Thick & Thin by Charlie Cochet

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

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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.

Thick & Thin: by Charlie Cochet
Series: THIRDS #8
Release Date: February 1st, 2017
Pages: 95 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Sequel to Smoke & Mirrors

In a matter of days, Dex has been kidnapped, tortured, killed, revived, become half Therian, offered the chance to become a spy, and accepted a proposal to marry his jaguar Therian boyfriend, Sloane Brodie. It’s been a lot to take in, and although Dex is still trying to wrap his head around everything that’s happened, he knows he has to move forward.

After the events of Smoke & Mirrors, Dex and Sloane find themselves in one of the most frightening situations of all: revealing the truth to their Destructive Delta family. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same, and it’s up to Dex to prove that in the face of change, the one thing that will always remain the same is family.

three-half-stars

 

My Exasperated face.

I don’t know when I started thinking of this series as a job. Its been a lot of information thrown at us, and sometimes so hard to remember everything. I think we are heading to the end of the series, because the direction is going somewhere new. I honestly hope it does, as much as I love Sloane I’m kinda tired of him and Dex being the focal point of the stories. I get it they are team lead, and them being together works for the series. But it’s convoluted now, and it stopped being about the pnr aspect of it and it’s to damn sweet now. I like the relationships and everyone partnering up, but out of the 8 books 2 of them wasn’t Dex & Sloane.

This book had little tidbits going for the next story, and where the road was going to go. Do I think it was needed? No, it could have been a prologue for the next story. I’m at a crossroads on if I want to continue it because its gotten out of hand with the antics. I miss the first half of the series. It’s common because I just had this problem with another series. I am looking forward to Hud & Seb’s book. I hope they get to spend majority of their time in the book being the focus. I swear if it’s Dex & his antics like it was in the other books then I’m done. I hate to say it, but I just can’t deal with it anymore.

About Charlie Cochet

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

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

Nachos & Hash 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.

Nachos & Hash: by Brandon Witt
Series: Mary’s Boys #1
Release Date: January 25th, 2017
Pages: 105 • Format:eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

four-stars

 

Nachos & Hash is a really good start to a series. Feel like this is one of Witt’s more lighter reads, but the tears were still there. He didn’t go to far. It was light-hearted I guess because of the MC’s being so young. 21 & 24 and trying to navigate what they both want out of one another. Nachos & Hash brings both guys from small Midwestern cities together at place in their life when they need someone.

Darwin & Cody were really adorable together. I really liked them a lot. Cody!!! I just want to re-brain him. Show him what love looks like, feels like, and what it means to be cared for. His parents did him no favors in life. They didn’t show him any love, care, or compassion. I really just wanted to hug him, and take him refugee into my home. Well, I didn’t really need to. Darwin did a great job with his patience, his teachings, and his love for Cody.

Of course its hardships in this book, it wouldn’t be a Witt book without be blubbering crying somewhere. Instead, it was as real as it can be. Darwin wants to settle down, and he’s young but he’s ready. Cody doesn’t have any idea what a relationship is or pertains. His entire sexual experience is one-offs, cars, trucks, rest stops. He has no idea about intimacy, cuddling, and just being around someone for the heck of it.

At the worst of times when his happiness is threaten he does a bad thing. It was heartbreaking to see that that was his only way out. It was hard to see him hurt like that, and instead of reaching out to the family that he has made for himself in Denver he decided to let his inner thoughts and demons get the best of him. It hit me harder then I expected it. I mean throughout the book it was kinda carefree, and sweet that Cody needed all this reassuring on what to expect out of a relationship. His self esteem was basically low, and he put on this facade to other people so they won’t notice the pain. Here’s where Witt’s talent truly comes into play. He knows how to craft a scene and evoke these emotions out of us. I loved the cast of characters in this story, I love the outcome of the story. I would have really liked to see Darwin’s family make a visit or some epilogue with them just so Cody can realize what he had wasn’t normal.

It was rapid them falling in love, but when you are that age it’s easy. Trust me, your inhibitions are lowered, and its easy to fall super hard and super fast. Nothing wrong with wanting forever at this age. Just make sure you put forward your best effort if you expect the same to you. The characters were great, and loved seeing Mandonna again. Ooh wait until Vahin’s book is up. I truly Brandon’s work and he’s a super sweet person. Definitely a recommend!

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.

