Knit Tight (Portland Heat #4) 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.

Knit-TightKnit Tight by Annabeth Albert
Series: Portland Heat
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Pages: 112 • Format: eARC
Published By: Lyrical Shine
Purchase Links:
Amazon • iTunesB&N • Kobo • Google Play

One of Portland’s hottest young baristas, Brady is famous for his java-topping flair, turning a regular cup of joe into a work of art. Every Wednesday—aka “Knit Night”—hordes of women and their needles descend on the coffeehouse, and Brady’s feeling the heat. Into the fray walks a tall, dark, and distractingly handsome stranger from New York. His name is Evren, and he’s the sexy nephew of Brady’s sweetest customer, the owner of the yarn shop down the street. He’s also got a killer smile, confident air, and masculine charm that’s tying Brady’s stomach in knots. The smitten barista can’t wait to see him at the next week’s gathering. But when he tries to ask Evren out, his plans unravel faster than an unfinished edge. If Brady hopes to warm up more than Evren’s coffee, he’ll have to find a way to untangle their feelings, get out of the friend zone, and form a close-knit bond that’s bound to last a lifetime…

 

three-stars

I love this series a lot. It was my first books by Annabeth Albert. These little nuggets of magic were so realistic and honest. I loved the simplicity of the careers, the realness of the guys and the emotions that are packed into each story. When I seen that we were getting a 4, I was super psyched. I love the idea of an older sibling taking care of his younger siblings, and falling in love. It was a match made for me. It took me a long time to get connected to the main characters, and by the end of it I’m still not sold on either guy. I don’t really see the attraction between the two. This novella just seemed to be missing the magic that book 1-3 had. It wasn’t bad at all, but my 30% both guys were forgettable in my eyes.

Brady is taking care of his younger siblings with his 18 year old sister. I couldn’t imagine doing it, but they make it work. He sacrifices alot of things for his “kids”, but that’s what makes him unique. He’s a barista who actually likes being one works at a coffee shop. He meets Evren who comes to “Knit Night” with the local older ladies. From the first glance, the attraction is obvious to me. I liked Brady way more then Evren. I think Evren was to stand offish in my mind. Or it could be this novella was a lot heavier with real life things then previous novellas in the series. It touched on bisexuality, and both sides dealing with grief. It kinda took away from what I’ve acquainted the series with. I would like to see more of this series, because I truly enjoy them. I think Annabeth is a talented writer and look forward for more.

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.

Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt

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

UnderaSkyofAshLGUnder a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Pages: 270 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

More than an decade after leaving Colorado to attend college and escape his past, Isaiah Greene moves back and builds a life in Denver as a special education teacher. When he meets Ben Woods, the mentor of one of his students, the attraction is immediate. The revelations that they’ve both suffered traumatic childhoods form a bond between them.
Raised by an abusive grandmother, Ben is a recovering addict who has made a family with his construction worker boss, Hershel, and Hershel’s husband, Daniel—drag queen ManDonna. Adding Isaiah to his life gives Ben a glimpse of a future he’d never dreamed possible for himself.
Both Isaiah and Ben are survivors, but when guilt drives a wedge between them, the past threatens to end their relationship.
Ben and Isaiah embark on journeys of self-discovery. Though their path will be difficult at times, humor and love find a way to bring light to the darkness.

three-stars

Reading this story was a little eye-opening with the way that relationships come about. Isaiah and Ben must have been destined to be together. Two guys who went through equally traumatizing things at a young age come together for love and happiness. This is my second Brandon Witt book to date. I’m just learning his style and word play I guess. I really enjoyed two of the supporting couples a lot. Hershel and ManDonna were amazing characters, and I loved every minute they were on page. I can say now that I don’t know how I feel about Ben & Isaiah individually. Especially Isaiah, I know what he went through, and how he is now, I don’t think after 12% I really connected with him. I understand Ben and I get his actions on the decisions he made later on in life. I get at 25 why he’s a recovering addict and I get him fighting for his sobriety each and every day.

This story dealt with a lot of things, self discovery being one of the biggest thing. I don’t think Isaiah discovered his true self, maybe in time it would tell. I would have loved Isaiah to have some peace for himself. I’m not sure the guilt of his childhood would ever allow him to show his true self whoever that is. I will say I do like him with Ben, he might be the normalcy Ben yearns for. I did like seeing Ben in his big brother glory. He might be a little unpolished when it comes to being a parental figure, but just him attempting and trying was so worth it.

When the past comes out it’s like a stabbing motion in my chest. I didn’t know what it meant for Ben or Isaiah. So much happens over their shared past it’s hard to see the outcome for these two. I really liked how the author wrote those scenes. They definitely needed to figure out their things by themselves. I literally hated Ben’s grandmother. It was sickening seeing her treating Ben like that. I don’t really know how I feel about Isaiah’s parents. Maybe it was their way of handling the situation, but it’s a scary situation to be in. I just wanted Isaiah to yell, punch, and break stuff. I felt like he needed an outlet. This was a good read for me. Emotional at times, happy at others, and definitely a positive outcome by the end. I’m starting to enjoy Brandon Witt’s writing.

