Idlewild by Jude Sierra

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.

Idlewild: by Jude Sierra
Release Date: December 1, 2016
Pages: 250 • Format: eARC
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
AmazonInterlude Press

Asher Schenck and his husband John opened their downtown gastropub at the start of Detroit’s revival. Now, five years after John’s sudden death, Asher is determined to pull off a revival of his own. In a last ditch attempt to bring Idlewild back to life, he fires everyone and hires a new staff. Among them is Tyler Heyward, a recent college graduate in need of funds to pay for medical school. Tyler is a cheery balm for Asher’s soul, and their relationship quickly shifts from business to friendship. When they fall for each other, it is not the differences of race or class that challenge their love, but the ghosts and expectations of their respective pasts. Will they remain stuck or move toward a life neither of them has allowed himself to dream about?

 

four-stars

“It happens. Love is a constant practice and it’s not always easy”.

A slow burner romance, about friendships, family, forgiveness, second chance love, vulnerability and being true to yourself.

Wow. Didn’t expect this at all.  I initially requested this book to read based off the cover. I hadn’t heard about Jude Sierra or anything, and I’m so happy that I read this book. My thoughts are all over the place seeing as I just finished reading it and wanted to get a review done immediately. The one thought that keeps repeating itself in my mind is vulnerability. I haven’t felt vulnerable from reading a book in a long time. Sierra writes so beautifully, and the best thing about this story was the complete utter focus on Asher & Tyler. It’s like standing in a whirlwind situation, but being laser focused on one specific thing. It’s how I would describe the authors complete devotion to these two.

I’m in awe on how much I love both guys. Tyler is super vulnerable in this story, but he shines so bright, and he’s so sweet that hurts when he hurts. Every description on him being able to change or adapt to someone’s else standard was like a knife in my stomach. From the very beginning, I was compelled by him. I really did like seeing all the different sides to Tyler. He is a sweet guy, and reading about him wanting things to work, or settling because he wanted to be loved just put my emotions in over drive. There were glimpse of the real Tyler. They came out when he passionate about something, and his city was something he was definitely passionate about. Another thing that I feel in love with was the author’s descriptions about Detroit. It’s like a 3rd home for me, seeing as I have family there and drive there quite often. I’ve never seen Detroit how they see it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a tourist. I see Detroit as something completely different, but reading it from their experience has left me wanting to visit this magical place. Jude has done a really great job of equating daily present events, thoughts, and feelings about this city into something magical. You don’t fall in love with just Asher & Tyler, but being in the city and witnessing from there experience makes you want to almost be there.

Asher, Asher, Asher. He’s grieving in the beginning of this story. He’s a widower at a young age, and the death of his husband is to much to handle. He’s lost focus on important things, and even letting himself go. It takes him a few years to realize that life is moving on around him, and their dream of Idlewild is slowly dying. He decides to take the bull by the horn so to speak and give life back into Idlewild. While doing that he makes himself believe that he hasn’t forgotten John, but he’s over it. This story was extremely character driven. I mean its a really good story where everything you can think of the author covers it. From every little response, reaction, feeling and the initial meeting of Tyler its there.

I didn’t like the tense it was written in at first, but after awhile I couldn’t make myself put it down. I didn’t expect so many emotions to come up while reading this. I have love for both guys, and I would have like to see more even at the end of them. I wanted to see the parents reactions and first meetings!! Argh, I feel a little cheated. Gah, Jude if you read this review, could you write a follow up novella please. I really want to see more of these two, and thank you for writing Asher & Tyler’s story. I think this story will stick with me for the rest of the year.

About Jude Sierra

Jude began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”.

As a sucker for happy endings and well written emotional arcs and characters, Jude is an unapologetic bookaholic. She finds bookstores and libraries unbearably sexy and, to her husband’s dismay, is attempting to create her own in their living room.

She is a writer of many things that hope to find their way out of the sanctuary of her hard drive, and many that have found a home in a fanfiction community.

She is currently working on her Master of Arts in Writing and Rhetoric and managing a home filled with her husband, two young sons, and two cats. Her first novel, Hush, was published in 2015 by Interlude Press. What it Takes, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, is her second novel. Idlewild, a contemporary LGBT romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus reviews and is now available.

