Friday, June 30, 2017

ARC Review: Something's Brewing at Joe's by SJD Peterson

Blurb:

Built from the bottom up: one perfect gentleman. 

The promise of a dream job lures Murphy to Tampa, but he arrives to the rude awakening that the offer is on hold. Now he’s got two choices: slink back to Michigan with his tail between his legs or stay and look for work. Things perk up when he goes into a coffee shop and learns the owner is looking for someone to renovate the apartment above it. He happily takes the job, only later realizing he’s met Joe Sterling, Kaffeinate’s proprietor, before… when they hooked up at a club Murphy’s first night in Tampa.

Murphy and Joe are both proud, passionate, and outspoken. Neither is looking for a relationship, though they can’t deny they go together as well as coffee and doughnuts, in spite of their tempers. But that’s before Joe learns Murphy will be working for the corporation he believes is harming local businesses and the environment—and if Murphy will be supporting it, Joe will want nothing to do with him, dooming any possibility of an unexpected happy ending.


Dani's rating:


I've been waiting for Jo Peterson to write something light and fluffy for ages. I so loved this author's BAMF and Plan B.

Something's Brewing at Joe's is indeed an easy read.

The MCs have an instant sexual connection and spend a lot of time in various states of undress getting each other off. And I do love a steamy story. I really, really do.

But, and it pains me to say this, the sex sort of overwhelmed the relationship here. I never got a sense of these guys as fully realized human beings.

Joe owns a coffee shop and was close to his parents before they died. Murphy (don't call him Eugene!), newly arrived in Florida, doesn't want a relationship because his last boyfriend nagged him to death. He never discusses this with Joe, just continues to run hot and cold, fucking Joe and then pushing him away.


Audio Review Tour : See Me (Lightning Tales 3) by KC Wells



Narrated By: Joel Leslie



Blurb


Adrian DeSoto spent most of his time in high school being bullied and beaten up, simply because he was perceived as gay. Always slight, effeminate, he was the perfect victim for guys like Martin Cavanaugh, one of the high school jocks. When it all got too much, Adrian was faced with two options, one more devastating than the other. Eleventh grade saw a new Adrian, one who hid his fears and pain behind a mask in a bid to survive.

Eleven years later, and Adrienne is one of the top drag acts in Orlando. She's fierce, funny, and exuberant. A face from the past gives her a shock, and after that there's only one thing on her mind - revenge.

Marty Cavanaugh has a particular kink. He loves it when a drag queen goes down on him. But that's as far as it goes. He won't admit to himself what's under that tight fitting dress. And then he meets Adrienne and his whole world goes into a tailspin...

Warning - Contains men in drag, honey! You have been warned.









Karen's review:





‘See Me’ is the third book in K. C. Wells ‘Lightening Tales’ series and so far, my favorite both in terms of the story and the audio.

While we haven’t really met Adrian DeSoto in previous books he has been mentioned and we were given enough information to know that for Adrian…high school wasn’t fun. Adrian was the popular choice for ‘bullying victim of the day’ with the school jocks. The start of grade eleven saw a change in Adrian he became determined that he was no longer going to be the victim and he used all of his considerable acting skills to hide his nervousness and fear as he begins to stand up for himself against the school bullies…jocks like Marty Cavanaugh.

Happily, we are once again treated to glimpses of Alex & Nick and Connor & Ric as their friendship with Adrian brings them into the story and while I had no trouble liking Adrian, Martin was a little tougher sell but not buy much. Adrian may have been a bit over the top and flamboyant, he was also sweet, vulnerable and nobody’s pushover…needless to say I quickly came to like Adrian…a lot!

What really surprised me was the realization of how quickly I came to like Marty. Initially I had my reservations where Marty was concerned and initially I think what I felt for this character was more pity and compassion than actually liking him. But little by little Marty whittled away at my defences and I really came to like him once I got to see the insecure and vulnerable person that hid behind the bully and cheer for Marty as he did battle with his demons to overcome the negative behavior that led to his behavior.

It broke my heart that for Marty interacting with his parents…even his mom who turned out to be awesome in her own right, was such a stressful event. Sadly, Marty’s father’s only redemptive quality was that he didn’t beat his wife…he just verbally abused her and his son…gee, what a swell guy he is…NOT!

