Review: Until Forever Comes (Mates #2) by Cardeno C.

A sensitive wolf shifter and a vicious vampire challenge history, greed, and the very fabric of their beings in order to stay together until forever comes.

Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel.

Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they're true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being with him comes so naturally that Miguel can't resist for long. Their challenge is staying alive so they can be together until forever comes.

Miguel and Ethan were sweet and loving. I adored them together.

Ethan was a shifter who's unable to shift. When he and his pack go to attack vampires, he's drained of some blood, which miraculously helped him shift.  During this attack, he also meets Miguel, who also happened to be Ethan's mate.

Miguel was intrigued by Ethan, but a Mate? Um, no. But he found the shifter irresistible and gave into his urges.

The blood! There was so much blood. And sexiness, of course.

Vampires and shifters did not mate. They don't even like each other, so two mating was unheard of. I really liked the dynamics of their mating and how their bodies responded naturally to each other. Ethan's body produced all the blood Miguel needed to survive and he didn't have to feed from anyone else. In turn, the feeding helped Ethan to shift, when he never was able to before.

Ethan was the cutest thing and I adored him. I just want to put him in my pocket and keep him forever. He was sweet, but stood his ground with Miguel and his insistence on their mating. Miguel tried to stop it, but he couldn't deny the pull or his possessiveness.

The "bad guy" thing... eehh... made me roll my eyes a bit. Mostly, I didn't really get that Miguel was this big bad vampire. He's supposedly really strong and other vampires are scared of him, but I didn't get that feeling.

Until Forever Comes is an easy, relaxing read, and fans of PNR and Cardeno C will  for sure enjoy this. 

 A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Excerpt & Giveaway: Until Forever Comes (Mates #2) by Cardeno C.

Cardeno C. is here again with more goodies! She's re-releasing her sexy shifter series, Mates. We have an excerpt from the second book, Until Forever Comes, with a chance to win an ebook copy!

 A sensitive wolf shifter and a vicious vampire challenge history, greed, and the very fabric of their beings in order to stay together until forever comes.

Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel.

Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they're true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being with him comes so naturally that Miguel can't resist for long. Their challenge is staying alive so they can be together until forever comes.


“I was right,” he said, looking up at me, his lips swollen and eyes heavy-lidded. “You’re delicious.”

I reached for him, feeling like I was going to fly right apart without his weight to keep me grounded and safe. He took my hand in his and kissed my palm before crawling over me until his face once again hovered above mine.

I took a deep breath, gathering every ounce of strength I possessed. “How much do you know about shifters?” I asked.

Miguel Rodriguez was my mate, which meant I was going to stick to his side like white on rice. I reckoned it was only fair for me to explain that to him.

“I know that none of them have ever felt as good as you.”

I frowned and a growl rumbled out at the thought of my mate feeling anyone, ever.

Miguel smirked. “That’s adorable,” he said, dipping down and tugging my lower lip between both of his before nibbling his way across my jaw to my ear. “I know quite a bit about shifters, actually. For example, I know your kind are very territorial, and based on that noise you just made, I’m guessing you’re trying to stake a claim on me.”

Oh, there was no “trying” about it. “You’re mine,” I nearly shouted. “And you best realize it right soon.”

The grin left his face, and he looked truly regretful when he cupped my cheek and responded. “I’m not a good bet, wolf. I tried to warn you before, tried to tell you to stay away.”

“That’s never going to happen,” I said adamantly. “I belong with you, and that’s all there is.”

“I’m a vampire,” he said, as if that explained anything.

“You’re my mate,” I replied, knowing that trumped everything. “My true mate.”

“Vampires don’t mate, Ethan. We don’t settle down and build dens and raise puppies. We’re not monogamous. We—”

“Oh, well, you surely are now,” I told him. “There’s going to be nobody but me for you from here on out.”

“And how do you plan to explain me to your pack?” He sounded frustrated. “Like I said, I know all about shifters. I know your kind looks down at everyone different. Humans are lesser beings, half-souls; that’s what you call them, right? They can’t shift into two forms so they’re not worthy. And bloodsuckers,” he scoffed. “We’re worse, aren’t we? Dirty, soulless, immoral.”

