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.

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 😉

Snowblind by Eli Easton

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.

Snowblind: by Eli Easton
Series: Dreamspun Desires #29
Release Date: March 1st, 2017
Pages: 196 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Snow, steam, and secrets.

The latest snowstorm carries something unexpected to the doorstep of Hutch’s secluded Alaskan cabin: a stranger named Jude, the most beautiful man Hutch has ever seen. Jude says he’s in the area for a ski trip and that he fled a domineering lover, thinking he could make it into town. But Hutch is a suspicious SOB and treats his unwanted guest warily. The problem is Jude isn’t just gorgeous, he’s funny and smart and flirtatious.

Two gay men snowed in for three days—things happen. Really good things. By the time the storm clears, Hutch finds himself a little too attached to Jude Devereaux, San Francisco-based male model. But is Jude what he claims to be? Or is he entangled in the secrets Hutch moved to Alaska to escape?

three-stars

 

 

Ummm.. Where is the Dreamspun Desires fluff that I’m use to? I am missing all the chessiness, fluffy sugary sweetness that I’ve come to like from this series. I wasn’t expecting this at all. I feel cheated big time. I would have thought that the whole spy needing help would be right up my alley, but I didn’t like it at all. It was going well in the beginning for me, and after a while when everything came to light I just didn’t like it. Of course the tone of the story changed, and it was working for a while. I mean it took a while for me to warm up to Hutch, and I liked Jude but once Jude mentioned a kid, I kinda wanted it to be an instalove, kidfest and them running off to play family with Hutch falling in love with Jude’s daughter. It did not go like that at all.

It took me a while to like Hutch. I get why he is the way he is, but I didn’t really enjoy him as a character. Hutch has been trying to stay under the radar. What’s under the radar then by being in Alaska during a winter storm or winter season? He is fine being who he wants in this wilderness. Along comes Jude escaping from a guy during the storm trying to get back in town. Well of course a California boy isn’t going to know that you don’t try to out run a storm like this. After saving Jude, they hit off. Its days of sex, food, fun, and learning about one another. I’m really enjoying it up until 27%. A lot of unexpected things happen at this point. I had to put it down, and try to figure out what was bothering me about the story. It was the lack of fluff, the sweetness, the insta-love and care that I’ve come to know from this series. Totally lacking.

The rest of the book is action and adventure, and my face is still upturned because it wasn’t what I expected. I did not like the direction it took. Overall I think it was an okay story. The CIA tie-in into both of them as characters was good. It was very adventurous. I think Eli could have done better with this. I’m a big fan of hers. I want my fluff Eli, please give me my fluff.

About Eli Easton

Having been, at various times, and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of metaphysical thrillers, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest writing.

Review: Inheritance by Sean Michael

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: Inheritance by Sean Michael
Release Date: February 1st 2017
Pages: 88
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links: Amazon US Dreamspinner Press
Cash McCord loves his life. He owns the family ranch, works hard and invites the occasional cowboy into his bed. All that changes when his brother Jack and Jack’s wife Val are killed in a car crash, leaving behind six kids.

Cash is made guardian along with Val’s brother Brad Rafferty. Brad couldn’t be more different than Cash. A Yankee, Brad is a video game developer who works twelve to fourteen hour days at his desk. The two men lock horns on sight, neither man happy to have the other around, but neither willing to give up guardianship of their nieces and nephews.

Can they manage to keep the kids together, and keep from killing each other at the same time?

 

 

three-stars
This was a nice short story about family recovering from a tragedy to heal and put the family back together. Cash McCord lost his brother Jack and Brad Rafferty lost his sister Val in a terrible car accident. The couple left behind six young kids and happened to have appointed both Cash and Brad as co-guardians. The problem was that Cash lived on his family ranch in Texas and Jack lived up north. The two adults had to navigate their own grief and also figure out how two single men will keep six young children from getting lost in the grief.

As with most novellas, there was no real character development and the romance between the Cash and Brad developed rather quickly. However, the chemistry between them was very enjoyable. Once they made the romantic connection, it seemed solid and that was so important especially for the children. I think their unity really helped the kids to feel safe and secure in their time of grief. It was nice to have men with minimal drama but plenty of integrity.
The kids added some levity to a heavy subject with their humorous questions to their gay uncles.