Dearly Stalked by Allison Cassatta

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.

Dearly Stalked: by Allison Cassatta
Release Date: January 23, 2017
Pages: 266 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonBarnes & Noble

Writing crime novels catapulted Memphis native Silas Cooper to fame and fortune, but when his words backfire and he becomes trapped in what could be one of his books, he needs a hero of his own.

Silas’s publicist insists he hire a personal assistant, and Silas chooses Scott Kramer. But before Scott starts, he already has a round of steamy phone sex to hold over Silas’s head, and his interest in his boss isn’t decreasing.

Benjamin Logan joined the Army to see the world, and while deployed he read every one of Silas’s books. With his military career over, Ben is back in Memphis working for the police department—and attempting a deeply closeted relationship with fellow cop Morgan Brown.

Over coffee, Silas and Ben become friends who support each other as relationships fall apart, and the attraction between them slowly emerges. When a dangerous stalker threatens Silas, it’s up to Ben to stop him.

If Ben fails, Silas might not live to tell this story… and Ben might not be able to live with himself.

 

DNF @ 54%

 

That face up above is my confused face. Call it disbelief, disdain, speechless. Call it whatever you would like, but I’m outta here on this book.

I knew way before 54% that it wasn’t going to end well for me and this book. None of the characters connected with me. I literally am in disbelief by Silas’s behavior and stupidity so early in the book. I get almost hulk rage mad when Ben seems to open his mouth to disregard Morgan’s feelings or his own. I get hulk rage mad when Ben has all these accusations against Morgan in his mind, but never puts forth any effort to be a better “boyfriend”. I use that term loosely since he’s in the closet and afraid to come out. He is scared of what people are going to say and a past experience left him scared. I’m all for coming out on your own terms. Big believer in a person’s space and acceptance of their own sexuality. What I have a problem with is Ben’s almost disregard for any kind of a relationship, words, but instead almost shaming Morgan to stay and be quiet. I know, I can’t put all the blame on Ben. Silas and and Scott is just a big disaster waiting to happen. It doesn’t take long for that dumb situation to implode on itself. I mean, Silas is suppose to be this super smart person, and write mystery stories, but he’s blind to the situation right in front of him? Does not make any freaking sense.

I feel like up to the point that I’ve read that I missed certain things. Was I suppose to read between the lines? I’m not sure, but I couldn’t take this story any longer, and I had to bow out. I didn’t like the guys, or story line. The potential for Silas and Ben to get together took to long and was pointless. I wish, I could have liked it, but I was happy to close the book on this for good.

About Allison Cassatta

I am a married, 33 year old, female, with no children. By trade I am a network engineer with far too many years under my belt. My first book was published in 2010 by Kerlak Publishing, followed by a short story in 2011 through Dreamspinner Press. I don’t have any formal training, I simply write what I feel. I have a vivid imagination and love building dream worlds for my readers to escape to.

I recently discovered that I am a hopeless romantic and that usually makes for some very turbulent stories. As most know, love is a mountain and at its peak there’s infinite beauty, but it’s best appreciated after a difficult climb… that’s how I write. The world would be a boring place if we didn’t have to fight a little for what we wanted, now wouldn’t it.

Guest Post & Giveaway with Allison Cassatta

Oh My Shelves welcomes author Allison Cassatta to the blog. She’s here to talk about “When Loves Goes Bad” and to  drop off an exclusive excerpt from her newest release Dearly Stalked out January 23, 2017. We are giving away $10 Dreamspinner Gift Certificate to one lucky commentator below! Don’t forget to comment and give a big welcome to Allison Cassatta for being here!

When Love Goes Bad

Many adults, those who have had the pleasure–or in some cases, displeasure–of falling in love, know that love doesn’t always end like it does in fairy tales, with white weddings and happily ever afters. Sometimes, the person you fell so head over heels for, who was going to be your alpha and omega, doesn’t turn out to be the person you thought they were. They might lie, or cheat, or maybe you just can’t deal with the fact they took the last cup of coffee and didn’t bother making more. Whatever the reason, you figure out that they’re not the one for you.

But how many people can say that the inevitable break-up turned so sour they actually feared for their life? In Dearly Stalked, one of our heroes gets to see first hand how falling in love with someone who isn’t necessarily stable in the brain can turn a person’s world upside down. Have you ever had someone go crazy on you after a breakup? How did you handle it?

