Sunday, October 22, 2017

ARC Review: Out by Cara Dee

“I guess I always figured coming out was something you did for friends and family, and maybe it is, but it’s personal too, you know? The person I was last night is new. I wanna get to know him.”

I had two things on my list when I arrived in Los Angeles. One, track down Henry Bennington, the uncle and guardian of my little brother’s best friend, and tell him to get his ass back to Washington. He needed to do something about his nephew, who was turning into a douchebag. And two, figure out just how non-straight I was. For the past two years, I’d had all these fantasies, and now was the time to explore them, far away from my sleepy little town.

Nowhere on this list did it say, “Get Ty’s uncle into bed and fall for him.” I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with another city either. But between brunch, making new friends, and discovering the man I was meant to be, I lost sight of the future that had once seemed pretty damn vivid. How the hell was I supposed to merge my old life and who I used to be with the new dreams Los Angeles and Henry had awakened in me?
Todd's rating:


Not being the biggest fan of romances with major age gaps (Ty was 27 and Henry was 46), my biggest fear before reading this book was the dreaded "D" word.

No, not "dick!" Buncha dirty-minded ho's, I'm telling you. :- P

I'm referring to "Daddy", which was blessedly avoided in this story. Well, aside from once, when Zach's 17 y.o. brother used it teasingly on his older brother/parental figure.

After his mother's suicide, Zach had to grow up quickly, taking care of his little brother for the last 9 years, so other than his lack of experience with "the gay", his maturity played well against Henry's more experienced approach to life. They both knew how to be serious, but also how to have fun.

One thing that did strike me as odd, though, was how Henry and his best friend, Martin, were *always* using the terms Dear and Honey , like they were 80 year old pensioners. It felt off, with even the Zach's 70+ y.o. Gran sounder younger, at times.

Speaking of Martin... LOVED HER! He was one snarky bitch with a heart of gold. And the thing with the ex and the grand theft auto. Hilarious. Zach's brother, Mattie, was also an especially fun character. Plus, the "catnapping" scene. I have no words. I was truly dying.

This was a pretty racy story, with an edge of kink, which isn't my thing (at all), but it never got to the point where I was squirming in my seat, so it was fine. No nipple clips or paddles, praise Jesus! : )

But there were a couple of minor things that kept this from being a 5-star read for me.

First, fifty percent of the premise of the story was Henry reconnecting with his estranged nephew, but his on-page time with Ty was extremely limited.

Plus, as the story was only told from Zach's POV, we were only briefly *told* about Henry's outings with Ty, then voila! There is a break through, Ty breaks down and, other than a few slip ups, all is right with their relationship. I would have loved to have actually *seen* them working through their issues vs. hearing sparse details second-hand.

Then second, there were so very many characters in this story with ties to Camassia, yet, not once was the link made that *both* MC's had major connections to the town, which felt like such a waste to me. I thought that was a bit of a missed opportunity to more deeply weave these two new MC's into the existing series.

The story and its accompanying HEA end on a pretty abrupt note; however, we were told that there would be an 80-page, follow-up novella, "Out for the Holidays", to be released in December, which I'm chomping at the bit to read.

Overall, I'd rate the book at a very solid and moving 4.25 stars, and I can't wait to see where the Camassia series will go next.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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Bookblast: My Choice, My Chance by Taylor Rylan

My Choice My Change Banner





RELEASE DATE: 08.19.17

COVER DESIGN: Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art



My Choice My Chance Cover
After a disastrous relationship in college, Jasper Welsh swore he’d never let anyone that close to him again. But after watching his twin fall in love with the man of his dreams, Jasper starts to realize that maybe there’s more to life than meaningless hook ups. After all, it’s been almost a decade since he’s taken a chance on someone again.
When a brutal ex almost kills Liam Campbell, he runs away with his best friend to Wyoming for Christmas with Rhett’s family. Little does he know, that even though he’s still broken and bruised, Liam’s life is about to be completely turned upside down when he meets Rhett’s brother, Jasper. But there’s no way Jasper could be interested in someone like him, right?
When Liam’s ex finds him in Wyoming and one of their family members almost pays the ultimate price, will the Welsh family forgive him for bringing danger to their family? Or will they fight for the battered young man and accept him with open arms? 
Choices are made, and chances are taken when Jasper and Liam realize that their attraction for one another can’t be denied and must be explored. But with a wedding in the planning stages and an unforgettable bachelor party in Vegas, does the new couple really want to steal the grooms’ thunder? 
My Choice, My Chance is the second book in the Men of Crooked Bend series. Each book in the series will focus on a different couple but will be better enjoyed as a series as the couples all make appearances in each book. Each book contains sexually explicit material between two men and is intended for adults over 18.

My Choice My Chance Teaser 1

My Choice My Chance Teaser 2


I finally made it to our new house with everything. I wanted to cry when I pulled into the driveway and saw Jasper’s truck there. How in the hell was I going to set everything up for my romantic picnic surprise if he was already there?

Admitting defeat and coming to the conclusion that tonight was not going to be the night to tell Jasper that I loved him, I got out of Baloo and walked up to the house to search for Jasper.

I was floored when I walked into the house. Jasper made a trail of lit candles. They started at the front door inviting me to continue inward. I followed the small flames, making my way to the living room. The sight before me made me gasp and start to cry. There, in the middle of the living room, surrounded by candles, and with a blanket and several pillows laid out on the floor was Jasper. It seems my man had the exact same idea as me! He obviously came straight here from the Realtor’s office instead of going to his office in Jackson like he’d told me.

I didn’t move at first. I noticed Jasper started to look uncomfortable so I slowly made my way toward him and the little picnic he had put together for us.