About Sean Michael

Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

Sean’s available for interviews, by the way. He can always be talked into, well talking about himself.

Hanging The Stars 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.

hanging-the-starsHanging The Stars: by Rhys Ford
Series:Half Moon Bay #2
Release Date: December 5th, 2016
Pages: 206 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Angel Daniels grew up hard, one step ahead of the law and always looking over his shoulder. A grifter’s son, he’d learned every con and trick in the book but ached for a normal life. Once out on his own, Angel returns to Half Moon Bay where he once found…and then lost…love.

Now, Angel’s life is a frantic mess of schedules and chaos. Between running his bakery and raising his troubled eleven-year-old half-brother, Roman, Angel has a hectic but happy life. Then West Harris returns to Half Moon Bay and threatens to break Angel all over again by taking away the only home he and Rome ever had.

When they were young, Angel taught West how to love and laugh but when Angel moved on, West locked his heart up and threw away the key. Older and hardened, West returns to Half Moon and finds himself face-to-face with the man he’d lost. Now, West is torn between killing Angel or holding him tight.

But rekindling their passionate relationship is jeopardized as someone wants one or both of them dead, and as the terrifying danger mounts, neither man knows if the menace will bring them together or forever tear them apart.

four-stars

I might be a teeny tiny tad biased. I love Rhys Ford, so I’m always going to fangirl over her writing and books. Hanging the Stars is book 2 in the Half Moon Bay series. This book started off with a bang, and definitely ended with one. I sometimes tell myself that I wish Rhys could write a straight contemporary story with no mystery heavy plot. Well, I do believe she did that with Fish Stick Fridays which I love. But to me Hanging the Stars is so much more contemporary then anything she’s every written in my opinion. I mean, I feel all gooey inside with these two. It was like BAM with the love, romance, and feelings. I’m not complaining, because it’s what I want constantly from her, but I’m shocked. West and Daniels start a relationships after not seeing each other for 10 years. They are each in different places in their lives, but past grievances seems to put them right back where they left off.

“What makes you think I’m not already in love, Just?” Angel whispered. “Because I’ve been in love with him before I even knew his damned name.”

Do you see what I’m saying? That quote was so romantic to me. Angel surprised me the most. I swear, when I started reading this that I didn’t expect him to be so warm & loving. I expected plenty of angst from these two based on how it ended. I mean of course West was a hard ass and didn’t disappoint. My opinion of his has definitely changed from book 1. He’s had years now to form some sort of relationship with Lang, Deacon and Zig. He seems to be a less bitter man. Angel is taking care of his younger brother and trying to show Rome that nothing or no one can come between them or take him away from him either.

It wouldn’t be a Rhys book without an explosion, shooting, or action packed car crash. This one didn’t disappoint. I kinda guessed who the bad guy was after a while. It was a pretty easy process of elimination. I mean, they both went through blood, sweat, and tears in this book. I did have a minor issue with after not seeing, or hearing from one another for so long that as soon as they are in direct contact with one another the passion ignites. I’m not bad at it, but it didn’t seem real. If I didn’t see my first love after ten years, or talk to them but seen them again. I think anger, tears and frustration would be my first reaction. Everyone is different so I digress on this point.

Ford is still able to produce the best side characters as well. Frank, Marzo, and Justin were amazing. I truly loved them, and liked what they were able to do for their respected counterparts. Justin definitely needs a novella or a book soon. I was crushing on him by the end of the story.

West and Angel decide to give this a relationship a go. It’s not the best of times, but waiting seems dumb when someone is trying to kill them obviously. Sure some of these events were a tad bit over the top. But it didn’t stop Angel & West from being together. There relationship moved fast on the page to me, but I do like how Angel & Rome made West a better person. They actually gave him a heart, or something similar that he’s never got. Also liked Lang & West brotherhood progressing. These two are different as night and day, but the love is still there. All in all, I thought this was a pretty enjoyable book. I find myself having super grabby hands when it comes to a Rhys Ford novel. I can never say no, she’s a favorite author of mine for a reason. It can be read as a standalone, but why would you? Fish Stick Fridays is awesome, and everything is better in pairs!

