New Author Alert: Midlife Crisis by Audra North

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.

Midlife Crisis: by Audra North
Release Date: August 28th, 2017
Pages: 205 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Cam McGhee grew up like any other small-town Texas farm boy: he played football, went to church every Sunday, and married his high school sweetheart. But thirty-five years after he said “I do,” Cam finds himself nursing a beer in a gay bar, thinking about what might have been.

Dave Montoya is confident, self-assured, and cautiously single. But when he meets shy, uncertain, and clearly-still-not-out Cam in a coffee shop in Austin, his reservations about getting seriously involved again disappear. Cam is everything he’s looking for in a partner . . . almost, anyway.

No matter how much Dave wants him, and how good they are together, Cam can’t bring himself to fully embrace the life he was meant to live. After all, when his secret finally gets out, he faces the very real possibility of losing everything that kept him going for the first fifty years of his life, just like he’s feared for so long. But with a little faith—and a lot of love—his dream of living fully, truly, as himself might finally be within reach.

four-stars

Well, North certainly surprised me. I’ve never read anything by her before. After reading this, I saw she is a MF romance writer. I have skeptical feelings about them, but I don’t let it cloud too much of my judgment. More surprised at myself for finishing it. This was not only a slow burn, but the pacing was snail at best. I didn’t find myself bored so I guess its a win for me. Its very detailed, and everything is written in a way that molasses pours faster. I was really drawn to it because of the older mc’s. They are in their 50’s well off, and established wanting different things in their lives.  North’s writing was real, emotional, and such a sweet romance. It doesn’t focus on the physical side but more emotional. Cam was such a character that touched my spirit. I teared up at plenty of the hard facts that he had to face. Dave is such a sweetheart. Super understanding to the cause and patient.

Cam’s character made my feelings come out through this story. I don’t know what was happening at the time of my reading it, but he resonated so much to me. Maybe its because he’s a black man, and all his loyalties, duties, and reservations about his family is so common in the community, even more in the south. My family is from the south, so I could understand all his thoughts, dreams, fears, hurt when it came to being happy. Or lack thereof in his case. He sacrificed his happiness for the community, the way of life in Bitter, Texas. He was a drowning man, until his wife died. It was heartbreaking and I know it was emotional because it kept an egg shape size of despair in my throat. He tried to do right by what was expected of him, he tried to be the best father, and husband he could be. It only took 51 years of living to realize that he wanted something for himself. In walks Dave, in his biker workout clothes, and friends. With his smile, easy on the eyes, and friendly manner its no wonder Cam falls for him. Its not an easy romance. While Cam does come to terms about being gay, its another to act on it. Its something that he’s never thought of. Of course being happy with Dave, does nothing to dis spell all his responsibilities back home or with his children. No matter his orientation, his children are his. Cam shows so much vulnerability with his kids, Dave, and his knitting crew. Dave is trying to get back on the horse as well. Being single for a few years after being in a long term relationship, Dave has reservations about being with someone as closeted as Cam. Its something that he can’t help since he’s falling just as much as Cam.

I am still kinda shocked at how much I’ve enjoyed this. I look forward to North writing more gay romance if its going to be real like this. If you like older guys, interracial romance, hurt comfort, out for you, tears, and extremely slow burns then this book is for you. I quite like the pacing, and writing myself. I would recommend this read.

 

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About Audra North

Audra North is a contemporary romance author of more than twenty romances, including the Stanton Family series from Entangled Publishing, the Hard Driving series from St. Martin’s Press, and the Pushing the Boundaries series from Samhain Publishing. She is the owner and publisher of Pink Kayak Press, which focuses on the publication of diverse romance works. Winter Rain, a Pink Kayak Press anthology, won a gold medal in the 2015 Independent Publisher Awards.

Audra enjoys speaking to writing groups and at industry conferences. She is also an avid jogger and loves running marathons. She has three children and lives with her family outside of Boston.

Pins and Needles by A.J. Thomas

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.

Pins and Needles: by A.J. Thomas
Release Date: August 25th, 2017
Pages: 300 • Format: eARC
Published By:Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner

The truth is rarely seen on the surface, and getting to it might mean digging deep….

