Category Archives: friends to lovers

Acceptable Behavior (Marked Men #1) Jenna Byrnes

                          ✨✨Reviewed by Michele​✨✨

TITLE: Acceptable Behavior

SERIES: Marked Men book 1

AUTHOR: Jenna Byrnes

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: January 26, 2016

BLURB: Tattoos don’t define a person’s character, or make him sexy. But, if you ask Sam Madison, they sure don’t hurt.

Dr. Travis Nelson has a passion for ink but keeps his many tattoos covered by long sleeves and trousers. He’s aware that as a pediatrician he’ll be judged not only by the other physicians in his practice, but also by the parents of his young patients.

When Sam Madison takes his young nephew, Levi, to be seen for an ear infection, he’s immediately attracted to Travis and the feeling is mutual. But Sam’s sister Melanie is going through a rough time and caring for Levi, and covering her obligations, keeps Sam occupied. He feels like he’s in no position to start a relationship.​

Travis sees things differently, though he’s unable to truly understand the deep bond and connection Sam shares with his twin. As Melanie’s life goes from bad to worse, Sam is forced to make difficult decisions. Is protecting Levi enough of a reason for the two men to stay together, or will fighting for the child ultimately tear them apart?

REVIEW: Okay, so this author is new to me and I had no idea what to expect. Well, I really liked this book. I liked the immediate attraction between Travis and Sam. I enjoyed how their relationship grew and changed. The author gives you each characters POV which was nice. Their story never felt rushed to me. It was easily a feel good story. ​​
There are some triggers in this story that may be uncomfortable for certain readers. Sam Madison is a total hottie. He’s sweet and loyal to a fault. Sam moves in with his sister Melanie to help take care of his nephew Levi. Melanie has issues, and I mean seriously messed up issues. Sam and Melanie are twins, so from the beginning you know they have a close relationship. Except Melanie, who has a major drug problem, is as far from a responsible parent as one could get. She totally uses and abuses Sam’s loyalty to her and his love for his nephew. I did not like this woman and kept wishing she would disappear from the story.

Travis Nelson, is a hot pediatrician who loves his job, his bike and his ink. Travis walks in to see his new patient and meets Sam who has taken his nephew for a doctors appointment. Both men are immediately attracted to each other but Travis is uncertain if Sam is divorced and straight as he mistakes the boy as Sam’s son. So Travis decides to keep his sexy thoughts to himself. Then fate steps in and bring the two men together again. This time Travis makes up his mind that he is determined to pursue the drool worthy Sam Madison.

I really enjoyed Travis and Sam together. Their chemistry worked especially when Levi was included in their dynamic. Levi is a cutie and your heart breaks a little when you learn some of the things he has had to endure. But you root for this kid to have some good in his life. I mean the family drama is off the charts. Despite my disdain for Melanie and how Travis sometimes turns into a controlling idiot, I liked the outcome of this story.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing

 

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Only Forever by Scotty Cade

Reviewed by Kiwi

 

TITLE: Only Forever

SERIES:

AUTHOR: Scotty Cade

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: November 30, 2016

 

BLURB: Master Captain Theodore Gourdin has always loved the ocean. But his devotion to maritime life left little possibility for a long-term relationship. After two failed marriages, Theo gave up on finding the person who completed him and decided the sea was his soul mate. When offered the opportunity to captain the newly launched mega yacht Eternity, Theo jumped at the chance. With Eternity’s maiden voyage looming, Theo focused all his energies on hiring his crew and readying his ship. The last thing he expected was to finally lose his heart in the process.

 

After twelve years at sea, First Officer Heath Rawlins was restless and in need of a change. A gay seaman’s life could be a lonely one, but to Heath the positives far outweighed the negatives. With excellent recommendations and an impressive resume, he was quickly offered a position on the private mega yacht Eternity. Heath’s heart skipped several beats when he finally met the ship’s captain. He was handsome and charming. And… familiar? Had they met somewhere before? Highly unlikely. But as smitten as Heath was with the gorgeous captain, everything inside him screamed, Abandon ship! Rough seas ahead!

