Review: Strong Enough (Family #2) Audiobook by Cardeno C.

When a casual hookup turns into the potential for love, staid Spencer realizes he wants to build a life with vibrant Emilio.

When 22-year-old Emilio Sanchez sees handsome Spencer Derdinger walking by his construction site, Emilio makes it his goal to seduce the shy professor. Getting Spencer into bed isn't difficult, but Emilio soon learns that earning the trust of a man deeply hurt will take time and patience. With a prize like brilliant, sweet Spencer on the line, Emilio decides he is strong enough to face the challenge.

Spencer is surprised when he's approached by the gorgeous construction worker he's admired from the safety of his office window. Acting spontaneously for the first time in his 38 years, Spencer takes Emilio home. When the casual hookup turns into the potential for love, Spencer realizes that if he wants to build a life with Emilio, he'll need to be strong enough to slay his personal demons and learn to trust again.

Listening Length: 6 hours and 43 minutes
Narrator: Ezekiel Robison


I have read this book a few times already, it's definitely one of my favourite comfort reads! When I saw Ezekiel Robison had done the narration for it I got my grabby little hands all over it! There was no way this could be bad, amazing narrator and romantic story, sign me up!

I first heard Robison’s narration in ‘More than Everything’ and was blown away at the variety of voices he could produce for a mostly all male dialogue. Somehow he managed to find another two completely different voices for Spencer and Emilio.

Robison does a Spanish accent for Emilio and all his brothers, at first I was a little hesitant about that, I was curious to see if he’d be able to pull it off throughout the entire book. He definitely did! Not many people could stick with an accent while reading a sex scene and still make it sound hot. Robison’s narration makes me forget that I’m listening to a book, he’s so involved and animated with his voices that I feel like I’m intruding on these men’s lives by listening to their personal moments.

If you haven't read the story, I’d definitely recommend going with the audio, although actually reading it is worth the time as well. Beware though, this story is all Insta-love and fluff, comfort and romance. It has enough drama to keep it from getting boring but Emilio and Spencer are solid and stable together from 3 hours after meeting, until the end.

Listening to this book in audio and actually hearing Emilio and Spencer talk to each other really changed the story and gave it that extra dimension I didn’t know it was missing. Loved it so hard!!!


Checkout on Goodreads!

Review: Prince of Seas (Three Brothers Fair #1) by Emily Carrington




What’s the worst thing about being a water demon? You can’t tell your husbands apart. Of course, it doesn’t help when your newest mate-to-be disguises himself as his brother to win your hand.

Prince Felimid wants nothing more than to have a kelpie in his family so that his own race will have some stronger blood to mix in and have a hope of keeping water demons from dying out altogether. What he gets is a shy, sneaky, and virginal kelpie whose seed has yet to be proven. Initially furious that he’s been tricked, Felimid can’t deny the courageous and lusty husband he’s accidentally won.



I really wish this would've worked for me. Look at that blurb, would you? Kelpies! Demons! Virgins! Going the extra (slightly unethical, possibly amoral) mile to get your man! I had my biscuit at the ready to sop this up.




Unfortunately for me I was expecting more world building, more creatures, just... more than what was delivered. On a scale of 1 to KILL ME NOW I'm somewhere in the Meh range. I certainly didn't hate it. But I'm not sure I'll be diving into the rest of the series.

Hans is the youngest triplet among his kelpie brothers. These brothers, according to legend, are supposed to unite the kingdom through their marriages. Felimid is betrothed to Tian but Tian doesn't want him. Hans does for reasons. And this is where things started to run aground for me on Instalove Island.

Hans' affection for his prince is something I still can't grasp. For someone to be so determined as to pull a Hermione Granger and then incapacitate his brother for the ceremony it would've been nice to understand why other than... 





I kept wanting to ask Hans if he'd forgotten that they're both immortal. Like forever and ever FOR ALL TIME, BRO! But the heart wants what it wants. I just wish I was shown more of their connection rather than told to accept as a foregone conclusion because the esoteric Gaelic legend said so.

It's a fluffy, cute, quick and easy to read story. They boink a lot so there is that. I'm pretty sure were I in Felimid's position I'd probably fussy, party of one that I'd been deceived. Then again it only lasted for 48 hrs, but 48 hrs in instalove time is like 6 mos regular people time so I expected a little butthurtedness. I'm not sure how I feel about the reasons for Felimid marrying and then seemingly renouncing all attraction to his three wives. There's not enough for me to discern whether or not he ever felt anything more than affection and a fervent desire for offspring for them so I'm not going to get my panties in a twist over it. Ok, one hackle raised but then saw the opportunity to take a nap and that ended that uprising in a hurry.

Recommend to fans of fluff and fantasy.



A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Review: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back by Joe Cosentino

On Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey shore, handsome Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are open for summer and love.

Mario and Harold are brothers and college students who happen to look alike, but couldn’t be more different: Mario is searching for love, and Harold is searching for lust. Josh and Greg, a wealthy older couple, are matchmakers for their son, Christopher.