After a devastating accident and a long stay in the hospital, the last thing petroleum engineer Sean Wilkinson wants to deal with is the settlement the oil company tries to force on him. He’ll never be able to work in his field again, his education is all but useless, and his surgeons are pessimistic about whether he’ll ever walk again. He needs someone in his corner, but most lawyers take one look at his tattoo-covered foster father and turn their backs. It’s just Sean’s luck that the one attorney willing to give him a chance is also the hottest guy he’s ever seen.

As a trial lawyer, Nate Delany has a lot to prove—to his father, the world, and himself. Sean intrigues Nate, and he struggles to reconcile the gifted tattoo artist he can’t stop fantasizing about with the quiet, brilliant engineer. His investigation reveals facts left out of the accident report—including an illicit affair, greedy coworkers, and a vicious corporation that will do anything to protect its bottom line. When Sean’s life is threatened, winning Sean’s case, and his heart, becomes a lot more dangerous.

four-stars

 

I enjoyed Pins and Needles a lot. I’m kinda shocked because it was a true slow burn with the romance. It was minimum at best, and the plot was really informative. To be honest, what first drew me to the story was the blurb. Felt very real, and something that I haven’t read a billion times over now. I deserve a cookie of some sort because whenever I hear the word FRACKING my eyes usually glaze over and I become distracted by something else. I’ve heard it on countless political shows, movies, court shows and everything else. Never would have imagined it to be in my reads but this was good. It was different and I loved the buildup for the romance.

Nate and Sean together were very good for one another. Each guy is lacking in the personal romance and real life feels. I like that they were so different from one another, but totally compromising and interesting to the other. Nate made me fall for him so much more. Always been the outcast from his uber conservative family decides to take a stand, and be his own man. Not caring what his father thinks, he branches out on his own. His very first case is against a multimillionaire company and their employee. Sean’s life hasn’t been easy at all. Never having the love he’s had from parents he’s like a lost boy. Not realizing the entire time he’s had all the love from Hawk that he could ever want. We really don’t know the real Sean. I think because he’s always been second choice to his mother the only way he can survive is by adapting to his surrounding. That’s heartbreaking in itself.

The plot for this story was so thoroughly researched and written really well. I learned some new things, and loved how it was intertwined with the romance. Yes the plot was more then the romance, and normally it would be an issue for me, but every single piece was important for the story. It made complete sense in the end. I really enjoyed the side characters. Hawk & Tonya were really good for Sean’s soul. I love how tattooing brought Sean & Nate on another level. Loved seeing Nate’s ruthlessness come out when he turned his professional face on. Sean was spectacular in himself as well.

All in all, I thought this was a really good solid story. Excellent writing and story telling. A definite slow burn with the romance. I mean really, really, really slow burn. If you can’t handle it then skip it. The story actually has substance so be prepared to actually be wow’d. I look forward to more books from Thomas.

 

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Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood

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.

Textual Relations: by Cate Ashwood
Release Date: August 10th, 2017
Pages:122 • Format: eARC
Published By: Cate Ashwood
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by dinner with his brother. But when he receives a wrong-number text confirming the details of a date, he does what any considerate person would—he goes to meet them and explain why they’ve been stood up.

Asher Wescott hadn’t expected his blind date to go well, because when do they ever? Henry shows up instead, and things are suddenly looking up. Socially awkward and attached to his routines, Henry is nevertheless one of the most charming and kind men Asher has met in a long time.

Too bad he’s not Henry’s type.

An accidental date, an impulsive kiss, and a few conflicted feelings later, can Asher get Henry to see the world—and him—in a different light?

 

three-half-stars

 

I thought this book was super adorable. I enjoyed this a lot. A feel good romance with carefree feelings, and love in the air. I swear, when I was reading this I felt like tweety birds should have been circling my head. That’s how whimsical and magical it felt to me.

Henry is the same old boring person he usually is but a year older. He doesn’t like change or attempt to change. His routines are his until that unexpected text from a stranger confirming a date. Him being the nice person he is responds that its the wrong number. I like that it bothers him so much that he goes to the said place to make sure the person is okay. Another unexpected is Ash is short for Asher not Ashely what he presumed in the first place. Henry meets Ash, and is intrigued by a person who would go on a blind date. They hit it off. Its an amazing time, and Henry is thrilled at all the new things he’s able to do, and realize what else is out in there in the world. That’s what he thinks until Asher kisses him at the end of their not-date. Its magical, but Henry doesn’t have much to say until he comes to term that Asher must be gay, and no other kiss has made him feel like this.

