Monthly Archives: August 2015

Orion’s Circle (Sirius Wolves#1): Victoria Sue

PUBLISHER: Dark Hallows Press

ABOUT: According to legend, when humankind is at its most desperate, the goddess Sirius will send three of the most powerful werewolf shifters ever created to save mankind. However, because they are so powerful, they will need a fourth to complete them, to calm them and help them reach their full potential.

Aden, a young were, has been his pack’s omega ever since, at the age of fifteen, he didn’t shift like everyone else. Caught, reviled, and tortured because of his empathic abilities, he knew on the night he was told to run as sport for the pack hunters that it would end in his death. What he didn’t know, however, was that on the same night he’d also meet the love of his life and a pathway to answers, because Aden is far more than just a pack omega.

What begins as a hunt soon becomes a new adventure as Aden discovers that he has not only one, but three destined mates, and his role as lover is far more than trivial. The fate of all humankind rests upon it.

REVIEW: I like shifter books, they’re among my favorites of the genre and I enjoyed this author’s other books so I decided to give this series a try. The book starts off a bit violent and I don’t care much for that all but in this case, it fits in with the situation; it sets the stage for the remainder of the story.

This also book also feature another couple of my favorite elements in M/M: Mpreg and multiple partners. I’ve only read multiple partner stories where three men were mentioned so I was curious as to how the dynamics of four men would work out.

There’s Aden, an omega wolf who is
The outcast of his pack for being unable to shift. His life was made a living hell by a psychotic alpha and the pack’s Gammas. Chased through the woods, Aden is convinced he’s going to die when he’s rescued by his mates, the powerful alpha Blaze, Connor and Darric. Together they work to heal Aden emotionally and physically while teaching him about the Sirius wolves, his empathic abilities and his part in their lives.

The rest of the story sorts of putter along until Aden is kidnapped again. Then there’s more violence until he’s rescued. There’s a storyline in there regarding wolves joining the military, a corrupt politician and finally the end.

I didn’t like this shifter book as much as I liked her other books, I just couldn’t connect with the characters and the violence, although not overly gratuitous still kind of turned me off. Although this was the case it was still written well.

RATING: ❤️❤️❤️❤️

BUY LINKS:

DARK HALLOWS PRESS

AMAZON

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White Lies by Jack Byrne

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6729

WhiteLiesBlurb

Brent Winton is doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons. Since the death of their parents years ago, Brent is helping his younger brother Zach through law school in sunny Queensland, Australia. The boys share a cheap flat, and Brent works two jobs to support them, but Zach thinks the second job is merely bar tending. In reality Brent has turned to gay prostitution to ensure that Zach has all the best textbooks and the up-to-date laptop he needs so he can focus on his studies. When hot Russian refugee Dimitri moves in next door, Brent finds him mesmerizing, but fears that if he gets involved, Dimitri will expose Brent’s white lies. But Dimitri has a dark secret of his own, and the question becomes how either of them can learn to trust the other without blowing their cover.

Review

Brent is working as a rent boy to help his younger brother through law school. Dimitri is fresh from Sochi where his brethren can be killed for being gay.

Together they find love and find a way to live with their past mistakes.

**

This is a sometimes awkward and unbelievable but very sweet novella.

I liked the motivations the MCs had in their decision making even though sometimes the dialog and the way things worked out didn’t really feel authentic.

I think there are parts that are uncomfortable and some people won’t like in regard to Brent’s career choice, but in the end I think the author did a fair job explaining away the decision each MC made in regards to how those choices were handled and why they were made.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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The Lightning Struck Heart by TJ Klune

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6663

LightningStruckHeart[The]Blurb

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King’s Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or so he thinks.

Review

Sam is going to be a powerful wizard one day. One day. For now he’s stuck serving a jerk named Justin who is engaged to marry Ryan – the guy Sam has had a crush on since forever.

When Justin gets kidnapped by a dragon Sam and Ryan go to save him.

What happens next – for nearly four hundred pages – is lots of banter (as only TJ Klune knows how to create) amid hysterical adventures with bizarre (and sometimes kinky and over-sexed) creatures.

We have Gary the snarky, sometimes bitchy, always vain, hornless, gay unicorn.

Then there’s Tiggy a half-giant who won’t win genius of the year but who is fiercely loyal and true.