However, one of the things that I ended up loving the most about this book is that we are shown a side to bullying that we don’t often see and frequently forget which is that sometimes even the bully gets bullied. Please don’t misunderstand ‘bullying is not ok’…EVER! But sometimes to make a person see why a behavior is wrong it helps if we understand what factors may have contributed to it. It was seeing this side of Marty that made me see him not just as the bully but also as the victim of bullying…he really was both and seeing so much of Marty’s life and not just his interaction with Adrian gave a much clearer picture of Marty.

Blogtour: Something's Brewing At Joe's by SJD Peterson



Please welcome SJD Peterson with 

Something's Brewing At Joe's 






Blurb:

The promise of a dream job lures Murphy to Tampa, but he arrives to the rude awakening that the offer is on hold. Now he’s got two choices: slink back to Michigan with his tail between his legs or stay and look for work. Things perk up when he goes into a coffee shop and learns the owner is looking for someone to renovate the apartment above it. He happily takes the job, only later realizing he’s met Joe Sterling, Kaffeinate’s proprietor, before… when they hooked up at a club Murphy’s first night in Tampa.

Murphy and Joe are both proud, passionate, and outspoken. Neither is looking for a relationship, though they can’t deny they go together as well as coffee and doughnuts, in spite of their tempers. But that’s before Joe learns Murphy will be working for the corporation he believes is harming local businesses and the environment—and if Murphy will be supporting it, Joe wants nothing to do with him, dooming any possibility of an unexpected happy ending.



Get the book:







Life Mimics Fiction


When I sat down to write Something’s Brewing at Joe’s, I never thought I would actually end up in the same place as one of my characters. Murphy moves to the south for the prospect of a new job. He’s twenty-something, full of wide-eyed wonder and ready to change the world.
Murphy is lucky, he quickly meets someone, gets a job where he’s surrounded by cool peeps and it isn’t long before he finds true love. I don’t see those things happening me for me, but I’m still hopeful, even though I have a few obstacles Murphy doesn’t have. I brought my job with me and since I work from home, no chance of cool peeps interrupting my schedule. I’m certainly not twenty something and I don’t need to change the world. I only need to change me. And change is inevitable isn’t it?
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
~Jim Rohn~
I took this quote to heart and made a HUGE one. I’ve moved over seven hundred miles away from my family and have taken up residence in the south. Part of the reason behind it is I need a fresh start in my life. I was in a downward spiral both professionally and personally and before I hit rock bottom, I figured, I’d finally take the plunge.
I absolutely love the town I chose, it’s exciting, the people seem friendly and the weather is AWESOME! There will be no more winters curled up against a space heater for this girl. I can pretty much walk a mile in any direction and find a great shop, a café park, library or a number of other fun things to do and explore. There is only one problem….

Release Blitz: Uncomplicated Choices (Camassia Cove #5) by Cara Dee

Displaying Uncomplicated Choices BANNER.png

Uncomplicated Choices by Cara Dee

“Choosing you would complicate everything, yet it’s the most uncomplicated choice I’ve ever made.”

Title: Uncomplicated Choices
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pairing: Gay Romance

Get the book:


Add to Goodreads


Displaying UC ebook cover - small.jpgSynopsis:

When life gave you lemons, you learned who stayed and made lemonade with you. Or something to that effect. And the day Ellis Hayes kidnapped me—or, borrowed a yacht and didn’t know I was on board—he'd definitely been handed too many lemons.
We faced a dilemma when I woke up hungover in the middle of the ocean. He needed to get the hell out of town to do some soul-searching and decide whether or not to divorce his wife, and I needed to get back on land because humans didn't belong on the water. There was also better cell service on land, and I had my four-year-old daughter on vacation in Paris to check in with.
Then I remembered I wasn’t a complete tool. Ellis wasn’t doing all right, and we were practically family. I had to stay and make lemonade with him. Of course, me being me, seemingly undateable and complicated, I had to develop feelings for him, too.