“I never said that,” I said hurriedly, feeling sickened by his hostile tone and harsh language.

“No, you didn’t. But do you deny that it’s true? Shifters live in packs, live for the pack, and you’re never going to bring me home to meet your mother. So how, exactly, do you plan on this going?”

He was right, of course, and it wounded me deeply, the fact that he’d never be accepted by my pack, the fact that I’d have to leave them in order to live by his side.

“I don’t deny it,” I whispered sadly. “But I hope that my mama will come into town to meet you.” I wiped the back of my hand across my eyes. “Either way, I’m staying with you. That’s where I belong. That’s where my loyalty lies now.”

“You’d choose me over your pack?” he asked skeptically. “You’d leave pack lands to live with me?”

It was the only choice I could make, the only choice I wanted to make. Like I’d said, Miguel was mine.

“Yes,” I answered simply, because, well, it was just as simple as that.

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Review: Swamp Blood by KA Merikan (Guns n' Boys #3)

--- Faking their own death was the easy part. ---

After months of recovering from his injuries, Seth struggles with who he has become. Afloat in a reality he never planned, he tries to find the lost pieces of himself again. Find the purpose, motivation, and strength to get back into shape. He is sick and tired of being a burden for Domenico, who seems to have it all together. When Domenico’s jealousy pushes them into the spotlight of a biker gang with connections to their former mafia family, Seth decides to step up, and make his own decisions, no matter what risks they might entail.

Domenico Acerbi can’t trust anyone. Nightmares of Seth’s torture are still haunting his dreams, and if he and Seth are to leave the country quietly and disappear off the mafia’s radar, he needs to stay in charge and keep everyone under control. What he doesn’t need is Seth giving him attitude, keeping secrets, and distancing himself for no reason. And as if Domenico didn’t have enough on his plate already, Seth forces him to help some hooker. Being stuck in the swamp with a kid hunted by a bunch of bikers is not Domenico’s idea of laying low.

heart stopping
blood pumping
detailed and deep and violent

Action and adventure at the fore of every Guns n Boys book. Seth and Dom may have escaped Vincente's but they are still reeling from his reach. Living day-to-day, on the run, recovering physically and emotionally, life is not easy for these two. Especially with assassin Dana on the run with them. Seth is finding it hard going, when he rescues Mark from a biker predator he insists they need to look after him. It gives him something to focus on.

emotionally vulnerable
hurt and heartache and pain

Dom deals with the physical challenges no problem, the emotional ones are another matter.I love Dom. I don't know why, he's a cold-blooded killer, but there is a sense of vulnerability about him that we only see through Seth. Nobody who can love the way he loves Seth can be all bad. Right? It is a talent to make the reader love a character who is as flawed and bad as Dom is, but the Merikan's manage it. I keep wanting more of these guys. I love their relationship - the good, the bad and the ugly of it. 

I was uncertain about them adding someone else into the mix. Dana, has no redeeming features as far as I can see, other than her loyalty to Dom. I dislike her for the way she makes Seth feel, especially as it is usually a calculated attack at Seth's confidence, so with her already in the picture, I wasn;t sure about the addition of Mark.

But I loved him. I liked the dynamic of a younger character in the mix and the way this affected the dynamics of the group. I liked Mark's unrelenting cockiness. He was showy and gobby and I'm not sure whether he needed Serth and Dom, or whether it was actually Dom and Seth who needed him. Maybe - probably - both.

I liked the biker gang (I'm pretty sure they are characters from another Merikan series, Sex & Mayhem, and I have purchased those books on the back of reading these because I love interconnecting stories and character crossovers), and I liked how the story moved away from just the Mafia, but never left dangerous ground. It was tense and intense form beginning to end.

KA Merikan are one of my favourite writing duos. I am always sure I will enjoy a book written by them, and I am yet to be disappointed. This series though, well it's a favourite of mine and I would absolutely recommend it to everyone who likes adventure, violence and a little bit of emotional constipation in their reading. 

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Goodreads.