Finally – our two MCs connect and we get a happy ending.

**

Ok – so I’m gonna tell you that I DNF’d this for now. One day I might finish it, but I got OVERWHELMED by the banter and the non-discussing of the issues and the never ending puns and stuff. I wanted some ROMANCE and though there is some in this book – there isn’t nearly enough to satisfy my sappy heart.

I did sneak a peek at the end and I was grateful that Sam and Ryan get their HEA but I was so bummed because I also found out that the end (300 some pages into it) is when they first get “together”.

So – for now – I’m setting this aside and when I want a MOSTLY funny and a little romantic fantasy – I’ll pull this one back out. I do appreciate TJ’s humor but I gotta tell you I really think he needs a good, strong editor. Someone to rein in the monologues and get the story back on track.

My friend had this to say about her experience reading the book:

I stayed up forever finishing The Lightning-Struck Heart. F**k! I’m so mad! It was exactly like I’d thought it would be. Now, I’m not saying it was a bad book, because it wasn’t. TJ’s books are always funny and entertaining but… the MCs are in love with each other YEARS before the book starts and they don’t get together until 95% [of the way through the book]…95 f**king %!!!!!! I have rage!!!!! I was like…. This book could have been 1/3 of the length if the characters would just shut the f**k up with the banter once in awhile. Ugh! The banter is fun but there is WAY too much of it!! And [really] no one can be clueless for 412 pages for f**k’s sake!!
…If you’re selling your books as romance, [m]aybe have the people be together for more than 5% of the book.

That is essentially what I was feeling – only without putting the effort of getting through the 421 pages myself.

One day I will. I’m sure. Because I’m sure it’s hilarious. But… I want a LOT of romance in my books and this just doesn’t qualify.

So…. If you are looking for a funny, fantasy, gay story with a bit of romance this is for you.

For what it’s worth my friend gave this a 4 of 5 hearts despite the rant. ☺

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The Gift by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6722

Gift[The]Blurb

Sequel to The Price
Las Vegas Escorts: Book Two

Ember is a drop-dead gorgeous Las Vegas escort. He notices Alejandro in some of the classes he teaches at his side business—a yoga studio. Then, color-blind Alejandro further captures Ember’s attention when he’s momentarily blinded by a quick change in light and needs Ember’s help at a club. What Ember doesn’t expect is the way Alejandro touches his heart.

Alejandro never intended to develop feelings for Ember. He’s in Las Vegas for a year to sow some wild oats. But Alejandro quickly sees more in Ember when he sets out to make some of Alejandro’s dreams come true—including a trip to the Grand Canyon and the beaches of LA. Alejandro’s wild oats could turn into something memorable.

Ember knows keeping his escort job from Alejandro isn’t the right thing to do, but he wants to be liked for who he is. Alejandro keeps his own secrets for the same reason. But Alejandro’s family obligations, along with Ember’s profession, could make it impossible for the two of them to stay together—unless they can figure out how to make the most of the gifts they’ve been given.

Review
We met Ember in book one, he’s one of the escorts that Hunter worked with before he retired. Ember likes his escort job, but he also has a Yoga studio he goes to center himself and regain the part of himself he loses with each client encounter.

Alejandro is a real Prince of a small Spanish country in Las Vegas for a year to “be himself” and have fun. He “knows” he can’t be gay – he has to marry and have babies to carry on the lineage – but he wants to have some memories and affairs before he settles down.

Ember and Alejandro meet and each know the other is someone important in their lives. They have a (surprisingly) sedate courtship that eventually leads to some hot sex and later devotion. But….

Both men have their secrets and those have to be dealt with before the two of the them can find their Happily Ever After.

**

This is a nice, solid, predictably happily ending Cinderella-type story. There are some nice secondary characters and a few surprising twists, but the story basically unfolds as you’d expect.

It’s a nice escapist story of love conquering all.

3.75 of 5 hearts

4

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A Counselor of Wolves (Leader Murders Case Two) by Liv Olteano

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6351

CounselorAmongWolves[A]Blurb

Sequel to A Tooth for a Fang
Leader Murders: Case Two

Five dead leaders, their bodies arranged in a pentagram. Treason, lies, and backstabbing. A make-believe affair that turns into a real mating.

