to finding out what’s wrong with Eden’s boyfriend and having them back on solid ground.

About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

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.

The Veranda by Rosalind Abel

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 Veranda: by Rosalind Abel
Series: Lavender Shores #3
Release Date: August 25th, 2017
Pages:235 • Format:eARC
Published By:Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Donovan Carlisle helps countless people in Lavender Shores with his skills as a therapist. It seems, however, that his ability to enable others to live their happiest life only works outside of himself. Donovan truly loves his life, but isn’t able to find a relationship that satisfies his heart’s craving. Maybe the problem is that the only man he wants is off-limits.
Spencer Epstein came to Lavender Shores to find himself. Instead, he married one of the local town beauties. He’d thought his prayers had finally been answered. Then, he met his pregnant fiancée’s brother. It turned out those answered prayers were just cruel twists of fate.

A decade later, after a divorce and crumbling of all Spencer thought was set in stone, he sees his brother-in-law at a masquerade sex party. He takes full advantage of the anonymity and acts on the desires he’s held at bay all those years. The problem is, those silent and frenzied moments didn’t satiate anything. The fire and heat between the two men only grows as secrets are uncovered and they must determine if the cost of their passion is too high.

four-stars

You know, I was really hesitant on how the author would play this out on page being as its a really hard topic to deal with. Families are really hard on spouses, children, cousins, friends with situations like this. I mean, it was really written well and I can appreciate the subtlety of the feelings, and the raw emotions when dealing with tropes like this. The third story in the Lavender Shores series, and I think its my favorite up to date, not knowing if it will stay that way once Lamont’s book comes out. I really like him. Spencer & Donovan have been in each other’s lives for the past 10 years. Always unattainable since Spencer was married to Erica, Donovan’s sister. **Gasps**, I know. The faux pas! I figured that’s something the founding families would say about it. I mean, regardless of Erica & Spencer’s disaster of a marriage, they have children. How could Donovan agree to this morally and personally? These were just some questions I think would be floating in the air.

Had this been anyone else but this author, and I might have ended up in a ragey stupor! I didn’t. Rosalind Abel was able to encapture the love, fear, devotion, acceptance, and Spence & Donovan in the right light. This is a hard subject to grasp, and for anyone to come out on top winning. There are always going to be hurt parties, and the writing showcased it as real as possible. I felt Erica’s emotions during her outburst, I felt Donovan’s disbelief and fear at times, I felt Spencer’s guilt and fear so much. But overall, with the patient, and talking things through it really worked.  I really adored the pacing of the story. I think it was told and done in such an eloquent way. All this sweetness was good and all, but let’s talk about the SUIT PORN!!! WOWZA!!! It was off the chart hot. I needed to fan myself at the scene of them in Spencer’s office. **Bites Fist**, to be a fly on that wall. Don’t spoilers from me guys, but it was definitely a winner.

I really like the feeling of reading about average everyday guys, and what loves brings to them. These are real guys, and the writing has shown it in such a way that you can’t do anything but enjoy it. I think if you like feel good stories then this series is for you. I’ll be definitely looking out for more of this series.

 

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About Rosalind Abel

Rosalind Abel grew up tending chickens along side her sweet and faithful Chow, Lord Elgin. While her fantasy of writing novels was born during her teen years, she never would have dreamed she’d one day publish steamy romances about gorgeous men. However, sometimes life turns out better than planned.

In between crafting scorching sex scenes and helping her men find their soul mate, Rosalind enjoys cooking, collecting toys, and making the best damn scrapbooks in the world (this claim hasn’t been proven, but she’s willing to put good money on it).

She adores MM Romance and the power it has to sweep the reader away into worlds filled with passion, steam, and love. Rosalind also enjoys her collection of plot bunnies, and welcomes new fuzzy ones in her home all the time, so feel free to send any adorable ones her way.

Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

Narrator: Callie Dalton
Source: Tantor Audio

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

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

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

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

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

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

four-half-stars

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

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

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

Ezi

Sparrow by L.J. Shen

Title: Sparrow by L.J Shen
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Format: Audiobook (9 hrs and 23 mins)
Genre: Mafia Romance, Dark Romance

Troy Brennan

Every southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart throb with steel blue eyes. “The Fixer” who can make or break you in this city.