Displaying Uncomplicated Choices 2.png


Teaser 1:

It looked like I was gonna poke him with some flirting, after all, because when he had one foot in the tender and the other on the yacht, I couldn’t resist.

"Has anyone ever told you how delicious you look with your legs spread?"

He grabbed the cooler from me. "No, you'd be the first. Thank you for being gentle."

Sad day for me; he'd figured out my game and didn’t let it ruffle his feathers this time.
On the other hand, now I could add witty to the list. I loved witty comebacks.

"In fact…" He pointed at a duffel on the platform, which I handed over. "I barely felt anything."

"What the—" I stared at him, incredulous. Did he really go there? Oh, he did. That sexy, sly son of a bitch. "You actually… Wow."

Displaying Uncomplicated Choices 4.png


Teaser 2:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Audio book Review: Forgotten Paradise by Shira Anthony

From The Blurb:
Listening Time: 5 hrs 49 min 
It’s dangerous diving for secrets. 
When a mega company threatens to take over his family-owned business, programming prodigy Adam Preston escapes the stress with a much-needed vacation in the Dominican Republic. There he meets attractive, intelligent, insightful Jonah James, a scuba dive instructor, and what starts as a holiday fling soon blossoms into much more. 
But Jonah has a secret: ten years ago he woke up on an island beach with no idea how he got there… or even who he is. Their paradise may not be as perfect as it seems. When Jonah’s memories come crashing back like waves on the sand, will it be Adam clinging to the proverbial life raft, or will the two men find a safe harbor to ride out the storm?



Karen's rating:




Surprise...it's my first time reading this author...

Ok so I have to admit I was a little surprised when I realized this because truthfully I own more than a few books by this author and have somehow not managed to get to them yet...so many books, so little time...

"Forgotten Paradise" is part of Dreamspinner's Dreamspun Desires series and I enjoyed listening to the audio book. It was like being read a sweet, low angst fairytale...of the modern, adult variety, of course.

Adam Preston is enjoying a well earned vacation in the Dominican Republic before returning home to deal with what can only be considered a hostile takeover attempt by Entech a company with a reputation for less than ethical behavior in their business dealings, when he decides to do a bit of scuba diving he's surprised to discover that his instructor is the attractive, charming and somewhat mysterious Jonah, whom he met at the resort bar the night before.

It turns out that Jonah's not just a mystery to Adam but to himself as well. Since he only remembers the last 10 years of his life when he woke up on a beach one day with no idea of who he was or how he got there. He's held that secret close until Adam, who for some reason is causing long hidden memories to try and resurface in his mind.

As Adam and Jonah get to know each other during their time together, their attraction grows and with each encounter Jonah finds himself recovering parts of a past he thought gone forever and one that maybe he no longer wants.

It's a bit of a whirlwind romance between these two. Considering that they only have one week before Adam has to return to his real life. It works and I really didn't have a problem finding it believable...beautiful tropical setting, two intelligent, attractive, available people (men in this case) drawn to each other and who enjoy each others company.  Honestly no stretch of the imagination required here at all.

It's when Adam returns the real world that he begins to discover that his fantasy vacation was far more firmly rooted in reality than either he or Jonah could have ever imagined.

I enjoyed the first part of this story which introduced us to Adam and Jonah. Seeing their relationship go from a simple attraction to something so much stronger in spite of the fact that they knew they only had a week before Adam would be leaving.  It was fun and sexy and sweet and so easy the envision with the way that the author wove in the background information to create images of a beautiful tropical setting combined with the adventure of deep sea diving.

Blogtour: Haven's War (Safe Haven #2) by Parker Williams



Title: Haven's War
Series: Safe Haven #2
Author: Parker Williams
Genre: M/M Dark Romantic Elements
Release Date: June 26, 2017
Buy Now: Universal Link 





With Haven on an extended honeymoon with Sammy, bad guys around the world are breathing a lot easier. No one is better at permanently removing these lowlifes who target children—and the brutal murder of two teenage girls makes clear it’s past time to return to work. Haven’s first assignment back results in a new family member and a renewed sense of urgency to protect and avenge the innocent. 