 

REVIEW: This is another well written book by Scotty Cade. The story grabbed my attention with the very beginning. The prologue was a little heartbreaking. Set in a different time (1942), the story is about two men, one who, named Edward, unfortunately, has just lost the love of his life, Steven. But at the prologue’s end, sadly, Edward also passes away. Then the story flashes forward to the present time and gives us Heath and Theo. Heath to me seems to me to be a bit of a restless spirit or at least unhappy in his current job. He makes the decision to leave his current position and is quickly offered another one on a luxury yacht. It’s here that he meets Theo.

 

Theo is the captain of the luxury yacht where Heath is hired to work on and from the beginning, the attraction is strong and the sparks fly between the two men.  Not only that, there seems to be a bit of a sense of déjà vu between them. But there’s another catch: both men are supposedly straight but they keep having dreams about two men named Edward and Steven. This is where the story gets even more interesting. I haven’t read many stories featuring reincarnation but this is a trope that is seldom used that should be explored more. I definitely felt that the author did an amazing job of taking something that one would think would make the storyline boring but he managed to make it absolutely fantastic.

 

I absolutely loved the premise of this story. Everything about this book is so vivid and bright. I can’t describe it any other way.  The author’s writing style is amazing.  I was completely immersed in this story. His descriptions of the yacht, the crew’s lives, the weather, everything. As I’ve stated in past reviews of this author’s work, I thought that his descriptions were wordy but have since learned that his descriptions serve an important purpose. It draws you completely into the story. Thinking back on it now, I can remember feeling like I experience the same things that the characters are experiencing. You can definitely tell that the author has a vast knowledge of being on a boat or a ship. I’ve never in my life been near a boat but by the end of that book, I felt like I had taken a pleasure cruise. I definitely appreciate his descriptions as they give you the reader, the full experience of the story being told. Not only that but I felt that I got a special treat with the twist. Wow, I did not see that one coming. I loved it all.  

 

This book was beautifully written, which is par for the course for this author. I really appreciate his work.  This author’s characters are men of a particular age so you know that you’re going to get a more mature romance.  This is a signature Scotty Cade book: well written characters, wonderful plots and storylines and dialogues. You can also expect the editing to be spot on perfect.  Never in any of Cade’s book have I ever found one misspelled word, poor sentence or paragraph structure or plot holes. This author definitely believes in doing research before he writes the first word of any of his books.  The end result is a beautifully written, polished book. 

 

I definitely must give a nod to the super talented Reese Dante, the cover artist. Scotty has used this artist on virtually every one of his books and I must say that the beautiful cover matches the beautiful words within.

 

This is a story that will linger with you long after you’ve finished reading it.

 

 RATING: 🌟🌟🌟Amazing🌟🌟🌟

 

BUY LINKS:

 

Amazon

 

Dreamspinner Press

 

 

 

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Losing Faith by Scotty Cade

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Losing Faith

SERIES

AUTHOR: Scotty Cade

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: June 10, 2016

BLURB: Father Cullen Kiley, a gay Episcopal priest on hiatus from the church, decides to take his boat, T-Time, from Provincetown, Massachusetts, to Southport, North Carolina, a place that holds an abundance of bittersweet memories for him. While on a run his first day in Southport, Cullen comes upon a man sitting on a park bench staring out over the Cape Fear River with his Bible in hand. The man’s body language reeks of defeat and desperation, and unable to ignore his compassion for his fellow man, Cullen stops to offer a helping hand.

Southport Baptist Church’s Associate Pastor, Abel Weston, has a hard time managing his demons. When they get too overwhelming, he retreats to Southport’s Historic Riverwalk with his Bible in hand and stares out over the water, praying for help and guidance that never seem to come. But Abel soon discovers that help and guidance come in many forms.

An unexpected friendship develops between the two men, and as Cullen helps Abel begin to confront his doubts and fears, he comes face-to-face with his own reality, threatening both their futures.