When it comes to Connor, the maid, packed with muscles and a roving sponge, anything can happen. Opposites attract as wild Tim with the secret past meets shy Mark, and porn star Chuck Caliber connects with Sean, a virgin romance novelist.

And what will happen when computer-game designer Arthur has a midnight sea rendezvous with a merman? Even married Cal faces an emotional upheaval when a gay bashing turns into something quite unexpected.

What secrets and passions lie in magical Cozzi Cove?



"Greg took in a deep breath to clear his head. "We've been wondering. I guess now we know. Christopher is straight. Which is fine. We have straight friends." 
"It's different when it's your own son." Josh unpacked their things, putting them away in the closet and bureau. 
"How did this happen?" Greg followed him around the room. 
Josh threw a hanger at his husband. "You played football with him in the backyard when he was a kid. And you bought him a GI Joe doll for Christmas." 
Greg smiled in recollection. "The GI Joe doll was hot.""
This. This is why I love Joe Cosentino's words. This author has a unique writing style that falls within the boundaries of satire and parody. I think I've compared its essence before to the Carry On films, and as I read this story I was once again reminded of this comparison. The humour is full of double entendres and tongue in cheek wit. I can't help but grin my way through his novels.

But.

But.

Beneath the comings and goings and toings and froings and sex and arguments and innuendo are real issues. Coping with the death or illness or betrayal. Learning to love. Hoping. Yearning. Becoming different. Growing. Accepting.

Joe Cosentino writes a novel that could be taken at surface value. It could be read as a humorous story and totally enjoyed in that way. When I read his stories though I see more.

""This isn't Peter Pan," Josh replied, squeezing his husband's hand. "We don't need anyone to believe in us, except us.""

I see a truth not to be ignored. Experience and understanding. Whilst at first glance it easy to see the parody, the rest is there, squeezing its way in under the guise of humour, sex and innuendo. There is not another writer of which I can think of offhand who can have several couples all declaring love after knowing each other for a week without rolling my eyes. Joe Cosentino gets away with it though. Somehow it just fits - kinda like a puzzle I guess, all the parts slot together to make the whole, no matter how obscure they may appear individually.

Though I happen to have chosen two quotes from the same couple, this book is about Cal Cozzi and the holiday bungalows he owns in Cozzi Cove. It's about the guests and locals over a one week period - and if I took it apart and inspected each individual element I would be the first to say Nope, no Siree, this story will not work. And yet it does. This author is yet to disappoint me with his stories. I think he is a  Marmite author, you'll either love or hate his writing style. For me it's love all the way.

To Buy:


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

Review: Project Ordell by Susanna Hays

Ordell Rutledge lives in the small town of Blackwick where he helps in his father’s modest automaton shop. While he enjoys interacting with the few people who grace his father’s business, he feels isolated because he can’t relate to them. For ten years, life’s been quaint and peaceful, but Ordell has a secret: he is an automaton, sentient enough to pass as human.

Ordell’s life is upended when the person he trusts most betrays him. Heartbroken, he sets off for Linnesse, a city that accepts automatons as people and is booming with the latest technology. With another sentient automaton, Elias Griffith, at his side, they overcome obstacles and uncover the strange truth behind Ordell’s past. But sometimes the past is best left in the dark.


Ordell is a sentient automaton living in Blackwick with his father and creator, Octavio, living peacefully and enjoys helping his father build other automatons to be sold as workers. Or so he believes.

One day he comes home from running his errands and finds his father arguing with a man who gives him the creeps. A week later he is betrayed by Octavio, and has been sold as a pleasure slave to that man.

Running away, he finds himself at Winifred’s house, whom he discovers is his real creator, and she has another automaton locked in her basement to keep him safe. She sends Ordell, and the other automaton, Elias to Linesse, where automatons are free to live as they please thanks an underground revolution that has been fighting for automaton rights for decades.

But the journey is long, and Ratcliffe, the man who bought him, will not give him up without a fight.

This story was loooooooooong. I feel exhausted just thinking about it now. There was so much nothing going on that it took me 8 weeks to read. I just couldn’t get into it. It may work for others, but it did not work for me.

Ordell has only been ‘alive’ for ten years, and while I won’t say he has the maturity of a ten year old, because that is just creepy, he has a naivety that borders on child-like. He is innocent, modest, and easily scandalised. His logic is sound, if he lived in a bubble, which he appeared to, until he was sold. His outrage and sensitivity was irritating and the dialogue didn’t flow well for me.

Elias was a former pleasure slave whom was re-programmed to protect Ordell. His protective streak was not sexy. It was overbearing and silly. There were holes in the story on how he knew what to do and where to go, for a robot whom lived in a basement for however long, and before that was a mindless sex-doll, he sure does know a lot about the outside world. Some of that was explained by programming, but the rest was not.

The story had an innocence to it that contradicted the darker elements of sexual slavery, and kidnapping. It was very whimsical and had a flutterby flow to it. The undercurrent of darkness didn’t really come through in this style of writing, and that was a shame, because it would have given the story the edge that it needed.

A lot of the dialogue was the same, just in a different location. Obviously, it wasn’t exactly the same, but it sure felt like one prolonged dialogue. Also, a lot of meaningless detail that did not progress the story. The only exciting part for me was the mechanical Kraken they encountered on their journey. I wish that scene had been longer.