“The truth is, Lang,” Angel whispered, ” your brother hangs the stars in my goddamn sky. It sounds stupid and maybe corny, but when he’s around me, it’s like the night’s full of light. So yeah, I love him. I love him pretty hard.”

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.

When Forever Ended by Cara 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.

when-forever-endedWhen Forever Ended: by Cara Dee
Series: Camassia Cove #2
Release Date: November 30, 2016
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By: Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

At ten years old, Kelly and I were two rambunctious boys who carved our initials into a tree in the forest. We promised to be best friends forever and bumped our fists to seal the deal. I never should’ve kissed him that summer before college. It was a day that buried me in shame, a day I spent the next twenty-four years regretting, a day I never told anyone about.

At forty-three, depression was suffocating me. Not even my wife and two children could lift the heavy fog. I was riddled with guilt and self-hatred, and I was starting to realize that I would slowly fade away until nothing remained. Then one day, Kelly was back in town.

10% of the proceeds will be donated to Hope For Depression.

(All novels taking place in Camassia Cove are standalone.)
four-stars

I literally need to tip my hat off to Cara Dee. I really am a fan of her writing style. I don’t want to use the word plain, but maybe it’s more homey and realistic. I am always able to connect with her characters. I don’t necessarily have to be in their shoes, but she makes it to easy to relate to their struggles. I do like the way Cara tackled depression. I think we all know someone living with depression, and this book was such an eye opener for me. Its so easy for me to tell someone to get over things, but I’m not in their shoes and I don’t feel like they do. This book was completely different then book one. I loved book, and I really enjoyed this one as well. I do feel slighted in the sense that I would have liked to see more with Will & Kelly. It was nice for the two different p.o.v’s but because the focus on the story was for them more then anything I would have like them to have more screen time together. This wasn’t some quick fix for Will, he had to want it, and adjust to life differently then what he is used to.

Cara has written some of my favorite comfort read books, and this series is definitely gaining group to add to the list. I really like the simplistic way of life that her characters have. For me, I feel like they are relatable is so many ways. I adored Kelly. Oh my gosh, did I? I looked how he treated Will, and was so forthcoming with his past history with depression. It must have been really hard to walk away from someone that you love because of your fears. Kelly doesn’t have it easy. He’s adjusting to life with his sexuality and accepting it.

Will is 43, married with two kids, and severely depressed. The one thing that I would have liked was some prologue and a glimpse in the life of Will before Kelly came back into his life. I don’t think it was real clear on his reason for depression. I believe so many things that can have caused his depression, but its certain things that the characters speak on a past event that I felt like maybe it should have been included in the story. It was emotional to say the least, I felt all Will’s vulnerabilities, and his heartbreak.

Word to the wise for all those HEA people, there is cheating in this book. Don’t lose sleep over it, cheating happens in real life here folks. This series is realistic fiction so real life situations happen here. I really would be so much happier if this book had 100 more pages. I never wanted it to end. I wanted to see the progress of everyone by the end of the story. Was Will’s depression cured? Hell no, it is manageable by the end of the story. That’s all I can ask for. This definitely made me want to go back and re-read book 1 and this again. I love this writing, and can’t wait for the next in the series!

About Cara Dee

here aren’t many things better than picking up my Kindle and getting completely sucked into a whole new world—where words morph into images and characters’ moods suddenly reflect my own. Aside from good plot and writing, for me, it boils down to relatable characters.

As a writer, I’m not finished until the men and women in my books come to life, until I can see them as real people, until I can connect with them. Which means I write what I want to read: everyday heroes and heroines who have the same struggles we all do. They evolve, have flaws, make mistakes and amends, learn, and find the endings they fight for.

Those are the characters who take the readers on a journey away from work, laundry, grocery shopping, and to-do lists.

When I’m not writing, researching, or brainstorming, I’m either planning my next trip (never-ending bucket list!), reading, watching hockey, or spending time with family and friends

Friendly Fire 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.

cariFriendly Fire: by Cari Z.
Release Date: October 17, 2016
Pages: 252 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Elliot McKenzie is the king of reinvention. Five years after losing his job and his lover and almost going to prison, his self-help program, Charmed Life, is more successful than he’d ever dreamed. He thinks he’s put his sordid past firmly behind him, until he starts receiving cryptic threats . . . and realizes it might not be as over as he’d hoped.

