Tuesday, June 27, 2017

ARC Review: Shadows On My Soul by Leigh Jarrett

Shadows On My SoulBlurb:

Beyond the shadows, his love held true for only one man

Derek Lawrence is a player. There is no other way to phrase it. He's been unstoppable since coming out in high school. Guy after guy, conquest after conquest. He isn't looking for any kind of commitment from anyone. His life is perfect the way it is.

Except for one aspect. Derek has been in love with his best friend and business partner, Justin Leary, since the first day he set eyes on him over twenty years ago.

When an implication surfaces that Justin's feelings for Derek might run far deeper than friendship, he considers approaching Justin about it. But before he can, one targeted act of violence followed by the aftermath of violation, challenges the depth of Derek's love for Justin.




My rating:





First off, trigger warning - there's is on-page male on male rape in this book. Be aware. The blurb hints, but doesn't spell it out. It's thankfully not drawn out, and done with sensitivity toward the subject matter.

This was my first book by this author. I liked the complexity of the characters in this book, but they exasperated me as well.

Supposedly best friends as well as business partners, Justin has kept a huge secret from Derek, and Derek has a secret of his own. Neither of them has the emotional maturity to discuss things honestly and openly, and their relationship was highly dysfunctional. Even at the end, which is supposedly a HFN/HEA, I didn't believe they will make it. There was a ton of unnecessary drama that could have been avoided if Derek wasn't so emotionally stunted and hadn't make such stupid assumptions, and if Justin hadn't lied for so long. Both of them needed therapy after the trauma (Justin for being violated, and Derek for having seen the violation first hand) to help them cope, but neither got that.

Their inability to read each other's facial expressions and emotions also threw a big wrench into their relationship, so much so that it made no sense considering that they had been best friends since their high school days. They just didn't really seem to know each other at all.

ARC Review: Manny Get Your Guy (The Mannies #2) by Amy Lane

Manny Get Your Guy (The Mannies, #2)Blurb:
Starting over and falling in love.

Tino Robbins’s sister, Nica, and her husband, Jacob, are expecting their fifth child. Fortunately, Nica’s best friend, Taylor Cochran, is back in town, released from PT and in need of a job.

After years in the service and recovering from grave injury, Taylor has grown a lot from the callow troublemaker he’d been in high school. Now he’s hoping for a fresh start with Nica and her family.

Jacob’s cousin Brandon lives above the garage and thinks “Taylor the manny” is a bad idea. Taylor might be great at protecting civilians from a zombie apocalypse, but is he any good with kids?

Turns out, Taylor’s a natural. As he tries to fit in, using common sense and dry wit, Brandon realizes that Taylor doesn’t just love their family—he’s desperate to be part of it. And just like that, Brandon wants Taylor to be part of his future.



Todd's rating:




Wow, *5* kids? Really??? I have to agree with Brandon when he said:
“For God’s sake, Jakey, get off of her!”
This story picked up 10 years after book 1, where Taylor had been hitting on Tino, while he was falling in love with Channing, and being manny to 7 y.o. Sammy.

Tyler had since spent 6 years in the military and, after being partially blown up, grown up a lot. But he still had tons of doubts about his self-worth and floundering as to what would make his life feel complete.

Turns out, being part of his best friend Nica's large family was just what he needed. And Jacob's cousin, Brandon.

After a short-lived initial distrust of Taylor on Brandon's part, possibly too short, Taylor gave in pretty easily to Brandon's none-too-subtle advances and decided to give "the kid" a chance for them to be together.

One thing that I truly enjoyed about this story was the power dynamic between Taylor and Brandon. At 29, Taylor was used to being forceful and in charge, and Brandon was only 22 and still trying to prove himself, on several fronts. But here, each MC stepped up to take the lead, to make sure the other got what they needed, when they needed it, whatever the situation demanded.

Both Brandon and Taylor have come from pretty crappy family situations, which we actually see in Brandon's case, but are only told about with Taylor, which I kind of wanted to be *shown* as well.

I wasn't quite as fully sold on the emotions between Brandon and Taylor as I was in the first book, between Tino and Channing, but I did still really enjoy them as a couple.

Plus, the naughty bits in book 1 were a bit steamier, if I'm remembering correctly. Still pretty decent here, just not quite *as much so*.

The one thing that I did miss a bit in this story was the actual kids. Yes, while there were spots here and there with the kids, the premise was that Taylor was a manny to 5 kids, so I expected a bit more on-page time with them and their hijinks. It was sort of like reading a shifter book, where there was very little shifting. I just wanted a bit *more* inclusion of that main premise.

Blogtour: Manny Get Your Guy by Amy Lane





Please say hello to Amy Lane and 

Manny Get Your Guy

The Mannies #2

A Dreamspun Desires title

Available July 1st, 2017






Blurb:

Starting over and falling in love.