I’m not going to show you the decline of any of the relationships in the book because well, I think that might ruin the way the relationships develop, plus I’m not ready to give any secrets away. This excerpt is from Morgan and Ben. It’s the hook-up. *wink*

 

Exclusive Excerpt

Thank God Ben had to drive less than a quarter of a mile to get back to the precinct, and most of that was maneuvering back onto Union Avenue. He pulled up, parked his squad car, went inside to turn in his paperwork and clock out, then changed into his gym clothes so he could work out before going home.

Hey, Logan,” someone yelled from behind him.

Ben lifted his head. It was one of the Charlie-shift guys. Brown. Ben always avoided him because Morgan Brown triggered all the wrong responses for Ben. He had the piercing blue eyes that sparkled like diamonds against his tan skin. Short curls of golden blond twisted out from his scalp. Kid had to have been a surfer before moving to Memphis and joining the force. They sure as shit didn’t make ’em like that here, and his accent sounded more West Coast than Deep South.

I’m off tonight,” Brown said. “What are you getting into?”

Headin’ to the gym,” Ben muttered, half hoping his faked lack of interest would put Brown off any more interrogating. It didn’t. Brown sat down right beside him. The wooden bench jostled enough for Ben to grab its edge.

Skip the gym.” Brown gave Ben’s arm a playful punch. “You’ve got mad guns already, dude. Come hang out and have a beer with me.”

Why? For what reason? We’re not friends. “I’m not a big drinker.”

Then drink small,” Brown quipped with a wink.

What. The. Fuck? Where was this attention coming from? Morgan Brown had never spoken two words to Ben before. They weren’t chummy, not even a little, and Ben was pretty fucking certain if he told his fellow officer about the not-so-little man crush he had on him, then Morgan wouldn’t want to hang out and have a few beers. Jesus H. Christ, Ben did not want to spend his night sucking down booze while fighting the urge to suck face with someone who could potentially ruin his career.

Stop thinking so hard,” Brown said. “This isn’t a life-or-death situation.”

Ben snorted.

Two beers. Then I’ll let you go home.”

You’ll let me go home?” Ben arched a brow.

You know what I mean.”

Who else is going?”

Nobody.” Brown leaned in a little closer. His cologne nailed Ben right in his olfactory, but dammit he smelled good. Like he’d just climbed out of a hot shower and took a run through an evergreen forest or something. Shit. Brown whispered, “I don’t really know anyone, and they don’t really seem to want to know me. You know?”

No,” Ben said flatly, reclaiming his personal space before little Ben decided to steal the show. He shifted on the bench, turning more toward his locker, hoping the renewed lack of interest would put Brown off enough to make him get up and walk away. It didn’t work. Brown didn’t budge. “Look, I just wanna go to the gym and go home.” Exasperation dripped from Ben’s voice. He couldn’t help it, didn’t care to help it. Brown needed to know he was seriously pushing his luck and trying the shit out of Ben’s patience.

Then let me work out with you.”

Dammit. Ben sighed. “I prefer working out alone.”

Then tell me to go the fuck away.”

Brow furrowing, Ben turned a pointed stare on his tormenter. He couldn’t believe Brown actually said that. He couldn’t believe how aggravated Brown sounded.

What the hell is your problem?” Ben asked.

How the hell can you be so oblivious?”

Book Info

Dearly Stalked: by Allison Cassatta
Release Date: January 23, 2017
Pages: 266 • Format: e-Book
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerBarnes & NobleAmazon

Writing crime novels catapulted Memphis native Silas Cooper to fame and fortune, but when his words backfire and he becomes trapped in what could be one of his books, he needs a hero of his own.


Silas’s publicist insists he hire a personal assistant, and Silas chooses Scott Kramer. But before Scott starts, he already has a round of steamy phone sex to hold over Silas’s head, and his interest in his boss isn’t decreasing.

Benjamin Logan joined the Army to see the world, and while deployed he read every one of Silas’s books. With his military career over, Ben is back in Memphis working for the police department—and attempting a deeply closeted relationship with fellow cop Morgan Brown.

Over coffee, Silas and Ben become friends who support each other as relationships fall apart, and the attraction between them slowly emerges. When a dangerous stalker threatens Silas, it’s up to Ben to stop him.

If Ben fails, Silas might not live to tell this story… and Ben might not be able to live with himself.