Security expert Lennox West has been lost since a deadly skirmish in Afghanistan led to his forced retirement from the Army. His PTSD makes helping his ex raise their daughter a challenge. When his ex’s sister asks him to set her boss up with a security system, Lennox isn’t expecting anyone like Elliot McKenzie—a man who captures his attention and makes him feel relaxed for the first time since leaving the service.

But Elliott is dangerously stubborn. Even as the threats against him escalate, he refuses to involve the police, and Lennox fears that stubbornness could kill him. A battle of wills ensues that brings them closer to each other than either man expected. But if the threats turn real, they might not live long enough to get their future together.

three-half-stars

The only thing that saved me from DNF the book was my need to see the end through. I liked the first half of the story, the two bad people were obvious, or at least one of them was. I enjoyed the writing a lot. It pushed me through the end. At the end of the story, I don’t know if I like the relationship. They didn’t really bond for me. I guess I wanted more passion from the couple and that’s what I found that was seriously lacking! I liked Lennox a lot and kinda loved his name. (It went on my future’s children name list)! I like Elliot for the most part, but I hated his job. It bothered me more then the story. I felt like we were leading up to this amazing story line and it wasn’t apart of the story. I didn’t like his career from the get go, but it became the focal point of why these two guys were together and I don’t get a glimpse of what Elliot does to make it special. Another thing was the getting to see him and Vanessa together. That bothered me. I wanted that scene for myself since Elliot cared so much about letting things happen to him just so Vanessa career wouldn’t get hurt.

I can’t speak for other readers but I look for things I can relate to in novels. I like the realistic idea that Elliot screwed up in life so he is atoning for his mistakes by not being a burden to his sister. Yeah, he had some really crazy things happen to him, but he was so worried about messing up Vanessa’s life that we get word of mouth instead of the actual scene. I’m greedy, I guess I wanted to be able to relate to him in some sort of fashion. I wasn’t to thrilled about the outcome.

Lennox was the type of person that you need to warm up to. He kinda comes of stand offish, but I like to call that “gentlemanly stoic”. He seems like to be in a difficult head space in life. I don’t really know the time frame from him being out the military to present day now. He seemed to be atoning for mistakes he things he’s made, but that’s one thing we don’t get to see about Lennox. I feel like his story wasn’t finished. He didn’t get enough personal screen time to me, and I wanted him to come to terms with his own grievances. It’s a part in the book where he is telling Elliot about his reassurances and atoning for prior mistakes. I don’t know if that was a light bulb moment for Lennox, but it didn’t seem he got the closure to me.

All in all, this was an okay read. I enjoyed the writing way more then the execution of the story. I don’t think it gelled well after the 50% mark. I really would have liked one trope to have been the main focus. Instead, I feel like the mystery/suspense as in competition with the romance side of the story. I will definitely check out more from this author though.

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.

Chase This Light by Francis Gideon

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.

francis-gideonChase This Light: by Francis Gideon
Series: World of Love
Release Date: October 12, 2016
Pages: 112 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

When Jason Flores moves to the Yukon for a new job, he’s not sure what to expect. His son Micah seems enchanted by the wildlife, but his recent fear of the dark means that the eighteen-hour nights in the winter will be a difficult adjustment. When Jason takes Micah to the local museum’s interactive lecture series on the gold rush, it turns out to be one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

Pete Odjick, a tattooed First Nations and Inuit man, dresses up for the weekly lectures as Skookum Jim, one of the first prospectors to find gold. He takes an immediate interest in Micah and an even bigger interest in Jason.