Timothy Sands is a PBI counselor, half-fey, half-elf, with a secret crush on Herman Weiss, PBI director. As a new chapter is added to the Leader Murders, it is Weiss’s responsibility to investigate what seems an impossible-to-solve case. The other problem? Weiss is suffering from rages, and his only salvation lies in Tim’s emotional-grid-balancing skills. They only have to pretend to be a couple for Tim to use his talents, and he owes Weiss a big favor. Piece of cake, right?

The fey might be involved in the Leader Murders. Someone on the Council might be their ally, and another prominent PBI figure looks more and more suspicious as they investigate. The stakes are upped when Timothy’s father, the Fey King, threatens to leave the Council destitute if they don’t hand Timothy over to him. Weiss’s brilliant solution? Mating Timothy and forcing the Council into protecting him.

There’s only one small hitch in that plan: instead of protecting one, the Council might decide to get rid of two.

Review

Timothy has had a thing for Weiss for a long time. In fact his infatuation with Travis was because of the similarity to Weiss.

Weiss had a male lover once before, but it ended badly. Now he’s stuck in a loveless mating that is about to finally be over, but he has a mess to clean up before he can be happy.

Someone is using magic to make Weiss unstable and it is up to Tim to ground him and keep him alive long enough to solve the mystery and the murders.

In a huge bout of drama our two erstwhile lovers manage to save the day and find love.

**

I really wanted to love this book. I adored book one and was so excited for this to come out.

I never liked Weiss. Sure I understood him better, but he just kept feeling like a big ol’ jerk and he was never very nice to Tim.

Tim who should have been so strong ends up being a door mat and even though he survives all the trials by fire, I never felt like he was appreciated. At all.

The mystery/drama eclipsed the love story for me and took the attention away from what felt like a mediocre love affair at best.

I just never bonded with the couple as a couple and as a result found this book to be lacking.

The writing was fine as was the editing, and if you are looking for drama this is a good book. But if you want a sweet love story I’d keep looking.

2.75 of 5 hearts

2.5

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Tin Box Audiobook by Kim Fielding Narrated by KC Kelly

Dreamspinner Press Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6660

TinBox[The]AUDMEDBlurb

William Lyon’s past forced him to become someone he isn’t. Conflicted and unable to maintain the charade, he separates from his wife and takes a job as caretaker at a former mental hospital. Jelley’s Valley State Insane Asylum was the largest mental hospital in California for well over a century, but it now stands empty. William thinks the decrepit institution is the perfect place to finish his dissertation and wait for his divorce to become final. In town, William meets Colby Anderson, who minds the local store and post office. Unlike William, Colby is cute, upbeat, and flamboyantly out. Although initially put off by Colby’s mannerisms, William comes to value their new friendship, and even accepts Colby’s offer to ease him into the world of gay sex.

William’s self-image begins to change when he discovers a tin box, hidden in an asylum wall since the 1940s. It contains letters secretly written by Bill, a patient who was sent to the asylum for being homosexual. The letters hit close to home, and William comes to care about Bill and his fate. With Colby’s help, he hopes the words written seventy years ago will give him courage to be his true self.

Review

Kim Fielding is an amazing writer, who has a way of combining dark, angsty topics with humor and sweet romance. I guess you’d say this is the “perfect” example of that.

We get the dark, very hard to read at times story of Bill – a patient in an asylum for being homosexual and what he experiences.

Then we get William and Colby’s modern day story, far more light-hearted and hopeful. William learns from “Bill” and finally finds the courage to be the man he wants to become.

“…You said gay people—any people—should be who they really are. Be authentic. You said I should wear a pink tutu and vote Republican if that’s what I wanted. Well, I’ll pass on that part. But Colby, this is me. I’m not a man who sleeps around, always wondering if the ass is greener on the other side of the fence. I’m not someone who wants to meet tons of men in clubs or online. Those things don’t suit me any better than this outfit.” He gestured at his borrowed shirt.

Such a delightful mix of tragic and happy. Well done, Kim Fielding, well done.

**

Audio:

KC Kelly does an absolutely amazing job with this! God! I loved his “Colby” and how well he handles the emotion and the smexy times.
I absolutely recommend his narration as a way to experience this novel.