You Are Not Me by Leta Blake

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.

you-are-not-me-coverYou Are Not Me: by Leta Blake
Series:’90s Coming of Age, #2
Release Date: November 29, 2016
Pages:328 • Format: eARC
Published By: Leta Blake Books
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Follow Peter into the summer following his senior year to face new beginnings, new friends, and old baggage.

After a tumultuous final year of high school, Peter Mandel needs a break. It’s the summer of 1991, and his secret relationship with his ‘best friend’ Adam Algedi is put on hold as Adam goes away to Italy for the summer. On the cusp of adulthood, Peter has a couple of months to explore who he is without Adam at his side.

Enter Daniel McPeak, a slightly older, out, responsible college guy with a posse of gay friends and an attraction for Peter. Drawn into the brave new world of the local gay club, Peter embarks on a whirlwind of experiences—good and bad—which culminate in a hotel room where he has to make the ultimate choice.

But Adam will come back eventually, and there are promises that have to be kept. As autumn draws near and college awaits, can Peter break free of the binds of twisted first love? And what exactly is Daniel’s role in his life – a brief temptation, or something more?

Join Peter in the second book of this four-part coming of age series as he struggles to love and be loved, and grow into a gay man worthy of his own respect.

five-stars

This was my Zhush!!!! Leta Blake is am Auto-buy author for me. This book just highlights everything I love about her words and characters.

Definitely a favorite of 2016. I think I tried to read it in one sitting, but work got in the way! Leta Blake’s pen game is sickening. She damn near had me using an entire box of Kleenex! Okay, I used about 3/4 of the box. By the end, I just wanted it to be over for everyone. This damn cliffy is going to kill me.

I loved everything about this! Here’s some checkpoints on the awesomeness that was book 2 in this amazing series so far.

√ I am uber in love with Daniel.
√ Minty should be my new best friend.
√ Mike is amazaeballs.
√ Peter is Peter.
√ Minty, Antonio, Windy, Barry, Robert is my life.
√ I loved Peter’s ideal of love and hope.
√ Daniel better get an HEA after all of this.
√ I’m never sad to see Adam go.
√  His selfishness new no bounds.
√ Jeremy should die a painful death.
√ I liked Bobby.
√ I cried for Harry.
√ I might conisder buying a tutu in honor of Minty.
√ I totally wanted to hulk rage on Adam by the end of this book.

I am so in love with everything that happened in this book. I cried so many times during it, and I wasn’t as mad at Peter unlike book one. I think Peter did a lot of growing this book. He’s on his own for the summer while Adam is away in Rome. Peter is deciding to take his life into his own hands. He wants to experience things as a Gay man. I think it was hard for me to not want to get angry at all his mistakes but they were his to make. I adore his father so much. I am even at  a little bit of peace with his mother. I am happy at the progress that they were able to make as a family. I don’t think Peter realizes how he lucked out on parents and being okay with his sexuality. I loved seeing Peter’s vulnerabilities in this book. In book one, he showed them alot, but since this was from Peter’s pov entirely I think we got to see inside his head way more.

You Are Not Me is an emotional rollercoaster. It picks up immediately after book one. Peter is alone with his thoughts for the summer. Adam is still Adam. In  book one, I was kinda rooting for him, but by the end of this book he’s still the manipulating P.O.S that he always is. He doesn’t know what he’s doing mentally and emotionally to Peter. Yeah, Adam isn’t to blame for everything, but he’s played such a major part of his own demise that his shamefulness and guilt ways heavy on his mind! I get Peter wanting to stick with Adam to show him that their love can overcome anything, it made me so mad at times because Peter has this grandiose love mindset that he wasn’t able to see that he can be this guy for someone that’s more deserving. Leta does a wonderful job at creating these flawed characters who we all can relate to in some way.

This was  a more transitional story for Peter. He’s on the cusp of being an Adult and starting school. He’s ventured out of all of his comfort zones. He’s gone after things he wants, and explained in absolute detail on why he wants the things that he does. I don’t know if this is the end to Adam. Adam is that guy who’s going to be married with children and a secret profile on Grindr. It sickens me that he doesn’t think about destroying the two people he’s involved with. I won’t go into spoilery details on the plot. Just know that this book is definitely A+ material. I am so looking forward to book three, and more tears. I really hope a few of my guys get an Hea, or a book about them. Highly recommend this series!