 

Author Info

I am a married, 33 year old, female, with no children. By trade I am a network engineer with far too many years under my belt. My first book was published in 2010 by Kerlak Publishing, followed by a short story in 2011 through Dreamspinner Press. I don’t have any formal training, I simply write what I feel. I have a vivid imagination and love building dream worlds for my readers to escape to.

I recently discovered that I am a hopeless romantic and that usually makes for some very turbulent stories. As most know, love is a mountain and at its peak there’s infinite beauty, but it’s best appreciated after a difficult climb… that’s how I write. The world would be a boring place if we didn’t have to fight a little for what we wanted, now wouldn’t it. Allison can be reached at the following places:

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/101105647923210482296

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/allison.cassatta.page/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/allisoncassatta

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/allisoncassatta/

Tumblr – http://allisoncassatta.tumblr.com/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/allisoncassatta/

Blog – http://allisoncassatta.blogspot.com/

 

∗∗∗∗Giveaway∗∗∗∗

Comment below for a chance to win $10 Dreamspinner Gift Certificate

 

The Mighty Have Fallen by Bonnie Dee

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

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

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

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

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

two-stars.

Exactly my thoughts after reading this.

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

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

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

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

About Bonnie Dee

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

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

Cemeteries By Moonlight by Hunter Frost

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.

Cemeteries by Moonlight: by Hunter Frost
Series: States of Love
Release Date:
Pages: 108 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonBarnes & Noble

When a serious bout of writer’s block threatens to delay mystery author Drew Daniels’s newest book, his aunt offers her New Orleans apartment in the heart of the French Quarter as a writing retreat. She neglects to mention that it’s occupied by the enigmatic and sexy Finn Murphy, a cemetery tour guide with a penchant for Victorian attire and a Cajun accent.

A body discovered in an open crypt forces reclusive Drew to deal with Finn’s eccentric group of friends and his underlying attraction to the hot Cajun—despite warnings about Finn’s violent past. Drew might write this stuff, but he’s never had to solve a real-life murder. With a deadline looming and a killer on the loose, this retreat is proving to be anything but helpful for Drew’s novel. Drew can only hope he won’t end up a tragic tale for the Ghostly Legends & Lore, Inc. haunted tour.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

two-stars

For a book that is only 108 pages it took me close to 4 days to finish it. I like giving new authors to me a try. I’ve never read anything by Hunter Frost and I really loved the cover. I’m usually all for books set in New Orleans. I think books set in this place give the story an extra swagger, and the city has so much history and knowledge involved that I was expecting it to wow me.

It did not move me at all. In fact, it took everything in me to not DNF this book. Besides the copious amounts of details that took away from the story, Drew & Finn were both dull. It didn’t mesh well for me. Everything happened to easy for liking. Come on, they do not know each other and they are going to go off and solve a potential murder together. The whole Drew having Tourette’s syndrome didn’t seem authentic enough for me. I feel like if you are going to give your mc a condition of any kind, then him galvanizing to solve murders without a single tic seems weird. I’m not the know all or be all when it concerns Tourette’s syndrome, but I like my books to kinda feel realistic about it and since it wasn’t a fantasy book then I expected it to be real.

Finn came off sketchy to me. The nice guy routine is what serial killers do to befriend people into trusting the them. He sometimes seemed genuine and others super aloof. I never got a good read on him. I didn’t even bat an eye to him and Drew. Drew blew me with his misguided assumptions. I just never warmed up to the story. I did think the writing was good, and yeah as many damn details that was in it at least some parts of the story I seemed to take to.

This book wasn’t for me. Hopefully in the future Frost and I will work out.

About Hunter Frost

Hunter’s early addiction to the smell of printed books led her to spend most of her childhood in libraries and bookstores. There she fell in love with stories featuring medieval castles, ghosts, and handsome heroes. Though writing has always been a part of her life, after college she went on to explore careers in graphic design, the culinary arts, and dog grooming before returning to graduate school to get her MA in British history. To pay the bills she spends her days working for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, but to appease her overactive muse, she writes the kind of fiction that keeps her sane. She adores romance in all forms, but prefers her stories with two heroes that find their happily-ever-after with each other.