I loved the way the author went about writing if from this point. Of course Henry was scared, but the literal person he is, he had to think on what it means about himself. He had to come to terms on whether being gay was something he could deal with. Well Bi in his case, but he realized that Asher is the first person in his lifetime who has made him happy. Its a new experience each and every time they spend together. It’s scary, new, exciting, and I loved seeing Henry come alive on page. Asher was amazing and patient as well. 

I wish they was a full length novel, that’s really what my rating is based on. I feel like it was so much more to cover between these two. I needed to see them grow. Yeah the epilogue was great, but I’m greedy and hopefully we can come back to these guys in the future. A recommend from me for sure! 

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About Cate Ashwood

Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, son, and two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

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.

Illegal Contact: by Santino Hassell
Series: The Barons #1
Release Date: August 15th, 2017
Pages: 259 • Format: eARC
Published By: InterMix
Purchase Links:
AmazonKoboiBooks

The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel.

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…

four-half-stars

 

This was an instant winner for me. Hassell last few books didn’t really do it for me. I was hesitant to try this one, but I was so glad I did. I loved the slow burn of the relationship, and Gavin Brawley is everything. Love that he means what he says, and says what he means. Noah is everything as well. Who knew Clark Kent would be so dirty? Plus Football is sexy! About time I can get a sports romance and I know the sport forward and backward. No offence to Hockey, but Football is so much sexier.

This is definitely a realistic fiction story, but a softer side then I’m used to. Yeah, I had some issues with me feeling like every guy is a Michael, Raymond and Garrett. I have a hard time keeping different characters apart when all of their backgrounds are so similar. It doesn’t take away from my inner glee with this story though. It was gritty, honest, sexy and I never wanted it to end.

Gavin is a softer version of all 3 of those guys. I mean, he has a shitty life, and anger problems. He’s on a 6 month house arrest for physical assault. No one outside of Simeon & Marcus seems to know the real Gavin. At times, Gavin doesn’t know the real Gavin. Enter mister Noah Monroe. Freshly finished from college, and out of a job. Not caring who the client is, he decides to take a position for a PA. I really enjoyed Noah. More often then not in stories like these we have to deal with that pesky miscommunication trope, but here everyone is outspoken and sarcastic. Basically speaking my language. Right off the start they are bitchy towards each other. After countless assumptions, we finally see a different side to each guy. They start opening up to each other, and everyone around them can see the attraction clear as day. This is something Noah doesn’t want to deal with again. Falling for his boss. It didn’t lead him to a good place the first time, and he’s trying so hard for it not to happen a second time around. Gavin make me gush so hard, he understands Noah’s boundaries so well. He respects him, and that is how he knows he’s screwed. He’s never loved anyone before. I loved that its a slow burn for the romance. The buildup between these two are scorching hot. From the first kiss to the last scene, it kept me glued to my tablet. Do you know how hard it is to read in Miami? If I wasn’t drinking and partying, I was neglecting my friends to read this. **Sighs**, I really enjoyed them.

Fans of sports romance, gay romance, and Hassell in general will most likely fawn all over this. Can’t forget about the amazing Simeon & Marcus. These are the bestest friends ever! I can’t wait for Simeon’s book! I definitely recommend this book!

 

 

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About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Absolutely, Almost Perfect by Lissa Reed

Oh My Shelves welcomes Lissa Reed to the blog today! Asked her some questions and she is nice enough to chat with Oh My Shelves. She comes baring excerpts, giveaways, and a sequel to two wonderful guys! Absolutely Almost Perfect released on August 3rd, 2017 is a 4 star read from our Mika! Please give a big shout out to Lissa, and make sure you follow along the blog tour so you won’t miss out a really good giveaway and a chance to win the e-book! Check it out!

Q&A with Lissa Reed, author of Absolutely, Almost, Perfect.

Hi Lissa, thanks for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi there! I am a writer, knitter, baker, and cat fancier living in Dallas. I do tech work by day, but my free time is spent engaged in the art of making up entertaining lies, a pastime that’s been close to my heart since I was a small child. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is my third book.

How do you feel about e-books vs print books?

Honestly, I love both. Owning a Kindle means I can carry dozens of books in my purse and not break the straps. It means I can easily get books in different languages and not have to pay horrible shipping charges. I love the search within a book option.