There is nothing ‘usual’ about the business of hunting predators, but when several of Haven’s fellow agents are killed, a pattern emerges. The hunters have become the prey, tools in a bitter vendetta for a perceived wrong. 

Despite years of working alone, when the target shifts to someone unexpected, Haven calls in reinforcements—a friend to stand between the family he loves and a ruthless killer. Teamwork may be the only way to win this fight—unless it’s already too little, too late. 
Haven tries to approach this as he would any other assignment. Find your enemy and make sure they suffer before you eliminate them. But when a member of his team goes off-book and ends up dead, everything changes. It’s no longer a battle. 

Now it’s war.









Blogtour: Oversight by Santino Hassell





Please say hello to Santino Hassell with 

Oversight

The Community #2





Blurb:

Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.

Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.

As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.




Get the book:







What lies beneath the surface of the world you thought you knew?

Secrets and lies have twisted an underground community founded by psychics escaping persecution. Blackmail, sex, and social climbing in the name of power has created an irreparable rift.

In the eyes of the founders, there are two sides: loyalists and everyone else. Surely no one would emerge from their tightly woven webs. And they certainly wouldn’t sow the seeds of rebellion within the heart of the Community’s only queer night club.

Now an outcast, a scion, and a runaway are leading a revolution to save not only the men they love, but the entire Community.

Check out The Community series!





About the author:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

ARC Review: Uncomplicated Choices (Camassia Cove, #5) by Cara Dee

Uncomplicated Choices (Camassia Cove, #5)
Blurb:
When life gave you lemons, you learned who stayed and made lemonade with you. Or something to that effect. And the day Ellis Hayes kidnapped me—or, he borrowed a yacht and didn’t know I was on board—he'd definitely been handed too many lemons.

We faced a dilemma when I woke up hungover in the middle of the ocean. He needed to get the hell out of town to do some soul searching and decide whether or not to divorce his wife, and I needed to get back on land because humans didn't belong on the water. There was also better cell service on land, and I had my four-year-old daughter on vacation in Paris to check in with.

Then I remembered I wasn’t a complete tool. Ellis wasn’t doing all right, and we were practically family. I had to stay and make lemonade with him. Of course, me being me, seemingly un-dateable and complicated, I had to develop feelings for him, too.






Jewel's rating:



Family.

That one word sums up a huge part of Uncomplicated Choices. Casey's family is a band of misfits, not unlike my own. You don't have to be blood related to be family and when I find a novel that uses that theme so strongly, I seldom dislike it. And let me tell you, I absolutely loved this book. Cara Dee got so many things right, I just loved it straight to my favorites shelf!

Firstly, I've been asked a time or two if this book reads well as a stand alone. In my opinion, it does. While there are a couple secondary characters that play heavily in the story that were in a previous book (Lincoln and Ade are the MCs from Path of Destruction), I haven't read that book and I had zero issues following their role in Uncomplicated Choices. Casey's connection to Lincoln is explained and it worked for me. I really liked both Lincoln and Ade, as well, but especially Lincoln, and now that I've finished Uncomplicated Choices, I want to go back and read Path of Destruction, even though I don't read much M/F anymore.

Casey -- he was a breath of fresh air, to me. He's young, around 30, but he's seen a bit of mileage and he's wise beyond his years. Or maybe he just grew up, and considering everything he has faced in his life, he could easily be a bitter person -- but he's not. He got caught up with the wrong crowd when he was in his teens and did some time in prison (it's how he met Lincoln), he grew up in a wealthy family, but his parents disowned him when he got sentenced and he's a single father of a 4 year old girl whose mother is no where in the picture. Casey has come out of all that and managed to make something of his life. Yeah, he had Lincoln and Ade helping him get on his feet, but he still had to do the work, himself.

ARC Review: A Destiny of Dragons (Tales From Verania, #2) by T.J. Klune


Blurb:
Once upon a time, the wizard’s apprentice Sam of Wilds got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam’s been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Justin they will be best friends forever.

Life is good.

Until it’s not.

Because Vadoma, the leader of the Gypsy clan and Sam’s grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side.

And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv.

Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam’s true cornerstone.

The first book in the DESTINY FUCK YEAH! Trilogy (because sometimes, having a destiny is the stupidest thing ever).