Group Review: Better the Devil You Know by Bey Deckard

Byron is tall, handsome, well spoken, wealthy, and has outstanding taste in wine and food. You’ll be impressed by his impeccable attire and eloquence in conversation, ranging from Baroque art to the newest advances in pharmacology. With his charming smile and elegant manners, Byron truly is the perfect date… and who doesn’t love a man who appreciates opera?

What’s the catch, you ask?

Just this: if Byron finds you suitable, he will subject you to utterly depraved forms of torture.

No, I’m not talking about S&M.

Byron will mutilate, rape, and then kill you. Don’t think that you will survive the encounter, because you won’t. He has a perfect record.

Intrigued? Would you like me to arrange a rendezvous? It has to be in the next few days because he’s leaving on a trip south to much warmer climes, and his calendar will be completely full.

Yes? Very good. I will make a reservation for two under the name of Smith.

Who am I? I’m Gloria, his personal assistant.

Warning: graphic torture, forced incest, rape

Lorix: 5 Hearts

This books was dark and twisted and seriously fucked up. Like seriously.

And I loved every single word.

To be fair, if you make it past the first chapter, then you're probably going to make it through the whole story. At least, that was how it was for me. Those first pages - whoa. It was like walking across burning coals, only to find out they weren't glowing a little, but actually flaming still. I read the labels, I knew it was not for the faint of heart...

What disturbed me more than Bey's execution of words though, was the fact that, however fucked this was, however uncomfortable I felt, there was a part of me that was turned on just a bit. That is the best bit about fiction; the fact that it's fictitious. Knowing it's not real apparently oils the moral compass a little.

A wonderful piece of writing from a master of words. Dark, twisted, fucked up - and oh so bloody clever.

SheReadsALot: 5 Hearts

This one is for the dark and twisted lovers.

Before jumping into the bloody, stabby goodness, do yourself a favor, if you're faint of heart or don't usually read torture porn: read a sample. The first 10 % sets the tone in graphic detail. If you can handle that, then you can handle this book.


This is clever, pulls no punches and hurts real good. I was butchered by the sharpest blade from a talented swordsman. His weapon of choice? His words. (And I love my swords)

Byron is monster among men: too brilliant, too handsome, too wealthy, too insane. You know the guy you fear to never meet in a dark alley? Byron's that guy times a million. Hell, you don't want to meet Byron in the light of day. He's stone cold and this is his story. "Better the Devil You Know" is an erotic horror thriller that read like a movie. We get to not only read Byron's serial killer rap sheet but experience his dirty deeds at different periods of his life.

It's gruesome.

And every tag on this book is fully earned. Because I don't want to give away a major plot twist, my favorite character from the book happens to be the other guy! I've wanted to read a book starring quite sometime. It's been done before but I liked the author's way writing him. Plus, the world building was top notch (as usual) I could see every gush of blood, every horrid detail...oh, I quivered in delight.

My fucked up scale is warped, seriously warped. I thought it could have went even further than it did...and I don't know if the human body can sustain the torture performed. The main players impressed me with their skills.

Hands down, one of my favorite reads of 2015.

It read effortless. Nothing read as if it was written for shock value. It was depraved and classy. If the tags don't turn you off and you don't need romance (this is so not), I can't recommend this enough.

P.S. I'm gaga for this cover. Cover, title, book, the entire concept is a win-win-win for me.

Optimist King's Wench: 5 Hearts

My mom loves movies. She goes all the time and gets amped up around award season over which movies she’s already seen and which ones need to be seen. Plans are made. Distances are sometimes travelled. She drags dad along because she's a giver like me. He’s a good sport about it and always has kind words, though I suspect he’d much rather see movies wherein shit gets blown up rather than arty indie flicks but whatevs. It’s their thing and it’s cute as hell. But you know how those award movies can be, right? Critics LOVE them. Audiences… not so much. But back to mi madre. She does this thing when I ask her how such and such movie (read: intense) was. She usually makes (what I’ve termed) The Big Eyes with the associated double eyebrow raise and says, ‘it was good, so and so was phenomenal, but I’ll never need to see it again.’ and that, my friends, sums up how I feel about this book.