REVIEW: This book is in one word: amazing! It was touching and beautifully written. I will say that I wasn’t too excited about this one because of the subject matter but decided to give it a go because it was written by this author. Needless to say that I am so very glad that I made the decision to do so. This man, with his words, has this way of drawing you into his story that I find absolutely magical. His descriptions, which I had in the past described as wordy (which I sincerely apologize for now) were perfect. I get it! This author’s descriptions weren’t wordy at all! He was actually using them to draw you in; he wanted you to experience the emotions of each character, to actually feel their experiences. He did this in a way that is subtle; you don’t even realize until afterwards of what he’s done. Thinking back to his previous fictions I’ve had the pleasure of reading, I realize how he’s always done this.

These two men’s personalities couldn’t have been more different, so much so
That I didn’t think they would be compatible enough to get together. But of course, Cade found a way for them to connect and form an unbreakable and beautiful bond. This subtle build to perfection is what makes this story such an enjoyable read. I can tell you that I was captivated from the first page to the very last.

What I like about this story is that here, you have these two men of the cloth (what I refer to any clergy) who you think are supposed be…oh, I don’t know. I know as a youth, I certainly didn’t think of religious leaders as having their own demons to contend with. Cade of course writes these characters in a way that dispels that myth. He wrote these men in a way that said to me that these are men of god but they’re still only men. And they have demons to contend with just like we all do.

I loved this story. It was so very touching and beautiful. And of course, well researched! That’s one of the many things you can expect when reading this author’s work: an extremely well researched, perfectly edited book. This is a definite must read and one that I highly recommend you read.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 
Dreamspinner Press

 

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Thick & Thin (THIRDS #8) Charlie Cochet

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Thick & Thin

SERIES: THIRDS # 8

AUTHOR: Charlie Cochet

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: February 1, 2017

BLURB: Sequel to Smoke & Mirrors

In a matter of days, Dex has been kidnapped, tortured, killed, revived, become half Therian, offered the chance to become a spy, and accepted a proposal to marry his jaguar Therian boyfriend, Sloane Brodie. It’s been a lot to take in, and although Dex is still trying to wrap his head around everything that’s happened, he knows he has to move forward.

After the events of Smoke & Mirrors, Dex and Sloane find themselves in one of the most frightening situations of all: revealing the truth to their Destructive Delta family. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same, and it’s up to Dex to prove that in the face of change, the one thing that will always remain the same is family.

REVIEW: This novella I felt was a fantastic little story to sustain us until the next full length book featuring Seb and Hudson is released. This book places the reader to the point where Dex and Sloane reveal Dex’s secret and their future plans. It was bittersweet. It’s was in many ways a goodbye to the team as they know it but a move forward for them as well. I am definitely looking forward to reading more about their (Dex and Sloane) adventures but I feel that with that advancement in their careers the stories can and will now concentrate on the rest of Destructive Delta’s team members and other teams. As with the other books in this series, this is extremely well written. Her characters are vivid, the storylines are superb and the dialogue will have you laughing out loud one second and on the verge of tears the next. This series and these characters are utterly fascinating and fantastic and I absolutely love reading them. I can’t wait until the next full length book. I am really looking forward to seeing what adventures the other teams and team members will take us on. This author and this series is a definite must read. The novella is short but will leave you full and satisfied.

RATING: 🌟🌟Amazing🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 

Dreamspinner Press

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Stallions and Ice by Stephanie Hecht

                Review by Michelle

TITLE: Stallions and Ice

SERIES: Unconventional in Kansas City Anthology 

AUTHOR: Stephanie Hecht

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: January17, 2017

BLURB: Part of the Unconventional in Kansas City anthology!

Sometimes you have to climb a mountain to see the future.

While Brandon loves to go and watch his friend, Nichole, at the American Royal every year, there is no way that he is ever going to climb on a horse. His feet belong on the ground or the ice. As one the of the players of the local minor league team, the Wichita Thunder, all he dreams about is someday moving up to the major leagues. That is, until he meets Nichole’s brother, Ethan.