About Brandon Witt

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

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

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

Until September by Chris Scully

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.

USeptemberUntil September by Chris Scully
Release Date: February 8, 2016 
Pages: 298 • Published by: Riptide Publishing  • Format: eARC
Purchase Links:  Riptide Amazon

As a teenager, Archie Noblesse clawed his way out of the poverty, heartache, and abuse of the reservation and left his family behind. Desperate to shake the shadow of his past, he reinvents himself as Archer Noble, an outspoken blogger and controversial author who lives only for himself. But when his beloved sister dies, Archer is saddled with guardianship of his niece and nephew.

Elementary school teacher Ryan Eriksson is devastated when his best friend Marguerite is killed, leaving her two young children orphaned. Helping Archer with his new responsibilities eases his grief, but when Archer offers him custody of the children, Ryan’s left with an impossible choice: get the family he’s always wanted, or respect Margie’s wishes and convince Archer to give parenting—and his heritage—a chance.

To buy time, Ryan promises to stay for the summer, hoping that Archer will change his mind and fall for the kids. But Archer’s reluctant, and the growing attraction between him and Ryan complicates matters. Legal decisions must be made, and soon, before Ryan returns to school. But with hearts involved, more than just the children’s future is on the line.

four-stars

I’m not to familiar with Chris Sully, but if it’s like this from now on I’m going to get real familiar with her. This was good in a insta-love sort of none way. I called it insta-love because they loved each other before they liked one another. They just weren’t able to figure it out as soon as everyone else. The author did a really good job on the research surrounding the Aboriginal women in Canada. It’s not something I was familiar with, but the research and depth of those facts caused me to google things of course. It was a shock of the thousands of missing women. I thought it was a great tie in with what the story was about.

Archie is a hard character to like. He’s redeemable, and he did redeem himself. I get why he was the way he presented himself. He took all his vulnerabilities from his childhood and bottled them up. He needed to show he was strong, resilient, and indifferent. I would have like to see him sort out the problems from his childhood, not for anyone’s sake except for his. I can see he didn’t need the counseling about his feelings, or maybe being a parent to his sister’s kids was enough of coming to terms that he needed.

I feel like he never got a chance to grieve at all. For his mother, his childhood and it took a while for me to understand that his actions in the book were his way of grieving for his sister. The relationship between the kids & Archer was easier to deal with than him & Ryan. The kids are someone who will love you unconditionally as long as you are there for them. I loved that it was a learning process for him. He had to give up control, and learn patience. Ryan was definitely a blessing in disguise.

I really liked Ryan’s character. Being so young as he is, I felt he was a very good contemporary character. I liked that he wanted marriage and children at a young age. It happens to people, and I was very glad to see him sticking up for himself. I liked the way these two came together and worked as couple and future parents. I think they were sweet together. I would have love to see Ryan have his dream come true according to him it has. I love Archie for considering Ryan over everything in the end of it. Really good story.

About Chris Scully

CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada where she grew up spinning romantic stories in her head. When the tedium of a corporate day job grew too much, she took a chance and found her creative escape in writing. Always searching for something different, she has discovered a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve.

Chris would love to hear from readers at: cscully@bell.net.

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowlingon March 27, 2012
Pages: 324
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!

5 Amazing, Brilliant, Stars
Harry Potter
Brings back memories of my childhood. I can remember being 12 years old and visiting my grandma’s house. In her living room she had the first three hardcover books sitting on the piano bench. At the time I had no clue about the series, or what was to come. At that time it was strictly the Scholastic Black History novels, The Babysitter’s Club and Goosebumps. Those were my reading books. I remember grabbing the first book and sitting on the couch, the next thing I know it’s dinner time and I’m halfway done. I was shocked that I had read that much. I absolutely love this series. If I had to describe it in one words it’ll be Friendships.

Harry Potter Wand
This series told me how to have friends, and keep them. It taught me what undying love looks like. It taught me loyalty, happiness, and courage. It brings tears to my eyes writing this review because I hadn’t read the series since 2005 when I was 17 and the last book was released. Sure I’ve seen the movies a billion times. I know almost all the dialogue, and history. It’s nothing like reading the magic from the beginning.

Hermione
Harry Potter is one of my favorite characters every. I love the cast of this series, even that dreadful toad Malfoy! I love Harry’s courage to be himself in a world where he knew nothing about. I love Ron’s undying loyalty. I love Hermione’s quick wit, and her smarts! I’ll continue reading the series as if I never have. J.K. Rowling’s writing is magical. I love the world building she came up with. It’s my favorite series ever

Ron Weasley