But you know, there’s something about a print book, about the smell of paper and ink. About the heft of it in your hand, and the way it sounds to ruffle the pages. There are some books I just want in print form, too, like the Harry Potter books or cookbooks or old books from my childhood. Ultimately, the important thing is that I have books of some kind around me at all times.

What process did you go through to get your first book published?

Interlude Press found me through my friend Mimsy Hale, who is also published with them. Up until then, I had only written fanfiction. It was quite an adjustment, mostly in the editing stages – I had some stringent betas in the fanfic world, but our editing team at Interlude is, as you would expect, a whole new level. I had to – am still having to – get a better handle on the grammar things I mostly ignored in school. I was a big coaster in English class, I got through on the strength of my written essays and term papers, and boy, am I feeling it now!

How do you find or make time to write?

I work during the day, so I have to, by default, write at night and on weekends. Right now I am only writing on Sundays, because I am working on a new project that’s pretty intense and I need to just have the one day a week to fully sit down and concentrate on it.

That said, I do constantly take notes on my phone. I have been known to write entire chapters in the Notes app or in the Google Docs app. I saw a thread on Twitter the other day about a writer who was taking a flight and he watched a fellow passenger – a teenage girl – whip out her phone and fly through typing what he estimated to be about four thousand words of solid fiction. And he was just in awe of her, and it was awesome, because so frequently that’s how I work! Not to the tune of 4k in a few hours, I only wish, but yeah, on my phone. People have kind of given me grief sometimes for being on my phone a lot, but honestly, apart from being a lifeline to friends around the world, it is also my main writing tool next to my laptop. Frankly, it’s easier on my wrists, too.

Name one person who you feel supported you outside of your family members?

So many! But I am going to shout out my friend Alana here. She’s been cheering me on with the Sucre Coeur series from day one, from the earliest drafts. I named a restaurant after her in book two and just flat out dedicated this third book to her. She’s been a friend since my fandom days and I am so lucky to have had someone so upbeat and encouraging with me on this little journey.

Tell us about a book you’re reading now.

Oh, man. I am reading The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker. Her Compass series was recommended to me last year, and when I found out she was writing a book focused on the character of Reyes Walter, I flipped. Could not wait for it! Rey is sort of the driving force behind the Compass books, a real BDSM puppet master pulling strings in the name of helping people, so I’ve been very, very eager to see who Tamsen finds for him. I love a good story about a lone wolf meeting their match. I am making this one last, let me tell you. I don’t want it to end!

Absolutely Almost Perfect: by Lissa Reed
Series: Sucre Coeur #3
Release Date: August 3rd, 2017
Pages: • Format: e-book
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
Interlude PressAmazonSmashwords

Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.

As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.

 

Excerpt

Deftly, she ducks out of his arms with a sly grin that doesn’t exactly fill Craig with joy. “Right. Avoiding that topic in the interests of maintaining peace?”
Uh-oh.

“Let’s talk about your wedding plans!” She takes back her towel and tucks it into place, smiling at him all the while. “Hmm?”
No. No, there’s not one thing about that question that he likes, not even a little. “Don’t quite get what you mean,” he lies. Of course, he knows exactly what she means. He’s been tense while waiting for her to find an opportunity to bring it up again and damn if he didn’t just hand it to her himself. Still. Four days, one almost had to admire her restraint.
But he doesn’t want to think about it. The ring has been a pulsing beacon from its new hiding place, fraying his nerves with its very presence as everything goes pear-shaped.

“You do too,” Chloe retorts, her eyes narrowed. “Assuming you find a good time to propose and Alex accepts, you’ll have your own wedding to plan. Any luck figuring out when you’ll pop The Big Question?”
“Ah, well, I had in mind perhaps the thirty-fifth of Septembruary, at the High Noon of Absolutely Never.” This is a conversation Craig wants to have even less than any with or about Duncan. Proposing to Alex seemed like such a no-brainer when he first picked up the ring. Even when he was making sure it was still securely hidden in his bag, he had nothing but confidence in his decision.

Then they came here. And everything went madder than Craig could have expected. He winces. How can he even consider proposing after this?

Craig crosses back to his bowls of ingredients. He rests his full weight on the counter, and the sigh that comes out of him could send a paper boat across a pond. The guilt that propels it could sink the boat. “Chloe.”

“No, no, no,” she says as she scampers over to stand next him. With pursed lips, she sticks a finger in front of his face and waves it around. “No second thoughts. You bought the ring, he’s lovely, no second thoughts.”