Hunter would rather watch Spaceballs (or any Mel Brooks movies really), despite being born in the same year as Star Wars. She loves Monty Python, MST3K, and cheesy rom-coms from the ’80s and ’90s. Her wacky sense of humor is only paralleled by her hopeless romanticism. She’s a goth at heart and a sucker for men with long hair. She adores everything British, but insists tea be drunk without milk. She’s a pescetarian with vegan tendencies and has two fat little cats named after her favorite beverage – Latte and Java. She dreams of coastal living, marshmallows, and Matt Bomer.

Feel free to connect with her through any of her social media accounts, or send her an email. She welcomes messages from readers and/or Brits looking to adopt.

The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin

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 Impossible Boy: by Anna Martin
Release Date: January 16, 2017
Pages: 204 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Pres
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonKobo

This is not your average love story.

Ben Easton is not your average romantic hero. He’s a tattooed, badass, wannabe rock star, working in a perfectly horrible dive bar in Camden Town. His life is good, and he’s totally unprepared for how one man will turn it upside down.

Stan isn’t your average heroine. As a gender-fluid man, he proudly wears his blond hair long, his heels sky-high, and his makeup perfectly executed. A fashion industry prodigy, Stan is in London after stints working in Italy and New York City, and he quickly falls for Ben’s devil-may-care attitude and the warm, soft heart Ben hides behind it.

Beneath the perfect, elegant exterior, Stan has plenty of scars from teenage battles with anorexia. And it only takes the slightest slip for his demons to rush back in while Ben is away touring with his band. With the band on the brink of a breakthrough, Ben is forced to find a way to balance the opportunity of a lifetime with caring for his beautiful boyfriend.

four-stars

This book was on its way to becoming a 5 star book for me. What stopped it was an incident in the story. I don’t feel like it was authentic enough and it happened out of nowhere. That pissed me off more. I guess I was looking for signs to point out this, and then thought signs weren’t needed. It’s something one of the MC’s has dealt with most of his life. Even after knowing this, I’m not happy. The joy I was feeling throughout reading this was dwindled down to nothing. I worried, and angst over these two. Didn’t see how they were going to come out on the other side, but no worries I think Anna Martin prevailed. The Impossible Boy is a lovely story. Told through dual pov’s from the mc’s. They both come from different walks of life and fall in love.

I truly adored Ben. Ben is super amazing. I think I feel in love with Ben from the very start. He was kind, and its a word I would describe most people in life. He was kind to a person whom he didn’t know. He should Stan a kindness that he wasn’t sure he would get. Ben is automatically intrigued upon seeing Stan for the first time. Stan walks in looking like a million buck and Ben sees his prey in sight. Ben is working two jobs and being in a ban. He loves his life, doesn’t see reason to change it, and sees Stan and immediately taken by him. Ben is who he is. He doesn’t change, apologize for being who he is or liking what he likes.

Stan is fabulous. Left home at 15 to explore the world and never looked back. For being so young, and independent Stan has it together better then most people. I love Stan’s definition of who he is. He isn’t trying to conform to anyone’s society and love what he represents. He has some past issues and is learning to cope with them each day. I do love how he stays his ground and is firm on what he knows his body, soul, and mind needs.

Ben & Stan together is pure magic. I truly think the love at first sight thing works here. Both guys are drawn into one another very easily. They just fit into one another life like a missing puzzle piece. Ben with his nurturing personality, and Stan with his kindness work well. It’s not wonder that things moved fast for these two. I can see them falling in love on page, and I was so happy.

While I’m not happy with a certain part of the story, I still loved this. I can definitely see myself re-reading this. Anna Martin did a really great job with this gender-fluid story. I think she handled it with care. This is a definite recommend for me, and the cover is amazing!!!

About Anna Martin

Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south- west of England and now lives in the slightly arty, slightly quirky city of Bristol. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.

Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theater (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, baking weird and wonderful sweets, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.

Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading, and creative ass kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.

The Applicant by Aidee Ladnier

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 Applicant: by Aidee Ladnier
Series: Busted Labs #1
Release Date: January 11, 2017
Pages: 47 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

2nd Edition

How can something so cuddly and adorable be so destructive? The teddy bear robot decimating his lab is only the first disaster of the day for roboticist Forbes Pohle. If he can figure out how to end its rampage, he still has to interview applicants for the position of research assistant and convince the time traveler on his doorstop that they should be making their future right now.