Ethan grew up in a family that has always been in the rodeo circuit. There was no question that he was ever going to be anything else…until he’s sidelined by seizures and can no longer ride. Then he meets Brandon and he begins to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, his life isn’t over.

Will decades of tradition tear the men apart? Or can they can overcome all their obstacles and be together?

REVIEW: I have to admit that because this book was so short my expectations were very limited. I was sure I would not be able to connect with the characters. I mean how could you when the book is barely over 50 pages. Well, I’m happy to say I was wrong.

Brandon, a goalie on a hockey team, goes to see his best girlfriend compete at the Rodeo. Of course since Brandon is gay it’s no hardship for him to be around all those cowboys. He meets up with his friend Nichole, who comes from a large family of rodeo competitors. All of her siblings compete until recently. Some type of unknown illness is preventing the youngest, Ethan, from riding. The minute Brandon and Ethan meet sparks fly. The attraction between the two young men is mutual and instantaneous.

I immediately fell in love with Ethan. He’s so sweet and cute, but he’s not the most confident after the breakup from his last boyfriend. Now, he can’t compete due to his illness.This is a quick story that is easily read in one siting. The story immediately drew me in and it turned out to be an endearing read. I can easily say that I wish there had been more to their story. I really enjoyed it!.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟.5

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing 

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Gaining Trust (Kiss of Leather) Morticia Knight

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Gaining Trust

SERIES: Kiss of Leather

AUTHOR: Morticia Knight

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: January 24, 2017

BLURB: Chuck isn’t sure what he needs and Master Jordan can’t wait to show him.

Stone’s shy junior investigator, Chuck, can no longer deny his interest in the BDSM lifestyle. The beautiful connections and raw emotions he’s witnessed between so many of the Doms and subs at Kiss of Leather, leave him yearning for something he’d never dared hope he could have: unconditional love and care from a man. He isn’t sure if he can take the chance of having a real relationship when he’s not out to his meddling parents yet, but the sexy Master Jordan, Gavin’s friend and the owner of Club Consequence, makes him want to take that chance.

Master Jordan has been biding his time until he can get next to the super-fine Chuck. Gavin warned him that Chuck wasn’t in the lifestyle, but there’s something special about him that Jordan can’t deny. When they’re finally alone, the chemistry is off the charts and Jordan can tell it won’t take much to bring Chuck willingly into the world of BDSM.

An unexpected development in the case of Corey’s kidnappers shocks them all, but not as much as what happens with Chuck’s family. Jordan teaches Chuck that secrets hold power over the person keeping them, and that gaining trust can only be achieved through complete honesty.

REVIEW: This is the 5th book in this series and one that I was looking forward to. This story features Stone’s assistant, Chuck, and Gavin’s friend, Jordan, the owner of another BSDM club, Club Consequence.

I was intrigued from the moment these two were mentioned and featured briefly in the previous books so I was very pleased to see that the author has decided to give them their own story.

As with all of her characters, the ones in this series are very well written. Knight’s attention to detail in her work is meticulous. She has a great talent for maintaining her characters and their storylines. The transitions from one book in her series to the next are always smooth without any breaks or holes in the plots.

Her depictions of the subs and their Doms are awesome. The subs aren’t simpering, child-like, effeminate twinks. There’s nothing wrong with a man being effeminate or a twink but I absolutely detest when simpering and child- like is thrown in. She strikes the perfect balance between these men being strong and independent but are strong and confident enough to submit to their Doms.

I loved Jordan and Chuck’s characters. Chuck’s character was shy and sweet, strong and fierce and due to his upbringing, a little ‘buttoned up’. He was introduced to the BSDM lifestyle because of the case he and Stone are investigating but he’s drawn to it because of the deep love and respect that he observes between the men he’s befriended. He meets Jordan while working undercover at Jordan’s club. I also loved how Chuck didn’t allow the stench of his family’s bigotry to touch him. He’s a loving and kind gentlemen that treats people with respect. He also had a lot of backbone. This is what fascinated me about him. He was shy and sweet but also very tough. I love how the author wrote him breaking away from his family. She did it with little fanfare and didn’t dwell on it afterwards. She understood that everything else took a back seat to Chuck and Jordan’s budding romantic relationship.