Tino Robbins’s sister, Nica, and her husband, Jacob, are expecting their fifth child. Fortunately, Nica’s best friend, Taylor Cochran, is back in town, released from PT and in need of a job.

After years in the service and recovering from grave injury, Taylor has grown a lot from the callow troublemaker he’d been in high school. Now he’s hoping for a fresh start with Nica and her family.

Jacob’s cousin Brandon lives above the garage and thinks “Taylor the manny” is a bad idea. Taylor might be great at protecting civilians from a zombie apocalypse, but is he any good with kids?

Turns out Taylor’s a natural. As he tries to fit in, using common sense and dry wit, Brandon realizes that Taylor doesn’t just love their family—he’s desperate to be part of it. And just like that, Brandon wants Taylor to be part of his future.


Get the book:






The Moment When


Manny Get Your Guy features a guy who ends up taking care of his best friend’s four kids when she gets pregnant with a fifth.  Taylor isn’t a stranger to kids—in fact, he grew up with his friend’s family, and was one of the older kids taking care of the younger kids at some point in time. In my family, that’s the way of things. If you’re an older kid, you take care of the younger ones. If you’re a younger one, you know your turn is coming.


Oh yeah—Taylor’s turn is coming.


Now I’ve had kids—four, thankfully, not five or six. But even with four, there are specific moments when you realize you are totally and completely outnumbered.


For example, the moment when…


  • You don’t care who started it, you don’t care who’s right, you don’t care who hit who, but so help you God if you hear one more sound out of either of those two fighting kids you will sell their bodies to science.


  • You stand your eldest on guard in your bedroom, to make sure you get five minutes in your bathroom in peace.


  • You compose a mental letter of thanks to the person who invented pizza bites.


  • You swing wildly back and forth between thinking SpongeBob is a god of five minutes of peace and the unholy beast sent to torment you for sins committed as a child.


  • You drag your kid to the grocery store in a dirty onesie to buy laundry detergent.


  • You find yourself screaming, “You can’t do that to the dog either!”


  • You open your kid’s bedroom door with every intention of cleaning it, only to slam it behind you, heart pounding, cold sweat breaking, mumbling the words, “I’ll let the anthropologists sort it out in 200 years. Those people don’t judge and they have hazmat suits.”

Blogtour: Wolf of the Northern Star by SJ Himes


WoTNS banner Title: Wolf of the Northern Star 
Author: SJ Himes 
Series: The Wolfkin Saga, #2 
Release Date: June 15th 2017 







Genre: Gay Paranormal Shifter Romance



BLURB


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Ghost, once known as the cub Luca, is finally home. Back among his kind and learning what it means to be both a man and a shaman, Ghost battles the expectations of his people, his family, and the pressures of a society that is both foreign and familiar. His power is greater than any seen before, dwarfing that of even the legendary Shaman Gray Shadow—and his union with Kane places him in the center of a controversy that rattles wolfkin society around the world.
Kane, greater alpha and Heir to Black Pine Clan, has finally defeated the traitor and murderer that destroyed the heart of Black Pine years before. Freed at last from guilt and pain, Kane has a new enemy to face: his own people. Placed on trial for violation of Law and blasphemy, Kane will have to fight to the death to preserve his bond with Ghost and keep his mate and people safe.

The soulbond between Ghost and Kane is forged by the creator and Goddess of the wolfkin. Usually, a sacred and treasured union that honors the pair and their clans, this soulbond is seen not as a gift, but a threat to eons of tradition and Clan Law.

The union of a Shaman and Alpha is anathema—but how to reconcile that belief when it is the wolfkin Goddess who forged it? Can Ghost and Kane save themselves, preserve their bond, and find a new future when the laws of the ancient past threaten to tear them apart?

*This book is part of a series and should not be read as a standalone. Prior books should be read to understand content. 104,000 words*



Purchase: Amazon Universal
Find The Wolfkin Saga on Goodreads


WoTNS teaser 3


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

“Easy, little wolf,” Kane whispered before taking his mouth in a wet, deep kiss. “Shower first….” Ghost rolled his hips, and Kane grabbed his ass with a muffled curse, his fingers dipping into the crease. “Bed, now.”
Kane took a few steps and fell forward. Ghost felt the impact of the bed beneath them, but his mind, mouth and hands were too occupied with the hard, chiseled frame of his alpha to care. Teeth latched onto the side of his neck and bit down, holding him still as large hands spread his legs, lifting his thighs and hips. Kane held him still with his fangs while fingers explored along his crease and pressed inside. It burned, and Ghost whined, but he panted for more. A dark chuckle came from Kane as he released his neck, a long tongue lapping at the deep impressions of his teeth in Ghost’s skin. Ghost arched up, every motion of his body demanding more.
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