Oh, and my new husband.

Sparrow Raynes

That’s me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life.
But then he caged me.
Kidnapped me.
And killed every chance I had to runaway from the place where we grew up.
Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings.

I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he’d ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he’d decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.

Sparrow is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.

three-stars


I never quite clicked with Troy Brennan and Sparrow Raynes. I liked Sparrow because she dealt with the world on her own terms. Troy was kind of a dirty dog and I guess he did Sparrow a solid by handling an issue on her past that cause her a lot of pain. But Troy still toyed with her. He had been watching her for a long time and knew stuff about her. Plus, I can’t get over that he gave her a weding gift picked out by his mistress, brought his mistress into their home and had relations with that crackhead whore, and he let Sparrow wear a dress he knew belong to his mistress to a public outing. That was so foul. Plus he kept that housekeeper. When a man lets his mistress get one up on his wife, I cannot ride with you.

The wife should never be blindsided by the sidepiece. So Troy got two middle fingers from me.

I never felt their attraction was anything other than a physical itch that each needed to scratch. It didn’t feel like love or passion. It just didn’t work for me like i was expecting. How the fixer just shared his business with that guy who took something that belong to him was also weak to me. I enjoyed the twist about bad guy more than anything. The bad guy laid his plan down so properly that it was a tad sad it didn’t work.

The writing was okay but I wasn’t feeling the couple’s chemistry. I will try another book by this author to see if its the writing or just this story.

Ezi

The Perfect Play (Play by Play, #1) by Jaci Burton

Series:
Narrator: Lucy Malone
Source: Tantor Audio

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

Title: The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play, #1
Release Date: March 4, 2013
Format: Audiobook (8 hrs and 36 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Published By: Tantor Media
Purchase Links: Tantor Audio Amazon US

 

The last thing event planner Tara Lincoln needs is the jet-set lifestyle of a football pro like Mick Riley, even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand proved that Mick is an all-star—both on the field and in the bedroom.

Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn’t intend to put herself out there again, especially with a certified heartbreaker. But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind to catch this sultry vixen.
two-half-stars

Aside from this book being uninteresting, I was baffled that two grown-ups were having such simple misunderstandings when they can just text or call each other.

Tara Lincoln was an event planner who was trying to make a name in San Francisco when she landed a huge contract to plan a preseason party for a professional football team. There she met a nice guy Mick Riley and they ended up in bed together. She later finds out that Mick is a quarterback for the professional football team, but they didn’t really discuss this “thing” being anything more. And that was part of the problem for me. There was very little or unclear communication about anything other than sex and career aspirations. Tara and Mick were good at having sex but discussing life and how to have adult relationships, they were quite juvenile in their actions.

Well, mostly Tara was the annoying character as she was full of assumptions and didn’t give Mick a chance to explain himself. She was just one of those heroines you want to slap. I liked Mick but their relationship seemed so shallow that I wasn’t sure why he would even want to put up with her drama.

The characters were not developed that well and the writing was so inconsistent for me. The narration made the story worse that I considered quitting on the audiobook several times and just reading the paperback. Honestly, this book was forgettable because there are plenty of better done sports romances with single parents finding love. I will try book 2 before I decide on this series but I will likely not listen to the audio because the narrator’s tone grated my nerves.

Ezi

Phoebe Sounds It Out by Julie Zwillich

Source: Netgalley

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: Phoebe Sounds It Out by Julie Zwillich
Release Date: April 15, 2017
Format: e-ARC Pages: 32
Published By: Owlkids Books
Purchase Links: Amazon US Barnes & Noble

Meet Phoebe. Unfortunately, her name doesn’t look quite like it sounds. At school, her classmates practice writing their names, but Phoebe struggles. Her teacher tells her to “just sound it out.” Phoebe doubts herself and procrastinates before resolving to try. Readers are privy to her funny, endearing interior monologue and little-kid rationale as she writes the result: FEEBY.