About Leta Blake

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan

favorite Training Season, Leta Blake's educational and professional background is in psychology

and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting

romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S.,

Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

Pictures of You (’90s Coming of Age #1) by Leta Blake

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: Pictures of You by: Leta Blake
Series: ’90s Coming of Age, #1
Release Date:Sept. 19, 2016
Pages: 316 • Format: eARC
Published By: Leta Blake Books
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Growing up gay isn’t easy. Growing up gay in Knoxville, Tennessee is even harder.

Eighteen-year-old Peter Mandel, a private school senior—class of 1990—is passionate about photography. Peter doesn’t have many friends preferring to shoot pictures from behind the scenes to keep his homosexuality secret.

Enter Adam Algedi, a charming, worldly new guy who doesn’t do labels, but does want to do Peter. Hardly able to believe gorgeous Adam would want geeky, skinny him of all people, Peter’s swept away on a journey of first love and sexual discovery. But as their mutual web of lies spins tighter and tighter, can Peter find the confidence he needs to make the right choices?

Join Peter, in the first of a four-part coming of age series, on his search to love and be loved, and, most of all, how to grow into a gay man worthy of his own respect.

four-stars

The main thing I would tell readers!!!

Pictures of You is about heartbreak, sadness, love, and understanding. It’s about two young men falling in love in the early 90’s in Knoxville, Tennessee in their senior year of High School.

I am so shocked at myself, it was emotional at many different of times, but I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would. I’m also a fan of Adam!!! Don’t throw anything at me. I think I understand Adam so much, and his reasoning. He made me what to kidnap him and take him somewhere where he can be free. He also made me want to eviscerate him time and time again. **Big Sighs**, Oh Peter, Peter the Eater! I love you. I don’t know if I was this smart at 18. Peter was smart, but stupidly in love. I really enjoyed this story. The first time I picked it up, I cried at the beginning. I decided to pick it up at a later date, and now that I decided to give it a second chance, I was just blown away at the level of writing. Leta Blake is a definite auto-buy author for me. I love how her characters resonates with her readers. We might not be able to personalize with each character, but I guarantee you that we will be able to point out a detail on why they are just like me.

There was so many moments that I wanted Peter to open your eyes hun, he isn’t going to choose you moments. I don’t know if it was a relief when Peter came to that conclusion himself, because in doing so Peter excepted anything that was thrown at him. I loved Peter’s thought process. I thought he was such a splendid character. I really loved the time that he was around his Dad. Oh, that was super emotional for me as well. I’m one of the few people in romance that is okay with Cheating. Yeah, I know some people get ragey crazy mad, but cheating is normal. It happens daily, and in this story it was no better. Peter accepted the cheating and that hit me in the throat. Being in love with Adam had to be to hard. I know what its like to be in the love for the very first time. Its like sunshine, daisies and hearts galore. Its like feeling on top of the world. Adam!!!! **Grr**, I have to grr when I speak his name. I don’t want to say he was leading Peter on, but I do want to say he didn’t have to give up anything. Let me be clear, I understand Adam. His background, home life is as acceptable as Peter’s is. I don’t think Adam got the guise that he can end up leaving Knoxville at any time, and Peter is left broken and hurt. Sure Adam is going to be hurt, but I do think he was selfish enough to be in love with two people. That part hurt-ed me the most.

This is a 4 part series, and I can only imagine the level of emotions that I’m going to go through from each book. I will do this because Leta Blake proves to be amazing, and I love her writing. Sure this books leaves us with no HEA. I am happy with that, but I am so scared of whats to come. I only hope that Peter decided to put himself as a priority this go around. College is on the horizon, and both guys will be experiencing new things. Bravo, Mrs. Blake.

About Leta Blake

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan

favorite Training Season, Leta Blake's educational and professional background is in psychology

and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting

romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S.,

Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

Dark & Dazzling by Elizabeth Varlet

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: Dark & Dazzling by Elizabeth Varlet
Series: Sassy Boyz #2
Release Date: November 7, 2016
Pages:262 • Format: eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links:
AmazonGoogle PlayKobo

Z doesn’t need a hero…

Azariah “Z” Hayes is a diamond. Equal parts strength and sparkle, he’s more than capable of standing on his own stilettos. So if waiting tables and stripping at The Vibe are what it takes to keep a roof over his head, well, there are worse ways to earn a living.