The romance between Ordell and Elias was odd. It was very fluffy, and I felt like a robot reading about it. I didn’t feel the connection between them at all. I wanted to feel the heat, but it felt like they were just doing it because it was expected. They are supposed to have emotional and physical reactions just like humans.. You know, sentient, but it did not come across that way at all.

This was a really interesting concept, set in a sort of mashup between cyberpunk and gas light, that I really wanted to love. Unfortunately I feel like I will remember this story for all the wrong reasons. Tighter writing of the plot, and chopping about 25% of the dialogue/descriptions/action would greatly improve the flow of this story.

I really can’t recommend this to anyone, but if people want to take a chance, and enjoy cyberpunk/gas light/historical sci-fi then this might be something to try.

Dreamspinner Press
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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Fragments of a Unicorn's Soul by J.R. Loveless




J.R. Loveless is celebrating their re-release "Fragments of a Unicorn's Soul" with Boy Meets Boy Reviews today! Did someone say unicorn? You know we're on it!





Content with his life, Elek Keros never questions the ways of the Unicorn. Until one night the sense of something coming awakens him from a deep sleep. He breaks Unicorn law by leaving the enchanted glade his kind lives in to search for what is calling to him. Each night he returns home without answers, but he cannot stop entering the forest day after day to find what he seeks.

The answer lies in a small child Elek rescues. Over the years, he watches over the boy, learns all that he can about the human and steadily falls in love with him. But how can the love he feels possibly breach the divide between their two worlds?








Author: J.R. Loveless
Title:  Fragments of a Unicorn's Soul
Publisher:  Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris
Release Date: 4/6/16
Heat Level: 3
Pairing: Male/Male
Length:  12k words
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book/Buy Links



Excerpt

Elek let out a pained whinny, tossing his head in denial of Jonathan’s words. The human male would not be coming back. It struck such pain through his heart that Elek did not understand how to cope with it. What could he say to make Jonathan remain by his side? Please don’t go.

Heart wrenching at the distress in Elek’s voice, Jonathan stifled a small sound and rested his forehead against Elek’s neck. “I can’t stay, Elek. It’s not possible.”

Why? Elek demanded.

“Because my feelings for you aren’t rational! You aren’t human, Elek, and… I can’t do this anymore. All I can think of is you, all I dream of is being here with you. It isn’t possible,” Jonathan cried, squeezing his eyes shut. Today would be their last day together. He returned to school tomorrow.

Desperation rose in Elek. A strange burning sensation started behind Elek’s eyes. Salt stung his nostrils and water welled up, spilling down his muzzle.

Jonathan felt wetness drip onto his neck and he pulled back in surprise. His sapphire gaze widened in shock. “Elek!”

I… love you, Jonathan. Elek keened to him, frantically hoping that Jonathan returned his love.

Jonathan shook his head. “No, Elek. No. You can’t. It’s not possible. Please… don’t.”

Elek struggled to his feet, backing away from Jonathan. He’d put his heart in Jonathan’s hands and the human had rejected him. Despite knowing that their love wasn’t possible, Elek couldn’t stop the hurt spearing deep into his soul.

Jonathan gave him a helpless look. “Elek, please don’t go.”

A shrill cry echoed throughout the trees and Elek spun around, racing away from Jonathan, trying to outrun the pain. But it haunted him, nipping at his hooves like dogs at the paws of a fox. The human did not return his love. Elek didn’t stop running until he’d reached the glade. His head hung down almost to the ground in sorrow, and the normally vibrant spiral horn had dulled to a grayish color.


Author Bio

J.R. Loveless is a native Floridian who spends her days in an office physically but mentally is frolicking between the pages of her imagination. Writing has been a lifelong passion that escaped from her in the midst of life until she discovered Yaoi. After following breadcrumbs of the anime style, she discovered a forum dedicated to the world of Yaoi. Inspired, she tried her own hand at M/M romances, spending hours building worlds of her own with the newfound support of other forum members. She can never write enough of the electrifying emotions that blaze across the hearts and souls of her characters.

She is a self-confessed Dr. Who addict with a spastic dog and a neurotic cat for companions on her long journey through the many chapters of her life. One day she hopes to visit far off places and have grand adventures like those of the characters in her stories.

Blog: http://jrloveless.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjrloveless
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jrloveless
Website: http://www.jrloveless.com



Be sure to enter in rafflecopter for your chance to win an ebook copy of J.R. Loveless's "Fragments of a Unicorn's Soul" being released by Torquere Press on April 6th.

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Review: Einstein's Peep Show by Josephine Myles

Nerdy by day, naughty by night!

Nathan Wright has a secret life. During the day he’s a dedicated student, working hard for his maths degree. But times are tough, and in order to make ends meet by night he becomes “Einstein”, wooing punters with his online solo sex show. Still wounded by his last dysfunctional relationship, Nathan’s happy being single. But when his highest tipping client demands it, Einstein has to overcome his social awkwardness to rope in some extra help.