Craig laughs in disbelief. “I’m not having second thoughts about him, Cee.” Not even remotely. Almost two years they’ve been inseparable now and Craig loves Alex so much it could steal his breath and he’d count the loss as negligible. “Never about him.”

Chloe manages an entire ten seconds of staring before she raises her hands and asks, “So, what then?”

He snorts and gives her a sidelong glance. “You spent Tuesday night combing buttercream out of your hair and you have to ask?”

Giveaway
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Hold // Five winners receive Absolutely, Almost, Perfect eBook

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About the Author

Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her first composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary fiction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.
Get to know Lissa Reed at lissareed.com; on Twitter @lissareedbooks; and on on Instagram at lissa_angeline.

 

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect by Lissa Reed

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.

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect: by Lissa Reed
Series: Sucre Coeur #3
Release Date: August 3rd, 2017
Pages: • Format: e-ARC
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
Interlude PressAmazonSmashwords

Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.

As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.

 

four-stars

I really don’t know where to start. I honestly read book 1 yesterday just to get a feel of these guys again, and I still enjoyed it. I really enjoy the realistic feeling of Reed’s writing. It seems so easily written, but that might not be how to describe it. 2 souls who couldn’t be more good for each other than these two. You can see the love between Craig & Alex.

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is a great follow up to Craig & Alex. I really adored Craig in book one. He was the essential gentleman. Everything about him was amazing, and still is. Its the first time he’s flustered to this extend. I was weary about Alex. Weary enough that I didn’t think he was good enough for Craig. That’s me wanting Craig to be with someone easier to deal with. Alex has a lot of hangups, and they don’t get fixed over night, but this book shows what a year can do for a person. He’s grown tremendously, and he’s learned to love and trust Craig.

“The Most fundamental truth of his life is that Craig is home, Craig is refuge, Craig is a place for Alex to catch his breath.”

This was by far my favorite line in the book. Going back home to Craig is a double edged sword. He wants to see him family and support a close friend, but Craig has all the reservations in the world. His older brother whom he’s never gotten along with is marrying said close friend. As much as he tries to run away from this problem once home, he can’t get far. Alex for all intentions and purposes is right there holding Craig up. He’s there adulting, and being the support system that he never thought he could be. It was a breath of fresh air reading about these two. I loved Craig’s family a lot. I loved the ending, the compromises, the laughter and tears. Goodness, that scene at 90% had me looking towards the ceiling because I didn’t want my tears to fall.

This series is so eloquently written. I feel like I can close my eyes, and picture Lissa’s words in my head. I don’t do audios very much, but this is a series I’m looking forward to listening to. If you haven’t read book 1 then you don’t know what you are missing. This is a true love story. It doesn’t have the physical steam that I like, but I love reading about the coupling of them together more then the act itself. Its a definite recommend from me, and I look forward to more from this author.

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About Lissa Reed

Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her first composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary fiction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.

Trust With A Chaser by Annabeth Albert

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

Trust with a Chaser: by Annabeth Albert
Series: Rainbow Cove #1
Release Date: August 1st, 2017
Pages: 255 • Format: eARC
Published By: Annabeth Albert
Purchase Links:
Amazon

One hot cop. One bar owner out for redemption. One smoking-hot summer fling destined to leave scorch marks…

Mason Hanks has returned to Rainbow Cove, Oregon with one goal in mind: turn the struggling coastal community into a thriving LGBTQ tourism destination. Step one is transforming an old bar and grill into a gay-friendly eatery. Step two? Don’t piss off Nash Flint, the very hot, very stern chief of police who’s not so sure he’s on board with Mason’s big plans.

Nash Flint just wants to keep his community safe and enjoy the occasional burger in peace. He’s not big on change nor is he a fan of Mason’s troublemaking family, especially his rowdy older brothers. But Mason slowly wins him over with fantastic cooking and the sort of friendship Nash has been starving for.

When their unlikely friendship takes a turn for the sexy, both men try to steer clear of trouble. Nash believes he’s too set in his ways for Mason, and Mason worries that his family’s reputation will ruin any future with Nash. Burning up the sheets in secret is a surefire way to crash and burn, and discovery forces a heart-wrenching decision—is love worth the risk of losing everything?

four-stars

This book! ZOMG!!! It brightened up my day big time. I read this in one sitting, and couldn’t move or put it down. I need Albert to push this series out big time! Rainbow Cove is so my comfort read. I really enjoyed everything about this book, my only downfall is that I never wanted it to end! Guh!!!! Why??? I needed to see Mason, Lilac and Nash after that statement. Annabeth, you had to know we would want to see them, and read about them for at least another 100 pages. Is that so hard to ask?