BeyBey can write. This is not news. Objectively speaking, the storyline is on point. How everything comes together was perfectly executed. The secondary characters made the experience worthwhile. The characterization of Byron is brilliant in its monstrosity; he has no redeeming qualities. He’s the sort of character that inspires and stars in my nightmares because he’s a real, everyday monster. I had one niggle with regard to the “psychosis” mentioned, but that’s an occupational hazard and I’m not going to split hairs over it.

The story is gripping and if you’re a horror fan, you’re going to be drunk with happiness like a cat in a pile of catnip. But I am a squishy cupcake and a lover not a fighter. I unabashedly prefer sex to violence, so this was a struggle for me. If you’re going to put rape and torture in my books then I need redemption or retribution in the end. Neither occurred here. My reactions were visceral and a couple times I thought I was going to have to abandon ship which is a testament to the power of the writing and how talented BeyBey is, that I pushed myself to finish because I wanted to know.

Will I read it again? Fuck no! I deleted it from my kindle already. Am I sorry I read it? No. It was an experience. An experience akin to the madre's most recent experience with Black Mass. Once was plenty.

For more information on Goodreads or Booklikes!

Buy linksAll Romance eBooks or Payhip (direct from author - mobi/epub/pdf available)

Review: Storytime by K. Lynn

Since the death of his partner a year ago, sci-fi writer James Murphy has lived a quiet, secluded life. But at the urging of his agent, he finally makes an effort to rejoin society. His first step is volunteering for a weekly storytime at the local library. The decision seems like a good one when he meets the children's librarian, David.

Bright and engaging, David somehow manages to make James feel like everything will be okay. But when mutual friendship leads to a budding romance, the move forward could be too much for James. Leaving his past love behind once and for all might be a step he'll never be ready to take.

I'm fascinated with reading romances with main characters who find love after losing the love of their life.

Morbid? Maybe.

But to read about the internal struggles and obstacles of returning to the land of the living catches my eye.

As does books with librarian main characters. This book has both, so reading this was a no-brainer for me.

James is a popular science fiction writer who lost his spark. He's fifty-three and lost his partner of twenty-plus years. Though it has been a year, his work is suffering, he is still suffering alone. He tries rejoin society by hosting a children's storytime hour at his local library once a week, There he befriends children's librarian, David. Through conversation and sharing their pasts, the men find a common bond.

This was a great in-between read. Quick, light and easy to read. Though grief is a heavy topic, the author doesn't delve too deeply in James' past relationship or give a glimpse through a flashback. So other than a few brief mentions of having writer's block from missing his lover or thinking about past memories, the book was surprisingly light. I liked David but his little twist at the restaurant made him more interesting to me. I was a little intrigued by his past...naughty skeleton in closet, maybe? *grin* Excuse the wishful thinking. ;P

I like the way "Storytime" ended. Though I question how quick James seemed to get over his dead lover Paul, I like the last conversation. I love the open ending. Because James couldn't have just easily got over twenty plus years with a quick hook up. Not the guy who is still picking up the pieces of his life and struggling with human contact.

I'd read more from this author. Really enjoyed her tone.

For more information on Goodreads or Booklikes!

Review: Neon White: Episode 3 by Wulf Francu Godgluck

This is going to be a bloody shit day.
The Alpha is missing, for one thing. Raven's partner Jessy is still struggling to deal with his death. Finding out that his body is missing from the morgue is a big enough shock, so what happens next is going to be unbelievable...
Especially for Raven.

So, book 3 (or episode 3) picks up after the 2nd book.
Installments like this are hard for me because I like to read something in one sitting and get the entire story. That being said, it's definitely a gripping series.
I'm going to try to review this without giving away spoilers for this book. No promises about book 2 spoilers.

So after the death of Raven in book 2 I was like, "Well, he ain't dead" because that wouldn't really make this a very good romance, just killing off people. Haha.
Anyway, I think the character development in this short is really good.
Not everything is as it seems and there are definitely twists and turns around every corner that will keep you guessing, and sometimes confused. That being said, I think I took away one of the stars because, if you haven't read all the books IMMEDIATELY prior this this one, you forget who's who, who's with who, all the bazaar names, and what's happening. So, in order to read this episode, I had to re-read the first two. Which isn't a bad thing, but I had to do that for book 2 as well, and it's just kind of annoying having to re-read things just to remember what's going on. But then again, it IS a serial, so if your attention span is better than mine (likely), it's probably not an issue.