Party boy Rory Jones has never given his geeky neighbour a second glance, but he’s not one to turn down the offer of a free blow job, even when Nathan tells him it’s going online. Once on camera, Rory discovers his exhibitionist streak and the two of them are so hot together, the one-off becomes a regular gig.

But being neighbours with benefits isn’t without its challenges. Nathan’s client keeps wanting more, and he finds himself pushed into a role he’s not prepared for. Meanwhile Rory’s growing affection leaves him worried his ultra-rational lover won’t ever be able to share his emotions. If he and Nathan can’t find something more than great sex in common, they’ll be left with the square root of absolute zero.


Nerdy to dirty... exhibitionism... neighbours to lovers... what's not to love?

Written in Josephine Myles straightforward, English at it's core, style this short was a fun and sexy little read. Nathan is such a geek. Even though he performs sex on camera it's all about the bottom line and the quickest/easiest way to make money to support his education. His education and research and learning is the most important thing in his life, everything else revolves around it. No time for love, especially when he'd been burnt before.

Rory is pretty much Nathan's opposite - but who says no to a blowjob? Even if it's on camera. (That is a rhetorical question, I'm sure there are plenty of people who would say no, just not Rory and not in this story.) I loved how he made sure Nathan enjoyed himself as well as earning money. He helped Nathan believe in the good of people again - and of course, in love.

I love Jo Myles' writing, she is one of those authors who I would always rather have more with, than less. greedy much?? Well yes1 I enjoy her shorter stories but I LOVE her longer ones and so I always wish even her shorts were long, hence the rating. We could say it's a not her it's me situation. In fact let's say that, as there is nothing wrong with the writing at all, it is everything Myles does well but I wanted the expanded version. 

I would absolutely recommend this story, especially to those who prefer their stories short and sexy.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.


For more information, see:
Goodreads
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Further Information:
Author: Josephine Myles
Release date: 23rd February 2016
Word Count: 24,000
Price: $2.99/£2.06
Cover art by Lou Harper

Author bio:
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
Jo publishes regularly with Samhain, and now has over ten novels and novellas under her belt. Her novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion, although she prefers to leave the “boring bits” of the ebook creation process to someone else. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an energetic toddler.

Website and blog: http://josephinemyles.com/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hrQ4s
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/josephine.myles.author
Twitter: @JosephineMyles

Review: More Than Everything (Family #3) Audiobook by Cardeno C.

A Book in the Family Collection

Time might not heal all wounds, but with two motivated and strong-willed men on a campaign to win him back, Charlie will get more than he ever thought possible.

As a teenager, Charlie “Chase” Rhodes meets Scott Boone and falls head over heels in love with the popular, athletic boy next door. Charlie thinks he’s living the dream when Scott says he feels the same way. But his dreams are dashed when Scott unexpectedly moves away.

Years later, Charlie meets brash and confident Adan Navarro, who claims all he wants is a round between the sheets. After eight months together, Charlie is convinced Adan returns his love. But when the opportunity comes to be open about their relationship, Adan walks away.

Time passes and life moves on, but when Charlie learns the only two men he’s ever loved are now in love with each other, his heart breaks all over again. Scott and Adan tell Charlie they want him back, but Charlie doesn’t know if he can trust two people who have hurt him so deeply. Time might not heal all wounds, but with two motivated and strong-willed men on a campaign to win him back, Charlie will get more than he ever thought possible.

Narrated by Ezekiel Robison
Listening Length:7 hrs and 46 mins



I love my polyamorous books and ‘More Than Everything’ delivered on a lot of the aspects I love about them, but before I get into the story I really want to talk about the narration.

Ezekiel Robison is AMAZING. I was so lost in the story because he was reading it to me. I haven’t been able to say this about an audiobook yet, but I don’t think I would have enjoyed this book nearly as much if it wasn’t in audio.


Ezekiel somehow manages to do voices for an effeminate man, a husky growly alpha, a low tenor and a host of side characters (including females), and I could always tell who was speaking! Everyone had individual voices, which is SUCH talent to be able to pull off!! Also he didn’t make me feel awkward during the sex scenes. All the moaning and dirty talk….it was HOT! I will definitely be buying any audio's he does!

Ok, so the story is about Charlie. We meet Charlie when he’s 16 and has a massive crush on his new neighbour Scott. He and Scott fall in love and date for 2 years but when Scott has to move across the country, the long-distance relationship fails, Charlie has to move on. Enter Adan, who Charlie meets when he’s 25. They date for 8 months and then that ends very badly (Adan is a bit of a prick, but I'll get to that later). Then when Charlie is 35, unexpected circumstances find him face to face with Scott and Adan happily living together, well you can probably guess what happens then.

I really enjoyed the way this was written. How Charlie talked to us, the reader, at the beginning of each chapter about the important moments in his life with Scott and Adan. Having Ezekiel read to me as Charlie in the first person made me connect with Charlie all that much more.