Probably so. LOL. Don’t worry folks, this doesn’t end in a cliffhanger. Its more a HFN until I get a finale from these two. It has a lot of my favorite tropes, the age-gap, out for you, small quaint town settings, children. Its a definite winner. Mason Hanks comes from a family of people whom representation isn’t that upstanding. They are kinda known as criminals, and people who don’t up-stand the law. Not that Mason things he’s better then his family, but he just wants different in life. Coming back to Rainbow Cove isn’t something he planned but with 2 of his friends having the opportunity to open a tavern in his home town is a dream come true. Being closer to his niece who he adores, and a wayward brother and okay father. Never in Mason’s wildest dreams did he think Police Chief Nash Flint would be somebody he falls in love with. Flint isn’t easy to deal with at all. He’s so far in the closet, he’s practically in Narnia. Not really for fear of what others thing, but the fear of not living up to the job title and perception of folks all around him. Falling in Love with Flint isn’t easy. He’s grumpy, monosyllabic at times, and stubborn. Think that’s a common trait in the y chromosome folks. I liked the they were able to trade off on compromising for each others wants and desires. They didn’t have the best of communication but definitely made it for best for them.

One of my favorite things is when the writing feels real. This is a really good realistic fiction. With everyday problems and every day people. I enjoyed the other characters a lot. Can’t wait for Curtis & Logan’s book, I can only dream of where it goes. No idea on who Adam will end up with, kinda don’t want it to be Brock because I want him to end up with this burly lumberjack guy in my head. Proper Brock and Lumberjack dude is so hot. ARGH!!! Focus Tamika! I can’t wait for more, and loved the pacing of the story. There were some really steamy scenes, and I found the pillow talk to be truly endearing. I think fans will really appreciate and enjoy this series a lot. Annabeth, totally rocked this! Definite recommend from me!

 

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About Annabeth Albert

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

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

Audio Review: Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan

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.

Shelter the Sea: by Heidi Cullinan
Series: The Roosevelt #2
Release Date: June 12th, 2017
Pages: • Format: Audio
Published By: Heidi Cullinan
Purchase Links:
Amazon Audible

Some heroes wear capes. Some prefer sensory sacks.

Emmet Washington has never let the world define him, even though he, his boyfriend, Jeremey, and his friends aren’t considered “real” adults because of their disabilities. When the State of Iowa restructures its mental health system and puts the independent living facility where they live in jeopardy, Emmet refuses to be forced into substandard, privatized corporate care. With the help of Jeremey and their friends, he starts a local grassroots organization and fights every step of the way.

In addition to navigating his boyfriend’s increased depression and anxiety, Emmet has to make his autistic tics acceptable to politicians and donors, and he wonders if they’re raising awareness or putting their disabilities on display. When their campaign attracts the attention of the opposition’s powerful corporate lobbyist, Emmet relies on his skill with calculations and predictions and trusts he can save the day—for himself, his friends, and everyone with disabilities.

He only hopes there isn’t a variable in his formula he’s failed to foresee.

 

four-stars

 

This is the second book in the Roosevelt series and it catches us up with Emmet and Jeremey two years down the road. The two men are still a couple and are still living together in their assisted living.

As this book starts we find two things are going on. Jeremey is having a difficult time with his depression and anxiety. He’s going through a very rough patch which he is attempting to hide from Emmet. In addition, the Roosevelt is struggling with funding and all of the residents are concerned that it may close down.

I really loved how the author portrays these two men going through hard times together. I think there is a belief that two very with serious issues can not be there for their partner but I think this book shows how that’s not true. Both Emmet and Jeremey push through their comfort zones to be the help the other needed and I found some of these scenes very emotional.

The other part of the story was not as enjoyable for me but that is due to a personal reason. I’m a social worker and the current health care/mental health care crisis in our country is staggering and it’s something that I deal with every single day. I read for a break from real life stress and this didn’t do it for me. Just got me all angry and worked up. I’m glad the author went down this road though because I imagine the average reader knows nothing about the mental health care systems in our country and I hope it was eye opening for them.