I still don't like Jessy. I think she's a jerk. But I see what purpose she has in the story. Doesn't mean I like her. And where the hell is Seth now? Seriously, a lot of drama in these stories and it keeps you so hooked. The last seen in the book... *shivers*

I must admit, this story is great in the way of tension. Lots of excitement and tension between, well, almost all the characters. Some of it is uber sexy, too. The sexy parts are definitely worth reading this series for.

The writing is even better in this episode than the other two. Still some grammar issues. I think that the series, once complete, should get a full re-edit.

All in all, great series! I would definitely recommend reading all three of the first books at once, though. It would really help with characterization and plot. But still, I get why the cliffhangers are so exciting!

ps. This totally ended with a big cliffhanger.

For more information on Goodreads!

Unicorn Favourites: Love is an Open Road: Weeks 13 & 14

The M/M Romance Group on Goodreads hosts a Don't Read in the Closet event each year where they invite members to submit a photo with a story prompt. Interested authors then volunteer to write the requested stories, which are published for free for everyone to read. It's a fun/exciting/stressful process, and a great opportunity to read stories from favourite authors. And chances are, you'll also discover some new authors, who hopefully have a back-list of goodies to check out :)

This year's event was named Love is an Open Road and they started releasing the completed stories on June first. Here at BMBR, we've been following along on comment threads, anticipating the stories from our favourite prompts, and now greedily reading the stories as they become available.  The stories are being released slightly slower now - and many are novel length - so we won't be reading them as quickly, but we promise, we're still reading them!. 

Sunny: Reclamation by Cari Z, Sado by Steelewhisper, Dark Soul by Lexi Ander & The Biggest Scoop by Gillian St. Kevern
Awesome world building with a strong sense of place and appealing characters. The suspense had me a little stressed out and anxious, though. I don't like when that happens, but this was so good, I kept reading. It helped that the pacing was just right, carrying me through the tense parts. The writing style in general, the voices, descriptions, dialogue, really worked for me
Elegant, intense, quiet, and erotic. Beautiful.

I was incredibly impressed at what the author did with just over 5000 words, and little of it dialogue. The precise descriptions conveyed so much, not only about the setting, but about the characters. Yearning, respect, comfort, was all there. The submission, the control, all shown in small details. 

And the ending...beautiful in its simplicity.
Omg...why didn't I wait?! I need part 2 right now!

So many of my favorite things in this story, I loved the world building, characters, and plot.

Sweet, tender, lusty, with a bit of the Mine!
...and there was a tail :P

YA isn't my favorite genre, so while I enjoyed the story, it wouldn't have made my favorites list if it hadn't been for Milo, who gets all the stars. Quirky, adorable Milo who made me laugh, and got me a little choked up. He is one of my all time favorite characters.
Lorix: Reclamation by Cari Z & The Biggest Scoop by Gillian St. Kevern 
I didn't think this prompt would be my thing. I'm so glad I gave it a go though because I loved this story. I loved the world that has been created by Cari Z. Matt and Grayson were great characters and I loved the journey we took with them in this dystopian future world. The attention to detail was amazing, the bosy modifications for example. I'm not the hugest futuristic fan - but when it's written well, I love it. This was written well.
The biggest scoop - firstly can I say how much I LOVE the cover. It really, really appeals to me and I would absolutely have chosen this book for the cover design alone, so kudos. As it was, cute cover or not, I am so glad I read this story. It was hilarious. I adored Milo, every over the top, foot in mouth bit of him. I loved him because he wasn't afraid to be himself. I loved him because he made mistakes. I loved him because he admitted when he was in the wrong. I loved his humour, his style, his kindness, his honesty, his....his everything. He was the story. Everything else slotted into place around him and it worked really well. Growing up is hard, but Milo does it in style. He is a force to be reckoned with and I am super glad I got to meet him. I also loved Taylor - and really the whole cast of characters. This book was a pleasure to read and I'll be watching for this author in the future. 