Charlie was a very likeable character, as was Scott, and I guess that makes it ok that Adan was a little bit of a prick in the beginning. It would have been pretty boring if everyone was sweet and considerate. Pretty much Adan was ashamed of being gay when we first meet him, he wants to be as ‘straight’ as possible while liking men. He also resents being lobbed into the same ‘group’ as effeminate men for the same reason. So you could see how he sort of hates Charlie for who he is at the beginning. Doesn’t stop him wanting to bone him though. I felt like Adan does make up for it when they meet again years later. He is a very changed man when he comes back into Charlie's life and is very very remorseful, which was good to see.

The build-up of Charlie and his relationships with both Scott and Adan was great, but it made it feel more empty when we see Scott and Adan together. I couldn’t really get their connection and why they worked together.

The main factor in this being a 4 heart book and nothing higher was that it wasn't really a threesome book. These three didn't get together until the end of the book, and I personally like to see my polyamorous couples get together much sooner. I mean what is better than two hot guys making out? Three hot guys making out!


There were a lot of funny moments where I found myself giggling out loud and looking like an idiot, like when Scott and Adan went shopping for dinner, and Adan’s drunken “seriously”... ahhh…*wipes away tear*, you really had to be there.

If I could rate this on the narration alone it would be 5 hearts, easily!!! But although I do recommend this because I had a lot of fun with it, I have read better threesome books that I’d recommend first.




A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads or Booklikes!

Review: Bully For You (audiobook) by Catt Ford

What could be hunkier than a cowboy? Not much, according to Martin Du Bois. He convinces two friends that a visit to the rodeo is every gay man’s wet dream, and so the three of them gaily (and I do mean gaily) set off to watch cowboy asses in action.

A visit to a bar after the event gets Martin closer to the action than he ever thought possible, and he meets Jesse Cumberland, the man who caught his eye in the ring and made his rhinestones sparkle. Instant attraction leads to a one-night stand that gets under Martin’s insouciant skin and causes him to rethink his determination not to get involved emotionally. When Jesse invites Martin to his ranch, the visit is almost derailed by Martin’s realization that they lead very different lives. As a flaming city queer, he sees no way to fit with the solid, athletic Jesse. It’s up to Jesse to see if he can change Martin’s mind.

Listening Length: 2 hrs 11 mins
Narrator: Cory Lord



I actually really enjoy this trope, the effeminate man matched with the typically masculine one. This was something that the novel did very well, however I just had too many issues with other aspects of it to be able to give this a better rating.

Marti is a bonafide city-slicker twink who enjoys his glamour and make-up. He and his friends attend a rodeo to check out all the cowboy ass, and this is where Marti meets Jesse. Jesse is a bull-rider who is gay and proud of it, but doesn’t advertise it amongst his work colleagues for fear of being judged unfairly when competing. Marti and Jesse hook-up a couple of times and develop some deeper feelings for each other.

Let’s start with the story. I really enjoyed the beginning, where Marti and Jesse meet, and their interactions. It was funny and light, and I enjoyed how they both felt an attraction and went with it, no fighting it or each other. Unfortunately that’s where the good points end. While there was a lot of sex, it was all fade to black, other than their first time together. There is nothing more annoying than that!

Then there was the ending, which really wasn’t an ending at all. Yes there were very tentative declarations of love, but I’m still not sure how these two would make it work, and I don’t think they knew either.

The narration wasn’t bad, but my goodness I could never keep track of who was who when Marti and his friends were talking. At times Jesse was even hard to distinguish from Marti. I enjoyed this story mostly because it was only two hours long, but I wouldn’t have been able listen to either Marti’s voice or this story if it was any longer.

The effeminate/masculine trope was done well and many people will enjoy this story, but I personally had too many annoying issues with it to be able to recommend it.

Dreamspinner Press
Goodreads
Booklikes

Review: Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn

Oliver and Samuel’s relationship is fairy-tale perfect. They share a gorgeous house in Antwerp, go out with their friends every weekend, and count down the days to their dream wedding. But their happy ending is shattered one late night, and just like that, Ollie is left bereft and alone.

The months that follow are long and dark, but slowly Ollie emerges from his grief. He even braves the waters of online dating, though deep down he doesn’t believe he can find that connection again. He doesn’t think to look for love right in front of him: his bisexual friend Thomas, the gentle giant with a kind heart and sad eyes who’s wanted him all along.

When Thomas suddenly discovers he has a son who needs him, he’s ill prepared. Ollie opens up his house—Sam’s house—and lets them in. Ollie doesn’t know what scares him more: the responsibility of caring for a baby, or the way Thomas is steadily winning his heart. It will take all the courage he has to discover whether or not fairy tales can happen for real.


I truly didn’t expect to like this one so much.

I’d read nothing of Indra Vaugh so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out this author has it in herself to write solid and complex stories like this one.

Because, wow, this is one of those books that is built in such a effective and thoughful way you can’t stop yourself from noticing.


Let’s begin with the plot. Ollie and Sam have been together since they were 16, and BFF even earlier. They are going to get married in a month. But all this happiness and the illusion is cut short when Sam is killed in a burglary.

At this point, you are probably thinking “Oh no, not this again, drama-llama, tears-to-fill-rivers, blablabla”. I’m not embarassed to say that’s how I was reacting as soon as I read the first pages. I thought this would be the typical: overcome your last boyfriend, who now that he is dead, will be far from perfect, and cry and cry and cry, and then, voilĂ , you are ready for a new relationship. A rey muerto, rey puesto (dead King, new King).