Told in a relatable, introspective voice, this school story conveys the feelings and worries of a 5-year-old and supports learning about sounds and letters. Readers will see from Phoebe’s fellow kindergartners’ attempts that everyone makes mistakes, and that we can take pride in effort and not just perfection.

LEVELING
Grade Range: Pre-K–2
Fountas & Pinnell: J
Reading Recovery: 17
Lexile: AD 590L

COMMON CORE
RL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9
L.1.1,1b,1e,1f,2,2a,2b,2d,2e,4
L.1.4b,4c,5,5a,5b,5c,5d,6
RF.1.1,2,2a,2b,2c,2d,3,3a,3e,4
SL.1.1,1b,1c,2,3,4,5,6
W.1.3,5,6,8

My 7 year old son read this book to my 5 year old son. They had a different reaction to this book than I did. My youngest was tickled most about Phoebe’s boots. He enjoyed the book and he said that Phoebe sounding out her name reminding him of the Gingerbread man because he thought the first letter should have been “J”.
My big boy thought the book ended too fast. He wanted to know how the teacher helped Phoebe with understand about spelling her name. He also had more comments about the boots and Phoebe’s phonetic issues.

My overall impression was this book that it seemed a tad disjointed. It started off about boots, but then turned into kindergarten kids spelling their names. I actually didn’t think much about the boots. It was actually a distraction. I also didn’t understand the introduction of the second teacher Ms. April who enjoyed music. It didn’t fit. It didn’t seem to flow what I felt was the main theme of the book, which I loved. It was a joy following the steps Phoebe took as she worked to write her name. I would have liked the author to concentrate on the name, and how certain words have a phonetic sound different from the actual spelling. The boots thing could have been a separate story. My kids found that aspect entertaining.

My rating for this book would have been a 3-star, but my kids thought it was a 4-star book. Thus, I will settle in the middle. My youngest did ask me to read it again tomorrow, but he wants to wear his boots when I read it.
So clearly, my son related to Phoebe’s footwear.

*Special Thanks to Owlkids Books via Netgalley for the e-arc given in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars

Ezi

At Attention by Annabeth Albert

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.

At Attention: by Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform, #2
Release Date: April 10th, 2017
Pages: 209 • Format: eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links: Carina Press BooksAmazonKobo

Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

two-half-stars

 

You know, I’ll admit I waffle if I should give this book 3 stars for the author, or the actual story. I had to go with my gut on this. This was a disappointing read. I struggled throughout the entire story. My biggest thing is that we’ve read this scenario before. There was nothing new or exciting for the same thing again and again. I love Annabeth’s work tremendously but it took everything in me to power through and read it. I seen all the high rating, and love for it. I had to wonder was we reading the same book. The general formula of a widower and a crush getting together was just it. There was nothing significantly interesting to me. Not one point. If I read ten pages then I forgot what the first 5 were. I even put it down for a while to read something else, and it still didn’t draw me in or give me a glimpse of hope that it gets better.

I liked Apollo from book 1. I guess in his book he lost all the sparkle and excitement that I wanted to read about. Yes he was a caring father, and a tad overprotective but that’s human nature. He’s grieving and still in the mindset about Neal. I don’t know how he feels about Dylan honestly. Even at the end, I sort of was not buying his feelings. I guess they feel forced to me. On Apollo’s side it just felt physical. I didn’t see the attraction outside of that, and I’m bothered by this mostly.

I know Dylan has always liked Apollo so I can believe his attraction. He does some classic stupid things, but they are classic and one reason this trope is so popular. Trying to only stay physical without getting their emotions involved is dumb. One because Dylan’s emotions were already there and they just came back full fledged. This was really a contemporary novel nothing really major happens outside of the story.

I tried and tried to read and get involved with the story but it just seemed liked missed connections to me. I will read book 3 because I know Annabeth’s stories work well for me. I just didn’t like this one at all.

 

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About Annabeth Albert

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

A Guest Review: Bonfires by Amy Lane

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.

Bonfires: by Amy Lane
Release Date: March 24th, 2017
Pages: 280 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.

Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.

It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.