As their flirtation grows into something more serious, Jason’s job at a big name oil company and Pete’s volunteer work with an environmental group become a point of contention. Can they come to an understanding and give Micah a family again? Or will the drastic differences between them tear them apart? As the winter nights grow longer, Pete and Jason worry their love won’t be enough to chase the darkness away.

four-stars

I thought this was a cute novella. Really well written, very detailed, and super cool facts. I liked both mc’s. I liked the setting as well. I did feel like Alaska was the glue that held the story together. I liked how both mc’s passions and jobs ended up intertwining. I think the author did a great job with researching for each guy’s cause and the historic facts that are featured in the museum. I thought the Micah was wonderful as well. He was such a sweet little boy, and he really felled hard for Pete.

Pete and Jason were great together. I think they each brought out certain needs and wants from one another. Like most books, a little bit of miscommunication causes them to suddenly split. Don’t worry it wasn’t petty nonsense. The split between the two definitely showed how each guy came to the realization that they needed each other more then they thought. I think Gideon was able to show how being different in causes as well as anything else in life can be a burden on a relationship. The goal is to compromise and talk things through. This is where Gideon excelled at in this story. Add on the bonus of Jason being a newly single father and moving to another country, I think he did great in choosing Pete and being able to think of Pete’s feelings and causes as well.

All in all, I’d say it was a pretty good story. It was very good for the length that it was. I am really liking these World of Love stories. Their short and very contemporary. I recommend this book big time. I am looking forward to more from Francis Gideon.

About Francis Gideon

Francis Gideon is a writer of m/m romance, but he also dabbles in mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal fiction. He likes to stay up late, drink too much coffee, and read too many comic books. He credits music, especially the artists Patti Smith, Frank Iero, Gerard Way, Florence + the Machine, and The Pixies as his main sources of inspiration, but the list grows every day. Since age twelve, he’s been trying to figure out what genre is best suited for a strange, quiet kid like him and so far, he’s happy to be where he’s ended up.

When not writing fiction, Francis teaches college English classes while he studies for his PhD. He has published several nonfiction and critical articles on everything from the Canadian poet and artist P.K. Page, transgender identity in the YouTube community, using fanfiction as a teaching tool, and character deaths in the TV show Hannibal. Those are all under different his “real” name, though. He writes his novels using his middle name, Francis, so that his students don’t Google him and ask too many questions.

Both Francis and his partner live in Canada, where they often disagree about TV shows and make really bad puns. To talk more about books, bad horror movies, LGBT poetry, or anything else, please drop him a line!

What Remains 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.

WhatRemains_600x900What Remains by Garrett Leigh
Release Date: July 4, 2016
Pages: 283 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Link:
Riptide

Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?

Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.

Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.

three-half-stars

I was so expecting my reaction and emotions to be like this when I first read the blurb.

I had high hopes, I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t a bad story, but it seemed pedestrian. That might seem harsh, but I know others, and myself included puts Garrett Leigh’s work on a higher pedestal. She’s an amazing writer and story teller. The range of feelings and emotions that I feel when reading her stories always leave me stumped, happy, and wrung out. But I love it.

For me, amnesia is suck a finicky topic to talk about. I mean, I don’t want it to be like in the movies when they miraculously get their memories back, and because I lived first hand with someone who suffered an brain injury, I definitely get it. I love the initial meeting between Jodi & Rupert. I like the past and present dialogue that we are given. Leigh is able to show them from the beginning stance of their friendship. She showed us how these two guys needed each other. It was almost like the beginning was Jodi showing Rupert his sexuality.He was able to teach him with the respect of not knowing if Rupert was going to be invested in him. I like the push and pull that they both have with each other. Rupert was able to grown within himself. Jodi was charismatic, and self assured in himself. Falling in love with Rupert was unexpected, but welcomed.

Fast forward to the accident, and it’s total role reversal. Jodi is the one getting paid attention to. It’s not bad thing, let me say that. Rupert has grown so much into himself, and with that confidence of the love he has for Jodi it’s undeniable not to see the love that they have. Rupert had to put his partner before everything. It was a long process, that takes courage and love to do. That’s not my issue with the story itself. With all the right formula that was put into the story, I finished thinking what was wrong? It was lacking emotion. Not once did I feel a tear, anger, or the usual stuff I equate with Leigh’s writing. I hate to add onto it, but it was monotone. One noted, and not something I was responding. While both guys were good characters, and they have the connection together, I just never connected with them.

It wasn’t the Garrett Leigh I love, but it was okay.