Review: Love Bites by D. River

    Ryder has been friends with Tucker since they were in the first grade. They grew up together, they joined the Marines together and they moved to the vast metropolis of New York City together. Nothing could tear them apart.
    Or so they believed. When they get bitten by a mysterious creature, they find themselves drawn together in a whole new way that is both exciting and terrifying. Neither of them is prepared to face the feelings they now have or what that could mean for their future.
    This is the story of their quest for a cure, which takes them through such locales as Little Avalon, the Wild Wood and the haunted ruins of Old Syracuse. Together they must face down dangers and challenges even as they grapple with the life-shift of now being mated werewolves.
    Join Ryder and Tucker for a fun, romantic adventure set in an Earth much like our own, but where magic and magical creatures are as much a part of the world as science and technology.

Friends to lovers - tick
Shifters - tick
Bad v good - tick
Fabulously enjoyable story - tick
Sizzling hot sex - TICK

Tick, tick, tick. It's fair to say this book worked for me. It really worked for me. I have a confession, I'm a bit of a Teen Wolf fangirl, so most of my shifter reading has been of the TW fanverse variety, and this means sometimes I find it harder to get into other shifter fics. I know the rules and characters in TW world and want to apply them to other shifter fics. That was not the case here though.

In fact, I adored the world D. River created - the magical world alongside the human world. I loved the fact that humans knew about this world, although the two often only met in places. Little Avalon - it reminded me a bit of Diagon Alley and I would love to spend more time there.  Magical, mystical, never sure who or what was around the corner or behind the next door. The Wild Wood too, a place where humans don't venture, full of creatures not of the earthly realm.

Ryder and Tucker are best friends and have been since childhood. Tucker has had a difficult life and Ryder is the person who understands him best, the only one he lets close. He's a love 'em and leave 'em type; he lets the girls in only so far. Ryder is more serious in his relationships, but hasn't found the right girl for him yet.

When they are attacked one evening by a creature they can't properly identify (it couldn't be a werewolf because werewolves were extinct)... except, later that night, Ryder finds himself running through one of the city parks, shifted into a wolf form and doing his best to fight the killing instinct that has him in its thrall. Werewolves were created by Native Americans to protect the land from the intruding white men, but somehow things had gone wrong and instead of just  protecting Mother Earth they savaged those who were ruining her. 

Luckily for Ryder he caught whiff of his alpha, his mate, and the night became a chase between the two of them. The thrill of the dominant alpha hunting his submissive mate. Ryder wouldn't make it too easy for his alpha though, that would be disrespectful. What follows was so freaking hot my Kindle nearly flew a fire (as they say here on Norfolk).

Of course, the alpha mate was Tucker.

The story that followed was of their quest to try and rid themselves of the curse - of being werewolves. They would be hunted and unable to go back to their lives, were it known what had happened to them. At the same time though they had to learn to be more than friends. Their wolves recognised the love and attraction to each other, but as two men who had yet to consider a physical relationship - sex - with anyone of the same gender the fact they wanted to jump each others bones took some getting used to.

It was more than sex. It was protection and loving and friendship and dominant and submissive and leader and so, so much more than just sex. BUT the sex was so fucking hot. I mean, I can take or leave nooky in a book, but I adored it here. I really, really did. It was also pretty funny as well. 
"Strange as it was for sex not to be about the destination, he felt okay with not getting to come. The sensations he was experiencing were like a maelstrom of tiny climaxes and he was so content he didn't feel the need to shoot. At least, for now it was okay. In a moment he would probably masturbate like a teen boy with his first porn magazine." 
I don't always highlight when I read, but I did in this book and all of them were sex scenes. My notes were things like first time, hilarious. The rest of the story was good too though, promise.

The only reason I didn't give it five stars was - for me - it felt occasionally YA in tone, when it really isn't a YA story. A really enjoyable start to a series. Book 2 review soon.  

A copy of this book was given on exchange for an honest review.
Find out more on Goodreads.