Connelly is a white knight with a badge…

For NYPD detective Connelly Reid, to serve and protect is just another day at the office—even if that means protecting himself from his own true desires. He’s been curious about Z, his waiter, for months, but it’s not until he sees him in his makeup and heels that the curiosity becomes a fierce attraction. Z, despite all his over-the-top dazzle, might just be the man Connelly has been waiting for his entire life.

But when Connelly investigates underground porn and drug activity with ties to The Vibe, one thing becomes very clear—acting on what he knows is going to hurt Z, financially and emotionally. And though Connelly would love nothing more than to fix all of Z’s problems, no amount of mind-blowing sex can make Z comfortable becoming dependent on his lover. Yet if there’s one thing Connelly knows from his years on the force, it’s this: when things go bad, you need a trusted partner to have your back.

four-stars


Alot more angst then I’m willing to read. Jeez, it was hard to wade through at times.

Hmmm…. This book was a lot to take in. Z and Connelly were two completely different guys from Ansel & Fitch. I like that they were different, but goodness I would have rather the romance to just have been the focal point. You have Azariah,  who will never except a handout or help. Connelly is constantly helping out. It’s a clash waiting to happen. For Azariah, he’s never depended on anyone and will refuse help just to not look weak or needy. That’s all Connelly knows. He is the person who will help until its not fair to him anymore. They don’t call him Boy Scout for nothing. I wanted him to be a lot more selfish earlier in the story. He has so much on his shoulders that he’s not living life to me.

It wasn’t fall in love fest like book one. I wasn’t immediately smitten with these two. It took time, and work for them to payoff. I think because the plot played such a heavier influence on these two, that it was barriers put up between the two. I hope you get what I meant. Connelly’s job played a bigger role in who he was. All his life he’s had to help out, and be the surrogate man in his family’s life since his father passed, that it is no wonder he goes for the fixer upper guys. Every single one of his ex’s needed help and after getting any form of help from Connelly they bounced. I don’t know if Connelly liked it that way, but he wasn’t able to ever see a future with anyone because of his loyalties elsewhere. I think the chemistry between these two were electric. I like that Azariah wasn’t so passive when it came to Connelly. They just seem to mesh well with one another. Azariah is a hard nut to crack. When it actuality he isn’t. He’s used to be on his own, and to be so young he’s super cynical when it comes to love. This is a man who’s only form of love died when he was 12. His mother is the only person ever in his life to see him shine, accept him, and love him unequivocally.

“I’m a realist all the way. Reality is dark and gritty and completely fucked–up.”

There was a few moments that Azariah completely pissed me off. I thought he was completely selfish, but I had a hard time staying angry because Connelly was super accepted. I think he accepted it shows more to his nurturing side as well. I do felt like the plot was a bit to much at times. I wish it could have been toned down so we got more time for these two to grown and love.

It was a really good story. I enjoyed seeing more of the Sassy Boyz and can’t wait to read Lirim’s book next. That boy is just asking to be held and protected. I liked these two together and yeah they haven’t been together that long by the end of the book, but I can see these two together for a while. Their personality just meshes well together.

About Elizabeth Varlet

Elizabeth Varlet is a nerd at heart and spends way too many hours binging on episodes of her favorite television shows. If you love Doctor Who, Supernatural, Stargate, Star Trek, Sherlock, or Firefly you are already her best friend.

She started writing stories in high school and hasn’t stopped. Now, her characters like to get frisky under the covers – or the stars, they’re not picky. She’s a thirty-something, newly married, world traveler who devours books like they were candy.

To contact Elizabeth, send her an email to elizabethvarlet@gmail.com. Or follow her on any of her social media sites.

Infected: Undertow by Andrea Speed

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.

o-infected-undertowInfected: Undertow by Andrea Speed
Series: Infected, Book Seven
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Pages: 350 • Format: eARC
Published By: DSP Publications
Purchase Links:
DSPAmazon Kobo

2nd Edition

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds

Now Roan is locked in a coma as the struggle between his human and werecat sides reaches a new extreme. All Dylan can do is sit, wait, and think.