Oliver Lennox didn’t travel back in time to have a quickie in the blast chamber—but it certainly is fun. This younger Forbes is a sweeter, more innocent version of his lover. And it will be hard to leave him behind in the past.

If you like sexy nerds, humor, plenty of action, and a love story not even time can disrupt, this romantic adventure has the perfect credentials for the job.

First Edition published as The Applicant (or Virgins, Robot Bears, and Other Disasters) by Torquere Press, 2012.

two-stars

I liked the idea behind the story more then the execution of it. This was my first read from this author, and I don’t have anything else to compare it to. I am getting into the idea of time travel tropes, and it had good bones to the story, but everything went so fast, and it was not enough background information for me to enjoy Oliver and Forbes his together. I thought the teddy bear bit was funny, and cute. It held my interest, and had me guessing what could be, but other then that I was a tad disappointed. I really do feel like it could have been so much better if it was at least 100 pages. For me because it was an established couple, I felt like they needed time and room to grow on page as well. I don’t know how to feel about each guy, well I kinda wanted more explanation out of Oliver. His reasoning on coming back didn’t sit clear to me. I did find myself kinda confused with his reason. I don’t know much about Forbes because everyone else was explaining his person instead of him. I’d like to give this author another shot in the future, but I can’t recommend this.

About Aidee Ladnier

Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, send ping pong balls into space, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.

Ezi & Mika Dual Review: Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen

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.

Block and Strike: by Kelly Jensen
Release Date: January 6, 2017
Pages: 266 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

four-stars

It’s rare for Ezi and I to want to read the same book. We have completely different taste on books. She wants the angst, and I want to kick it for a punt return. Hell we wanted this book for different reasons. Ezi immediately stated that the blurb was angsty, I wanted it for the child mentioned and the hurt comfort it seemed to be throwing out there. He’s our first dual review ever on Oh My Shelves. Hope you guys enjoys it.

Ezi’s Review

I liked this story because this is a love story that the author took time to develop. This story was well written and the main characters were constructed methodically.

Jacob “Jake” Kendricks was a man who let his temper get the best of him at times, which resulted in a stint in prison. When he was released, Jake resolved to lay low and piece his life back together starting with rebuilding his relationship with his nine-year-old daughter Caroline.

Jake finds his neighbor Gareth Maxwell “Max” Wilson on the steps of their apartment building, beaten to a pulp. After Jake takes Max to the hospital, Jake’s kind heart makes him take pity on a young bullied guy. A sweet friendship developed ensued and later blossomed into love for Jake and Max.

This story was not a fast insta-love type of romance. It was a layered story where the author took her time to build up the characters. I felt invested in both Jake and Max as individual struggling with their various issues as well as their budding romance which was wrought with trust issues. Both characters had to learn to depend on the other as well as heal their own hearts from past hurts.

I haven’t read this author before, but I enjoyed the story-telling. I empathized with all the characters and couldn’t help but root for them. My only issue was the slow pace of the story. I understand it was necessary to really focus on individual struggles of both Jake and Max, but I was hoping for the romance to get underway a lot faster. It also took a while for the author to reveal why Jake spent in prison and I got impatient. Still, at the end I was left very satisfied with the ending. Jake and Max healing each other made everything worth it.

Mika’s Review

Talk about a slow burner! Goodness, my add wasn’t going to allow me to participate any longer if things didn’t happen at the correct time. It’s my third book by Kelly Jensen, and I really love how relatable and realistic her stories make me feel. This book was no different. Jake & Max are two individuals who needed a Win in life. They both have struggled with various issues that has happened to them.

I really adored Jake’s character. I loved how he wanted to protective Max, teach Max, and love Max in a way that he hasn’t been yet. Jake struggles seems minuscule compared to everything Max goes through in this story, but Jake has a way to go. He has to deal with his actions that lead him to prison. In the blink of an eye his life change, and the person who suffered the most was Caroline his daughter. I think Max is good for Jake because being with him teaches Jake patience, and makes Jake want to keep his temper in check.

Max, oh max. Goodness, he pulled at my heart strings continuously. I am so surprised that I didn’t cry. I didn’t shed not one tear, but I really empathized with his character. Max didn’t have any hope for his future. He seems so despondent about life, and yeah life has completed effed him over. No parents to love him, no family to cherish him, and he’s only 22 but seems so much older. I am uber grateful for Jake. Yeah, Jake’s issues is what caused Max pain unbeknownst to both guys, but it also allowed Max to see what real love is. Jake’s love, teaches, friendship and family allowed Max to open up and be confident. It allowed Max a glimpse of a future that is obtainable if he wanted it.