Well, things turned out to be a little more complicated.

For starters, yes, there are tears, but I never felt “blackmailed” or “manipulated” to feel empathy in any moment of the play. It came naturally, nothing was forced or artificial. The duel is tough and long. And by that I don’t mean you get the itching of “Come on, I’m getting impatient, is this phase going to be over soon? In the next 50 pages at least?”.

Keep calm, you never want things to move faster, you want to savour them. Because you have already realized this is not going to go sour if you fail to keep your eyes open all the time. It only gets better.


It’s a very slow-paced love story, but a solid one at that. Every character has his own place, and it could not be played by anybody else. They are defined and believable, and sometimes they made me smile, because the friends are there but they are not glued to the MCs as if they didn’t have a life of their own. They aren’t distant, either. We get to know them very well, and worry for them, too. This comes from me, who, by the way, hates having interferences in the way. But here the secondary characters were precious. I loved Ollie’s mom. And tried to feel sympathy towards Sam’s parents, but failed.

And the couple? Ollie really loves Thomas, as a friend, that is. Thomas, on the other hand… may have forbidden feelings for a little while now. Ooooops. Okaaaaaaaay, he has had for years, but Thomas apparently enjoys sleeping around, so Ollie is none the wiser. When I think about Thomas and all his pain my heart wrenches.

But somehow Ollie begins to see Thomas in different light. He’s not ready for changes in his life, he misses Sam too much, and it hurts. But more often than not, he’s thinking about Thomas, he wonders what he is doing, where did he go, will he disappear with that girl or that boy over there and why does that thought upset him so much?

Everything is so subtle and genuine the package resulted in a gift of excellent taste. I wanted them to be together, and then I craved them being together. The wait is deliciously agonizing and you enjoy the process. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a heavy book, in spite of everything I’ve told above. In fact, it’s quite easy to read and not that much on the “angsty” side as it leads you to believe.

It’s a hurt/comfort and a feel-good kind of book. Everything gave me good vibes. I loved the pair. I read it with pleasure and delight.


I love the idea of the plot set in Belgium. I didn’t realize we were in this country until the mention of Namur and I was shocked by this because I think this is a first in my M/M experience. I’ve visited the country several times and I learnt to carry an umbrella and a raincoat, just in case. Even in summer. Once they mention a traffic jam and I laughed out loud. The novel in truth reminded me of good times.


The drawback? That cover. I mean, when I first saw it I thought it was the gay version of an Aryan family propaganda or maybe a vitro fertilization advertisement for childless families. Seriously, I was attracted by the cover because it’s not horrid, but I can’t deny I had my doubts about going for it, too.
Fortunately, the author came out victorious from the baby part. Every piece in the puzzle fit and it didn’t make me grind my teeth as I feared. Those scenes are some of the cutest, and I don’t mean baby things only, but everything that goes over the baby’s head, everything that happens between his two daddies. I wanted to squeeze them together and make lemonade. They were so sweet I wanted to grab a spoon!


In case you didn’t notice, I loved the book, and I recommend it.



An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Blog Tour + GIVEAWAY!: Will & Patrick Meet the Mob (Will & Patrick #5) by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths


Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths are here to talk about their upcoming Will & Patrick book, Will & Patrick Meet the Mob! And... there's a GIVEAWAY!



Cover & Blurb

Follow Will & Patrick in this fifth installment of the romantic-comedy serial, Wake Up Married, by best-selling author Leta Blake and newcomer Alice Griffiths!

Patrick has finally accepted that he's in love with Will, but his newfound determination to do something about that runs up against his father-in-law's mobster plans. Though just what those plans are have as yet to be determined. As far as Will and Patrick can tell, they consist of blowing through town, wreaking small havoc, and turning the Patterson family's lives on end.

Will must face the truth about his family before he can fully come to terms with his feelings for Patrick. And Patrick has to decide if this whackadoodle world is something he truly wants to be part of forever.

Episode 5 of 6 in the Wake Up Married serial. 

Buy/Book Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Buy the entire series on Amazon

Excerpt:

The next morning, Will’s romantic musings feel like the product of overwrought exhaustion when Patrick wakes up cranky as a cat dunked in water.

“Turn off the alarm,” he snarls. “Make it stop.” Then, sitting up and glaring at Will like he’s going to kill him with the power of his mind, he demands, “Did you test yet? Did you eat? What’s your BG number?”

Will’s not even out of bed. Only fifteen seconds ago he’d had one hundred and seventy pounds of Patrick spread out on top of him. Of course he hasn’t tested yet. “I just woke up.”

“Don’t make me test you myself.” Patrick flings back the covers and stalks to the bathroom in his underwear. Will rolls his eyes but grabs his kit and quickly tests. Over the sound of piss hitting water, Patrick calls out, “Well? What’s the number?”

“Ninety-eight. Calm your tits.”

Patrick comes out, arms crossed over his chest and his hair sticking up everywhere. “Calm my tits? Calm your tits.”