I also adore the way Jordan’s character was written. Now that I think about it, I appreciate how this author portrays her characters of color in ALL of her stories. As a reader of color, I can honestly say that Knight has done a wonderful job of this. There have been quite a few authors in the MM genre, on many occasions, who had been dragged for filth by readers in general, readers of color specifically over their ridiculous and often times insidious stereotyping of their characters of color. Some on more than one occasion. I’ve never encountered that problem with any of this author’s work. The skin color of a particular character is only used to describe physical appearances. Again, as a reader of color who likes to read LGBT themes books, I really appreciate this.

As I was saying before, Jordan’s character was also well written. He was a Dom but his style was a little different than the others. His was a gentler approach. This didn’t make him any less of a Dom but I think that he adjusted his approach a bit for Chuck because he knew that Chuck was new to the lifestyle as he didn’t want to scare him off.

The storylines, character development and plots are wonderful and engaging. The books aren’t too long but just long enough to satisfy you. There are no unnecessary cliff hangers that leave you hanging either. This book, this series is definitely well worth the time to get in to.

 

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon:

 

Pride Publishing

 

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Nothing Special 5 (Nothing Special) A.E. Via

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Nothing Special 5

SERIES: Nothing Special

AUTHOR: A.E. Via

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer

PUBLISHER: Via Star Wings

RELEASE DATE: December 12, 2016

BLURB: The boys are back and fiercer than ever!

We were a unit tonight, moving as one. Even apart, we are deadly, but when combined – we are f**kin’ unstoppable.” ~~ God ~~

Atlanta’s notorious narcotics task force is at it again. They are stronger, bigger, and better than ever. Especially when a city councilman sends RECON Marine, Edwin Steele – who’s been blacklisted from his Oakland department – to join the team. God and Day weren’t recruiting. They have a lot on their plates, like the fact they’re supposed to be getting married soon. They don’t have the time or the patience to integrate a decorated war hero with a slight chip on his shoulder into their well-oiled machine.

A hothead that’s uncontrollable and terrible with authority… but wasn’t that their team motto?

Steele was ready to hang up his shield. He was done fighting with bigoted bastards that couldn’t respect the job. He was good at fighting; he just needed the right team to fight with. When his uncle – City Councilman, Rasmus Steele – shows him a video of God’s team in action, he knows right away, it’s where his nephew belongs in order to restore his faith.

Steele pointed to the driver, a behemoth of a man wielding those massive firearms like a true beast… like a soldier. “And him. Who the hell is he?”

“That’s your new boss. Lieutenant Cashel Godfrey… they call him… God.”

Steele was skeptical about his new placement, but when he meets God’s technology specialist/computer genius, “Tech,” he’s willing to give it his all, and he definitely shows and proves.

Tech is stunning. His sweater vest and khakis, a stark contrast to the blue-jeaned roughnecks he works with. A beautiful sheep amongst the wolves. Steel thinks there’s no way the brilliant man would be interested in a hardhead like him, but Tech has a few badass hidden talents of his own and manages to surprise him… surprise all of them.

This story is a part of a series but can stand alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has a HEA. There are no multiple pairings in this novel.

