Nachos & Hash by Brandon Witt

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

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

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

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

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

four-stars

 

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

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

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

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

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

About Brandon Witt

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

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

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

Infected:Lesser Evils 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.

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.

Until recently, Roan was ahead of the curve when it came to reining in the lion that lives inside him. Now his control is slipping at the worst possible times. A new drug has hit the streets—one that triggers unscheduled changes in infected users. Street hustler Holden Krause gets attacked by one of his clients, then is surprised to find himself involved in an unwanted, unexpected relationship. And a serial killer begins targeting infecteds in their cat form—something that’s 100 percent legal.

To stop the murders, Roan has to work outside the law. But his newfound thirst for violence makes him worry he might be more like the killer than he thought, and his reluctance to talk about it with his husband, Dylan, puts an extra strain on their relationship. So Roan isn’t just fighting the killer and struggling with his mutating virus… he’s trying to save himself.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, October 2012.

four-half-stars

 

I wanted to Sam & Dean this book by the end of it. I wanted someone to care enough to tell Roan to stop. Jeez, no one asked him to stop and evaluate. Sure he’s going to look at you crazy but so what!  I wanted to grab Roan, and drive up to Vancouver to get away from all the madness. But I can’t because I’m guessing he’s meant to go through this situation for the end of the series.

I’m going to need serious counseling after this series. I finished the book feeling melancholy. I’m so debating if reading the last two books are worth it at this point. I am at a lost of words after reading this. I mean Roan has been dealing with the virus for so long, and for it turn it’s back on him at this point was heartbreaking. Let’s be real Roan’s being self-destructing self book 2. This is book 6, and shit got real. I feel bad for Dylan at this point, he is giving all his love to this man and doesn’t know what will set Roan off. I don’t know if I could live with someone who could take the decision to off themselves with no regards to you. I’m not even angry at Roan. I’m just sad for him. It was hard for me to read this especially with all the things he had going on. He’s basically killing his own, and no one cares, and the virus is making him the biggest target ever. I will say this though, I didn’t like Holden for Roan in this book. It pissed me off. I was angry on Dylan’s behalf and my own. I wanted Roan to relax and think. He doesn’t seem to get the impact his death would have on people. Holden is another story. We see bits and pieces of the real him, but he is sociopath and I wanted to kick his butt and make him stay clear away from Roan.

He’s been different all his life. He wants to be less different, not more, but every time he turns around he’s getting more different. I think he feels he’s getting farther and farther away from human, and yes, while that sounds like a marvelous idea, it isn’t to Roan.

This story showed once again how Humanity pisses me off. Roan is dealing with himself, and having to kill his own. On top of that someone else decides to hunt his own and the police does nothing about it. I kept waiting for someone higher to say that it was wrong. What the hell is wrong with people? Infecteds didn’t ask to be here. They are here and human, and getting hunted down like the Serengeti. This book was long, and the one thing that I can say is I don’t know if I trust Holden anymore. Yeah, he’s been great and at times he’s amazing, but I’m too damn stubborn to forgive him for his actions in this book. Every bit of the story was emotional for me. It was darker and more vicious from anything we’ve seen so far. I’m actually scared because this ended in a cliffhanger and if I think this was bad then 7 is probably going to cause me to go for fluff for a week.

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!

Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale

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: Empty Net by Avon Gale
Series:  Scoring Chances #4
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner

Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie and captain Isaac Drake ended last season with an unexpected trip to the playoffs. He’s found a home and family with his coach and mentor, Misha Samarin, and he’s looking forward to making a serious run for the Kelly Cup. But things take an interesting turn when Isaac’s archnemesis, Laurent St. Savoy, is traded to the Spitfires. After Laurent’s despicable behavior in the playoffs last year, Isaac wants nothing to do with him – no matter how gorgeous he is. But that changes when Isaac discovers the reason for Laurent’s attitude.

Laurent St. Savoy grew up the only son of a legendary NHL goalie in a household rife with abuse, constantly treated like a disappointment on and off the ice. When a desperate attempt to escape his father’s tyranny sends him to the Spitfires, the last thing Laurent wants is to make friends. But there’s something about Isaac Drake that he can’t resist, and Laurent has an opportunity to explore his sexuality for the first time, but he’s cracking under end-of-the season pressures. When facing the playoffs and a rivalry turned personal vendetta, Isaac’s not sure he’s enough to hold Laurent—or their relationship—together.