Will indicates his nipples. “What? Check ’em out. Not even a little bit pointy.”

Patrick narrows his gaze but a reluctant smirk tweaks up the corner of his mouth.

“Let me guess.” Will laughs. “You know how to change that.” The knot of worry loosens in his chest. “Maybe later. I have to eat first.”

While they wait for room service, they shower and shave, and Will endures Patrick making a solid pitch for him to consider a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System.

“I’ll ask Dr. Anastasia about it,” Will compromises.
 
“And a pump.”

“Don’t push your luck.”

They throw on robes to greet Perry and his cart of warm, delicious-smelling goodies. Conversation is cut dead at that point as Patrick devours his bacon, muffins, doughnuts, and strawberries with fresh cream. Will’s healthier breakfast of cottage cheese, whole-wheat toast, and a small slice of quiche Lorraine isn’t nearly as exciting, but he doesn’t know how Patrick stays so slim eating like he does. If he tried it, he’d be the size of a house.

Once they finish breakfast, Will broaches the topic. “We’re going to need to talk about my dad eventually.”

“What happened to pretending he’s dead?”

“Unfortunately, he’s not.”

“Point.”

“And he’s staying in this building, so we’re bound to run into him sooner rather than later.”

“Better point.”

Will lets a wry grin spread on his lips. “But I’m not going to just sit back and let him run the show this time. I need find out why he’s in town and then get him to leave again. As soon as possible.” He stands up and brings the chess set over to the table, clearing away their plates. “If we can play ahead of his game, we can at least capture his queen. And then maybe even his king. Especially since he won’t be expecting us to be playing at all.”
 
“If by queen you’re referring to Kimberly, I don’t know about that. She’s a slippery one.”

“You think Tony’s back because of my mother?”

“Historically, her milkshake has brought him to the yard.”

Will sighs as he sets up the board. “She’s only been dating Jason a few weeks. Tony usually waits for her to get serious before he drops in to ruin her chance at happiness.”

“Maybe Jason proposed.”

“That’d be on The Hurting Times forums ten minutes after it happened. Have you seen it there?”

“Nope.”

“And Caitlin would have called threatening to jump off a bridge or shave her head or something drastic in protest.”

“So he hasn’t put a ring on it yet.”

Will moves his pawn forward. “It’s still a starting place.”

Patrick shoves one of his pawns out to an empty square. “Before surgery, I have to know what I’m dealing with. I can’t just cut into someone’s noggin without knowing if I’m going in to repair damage or to cut out a tumor. Same here. We need more information. What’s your dad’s sign?”

Will’s lips flatten. “Seriously?”

Patrick lifts his brows.

“Sagittarius.”

“I knew it!” Patrick shakes his head. “Never trust a Sagittarius.”

Will sighs and ignores this. “Even though the award ceremony isn’t until March, word is getting around now that I won the Healing Hero Award. I hope to God he’s not planning to stick around for that.”

“A congratulatory phone call from Mobster Daddy would have sufficed.”

Will moves a pawn in front of the right bishop. “You’ve been slapped with that stupid malpractice suit. That might have raised his hackles too, if he’s not sure of your intentions toward me.”

“I have zero honorable intentions toward you. So, he’d be onto something there.”

Will snorts. “You made an honest man of me.”

“For now.”

“Yeah.” Will smiles softly as gentle warmth blooms in his chest. “For now.” He bites his lip. “Do you think sex will be even dirtier once we’re divorced?”

Patrick looks up from contemplating the chessboard. “Are you planning on sleeping with me after we’re divorced?”

Will’s ears burn. “Would we have to stop?”

Patrick swallows, his blue eyes shading darker. “Not unless we want to stop.”

Heat zings in the air between them. Will clears his throat. “That’s a long time from now. Who knows when we’ll even have to think about it? You’ll probably be tired of sleeping with me by the time a loophole opens up for us.”

“I’ll never get tired of fucking you.”

Patrick sounds so certain that Will’s dick stirs and he has to look away, focusing his attention back on the chessboard. He’s not sure whose move it is now. “Anyway, there are plenty of reasons for Tony to make the trip from Minneapolis. I’m surprised I didn’t see it coming.”

About the Authors:  

Leta Blake:
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake's educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

You can find out more about her by following her online:
On the web: http://letablake.wordpress.com/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/letablake
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/LetaBlake

Alice Griffiths:
A long-time reader of romance novels, Alice Griffiths finally took the plunge into writing, teaming up with best-selling author Leta Blake for the 'Woke up Married' serialized comedy. A lover of tropes, Alice enjoys mining old ideas and putting a fresh, funny spin on them. Formerly working in the newspaper industry, Alice is now an art curator. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

You can find out more about her by following her online:
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alice_Author
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alice.griffiths.7169

2 lucky winners can win an ebook copy of any Will & Patrick Episode!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review: The Featherweight Heart by Jillian Snyder

Clairvoyant Jake Parker is about to close up for the night when a handsome stranger wanders into his shop, the Witching Well. During his reading, Jake is surprised when a persistent spirit comes through, desperate to communicate. Before Jake can make a real connection between the two, his mysterious customer takes off. The spirit, however, decides to stick around.