This audiobook was narrated by Iggy Toma and I think he did just as great a job in this one as he did in the first book. The two main characters have very different voices, with Emmet’s being very distinct due to his Autism. There are also a bunch of side characters in this one and they were all done very well.

Although I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did book one, that was more on me than the actual quality of the writing/storytelling. I think this is a must read for fans of the series.

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About Heidi Cullinan

Heidi grew up in love with story. She fell asleep listening to Disney long-playing records and read her Little House On The Prairie books until they fell apart. She ran through the woods inventing stories of witches and fairies and enchanted trees and spent hours beneath the lilac bush imagining the lives of the settlers who had inhabited the homestead log cabin and two-story late 1800s home on her family farm. She created epic storylines for her Barbies until it wasn’t satisfying enough to do so any longer (age ten), and then she started writing them down. Her first novel, The Life and Times of Michelle Matthews, was published when she was twelve in the school anthology and took up nearly half of it.

Though Heidi continued to write novels through high school (and still has the Rubbermaid tub full in her bedroom), she stopped in college, deciding it was time to grow up and do something meaningful with her life. When the specifics of that didn’t pan out, Heidi ended up in grad school to become a teacher, and through one of the courses rediscovered her love of romance novels. She began to write again on the side, continued to do so while she taught seventh grade language arts and reading, and when she quit teaching to have her daughter, she took up writing with more seriousness, both as a stress relief and as a potential means of bringing in money.

Many million pages later, Heidi has learned a lot about writing, more than she ever wanted to know about publishing, and most importantly, finally figured out that writing IS the meaningful something she wants to do with her life. A passionate advocate for LGBT rights, Heidi volunteered for One Iowa during the fight for marriage equality and donates with her husband as a monthly partner to the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal. She encourages you to support your own local and national LGBT rights groups, too

Heidi enjoys reading, watching movies and TV with her family, and listening all kinds of music. She has a husband, a daughter, and too many cats. Heidi is an active social networker, and of course has good old-fashioned email.

Guest Review: Chasing Destiny by Megan Erickson

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.

Chasing Destiny: by Megan Erickson
Series: Silver Tip Pack #2
Release Date: July 21st, 2017
Pages: 224 • Format: eARC
Published By: Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Some live on memories…

Almost dying during a pack uprising has a way of shaking things up. I’m no longer Mr. Laid Back now that there’s an itch under my skin I can’t scratch.

On a volunteer mission that goes beyond the walls of our compound, we enter the territory of a pack long thought dead, and find ourselves on the business end of their spears.

What I’m not prepared for is what I find within their walls—The one shifter I never thought I’d see alive, the one I’d mourned twice, the one I’d always loved. He is alive, and if I have anything to do with it, he’ll stay that way. But he’s got secrets, and exposing them could lead us to an enemy worse than the bloodthirsty undead shifters wanting to kill us all…

four-stars

 

I really liked this second book in the Silver Tip Pack series. This one had a different feel to it than book one but was just as good.

This story focuses on Bay who is Dare’s brother. He’s the wise cracking and good natured one in their family but he’s struggling at the beginning of this story. Bay is grieving his second loss of Nash and he’s feeling restless. His were wants him to leave and look for something but he’s not sure what it is. As a result he offers to visit another pack to see if they can set up a trade pact. What Bay finds there turns his world upside down.

This story was more fast-paced and full of action than Daring Fate was. This one kept me on the edge of my seat from almost the beginning of the story. Bay and his pack mates are fighting other pack members as well as the zombie weres. (Can I just take a minute to tell you how much I love the fact that there are zombie werewolves in this series? Zombie! Werewolves!) All kinds of things happen and there are some shocking surprises.

The love story was also good. I love a good second chance story. I also love a good hurt/comfort story. Combine them together and I’m in reader bliss. Bay and Nash are just wonderful together and Bay is full of swoon worthy moments. Some of the stuff he says… *dreamy sigh*. These two are not fated mates as the couple in book one were, but they know they’re meant to be mates and their romance development was lovely.

I don’t have anything negative to say about this series other than the writer is not releasing them fast enough for me. This one hasn’t even been released and I’m already itching to get my hands on the third one. Looks like we know who the next book will be about but I’m not going to tell you. It’s going to be a big surprise.