Meanwhile, Roan’s assistant, Holden, wants to shed his old street life and his relationship with Scott, but he can’t seem to do either. Holden doesn’t want a relationship with Scott but finds himself drawn to him all the same, even if he can never fully reveal his past.

With Roan out of commission, Holden looks into the murder of an old friend. At the same time, Fiona takes on a case about underground death matches between infecteds—one with connections to the Church of the Divine Transformation.

Finally Roan wakes only to discover that his shifts have new consequences. His lion’s strength is growing, and he can’t hide from it any longer….

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2013.

four-stars

This book put me through the emotional ringer for sure. After all of the emotional pain of book 6, I was expecting to feel melancholy. It’s not quite how I felt at the end. I think I felt resolve for myself mostly. I felt all of Roan’s pain, and it was several times while reading this that I had to stop because I was crying uncontrollably. I get it, and I feel so bad and super protective over Roan. The two mysteries were good for different reasons but my review is based on the characters that’s all at this point. Roan is tired. That’s basis of this story. I think he’s been tired for a while, maybe even before Paris. All the events and everything he had to do was the icing on the cake to me. I’m tired for Roan. I cannot imagine what he was going through, and in the book my heart went out for Dylan. I 100% believe if Dylan left Roan then Roan would commit suicide. No one can change my mind on that one. So I have book 8 left, and a few novellas but I’m not sure how I feel this close to the series ending.

I don’t know how I feel about Holden at this point. My thoughts are all over the place, because unlike many characters Holden likes being himself. I don’t know if it’s selfish or a sociopath. He has the tools to be someone better, but I don’t know if he thinks he’s worth it, and that’s what I’m getting from him. On the other hand maybe normalcy is starting out with a relationship. It seems to be the path that Scott and Holden are on. Either brings baggage to the table, and both of them seem so damn stubborn that it shouldn’t work. Maybe expectations are super low that they are willing to deal with whatever when it comes to being together.

Roan’s vigilantism seems to catch up with him. I feel like I like/dislike the justice that he doles out. He is the only of his kind that is able to help people, but in helping people Roan losing his self, not just the lion surfacing and taking over, but Roan moral compass seems to decline. I don’t necessary like who he becomes, but it’s so unfair that its an necessary evil. I honestly don’t know how much more Dylan can take. It’s a lot mentally & emotionally to be with Roan. I could never take Dylans’ love away from him, but I feel like Dylan should re-evaluate his life. Is this what he wanted? How many more hospital visits, comas, and tears can you take. How much more personal attacks, and brutalization is enough for his sanity to still be in check.

I’m going to wrap this up because this down feeling I get with writing this review further proves my point of me loving and rooting for fictional characters. I would love to see Roan walk about from MK Investigations with Dylan and move away to open space off the coast of the Pacific Ocean. I pray book 8 gives Roan his peace that he so deserves.

About Andrea Speed

Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)
In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!

Defenseless by A.J. Rose

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.

Defenseless: by A.J. Rose
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Pages: 438 • Format: eARC
Published By: The Grim Writer Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon • ARe

From Rainbow Award-winning author AJ Rose, Defenseless is a gut-wrenching, heart-stopping story of love through adversity.
——

Kyle Decker knew dating Jesse McGovern would change his life. Young and in love, and with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, the world is theirs to conquer.

But their victorious Pride celebration ends in a savage attack, brutally demonstrating they’re far from equal. Instead of wedding planning, Jesse and Kyle face an arduous recovery and a shattered sense of their place in the world, their once-promising future suddenly something to survive.

While Jesse struggles with a permanent injury and its emotional aftermath, Kyle’s single-minded focus on Jesse’s recovery is the only thing keeping his demons at bay…for now. What was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love is now full of lies and resentment.

With their dreams tattered and forever changed, trusting anyone—even each other—is daunting. So how can they have faith in twelve strangers on a jury? They’ve already learned the hard way it only takes a moment to become truly defenseless.

four-half-stars

I don’t even remember the last time that I cried throughout an entire book. This book had me crying non-stop. Certain areas of the story was super heartbreaking and wonderfully written, that I had no choice but to email Rose at 1 a.m. telling her how I felt. I live in Chicago so this story was extra special to me. I’ve been to a couple of these places, and I could close my eyes and just picture everything that happened. When I say one of the best realistic stories I’ve ever read. It was brilliant. Now the book is not without it’s faults. It’s long, over 400 pages. Certain aspects of the legal issue I could have done without but, I had to realize that they made the story way more authentic.