EXCERPT:

Steele’s hands ran up the length of his triceps and around his arms. Tech tried not to shiver at the light touches. Thoughts of what Steele could do with those hands that were now on his body were causing a lot of feelings that’d been dead for a long time to spark back to life. Steele kept his fingers on his forearms and ran his thumbs down the insides until he reached his pulse. Steele pressed both thumbs there and Tech felt his knees weaken. “Your pulse is erratic.”
Of course, it is.
“You may not be afraid… but are you comfortable?”
Was he comfortable? That wasn’t something he could answer. Now, if Steele asked was he confused in his company… fuck yes. However, he was also pissed at himself that he’d admitted to this FORECON Marine that typing made his wrists hurt sometimes. He didn’t want Steele to treat him like a baby. “I’m not scared,” Tech growled.
Steele dropped his arms and caught him around his waist, spinning Tech fast enough to make him dizzy. His breath caught in his throat when he stopped only a couple inches from Steele’s face, having to slightly tilt his head up to look into those penetrating gray eyes. “You keep saying that. But your body is telling me different,” Steele hissed.
Tech didn’t dart his eyes away. He didn’t want Steele thinking he was insecure. Instead, he held those blown pupils and majestic irises with his own interested gaze. Inching in closer, Tech fought down his tension and gently placed both hands on Steele’s tight stomach. Maintaining eye contact, he slowly moved them up Steele’s chest, gliding over the defined pecs. Steele’s nostrils flared but he didn’t stop Tech when he gripped his collar and pulled him down closer to his mouth. Just before their lips could touch, Tech inched over and whispered in Steele’s ear. “I can’t control the way my body trembles when you’re near me, but trust me when I tell you… it’s not fear, Ghost.”
Tech used Steele’s classified identity, hoping it didn’t backfire like hell. But the way Steele’s hands tightened on his waist, he didn’t think it had. He’d taken the gamble, hoping it’d pay off. He was confessing to Steele what he’d learned from those documents, information revealing what the lieutenant colonel had to do – had to become – to keep himself and his men safe. Yet Tech was still standing there in the man’s arms, his cock as hard as a missile, flirting with danger… hoping he’d flirt back.

 

REVIEW: This is book 5 in the Nothing Special series and it is just an amazing read. Every book that this author has written has been nothing short of excellent. As always the case with her work, you’re awaiting her releases and when it happens, you find that it was well worth the wait. Nothing changes with this book. I don’t know what I love the most about her work; the reasons for me are many. Her characters are vividly portrayed in each of her books. The technical aspects of her work are always perfectly executed: the plots, storyline and dialogues; everything is an exercise in excellence. Her covers are always beautiful and with her series, neat and uniform which satisfies my OCD tendencies.

In this story, she introduces a new character (Steele) while staying true and showcasing the older characters. And the way she brought in Preston, Ric and Blair, the characters from You Can See Me, the prequel to the Nothing Special series was absolutely brilliant.

I loved Tech and Steele together. The chemistry between these two characters was palpable. Tech’s character was this wonderful mixture of sexy geek genius, shy guy and tough detective, innocent yet sexy temptation.

Steele is a rough and tumble former Marine and detective who ran to the ATL from another city after a friend and former partner was killed. Angry at the betrayal of his former department, Steele decided to leave law enforcement. His uncle refuses to let him give up on a career that he’s made for. He comes up with an alternative and moves him to God and Day’s unit. It’s there he meets Tech and sparks immediately fly between the two men.

These men find their footing after a couple of rough starts. The relationship they develop is a beautiful one filled with sweet heat. This relationship is the focus but what goes on between the other characters is equally engaging. The author does an amazing job of having numerous storylines going on simultaneously. There were no defined MCs in this story but that is perfectly okay as each side told was brilliantly done. There were multiple POV shifts but this too, was expertly executed. There is not confusion as to whose POV you are in at any time; the shifts are just that seamless. This author does an amazing job of maintaining her characters: she incorporates the past characters and introduces a new one.

I can’t say enough about how well this book is written and how much I enjoyed reading it! This author is truly a master of her craft.
 RATING: 🌟🌟Amazing🌟🌟 

 

AUTHOR BIO:

A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children. Adrienne Via has tons of more stories to tell, but she really would like to hear yours. Via Star Wings Books is currently accepting submissions for established and aspiring LGBTQ authors.
Visit my site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next

Links

Amazon Buy Link: https://goo.gl/LXaMrW
All Romance: https://goo.gl/M6JYv9
Barnes & Noble: https://goo.gl/DVKJ5O
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/psjFiu
Goodreads: https://goo.gl/e0aytf

Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com

A.E. Blog: http://authoraevia.com/blogfann.html

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

 


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A Matchless Man (Dreamspun Desires #19) Ariel Tachna


Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: A Matchless Man

SERIES: Dreamspun Desires #19

AUTHOR: Ariel Tachna

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: October 1 , 2016

BLURB: None of the matches caught his eye as much as the matchmaker himself.