Please be advised: This book does contain some non-graphic references to past childhood physical/emotional abuse as well as issues relating to ED (bulimia and restricted eating, disordered thoughts about eating)

three-half-stars

I’m annoyed. I guess I should get that out first. I’ve had nothing but hits with this series, and book 3 is my all time favorite. I’m annoyed for many reasons concerning this book. It took me 7 days to read this book. A big surprise for me, I was not able to put up with the antics of the first half. I went from rage, anger, annoyance, guilty and a slew of other emotions. It took a lot for me to not DNF this book. I knew it was a part of me in the first two days, but I did a normal thing by trying to read something else. I succeeded in that, and read a few other books. That lead me to believe that it wasn’t just me.

I did not connect to the book until the last half, and I enjoyed it. I’m so conflicted on the rating to actually give the book. I want to be as fair as possible, but it’s half because I didn’t care for the first half which is important. I needed to be drawn in by both guys, and for me this entire book seemed liked redemption for Laurent. In the mist of him gaining his confidence and learning about his sexuality, I feel like Issac was forgotten completely. I could be wrong here, and maybe his job the entire book was to be support for Laurent. He did a great job on that front, but where was Isaac in all of this? Do a few sexual experiences, and helping Laurent equals “Issac time”? I’m trying really hard to understand, but I’m not getting it at all.

I feel like Issac experiences were left out or on the back burner. No, I didn’t expect him to have some made up stuff happen for the book, I kinda just needed him to have a little independence in his book. I wanted to see a different side of him, and while he was a great support system, and eventual boyfriend I feel lost on his behalf. Again, these are all my perceptions and I’m definitely in the minority according to the ratings. Even after reading the ending, I felt nothing. No connection really, and I didn’t feel quite satisfied. I still look forward to more in the series. I might re-read this someday and my feelings could possibly change. Who knows?

About Avon Gale

Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

His Royal Favorite by Lilah Pace

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.

His Royal Favorite: by Lilah Pace
Series: His Royal Secret #2 
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Pages: 245 • Format: eARC
Published By: InterMix
Purchase Links:
Amazon

The conclusion of Lilah Pace’s racy, romantic male/male duology following His Royal Secret…

James, Prince of Wales, is making history. He’s decided to come out to his subjects—and the world. However, telling the truth means exposing his relationship with lone-wolf reporter Benjamin Dahan. Although Ben never wanted commitment, the unexpected depth of his feelings leads him to join James in the media’s harsh spotlight.

When the news story explodes across the globe, Ben can endure the mockery and dirty jokes. But after his tragic past is cruelly revealed, his life begins to implode. Can even his love for James be worth this?

James has it no easier. His revelation divides the country and sparks turmoil within the royal family. He must struggle to defend not only himself and Ben, but also his younger sister, who hovers on the brink of a breakdown that could endanger her life.

Is Ben strong enough to survive the onslaught and stand by James’ side? And will James have to make a choice between Ben and the crown?

four-stars

Book two was not for the lighthearted at all!!! It was super emotional and way more angsty!!! GAH. I dislike angst and reading this is why. In my head Ben would have got over himself 20% into the story. I get it, and understand ALL his reservations but I totally was being #TeamJames over here and wanted him to sacrifice his freedom for James. It didn’t work like that, and man this book did wonders to my emotions. I feel like I need a palate cleanser and need to read a comfort read or some fluff afterwards.

This picks up immediately after book two. I almost want it to be a trilogy because I like these two characters so much. I think the author handled this wonderfully. Nothing was easy to any of the characters to me. Both guys were constantly tested, it really made them put their future in perspective. I couldn’t imagine living like that, and too see Ben trying should have been enough for me. I really like Ben alot, he’s independent, career-orientated, and self reliant. To see him part ways with the pieces that he feels makes him about did me in. I’d understood the resentment and the falling apart from one another.I think James was one of the realistic guys ever. Yeah he lived in a bubble, and doesn’t have a debit card, but he constantly gave Ben an out. He was willing to allow the love of his life, a life instead of being in the media spotlight constantly.

On top of those two, Indigo’s mental health status has reached a boiling point. I felt for James, because he’s rolling solo on this. He has no help, he has no training and he’s trying to do what he thinks is the best of her. Bravo Ben!!! Thank you for saying what I’m sure everyone reading is thinking. We can’t help Indigo without professionals, and it’s time to allow someone else to take over the reigns for a little while.

I did find myself less enamored with this then book one. It was tamer in the physical acts, it was way angstier I ever would have expected. It didn’t have the same magic as book one, but I guess you could say it was the honeymoon period for those guys and they needed a break. I’m looking forward to more from this author. This series is one I’d definitely recommend!

About Lilah Pace

Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author, so she can’t give away too much about herself here, but she has lived everywhere from Italy to the United Kingdom before putting down roots in the American South.

She’s addicted to Diet Coke, loves her dog, and daydreams about several British movie stars (though usually no more than two at a time).

And while it took her a long while to get up the courage to write books, now she hopes she’ll never stop.