Jewel's rating:



The Lightning-Struck Heart was often compared to The Princess Bride (but more gay), and it was that. A Destiny of Dragons, though, reminded me a lot more of The Lord of the Rings, but funnier, and, to me, anyway, more down to earth. While this series is, at least so far, Sam's Hero's Journey (it's capitalized, so you know it's a thing), the story doesn't take itself too too seriously. And I loved it. TJ, TJ, TJ..you need to write faster!

A Destiny of Dragons is delightful. And ridiculous. And wonderful. In all the best of ways. Sam, Ryan, Gary, Tiggy and Kevin are more than the best of friends. They're family. They're like the Fellowship of the Ring, without a ring, volcanoes and that creepy evil eye. But they don't need those things. They have a quest of their own -- a destiny, if you will.

“When the time comes, he will call upon my brethren five. He will allow their voices to be heard. The white. The fire. The two-snow.” The dragon wrinkled its nose in disgust. “The… Kevin.”


And Sam hates it. He doesn't feel ready to do something so important. For the fate of the whole world to be in his hands. What's a young wizard (apprentice) to do? Sam is impulsive and has an amazing sense of adventure -- when it is his choice. He doesn't like to think in terms of 'destiny' and 'fate'.

“I’m a little lost,” I told them. “Maybe more than I think I am. I don’t…. I knew my place. I knew what was expected of me. Do this, Sam. Learn this, Sam. I’m going to monologue at your face after I’ve captured you for some stupid reason, Sam. There was good. And there was evil. And nothing in between. I am a good guy. I know I am. And I try to do what’s right. Always. Even if it hurts.” I sighed. “Why does this all feel so wrong, then?”

Like The Lightning-Struck Heart, the banter is so wonderfully over the top. I think I highlighted half the book. And I laughed and was sometimes sad, but mostly not. I do have a feeling, though, that we're in for some serious tears in one or both of the next two books. Just...a feeling.

Book Blitz: When Beauty Met the Beast by Khardine Gray


WhenBeautyMetTheBeast_BlitzBanner


Series: Vandervilles, Book 1
Publisher: Khardine Gray
Cover Artist: Erin Dameron-Hill
Release Date: June 10, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary, Suspense
Words: 60,000


About the Book



WhenBeautyMetTheBeastBlurb

Betrayal, obsession, revenge. Can love conquer all?
Deep beneath the veneer of luxury, beauty, and wealth, lie secrets that could be used to destroy the Vanderville family. Secrets that a cold, calculating, and vengeful person has been collecting, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to exact a cruel and painful revenge…

Rejections turn to romance?

An obsession brews into a whirlwind romance that threatens to be torn apart by a bad boy’s bad habits. Will a love so passionate yet unstable be able to withstand the turmoil that’s sure to blossom from a plot for revenge?
Double betrayal, despair…
Waiting for a wedding proposal, Taylor is instead handed betrayal. Her cheating father betrays his wife and shatters his daughter’s heart at the same moment she discovers the man she loves has been lying to her. 
Careers hang in the balance…
What do the Vanderville Matriarch’s powerful position in the fashion industry, a greedy States attorney, and a budding creative director all have in common? Careers compromised by the cold hunger of a vengeful person.
Surrender yourself to the gripping story surrounding the Vanderville Family and their friends. Discover for yourself if love, both romantic and familial, can survive the frigid reality of betrayal and revenge.


Excerpt


Was someone watching Ben, and sending him threatening messages? Honestly, it didn't surprise her. Only God knew how many enemies the man must have had.

With her heart pounding and hands shaking she started opening the smaller envelopes. The first one gripped her, it had a drawing of Ben in his office at work. Sitting on his desk in a very seductive manner was an image of his busty secretary blowing kisses at him.

The next letter, however, brought home the seriousness of the situation to her as she read it. It was written in dark red ink and stated:

You shouldn't have so much sugar in your coffee, and your wife should wear the new lipstick she bought last week. It will match that dress she's wearing perfectly.

Taylor should take better care of her cat, and Wade needs better lighting in his room. It would be a shame for him to leave again when he's only just returned.