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About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

The Layover by Roe Horvat

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 Layover: by Roe Horvat
Release Date: July 19th, 2017
Pages: 104 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Eight years ago, Ondro Smrek fled Slovakia and the bigotry that drove his first lover to take his own life. The demons proved impossible to outrun, though, and now, desperate for somewhere to belong, Ondro is returning to start over. During a layover in Basel, Switzerland, he meets Jamie, an American living in Scotland who is as brilliant as he is beautiful.

Jaded Ondro never would have guessed he could fall in love during a brief layover—until now. When he is put in a position to offer Jamie comfort without hope of recompense, Ondro doesn’t hesitate. Soon, he catches a glimpse of the home he longs for. But with their separation looming, confessing his feelings would only lead to pain and humiliation. Life has taught Ondro not to hope, but then, he never believed in love at first sight either….

 

four-half-stars

 

Stop. Whatever you are doing stop and go grab this book.

New Author Alert!!!! Roe Horvat is a bloody good writer.

We all know I’m a fickle reader. I’m loyal to my authors to a fault, even when they are write less then my expectations. Sadly, I’ve had a few of those happen in the last year and its only 2 authors at the #1 stop. Stop distracting me. Last year I read a book by a new author on the recommendation by Josh Lanyon, and loved it. If you haven’t picked up Dal Maclean’s Bitter Legacy then you’ve been sleeping under a damn rock or just stupid. Either option is fine with me. What I’m trying to state is this author came out of nowhere with a big recommendation by a really big named author in the genre for support, and her work was brilliant. When I requested this book I had no idea what I was getting. I had no idea what to expect, and honestly I was dreading reading it. I had all these thoughts in my head about how bad it would be. Well color me surprised when it was the EXACT opposites of those thoughts. It was beautiful, endearing, inspiring, and lovely. It was about pain, fear, real life and love. It was eloquent and I wish it would have been a full length novel. I mean you can’t give me this scrumptious morsel, and cut me off. I need more woman. Roe Horvat came so left field for me, that I was gobsmacked at how much I would like this book. I literally just finished and haven’t reviewed a book  in 2 weeks, and this got me back on the horse so pleasantly.

The first thing that I realized that I love was the setting. I don’t read too many books in this part of the world. I enjoyed the authenticity feeling  I get while reading this. I can close my eyes and picture parts of the book. I really liked the cultural difference that each guy has. Its easy to fall for someone in a similar situation, but from a different walk of life is hard. Its hard to compromise, to explain, to enjoy, and to try to mend worlds. Trust me, I’m married to an Irish man who morals & values are just as important as my African American Baptist roots. Its hard, its invigorating, and scary. 

I don’t know which character I’ve enjoyed more Ondro or Jamie. Both were really good, and I’m going to beg the author for another update with these two. 128 days later wasn’t enough. I’d like to see them 529 days later or more & more. Ondro, poor sweet Ondro. He’s kind, cynical, fearful and brave. He’s from Slovakia, a place that isn’t kind to him based on his sexuality. Not on the place but his family. Leaving at 22 was the one way that he thought he would gain some semblance of happiness. Years later he realizes that running has done nothing but let me win. Running has not helped in his love life, and some part of him wants to come to terms with his past there. Jamie is the sweetest ever. He’s fiery once meeting him, and I thought his stands & values were so endearing. Ending up together longer then their expected layover wasn’t in their plans but they made due with it. I don’t want to go to much into the plot, but I got this feeling while reading this book. It wasn’t about the physical aspect of the book, but all the emotions, tears, fears and hope. My favorite trope ever, realistic fiction is the best. The circumstances that they both go through can be someone you know, love, spouse, brother, father, or friend. Right now I feel like I’m rambling because I can’t put in words what made this book magical. It just felt raw, it felt real. It felt like people still have morals, dreams, and people don’t know the difference between lonesome or lonely. 

I’m going to end my review now, and say just buy the book. I’m looking forward to more writing from this author. If you want to try a new author, with a brilliant love story then try this. Try this for love, try this for Ondro & Jamie. Highly recommended!

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About Roe Horvat

Queer fiction author Roe Horvat was born in the post-communist wasteland of former Czechoslovakia. Equipped with a dark sense of sarcasm, Roe traveled Europe and finally settled in Sweden. They love Jane Austen, Douglas Adams, and daiquiri, with equal passion. When not hiding in the studio doing graphics, Roe can be found trolling cafés in Gothenburg, writing, and people-watching.