 

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

Home by Cara Dee (Camassia Cove #1)

(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

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.


412RSXFkabL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_Home by
Cara Dee
Series: 
Camassia Cove, Book One
Release Date: June 1, 2016
Pages: 168 • Format: eARC
Published By:  Cara Dee
Purchase Link:
Amazon 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve only had one goal: survival. It’s what I know. There is no future beyond making it through another night and getting my hands on as much money as possible, by any means necessary. Pride and dignity are things I can’t afford.

It’s been the worst year yet—and not because I live on the streets. That’s nothing compared to being separated from my little girl. But I do what I can, and I send any money I make for her care. I can only hope she remembers me. I’m past desperate, needing her to know how much I love her and that I’ve done everything in my power to make it back to her.

The day I stepped off the bus in Seattle, I saw him. Adrian appeared at a time I most needed a helping hand, and his habit of rescuing strays became my salvation. He gave me hope. He taught me to dream about something I’d never dared to wish for.

A home.
(All novels taking place in Camassia Cove are standalone.)

four-half-stars

You know I was really skeptical about a new Cara Dee novel so soon after Noah. It wasn’t something I really enjoyed and I was disappointed in the author. Well, she literally came back and this is one of my favorite books of 2016. It was amazing from start to finish. I wanted it to be super longer, and she writes her characters and stories to be so comforting to me. I always love classify her as realistic fiction, but her character are relatable. I think she did a fantastic job with the characters, the story, setting and the tone of the story. Of course I had tears 5% into the story. I knew once I started that I wasn’t going to be able to stop, and it was definitely going to leave the lump in your throat in certain areas.

I haven’t loved a character so much from this author since Cam & Austin from Aftermath, but Dominic & Teach were so beautifully raw, and honest that I connected immediately.She was able to turn Dominic into someone who can look forward to trusting someone. He had no family who he can trust, he had no one to show him things. I get emotional when reading books like these but they turn out to be some of my favorites. I root for the underdog and for guys like Dominic who on all fronts life looks like it won’t turn out much, but somehow they overcome and beat the odds. I have a special place in my heart for people like Billy. People who help instead of ignore. Billy wasn’t able to do much for the homeless youths in Philly, but he was able to offer them a little place to sleep and something small to eat. He was bluntly honest, and crass but he was the only father Dominic was able to have. Dominic’s only goal throughout most of the book is to take care of his daughter. The daughter he hasn’t seen in a year, and who he sends money to by degrading his body. It takes a strong person to step into this world without being addicted to things to cope with the pain and escape into another world so you won’t have to deal with it. He’s resilient and pushes his self extremely hard to do whatever he needs to do in order to make it to Thea. In turn he hadn’t realized he just found his home after 24 years of living.

Meeting Adrian was destined in my mind. I loved EVERYTHING about him. I wish it was a dual pov. It would have made it 5x more better, but I was happy with the finished product. I would have loved for some more background information on him. He might be one of the most selfless characters that I’ve ever read before. Just seeing these two guys navigate this thing was beautiful. I enjoyed Dom being unsure of his feelings for Adrian, and I loved Adrian teaching Dom all these new things. It isn’t a pretty love story. Both guys have to wade through rough waters just to make it on the other side. Through tears, bouts of miscommunication, and a death it’s a really good story. I will definitely be looking for more of this series. I cannot wait, and I definitely see myself re-reading this again throughout the year. Congrats Cara, this is a winner!!!

About Cara Dee

here aren’t many things better than picking up my Kindle and getting completely sucked into a whole new world—where words morph into images and characters’ moods suddenly reflect my own. Aside from good plot and writing, for me, it boils down to relatable characters.

As a writer, I’m not finished until the men and women in my books come to life, until I can see them as real people, until I can connect with them. Which means I write what I want to read: everyday heroes and heroines who have the same struggles we all do. They evolve, have flaws, make mistakes and amends, learn, and find the endings they fight for.

Those are the characters who take the readers on a journey away from work, laundry, grocery shopping, and to-do lists.

When I’m not writing, researching, or brainstorming, I’m either planning my next trip (never-ending bucket list!), reading, watching hockey, or spending time with family and friends