I read the blurb, but I don’t think I was ready for how impact the story was going to be. With books usually like these, I’m either fuming by the end. I end up being upset about how one of the mc’s acted or how the dialogue went. In this I can say, every response, every tear, every argument, and everything else is exactly how I would react. I can say the guys reactions to the crime were spot on, and very real. Kyle and Jesse are just starting their lives together. And while at the moment the biggest issue is Kyle coming out to his parents about him being bi-sexual. We see how it is eating him up inside. We see Jesse being the supportive boyfriend by not rushing him. Jesse is everything to me. I love how he has a no holds barred talk with Kyle several times in the story. Jesse is very supportive, and he lets Kyle know constantly that sure his parents might be support him but everyone else will.

While this is the biggest flaw, nothing they can ever expect happens to them. They are the victims of a hate crime. They are attacked where LGTBQIA people are suppose to be safe. Boystown/ Pride in Chicago is fabulous. I literally was at Spin every Friday, Saturday night in undergrad. It was my hangout spot with my friends. I’ve never had a bad experience or was subjective to any form of discrimination. Jesse and Kyle are celebrating, and at the end of the day 4 heterosexual guys didn’t love themselves enough to leave them alone. This changed their lives drastically. Kyle & Jesse are no longer who they were in the beginning of the book. They go through a lot. It’s heartbreaking and I loved every minute of it.

From here on out it’s a struggle for the guys to be outside, to be alone, to talk to one another. This is where the author’s writing skills excel big time! I found myself crying for them, and with them. I loved the pacing of the story. The gradual uphill of their struggle. I loved reading from both guys pov’s. It showed the decline of their relationship. Even with the decline, I understood it. I get it. I couldn’t imagine going through this. They were happy and in the cusp of 4 minutes their lives changed drastically. I really liked this story. It’s one of my favorites of 2016. I look forward to more from Rose, and I applaud her for writing such an awesome story.

About A.J. Rose

I talk to imaginary people, speak of events that didn’t happen. I tell lies. Also known as fiction, of the gay erotic variety.

Normal Enough by Marie Sexton

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.

normal-enoughNormal Enough by Marie Sexton 
Series: Wrench Wars, Book Two
Release Date: August 3, 2016
Pages: 82 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

A Wrench Wars Story

What is “normal”?

When Brandon Kenner shows up at Kasey Ralston’s garage with a 1970 Chevelle SS 454, Kasey is smitten by both the man and his car. But Kasey is hiding an embarrassing secret: his love for old muscle cars goes beyond what most would consider normal. His unusual fetish has kept Kasey isolated—estranged from his family and even distant from his coworkers.

But when Brandon figures out the hot mechanic’s secret, he’s not repulsed. In fact, he finds Kasey intriguing, and he’s determined to have him for himself.

Everything about Brandon revs Kasey’s engine, and he’s more than willing to get down and dirty with the charming man. What worries Kasey is what will happen after. Is there any chance of a future for them? In the past, expecting anything long-term has only led to heartbreak. But Kasey can’t help hoping that, despite Kasey’s fetish, Brandon will be the exception.

First Edition published by Amber Allure, 2014.

three-half-stars

ARGH!!!! I was well on my way of rating this 4 stars!!! It was surprisingly good for such a short book. I even had a moment of tears. I felt a little cheated. It’s a short book already but then you cut it off to get me an excerpt/first chapter of book one. I think not people!!! I want my car fetish porn.

All jokes aside, I really liked this. Introverted Kasey has a kinky side that no one knew about. Enter Brandon with his classic cars and swagger. I definitely loved the chemistry between the two. I thought both guys were disgustingly hot and would have loved to see this as a full length novel. With Kasey opening up and not wanting to be lonely anymore. FFS he’s 24 years old and Bandit seems to be his only companion. It’s sad when your dog is it for you, but his older brother the good one out of the bunch is reaching out to try to mend their broken relationship. I did enjoy seeing Kasey opening up about his family, and realizing that even if Brandon and him don’t work that his brother is ready to step up and be family.