“Jasper, what…”

“Liam, just give me a minute here, alright?”

Saturday, October 21, 2017

ARC Review: Kill Game (Seven of Spades, #1) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Kill Game (Seven of Spades, #1)
Homicide detective Levi Abrams is barely holding his life together. He’s reeling from the fallout of a fatal shooting, and his relationship with his boyfriend is crumbling. The last thing he’s prepared for is a serial killer stalking the streets of Las Vegas. Or how he keeps getting thrown into the path of annoyingly charming bounty hunter Dominic Russo.

Dominic likes his life free of complications. That means no tangling with cops—especially prickly, uptight detectives. But when he stumbles across one of the Seven of Spades’s horrifying crime scenes, he can’t let go, despite Levi’s warnings to stay away.

The Seven of Spades is ruthless and always two moves ahead. Worst of all, they’ve taken a dangerously personal interest in Levi and Dominic. Forced to trust each other, the two men race to discover the killer’s identity, revealing hidden truths along the way and sparking a bond neither man expected. But that may not be enough to protect them.

This killer likes to play games, and the deck is not stacked in Levi and Dominic’s favor.

Jewel's rating:

Ok, I need more of this story, now. Yeah, now. There wasn't much romance in Kill Game, just the bare beginnings of it, but I can tell that Levi and Dominic have the chemistry and I'm looking forward to their romance ramping up! We've got ourselves a slow burn, folks, and I can already tell it will be delicious. Also, there are at least 5 planned books in this series and the plotline of Kill Game is not wrapped up at the end. At the moment, I am expecting that story arc to continue throughout the series, but I don't know the author's plan for that.

I know many of you prefer to wait until a series like this is complete before starting, and I can't blame you. If I were a more patient person, I'd be waiting right along with you. But I'm not, and I love most of what I've read from this author, so here I am!!!!

I love romantic suspense and Cordelia Kingsbridge knows how to work it. Kill Game was engaging, the writing was good and I was completely invested in the characters -- even some of the secondary characters. About halfway through, something occurred to me and I even have a main suspect for the serial killer -- only time will tell if I'm right, of course. We've got at least 4 more books in this series, so we've got a ways to go, yet. I could easily be wrong this early in the game, and honestly, I'll be shocked if it turns out I'm right.

At the start of the book, Levi had been in a relationship for the past three years and things were very serious between him and his boyfriend, Stanton Barclay, who owned one of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. Stanton talked a lot about marriage and children and the future, but Levi was less and less sure he wanted to go that direction with Stanton.

Book Review: Burn the Sky by Jaye McKenna

From The Blurb:
Prince Garrik is the Heir Presumptive of Altan, next in line to be crowned Wytch King. There’s only one problem: in order for Garrik to be crowned, he must possess Wytch power of his own, and thus far, whatever power Garrik might possess has shown no sign of awakening. As things stand, it is Garrik’s younger brother, Jaire—a dreamer completely unsuited to wear the crown—who will take the throne after their father. 
Things come to a head when the Wytch King, who has grown increasingly impatient with the situation, demands that Garrik’s power be forcibly awakened. Hoping to protect his brother from the burden of rule, Garrik allows the attempt—with disastrous results. Now, Garrik must learn to control the fiery dragon that rages within him before he destroys everything he loves. 
Wytch Master Ilya has been alone for years. Learning to control the icy beast slumbering deep within him has already cost him his family and his lover, and Ilya will never open himself up to that kind of pain again. Summoned to Altan to avert disaster if he can, Ilya has no intention of allowing anyone to thaw the ice in his heart. When he meets Prince Garrik, sparks fly, and Ilya finds himself fighting feelings he’d thought long buried. 
Can Garrik’s fire melt Ilya’s icy heart? Or will Ilya be forced to use his ice to quench the flames that burn within Garrik once and for all?

Karen's rating:

And this...this is how you do dragons!

Now if it's not already clear let me start by saying..."I LOVE DRAGONS!!! Unashamedly, unapologetically love them." to me they are the most fierce, majestic, powerful and yes scary because...hey, big fire breathing creatures here, in all of mythology.

I've had this series on my wishlist for ages and was fortunate enough to have been gifted with the first three books in this series as part of a gift exchange last Christmas and while it's taken me until now to find the time to start reading this series...all I can say to that is good things come to he, or she as the case may be, who waits.

Gerrick is the heir presumptive to the throne of Altan (next in line for the throne)...except there's one teensy little problem in order to become the Wytch King he needs to come into his wytch power...he's 20 it should have happened by now and Altan has never had a king who didn't possess a wytch power...ask his Uncle. He's only to happy to explain this  to anyone who will listen...bitter much? Oh yeah.

For Gerrick this isn't about being king though it's about keeping a promise. A promise to protect his younger brother, Jaire from the pressures of ruling a kingdom. Something that even Jaire willing admits he has absolutely no desire or ability to do. Regardless of everything else Jaire, Gerrick and their father are all of a like mind on this issue...neither the kingdom nor Jaire would survive should he be made king as the Wytch Council would have happen.

It's in a last ditch effort to have Gerrick declared his rightful heir by the council that the king demands that Gerrick's wytch powers be forced to awaken defying the councils decree that forcing wytch powers or even attempting to do so is a punishable offense. Desperate to protect his brother Gerrick agrees to allow this.

Some wytch powers are not meant to be awakened and when Gerrick's awakened powers end in disaster. Kian, Gerrick's friend, lover and an apprentice healer flees to the Wytch's College in search of the Wytch Master Ilya in a last ditch effort to save not just Gerrick, but his brother Jaire and ultimately the kingdom of Altan.

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