5 of 5 hearts

5

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Fire and Ice Audiobook (Carlisle Cops book 2) by Andrew Grey Narrated by Randy Fuller

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6737

FireAndIceAUDMEDBlurb

Carter Schunk is a dedicated police officer with a difficult past and a big heart. When he’s called to a domestic disturbance, he finds a fatally injured woman, and a child, Alex, who is in desperate need of care. Child Services is called, and the last man on earth Carter wants to see walks through the door. Carter had a fling with Donald a year ago and found him as cold as ice since it ended.

Donald (Ice) Ickle has had a hard life he shares with no one, and he’s closed his heart to all. It’s partly to keep himself from getting hurt and partly the way he deals with a job he’s good at, because he does what needs to be done without getting emotionally involved. When he meets Carter again, he maintains his usual distance, but Carter gets under his skin, and against his better judgment, Donald lets Carter guilt him into taking Alex when there isn’t other foster care available. Carter even offers to help care for the boy.

Donald has a past he doesn’t want to discuss with anyone, least of all Carter, who has his own past he’d just as soon keep to himself. But it’s Alex’s secrets that could either pull them together or rip them apart—secrets the boy isn’t able to tell them and yet could be the key to happiness for all of them.

Review

(Book reviewed earlier)

Carter is the police partner of Red who we met in book one, Fire and Water. Donald is a social worker who has hooked up with Carter in the past, but walked away from him before they got started as a couple.

Carter rescues a boy, Alex, from the site of a domestic disturbance only to find out he’s been abused and is now an orphan. Donald is called in to help place him in the system, but both men fall in love with Alex and have a hard time letting him go.

Meanwhile, Carter knows Donald is more than his icy façade and wants to break through to the real man he’s had glimpses of before.

Donald is guarding his heart and his secrets but can’t help but be enthralled by both Alex and Carter.

In the end – when an amazingly convenient solution presents itself – we see the formation of a new family and a very HEA.

**
I thought this was better than the first book (and I liked the first book) and I really liked Carter and Alex and the story they shared. I thought Donald was a little harder to like and found his reluctance to share frustrating.

Overall it was a good book and I recommend it to fans of Andrew Grey and fans of men with kids stories.

4 of 5 hearts

Audiobook

Randy Fuller does a fairly nice job with the narration. He is easy to listen to, and tries to make the characters separate from one another and does a nice job with the child, Alex. He isn’t great at portraying emotions and it doesn’t necessarily add to the overall experience, but neither does it detract.

3 of 5 hearts

Overall 3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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Water and Fire by Rowan McAllister

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6206

WaterandFireBlurb

Aiden Flanagan has spent his entire life fighting who and what he is. After losing control of the power within him one time too many, Aiden flees to his parents’ vacation home on Nantucket to lock himself away as punishment and to protect the people he cares about. Getting nowhere on his own, Aiden fears he’ll never have enough control to join the world again—and perhaps he doesn’t deserve to—until an act of kindness brings Murphy Mizuuchi into his life.

Though still grieving the loss of his partner, Murphy’s own gifts won’t allow him to ignore the strongest projector he’s ever encountered or deny the beautiful soul behind Aiden’s drama. Drawing on his own recovery, his empathy, and years of practicing meditation, he shows Aiden not only how to find a safe outlet for who he is, but to value his abilities.

But Murphy isn’t the only one drawn to Aiden’s fire. Someone from his past followed Aiden to the island, and it will take both Murphy’s and Aidan’s powers to protect him from a man who won’t stop until he takes all Aiden has.

Review

This book is the second in a series but can absolutely be a stand-alone novel.

If you read book one, you remember that Aiden was the firey ex of Adam’s that caused so much strife between him and Jay. (If you were like me – you didn’t like him much at all! Which is why it took me forever to get around to reading this!)

We find Aiden right after he’s run away from something tragic – something to do with Adam and Jay. He’s in his head a lot and it’s a mess in there. He keeps fighting and fighting the fire that lives within him and he also wants and needs someone to help keep him grounded but he’s determined not to be all clingy like he was with Adam and scare the next potential lover away.

Aiden goes to a party on the beach near his parents house, severely depressed, and meets some guys at a bonfire. A few hours/beers later and there is an older man, clearly distressed out on the beach with them – upset about the fire. Aiden sees some initials carved in old wood and rescues the wood from the fire to bring to the upset man – Murphy – and is initially rebuffed.