Growing up poorer than poor didn’t leave Navashen Bhattathiri many options for life outside of school. All of his concentration was on keeping his scholarships. Sixteen years later, he’s fulfilled his dream and become a doctor. Now he’s returning home to Lexington and is ready to prove himself to the world. In doing so, he reconnects with Brent Carpenter—high school classmate, real estate agent, all-around great guy… and closet matchmaker.

Brent makes it his mission to help Navashen develop a social life and meet available, interesting men. Unfortunately Navashen’s schedule is unpredictable, and few of those available, interesting men value his dedication like Brent does. Brent’s unfailing friendship and support convince Navashen he’s the one, but can he capture Brent’s heart when the matchmaker is focused on finding Navashen another man?

REVIEW: This story is a very sweet friends to lovers story set in Lexington, Ky. This is the second of the Lexington Lovers books and nineteenth within the Dreamspun Desires series. This story gives us Navashen a neonatologist and Brent a real estate agent.

Nav grew up poor and decided to return home after fulfilling his dreams of becoming a doctor. Determined to settle down he looks up Brent, a childhood acquaintance of his. The two reconnect while Brent helped him find his home.

The two become reacquainted with each other and become close but as friends only. Brent opts to play matchmaker to help Nav meet new people. Neither man realized that the very thing that was being sought was already in their faces.

I absolutely loved the relationship that Nav had with his brother. Akshat was my favorite character and the love and support he received from Nav, Brent and his neighbors was heartwarming. I truly enjoy these characters; they were very well written.

With that said, the story did have a bit of a drawback. The storyline, although lovely, was quite bland in the way of passion. There was absolutely no sexual chemistry between Brent and Nav’s characters and I think that’s what made the relationship between the two men less believable. This made the one and only sex scene at the end seemed forced; like it had to be written in because it was expected instead of it being a natural progression of the relationship. I think that it should have been left out completely; I was okay with the book not having sex as I think that a sexual relationship between the two would’ve taken away from the story.it’s this reason that I feel that the sex should’ve been left completely out of the story instead of written in.

In all, I truly enjoyed this book. There a sweet Hallmark-esque vibe that I loved and it worked well..

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

 

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Bear Among the Books by TJ Masters

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Bear Among The Books

SERIES:

AUTHOR: TJ Masters

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: September 2 , 2016

BLURB: Forty-eight-year-old Ben Thompson is a librarian, a passionate book lover, and a man who embodies the definition of a bear. He’s also lonely after the loss of his long-term partner. Young ex-gymnast Jason Barnes piques his interest, but Ben quickly realizes there’s more to Jason than his good looks. While Jason visits the library almost every day, he never checks out a book.

With gentle persistence, Ben befriends Jason and learns the nineteen-year-old’s tragic secrets. After years of abuse at his father’s hands, Jason was kicked out of his family home for being gay. And despite his apparent love of books, Jason never learned to read. Ben offers to teach him, and the two men bond over their lessons. Ben can’t deny his attraction to Jason, but he wonders if Jason is too young and too handsome to return his interest. With the help of the close-knit library team and Jason’s growing self-confidence, they move beyond the books and into the bedroom, where their own story is just beginning.

REVIEW: I didn’t think that this book would hold my interests hen it was first presented to me but I was pleasantly surprised. Very much so.

Here you have this young man, Jason, who at nineteen doesn’t know how to read. He’s a sweet young man, bright but had learning difficulties where left him illiterate. Let’s talk about him a bit more. This young man was in no way lazy or uninterested in learning, he was quite the opposite. He was passionate about books and his thirst for knowledge was obvious. There was just never anyone who actually took the time to take a vested interest in helping him learn until he meets Ben.