Eric Austin is a Boston-area author with a new best seller. But a year ago, he ended his relationship with a closeted man, who died shortly after. Still troubled by unresolved issues, Eric searches for answers. What he finds instead is the Witching Well and Jake—and a little more than he bargained for.

When Jake and Eric meet again by chance, they begin to work together to unravel the mystery of Eric’s ghost, and Jake struggles with his professional duties and his undeniable attraction to Eric.

But even if they can find a way to balance the personal with the professional, a specter from the past just might ruin their chance at a future together.

Featherweight Heart is my first novel from Jillian Snyder, but it won't be my last. I truly enjoyed this cast of characters and this paranormal tale. 

I like stories that are paranormal set in our world. I like that there is something different about Jake - his clairvoyancy - and I liked how this led the story. This is a romance at heart, set in a paranormal mystery. Eric and Jake wouldn't have met (or been thrown together) if it wasn't for Jake's ability. Jake can see Andrew, Eric's angry ex, and through this link the two formed a bond and a romance grew.
I mean, Jake would still have met Eric at the book signing, but the seeds of connection wouldn't have been sown already, waiting to be cultivated if it hadn't been for Andrew or the clairvoyancy.

The story wasn't overly complex, I wasn't sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next, but it was engaging and well written. I enjoyed Eric and Jake ass the MC's, but I can't mention this book without mentioning the wonderful secondary characters. Gram, Laney, Bobby, Jessie - they all added to the story, and more importantly, to understanding Jake.

I seem to be falling into this review abyss where I don't know what to say. Not because the story hasn't entertained me, but because, as enjoyable as the story is, without divulging story lines there is not a lot to say other than enjoyable. That isn't a negative though - for me, this is a four and a half heart read. Sometimes enjoyable means just that, and I'm able to sum up my feelings in one simple word. So there isn't a need for a TL;DR version, this author kept me reading with a good story and a lovely cast of characters. Oh, and before I go, I just want to say I loved the cover!

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.


For more information, see:

Dreamspinner Press

Goodreads

Booklikes

Guest Review: Magpie (Avian Shifters, #2) by Kim Dare


Everet has found his perfect place in the nest. As a raven, he’s ideally suited to his new role in the nest’s security flock. Some of the jobs it entails have been far more enjoyable than others, but when he’s called to retrieve a magpie, whose got himself into trouble in a local human club, it becomes a truly life changing experience.

Magpie shifters have always been looked down on by other avians. Just as attracted to shiny things in their human bodies as they are in their avian forms, everyone knows they’ll do anything for money—and they’re not above stealing what they can’t get by more honest means.

Kane knows what being a magpie means, and he’s got the bruises to show for it. When Everet rescues him from his latest scrape, Kane knows better than to believe the raven will actually take an interest in him and his welfare, but it’s just possible that Everet is different to any other man Kane has ever met.

Please note: This book is best to read in order as part of the Avian Shifters series. The previous stories are Duck! and Celebrate.


I absolutely LOVED ‘Duck!’ so I knew it would be hard to read this book and not compare the two. I tried my hardest to read this as a book on its own, to not continue comparing it to ‘Duck!’. I think for the most part I succeeded, but there was always that little part of me that thought, “this is not as good as Duck!”.

I honestly think that was mostly to do with Kane. Kane is a Magpie, and everyone knows they have no morals and will do anything, or anyone, for their little piece of shiny.
“The silver, it’s…” He shook his head. There were no words to describe the way the element seemed to seep through his skin…”
Kane is no different, and he gets himself in a tad too much trouble for stealing and is taken by Everet to the Hamilton nest for punishment.

I guess you could place Kane in the ‘brat’ category but I think he fits the ‘little shit’ category much better. Kane’s character really confused me. I really didn’t like him, he was an arrogant fucker who looked down on those who were lower than he was (which was not many), and manipulated whoever he could, however he could, to get what he wanted.


He was an unashamed whore and thief who didn’t want to change his ways in the slightest. I really didn’t like him, but I still felt sorry for him and understood why he was the way he was. It was quite confusing to, in equal parts, want to smack someone in the face and give them a big cuddle. Kane’s story and thinking processes are slowly revealed to us and that cuddle side starts to strongly overtake the face-smacking side.


Now Everet immediately feels a protective instinct for Kane and offers to take full responsibility of him as his Master instead of Kane needing to face a punishment. Everet is a much better person than me, he has the patience of a… well, a really good master. Which is exactly what he is to Kane. He helps Kane to see his worth while he slowly falls in love with him.

Like all Kim Dare books the sex scenes were sooo hot! God that Silver room scene with the knife (Don’t worry no blood) and the rough fucking….


The D/S relationship is sooooo different from Raynard and Ori’s, but that's probably because Kane has such strong survival instincts that he fights submission until we all feel like killing him. I think that's what makes this so beautiful though. Kane has to overcome so much to be with Everet in the way they both deserve, that you feel as though you’ve achieved something wonderful when you finally see their HEA.


Can't wait for Albatross, gentle giant submissive! I'm there!



For information on Goodreads or Booklikes!