Damn, these boys were super hot. I mean, they were some dirty talkers. Just the right amount of heat and fire for this length of novel. I thought the coupling was spot on, and that both guys were equally good for one another. Now I’m interested enough to go back and read book one. The covers are definitely gorgeous for this series.

About Marie Sexton

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Fallow by Jordan L. Hawk

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.

FallowFallow by Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin, Book Eight
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Pages:  197 • Format: eARC
Published By: Jordan L. Hawk
Purchase Links:
AmazonARe • B&N • Kobo 

When Griffin’s past collides with his present, will it cost the lives of everyone he loves?

Between the threat of a world-ending invasion from the Outside and unwelcome revelations about his own nature, Percival Endicott Whyborne is under a great deal of strain. His husband, Griffin Flaherty, wants to help—but how can he, when Whyborne won’t tell him what’s wrong?

When a man from Griffin’s past murders a sorcerer, the situation grows even more dire. Once a simple farmer from Griffin’s hometown of Fallow, the assassin now bears a terrifying magical corruption, one whose nature even Whyborne can’t explain.

To keep Griffin’s estranged mother safe, they must travel to a dying town in Kansas. But as drought withers the crops of Fallow, a sinister cult sinks its roots deep into the arid soil. And if the cult’s foul harvest isn’t stopped in time, Fallow will be only the first city to fall.

Fallow is the eighth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.

five-stars

I honestly feel like, after every book JLH finishes she gives herself one of these.

I don’t know what her method is, but keep doing it. Did we really expect anything else from her? This book was so freaking good. The gang is back to help save the inhabitants of Fallow, Kansas this time. Every time I read a JLH book it’s like going on a vivid journey that you never want to end. It’s how I feel after all her books. I always look at the percentage hoping and pleading that it never makes it to 100%

This installment was no different. Still reeling from the catastrophe of book #7, Whyborne is adamant about keeping his revelations to himself. He’s trying to protect the people of Widdershins, and doing it by keeping himself closed off. Of course Griffin notices his Ival’s problems. He wouldn’t be a good husband if he didn’t notice. This was a perfect setup to a story revolving around Griffin’s past. His family issues never were resolved enough for him, and when dastardly things come to play in Kansas the gang makes their way there.

The game is on. As soon as they reach Fallow things take off. As usual Hawk weaves a fabulous tale, I’m excited happy with all the outcomes in this book. It’s book 8 and the magic of Whyborne and Griffin is still new and joyous to me as a reader. I love Hawk’s diversity as usual. Her pen game is amazing, and I don’t think I’ve read a better thought out series then this. I won’t go into the plot and spoil it for people, but this was close on so many levels to breaking my heart. I love seeing the gang turn things up and come to the rescue. I loved this book, and look forward to more from her!

About Jordan L. Hawk

Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.

Counting Daisies 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.

Counting daisiesCounting Daisies by Nicola Haken 
Series: The Counting Series, Book One
Release Date: July 24, 2016
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By:
Purchase Link:
Amazon

Dylan Roberts and Cameron O’Neil were good kids. Growing up together, they shared everything. By the age of fourteen they were more than best friends – they were in love. They dreamt of their future, of success, marriage…happiness. They were going to grow old by each other’s side.

But… “Kids are stupid.”

When tragic circumstances forced them apart, Dylan discovered that life wasn’t the fairytale he dreamed of; it was dark, difficult, saturated with pain and shame. Life wasn’t meant to be enjoyed, merely survived, but even that became a challenge.

Damaged, worthless, and disgusting, he saw no point to his pitiful existence…

Until he came face to face with the boy he used to love.

Successful, honourable, and happy, Cameron had achieved the future they planned. He was good, positive, popular…everything Dylan would never be. What would happen if Dylan let him back into his world? Would he destroy Cameron too? Would his poison push him away like everyone else?

“Everybody leaves.”

“They leave or they die.”

But what if…what if Cameron didn’t?