Murphy has his own story to tell. He’s a widower – we never did find out how he became one – and is an empath (and something to do with water). He literally feels all of Aiden’s emotions like he’s yelling them and it psychically hurts. Normally Murphy can shield from such a thing, but with Aiden he can’t.

What follows next is the two men learning about one another and helping Aiden with his “gift”. They don’t deny their instant attraction for long and it turns out that Murphy really helps ground Aiden.

Everything looks to be moving in the right direction when suddenly there is a mysterious “bad” guy in town making Murphy jealous and Aiden uncomfortable. Then there’s a storm, a kidnapping, a rescue and some closure.

**

Phew! This book was a roller coaster. Reading Aiden’s thought process is a bit like living in his brain and is energetically exhausting. Poor guy! But that is where Rowan McAllister did such an excellent job, giving us this manic, frightened character and having it bleed out on the pages in such an amazing way.

Murphy is far more solid and serene and that comes through so well. But… he’s got that side of him that feels too much and has to be hidden. Aiden shows him the benefit of letting that side out now and again.

I was captivated by this story and read it quickly but was a bit disappointed by the end. I am hoping it’s a set up for book three because both sets of MCs really, really need to come together like the Fantastic Four and somehow vanquish the evil Richard! I can see the set up so I’m hoping I’m right!

I would also love to see both couples later in their relationship and having mastered their respective skills.

I did however find it super cute that Adam and Jay were blushing while discussing their whereabouts during the latest storm. Tee hee!

All in all it was a wonderful book and I really hope we see the next book soon!

6 of 5 hearts

amazing

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Out of the Rain by Renae Kaye

Renae Kaye Presents
http://www.amazon.com/Out-Rain-Renae-Kaye-ebook/dp/B011EJ012C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439011680&sr=8-1&keywords=out+of+the+rain

out of the rainBlurb

Mitch never knew what awaited him when he answered his elderly neighbour’s calls. Finding a stranger crying in her backyard was a new one. Little did he know that rescuing Elijah out of the rain was going to change his life.

Elijah is too young, too good looking, and too bruised for Mitch to consider falling in love with. But Elijah is soon in his house, in his bed, and in his heart.

At thirty-eight, Mitch has a lot of experience with life. Elijah is only twenty-three and just starting out. Mitch’s bedroom skills enrapture Elijah. Mitch just hopes it will be enough to make Elijah want to stay.

 

Review

Renae Kaye simply can’t write anything but wonderful stories.

This very short story about an older, gay electrician who rescues a newly outed young man one night from the rain is terribly sweet and touching.

Mitch doesn’t realize how lonely he is and Elijah had no idea being out and gay could make you a stronger and better person.

The story moves quickly, Mitch doubts the young man could possibly be interested in anything long term and Elijah is simply hopeful that Mitch wants him as much as he wants Mitch.

There is some hot, sweaty sex and some moving moments between the two and a very HEA.

5 of 5 hearts- It’d be higher only if it were longer!

5

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Sixty-Five Hours by NR Walker

NR Walker Presents http://www.amazon.com/Sixty-Five-Hours-N-R-Walker-ebook/dp/B012UQUQXC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438882874&sr=8-1&keywords=sixty+five+hours

sixty fiveBlurb

Cameron Fletcher and Lucas Hensley are advertising executives who have Sixty Five Hours to pull together the campaign of their careers.

Sixty Five Hours to get along. Sixty Five Hours to not kill each other. Sixty Five Hours to fall in love.

** First published in 2012. No additional content has been added.

Review

This is a wonderful short story about two rivals who have to work together for sixty five hours to make an ad campaign for condoms and lube.

Lucas is out and proud and Cameron is exceedingly jealous of that fact. Lucas manages to pull Cameron out of his shell and in the meantime discover that he really, really likes that guy.

The sexy-times in this story are HOT and I absolutely loved all the sock and feet imagery. I can totally picture the ad campaign and thought it was brilliant! (Especially the health and safety part.)

I was glad to buy this from amazon- though it’s free again!- but I gotta say, that I loved the first cover better. Sorry! But the socks are the story and it was a really cute cover!

Half naked businessman on white

Half naked businessman on white

So – if you haven’t read this delightful story do yourself a favor and go get it!

6 of 5 hearts

amazing

 

 

 

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