This redemption story on both parts was equally good. It’s a slow burner for sure. The romance is in the background and while it plays a major role, I’d like to think both guys have healing and growing to do separately and together was more important. I will tell you from the books I’ve read by Jensen, that I’ve come to really appreciate her take on the realistic fiction trope in Gay Romance. I love how relatable and normal they are. These are everyday people in her stories, they could be your spouses, brothers, fathers, uncles, and cousins. This is a definite recommend for me. I really liked it!

About Kelly Jensen

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Born in Australia and raised everywhere else, Kelly now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter and herd of four cats. After disproving the theory that water only spins counter-clockwise around drains north of the equator, she turned her attention to more productive pursuits such as reading, writing, writing about reading and writing stories of her own. She also enjoys volunteering at her local library, playing video games and holds a brown belt in Kiryoku, a martial art combining Shotokan, Aikido and Tang Soo Do. Her family is not intimidated by her.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, short stories, and this bio. She does not consider this bio a seminal work. Her books are much more interesting (and definitely sexier). You can view a list of them here. She has been writing reviews of books and video games for web and print magazines for nearly fifteen years. Her book reviews can be found at SFCrowsnest, Goodreads and here, on her blog.

Currently, she is working on several projects, including a science fiction romance series co-authored with her best friend and writing partner, Jenn Burke. The first three books of the Chaos Station series are available now, with the fourth due in January 2016 from Carina Press.

A Coal Miner’s Son by T.A. Chase

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 Coal Miner’s Son: by T.A. Chase
Series: States of Love 
Release Date: January 4, 2017
Pages: 104 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner PressAmazon

James Callahan is the only son of Nicholas Callahan, owner of the Willow Hollow mine in West Virginia—but he’s never considered himself any better than the miners. He’s best friends with Owain Rees, one of the miners’ kids, and he’s been attracted to Cai, Owain’s older brother, for years. James gets the feeling he might not be the only one sensing the tension between them, but Cai avoids him religiously.

Cai has been working the mine since he was sixteen. He acknowledges James is cute, but he’s grown up privileged while Cai’s family has always been working class, and Cai fears that chasm is too wide to cross. When family drama pushes them together, will Cai and James see they’re more alike than they realized?

Take a leap of faith as two men from different worlds, employer and employee, rich and poor, discover that love transcends social barriers.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

four-stars

My first T.A. Chase book, and it was a sweet fluffy romance! I really enjoyed this story and loved the romance between the two. This series continues to be really sweet and good. Cai and James are kinda enemies. James is the rich son of the boss in Willows Hollow. Cai’s family is a founding family of Willow’s Hollow and he doesn’t take kind to strangers and people who are hoyty toyty. He thinks James is exactly like his father. Well they both come to learn the other isn’t what they same.

I really liked James character in this story. He was the complete opposite of what anyone could expect of him. He is the only child, and he’s super down to earth. He kinda wishes he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s so nice, comforting, and realizing now he wants to be in love. Except he’s in love with Cai, his best friend’s brother. Cai who ignores him constantly and thinks the worst of him.

I really don’t get why Cai disliked James so much. He never really had a conversation with him outside of work. He’s never seen him socially, and never gotten to know him. I honestly think Cai disliked him to be a petulant child. I did like Cai, he was a overall good guy. He seemed a little high strung at times, but that can be attributed to the town he stays in and the people he deals with.

After a stressful event, Cai ends up at James house. It’s unexpected for both guys, but the invitation was out there. They realized after much debate how much they are interested in one another. The was a bit of a slow burn, but I really liked the two together. I thought they were cute how they handled one another. All in all, I think this was a really good story. It had a few hiccups along with the way with names in the wrong places, and a mixed up paragraph or so. Overall, I’d recommend this story. Two guys who are meant to be but don’t know it comes together beautifully.

About T.A. Chase

There is beauty in every kind of love, so why not live a life without boundaries? Experiencing everything the world offers fascinates me and writing about the things that make each of us unique is how I share those insights. I live in the Midwest with a wonderful partner of thirteen years. When not writing, I’m watching movies, reading and living life to the fullest.