Counting Daisies is book one in The Counting Series, but can be read as a standalone novel.

four-stars


So this was my first read by this author. I have Broken and started it, but put it down because I got sidetracked. I love the realistic portrayal of someone who is a drug addict. I’ve read a few books, but this one was hands down the most authentic. Counting Daisies resonated in my heart, because I’m someone who knows what Cameron feels like. Only it was a parent and not a lover. I can hands down 100% tell you, I’d never be with a drug addict. I don’t have the strength or the resolve to do it. The romance fades in the background to me. I didn’t connect with them on that level. Some part of me wishes that they relationship didn’t work. I would love to see them go their separate ways as far as being in love. Anyone who knows anything about addiction knows it isn’t wise to be in relationship for the first year of recovery.

My heart went out to Cameron, because he had this idea of his first love, and what he got in return was a junkie. Dylan’s voice in the story was eerily familiar in my years of growing up with an addict of a mother. He talks about Heroin as if it’s his life force. Nothing is more important then the drug. No one will ever be able to give him the same euphoria as Heroin. I’d like to think this story as a second chance at life for Dylan. I think Haken wrote with such sincerity that at moments I found myself crying. It’s a scene where Cameron asks Dylan, “Why wasn’t he enough?”. At that moment, I had an emotional break down. It was like being 9 years old again, at a therapy session and me asking my mom that. Dylan’s answer was so spot on.

Cameron did the basic thing when you love an addict. You believe that you can fix them. You believe that you can help them on your own. In his mind Dylan’s love for him was so bigger, that at any day he would recognize that Heroin wasn’t important. Well being letdown is probably the top most feeling that you get when you love an addict. He was right to have his anger, sadness, and despair. This is the life of an addict. I don’t believe in ever being sober. I think most addicts live day to day with hope that they are stronger for the next. Recovery is a daily thing. I liked Paul. Oh my goodness he was so realistically spoken. Very blunt and honest, as well as Derek. I think the author did a good job with the subject. The romance side didn’t really work. The relationship seemed one-sided, and how will I ever know if Dylan actually loved Cameron.

I look forward to more from this author. This was a really good story, with addiction being the forefront of it all, and the people it takes down with you. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

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 😉

Wolfsong by TJ Klune

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.

WolfsongLGWolfsong by TJ Klune
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Pages: 400 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon ARe

Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

four-half-stars

Crying in the first 10% is always a good sign. I love T.J. and he did a shifter story has made me so freaking ecstatic!!! I love his writing, and I always refer to him as two writing settings. It’s either humor, or serious. I love the serious side more. I would categorize this as serious. It had its funny moments, but overall between the tears, tears, tears and the AMOUNT of ANGST it was a ridiculously good shifter story. I don’t know much more to say then what everyone else is raving about.

“Rawr and grr and kaboom?”
“And the smells!” he cried.
“Can’t forget about those,” the man next to her said faintly. “Candy canes and pine cones and epic awesome.”

It’s a really good story, and by now if you are use to T.J. and his stories you know he’s long winded. Sometimes it is repetitive. I’d like to think he does it to invoke certain emotions in us during that scene. Or that is how I like to state to myself. His writing is great as usual, and I like the spurts of humor that’s involved in it. These are some really great characters. Ox and Joe have wiggled their way into my heart through love,anger and loyalty. I can say this has been one of the most physical books from T.J. He doesn’t do passion, and steamy sex. I’m fine with that, because I love his stories, but this was a different side to him. I really liked it.

I won’t go on and on about my utter disdain for the separation between the two. Some times people need to separate in order to make it last in the long run. But J.H.Christ, I literally felt like I was dying. It was such an emotional moment for me. The tale that T.J wove was so different from other shifter stories, but has some of the classic originals that I love. The entire mate trope is a favorite of mine, and seeing Joe & Ox at a young age until they got older was anguish on my part but so much love throughout the end. I really am stuck for words, so many people have loved this already and everything that I can say is most likely already done. I loved all the characters, I even liked the cheesy cartoon villain and his nerve for extended monologues. I’ve highlighted the crap out of this book. I think the quote above has stuck with me the most. It’s the most coolest way to describe someone you are destined to be. I will say bring tissues!!! Lot’s of Kleenex but you go through an emotional journey as usual reading his books. I love him for it.

About TJ Klune

When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.

He lives with a neurotic cat in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. It’s hot there, but he doesn’t mind. He dreams about one day standing at Stonehenge, just so he can say he did.