 

three-stars

 

I was really excited when I read the blurb for this book. I am so tired of reading books about 20 year olds, and the idea that both MC’s were in their 40’s and were single parents really appealed to me. Unfortunately the story itself didn’t turn out to be what I was hoping for.

The story follows Aaron, a local police officer and Larx the local high school principal. Both have been married before and both have teenage children still at home. The two men have known each other in a casual way for years. They start running together each morning and their friendship soon turns into something romantic.

In addition to their romance, there is a murder mystery and a related side story about homophobia within the high school. This is where the story lost me. I went into this looking for a romance novel but found the romance was only a small part. More of the book was focused on the mystery and the town drama and I could not get into those parts at all. They just didn’t interest me.

The story itself was well written and I have no complaints about that aspect. It’s really one of those cases of “It’s not you, it’s me.” This wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t what I wanted to read and therefore did not draw me in.

If you go into it knowing it is more mystery focused you might really enjoy it. I will say again, that I’m very happy the author did a book around older MC’s and I hope this is not a one off. I would love to see her go down this road again.

 

 

 

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About Amy Lane

Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Sophie by J.P. Barnaby

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.

Sophie: by J.P. Barnaby
Series:Survivor Series #5
Release Date: March 15th, 2017
Pages: 108 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

It’s amazing how a single word from a tiny girl can change your life.

Spencer Thomas’s world turns upside down when his beloved Nell dies and leaves custody of her three-year-old daughter to him. Her “Spenna” comes when Sophie needs him most, but his boyfriend, Aaron, can’t be a parent. He just can’t. Neither of them expected a baby to fall into the lives they’d finally just settled.

When Nell’s ex comes to claim Sophie, Aaron needs to make a decision: man up or walk away as Spencer faces the fight of his life.

 

 

four-stars

 

I don’t want to say goodbye to Spencer or this series. I am smitten with the man that Spencer has become. From the very beginning in Aaron’s book I adored this series. I fell in love with the writing, the trauma, the characters, and the will to overcome everything that has been thrown at the Downing & Thomas family. It’s bittersweet that I’m writing this, because while its the end of a great series (minus book 2, sorry that’s how I feel) its also the end of J.P. Barnaby’s writing career. I don’t know what she’s going to do, but I want her to know readers will definitely miss her voice, her talent, and her characters. Thank you for writing so many books, but for me this series resonate so clearly within myself.

I thought book 4 was a dozy in the emotions department, but I was not ready for this short book to hammer at me so hard. We see all of the characters come together to help Aaron & Spencer at their most critical time. Told from both guys pov’s, but I feel like Spencer didn’t have enough page time to me. I really enjoyed seeing Anthony, and his family. We have followed this family from the hardest of times to the joyous of occasions. Spencer has a huge responsibility now that he has custody of his 3 year old cousin Sophie. He didn’t realize until it was there in his face how much he wanted kids.  Of course a dilemma occurs between Aaron & Spencer. One wants kids, and the other doesn’t. They don’t really have time to talk this through because an accident happens and leaves Sophie with Spencer. There is happiness in the story between the two guys, we see them come full circle and its a beautiful thing.

If I had to talk about the downside is that it felt rushed. It didn’t seem like Spencer got enough screen time for me. I want issues and things to be talked through on page, and instead it shoots to another scene. I’m left feeling unsettled because it doesn’t seem complete. Listen if it was up to me, I’d have a Spencer book each year. I love him that much.

All in all it’s still a really good story. An okay conclusion for me, but fans of this series will definitely be happy regardless. I wish JP all the best in her next journey in life, and thank her from the bottom of my heart for this incredible series. A definite recommend from me.

 

 

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About J.P. Barnaby

JP Barnaby, an award-winning gay romance novelist, is the author of over two dozen books, including Aaron and the Little Boy Lost Series. She recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta to appease her Camaro who didn’t like the blustery winters. JP specializes in recovery romance, but slips in a few erotic or comedic stories to spice things up. When she’s not hanging out with hot guys in leather, she binge watches superheroes and crime dramas on Netflix. A physics geek, she likes the science side of Sci-Fi, and wants to grow up to be Reed Richards.