Ben. Sweet, gentle, intelligent, soft spoken Ben. He’s a librarian, a gentlemen of 48, whose just decided to live his life as it is. He has his books, his colleagues that he likes in a job that he loves. You get the sense that he wasn’t not looking to fall in love that he’s just sort of put that part of himself away after the passing of his husband/long term partner.

I think initially, when he notices Jason, he’s intrigued and notices how attractive he is in passing; it wasn’t overwhelming. But once he discovers the young man’s secret, he wants to help him.

I really like this book. When many think of a May/ December or older man/younger man romance, there’s a tendency to tell the story with certain slant. I was really glad to see that it wasn’t the case with this book. Ben genuinely cares about Jason, he has a vested interest in helping this young man live up to his full potential. It’s actually sad that people in the education system failed this young man.

The romance aspect wasn’t as believable as I would’ve expectedly to be. I just couldn’t see these two as a couple not because of the age difference but because of the tone of the relationship. Oh, don’t get me wrong, Ben does in no way take advantage of Jason, I just felt that the relationship was driven by feelings other than love and attraction. I think for Jason it was more of an attraction to his mentor and for Ben it was driven by loneliness and a bit of lust. But it was in no way disgusting.

This aside, I think the book was well very written. There wasn’t any heat between the two characters in my opinion but then again, that’s quite alright because I think these two men made better friends than lovers. The chemistry between the two was a slow burn that never truly turns into a raging fire and that is okay.

All things considered, I think the story worked out rather nicely.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 

Dreamspinner Press

 

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Harey Situation (City Shifters #2) Bailey Bradford

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Harey Situation

SERIES: City Shifters # 2

AUTHOR: Bailey Bradford

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing
RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2016

BLURB: This time, it’s a real bunny shifter and you know the saying about doing something like bunnies…

Oliver Biggerstaffer comes to Texas from Boston, looking for a job and a new life. He’s hoping the advertising firm he interviews for will hire him, and he can put his past where it belongs—behind him. No one will know who or what he is—a snake shifter.

Except he’s interviewed by Jagger Osterman, a bear shifter, and he meets a cute bunny shifter at the hotel where he’s staying. Oliver can’t hide his shifter status from them. And he doesn’t want to, once he meets them—especially the bunny, Peter Ruiz. It’s lust at first sight, but Oliver wants to take things slow as long as he’s staying at the hotel Peter’s working at.

Peter wants to get laid, and he wants to get laid now. The sexy snake shifter he’s attracted to has morals and ethics and things most of the guys Peter’s screwed around with before lack.

Oliver treats Peter like a person, not a body to have sex with, and if they can survive a series of weird accidents that might not be accidents after all, then Oliver and Peter just might have a happy ending all their own.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and kidnapping.
REVIEW: This is the 2nd book in the City Shifter series and picks up nicely where the first book left off. This is a different couple and the author did a lovely job of tying them into the previous book while keeping Peter and Oliver’s story completely separate. She did such a good job that this can be read as a stand alone even though it’s part of a series.

Peter is a rabbit/hare shifter ( I really don’t know the difference between a hate and a rabbit so I’ll just use both) working at a hotel that Oliver, a copperhead snake shifter is a guest in. The attraction between the two is instantaneous and strong.

I liked these characters quite a bit. Oliver’s a bit uptight but it’s to be expected but not overly so and Peter complements him. Peter’s personality is a bit freer in terms of his sexuality and spirit but he’s hardworking, ambitious and intelligent and Oliver sees that in him. Both of these gentlemen reached a point in their lives where they were looking for something more than sex. So instead of the mating heat that’s such a common theme in shifter stories ruling their heads, Oliver decided to court Peter. It was all so very human like.

There was drama in the story but the author doesn’t drag it out which is nice. These books Aretha perfect length; short but not overly so with everything wrapping up rather nicely at the end of each.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing

 

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