It was only after she read that that realization truly dawned on her and tore at her insides.

Regina gasped. This person wasn't just watching Ben. It was all of them. They were watching all of them, and this note was recent. As in a few days ago recent. Wade had only been home since Monday, and she bought that lipstick last week.

Cold terror gripped her in its icy embrace, and she could do nothing but stand there and stare at the note, paralyzed with fright. Someone was watching them, and watching so closely that they knew how much sugar Ben put in his coffee.

God!

Were they watching her now? Could they see her?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

ARC Review: Uncomplicated Choices (Camassia Cove #5) by Cara Dee

Uncomplicated Choices (Camassia Cove, #5)Blurb:
When life gave you lemons, you learned who stayed and made lemonade with you. Or something to that effect. And the day Ellis Hayes kidnapped me—or, he borrowed a yacht and didn’t know I was on board—he'd definitely been handed too many lemons.

We faced a dilemma when I woke up hungover in the middle of the ocean. He needed to get the hell out of town to do some soul searching and decide whether or not to divorce his wife, and I needed to get back on land because humans didn't belong on the water. There was also better cell service on land, and I had my four-year-old daughter on vacation in Paris to check in with.

Then I remembered I wasn’t a complete tool. Ellis wasn’t doing all right, and we were practically family. I had to stay and make lemonade with him. Of course, me being me, seemingly un-dateable and complicated, I had to develop feelings for him, too.
Todd's rating:

   


Thank fuck!

This book had so much potential for becoming a complete and total melodramatical shit-show of suffering and angst, but it never ventured anywhere close to that territory, not even once.

I flat out loved Casey's sense of humor and banter in this one. Plus, if Casey had a thought, it popped right out of his big ole' mouth, completely honest and unfiltered. I *love* a good blurter and Casey reminded me a lot of Cole from Jaime Reese's "A Restored Man," my all-time favorite blurter, ever.

I also loved how level-headed and open Ellis was to his newly-discovered attraction to men. That's generally a huge point for drama (and fleeing), but I was thrilled to not have that happen this time around. For Ellis, being with Casey was truly an "Uncomplicated Choice."

The whole 'kidnapping' aspect of the story was funny, but slightly off-base, as said kidnapper (Ellis) didn't even know that Casey was aboard the yacht. It did, however, effectively put the MC's living in one another pockets during the entire time that their relationship took form and began to flourish. I'm a huge fan of that scenario. : )

I must say the one thing that did surprise me a bit, though, was after they docked back in Camassia, when Ellis was working things out, the *complete* lack of communication, after their openness and connection on the boat, was fairly shocking.

There was a huuuuuuge "WTAF??? Did I just fall into a very clichéd M/F plot line?" point at around 70% in the story. My jaw dropped and I even e-mailed my friends to piss and moan about it.

But nope! It was all handled with skill and with a minimum of theatrics. That plot point actually allowed the story to finish up *exactly* as I'd hoped it would. Love that!

In regards to the steamy bits, those didn't disappoint, either. There were enough sexy scenes to help convey the growing attraction, but not so many that I wanted to scream, "Jesus, Ladies! Can you put your dicks away for 2 goddamn minutes?" ;- )

I was pretty thrilled with the HEA that played out in the epilogue and also should mention that the kids were 'present', but not omnipresent. I'd actually be thrilled to find myself in a parenting arrangement much like Casey had with Lincoln and Ade.

I would like to bring up a point that my friend Dani mentioned in her review about this being a standalone book. While in theory, yes, the plot in this story does *not* require you to know anything from the previous books, I'd skipped the 3rd and 4th (M/F) books and *did* feel a bit lost at times at the mention of some characters from the books that I missed. Not to the detriment of the story, but it definitely fueled some confusion.

So between the humor, banter, and the feels, I'd have to rate this one a solid 4.25 stars and highly recommend it, especially if you've already read all (or even some) of the previous books.

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

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35392759-uncomplicated-choices

 Get the book:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07217WQD1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Cara+Dee?_requestid=852391

Thanks for visiting our blog and I hope you enjoyed my review!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/12415682-todd?order=d&sort=date_read&view=reviews




Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with this book, author or bookseller listed.

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.

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